Smokin’ Hot, Or Not? Kona Bikes’ Rolling Papers

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This week Canadian legislators voted to legalise the consumption of cannabis in Canada, and Kona was quick to mark the occasion by launching its ‘4:20’ smoking papers.

Opinion was divided on social media about whether it was appropriate for a bike (healthy sports) company to produce smoking (not healthy) paraphernalia, but from the looks of Kona’s website it’s not the first time they’ve made papers. The promotional material reads:

‘Let’s get lit! These may be the raddest packs of rolling papers ever… (well, since our last batch) and you can pair them with your favorite recreational activity – bikes!’

For those who are wondering what the ‘4:20’ reference is, it’s apparently part of ‘cannabis culture‘ (thanks Wikipedia) – so these are definitely aimed at that sort of smoking, and not the nicotine variety. Though whether that makes you feel any differently about them will depend on your point of view, perhaps. And that there is a whole other wormhole of debate – which the Canadians have been through and apparently now found their way out of.

specialized stumpjumper ainsa spain beer bottle opener
Bottle openers are not unusual. This is a particularly fine example.

If you stop for a moment – perhaps halfway down the wormhole – and think about it, is there a bike company out there who hasn’t made a promotional bottle opener? Islabikes is the only one that springs to mind, though we probably shouldn’t be surprised that a children’s bike manufacturer doesn’t see alcohol consumption as an appropriate brand association. We on the other hand are happy to put our name to beer itself.

Beer. Not good for you. But we still like it.

Beyond beer and smoking, there are plenty of other weird and wonderful cycle company branded promotional items that have nothing to do with bikes. Park Tool makes a pizza cutter, and also made a toilet roll holder. Not wishing to leave you with unwanted images in your head, but Chipps has a Magura dressing gown.

What do you think? Is Kona just going with the zeitgeist, or is it irresponsible? And have you spotted any bizarre promotional items in the bike industry? Let us know in the comments below.

Comments (10)

  1. The world of easily offended snowflakes, never ceases to amaze me.

  2. Following the Magura dressing gown revelation I know fully expect a Fresh Goods video ending with him doing a Ferris Bueller ‘What are you still doing here?’

  3. It’s in a odd grey area of cool or uncool. Lots of people like a post ride beer, and as you say, there’s plenty of promo around that. Smoking tobacco is just as legal, yet I’ve never seen any promo papers etc. Though there are plenty of fancy branded lighters I guess. I can understand it’s a celebration of the new law, but it still seems a little odd. Not going to stop me buying a kona, and maybe it makes them look cooler to some people. Hey, they got some free virtual column inches, didn’t they?

  4. It depends on if this is aimed at teenagers or adults though.
    As smoking at a young age cannabis is certainly not a wise move and as a bike Co who know that teenagers ride bikes and buy their products, it was a poor decision to come out with this promo shite.

    The potential for damage will happen but you can be assured that Kona shouldn’t or wouldn’t take ownership of their greedy bastad ways when the ”dirt hits the fan”.

  5. I think it’s a Canadian thing, I was riding part of Comfortably Numb in Whistler back in 2010These real old dudes offered to show me a new DH trail they’d made, after almost an hour riding they said here it is! They then proceeded to have what they called a “safety meeting”? They just sat on the side of the trail and lit up joints like it was normal behaviour!

  6. Let’s face it, no one gets pleasantly stoned and thinks “I need to buy a new Trek! One that’s named after some numbers, man…”

  7. It’s a company who’ve made something else they can sell. It’s called making a prophit so why all the fuss. Would I have used these back in the day, most probably.

  8. I remember Race Face made a black pipe for smoking weed back in the days, and I’m sure my Yeti shot glass is around here somewhere…

  9. Mongoose once made a carbon fibre mtb that was worse for your health than either smoking or drinking. It was a ‘cracking’ ride.

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