Burton’s West Coast Afterslam
By Jardine Hammond
Unpredictable weather, free food and beer, and The Supersuckers all made for many memorable moments at this year’s West Coast Burton Afterslam, held at Mammoth Mountain, April 4 and 5. “The Afterslam is basically an event to say thanks to all out retailers,” says Burton Public Relations Coordinator Scott Rivers. “And it’s also a great way to end the season. We held one for our East Coast retailers in Vermont last week and this week we’re doing the same thing for our West Coast retailers.”
With snow flurries, sunshine, wind, and temperatures ranging from 18 to 45 degrees, it was hard to determine the turnout and who would brave the elements. “It was pretty easy to organize, but next year we’re going to try doing it in June when it’s almost guaranteed to be warmer,” joked Burton North American Sales Manager Clark Gundlach. “But it went really well and we’re happy with the turnout. There’s around 200 retailers here, mostly from California, but a few came from Salt Lake City, Chicago, and Minneapolis, which surprised us. Overall, it’s just been really fun.”
With a halfpipe and slopestyle contest for the riders/retailers, employees of Wave Rave Snowboards in Mammoth Lakes swept both events. Home court advantage? With a home court like Mammoth’s pipe and park to ride all season long, it’s no wonder. “The whole event was a lot of fun and it was all well organized,” says slopestyle winner and Wave Rave employee Tim Gallagher.
Another highlight was the Burton Snowskate demo in a park specifically designed for the event. Rails, mailboxes, and a race course were set up for people to try their hand at the next big thing in winter sports. The park was later utilized by the Active Ride Shop crew, as well as others, to improve their board control with their feet strapped in on one of the Burton demos that were available. “The demos are great because it’s easier to tell customers about the product when we’ve actually tried it out,” says Ryan O’Connor of LS & S in Rancho Santa Margarita, California.
A large demo tent was set up for retailers to test out any 2002 models of Burton boards and bindings. “The demos are set up so it’s easy to try a board and switch it out so you can get to everything you want to try,” says Tommy Shorts from Chick’s in Tustin, California. “It reaffirms what we’ve bought and our selling choices.”
But the best parts of Afterslam were the up-close and personal performance by Seattle’s Supersuckers and the free beer at the filled-to-capacity Whiskey Creek Thursday, which lasted well into the wee hours of the night. Awards were given for the contests held over the few days and some winners went home with a Burton Splitboard, among other hefty prizes.
Retailers left with a warm, fuzzy (and maybe slightly hung-over) feeling. “The best thing about the whole event was that everyone who was working it made all of us feel really important,” says Katie Leeds of The Boardroom in Encinitas, California. “Seeing how organized and genuinely nice everyone was left me with a really good impression of Burton.” Mission accomplished for the number-one brand in the industry.