The Grays on Trays phenomenon has attracted a lot of attention in recent years, from papers such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. The Grays on Trays® web site has garnered some press as well.
USA Today cited GraysOnTrays.com in its “Travel Tips” feature story entitled “How to Lock Up a Snowboard.”
This company, a combination of the Arizona Republic and 12 News, ran an article “Snowboarding in Your 40s.” It includes the following text: “John LaPlante, a snowboarding instructor and owner of the website Grays on Trays, a group geared toward older snowboarders, notes that snowboarding is particularly well-suited for older adults. Snowboarding is more gentle on the knee joints than skiing, and it provides a fitness opportunity for the entire family. Though learning to snowboard may be difficult for older adults who aren’t used to being “beginners,” the thrill of mastering a new skill later in life can be exhilarating.
Transworld Snowboarding isn’t our first choice of snowsports reading, but we have to thank its staff credit for pointing its older readers to GraysOnTrays.com. We’re all for connecting people with a love for snowboarding to each other, especially if they’re over 40.
32 Degrees is the periodical of the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI), the official organization for certifying snowboard instructors and advancing the state of the art in teaching snowboarding.It cited the Grays on Trays ® website in a Spring 2009 article about older adults learning how to do freestyle tricks.
In “50-50 Over 50: Why Should Kids Have All the Fun?,” Erica Marciniec says, in part,
Originally a derogatory term used to refer to adult snowboarders as young as 20 years old, the term “grays on trays” has been repurposed as a title of pride, according to the website www.GraysOnTrays.com, which touts itself as an “online resource for adult snowboarders and adults who are interested in riding, whether novice or advanced.” The Grays on Trays website offers a sense of community, and, much to its credit, encourages riders to take lessons (and includes a shout-out to AASI and PSIA). The site uses 30 as its low-end age cut-off, in part because of the Baby Boomer slogan, “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” Ageism dates back a long time, apparently–and by this definition, at 34-years old, I’m gray, too!”
Thanks for noticing, AASI. We hope you find more ways to reach out to adults, especially novices who haven’t quite gotten to the point of learning tricks in the park.
In her book Outdoors Online: An Internet Guide to Everything Wild & Green (Mountaineer Books, 2007), Erika Dillman has this to say about the Grays on Trays® site
“You don’t have to miss out on the fun just because you don’t like loud, jargon-filled snowboarding sites produced by twenty-year-olds. Leave the logos and beer bongs behind, and pull up a seat at the adult table. Grays on Trays is one of the best introductions to snowboarding on the web–regardless of your age. Created by “a middle-aged guy from the Midwest,” it’s humorous, well-written, and inspiring (not in a corny way, but in a “get off your bum and try something new” sort of way). You’ll need to learn a few basic terms so you can communicate with other boarders, but many, such as “face plant,” “butt plant,” and “boot” are fairly self-explanatory.”
Dillman captured the spirit of the site pretty well.We seek to be accessible to everyone who’s curious, not just the “natural” candidates for snowboarding.
Crains Detroit Business
The cover story of the November 2006 edition of Competitor is written by John LaPlante, publisher of this site. The article talks about adult riders, and draws from interviews with several participants in the Grays on Trays® bulletin board. Competitor is a West Coast-based fitness magazine with a circulation of 100,000 and an active, upscale readership of 285,000. The article is now off the Competitor website, but you may read it here.
San Jose Mercury News
The San Jose Mercury News (circulation 304,814) quoted the site publisher in a story about adult snowboarders, called Snowboarding Grows Up, in its November 13, 2005 edition. (Readership: 762,900)
Detroit Free Press
The Detroit Free Press and Detroit News (two newspapers that publish jointly on weekends) reprinted the Mercury News article on December 4, 2005, with the headline “Snowboarding no longer for just the young.” (Circulation: 712,658)
Saint Paul Pioneer Press
The Saint Paul Pioneer Press reprinted the story on Sunday, December 4, 2005, with the headline “More older folks are getting on board.” (Readership 509,900)
The Providence Journal ran the story (same headline as the Pioneer Press) on Sunday, December 4, as well. (Circulation: 229,271)
EpicSki.com is a major community-driven website devoted to snow sports. GraysOnTrays has been mentioned there: “You’re never too old to learn to snowboard. Adults interested in snowboarding should check out http://graysontrays.com/ There are lots of people who learned in their forties, fifties, sixties.”
Young at Heart
Dubbed “Durham’s Lifestyle Magazine for 50 plus,” Young at Heart (no web site) made its debut with a Winter 2005 edition, issued in mid-October. Ben Wannamaker spent several paragraphs talking about snowboarding and GraysOnTrays.com in his article about winter snow sports, “Winter Escapes: Skiing.” The Durham region is east of Toronto.
The Daily Universe, the student publication of Brigham Young University, included several quotes from the Grays on Trays® site publisher in its November 17, 2005 story on the changing nature of snowboarding.
The December 3, 2004 Bend (Oregon) Bulletin carried an article about grown-up snowboarders who ride at Mt. Bachelor. It had this to say: “The term ‘grays on trays’ — used to describe snowboarders over age 30 — is sometimes used derisively by younger snowriders. But the grays on trays don’t care. A Web site devoted to adult snowboarders titled graysontrays.com suggests as much.”
Eugene Register Guard
The story was reprinted by the Register-Guard of Eugene, Oregon. Both the Bend Bulletin original and the Register-Guard reprint are now off-line. KGW, an NBC affiliate in Portland, reprinted the story.
Sonora, Calif. Union Democrat
The Sonora, California Union Democrat also mentioned the Grays on Trays web site in an article that is outstanding for its portrayal of eight individuals, age 48 and older, who are riding snowboards.
In June 2004, GraysOnTrays.com was featured in an interview with Snowboardermag.com, the website of Snowboarder magazine. The final copy didn’t say much, so we present the original e-mail exchange. The interview has been edited for clarity.