SURVEY SAYS! Time For Some Change!
Earlier this month we released the first ever Freestyle Scooter Industry Survey, and boy what a great response! Overwhelmingly the message was a positive, "Esketit!" (translation, "It's time to get it done, and launch our sport into the stratosphere, no guts no glory!"). So here we go!
From its humble beginnings as a cost-effective form of transport in Japan, to when Andrew Broussard and crew did the first tail whips making Razor Scooters a top selling "toy" - To now, a time where 10 year olds have been riding in competitions for 5 years and are ready for "pro" level riding. This beloved industry of ours is changing in every way imaginable, much like skateboards or surfing, we have moved on from a "recreational" pastime to developing a branch that is only best described as a highly competitive action sport. And old standards to early competitions just do not apply.
For example, no longer can we categorize riders by a simple one-size fits all age division, that matrix went out the window last spring when Jordan Robles, just 12 years old, won a golden ticket to the ISA Worlds in Barcelona, and many other "young guns" simply skip the age divisions entirely and ride open! Makes ZERO sense. And the "Just move up an age bracket if you're more advanced" argument, well, argues our point on its own (What's the point of age brackets if you just ignore them anyway)? Its confusing, unfair both ways, and worse, it causes more frustration at comps than biased judges. And age-based rider levels is just ONE thing we have outgrown!
SO? What to do? Well, we asked YOU! Here were the 12 Industry Survey Questions asked:
- What do you feel is the biggest issue facing the scooter industry today?
- If you could place priority on just ONE issue, what would you fix first?
- What should be our recurring topics in "Scoot Scene?"
- What burning question do you want a straight answer to?
- Please list specific parks or cities where you'd like to see more scooter industry events?
- Please give us any ideas for a better comp experience or new events.
- Do you believe Freestyle Scootering should be in the X-Games or Olympics?
- Do you believe the industry would benefit from a more hands on, regional organization to help promote uniformity and open up communication between riders, parents and industry organizers here in the Western US?
- Who are your favorite PRO level riders?
- What are your favorite brands?
- What are your favorite shops?
- Who do you think are the most underrated up & coming young riders?
For the purposes of this edition of the Scene, we will address (3) questions in each edition starting with the results of the "closed-end" questions, ones that can be shown in a graph or listed in results order. For the open-ended questions (asking for input), we will take those one by one in future issues, and in stand alone blogs, but will commit to addressing all and even recruiting other industry leaders to help us answer the deeper questions. And there are some DOOZIES! There were also some amazing ideas, and some very thoughtful questions that I am sure will lead to positive changes down the line. And again, we truly thank all of you who took the time to participate. Here are the first results:
QUESTION 1: What do you feel is the biggest issue facing the scooter industry today? Top 3 Answers:
#1 "Lack of respect as a legitimate action sport." - 29.4%
#2 "No agreed upon standards & rules for scooter competitions (different levels & rules at every comp)." - 25.49%
#3 "Scooter competitions that favor known or local riders." - 17.65%
QUESTION 2: If you could place priority on just ONE issue, what would you fix first? Top 3 Answers:
#1 "Bring respect and legitimacy to scootering by paving the way for it to be featured in X-Games and even the Olympics one day." - 38.3%
#2 "Set a standard, industry-wide policy that all comp organizers use (1) Transparent scoring (post judges score sheets after the comp), (2) Use trained, qualified judges and (3) Set rules regarding no use of local park/shop staff as judges." - 27.66%
#3 "Set one standard for all scooter competitions, including uniform rider levels, judging criteria & scoring." - 12.77%
QUESTION 3: What should be our recurring topics in "Scoot Scene?" Answers by rank of importance:
- Event Calendar - 15%
- Park Reviews - 9.5%
- Rider Spotlight - 8.5%
- Event Recaps of Comps - 7.5%
- Parent Pointers - 6.5%
- USA Today (what we are working on) - 6.5%
- Guest Spot Articles from Industry leaders - 6.5%
- Shop Talk (article from shop owners on new trends, parts) - 5.5%
- Other - 5% (Ideas to be published in future editions)
- (NOTE) 29.5% said "all of the above" for those adding it up. ;)
Ok so we have our first few results, what now? NOW we have our priorities. It's pretty clear that the biggest thing we can start working on for all concerned is exactly what we thought, bringing legitimacy to the sport through unifying scoring, rider levels and ending unfair competition practices. The question of HOW to do that is what our first Advisory board meeting will discuss and decide. Starting next month, we will always include a summary of our meeting and update you in our "USA Today" section, as to just what we are doing to help drive this forward. Again, we can't do this alone and encourage you and all industry leaders to reach out and join us. YOU ARE part of our advisory board. SO keep answering those polls & surveys, and reading our updates. Together we can GET THIS DONE! #scootfam #unitedwestand #bless - USA