Burton is the type of sickeningly good corporate citizen that gives Vermont its wholesome reputation. But this fall, Burlington’s golden child sent locals into a snit with the release of its Love and Primo series—the former with graphics of vintage Playboy centerfolds (artfully posed to cover the good bits) and the latter spattered with blood and instructions on how to amputate your fingers. Outraged, or possibly just hopped up on high-octane Aunt Jemima, a dozen local groups mounted a protest outside Burton’s Burlington headquarters in October, demanding a halt to the production of the boards. Burton, for its part, released a statement essentially saying, “Piss off, it’s art,” but the publicity led Vail Resorts, Smugglers’ Notch, and several other ski areas to enact policies barring their employees from riding the naughty, naughty planks.
“There’s so much media out there that we already have to keep our kids from. That’s one of the reasons we take them to the ski mountain,” says Lezlee Sprenger, protest organizer and mother of two precious snowboarders. “We don’t want to be censors, but we don’t want these products in the playgrounds of children.”
Point taken, but this is not the first time face shots and money shots have mixed. Sims’s Fader series included images of adult-film stars like Jenna Jameson, nipples and all, and Capita’s Stairmaster Extreme shows multiple pics of a topless woman bouncing on a bed. Neither sparked controversy, though they might be next on the protesters’ hit list. Our advice: Keep your naughty boards under your brother’s mattress, just in case.
- SKIING MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2009