There’s been a lot said about the state of the snowboard industry lately. Decreasing sales and participation. Stores closing. Riders being cut. Print mags dropping dead.

Now what does the fact that one of the worlds best riders – Nicolas Müller – can’t even get his own sponsors to fund an amazing movie? That can’t be a great sign.

So Nicolas does what a lot of people are doing and crowdfunding it. Fantastic, right?

Then he goes and GIVES the title sponsorship to Drink Water. Who by all means are an amazing cause. So we’re not trying to hate here. Pro rider makes his own movie and gives away title sponsorship to a worthy anti-energy drink company. Fabulous!

HOWEVER…

Should the best snowboarders in the world not be able to make a living off of what they do? Not give away sponsorship and beg their fans for money out of their own pockets? Are we being knocked back into the 80’s? Sure, do it for the love and all that, but snowboarders put their lives on the line, are as talented as any athletes in the world, and should be compensated. Every day you see a pro snowboarder crowdfunding medical costs. Do you see NFL players asking fans to pay for their injuries? Love the community we have, but it would be nice if we got to the level where brands were making enough to cover these costs.

Back to the movie. Müller got it all paid for and it’s out and a good watch. Dude is passionate. But you know who ended up purchasing the largest crowdfunding package. Travis Rice! What a stand-up guy right? Right! (yes he is, and his purchase of the Drink Water Senegal perk was surely not done aggressively.)

But wait. He makes most his money from Red Bull. So basically it’s now Red Bull paying for Drink Water to get a free sponsorship on a movie. The irony! The irony of Red Bull paying Travis Rice to fund Nicolas Müller’s movie, which was presented by their direct nemesis Drink Water for free is mind-bending.

Anyway…. you should totally watch FRUITION and check out Nicolas Müller’s words about snowboarding. Dude can talk about one turn for 15-minutes. He may love it more than anyone else in the world.

 

Here’s a sample below…..

 

There was some awesome stuff that you offered up on the crowdfunding campaign: your old boards, a weekend at your house and the Senegal water project. It looks like you sold most of the perks and exceeded your funding goal. Are you encouraged by the support? Do you think this sort of crowdfunding approach is the way forward for snowboard films? 

Yeah, the whole crowdfunding thing was totally new to me and I wasn’t sure whether I should do it or not. A friend who succeeded in a campaign encouraged me and offered his help so I went for it. It turned out to be so fun and exciting. The list of backers goes from Travis Rice—who, by the way, bought the Drink Water Senegal perk—Sage Kotsenburg and friends in the industry, to people I had no idea existed, let alone would be interested in snowboarding or the things that I’m up to. It was just so rad. I think it will be part of our future. I was just talking to Justin Hostynek at Absinthe Films, where it’s a struggle to raise enough sponsor money to even cover expenses nowadays. He is one of the most dedicated people in snowboarding ever, hands down. I was like, ‘Dude let’s do a crowdfunding campaign. Let’s offer the film directly to the people, and backers will get them directly in the mail.’

 

 

Click over to THE SNOWBOARDERS JOURNAL for the feature interview with Nicolas Müller about his movie Fruition.

 

 

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