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Original publication date: Early 2000’s (riders have been updated for Modern times)
When you fall asleep at night, chances are you dream of becoming the next mega-star, six-figure-salaried pro snowboarder. It may not happen, but lucky for you and the other 400,000,000 aspiring pros, professional snowboarding is a multi-tiered sport. Of the six levels, at least one of them should be attainable.
Travis Rice, in modern times. Photo: Zimmerman
Super-pro: You are one of the best snowboarders in the world. With your big money and big name, you won’t have to worry about your contract renewal for the next few years. Neither injury, wack steez or short video parts can take you down.
e.g. Peter Line, Terje Haakonsen, Travis Rice, Shaun White
Pro-pro: You get a check every month and it pays your bills. You go on magazine trips and get photos and video parts. You may not get invited to be on Letterman, but the kids are down, and you’ll probably still be pro next year.
e.g. J.P. Solberg, Louie Fountain Louif Paradis, Pat Moore
Ross Powers, during the good old days.
Contest-pro: You probably ride for Burton, and will hike the halfpipe on a powder day. You’ve got your winning run dialed, and it keeps you in the green, but doesn’t make you the coolest thing going.
e.g. Tommy Checzin, Ross Powers Mason Aguirre, Kelly Clark
Amateur-pro: Due to a travel budget, you’ve spread your wings across the United States and even gotten photo incentives once or twice. You have to keep working though, because without a salary, you have to stay hungry to stay alive.
e.g. Corey Smith, Robbie Sell Most people who get YoBeat Hump Days
Local-pro: The 12-year-old kids at your local mountain think you’re just swell. Don’t cross state lines, and you can bask in the glory of success. Enjoy your free boards, but don’t expect any money.
e.g. Donkey, Pat Moore Mike Rav, Viktor Simko
Washed-pro: You’ve started your own company, and even it doesn’t want to sponsor you.
e.g. Jason Borgstede Nate Bozung