Playboy Playmates on Snowboards Spur Protests

pb-snowboards1Breckenridge, CO — At the Mountain Wave Snowboard shop in Breckenridge, owner John George has gotten used to controversy in snowboarding over the years.

“They tend to push some buttons,” said George.

The latest line of Burton snowboards he carries is no different. They’re called Love boards and they are decorated with former Playboy playmates posing provocatively, but coming just short of showing everything.

“They’re in a black board case and so if someone comes in and wants to take a look at them, here you go,” said George.

Inside the store, the boards are stored high up and in black bags away from prying eyes, but on the slopes anyone can them, which is causing some controversy.

Ski corporations like Vail Resorts, which owns Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone, say employees won’t be able to use the boards while working.

Breckenridge spokesperson Kristin Petitt says the boards fall under corporate policy for items employees can’t have at work.

“Employees are prohibited from using or displaying any kind of property or gear that is deemed inappropriate while employed or on duty,” said Petitt.

Parents have even protested at Burton headquarters, which as a father himself, George can understand.

“There are things that are right out there and things that are wrong and this would fall somewhere in between,” said George.

Still, he says he and his kids have heard worse while attending baseball games in Denver.

“The Cubs fans were berating Matt Holliday, and they were using bad language,” said George.

As for the Love boards and their impact, he says after 20 years in the snowboard world of controversy, there’s not much to look at.

Burton stands by the boards, saying the company supports freedom of artistic expression.

Six ski resorts in Vermont are joining in the protest over the boards.

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