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What surfing on Lake Superior and skiing/snowboarding have in common.

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GREGG
BLANCHARD
   

When you think of surfing, you probably don’t think about hooded wetsuits, icy beards, and the “North Shore” of Minnesota.

But an upcoming film called Freshwater explores why some people love for this sport in this place. Why they live for it.

As you watch that trailer, pay attention to the theme they use: impossible things that actually exist.

  • Massive waves on a freshwater lake.
  • Big mountains and surf in Minnesota.
  • People that deeply love it,

You may have had similar thoughts, but consider this: the way you just felt about surfing freezing waves in Minnesota is how many people feel about riding a metal chair to the top of a mountain in a snowstorm.

Embracing the “Really?”

In the mind of an audience is a sort of scale. On the left side is what it takes to do a sport. On the right is the experience of doing the sport.

They’re trying to balance the two and make sense of the cost versus the reward.

When you load up the left side with images of uncomfortable situations, it then allows you to justify loading up the right side with deeply emotional, dramatic explanations of how amazing it truly is. After all, why would they do something that “crazy” if the experience wasn’t so incredibly good it was worth all of that challenge?

Skiing

There is a wall between people and skiing.

A wall made up of cost, skill, risk, discomfort, and more. In our industry we spend a lot of time trying to shrink that wall. But I think we need to do a better job of getting folks to imagine how good the reward is on the other side. Get them so motivated by what they could experience, it doesn’t matter how big or small the wall is.

“Why do 10,000,000 Americans ride metal chairs to the top of mountains during snowstorms every year? Because the ride down is THAT good.”

We do a lot to make skiing accessible, but maybe there’s room for a couple more teaspoons of inspiration in our recipe for growth. Embracing the reality as proof that it’s worth it? Well, that may be one lever we pull.


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