When Burton Snowboards announced last week that it would be closing down all brands associated with The Program, including the legendary snowboard brand Forum, the news prompted an immediate grassroots social media campaign response. Masterminded by Cobra Dogs owner Corey Grove, professional snowboarder Eddie Wall and Capita marketing manager Sean Tedore, an online petition to give Forum back to its originator Peter Line began circulating on Twitter and Instagram under the hashtag #giveFORUMtoPeter.
Forum is most well recognized for the "Forum 8" -- snowboarding's first über team, created by Line, that is largely credited for shaping what is now recognized as modern street snowboarding. "We started this as a support thing, to say thank you to Peter," explained Grove. "It's not an anti Burton campaign. It was just a sad day for everyone. Peter is family and the brand means so much. It's a huge piece of snowboarding's history. If anything it's just great to see the love."
As of press time more than six thousand people have signed the petition. But one has to ask: at this point would Peter even want Forum? We decided to get in touch with the man himself to find out.
ESPN: Now that the #giveFORUMtoPeter campaign is rolling, it begs the question: Would you even be interested in taking Forum on?
Peter Line: I would definitely consider it. It all depends on so much, but I highly doubt that it would ever happen. It's still really fun to imagine though.
How has this response from the snowboarding world felt?
I think it's a pretty cool movement. I see it as something bigger than just the companies going out of business and giving Forum to me. It's more about what Forum represented and brought to snowboarding in the beginning.
When a core brand that has been around for as long as Forum has goes under, snowboarding is just that much closer to losing its roots.
For a lot of the kids out there, they started riding during those times and remember them fondly. It was a time when the snowboard industry was less about selling products and more about creating a culture. Forum was a core brand from the beginning and it was created to bring something good to the sport and not just bank off of it.
When a core brand that has been around for as long as Forum has goes under, snowboarding is just that much closer to losing its roots. I think kids see this and want to keep snowboarding for snowboarders.
Although I didn't like all the negativity towards Jake Burton -- he's got the deepest roots of us all. We need to keep everything positive.
Was this closure something you felt coming or was this sudden for you?
This past season I was moved into a more creative role with Foursquare. I started designing everything for the 2014 line: outerwear, logos, and everything else. About halfway through the year they put everything on hold. So I had a feeling about Foursquare, but Forum came as a huge surprise. I found out when everyone else did. It was heart breaking.
Do you feel like there is still a place for Forum in the industry? In the right hands could it be successful again?
Forum was still relevant and was still pushing the sport with an amazing team and still coming out with groundbreaking movies. It wasn't like it was having a slow death and was destined to fail. It's always tough for a company to bounce back after a huge blow, so to try to bring Forum back after the announcement that it is done would be a hard process. People always seem to have a different view of it afterwards.
What does this mean for you and your career in the industry? Anything on the horizon?
I'm not sure. Hopefully this will bring new opportunities. You have any ideas? The Starbucks across the street is hiring, so there is always that.