4) Event Announcer
Like the lovechild of John Motson and Flavor Flav (how’s that for an enduring mental image!) an announcer both commentates on the action at an event, and keeps the crowd excited during the dull bits.
An encyclopedic knowledge of tricks, and a Rain Man like ability to process information quickly is required to be a top announcer.
While begging’s may be humble, the career of an announcer can take them to some rather rad places.
Take Tim Warwood for example. In 1999, began announcing at a snowboard jam in Manchester. By 2014, along with his co-presenter/partner in crime Ed Leigh, Tim was arguably the biggest non-competing star to emerge from the Winter Olympics.
Announcers will get abuse. Not possibly. Not maybe. They will. Whether it’s stumbling over their words, not keeping up with the action or – the ultimate sin – calling a trick wrong, the stick will come.
And the bigger they make it, the bigger this shit storm! Our pals Ed and Tim were the subject of a media backlash following Sochi, just for being excited when Jenny Jones stomped her medal winning run.
“Days are spent with friends, drinking coffee, and occasionally writing”
3) Board Shop worker
Those poor souls with fixed smiles, whose ‘Happy To Help’ badge seems like a challenge customers.
The average day for a worker at an action sports shop goes as follows: Customer asks for advice. Customer ignores advice. Customer buys something flashy designed for pros. Flashy thing is unsuitable. Customer brings it back complaining of bad service.
Outside of the pros, the retail workers get their hands on the newest equipment before just about anybody else. Those lucky enough to work in a store attached to a park, course or dome may even get in a few private laps before it opens.
Lowest on the action sports food chain . A retail workers life is full of false smiles, apologies, and stock-room melt-downs induced by the mistaken belief that the customer is always right even when the customer is an aching ball-bag. Here’s a tip for next time you’re in a shop: BE NICE!
“It’s a life of bleaching toilets, cooking meals, and mopping up vomit”
2) Chalet Host
Many an action sport relies on mountains. And where there are mountains, there are inevitably chalets. These quaint, rustic dwellings are often staffed by tired, hung-over, oversexed young reprobates called chalet hosts.
Not only do they get free accommodation on the mountain, chalet hosts live with the best friends they didn’t know they had, while actually getting paid to be there. That’s like being ¼ of a pro, right?
Wrong! For starters, only their parents call them chalet hosts. The rest of the world will know them as chalet bitches. It’s a life of bleaching toilets, making beds, mopping up little Toby’s four cheese vomit and running Lady Muck to the nearest town for a new fur coat.
Action Sports journalists are the people who work tirelessly, covering the hottest stories, making the world think with in-depth opinion pieces, and bringing action sports to life with a rich tapestry of words.
Either that or searching Youtube for Micro Scooter slams and researching stories via Wikipedia.
Days are spent hanging out with friends, drinking coffee, and occasionally writing while in a snazzy office where large TV screens show action sports films all day.
Or maybe it’s a work-from-home kinda day, where they skype friends, drink coffee, and occasionally write while in a makeshift office where small screens show action sports films all day.
Aside from your parents asking when you’re going to get a proper job, the life of an action sports journalist is one of missed connecting trains, rapidly approaching deadlines, and angry online reaction.
If you listen carefully, you can hear the world’s smallest violin, playing just for the journalists.