In the world of ski and ski boot design, Thor Verdonk is well known and very well respected. So we talked to Thor about his background, his 25+ year career with the Rossignol Group and how he became the Global Brand Director for Lange, then we talk about the history of ski design and ski boot design; developing the Rossi S7; and we get his predictions about what the ski industry will look like 10 years from now.
Geoff McFetridge is an iconic designer and visual artist who’s worked with the Beastie Boys, Pharrell Williams, Spike Jonez and Rick Rubin, and companies ranging from Patagonia, Nike, the New York Times, Oreo, and many more. Geoff is also a passionate skateboarder and skier, and a big fan of … BLISTER??? So we talk to Geoff about going from being a sponsored skater to starting a skateboard company to designing for some of the biggest companies, bands, musicians, and directors in the world. We discuss skate vs. ski vs. snowboard culture; being a “conflicted” telemarker; and a whole lot more.
What will the ski & snowboard industry look like 10 years from now? Will backcountry skiing and splitboarding keep growing? Will indoor ski areas become more common? Will there be fewer or more ski companies in existence 10 years from now? We offer our predictions on all of these questions and more.
A recent conversation with Brendan Leonard (semi-rad.com) about his 2019 goal of running 52 marathons in 52 weeks (!!!) got us thinking that we should take a more creative approach to New Year’s Resolutions and goals. And then very soon, we’ll be posting a series of interviews with some Blister reviewers and other folks about their own take on new year’s resolutions, and some of their own creative goals.
We’re not sure that anyone loves skiing more than Tyler Curle, and Tyler also happens to be one very hard-charging and versatile skier who has appeared in Matchstick and TGR films. So we had Tyler come out to Crested Butte to talk about growing up skiing at Mt. Rose; starting to help out at Moment Skis at the ripe old age of twelve; his favorite skis, skiers, and ski movies of all time, and a whole lot more.
When it comes to skiing, product design, filmmaking, and art, few people have exhibited a more distinctive style than Eric Pollard. But for someone who has been working at the forefront of these mediums for about 20 years, we know a relatively small amount about the person behind all of it. So in this conversation, we talk to Eric about skiing and art and creating and evolving, and we discuss his soon-to-be-released film and book that share the same title, ‘Drawn From Here.’
Most of us know Vonn as one of the greatest ski racers of all time — and probably the toughest. But in the new HBO film, Lindsey Vonn: The Final Season, Vonn pulls back the curtain on her career and the steep price of pursuing the record for most World Cup wins.
So we talked to the film’s co-director and Teton Gravity Research co-founder, Steve Jones, about the making of this film; Vonn’s accessibility and emotional vulnerability; the hidden costs of pursuing greatness; and more.
Jason Blevins of the Colorado Sun broke the story about backcountry.com’s practices around trademark issues, so we talk to Jason about how this story got on his radar; the specifics of what backcountry.com was doing; how common or uncommon these practices are; how backcountry.com has subsequently responded; and what needs to be done going forward.
In our latest BLISTER Speaker Series at Western Colorado University, Moment Skis CEO, Luke Jacobson, talks about managing the significant growth of this indie brand; manufacturing in Sparks, Nevada; crucial decisions he’s had to make; how he would assess those decisions in hindsight; and more.
Rachael Burks is known for skiing burly lines and her signature backflip, but she is also known for her boundless enthusiasm, which is on full display in our conversation about skiing and Shakespeare; her spot-on impression of Julian Carr; podiuming in a comp on rental skis; her best ski season ever; her abiding love of sweatpants, Star Wars, fantasy novels, Red Bull Rampage; and more.
If the story told in the new film Blink of an Eye weren’t true, nobody would believe it. Friendship, brotherhood, heroes, triumph, tragedy, and redemption are the topics, and we discuss all of them on our latest Blister Podcast with the film’s writer & director, Paul Taublieb. If you are interested in or intrigued by auto racing, you will love this one. And if you have zero interest in NASCAR, then you especially need to listen, for reasons we’ll explain.
When Alex Honnold, was looking for a new executive director for his Honnold foundation, he tapped Dory Trimble. And with the massive success of the film, Free Solo, Dory has guided what started as Alex’s small, personal passion project into a rapidly growing nonprofit working on global solar energy initiatives. So in our latest Blister Speaker Series, we talk to Dory about what it’s like working with Alex; how she’s managed the explosive growth of the Honnold Foundation; and she offers great advice for anyone interested in getting involved with organizations committed to doing social good.
Dash Longe is a skier who’s been doing it — and going big — for a long time. So I spoke to Dash about his brand new film, Stone’s Throw, and about ski films in general; his coming up during the heyday of the freeskiing revolution in Tahoe; ski design and Dash’s work on the DPS Koala 119; and more. Check out this post for the whole conversation — and watch Dash’s film, Stone’s Throw.
Adventure photographer, Corey Rich, has spent a lot of time documenting some of the most interesting and amazing athletes in the world. So we talk to Corey about his time with the likes of Fred Beckey, Chris Sharma, Tommy Caldwell, Ashima Shiraishi; why making mistakes and being vulnerable makes for great storytelling; his excellent new book; what his dream assignment would be; and much, much more.
J Skis founder, Jason Levinthal, is back on the show, and this time, our conversation is made up almost entirely of your questions. And in his trademark style, Jason answers each of them with extreme candor. Check out the full video and conversation here.
Last week, we kicked off season #2 of our monthly Blister Speaker Series at Western Colorado University, where we invite influential figures to come talk about how they are shaping the outdoor industry. Our first guest of the new season was Claudio Caluori, the announcer for the World Cup Downhill series, a former pro XC and DH racer, the founder of Velosolutions, and the initiator of #pumpforpeace. We touch on all of these things in our conversation, and get Claudio’s perspective on a wide range of topics and questions.
Pep Fujas has always been at the forefront of freeskiing, and he is now looking to move things forward once again. So we talk to Pep about growing up on his family farm in Oregon; his remarkable film career; his favorite Seth Morrison story; his long relationship with K2 and his favorite K2 skis; his decision to go back to school; and his even bigger decision to join the team at WNDR Alpine.
Aside from her unassuming disposition, everything about Ming Goetz is extraordinary — her name; her background; her favorite discipline; her competing recently in the Crankworx Whip Off Challenge; her participation this season in the 1st ever Women’s Slopestyle Tour; her plans for the future (competing in Red Bull Rampage) and, of course … her abilities on a bike. So ladies & gentlemen, get ready to meet Ming.
What does biotech have to do with backcountry skiing? And what does microalgae have to do with skis? And why did the founder of 4FRNT Skis, Matt Sterbenz, agree to get involved with a new startup ski brand, WNDR Alpine? We sat down in Blister HQ with Checkerspot co-founder and CEO, Charlie Dimmler, and WNDR Alpine founder, Matt Sterbenz, to talk about the creation of WNDR Alpine; its relation to and the mission of Checkerspot; and more.
For many of us, bikes are primarily fun. But for many others, bikes are major drivers of economic development, educational opportunity, health care, and equality. World Bicycle Relief was started by the founder of SRAM to provide bikes to developing countries, and we talk with WBR’s CEO, Dave Neiswander, about the origins of World Bicycle Relief; its trajectory and challenges; all the product design that goes into their bikes; and what each of us can do to support the WBR mission.
Today we’re launching our new Up & Coming series, where we’ll be highlighting some athletes who, if they aren’t already on your radar, they should be. And first up is Dylan Siggers, because few people out there are this good on skis and on a bike. Plus, Dylan is also involved in filmmaking and music, so we talk to him about skiing, biking, filming, music, and more.
You’re probably already convinced of the importance of physical exertion, going outside, and staying physically fit and healthy. But what about the fitness of your brain? We talk to the neuroscientist, Michael Merzenich, about the significant neurological benefits of going fast, going outside, and undertaking new activities; the more effective and less effective ways to exercise our brains; the changes to our brains caused by the time so many of us — and our kids — are spending in front of phone, computer, and TV screens; and more.
Last week, LJ Strenio, posted a photo of a letter from NASA congratulating him on being accepted as an intern to the Armstrong Flight Research Facility. But how does a park skier from Vermont, this star of the LINE Traveling Circus, this guy who once served as Vin Diesel’s stunt double, and this guy who has a 29-minute crash reel that is shot after shot of him destroying himself, get accepted to work for NASA? We talked to LJ to get the whole story — and it’s a great one.
Clare Gallagher just won the Western States 100, and she did so in spectacular fashion. But there is a whole lot more to this story. So we talk to Clare about the details of her epic win, why on earth she agreed to go on an expedition to Alaska with Tommy Caldwell right before her biggest race of the year, and more.
While more and more electric cars are hitting the streets, Taiga Motors is about to bring the world’s first commercial electric snowmobiles to the backcountry and ski areas. So we talked with Taiga Motors CEO & co-founder, Sam Bruneau, about taking the electric snowmobile from a college project to an actual business; and we get into the specifics of charging a Taiga, and how these electric sleds measure up against gas-powered ones in terms of power, torque, weight, range, and performance in harsh temperatures.
For a long time now, Mark Abma has stood right at the center of big-mountain skiing. So we talk to him about living with JP Auclair, Julien Regnier, and Anthony Boronowski; filming with Shane McConkey, Hugo Harrison, and Ingrid Backstrom; serving as a guide for a new generation of skiers; and the specific fitness, dietary, and health regimen that keeps Mark functioning at a high level on and off the mountain.
You may have seen last week some pretty mind-blowing (and terrifying) footage of a snowboarder negotiating the Ribbon on Devil’s Castle at Alta. So we talked to James Buehler about his apparent first descent with Alex Gavic of the Ribbon on a snowboard, and James walks us through the technical aspects of the route; his preparation for the line; the mental and physical demands it imposes; encountering multiple cruxes; the “Ronald McDonald Grin”; and what’s next on his list.
Travis Ganong might be the most well-rounded skier in the world (just listen to this conversation), and he is certainly one of the most passionate. He’s a Team U.S.A. downhiller and Super G racer, and he is also obsessed with backcountry touring and big-mtn skiing. So we talk about all of it: racing & training; catching the attention of Shane McConkey as a kid; backcountry skiing; and more.
We went to Shoreham, Vermont, to talk with Jason Newell about his transition from ski racing, to working with the Rossignol Group for 25 years, to his latest adventure in a whole new category: whiskey. (Plus a story or two involving duct tape, Candide Thovex, and burning couches.)