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Outdoor Talk: Zach “Ducky” Kovacs

Zachary Kovacs, Ducky for short, is from  Modesto, California. He’s been skating for about 15 years now and grew up at Ceres Skate Park . His favorite thing to skate, besides everything, are red curbs, and when he’s not skating he’s at Programme Skate & Sound watching skate vids. Skate skate skate.He rips pretty hard and has a Thrasher feature to prove it. Get to know Ducky a bit better and check out his interview below.


First and foremost congratulations on your Thrasher feature, how stoked were you when that happened?

Thanks, I was real hyped! Even now it doesn’t even seem real.

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What was the process of getting this exposure?

Me and some friends had been filming sometime for a skate video ( Jordan Faulk’s Stand By Fire ) and with the video winding down everyone handling their Enders , Bigspin front board down Hollywood had been on my mind for a while and After going back a few times it worked out with the security guard letting us skate the sixteen. My good friend Jacob Remero shot a sequence and Geno from PIZZA skateboards saw the photo and made the ad happen. It couldn’t have worked out any better and am so stoked how our video as a whole came out! Everyone killed it!! (Shameless plug http://www.standbyfire.bigcartel.com )

How did you find out about ODT? Why do you love us?

Taylor came into the shop and talked about the company and I made a point to talk to Ryan at Agenda LB . He liked the stuff I sent him and things just worked out from there. I love ODT because the products are loud and durable, and everyone I’ve met apart of ODT are rad (especially Ryan and Taylor <3)

What initially got you into skating?

When I was three my cousins were skating in front of my house and I would take there old boards and push around on one knee until I learned to stand up.

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Who’s your skate hero?

Right now I’d have to say Cam Sedlick. He’s one of the nicest skaters I’ve ever met, has a crazy bag of tricks, and just turned 16. He comes out with a new part Jan 25th that I’m really looking forward to, especially after seeing his part in SBF.

What’s the best skate trip you’ve gone on thus far?

Phx Am trip last year was so far the best, we got to skate a handful of Arizona spots and my good friend Jamie Foy took second in the contest and left with 2G’s!!

Tell us about Programme

Programme is sick , Chris runs a good balance of music and skating with live shows in the shop and skate events , and it’s pretty rad riding for a shop that sells vinyl and skate goods .

Which ODT product would you hope you had with you on a deserted island?

Buckshot Pro for sure! Music, flashlight, and a USB charger!!!

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Any trips coming up?

PIZZA SKATEBOARDS TRIP TO NEW MEXICO!!!!

Tell us a little about your crew of hooligans. 

Four LOKOS, loud music, and skating

Thanks ; Mom,  Dad, Max,  Geno at Pizza and Lurk hard , Jordan Faulk , EVERYONE APART OF TEAMHALFASS SBF,  Chris at Programme , Ryan and Taylor at ODT , Jacob Remero , Dan Stolling , and everyone else who helped me out these past years !

Thank YOU, Zach. We can’t wait to see what’s next for you.

 

All PC: @jacob.photo

That Time the Buckshot Pro Saved My Life

About a week ago…Avoid finishing that with Bobby $hmurda…About a week ago we had our annual ODT Christmas Party. Most of us traveled there by way of Uber, considering the theme of these things is usually Drunk. My Uber ride in particular was quite enjoyable. Our driver was really getting us pumped with the sounds of 88.1 classical jazz…Ha! Once we all arrived at the restaurant, I was practically yawning my way to the table. Thanks Uber. But, of course, in seconds that was turned around by rowdy co-workers, trays of Mai Tai’s, and tumblers of vodka. Immediately, and obviously, the phones started making an appearance. Instagram, Snapchat, Boomerang and the like were in full force. Slowly, but mostly surely, our phones were beginning their steady demise. The night rolled on, the duck tacos came and went, our chopsticks turned into walrus tusks, our Stories were getting longer, and our batteries were being drained. Before any of us knew it, it was time to head out. (The club does not go up on a Tuesday when you have to be in the office 8 am.) So I requested my Uber, gracefully walked outside, and just as the Uber driver was arriving, the death of my phone arrived first. SHIT, was my first thought. Then, in the most melodramatic way, I remembered I had my Buckshot Pro in my bag. lightbulb

In a serious flash, I pulled that sucker out, plugged my phone in, and good ole Johnson the Uber driver pulled up curbside. Sadly, the death of my phone cancelled the ride, but we jumped in anyway and figured the rest out later. What is the moral of this story you ask? That the Buckshot Pro has been said to save lives… and it definitely saved mine.

 

Shout out to Johnson the Uber driver, and my Buckshot Pro for coming through. Much love.IMG_7819

#DontDrinkandDrive #ParkandParty #Uber

Rahim of Connecticut

Just recently our COO, Charlie was flying Jet Blue to the Big Apple. He noticed just a few seats away from him on the flight was a man sporting some Tuis wireless headphones! He stood out in the crowd for obvious reasons, and Charlie didn’t waste any time making his way over to him. He approached him, gave him his card, and told him to shoot him an email with his information so we could send him some gear.

Well, Rahim got his gear and is as thrilled as we hoped; he took his Turtle Shell 2.0 for a ride on the trails and said it was great! He even sent us a photo. (below)

We are stoked for you, Rahim! Thanks for being stoked on us!

IMG_2031 A little blurry, but we’ll take it.

rahim turtle Sick setup with that Turtle Claw!

You really never know who you are going to run into when you’re repping ODT, and what good things may come of it. Think about that next time you leave the house.

I Punched a Bobcat

I’m not known for making reasonable life choices. That’s why nobody outside was at all shocked when I entered a small, weathered barn one autumn morning to manually evict a bobcat.

It all started as we sat around a pile of Fourth Meal wrappers, engaged in the sort of philosophical discussion that only occurs when a group of undergrads stays out too late. After the nth Nirvana reference and upon the realization that, for the first time since starting college, we were about to see a sunrise, we loaded up in my ’86 Chrysler Fifth Avenue—everyone entering through the passenger’s door, since it was the only one that worked—and drove out to one of the guy’s parents’ farm.

Everyone clambered out, blinking and stretching, then stood around looking at stuff since we clearly hadn’t planned this out. His parents were out of town or at work (I don’t remember which) so, after a long three minutes, we got bored and started wandering around, throwing rocks at trees and picked the conversation back up where we left it—somewhere between Pennyroyal Tea and Negative Creep.

In the distance, across a pasture, we spotted an old barn that, to quote my friend, “isn’t a barn; it’s a bobcat den.”

In retrospect, he probably meant that to dissuade us from venturing further but it had the opposite effect. We were suddenly awake and alert, excited to go peek through the cracked-wood walls in hopes of spotting the glowing eyes of such a ferocious predator.

Someone made a joke about taking it back to the dorms. Another about dropping it off in the math department offices. Then, after a few seconds of silence as we peered fruitlessly through cracks and gaps into the darkness, someone made the not-so-bright suggestion to go inside.

Whether it was courage, curiosity, stupidity, bravado, or some combination thereof, I spoke one of the dumbest phrases my mouth could have possibly released at that moment—“I’ll go.” With that, it was settled.

My “friends” took up posts around the barn, each straining to observe, as closely as possible from a safe distance, the carnage that we were all anticipating.

I opened the door and stepped in.

There was some sort of dust floating through shafts of light that slid through the wall-cracks, only partially blocked by the muttonheads gawking outside. I took a step, then another, then my eyes started to adjust. There was a broken-down riding mower, an old farm implement, some other debris… and a bobcat.

Just for clarification, when I said “I’ll go,” I, deep in my heart, knew there wasn’t a bobcat inside that barn. You live and learn.

Someone outside, peeking through the wall behind the bobcat, must have made a noise because, all of a sudden, that thing came straight at me. Mustering my deepest lack of intelligence, I made a fist and dropped my finest haymaker on that big cat’s ear. Then I screamed like a little girl and retreated all the way to the car.

How to Keep Your Gadgets Charged While in the Backcountry

Between smartphones, GPS devices, tablets, mp3 players, GoPro cameras, and a variety of other high tech toys, today’s outdoor enthusiasts travels with more electronic gadgets than ever before. These lightweight – yet very powerful –  devices can provide a host of tools and functionality that can come in handy during our outdoor pursuits. But just like anything else that relies on a battery for power, they become useless when their charge runs out. With that in mind, here are some suggestions on how to keep your gadgets functioning while in the backcountry.

Battery Packs
Perhaps the simplest, and most convenient, way to keep your electronics working while traveling in a remote place is by carrying an extra battery pack. These devices feature built in lithium-ion batteries that can be fully charged at home prior to departure. That charge can later be transferred to a smartphone, camera, or other gadget as needed via built in USB ports on the battery pack itself. Generally lightweight, and durable, battery packs come in a variety of storage capacities.

Outdoor Tech’s very own Kodiak Powerbank is an excellent example of a battery pack designed specifically for use in the outdoors.

Solar
Over the past few years there have been some impressive advances made in the area of solar panel technology, and as a result, powering your gadgets from the sun is now a viable option. In fact, many expeditions to places like Everest and the Antarctic rely on solar technology to keep their devices working properly for days, or even weeks, on end. Modern solar panels are thin, lightweight, durable, and efficient, allowing you to charge your devices directly, or store the power they collect in a battery pack to be used later. Available in a variety of shapes and sizes, a good solar panel just might be the best solution for powering electronics for extended periods of time off the grid.

Goal Zero makes some of the best solar power solutions in the industry today, including power packs that are capable of keeping a laptop charged.

Hydrogen Cells
While not as common as a battery pack or a solar panel, a hydrogen fuel cell system can be an efficient, environmentally friendly, way to charge your devices as well. This relatively new method of generating power uses a reaction created by combing hydrogen and oxygen to create electricity that can then be transferred to any electronic device. The benefits of this type of system is that they work much like a battery pack, but allow you to carry extra fuel cells that can keep generating power over a longer period of time.

Brunton’s Hydrogen Reactor is an example of this type of unique charging system.

Conserve Your Power
The final method for keeping your devices powered for longer periods of time in the backcountry is by intelligently conserving your power. For example, switching your device to “airplane mode” will shut down its WiFi and cellular radios, greatly reducing the amount of power it uses. You can also turn down the brightness on your screen, and turn the device off completely at night. Rechargeable batteries are also highly susceptible to cold temperatures, so keep the your gadgets warm at all times. This can help to greatly increase their lifespan.

With a little common sense, and attention to detail, your gadgets will continue to function for longer than you might expect, even when you’re miles away from the nearest outlet.