I was a young kid who fell in love with snowboarding and I just wanted to snowboard. So I did. I immersed myself in the local industry, I met and rode with kids my own age and anyone that would ride with me. I competed in most events I could. I sent out "sponsor me" CVs. But it was the word of mouth and my riding that got me sponsored.
The industry is a little different these days but I believe it would still take the same principles – ride because you love it. Immerse yourself in the industry as best you can and just shred. The sponsors will come if that is your dream.
Me and my sisters were really motivated to get sponsors and keep riding... We made resumes and hit up all the brands we liked... Cold as ice and Salomon were our first sponsors :)
Stay motivated work hard, and if you need help don't be afraid to ask for it! We all need help sometimes....
I first got sponsored after being noticed at the British Snowboard Championships by Salomon and Oakley who are still my sponsors to this day, woohoo.
Focus more on your riding ability, creativity and adventures.
At the age of 16 I went to High Cascade Snowboard Camp at Mt Hood, after a year of begging my Mum. I jetted off there for my 16th Birthday, Erin Comstock, ex pro Roxy rider at the time was my coach for the week, I was so excited and did everything I could to impress her :)
A month later I'd just moved to Northern Ireland, when I received a phone call from Stine Brun Kjeldaas, who was the Roxy European Marketing manager, and she invited me out to Switzerland that next week to ride with the Roxy Junior Team, I can honestly say it was a dream come true, my favourite snowboard brand and then being invited on a trip, I couldn't believe it when I got my first jacket!
It went from there and I just continued to ride as much as possible and my relationship grew with Roxy and I became a part of the main team 2 years later!
My advice for a grommie wanting to get involved today is get to your local Snow Dome, it's amazing how many great facilities there are now in the UK, the Snow Centre just 30 minutes from London.
Ride as much as you can and have fun with it. Make sure you try something new every time you're on your board, no matter how small it is, for example a switch ollie, those little challenges will keep you pumped and the stoke alive to keep going back for more and more. If someone spots you in the dome having fun and progressing, word will get back. It's a small scene and everyone's always watching out for new talent!
It was never about getting sponsors when I started snowboarding. I was just riding and trying to get better and not eating shit on the hill. But then one time I went to a snowboard camp and a friend of mine Josef who was a Team Manager for one of the Czech brands and also Flow snowboards at the time was there.
We rode for a week and then he asked if I wanted go to Switzerland to ride pow and shoot some photos. That was my first trip abroad and one of the best ones for sure. After that it was on!!!
Do your best and things will come to you. Be humble and appreciate things other people do for you.
I had only been riding one season when I started following my older sister Meghann around to competitions. She was my inspiration and motivation in snowboarding, so naturally when she got sponsors, I wanted some too. I was horrible and got last at almost every contest, but I guess I really believed in myself.
I wrote a letter to the Burton headquarters when I was 13 only to get a very kind rejection letter back. They made the mistake of forwarding on my local rep Jeff Martino’s contact information. I spent the following two years pestering him with every little thing I accomplished on my board, whether it was a new grab or 10th place (out of 12) at a local comp. A few years later I got 2nd place at the Junior Nationals and he decided to hook a sister up. I ended up riding for Burton for 8 years before making the switch to Nike.
My advice to young girls coming up is to be persistent and to believe in yourself. You might get rejected your first or even third try, but if you believe you have what it takes someone else will too. I think making connections early is really important, so go say, "What’s up" to the people who work at your local shop, from those connections you’ll be able to meet reps and then eventually team managers. It’s a ladder and you’ve got to start at the bottom to get yourself to the top.
When I was 7 years old the Nor Cal Burton Rep saw me riding in Tahoe during a USASA event and gave me a snowboard. After that we kept in touch and he continued to hook me up until I was eventually put on the Burton Backhill kids team!
My advice for groms who are looking to get sponsored is to make a sponsor me video, or contact the companies you are most stoked on with photos and a bio of yourself.
Another way is to start with a local snowboard shop. Shops are a great way to make local friends with other snowboarders, as well as have help getting introduced to reps for any company!
I was sponsored though putting a snowboard edit on snowboard.com back in the day. Bobby Meeks and Cory Grove messaged me and actually helped get me sponsored by K2. They sent me some travel money and two snowboards! That's how I got my start.
I then went on to competing at the Vans Triple Crowns and any rail jam there was at the time because that's what I was into.
My advice for anyone coming up is that you are fully capable of doing this on your own. Go film yourself with your friends and don't be afraid to ask the other pros how they got into it, or help with sending in a sponsor me tape. I think if you're genuinely passionate about being a professional snowboarder, then don't let anything stop you. It's possible!
We are working on a new film called 'Full Moon' with MFR, Annie B, Hana B, myself, Robin Van Gyn, Helen Schettini and Jamie Anderson.
Find out more at:
Back when I started riding it was not very common to have an agent or a manager that got you sponsors. For me it was mostly my presence at contests, help from my coaches at the National Team and friends I made along the way that got me in touch with the different brands.
My first sponsor was a local shop called Sport Extreme in Trondheim, Norway. I started by getting discounted gear, something I was very appreciate of and that helped me on my way to pursuing a professional snowboard career.
When I was 17 I got on the European Burton Team after winning the Junior World Championships, and today, 16 years later I am still living my dream. In order to keep attracting this lifestyle I have had to adapt with the times and what is happening in the industry.
Attracting sponsors today can be quite the challenge. The market goes up and down like a roller coaster and right now the snow industry is at an all time low. That said, I believe everything you set your heart to and that you are really passionate about is possible to accomplish.
And with the online market providing so much opportunity for visibility, it is smart to use this outlet to get “noticed". But, be authentic and be yourself. Find out what your goals are and stay true to your integrity. If you have a coach or friends you trust, ask them for advice and to help guide you so you can attract the kind of support you are looking for. My best advice is; follow you passions and stay creative!
I was lucky enough to get sponsored pretty much as soon as I started riding by Boardwise and then soon after that by Burton UK. I had been riding for a year or so at home on Cairngorm when I had time off from being on the ski team with the Boardwise crew and they persuaded me that I should stop alpine skiing and go and race snowboarding - alpine snowboarding was still big back then - it was 1996 and the ISF tour was still in full flow!
I became more and more enthusiastic about snowboarding and the switch was natural for me as I was not enjoying the alpine ski team at that time. I then went from racing snowboards to riding pipe and boarderX and for a few years did them all. I feel lucky that I got to ride a bit of everything at ISF level and then World Cup and TTR level too. I really have seen all sides!
The best advice I could give is to get out there and really throw yourself into what you love most. If you like to ride pipe - do that, if you like to ride powder, do that. Whatever it is that makes you happy and motivates you to learn is the thing that you are most likely to get sponsored at if you decided to go down that path.
If you are motivated and enthusiastic then you will get the most out of the time you spend riding and your success will be noticed along with your fun attitude and this goes a long way.
The second bit of advice is that once you decide that you want to try and get sponsored, have a plan and be professional about what you can give back to your potential sponsor. There is no such thing as a free lunch and if you are asking for anything, be it money or equipment, then you need to give something in return either through your time or through a well thought out social media PR campaign or come up with something completely new that you think the sponsor will like and get value from.
I don’t think it is harder to be a pro rider today than 5 years ago although I do think that there are more people trying to be a pro rider so that might make it more difficult. Also it is harder to get a good money deal when you are an established rider as there is not so much money around in the industry and in general. However, the time and effort that you need to put in to make things work is still the same.
I first started as a skateboarder and was sponsored by a local girls' board shop. They were offering snowboard lessons each weekend for 3 weekends in a row. I used my birthday money and signed up.
I guess I was a natural as my boardshop sponsor found me equipment support and paid my entry fee to compete on my 3rd weekend (that was suppose to be a lesson! hehe) I was able to get 2nd place and the support turned into sponsorship over time.
The market has changed now, as now you can get noticed by a youtube video, instead of the competition scene. Ultimately you will not have a healthy career or a happy one unless you are doing it for the right reasons, so I suggest going out and having a blast. Progressing your riding with laughs and smiles.
Enter contests when your riding is ready or share your riding online and allow the sponsors to find you. If you feel really guided on what brand you would want to represent, reach out to them and tell them. Believe and always stay true to yourself.
Underground Skate - a local shop picked me up when I was 18 and threw me some tee-shirts! I was pumped.
You just have to want it more than the next grom. There are so many talented riders out there on the up, ask yourself what's going to make you stand out more than the next person? Then work your hardest to do exactly that.
There are some great opportunities for young groms to get seen, like The Volcom Peanut Butter Rail Jam who've kept it real for ages (they let the kids ride for free).
Or The World Rookie Festival. Great chances ....
Get yourself seen! Get motivated.
The only thing I can tell those who fake they break
Don't fake shit. Get shit done!
You fail today, you'll do better next day.
"If you feel positive, your way of living you will attract positivity.You do the opposite you get the opposite"
A good friend of mine gave me this advice last time, and it's the truth give it a try.
Keep on the sunny side of life.
Load yourself with good energy and you'll be surprised what you get back.
Don't be afraid and most important for me is to respect nature and enjoy every single day with your friends. Be true to your Brotherhood.((And dont hate cuz thats the easy way)). Work hard and I'm sure pays off for yo.
I started doing local USASA contests and did pretty well. I connected with a local shop, who had reps looking for shop kids to hook up and I got my first real sponsor (goggles).
Then the crew I ended up riding with all the time was centred around a board shop down the hill (Pharmancy Board shop) and they were a super rad crew and helped me out a bunch for a few years. Those were a big support during USASA and for Junior Nationals, but when I moved to Tahoe to go to college for a year I lost connection with most of my sponsors.
After a year of basically being unsponsored my "big break" was because of the crew of guys I met at Junior Nationals. I re-met them in college (Kevin Casillo) who re-introduced me to Danny, Kyle Clancy, Lane Knaack and the rest of the guys in Mammoth (the Grenade guys).
They were a big influence on me, knew more about the industry and got me invited to Superpark that spring. I was able to ride there and some people noticed me. I didn't really have a plan to come away with contract offers, I just wanted to ride those jumps and shred with all the guys. From there it just kinda fell into place!
What I would say to kids is just find like minded people who wanna shred. Have fun, ride hard and try to get into events that people can notice you, whether it's local am events or bigger events, but let your riding speak for itself.
I went to Windells as a camper and made a video with my camera that I brought. Then I sent the video to Active Ride shop and they started sponsoring me. Also, I think at the same time my friend Tucker Watson convinced Flux Bindings to start hooking me up.
My advice is go snowboarding! Make a video with your friends. The internet is a little oversaturated these days and videos can get lost really quick, so find a way to make it so you can be remembered I guess?