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Aspen OK with Burton’s risque snowboard designs

Janet Urquhart
Aspen correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN, Colorado ” So far, Aspen appears unfazed by a new line of snowboards that depict images of scantily clad women.

Vail Resorts has prohibited employees of its Vail, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek and Keystone resorts in Colorado and California’s Heavenly Mountain from using the boards while on duty, but no such ban has yet been enacted by the Aspen Skiing Co.

“I know there have been some discussions informally,” said Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle. “We don’t have a policy one way or the other. I don’t know if we will.”



Burton’s new Love line of snowboards depicts four different Playboy models.

The boards have been toned down since Radio Boardshop co-owner Travis McLain first saw them at a trade show in Denver last January, when his initial reaction was, “Ooh, I don’t know if I can do this,” he recalled.



But his Aspen shop carries the line, now featuring slightly less revealing images, he said, and has sold a couple of them.

“I think they’re cool. I don’t think they’re offensive,” McLain said.

The snowboards, along with another Burton line featuring cartoons of self-mutilation, have proven controversial, though. Smuggler’s Notch in Vermont has also banned employees from using boards from either line, and Sugarbush, another Vermont ski resort, may also take action.



The boards led to a demonstration last week outside Burton’s headquarters in Burlington, Vt.

“I think the publicity has helped Burton more than it’s hurt,” McLain said.

Polar Revolution in Aspen also carries the Love line, though neither local shop carries the boards depicting self-mutilation.

A couple of the Playmate boards are on display in Polar Revolution’s windows, but they don’t seem to draw much attention. No one has come in to complain, said shop co-owner Sammy Shea.

A handful of passersby polled on Tuesday were split in their reactions, when asked for an opinion.

“As a woman, I think it’s offensive,” said one individual.

But, two other women said they were fine with the boards.

“No, it doesn’t bother me at all,” said one, a Snowmass Village resident.

One man said, “It bothers me. I gotta tell you, if my wife and kids saw that… .”

Shea said he ordered 12 to 14 boards in the Love line and has sold about half of them. He has ordered more.

“They’re selling to people who don’t even snowboard,” he said. “They just want to put it on the wall.

“Obviously, it’s supposed to spark some controversy, but I think it’s tastefully done,” Shea said of the images. “I think you see about as much on the boards as you do on television.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

janet@aspentimes.com


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