2015/’16 Snowboard Exposure-Meter Champion Bode Merrill receives his first EM Title
Merrill Grabs His First Exposure-Meter Title; Mark McMorris Dominates Social Scene
Words & Analysis: Mike Lewis
Coming into the final month of the season, it looked like T. Rice and his crew of crusading crushers were going to get a head start on next year's Brainfarm release with an Exposure-Meter sweep as Mark Landvik, Travis Rice, and John Jackson held down the top three spots after December's titles. But with a huge boost that was prefaced with a candid Snowboard Mag headshot cover and went forth from there, Bode Merrill stomped nearly 10k in coverage in January's titles to vault 13 spots and claim the Snow Exposure-Meter title for the first time in his career. Normally, leaps this large, this late in the season are tough as point tallies become daunting and inhibit large moves, but thanks to an abbreviated season, as reduced issue counts became the theme of the year following several rough snow years, Merrill's January tally was not only enough to grab the lead, but would have been enough on its own to land him in fourth for the year.
Rounding out the podium, Travis Rice held on to second and will most likely have an even better '16/17 with the launch of The Fourth Phase next fall. Jake Blauvelt came sliding into third in the final month as well, climbing two spots to clinch the bronze thanks to a Snowboard Mag feature and Ride spread in Snowboarder.
Sneaking into the top ten for last call, props to Lucas Debari for his five-spot climb into 10th and we're very stoked to congratulate Marie-France Roy on her top ten finish – making her the first woman to finish the season in this illustrious crew in years!
EDIT: Lando Lands The Win
While he may have been bumped back into fourth overall on the season, Mark Landvik can take comfort and incentive checks to the bank based on capturing the Edit win for the '15/16 Exposure Meter season. Landvik's 8,500 points in edit adds up to around 17 pages of edit glory this season, making him the most marked man on the earned Edit front – a solid finish after scoring a goose egg during the '14/’15 season. He closed the season a full three pages of coverage ahead of Jake Blauvelt and nearly four up on this year's overall winner, Bode Merrill. And while she may have been bumped back two spots in January's mags to finish in fourth, Marie-France Roy's finish marks the strongest Edit season for a woman in recent memory. Last but not least, we'd like to give a shout to Jeremy Jones, not the big mountain master, but to the freestyle street slayer who came back strong after finishing a meager 36th in '14/15.
SOCIAL: Mark McMorris Emerges Victorious for the 2015/’16 Season
AD: Bode Seals The Deal
Coming into January, Vegas would have put slim odds on a Bode Merrill win for the '15/16 Exposure-Meter Ad title, but thanks to spreads from anon, Billabong and Salomon in the final round of this season's mags, Bode bounced past Kazu Kokubo, Travis Rice and John Jackson, the top three through December, to stomp a decisive win, beating this season's runners up, Rice and Kokubo, by nearly 50% of their full season tallies. Other noteworthy Ad whores include Danimals, whose fifth place finish marks his first top ten, and Stale Sandbech who put up a three-way tie for eighth with Louif Paradis and Pat Moore. We're also stoked to note that in addition to MFR's top ten finishes in the Overall and Edit races, Torah Bright tied with Danimals for fifth, making her the only woman to make the Ad top ten and marking a hat trick for the ladies across all three athlete leaderboards.
LOGO: Burton & Capita Share The Glory
After finishing last season in second in a nail biter that marked the Big B's first Logo loss in years to Lib Tech by just two looks, we thought for sure Burton would be back atop its game to claim the '15/16 title. Coming into January, they were looking strong, but when the tallies were settled, Capita was able to make up the difference and ice its first Exposure-Meter win to date. But this one will come with an asterisk as they share the season's Logo look title with Burton as the two brands logged 30 legible logos on the season, with Volcom finishing in third with 29, just one off from a three-way tie.
To put the abbreviated coverage this season in perspective, Lib took the title last year with 70 points, while Burton logged 68. We're hoping that this year's strong winter across the western half of the US and Canada will lead to more robust page counts as we head into '16/17, but with meager snowfalls across most of the rest of the world, we're going into it with no more than cautious optimism as brands look for other ways to spend marketing dollars, despite the proven influence of print content on riders of all ages.
PHOTO: E-Stone's Back
After relinquishing a solid run of Snow Exposure-Meter Photog titles to Oli Gagnon last season, Ethan "E-Stone" Fortier snapped back this season to dominate the leaderboard all year and close the deal strong, with a more than 20% lead over none other than Gagnon. Ryan "Huggy" Hughes hit the Superpark gas in January's Snowboarder to climb five and round out this year's podium as Mike Yoshida and TW's Chris Wellhausen closed out this year's top five lensmen. Once again to put this in perspective, Gagnon's final tally for last season was over 33k, while E-Stone's was nearly 2,000 points from hitting the 20k mark this season. While we're always sad to put a bow on the snow Exposure-Meter, marking warmer temps to come, we hope that next year at this time, we'll be tallying points that are closer to the six-digit mark rather than barely cresting five.