I’ve actually owned (and sold) three snowboards (economic issues).
Whoop was my first one.
Let’s the honest. The design is amazing. A valley full of cloned, demonic bluebirds? I love birds, I love blue and I love weird things. The only thing that wasn’t amazing was the cheap bindings and worst boots on earth. I can’t remember how the board rode, but it was very flexible.
(Whoop even made it to pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/555139091538035880/ )
I was your typical angsty teen. I was pissed off at my parents. They hated my snowboarding in the few measly trips we had in high school. I had some meagre savings.
Big box sport shop kid’s board it was.
When I look back to it, snowboarding was like my adventure awakening. And Craigslist was my other, sketchier adventures awakening. There was a certain thrill in purchasing a board from someone you didn’t know, in a place you didn’t know, for a price too good to believe. Shoving money over the counter is one thing; interacting with people letting go of the freedom boards is another.
Anyways, pre-Craigslist days, the only place I knew to purchase a dirt cheap board was Sportchek.
The only thing I could afford was a package deal for a kid’s board for $275 after tax, to be bought right before snowboarding with one of my new friends at university. I didn’t want to appear stupid of course, but I also was just over the brim with joy at owning a snowboard. The worst thing about snowboarding on high school trips was having to give the board back at the end of the day. The joy of riding and speed was so joyful to the extent that I wanted to do it everyday. Or at least take the board home and smuggle it and myself back.
At last the day came. I handed over the $275 in cold hard cash and awaited nervously as I was fitted for boots, and told that I was going to have to wait for it to be picked up because the bindings had to be installed. Laugh now, but I had no idea how easy it was to install bindings back then. I nervously told the Sportchek worker to call my cell and that I was paying in cash because I didn’t want my parents to know. The guy laughed, and although he said he was also an Arts major enjoying his time at UBC his second year status seemed to put him skyscrapers above me. When I got back after that day, I couldn’t sleep. I had just bought a board! I was going snowboarding, something i wasn’t sure I could do after high school ended!
I imagined running my hands over the board’s edge. I imagined its blue, blue graphics, promising bluebird days as blue and birdy as its graphics. It wasn’t the best and I knew that, but its cheerfulness seemed to embody all that I felt. And it was all new, which I welcomed after some shoddy rentals that ruined expensive high school trips to the hill. This was it. Through pure chance and tight economics, I was united with a board and we were going snowboarding to start a fresh page. Even though I’ve had mediocre days since then, the memory of snowboarding on Whoop for the first time with my then new friend stands out as one of my best riding memories.
Whoop, you were a piece of crap but I owe you. And I’m so happy I knew to move on.*
*Sold to some kind unassuming lady on Craigslist that somehow was willing to pay me $200 for it.
Whoop’s super cool but sadly not blue 2014/2015 iteration.
By the way, it’s pretty stupid when nothing changes but the topsheet, but the more graphics, the merrier.