Aside from the occasional comment I’ve tried to avoid Nope Snowboards but today I saw this in my newsfeed. The first thing that came to mind was, how can you possibly be a long-time supporter of a brand that’s less than a year old? We’re talking about a brand that didn’t even make it one complete winter season, after all.
I probably will regret taking time out of my day to write this, but whatever.
Here is the officially unofficial Nope. Snowboards Timeline
- Launched fall of 2011 selling limited edition made Nope.-branded Monson-built boards with a form-over-function focus on using the boards as a canvas on which to present custom artwork.
Not that there’s anything wrong with this, but it’s just a little disingenuous to be claiming OG when you’re outsourcing nearly every aspect of your product from the artwork to the R&D and tech to the manufacture.
- Over the next few months they do the usual self-promotion that you would expect from an upstart snowboard brand: pictures, videos, lots of videos, teasers, giveaways of boards, skateboards, t-shirts, etc.
There’s nothing wrong with this, either, we do it whenever we can, it is self-promotion, putting your brand or name out there. Cool.
- In April, YoBeat reports that Nope. is done for, shutting down. Out of the blue, the owners state they need to pursue other professional endeavors and conclude, “NOPE was started for us and it ends for us.”
Apparently Nope was never about the snowboarding or sticking it to the man or whatever else image they were trying to sell, it was about “us”, i.e., the owners having their fun and that’s all.
- This was followed quickly by another post on Nope.’s facebook page; I have learned the hard way that you will get banned if you have the audacity to re-post this life lesson on their page:
There is more to life than snowboarding – there is life – a career – education – family – health – snowboarding is fun but for most everyone here it will never pay your bills or provide for your family – priorities – it’s just a hobby it’s not life
Look these words are absolutely 100% true. Snowboarding, for most snowboarders, is just a hobby. But most people don’t quit their day jobs to pursue it as a business. Once you do that, you can’t really fall back on the “just a hobby” excuse.
- Barely a week later, Nope. was reborn “under new ownership”. Note the self-serving “we didn’t sell out” qualifier:
NOPE Snowboards was started as a statement against corporate america, venture capitol (sic) and all the rest. In such, NOPE Snowboards declined the opportunity and sold to a small group of friends here in Park City who believe in what we started. We wish them the best and we thank all those that helped us to realize our goals, the friends we made, and the people in the industry we came to know.
So… wait, they soldl Nope to a group of friends who think snowboarding is just a hobby and are in it for themselves?
- In May they lined up some reps and started pushing hard in the Australia market.
- They also got in to another brouhahah with the Angry Snowboarder under the auspice of “let’s clear the air” they did the only mature thing and stood him up.
The comments coming out from The Official Nope around this time (May 18) had a familiar tone to them. I had a sneaking suspicion that the old owners were still involved. Even my brother, who doesn’t snowboard at all, and would not be – by any standards – considered knowledgeable of the scene or the industry was able to see through this bullshit.
Yes, I have a habit of saving screenshots of things that I think might be funny 3 months later.
- Despite our suspicions, they continue to assert the claim that the old owners were no longer affiliated at all:
- June was business as usual, and Nope brought together their team of riders to include some females, starting with Erika Vikander.
- Fast forward a few more weeks to July and Nope. is now championing Brian’s (that would be the old owner) involvement as though he never left (see also: here, here, and here).
Of course, they say they are glad to have him back. Whether he ever actually left is a matter of speculation, but it’s also not really that important in the grand scheme of things. Whoever was at the helm continued the same posturing with the same attitude and no matter what anyone says Nope in July of 2012 is apparently the same as Nope ever was.
Well that’s the whole story, all eight months of it.
What will Nope be, or will they even exist two weeks, two months, two years from now?