We just released our new 19/20 BLISTER Winter Buyer’s Guide, and given that it’s over 200 pages long, there’s a lot to talk about. So we’re going to have a 2-part conversation about the Guide, and here in part 1, we’re going to discuss some of our Blister “Best Of” selections; and some of the products that just missed the cut; some general trends and takeaways from putting this big book together, and we find out the real reason why Luke prefers mittens to gloves.
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.
Coming straight to Crested Butte after the amazing World Cup season finale, Claudio Caluori sits down with Jonathan Ellsworth in BLISTER HQ to discuss whether this was the best WC DH season ever; Loic Bruni & Amaury Pierron’s epic battle; his biggest takeaways from the men’s and women’s seasons; and what, if anything, could be done to make the series even better.
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.
Like politics and religion, e-bikes are a topic that get people extremely worked up, often result in name calling, and rarely are productive. And this needs to change, because e-Bikes are not going away. So we talked to Dave Wiens, the executive director of the International Mountain Biking Association, to help clarify what all the fuss is about; identify what the biggest issues are with e-mountain bikes; present the concerns that the advocates of — and the opponents of — e-bikes need to understand; and lay out what the best way forward looks like.
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.
How do elite ski racers like Marcel Hirsher, Mikaela Shiffrin, Bode Miller, and Daron Rahlves “feel” their gear, and their ski boots in particular? We talk to Matt Manser about this; forward lean; ‘static’ power straps vs. ‘elastic’ Booster Straps; whether WC skiers or WC DH mtn bikers are pickier about their equipment; and more.
Sometimes “different” is better. Other times, it’s just dumb. So we discuss a number of very unconventional new products: the Trust Message linkage fork; Structure Cycleworks’ SCW1 linkage fork / frame system; high-pivot trail bikes and the Forbidden Druid; Starling Cycles’ ‘Jack Drive’ bikes; and Tannus Armour tire inserts.