This feature originally appeared in the September issue of TransWorld SNOWboarding. Subscribe here.


When the editors first dumped a stack of brand catalogs on my desk, I got a little excited. Maybe I was experiencing flashbacks to my parents having me circle all the crap I wanted from a holiday catalog so they could "send a list to Santa." Either that, or my increased naiveté is simply the result of all the toner fumes I've been inhaling since they moved my desk to a corner in the copier closet. You know how hard it is to get anything done when I'm expected to fix this damn machine for someone every five minutes?

Well, the fact of the matter is, no, my task was not to circle the new kit I wanted in hopes that a welcoming gift of new outerwear and a fresh setup would appear on the cardboard box that serves as my desk. And, while the long-term health effects of toner inhalation have yet to be comprehensively determined, they assuredly cannot be any worse than what I was tasked with doing next.

For some reason, all your favorite brands, in all their fancy catalogs, have decided to develop their own individual languages of nonsensical technical jargon. And for some other reason, none of the editors have yet to figure out how to make sense of these sales-driven dialects. Apparently, that's my job.
Sure, that jacket could easily be described as what it is—20K-rated waterproof fabric—but no, it's got to be labeled as MAGNA-hydroDRY, which also features NASA-tested DIVAloft-5 insulation.

Excuse me? For one, just because you capitalize some words and smash 'em together with some others in lowercase, that doesn't make it any more technically enhanced (it definitely makes it more expensive though). And seriously, what is up with all this NASA-grade stuff? I mean, that would be excellent if I was going to the frickin' moon, but I'm just hoping my '85 Geo Metro gets me home this evening.

And don't even get me started on snowboards. I can't tell you how many brands are advertising their Directional-Twin-Hybrid-Asymmetrical-Rocker-Camber-Reverse-Positive profiles this season. So it's camber? But it's rocker? And it's a twin? Oh, right, a directional true twin. Got it. And look! It's constructed with ECOboost materials and features a Quadralatical 4D Level-2 VaporSTEP sidewall. What about bindings? Better bet they have some sort of HyperFusion FireLITE Axis2 baseplates. Boots? Oh, they've got AeroLON liners and DureThaneX soles upcycled from the frickin' Gravedigger itself.

But as long as all this outlandish jargon keeps those products moving and the ad dollars coming, I'll keep trying to make sense of it. Maybe one day I'll make it up to minimum wage. So you'll have to excuse me, I need to get back to defining Z-3 THERMAdescent to the editors. What's that? If you have to ask, you probably can't afford it.


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