One Week Away from the War of Rails 2014

You guys and gals better be getting amped for the War of Rails. It’s going down next week! Here at Outdoor Tech, we are stoked to help sponsor this event.

During the day we will be showing our latest gear and maybe even giving away some of the #stuffyouprobablywant. In the evening, we may be hanging out at some local places enjoying some adult beverages. You should really come chill with us.

Here are all the details:
Date: February 28th – March 1st 2014
Time: 8:00am – 4:00pm Pacific, Friday and Saturday
Live Stream: Saturday, March 1st 2014 11:30am-4pm Pacific
Location: Bear Mountain Ski Resort, CA
Tickets: Free to watch.
Confirmed Invited Athletes:
1. LJ Strenio
2. Kyle Smaine
3. Sandy Boville
4. Khai Krepela
5. Shay Lee
6. Hugo Pelletier
7. Tim Gage
8. Dominic Laporte
9. Brendan Trieb
10. Karl Fostvedt
11. Matt Walker
12. Charlie Owens
13. John Kutcher
14. Alex Dorszynski
15. Torin Yater-Wallace
16. Cory Vanular
17. Maxamas Hill
18. Kieran McVeigh
19. Joss Christensen
20. Steve Stepp
21. Maxmillium Smith
22. Dale Talkington
23. Pat Goodnough
24. Sean Jordan

War of Rails 2014

 

Here are a few edits of what went down last year:

Bear Mountain Edit

Monster Energy Edit

 

Here is a map so you can come hang out:

 

We will for sure be giving out free high fives. That’s pretty much worth the trip up the mountain.

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MAKE MORE SENSE

“Be thy labor great or small, do it well or not at all.”

-Chinese proverb

…And this, my friends, is how one does it well.  This is a Budnitz Bicycles Model No. 3 City Bike, fashioned by a company started, owned and run by none other than Paul Budnitz.  It is equipped with a six-pack beer carrier by Colorado-based Topo designs, and, yes, a Turtle Shell wireless boom box and Turtle Claw handlebar mount by Outdoor Tech.  It is clean design, simplicity, music, beer, and beauty all mashed into one glorious package as equally suited to 5 o’clock after-work jaunts through the city to a friend’s place as weekend cruises through tree-lined parkways towards a picnic in the hills.  Sure, you could do either of these things aboard a seventh-hand, rusted-out Huffy that has been stuck on one cog for as long as you can remember and suffers from faded, two-tone graphics that didn’t look right even when they rolled onto the local department store sales floor sometime back in the early nineties.  But that’s not why designers get up to go to work in the morning, and that’s not why we stare at the ceiling every night, trying to figure out how to make things look better, work better, and make more sense, even in the last few minutes before we fall asleep.

For those that don’t know, Paul Budnitz is a living legend in the vinyl toy, street wear and design industries, as well as the creator of Kidrobot, a company working to bring different artists’ visions to life in the form of toys (www.kidrobot.com).  His latest venture is Budnitz Bicycles, an effort focused on “…creat(ing) the fastest, lightest, and most beautiful city bicycles in the world” (source: www.budnitzbicycles.com).  Do they do this well?  Well, check out their website and have a look for yourself.  Budnitz is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a C+ sort of guy, and we were honored when we got the call from him to participate in building this ultimate city machine.  Of course we wanted to help create the greatest two-wheeled transportation ever to grace the stretch of sidewalk in front your favorite coffee shop.  That is why we’re here; we are Outdoor Tech, and we make stuff to compliment your adventure, whatever that adventure may be.  Stuff that makes sense.  Stuff you probably want.  Budnitz came calling with an opportunity to help us achieve that goal in yet another way, and we were happy to do it.

Maybe the best news to come out of this is that this bike, complete with the Turtle Shell and beer carrier, is being given away.  You can enter to win it at the link below, and if you do, you’ll soon be cruising to the local house party at 10 o’clock on Friday night, tunes pouring from the Turtle Shell out into the warm night, full beer case clinking softly, ear-to-ear grin across your face.  There’s plenty to smile about:  Tonight, tomorrow, and every time you ride that bike, there’s no one doing it better.

Enter here:

http://uncrate.com/stuff/budnitz-x-uncrate-limited-edition-bike/

 

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SLEEP

A good friend of ours, NYC comedian Sam Rubinoff, checks in with a guest post from Brooklyn:

Everyone in New York City is sleep deprived. Most of us are clawing at a dream while struggling to stay afloat. Last week, my roommate and I eyed a storm creeping up the East Coast which promised good waves. The plan was to leave from Brooklyn on Sunday at 5am to catch low-tide on Long Beach, Long Island. That morning I got back to my apartment around 3:30am after performing a couple stand-up comedy gigs. I wanted to sleep but I couldn’t. I was too excited about the forecasted swell. For the next hour I flipped through infomercials and thought about buying a Snuggie.

On the drive to the beach I was sleepy and a little delirious. Taillights were blending together and I pounded a coffee to stay awake as navigator and DJ. We arrived as the sun was rising over some sexy waves. And as I dropped into my first wave I wondered how anybody could sleep though this.*

*I wrote this while dozing off at my day job.

Follow me on twitter @samrubinoff

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I see pride, I see power.

Grinding away at a sport, an art, or a craft is only part of life as a whole.  It is something that many of us love and understand.  I remember growing up I would spend every second I could riding bikes and dirt bikes, skating and surfing.  All afternoon.  All weekend.  I would push and push and push myself and go as long as I could.  Eventually, though, every session would come to an end, and as it turned out, I began to realize that there was a whole other life that took place when my legs were too tired to keep moving.  A big part of that other life was hanging out with my people.  Naturally, hanging out with your people evolves into the dating thing.  We all do it, and it’s tough to navigate.  Luckily, our good friend Meg has shed some light for us on the whole idea, because let’s face it: catching waves is way easier.  Dig it:

(Check out more of Meg’s hilarity at http://leftoversfromfriday.com/)

I am pretty and boys like me (or how to be a relationship ninja)

Welcome.

……to the first ever published documentation, column, essay, word document of my (Meg’s) 10 commandments of dating/relationship/general advice you should apply to your life in regards to the opposite sex and pursuing them.

Please print and put on the nearest wall in direct relation to your cubicle, bedside, kitchen counter, toilet seat and washing machine.

(for all you freaky types)

…I don’t do this very often.

In fact, you all are very privileged to experience what may be the first ever time, I share full disclosure my advice in regards to talking to, thinking about, attracting the opposite sex.

Some disclaimers before I continue:

1- First and foremost, I’m not Megan Fox. I’m not Kate Upton. I’m not Adriana Lima.  I am not a model, actress,  international pretty person. In short, like all of you— I must work with what I have and what I have isn’t necessarily always top-shelf. However, what I lack in exotic breath-taking beauty, I make up for in common sense and an incredibly smokin’ personality. Also, a really, really hot sense of humor. See? You’re smiling.  Notice what I did there? You already want me.

2- Probably even more importantly than point 1- There are exceptions to every commandment below. What I say from now on occasionally does not apply in various situations. I’ll try to keep my thoughts simplified and generalized for the most part for this very reason. Because really, what I don’t want to hear from this post is this: “But (Love-doctor) Meg! This boy said this and that goes against what you said in your 5th commandment point right under line 87 and blahblahblah.”

…Please people. Use your brain. I am only human here. And even I, in all my infinite wisdom about the opposite sex, still find myself stumped from time to time.

In short my pupils (fun word to say out loud. try it) –this is simply a guide.  Some helpful instruction. It is not the Bible. I am only the messenger. A baby beardless Moses. Not Alpha and Omega. Not God. Because come on- Jesus Christ, Mary and Bieber, don’t you think if it were that simple I would be hooked up with this guy by now?

…On the other hand, I’d like to think that if my first disclaimer wasn’t a reality.. sigh (AKA I looked like this?) Maybe I would have Ryan Gosling. I don’t know. Attraction is a very complicated thing.

And I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday. And you’re all in luck because this baby is going to absolutely blow your mind. It’s going to make fireworks show up in front of your eyes. You’re going to go straight over the moon with this one.  It’s going to tie you up, and hold you down and push you against a wall and….. Woah. Sorry. Distracted. What were we talking about?

Anyway.

Meg’s 10 commandment montage of miscellaneous men advice:

or how to be a Relationship Ninja

(Because completely categorizing what I am about to share

would be unfair and limiting to my Attention Deficit suffering creative genius)

10. Thou shalt be aware of the hormone Oxytocin.

Yep, the good ‘ol love hormone.

While many may attribute the plot of the Notebook to fate and soul mates and passion and true love– I believe it is pretty much soley Oxytocin’s fault that Allie was in love with Noah several years later EVEN AFTER being engaged to a smoking hot McDreamy character.

….which is why I will also give you the cold hard truth in that the hormone Oxytocin is also the reason you tend to become a clingy, needy, pathetic shred of a woman after hooking up in the back seat of last night’s prince charming’s 2001 Honda Accord. Classy. 

Now, I’m not a doctor (though I firmly believe Grey’s Anatomy has lent me a solid wikipedia guide of medical terminology that I use pretty regularly when I go out to bars and pretend to be a Stanford med student) but basically, the way I see it- is that it is THIS EVIL HORMONES fault that I’ve seen girl after girl after girl get stuck on loser after loser after loser and convinced herself that he was equivalent to some god-like Justin Timberlake James Franco character when he was really just some asshole who had bad taste in shoes and used terrible grammar in text messages (gr8 catch gurlz!). Furthermore, it is my understanding, that men produce little to no oxytocin where as women produce large amounts of it following intercourse (Like how smart do I sound right now?) and therefore, is why men can have casual meaningless sex more often/frequently than women can.

So. What’s my point? Well sadly, there’s really nothing we can do here women. It’s a hormone your body produces and thus, it is my understanding, that you can’t really turn it off (if there was a way don’t you think I would have figured it out by now?). However, maybe you’ll think about this next time you have one too many jager bombs and you find yourself about to get handsy with some guy who refers to himself as The Chad and has the mouth of that small creepy fish that lives in the abyss of the ocean that scared Dory and Marlin in Finding Nemo.  Oxytocin is blind ladies. And also-you’re welcome for your new mantra to explain yourself when you don’t listen to me and fall for The Chad regardless.

(from the female version of the famous Ice-T quote):

….Hate the hormone, not the girl.

 9. Thou should utilize being a “damsel in distress” to thou’s best ability.

Sure, guys can typically do a lot of things girls can’t do. But instead of encouraging you to try to compete and challenge that- I’m going to ask you to try the opposite. Use your own weakness as a strength. I mean if we’re going to be the “gentler sex” we might as well go balls to the wall with it, to use a male anatomical cliché to aid our supposedly female vulnerability here. What am I saying? I’m saying if you’re going to be a damsel in distress, do it right dammit.

Twirl your hair. Bat those eyes and say things like:  ”but I just don’t get it” and “can you maybe help me please?” and “I’ve never done this before, I feel like you’re so much better at this than me!” and fan those testosterone masculine driven flames like a champ. Then? Kick back, relax and get away with countless shit you just couldn’t do if you didn’t have boobs. Anatomy is a wonderful thing if you know how to use it. So is acting like a stupid girl. Tee-hee.

Oh.. sorry! I’m not supposed to park here? But I’m only going to run inside for a

quick second. Can you just make a little exception just this once? 

8. Thy neighbor’s girlfriend is probably prettier than you. Thou shalt get over it before thou’s friends attack thou with duct tape and shove thou in the trunk of a car. 

For the love of everything Bieber-related, can we please stop peering over pictures of (insert pretty person banging your ex-boyfriend here) and asking your friends, “But… I’m prettier than her. Right?

Take a clue sister. It doesn’t matter if you’re prettier. Smarter. Cooler. Funnier. All of the above. He clearly likes someone else better. Otherwise… he would be with you. It’s actually a pretty simple concept. Don’t overcomplicate this. She could look like the inside of a vacuum cleaner and if he’s calling her to come over and not you, you could be the biggest catch who walked the earth and it wouldn’t matter. You can color your hair dark because he likes brunettes. You could lose 10 pounds cause he likes skinny bitches. You could start wearing 10 inch heels and dress like Princess Leia and IT. WILL. NOT. MATTER.

Have chick flicks taught you nothing? The very basis of every rom-com stems from the fact that the fake, unnatural, plastic girl always loses. So stop comparing yourself. The fact is you aren’t whoever you so desperately desire to resemble. You’re you. And if you want your life to be a chick flick so badly, well stop acting like the evil mean plastic girl type and start behaving a little more like the girl next door. Oh and for the record– Kristen Stewart looks like a crack whore. I realize this is slightly irrelevant and out of left field but I need to say this and I don’t think I’m going to be able to slide it in anywhere else. Moving on.

7. Thou shalt shut up about thy high-maintenance-ness.

Guys are visual. They see you all put together and they think, “MMMMM Damn girl. You lookin’ fine.” (or whatever) …And we’re all like yeah, duh because it cost me 40o dollars to get my— WOAH, WOAH WOAH. Stop. What do you think you are doing right now?  Under no circumstances, do guys want (or really need in my humble opinion) to hear about all the maintenance it takes to look that good. They don’t need to hear about all the waxing, plucking, shaving, dying, painting, brushing, scrubbing, rubbing, ridiculousmanipedifacial routines that goes into your beauty regimen. So stop over-sharing.  Think of it like this. Guys supposedly think about sex like 500 times a day right? Do you need to know about every guy who pictures you naked? Do you need to think about the last time that they washed their hands? Do you need to know the specifics of every dirty thought that crosses the mind of every male you’ve ever spoken to? No. No, no you do not. They have theirs and we have ours. He doesn’t want to hear about your latest blow-out. You don’t want to hear about his latest blow job. Life is beautifully symmetrical like this sometimes. So please, don’t mess with the order of the world and keep your waxing horror stories to yourself.

6. Thou aren’t a virgin. Thou aren’t a whore. Thou are somewhere in between. Thou needs to chill. Thou is a fun word to write. 

The fact of the matter is, there is a double standard in society that says you reach a certain number of people you have slept with and you should start lying about said number. This could be anywhere between 5 and 15. Guys can brag about this number. They can make it higher than it actually is. They can even say they’ve lost count and people pat them on the back like they’ve discovered the cure for world hunger. Girls do the same thing and they get the look:

The societal girl-code understanding is that you do not want this look. “The Look” is pretty much synonymous with the modern day Scarlet letter. ‘The look” is associated with judgement and shame and regret and too much tequila/vodka and

OH MY GOD IT WAS ONE TIME!

..Look, I get it. You made a mistake here and there. And the truth is, the numbers game isn’t going to actually stop. And you’re going to keep lying about your tally. And all of that is actually fine in my non-judgemental book. Really my only point is that, you’re own worse critic. And because of that, you are the only who really needs to care about this game. So stop beating yourself with the same stick. Adopt a new philosophy. Own your number. I applaud you. Who wants to go through life a celibate nun? (Edit: I looked up statistics and apparently, there are actually a lot of people who want this. But still.) Good news–You’re not a whore.  Whores get paid! Too far?  …Well, at least you’re not Kristen Stewart.

This also brings me to my next point…

5. Thou should stop waiting for some guy to decide if what happened last night was indeed a “one night stand”

Alright. This is the situation:

So and so (friend/sister/ miscellaneous girl-type) comes home around 11 AM Saturday morning looking like… well, she’s looked better. You ask her about her night. (I will subtitle her response):

“Well, I’ve been talking (texting) to this guy for a little while now (probably about a week) and he invited me over to hangout last night (cough cough booty call) and well, it went really well (He dropped me off this morning and sped off with a fist pump and a see ya never honk). He wants to hangout again maybe again (right. I believe that.) sometime this week (wow, yawn. How cliche can you be Mr. Guy?). I don’t know (Yes.. you do girlfriend.), he seems pretty cool (Define cool. Cool like he’s never going to call you again or cool like maybe he will around 3 AM next Saturday night?)

Anyone know EXACTLY what I am talking about? Yep, you do. Whether it was you or not, we’ve all seen this occur. Unless you are this woman, then the guy is banging down your door begging to hang out with you ever hour on the hour.. or at least that is what I am told. My point is, when the hell did it become the guy’s decision how a relationship will unfold? What if I just wanted a one-night thing? What if I want a like 3 times a week thing? What if I wanted a completely physical relationship for like 6 months and then I become your girlfriend? What if I want to give you my house key and make you dinner and get married and have 3 red-headed babies with you?! When did I lose my ability to have a decision here!? Can we just cuddle?

… Sorry, that’s the Oxytocin speaking.

Anyway, what I am saying is that most of the time, most girls get into a physical “relationship” with a guy with the hope it will go somewhere, but also with some stigmatism that ultimately, it’s the guy’s decision if the relationship goes anywhere. And I hate that that’s the case. So you know what? Next time? We’re staying at MY place. And I’M dropping YOU off. And then I’M going to get YOURnumber. And then you know what? I get to decide if I want to call you or not. And maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll just add you to my tally and kick ass and take names. I don’t know. That’s not my point. My point is I live my life like a relationship ninja. I advise you all to do the same.

4. Thou should never underestimate the power of having the opposite sex as a wingman.  

A guy wingman (or a wing-girl if you are a guy) is something I firmly believe to be a “game-changer” in any kind of bar (or wherever) prowling experience. Really Meg? You may be asking yourself. How can this be? They could be working against me by keeping all the hotties at bay! This could be disasterous to my game.

And to this I say NO! Because as long as you and your wingman are working for eachother, you can be an unstoppable tail-catching dynamic duo force!

And I will now tell you why.

This is because your opposite sex wingman actually thinks like the opposite sex. They can give you insight that you wouldn’t normally get from a girl or guy friend. They can also approach a “POI” (Person-of-Interest) without the risk that said person will become attached to your wingman instead of you. They can tell you if the  POI is a skeeze, or a slut or remove the drunk goggles that have lodged themselves to your skull. In some cases they can even literally pick you and carry you fireman style from a situation that would make you cringe with dignity stripping humiliation the following day (I’ve actually been in this exact situation. It’s a little alarming and you’ll be a bit upset but you’ll thank your wingperson later.)

An opposite sex wingman is an invaluable asset to your arsenal. Trust me here. It’s like the golden gun in the James Bond Nintendo video game. Except better. Because we aren’t 10 or trying to kill international animated assassins and also, analog controllers are like so 1997.

3. Thou should avoid getting weekend blue balls at all costs. 

I think it’s normal/fun to go out looking for the opposite sex. But to let it ruin your night because you don’t meet that one guy or girl is sort of insane and also really depressing. I call this syndrome SMBB or “Sunday Morning Blue Balls“.  Basically, you go out with the hope that either

A- you and a certain guy will finally hit it off-

or

B- that you’ll meet that guy you’ll finally hit it off with and thus proceed to point A.

When you build your night up around this 9 times out of 10- it will typically end in disappointment/frustration.. and in some cases, a Wendy’s Baconator with a side of large fries. It’s shitty. And I know this because I’ve been there. Not the Baconator part since I’m a vegetarian, but the whole building up the night because you think the stars are going align and be #bestnightever status. Because as Murphy and his law tell us, the night typically goes horribly off-base when you do this. The really crappy thing about SMBB, is that you can’t really control it. You can’t help but get your hopes up sometimes.

So put on your party pants, don’t over-drink and most importantly, under no circumstances allow yourself to be driven to a fast food restaurant when the night doesn’t go as planned because there’s probably nothing worse than waking up feeling like a rejected beached whale.

…Unless of course you wake up looking like Kristen Stewart.

2. Occasionally, thou shalt do it for the story. 

I’m a sucker for a good story. I don’t think that will come as any shock to any one. There are some things I have done in the past and I will continue to do so in the future for the sole fact that it provides me with an interesting monologue to share after whatever happens has been given enough time and distance to really appreciate. This stems from my belief that a good story is better than no story at all. I know it will sometimes  usually go badly. I know that it might end in embarrassment (usually my own). I know that I potentially will get in a little bit of trouble. That this probably isn’t the best idea. But the world is full of people playing it safe. And they get to sit back and read and see other people’s lives from their couch. Me? I’d rather lose all my dignity temporarily than miss out on the thrill of saying I’ve done something.

I’m not saying to go home with a complete stranger when he offers you candy people. What I am saying however, is that with great risk comes great opportunity.  And goes hand in hand with great experiences. With great memories. And at the very least… great stories.

 And my number one piece of miscellaneous man advice?

1. Confidence. That’s all.  (Thou can thank me later)

Regardless of your goals, whether that’s to get your Mrs. Degree to Mr. Trust-Me-I’m-A-Divorce-Waiting-To-Happen-I’m-A-Doctor or just find a kindred soul to walk to the local Planned Parenthood with tomorrow morning– Own it. Yep, I said it.

Confidence.

Self-assurance across the board is sexy. Stop fishing for compliments. Stop looking for ways to garner more attention. Just walk into every room you are in with the confidence of someone who knows how to run their way around it. And then do so.

And that’s really it. That’s my biggest and most important piece of advice. Confidence may not get you the person of your dreams every night. It may not be the answer to making every relationship work out. It won’t prevent you from getting pregnant. It won’t guarantee you a date for Valentines day, or your birthday or your 2nd cousin’s bar mitzvah. But.. let me refer you back to my second disclaimer all the way at the top when I say.. Hey, maybe it will.

So whenever you’re feeling vulnerable? Here’s a semi sac-religious tip. Look in the mirror and say to yourself. “Hmm. What Would Meg do (WWMD)?”

Simple. I’d say:

I am pretty. Boys like me.”

And believe it.

Now get out there and go get ‘em ninjas.

M

 

 

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Outdoor Tech & KUHL Racing

By Brian Tolbert

We started the KUHL team 5 years ago when cross country racing and big factory teams were disappearing. We started this team with the backing of KUHL outdoor clothing and an idea to gather people together that we wanted to travel and hang out with at races not necessarily the high maintenance prima donnas that we saw standing on the top step of the podiums back then. So we started with a handful of new friends and old friends and a van that we stole from the warehouse and drove around looking for the coolest races on the coolest trails around. 5 years later the team has grown across the country and across disciplines but it still has the same idea behind it, we don’t really care about your results as much as we care about you being good dude (or dudette) that can talk to people about more than your placing in your last race but about that sweet jump on the third lap. Our little experiment has worked pretty well over the years  and we actually have some really fast guys and gals on the team that are out winning big races across the country but it is still about having fun and joking with your team mates and friends.

We got to know the guys at Outdoor Technology through our mutual friend (and OT catalog model) Blake Nyman (no serious Blake is on every other page of the catalog). After hanging out with the guys at the OR show we knew we found some kindred spirits (whoa that was deep). What it really comes down to is that in a sport where you spend hours every day by yourself pedaling in the back woods, it’s good to have some sweet tunes. I no longer have to cut holes in my jerseys to fish those crappy white headphones through and up around my helmet, I just put my tags on and go.

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Flex Hours for Lackadaisical Louts

By Ben Wannamaker

 

Photo: Stewart Medford

What motivates people to get out of bed and go to work? Is it the alarm, the paycheck or the habit of experiencing the day-to-day act itself? Understanding that sleeping through one’s alarm will put undue work square on the shoulders of one’s co-workers - ‘co’ being peers that one can empathize with -causes a drive in us, compelling enough to convince some lackadaisical louts to fulfill their obligations and in one way or another work through hungover or hesitant bodies with we: the thankful co-workers of the world.

I work in the terrain park on Whistler Blackcomb,so my motivation to get out of bed is quite often to get the trick I’ve been working on, to plane through the powder that had been pad-padding throughout the cold cold night – blanketing my commute to the park entrance – or simply, selfishly, to get that morning coffee in my handfor the rolling chairlift trip that I’ll ride while rubbing the crust from my eye’s outer rim.

Either way, it occurred to me one day when I wokeup cursing my alarm clock that perhaps if the company that so gratefully employed me, as wellas – theoretically – all companies instituted ‘flex times’ like an honor system, that allowed their employees to come in to work between, say: 8:30 and 10:30: whenever their bodies felt most appropriate – rather than making them feel that they were being dragged out of bed at the crack of dawn against their will – there really wouldn’t be much taking advantage of this experimental system; we wouldn’t see an over-excess of workers showing up at 10:29 each day, especially within the union of terrain park employees like yours truly, who have an appreciation for contribution to a team, enjoy shaping and skiing their personalized snow sculptures and of course, don’t hate the paycheck that comes along with getting up those few extra hours earlier.

On another note…

The link below is a one minute edit from a lap or two that was filmed during the off days in my office by Nevin Falloon.  It was tossed together with the deadline of one day: intended as a last minute contribution, a ‘commercial’ for the Golden Film Festival in Golden B.C. Thought I’d share! Check out the Yowie!

Click the link to watch on Vimeo

Thanks Outdoor Tech, Liberty Skis, TMC Freeriderz, Surefoot, Crossfire Designs and Trew Outerwear.

Ben Wannamaker

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Pro Skier Problems, by KC DEANE

 

Most people that you talk to look at professional athletes and think, man they got the life.  Travel all over the world, just doing what you love, what an easy life.  Now I’m not saying that isn’t exactly the case.  I get to go ski and see amazing places all over the world, and that indeed is pretty awesome.  Even as a teenager looking up to pro skiers and thought the same thing,  but you never really comprehend what the athletes go through year to year.

This year for me has been tough.  The winter started off by an amazing trip to Japan. Great snow, amazing people, and of course the food is always a highlight being over there, but the list of injuries this season seem to have started off there.  While carrying a 70lbs backpack filled with flash and camera gear I got pulled off a large drop and hurt my knee.  3 days later after my knee started feeling better I re-injured the same knee which plagued me for the rest of the trip.  As an athlete its so frustrating to not be 100%.  Imagine going to work everyday and only being able to do it at 60%, not exactly the best recipe for success. After Japan I took some time to get my knee strong and headed north to British Columbia to start filming with Voleurz.  After a few weeks of being there, and only getting to film a few days I was hitting a jump and went a little to large and severely sprained my left ankle.  When I came to a stop I was in so much pain I couldn’t even stand up.  I limped over to one of the sleds and sat there shaking in pain.  I ended up filming the rest of the day and just tried to fight through the pain.  After one more day of trying to film the pain was too great and had to take the next 8-9 days off just to get back to being able to get my foot and ankle into my ski boot.  Finally back to where I can ski, only about 75% but still good enough to shoot and start filming.  Only a few days after finally feeling strong again, I’m back in Mt Baker shooting and decided to ski a line that I have been looking at for a few years now. Widowmaker.  It’s a 2 hour boot pack to the top of the peak, followed by a multi pitch rappel to get into the 50 degree line filled with spines.  As I got in and took my first few turns the snow quickly turned to ice and I began rag dolling down almost the entire face before I self arrested.  Mid fall I felt myself cartwheeling through ice chunks, at one point I was sure that I snapped my right arm, and or dislocated my shoulder.  As I slid to a stop the pain in my shoulder and knee quickly took over.  However I did hike back up get my ski and ski the line I had just fallen on.  After the adrenaline wore off the pain really started to sink in.  Sitting here as I write this, my knee resembles some sort of large fruit.  ACL test showed my knee is intact but I have massive swelling and can only bend my knee to 90 degrees.

Seems like just as soon as you get healthy enough to get back out there something else pops up, wether it be a nagging injury or a new one.  The most frustrating part is not being able to ski, or in some cases not being able to ski 100%.  Not exactly something I had imagined when I dreamed about becoming a professional athlete.  They never showed this in the movies, but then again when I’m headed up to the top of a line at sunrise, surrounded by mountain peaks as far as you can see and perfect snow, I think about people that aren’t able to do this so what am I complaining about?

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