For this assignment, it was good that I'm over an hour from my friends that I know enjoy snowboarding or I would have been tempted to interview them! I have done interviews of this type before and know that in-person interviews tend to be much more productive than an email/text/phone interview. To find people to interview, I started by going to a few different sports stores. They tend to hire people and have them work in an area that they personally are active in, so I thought this would give me access to some local snowboarders. Sadly, there isn't any snow (yet!) and local hills aren't open, so going to the prime place and interviewing wasn't an option.
For my interviews, I had a short list of questions written down to help direct the questions, if needed. I also recorded (with permission) so that I didn't have to constantly be writing and I was able to come back to the interviews at home and write down parts that seemed significant. I ended up doing 6 interviews, 3 at REI and 3 at Dick's Sporting Goods. For all interviews, my main 5 questions were as seen below.
1. What's your favorite thing about snowboarding?
2. What's your least favorite thing about snowboarding?
3. Describe your best snowboarding experience.
4. Describe your worst snowboarding experience.
5. What snowboarding gear do you always have to have when boarding?
The follow-up questions to these were based on body language and responses to the initial questions. Prominent interview points are below, taken from my notes during listening to the previously-recorded interviews.
"After riding the lift up, I always have to strap back into my board. Mittens come off, snow gets brushed away, boots get strapped in, and mittens go back on."
"Board rental-type stomp ins are unpredictable. Easier and quicker to get into, but hella scary to trick with." (His words, not mine)
"I always listen to music while boarding. It gives me a better feel depending on what I'm doing."
5 out of 6 wear helmets when boarding, 2 of them being adamant about wearing it.
"Wearing my helmet keeps my head warm and my goggles on."
Based on these notes, my two problem statements are:
1. Taylor needs a quicker way to get from riding the lift to powder ready because he spends a lot of time strapping back in after each lift ride.
This is taken from "After riding the lift up, I always have to strap back into my board. Mittens come off, snow gets brushed away, boots get strapped in, and mittens go back on."
2. Isobel needs a helmet that is conscious of her music needs while looking good. This is taken from our discussion about her helmet and music and the process she goes through during snowboarding regarding these two factors. She was able to demonstrate in the store using a nearby helmet and her iPhone.
I then furthered my research by watching a lot of YouTube videos.
It was important to me that I watch many different types, including non-professional and professional, promotional and home videos. Since the invention of the GoPro, some of these have gotten a lot more interesting! I noticed more with the home videos how people strapped into their boards. I also paid attention to how many were wearing helmets (many) and how many weren't (not many, especially with more professional stunts)
I paid attention to how long of a process it was to strap into my board, even while on carpeting. (Soooooo long -.-) My boots are super easy to get into because they have the quick laces. I only put them on once though and my board goes on as many times as I go down the hill (a lot).
Look who says hey from last year!