Twitter. Facebook. Linked In. Google Plus. All powerful tools – especially when it comes to putting off any proper work for a couple of hours each morning. Now my recent (admittedly belated) discovery of TED talks has added this powerful resource to the early morning procrastination list.
Here’s the latest talk that caught my eye anyway, by surfer Kyle Thiermann. Through his Surfing For Change series of videos, Thiermann is that rare case: an action sports athlete using his chosen sport as a vehicle to explore slightly more thought-provoking issues than usual.
As Chris briefly mentioned in his blog yesterday, issues and action sports have traditionally gone together about as well as giraffes and candy floss. Partly, this is received wisdom: the prevailing thought in the industries tends to be that anything more complicated than ‘Woo-hoo!’ Check this film of this latest guy and his crazy new rotation’ will have the kids glazing over in boredom within 30 seconds.
My view? I’m not so sure. I think action sports consumers are a lot smarter than the brands give them credit for. For one thing, they’re getting older. Take the example of surfing, which being older has, well, a lot of older surfers on the scene. As a result, surfing has a thriving and growing heritage industry based on celebrating the history and achievements of the sport. That sure as hell isn’t being driven by attention-span free grommets. True, it’s happening more slowly in snowboarding and skateboarding. But it is happening.
All of which brings me back to Kyle Thiermann and his TED talk. Part proof that there’s a curiosity and appetite for thought-provoking ideas other than the usual brand-led editorial agendas in the action sports world? Watch if for yourself, and make up your own mind.