We’ve just arrived at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show, where over the next few days, we’ll be seeing every new product under the sun that will be hitting the market next spring.
But with all those new products also come a bunch of really good, very bad, and highly debatable names. So
we polled some of our reviewers to see what made their lists, and we are very interested to hear which product names you all love, hate, or love-and-hate. So take a look at what we’ve come up with, and then add in the comments section below what you think we missed.
Related Bonus Questions:
Q #1: Are outdoors-recreation products the worst offender when it comes to product names? Or is it something like consumer electronics — maybe televisions or laptops?
Q #2: In terms of outdoor sports equipment, what category – overall – has the best names? Which category has the worst?
The North Face Flight Better Than Naked Long Haul Shorts
This is, I think, the worst product name I’ve ever seen, and it is definitely one of the most incomprehensible product name we’ve ever seen. In fact, this literally was the inspiration for this entire post.
Seriously, it reads like someone put a random Yiddish proverb into Google Translate, and “Flight Better Than Naked Long Haul Shorts” got spit out.
This name is so nonsensical, we would consider naming this entire series after this product, but even the acronym looks like you let a cute puppy romp across your laptop keyboard. So anyway, enjoy these, “TNFFBTNLHS” Awards.
Has there ever been a name that an entire community adopts for a product, and that made-up name is so perfect that it 100% replaces the name of the actual product? I guarantee that more skiers know the name Day Wrecker than Alpine Trekker.
• The Kingswood Skis “SMB” – if you want to ask what it stands for, please email Kingswood Skis founder, Alex Herbert, and we’ll see if he’s in the mood to answer.
• Volkl Katana – cool points galore.
• I’m currently very fond of the name, The Hammer, for the ski we put together with Folsom. It seems appropriately descriptive.
• But it’s always important to pay homage in conversations like these, and before there was The Hammer, there was the Monster series from HEAD. And that name really hit the nail on the head (plus it’s a bad pun and keeps the hammer metaphor going.)
ON3P Cease & Desist
The Cease & Desist probably has my favorite backstory of any product. It all started when ON3P released the “Great Scott,” a ski named after ON3P founder, Scott Andrus. Then fellow-ski brand, Scott, sent ON3P — you guessed it — a cease and desist letter, and told ON3P to change the title. Sometimes, tough circumstances lead you to come up with something way better than the original.
This is one that could arguably go in both the “best” and “worst” name categories. Naming a ski “Deathwish” is pretty bold, especially when it uses a totally new and, at the point of its release, unproven technology like Moment’s “Triple Camber” profile. Luckily the actual ski turned out to be far from deadly.
K2 Seth Pistol
All I can picture when I see the name of Seth Morrison’s old pro-model ski is Mike Tyson is trying to pronounce the name of a certain British punk band.
Kinda like the Deathwish, this one could probably go in both categories. But depending on how easily offended you are, calling your line of packs “Douchebags” is either hilarious or obtuse. Your call.
K2’s women’s skis
Tough Luv. Luv Boat 105. OoolaLuv 85 Ti. Fulluvit 95Ti. Do you really need to add “luv” to nearly every women’s ski you make? And … spell check?
Cf what I wrote about Douchebags.
Salomon’s “MTN Lab” naming scheme
So this is less of an issue now, but a few years ago Salomon had at least three products that were all called the “MTN Lab” — a ski, a boot, and a helmet. That’s like calling all of your kids Donnie. Just … why?
There are a lot of pretty bad whitewater kayak names out there, but the just-released Prijon Cocaine tops the list.
Very informative name. A dictator is someone who is super powerful but who also sucks.
Best and Worst:
Mammut Ultralight Removable AIrbag 3.0
On one hand, this name is exactly what you get. On the other hand, it’s a mouthful and holds zero skin-track-talk sticking power.
My choices here were definitely not met with widespread agreement among my fellow Blister editors, but screw those guys, right? These are my opinions:
Even when this ski came out (2002?) it was a confusing name. While it’s named after 4FRNT founder, Matt Sterbenz, it also happens to share the same exact initials of a very popular film production company. It would like naming a ski “Level 1” today — you just shouldn’t do it.
Sometimes I hear this name and think it’s OK, then I snap back to reality and understand that it sucks. Just like Lady Gaga’s disco stick, this name is best left alone.
Black Crows’ Ski Line
This whole thing is super confusing. Without any width indication across the line, you’re just forced to remember the vaguely abstract names. I still only know 2 of them.
Flylow Smythe Bib
New for next year, the Smythe is a great new air-permeable ski jacket. But even after several discussions about this name with Flylow co-founder, Dan Abrams, none of us at Blister can remember how to pronounce it.
*** Important Note from Jonathan Ellsworth: It could be argued that Sam Shaheen should forever be prohibited from criticizing the names of anything, given that he once started a company and named it, Lethal Descent. Turns out, that’s a really bad name for an outerwear / apparel company. But in fairness, it would be a phenomenal name for a Tenacious D album…
Guerilla Gravity (bike manufacturer)
This name is memorable, cool, and gives off the “small brand doing things different” vibe that a small, boutique US-made brand should embody. It’s great on every level.
Best and Worst:
Everything from Cove Bikes
Most notably, the Shocker, Hummer, and G-Spot.
Okay, the internet has already torn this one apart plenty, but it was pretty much made for a list like this. And it’s cool that you can now get several other new, super-aggressive gravity tires from Maxxis — no matter what kind of “gai” you are.
Tantrum designs some pretty cool suspension platforms. But when I hear this name, I picture a three-year-old in tears after a gnarly tricycle crash.
Okay, Now it’s Your Turn…
You’ve now heard some of ours, but what say you? Let us know in the comments section below.