Jobs in Action Sports

This week Transworld launched the actions sports Job Board offering “access [to] the newest and freshest jobs available to professionals seeking employment.” It seems the company is bullish towards jobs in the action sports sector, as it would have been silly to launch a platform with ‘bare shelves’. The platform compete’s with Malakye.com, which has stood as the industry leader in action sports career opportunities for the past several years.

It seems action sports professionals have a peachy outlook on the job market, with more opportunities to choose from thanks to Transworld’s job board launch. Two years ago, Reuters quantified the global action sports industry as “$22 billion globally” (action sports is the term used to describe surfing, skate and snowboarding, and lesser-known counterculture sports like bicycle motocross, according to Reuters) in an article explaining Nike’s move into the industry.

Back in 2007, Active Marketing Group published online pageview traffic to action sport related webpages as over 100 million monthly pageviews. Now 5 years later, we are seeing an exponential curve in actions sports appeal with the birth of the X Games, multi-million dollar acquisitions of action sport brands, Hurley, Vans and Volcom; with an increasing participant trend for each sport even during the recession. It is no wonder Transworld feels there is room to channel the on- and offline action sports mania when it comes to career opportunities for those most passionate (who seem to be growing daily).

- Jenna

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I just returned from a 7 day kiteboarding trip to Cabarete, Dominican Republic. My first time to the home of Cabrinha and RedBull sponsored professional kiteboarder, Susi Mai!

I went with a group of over 50 kitesurfers, mainly from New York, San Francisco and Miami. The group is a tight knit crew who happens to know each other through work in the technology industry (that also happen to love kiteboarding. The group has travelled together for the past several years under the name, MaiTai, originally organized by Susi Mai and Silicon Valley based venture capitalist, Bill Tai. The Cabarete trip is a bit of an offshoot organized by two of the MaiTai members, which has attracted a fun crew of techies, financiers, and above all, kiteboarders. (They also have organized trips that you take look at here:)

As a first time visitor to Cabarete, I would rate the trip with 5 stars in regards to a kiteboarding vacation. If your goal was to lay out on white sand beaches at an all inclusive, this is not an ideal location, unless you enjoy white sand in your eyes. This time of year (summer), we were able to ride 7 out of 7 days with varying conditions, which can be rare for a kiteboarding trip where you are usually likely to get some non-wind days.

 

Here is my breakdown of the trip:

kiteboardingKiteboarding Conditions:

Flat water: 5 stars

Surfing: 1 star

This is primarily a wakestyle spot. About 50 meters from your hotel you can kite almost anywhere along the beach with decent wake style conditions. Kite beach is a great spot for wind consistency and somewhat flat water. Places like La Boca, which offer flat water and a great down winder back to the hotel is where the action is at as far as special locations.

For surfing, this time of year we didn’t get a lot of swell (even for regular surfing). It is fun to play around on your kitesurf board but do not expect to get barreled.

Price: $

I did the entire 7 day trip in a grand. Hotel came to $45 a night sharing with one other person. We stayed at the Millenium Hotel, about a kilometer from town. The hotel was really nice and nothing like a $45 a night hotel you would get in the U.S.

Travel: 3 stars

Cabarete is not known for customer service… you are still in a developing country. You cannot drink the water and traveling by moto-scooter with the local town’s boys is a bit sketchy (not many rules of the road there). The food was decent, but for the price was fantastic. You can get a full breakfast for $5 or 190 pesos. Dinners are usually around $10 to $20 depending on your ordering habits.

All in all, epic trip.

Susi Mai was on the Cabrinha Siren kites for 2013. So stoked for these!

kiteboarding

 

Fantasy Action Sports

The other day I was having a discussion with a fellow geek friend about startups that we had had the idea for, that were later launched by somebody else. He told me a story about his idea ten years ago to do online fantasy sport leagues. He went out and talked to sports fans, friends and family; and every single person told him that nobody would ever want that. Sports fans that bet on drafts, even didn’t like the idea, which led him to believe that it was a shit idea.

Today, fantasy sports online is estimated to be a $3-$4 billion industry, with 27 million players of fantasy football alone (The Hollywood Reporter). It is global mania, to say the least, and by no means something that “nobody would use,” according to my friend’s initial feedback.

In the world of traditional sports, scores, stats and players are followed diligently by performance numbers. Millions of people follow player stats and bet accordingly. Although, when I take a look at my passion in action sports, we rarely follow stats. It is rather, all about stunts.

In light of the X Games, going on right now in downtown LA, action sports stats have been something that have come up a lot in conversation, even when talking to my geek friends! Why do we not follow our favorite athletes in these sports by numbered achievements? I know there is no inherent goals scored, but there still is judged scores across events, height records, and distance records, in some.

Fantasy Street League Skateboarding has tried to kick of this trend. Although, you still can’t bet like it is poker! The fantasy league online is a hobby for few and not something widely followed, yet (I mean, just look at the prizes listed above in comparison to fantasy football).

Although, like my story from the beginning, it does not mean there are not people out there willing to play in fantasy leagues for action sports. Is because of the lack of media attention? The much smaller proportion of fans? Or, the differing culture that creates less attention to numbered achievements? It looks like something I will have to investigate to find out.

To be continued…

 

Elliot Sloan First to Stomp Cab 720 Heelflip

For those of you who follow the vert scene closely, Elliot Sloan has landed the first Cab 720 Heelflip.

I pressed Elliot over Christmas about the trick (come to think of it, on Christmas day) from my brother’s request…so I like to think I had something to do with nudging him to land that. But really it was just hard work. Congrats Elliot!

Proof is on YouTube!

Jenna

 

Annabel Van Westerop is a rising star in the kiteboarding world. She is a big part of the Cabrinha team and making waves for the kiteboarding community across the action sports industry. She is currently in the finals to become a Roxy girl, so I thought I would take a moment to highlight who she is and why she is we love her.

 

Jenna Hannon: When Did you start kiteboarding?

Annabel Van Westerop: I started kiteboarding about 4 years ago. I was windsurfing first and was always looking at my dad and the other guys who were doing all those crazy jumps, so of course, I wanted to do it as well! After 4 lessons, I was instantly hooked and have loved it since! I started to dream about becoming a professional kiteboarder when I won my first competition in 2009 and am still dreaming about it today. I just finished high school, so my plans are to travel around the world and make my dream come true!

Jenna Hannon: Who is your biggest inspiration from the action sports world?

Annabel Van Westerop: My biggest inspirations at the moment are Damien LeRoy, and Gisela Pulido. Gisela proves to the world that kiteboarding is not too extreme for women; that we can be just as good as the guys! Damien LeRoy is my biggest inspiration right now, to go after my dream and achieve it! He is a great friend and is always ready to help me!

Jenna Hannon: What is your dream kite vacation?

Annabel Van Westerop: My dream kite vacation would probably be to go to Maui. Everyone has to go there some time in their life right? However, snowkiting is also something I have been wanting to do for a very long time now! I haven’t seen snow for almost 5 years and love snowboarding. Next thing is trying it with a kite!

Jenna Hannon: Why should you be a Roxy girl?

Annabel Van Westerop: This Roxy girl competition has been great so far. Like I said, my dream is to become a pro kiteboarder. I already have Cabrinha as a great sponsor and having Roxy by my side would make it perfect!

VOTE HERE

 

 

 

 

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