For some time now, Faction has been one of the hottest brands in skiing. But how much do you actually know about the company? This week we are talking about the history of the brand, some key moments in the company, and some big recent changes; what it’s like to go skiing with and design skis for Candide Thovex; and Faction’s lineup for the upcoming season.
We check in with reviewers Dylan Wood (who gets to keep his seat at the bar), David Golay (who is now reconsidering what makes brakes good or bad), and Eric Freson (who still enjoys a sick jazz soundtrack) to get their updates on the Trek Slash, EXT Storia shock, Hayes Dominion A4 brakes, and the Banshee Phantom V3.
Coree Woltering is definitely one of the most interesting ultrarunners out there, so Brendan Leonard and Jonathan Ellsworth talked to Coree about the one time when a catcall actually worked; why the running world needs to stop overlooking midwestern athletes; Quick Trip burgers and how to remove ticks; and the injury and the miracle that happened while he was setting a new FKT on the Ice Age Trail.
We talk to the elite ice climber, Will Gadd, about ice climbing, skiing, paragliding, rock climbing, kayaking, mountain biking — and how they relate to one another. And we talk about his new film, The Last Ascent, which documents Will’s return to Mount Kilimanjaro to climb the Messner route and the Tanzanian ice (at 19,000’ altitude) while there’s still time.
What if you could buy a bike without immediately looking to swap out a bunch of the stock parts? And what if this dream build of yours was competitively priced? Sherpa Custom Mountain Bikes is a brand-new company that allows you to customize every part and color of your new bike, with over 1,000,000 combinations to choose from; their “photorealistic 3D dream builder” provides life-like graphics that allow you to scrutinize every detail of your custom build; and they’re also offering a life-time warranty on their frames and rims. Sound too good to be true? We sat down with the founders of Sherpa to question them about this intriguing ambitious new venture.
Ryan Hall is a two-time Olympian and is the only American to run a sub-2:05:00 marathon. But these days, Ryan is far more focused on lifting, yet he just completed his first ultramarathon — and he did it in the most ‘Off The Couch’ way possible. So we sat down with Ryan in Blister HQ to talk about his first ultra; finding proper perspective; weight & performance; and more.
Structure Cycleworks arguably makes the coolest bikes out there — or the ugliest bikes out there. So we talked to their founder, Loni Hull, about why he introduced a front-linkage suspension design; why rear-linkage designs are everywhere, while front-linkage designs are utterly uncommon; and the pros and cons of bringing such an unorthodox bike to market. So whether you are a true bike dork or you just appreciate outside-the-box thinking and design, consider this a ‘Must-Listen.’
Today, Trek officially released an update of their enduro-focused Slash, so we offer our initial impressions of the new bike and ask what this big new release might be able to tell us about where we are in terms of the evolution of bike geometry. To this end, we also talk about a couple other examples, including the Pivot Switchblade and the Rocky Mountain Instinct BC.
Ever feel like you aren’t — or couldn’t ever possibly be — a “real” runner? Most of us have, which is why most of us need to meet Kelly Roberts. Kelly is good at making us feel fine about the fact that we sometimes hate running. And she’s equally good at helping us continue to run — or walk, or bike, or just keep moving. So we talk to Kelly about her moving (and hilarious) entrance into running; her Badass Lady Gang; angel ghosts; and more.
Blister reviewer, Paul Forward, is a lifelong hunter. Jonathan Ellsworth has been a vegetarian for over 20 years. So how much common ground do they share? We discuss that plus Paul’s latest solo hunt; why he only hunts with a bow; what the broader hunting community might learn from skiers & mtn bikers in terms of climate advocacy; and what skiers & mtn bikers could stand to learn from the hunting community about conservation.
Not all bikes or skis are equally good at all things — and the same goes for protective face masks. So we talked with Alex Lauver and Kat Schoewe of Outdoor Research about what type of masks are the most & least effective; how Outdoor Research’s work on medical-grade PPE has influenced their commercially available Essential Face Mask; we make some predictions about the upcoming ski season; and more.
Eliot Jackson and Katie Holden have just launched the Grow Cycling Foundation, so we caught up with Eliot to talk about Grow Cycling; their plan to get a Velosolutions Pumptrack built in downtown Los Angeles; how to create a more welcoming bike culture; his terrific podcast, Reggy Radio; night owls; and more.
This week we take a look at the trends in running shoes for 2020. Jonathan Ellsworth is joined by Maddie Hart and Gordon Gianniny to talk about knit uppers on trail shoes (??), massive heels, marketing copy, and we even design our own ‘Blister Pro’ shoe. Then we wrap up by talking about a few current events and get Maddie and Gordon’s upcoming plans.
Chris Bombardier is the first person with hemophilia to complete all Seven Summits, and tomorrow, a film comes out called Bombardier Blood that tells Chris’ story and homes in on his attempt to summit Mt. Everest. So we talked to Chris about baseball (and sharks); hemophilia and the experience of those who have the condition; climbing Everest; the important work of Save One Life; and more.
Voormi is not interested in being just another outdoor apparel company. They develop their own textiles inhouse; they manufacture in the United States; and they’ve got some big plans. So we sat down in Blister HQ with Timm Smith, their head of materials development, to learn more about the Voormi story and where the brand is heading.