Last weekend we met up with Hanna Haidar, one of the founders of the snowboard reviews blog Geeks of Shred. In addition to being a long-time surfer, world traveler, and author, Hanna is a top-notch snowboard instructor at Sugarbush resort in Vermont. A few years ago he and his buddies (Carlos Romero, Chris Carter, and Aaron Guilfoyle – all snowboard instructors at Sugarbush) decided to start a blog that echoed what they were always talking about all the time. What else? Snowboarding! Hanna does most of the writing for the site and Carlos handles all of the design. Carlos is the second half of Geeks. But before we get further into Geeks, let me say few words on snowboarding websites in general.
Snowboarding blogs, forums and brand sites have been around for a long time. Your typical snowboarding info-site (I’m thinking of those not owned by individual product brands) can include any combination of snowboard news, advertisements, op-eds, surf stuff, skateboard stuff, how-to tips, lessons, suggestions, shred flick trailers, and lots of videos and pictures. The larger sites like Transworld and Snowboard Magazine have a very “industry feel” to them while sites like Boardistan and Yo-Beat are more independent-minded and include a better variety of content.
Snowboard product review sites also include the aforementioned subject matter, but they are particularly useful for folks trying to learn more about new gear coming onto the market. For example, you may be interested in a board but you are not sure if it will fit your riding style. You may want new bindings with specific features and want to know what the flex is like or how comfortable they are. Maybe you need new boots but you have narrow feet- will they fit you right? The reviewers on these sites are usually very experienced riders that have a background in the industry and/or have a good understanding of the technical aspects of snowboard product construction.
Hanna describes Geeks of Shred this way. “The Geeks of Shred blog looks at snowboarding through our perspective as snowboard instructors and coaches. We want it to be the voice of real people who are passionate about what we do. We believe snowboarding is for everyone, from the 100 day a year soldiers, to the stoked kids and the nervous adult beginners; and we want all to feel included and welcome. In our product reviews we try to offer an unbiased review that has the technical information readers want in an accessible format. As instructors we should be able to ride something and be able to tell what applications and what riders it will work best for. We try to keep things as honest as possible!”
We also asked Hanna what the future has in store for Geeks of Shred. “The Geeks site will be changing a bit. The Geeks of Shred blog will remain the same, but we’re looking to add some of the services we offer as instructors and coaches on and off snow. We’re happy to be able to respond to the overwhelming support and inquiries into how to come ride with us. We embrace the opportunity to influence how snowboarding is taught and keep it a welcoming place at all levels. We’re especially excited to offer training that incorporates fitness, flexibility, and nutrition.”
One of the highlights of the season for Neverbored, and Geeks of Shred, is the Snow-sports Industries America (SIA) trade show in Denver. We will all be working like crazy little beavers on a coffee binge researching new products, new brands, talking to reps, attending seminars and best of all, demoing all of next year’s products at the On-Snow Demo at Winter Park! Hanna says, “We’re SUPER excited to go out to SIA and check out as much gear as possible. Our test and review strategy is to streamline the process to a few key points our readers are interested in for each type of product. We take detailed notes after each run to keep things organized and record our overall impressions after testing. It’s worked really well for us this far and has generated a lot of positive response.”
Neverbored is looking forward to collaborating with Geeks on all sorts of fun stuff including snowboard reviews, park events, demos and whatever else we can hash up to make snowboarding more enjoyable for our friends, family and customers. Snowboarding is amazingly fun and the possibilities for having the time of your life out on the hill are exponentially increased when you have people like the Geeks of Shred learning you proper!
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