Marketing Manager, RIDE Snowboards
Raised under the watchful eye of some of New Hampshire's finest buzzards, Massachusetts-bred Tanner McCarty is one of the east coast's preeminent hopefuls in the snowboard industry, tasked with heading up all marketing initiatives for one of snowboarding's most powerful brands, RIDE Snowboards. Being an east coaster, Tanner is equal parts skeptic and optimist, the only discerning situation that separates the two being how he actually feels about the topic, which allows him to make balanced yet passionate decisions in regard to where he wants to bring RIDE in the future. I first met Tanner when he was 13 years old. I was coaching at Waterville Valley Academy and Tanner was in the weekend program, and thus, I was tasked with lending him a hand in learning tricks. Well, if you've ever seen him snowboard then you should know that he caught on quick, as his aptitude on a snowboard might make you think he's part of the RIDE team if they were lapping together, and from the moment I met Tanner, I knew that he had a bright future in snowboarding, either as a rider or an industry-ite because he's honest, loyal and as real as they come. This kid's making moves and slowly turning RIDE into one of the best brands in snowboarding, so keep an eye out for Yung Tan, 'cause the kid's gonna be calling the shots for a while here.
What does your current position in the snowboarding industry entail? Describe a typical day on the job.
Woof. It's a bit cliché to say every day is different, but it's true. The job right now is to market RIDE Snowboards. It all starts by working with our badass engineers and designers to create premium level product. Then, get the gear to the team and work with brilliant photo/videographers to create content displaying said product. Finally, distribute that content to the world through all the channels. Basically, we want to hype people up and let them connect with the brand.
Where are you from and where do you currently call home?
I'm from Massachusetts but now live in Seattle. East Coast will forever be home.
How did you start snowboarding?
My first board was found under a Christmas tree in 1999, however, the pivotal moment was when Bill Enos taught me how to boardslide a very small pink double barrel rail in the preseason at Waterville Valley in '02 or '03. From there on, snowboarding was all that mattered.
At what point did you realize that you wanted to work in the snowboard industry?
It must have been lingering in my mind very early on...but hanging out and eventually working at Eastern Boarder, I started to meet people with careers that allowed them to snowboard more often than the average person. That seemed like the answer. I later found out that when you start dedicating your life to work, it better be passion driven or else you're screwed.
And how did you make that happen?
Tanner's Wack and Mow Landscaping Services was thriving but then I found out I was allergic to grass. There's a lot in a short period of time. Eastern Boarder was where it all started. At 14 years old, my mom would drop me off at the shop after school and then again at 18 when I lost my license. Working at EB you meet so many amazing people and that's definitely what landed my next gig at High Cascade in the Demo Center. This also changed the game and is where I met a lot of the friends and coworkers I have to this day. Then in college I really didn't care for anything the school had to offer. Aside from trying to graduate, I was trying to get on snowboard trips where I could help out in some way, shape or form just to be around the people I admired. One time I went to Superpark and Bridges simply had me collecting trash. But Pat Bridges told me to do something and it wasn't "leave" so that was cool in and of itself. Trash cleanup turned into writing for the mag's web recaps that week. Watching how the magazine operated was incredible. Everyone was the closest of friends with constant jokes and laughter, yet they produced the best snowboard media out there. It inspired three friends and I to start our own magazine called East Snowboard Mag. It was a short 2 year stint, but we all learned so much and the few ads we sold funded a bar tab at Charlie's for a summer. During the rest of college I tried to get in the door at Forum since the office was in the town where I went to school. I'd clean the marketing cage and help at events. I felt like things were lining up but then The Program sank. That turned into a brief internship at Burton that earned the last few credits I needed to graduate college. It seemed like everything on the snowboard brand side of things happened on the west coast so I drove out solo with no job. Thanks to Deb Moore she set me up with the marketing group at The Summit at Snoqualmie where I became the Youth Marketing Coordinator there. Colleen Quigley also had me running Salomon's social media and other copy needs on the side. While all that was happening, apparently RIDE had gone through some huge changes and a Team Manager job pop up, which was basically what I had been hoping for the entire time. I went in for an interview and Sean Tedore gave me the job. One piss test and three years later I'm still here, just with a couple different titles.
Who did you look up to in the industry for inspiration?
First and foremost, Preston Strout. He was the first person I felt honored to work for. Ripping boarder, admirable leader, entrepreneur and I cannot keep a straight face while he's in the room. As I really started paying attention to snowboard marketing, Java Fernandez was god. What he did at Salomon was inspirational. Darrell Mathes is also someone who I am constantly inspired by as he balances between snowboarding and running a business. I constantly think, "What would Darrell do?" Pete Saari and Jim Linnberg for dealing with the insanity of directing large snowboard companies but even it out by logging days on hill. Also T. Bird and Blatt for reasons we cannot discuss on this platform. No, it's anyone who humbly crushes on the job but also has a really fun time doing it. Add in the people who keep friends and family at the top of the list.
What do you feel has been your biggest impact in your line of work?
I ran into someone while follow-camming Dave Marx last year. Huge impact. I think I took the brunt of the crash. But if you're referring to a more philosophical meaning, I think that is yet to come.
What do you want to accomplish that you haven't yet?
Ever heard of Prestige Worldwide? Haha. Work for myself. Someday, I want create and direct a successful business that I can work on with passionate people in a balanced environment. Wow, that sounded like a LinkedIn posting.
Anyone you'd like to thank?
Yes there are. Many. How long can this list be? Should we do it academy award style? Start with family. Giving up weekends and writing fake absence slips so I could go boarding. So much support. Sandy, Steve and Dev. One love. Everyone I work with at RIDE. I spend the majority of my time with you so thanks for keeping it real AF. Blatt, Wakeling, Herb, Tommy J, Mary Walsh, Norton, Deb Moore (not Pat...JK, luv you both), Colleen, Matt Jags, Bistro, Billy Allen, Tedore, Fury, Owen, Tyler Davis, Bill Enos, Eamon, Mark Lovett, RM, Dave Marx. Thanks to anyone who has taught me something. There are so many more, but a major shout out to Adam Sandler for Happy Gilmore. I love that movie.