Geoff McFetridge: Artist, Designer, Skater, Skier (Ep.116)


  • How Jonathan & Geoff connected (2:34)
  • Which came first: art or skating? (7:56)
  • Art directing the Beastie Boys’ Grand Royal (18:26)
  • Working on the Spike Jonze film, “Her” (28:31)
  • When did you get into skiing? (47:48)
  • How much time do you spend telemarking? (50:49)
  • Ski vs. Snowboard vs. Skate culture (58:45)
  • “High” vs. “Low” Culture (1:07:47)
  • What art forms are you currently most interested in? (1:14:33)
  • Favorite albums, films, and books? (1:18:38)
  • Designing for outdoor brands (1:27:36)
  • Your dream project? (1:33:30)
  • What’s the best question I haven’t asked you? (1:44:16)
  • Predictions? (1:50:01)

Geoff McFetridge is a designer and visual artist who has 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 (?!?!?). He’s been a BLISTER member for several years now.

So Jonathan Ellsworth and Geoff tell the story of how they first got connected; how Geoff went from being a sponsored skater to starting a skateboard company to doing design work for some of the biggest companies, bands, musicians, and directors in the world. They discuss Skate vs. Ski vs. Snowboard culture; being a “conflicted” telemarker; and a whole lot more.

You can check out some of Geoff’s work at his website,

Geoff McFetridge goes on the Blister Podcast to discuss designing artwork for Beastie Boys, Pharrell Williams, Spike Jonez and Rick Rubin, and companies ranging from Patagonia, Nike, the New York Times, Oreo, and many more; designing skateboards; skateboarding vs. skiing vs. snowboarding culture; telemark skiing; and more
Geoff McFetridge

5 comments on “Geoff McFetridge: Artist, Designer, Skater, Skier (Ep.116)”

  1. I’m 50 and live in a sub-optimal ski area. Three years ago, I started throwing tricks in the park because down hill wasn’t challenging enough for me anymore. The park is exciting, but it’s taking a toll on my body. I’ve already hyper-extended my arm early in the season. Now I’m wondering about telemark. I don’t have to worry about image (at my age and income level), it’s easier (I hope) on my body, and I need something to challenge me

    …and these pod casts are selling me. If one more person mentions it on Blister, I may seriously start looking for a setup.

  2. before chiming in on the tele discussion, allow me to NOT bury the lead : this why Canadians are the envy of so many of us slightly southern north americans. you can be multi-faceted AND unassuming, eh ?

    ok. on to tele… i have been beating my brains out on the 3 pins for about 25 years. i am 60 now. yup, late to the dance. did not grow up skiing. came at it from cross country. tele was a natural progression.

    the timing has been interesting. the tele boom started about the time i got onboard. the progression of skis has been amazing. i did my time in lovely leather boots. had to learn good habits in the lighter gear. the plastic boots got good, and then stopped progressing when the switch to AT gathered momentum.

    on mid week powder pig days, the local hill(Mt. Hood Skibowl !) used to be 50% tele. at least on the upper runs. some of those cats were incredible skiers. but this has changed. i am usually one of just a handfull of pinheads on the hill now.

    as for being easier on the body : good luck with that one. in a casual conversation about skiing, a woman remarked,”tele skiing ? that looks painfull.” “only if you’re doing it right.” was my response… the only real requirement to ride tele is for yer thighs and ass to be bigger than your brain. if you are already a good alpine skier, you will default to alpine turns even on tele gear. one of the ways i have challenged myself to improve is to make alpine turns in the tele gear. partly, this has been to save the legs. that gorgeous, fun, free love tele move is exhausting. the tele turn is also a little dicey on steep, icey, consequential terrain. learning the quicker and more edge-centric alpine turn on tele gear in wild snow has been very helpfull in the ongoing quest to remain upright.

    me ? i do not really see the point to learning tele if you are already a really good alpine skier. you will spend a bunch of money(even if you score used gear) and you will spend alot of days you could be having maximum fun being quite frustrated. that said, once you get good, it IS SOOOO FUN…

  3. Good perspective. I’m good with leg burn. Falling from heights or on metal, I wonder how much I have in me to do it. I’m assuming a Casaban or Harlaut don’t have to lead teams on Monday. But it’d be interesting to here from president of the Tele Lovers of America Association or just have a discussion of what kind of skiing you can do when you you want something more than alpine. Ellsworth, are you going to take up J Lev’s suggestion to Mono ski?

  4. What a great conversation! I ordered and read Abstract Wild. Wow, very good book. Jonathan will love all the references to Thoreau. I can’t believe I had not heard of it before. Also got Finders Keepers but have not yet read it.

    I love the idea of the all-wool ski touring for pleasure. I think there is a market (however small) for blue-green groomers, an amazing lodge with a huge fire and easy skin up with or without kids. No lifts, no stress, cheap area-tickets to cover the patrollers & grooming. A hybrid between back country and the resort. All the quiet and nature you get, but with easy down?

    Finally, I am going to steal the “eating lunch with kids in the woods” for my future ski days. Excellent idea!

  5. Geoff McFetridge! I freaked out when you talked about Tele hand drags!! Next, you need to ditch the poles, and drag hands all day long. (BTW, they call our sport skiing, not poling.)

    I am also a conflicted skier who essentially only telemark skis. Dropped the poles years ago and only pick them up for touring and occasional bump session. I dropped the poles because my favorite part of snowboarding is free hands! You can do it too! Over time your balance and foot / ankle / knee / hip skills will leap ahead and become more subtle. At some point you’ll make the best tele turn of your life… and then the best alpine turn. More fluidity is what you gain.

    Right away without poles you’ll probably feel more comfortable and amazing with side hit airs, grabs, halfpipe, and chill groomers. And past this stuff which naturally favors no poles, there are tons of challenges to keep you engaged, like forever! (Never feel you need to force tele turns where a couple alpine turns will work nicely, you have no freaking poles after all!)

    Anyway, free the hands.
    All the Best,

    PS: 56 years old ski dad in the East

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