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Black Diamond's Big Reset, Cole Brauer's Record Trip Around The World plus A Gear & Beer Mailbag

Today on THE ROCK FIGHT (an outdoor podcast that aims for the head) Colin and Justin kick off your week with a batch of headlines to come out of the outdoor industry and community.

This week the boys hit the following:

  • Gear & Beer first episode mailbag (10:02)

  • Black Diamond's big line cut (18:26)

  • The tragic death of an avalanche forecaster (28:43)

  • Celebrating the accomplishment of round the world sailor Cole Brauer (39:35)

All this plus "What Is Justin Doing This Weekend?" (01:00) presented by Long Weekend Coffee.

Happy Monday, Rock Fighters!

Please follow and subscribe to THE ROCK FIGHT and give us a 5 star rating wherever you get your podcasts.

Have a question or comment for a future mailbag episode? Send it to or send a message on Instagram or Threads.

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Colin (00:08):

Welcome to the Rock Fight where we speak our truth, slay sacred cows and sometimes agree to disagree. This is an outdoor podcast that aims for the head. I'm Colin True and joining me today. I don't know if he's Irish, but I want to kiss him anyway. It's Justin Halman.

Justin (00:24):

I don't know if I'm Irish either. That's one of the cool things about you only have one parent growing up. I have no idea. You

Colin (00:31):

Do 23 and me. Maybe we should do that together. I've never

Justin (00:33):

Done it. I'm not doing it. I've done, I did for a bit, but not like where you send them your DNA.

Colin (00:40):

Are you afraid of the people knowing what you are is what? Is it the

Justin (00:43):

Well, well you put that in a weird way. Do you mean the company that holds your DN

Colin (00:50):

Just don't people freak out about

Justin (00:51):

Clearly. Very clearly. It's like, oh yeah, we'll tell you all your stuff about your past I guess, but they just want your DNA and what they're going to do with it. I don't know.

Colin (01:00):

Alright, so we're recording this on Saturday, March 16th, the day before St. Patrick's Day. That means not only did we make it to the weekend, it is the weekend. That means it's time for America's favorite podcast segment. What is Justin doing this weekend? Presented by long weekend Coffees. So Justin, what are you up to this weekend

Justin (01:20):

Before we get into that? Yeah. It's not St. Patrick's Day until when?

Colin (01:25):

Tomorrow. Well, yesterday when this airs. It's the 17th, huh?

Justin (01:29):

My kids' preschool made 'em wear green on the 14th, which wasn't even the last day of the week. You

Colin (01:35):

Would've thought it would've been Friday, I thought. Yeah.

Justin (01:38):

Interesting. I was all like, oh, I got to get him in. I was so proud of myself. Is St Patrick's Day always a Monday?

Colin (01:45):

No, it's the 17th. It's March 17th. Always the 17th. Always 17th. Son

Justin (01:48):

Of a bitch.

Colin (01:49):

My buddy Eric who listens to the show, he's Best Man. My Wedding. It's his birthday. That's a cool birthday. That's a good birthday. Especially when you're Young's Day. It's a great birthday when you're

Justin (01:57):

Young. Never got into St. Patty's Day. Never cared about it. Never thought about it.

Colin (02:01):

Yeah, that feels

Justin (02:02):

Annoyed by the concept of having to wear a green or some jerks going to pinch you just never living in a college town too. St. Patrick's Day is the worst because just like every kid in town is just puking at six 30 in the morning.

Colin (02:14):


Justin (02:15):

I remember I, I was older than most of my fellow college students living in slow. I'd ride my bike or take the bus to Cal Poly to campus and you'd go past downtown and eight in the morning there'd be dudes puking up green beer downtown. You're like, God, the same pastor's day,

Colin (02:29):

Isn't it? I put St. Pat's in there with New Year's. It's the people looking for an excuse to party. Here's another one I don't understand. Staying up to midnight on New Year's. Why? So I can see the clock turnover. Who?

Justin (02:39):

Well, we party because we party every day.

Colin (02:41):

That's true. We do. It's always a

Justin (02:42):

Party. Did they really die? The river Green in Chicago. St. Patrick. Is that when they do That's true in Chicago. Did you live

Colin (02:47):

In Chicago? No. You lived everywhere else. Go out. I did one St. Pat's in Boston on St. Pat's $20 minimum cover charge every bar. It's one of those. I would never do it again, but I'm glad I had the experience and I was in my twenties at the time before kids.

Justin (03:01):

Imagine drinking a green beer.

Colin (03:03):

I've drank green beer.

Justin (03:04):

Yeah, but like now, oh

Colin (03:05):


Justin (03:06):

Hey, put some food color in that will you. Fucking weird.

Colin (03:10):

Why aren't the Irish more offended

Justin (03:12):

If you grabbed clovers and just mash 'em up with your hands and put 'em in my beer? I'd probably, I'd be more inclined to drink that than

Colin (03:19):

I could taste the

Justin (03:20):

A couple drops of Undescribable Chemical in my beer. Please. Thank you. My harp. I was at the store the other day. I'm like, why are they pushing harp and Guinness so hard right now? Because I don't think I've seen harp logger in his store since, probably, probably since last St.

Colin (03:35):

Patrick's. My best ST's, my a harp, there was a bar in Port of New Hampshire, lived there called Molly Malones. I'm sure it's long since gone, but they had great on Sunday that you could go and get steak and eggs and we're going in there severely hungover, getting steak and eggs and drinking a harp and it was just magic. I'm sure it was not nearly as good as it actually I thought it was, but at the time it was

Justin (03:56):

Wonderful things you could do to your bodies back then.

Colin (03:58):

I would die. I would do that. So what are you doing this weekend?

Justin (04:01):

Did I ruin this? Well, I already had my weekend. We're recording this on a Saturday and I had yesterday, well actually two things, so it's a long, it'll all work together. Yesterday I went down to Santa Cruz to pick up this new piece of gear that I'm extremely excited about. I should look up what it's called. Are we going to

Colin (04:20):

Review this gear on gear and beer here on the rock bike?

Justin (04:23):

Are you sure as hell? We sure as hell are. I need to see what the actual thing is called.

Colin (04:30):

Should we have green beer when we get to this one as the pay homage to this episode? Yeah,

Justin (04:33):

We probably should. We'll ground up. We'll put some wheatgrass in it. So I went down to Santa Cruz to pick up this sleeping platform, but this super new brand called Pacific and they make these, I thought it was a cot until I got down there, but it's like, it's basically aluminum framed sleeping platform that will fit in virtually any vehicle if the seats fold somewhat flat. And the cool thing is that a telescopes, lengthwise and the legs telescope as well. So if you have our RAV4 is a hybrid for example, and so right behind the rear seats, even if you fold the seats flat, there's a little hump for where the battery is. So if you wanted to use this thing back there, I don't think it would

Colin (05:18):

Levels it

Justin (05:19):

Out. Basically sleep in the RAV4. But yeah, you just adjust the leg so that it levels out and it weighs 30 pounds. It rolls up, it rolls up into, I would say the diameter is probably eight inches into a big burrito effectively. And so it's really s stowable and it's brilliant. I built out a wood platform for my Tacoma, go to Tacoma I used to have years ago and it was kind of cool, but it was a huge pain in the ass to take it out if I didn't want it. This thing is so easy to set up and if I have a house with a garage so I can just have it set up for the length of my truck and just lift it out and just put it aside, I don't have to roll it back up and then when I go camping it goes right in.

(05:56)So anyway, I went down to pick it up and they're in Santa Cruz and they're right by Pleasure Point, which is one of Santa Cruz's iconic surf zones and I don't really go down there that much anymore. And so I got to go down there and meet with the founder, this guy named Reed who's awesome and it was great. I show up, I go into his little office thing they have at their warehouse and there's a copy of Adventure Journal sitting on the table. No way did you do that? He's like, no. He's like, no, I have this. I have a Patagonia journal and this Baja magazine that his buddy makes because they go to Baja and ride motorcycles and then he opens the back of his Land Cruiser to show me his set. Here it is, here's the platform, here's what it looks like.

(06:29)And he's got one of our classic, the deeper you get, the deeper you get stickers. He's like, dude, I've been a subscriber. You suck up. He's sucking up. It was old. I looked at it, I was like, is that new? And it wasn't. And he's like, yeah. And the issue was old. It was from That's awesome. Was three or four issues old. And he's like, yeah, I've been a subscriber for however many years you guys have been doing the magazine she sent to take a selfie and sent it to Steve. Well, I took a picture of the sticker and I'm like, check it out. But that was great and I got to surf with him and this guy Aaron who works with them actually. So this is the thing, if you don't have a lot of experience with people that own small companies, especially outdoor companies, it's really cool to meet these people that do this.

(07:08)This guy Reed worked for Thule as he ran their test department for a long time and then he worked at Dometic as a, I think he was a product manager, but he's obviously got an engineering background because he designed and built this thing and so he quits, Dometic takes this huge leap of faith to start this brand. He wanted one of these sleeping platforms and there weren't any out there. He's like, well, there's a hole in the market, I could fill it. And so his business partner, this guy named Aaron is just like the Santa Cruz surfer who works as a pedicab. He's not really his business partner. He works for package. If you buy one, this dude Aaron packaged it and shipped it to you. He's like this Santa Cruz surfer who is a dad and he works in the city up in San Francisco is like a pedicab driver writer.

(07:52)So it goes with the city a bunch of times during the week to make money and Reed's like, nah dude, I'll hire you. You're going to be my number two and we'll see how the business goes and you'll grow with me. It's just rad to see these little partnerships and how they work and how much these people put into it and how much risk it is. I mean it's a huge thing to do something like this and I love it and you can see how much they care about the product and how much if something was wrong and you wrote into him and you're like, yeah, one of the supports was bent. I mean this dude would probably drive to your house to give you a new one. I mean it's great and the difference between buying something from a brand like this and a brand like Thule, I just feel so much better about it.

(08:33)So anyway, I was stoked to do that and I'm stoked to try it out this weekend. I'm going to try and grab a camping spot at the state park near my house to try it out. I'm sure it's going to work out great, but I've been looking for something like this for a while. In the back of my truck I used to sleep on a cot, which is cool, but not quite that big and kind of gamely to travel with. And this is a platform so I can put stuff underneath it and when I sleep in my truck I have the top off and I sleep outdoors that way. So this will fit nicely with a tailgate down. It's going to be great. So hopefully I'll get a chance to use that this weekend.

Colin (09:08):

Surfing. So that was your whole weekend, you've already crammed it into One day

Justin (09:11):

I got a surfing, got to drive the most beautiful part of the coast, which I don't really get to do that much yesterday. It was just one of those insane spring days in California where you realize this really is the most amazing place in the world. Just driving through 50 miles of empty coastline, just like a perfect ocean, a whale spouting and just fun little waves. Wait, did you hear

Colin (09:29):

After that comment? Did you hear that? That's the army of Coloradans coming for us.

Justin (09:34):

No, they love, they're not leaving you. Kidding me.

Colin (09:37):

Mag, they want to lay claim to that title.

Justin (09:39):

They feel the same about the Rockies.

Colin (09:43):

What Justin is doing this weekend is presented by Long Weekend Coffee, the perfect coffee pairing for all of your outdoor adventures. Head to long weekend doc coffee shop around, add some secret handshake beans to your cart and then at checkout enter promo code rock 10 to get 10% off of your first order long weekend coffee more weekend please. And before we get in the headlines, we did launch our new segment gear and beer this past Friday and we immediately got emails about it. I guess we've angered the masses. We got emails fairly regularly, but immediately that morning we got two in the general mailbox, which if you would like to write in my rock is where to send. It's

Justin (10:22):

Pretty awesome too that they were just like, oh, it's out. Listen, it mean it had been out for an hour or

Colin (10:26):

Two. No, immediately came in lessons. It was crazy. So we wanted to address them now figured that was the right thing to do. Alright, so the first one comes in from Elizabeth and we won't use names or where they are, but Elizabeth Wrights in.

Justin (10:39):

You just used her name

Colin (10:41):

Shit. Should we change her name?

Justin (10:43):

I don't know. It's a weird, you just literally just said her name and then said we're not going to

Colin (10:46):

Use her. Well, we need last name. I wasn't going to give her full

Justin (10:48):

Name. Okay, that's fine. That's fine. I think the first name is fine. Is that

Colin (10:50):

Okay? Should I change it completely?

Justin (10:51):

There are a trillion Elizabeths in this. That's

Colin (10:53):

True. Elizabeth. I think it's fine.

Justin (10:55):

Might not be her name. We don't know. That's a good

Colin (10:57):

Point. Rock fight. We create an insane amount of unnecessary stuff and we should do our best to reduce, reuse and recycle what we own. Also, rock fight. Damnit. I'm going to look like that guy that bought a mountain bike 10 years ago with a mountain bike. If it's 10 years old, you look like an idiot, huh? That was, she added the, huh? But she also added, but for real love you allall to bits and pieces. So she's got on pointing, I think she's trying to point out some hypocrisy in the review of the Kona Unit X on Friday's episode.

Justin (11:29):

I will say as I listened to the episode, I did kind of wince when I heard myself say the idiot thing, but I don't mean that you're an idiot. I mean that in my own internal sort of dialogue that I would feel like if I had a 10-year-old mountain bike because technology changes so fast or has been changing so fast in suspension mountain bikes over the last 10 years, I would feel like I was way behind the curve and antiquated in I need a new one. I don't actually think that, but I would feel like that. I think. And the whole point of the piece or the whole point of that episode was like, this is a timeless bike. You only need to buy it once. You can have it forever. I mean it fights, it's fight fighting against that, that need to upgrade constantly.

(12:12)That's kind of what we were talking about as the whole reason to have that bike and why I was so stoked about it. I get what you're saying. I probably should have chosen my words a bit more carefully, but that's kind of a me thing. That's how I would feel. I would feel like I had an old bike on a bike where the technology changes so dramatically. I'm not suggesting in any way that you buy a new bike all the time. In fact, later or previously to that comment I talked about how bikes have become largely disposable because the technology changes so fast and I hate that about bikes and I don't want that about bikes and I don't want feel like I have a 10-year-old bike that is technologically outdated and I need a new one, which is the whole point of the Kona X

Colin (12:51):

Elizabeth. Yeah, I'm going to defend you. I think what you're describing is kind of what the bike industry has led us all to field. They have built up fomo. There's become a, and this has been going on for decades at this point, that I'll buy a carbon bike and then I'll sell it next season and get a new bike. I can get a new bike every season. That is a fairly typical cadence for a lot of mountain bikers that I think to your point, we're looking to change and I think she's given us a hard time because it is. No, and I appreciate it. Yeah, I do too. I think it's a great thing to call out and because I think it's exactly why we need to have frank conversations around gear. Gear's not going away. We don't want it to go away. You talked about just in the last segment about the kind of small gear maker that you went to see yesterday down in Santa Cruz.

(13:39)That's sort of the history. We're going to continue to make stuff and we're going to get into it in a minute with our first headline. When we say we make too much stuff, it's because, okay, again, I talked about this before on the show. We make so much stuff in the outdoor industry that trading post is opening 26 new stores this year. They feel like they're going to have enough inventory to fill it in perpetuity. They're not opening 26 satellite locations are going to close when we get through this stuff crisis. They're opening 26 new stores. So that's the stuff problem.

Justin (14:13):

But also Liz, if I may call you Liz, we are not, I mean like anybody else, we struggle with this. We're hypocrites. Totally. I don't know if I've actually, I should probably do this for Adventure Journal too, but I used to write a column and Surfer magazine and one of the most popular ones I ever wrote was called, I don't remember what it was called, but it was basically about being an environmental hypocrite and how in every facet of my life, for the most part where recycling we donating to the Sierra Club. I'm a very dedicated leave no trace camper and all these sorts of things, but it's like my surfboards are all made out of the most chemically noxious, toxic shit you could ever have. And they're never going away. And if you try to burn them, it's worse. You can only do so much and we're trying to change it, but we're also human. You want new shiny things. You can be the most dedicated granola inhaling back to the land person on the planet. But you see that new shiny object,

Colin (15:07):

It's hard to say now.

Justin (15:08):

It's hard to say no. So we're doing our best here, but I want more people to write in challenging us on our bullshit. If we say something that you don't like, please, I'd almost rather have that than a gushing. Well,

Colin (15:20):

That was going to be my last point. I don't want to come off as defensive to Liz's comment. I'm going to call her Liz as well. I think we've earned that in this relationship, but I think so

Justin (15:26):


Colin (15:27):

Think she'd appreciate that this is the rock fight we want to do better. We want to hear about it. If you don't like something, if you don't like something in the segment, my rock, these two emails were the first ones we got that we address. This is your

Justin (15:38):

Show, folks. I mean this show's for you. So help us help you. Exactly. Help us, help ourselves.

Colin (15:43):

Okay, well our second email is from an old friend and Tacoma fills back.

Justin (15:46):

It's not anymore.

Colin (15:49):

It's been a minute. I feel like he wrote this specifically. So we would read it on the show. Maybe we should just skip over it.

Justin (15:56):

No, I want to hear it. I want to hear you read it.

Colin (15:58):

All right. Phil starts out by writing hilarious with an exclamation point. You guys said you're going to do gear reviews differently. You still fall into the common bike review tropes for rigid steel bikes. Steel is this special feeling. It's more pure steel smooths out the bumps. It's a lie. Oh, that's true. You got to ride rigid. That's true. You become a better rider. I don't think we said that actually. Vertically compliant vertically. I dunno what that means. Yeah, I don't either. Boring. Say something interesting and true like dropper posts are overrated and completely unnecessary. Droppers should not exist like puff and drinkware. Now look, I don't know about the quotes. He's probably right about half those things. We probably said that during the episode. But comparing dropper posts to puff and drinkware, I draw the line there, Phil, no way.

Justin (16:41):

I've never met a person who doesn't like a dropper cross.

Colin (16:43):

Me either.

Justin (16:44):

Okay. My brother-in-law doesn't have my brother-in-Law is a very good, very good rider, but he doesn't really ride that much anymore. But he rides only single speed mountain bikes. So he's one of which is already a very interesting subset of masochist and he won't use a dropper post just because he's kind of like, I don't. So maybe Tacoma, Phil and my brother-in-law should get together. Everybody else on the planet who has ever experienced a dropper post is like, oh, we all need to have these forever.

Colin (17:15):

I will have a single speed at some point. It might actually be my karate monkey. I will have a dropper post on that. Bike dropper posts rule.

Justin (17:23):

They do rule.

Colin (17:24):

How many steel bike reviews are out there? I've not seen any. Maybe there's a lot and maybe we are just kind of retreading some old tropes. Well

Justin (17:30):

Maybe. But I mean, what does he want? What do you want, Phil? Gosh, we tried to avoid falling to the spec, whatever.

Colin (17:44):

Yeah, I think we talked about our relationship with these bikes. Basically what it came down to.

Justin (17:48):

Are you reading other reviews that are comparing bikes to beers? I mean, if they're out there, I guess send 'em to us. We're really trying to be different here. Phil,

Colin (17:56):

It's good to have Phil back though. I got to admit. Let's

Justin (17:57):

Have Phil, we should have beers with Phil and talk

Colin (17:59):

About Phil. We will have you on for the beer segment of a future episode. Alright, well listen everybody, if you do have comments, good, bad or otherwise. Again, it's the rock fight. Throw rocks at as we want to get better. We want to do this well. We're excited about this new segment to both bring attention to the gear category in a different kind of way, but also it needs to be the best that it can be. So my rock is where to send your feedback and on anything you hear on this feed. So getting into headlines, pretty big news this week and actually speaks a lot to what Elizabeth's talking about to what you were talking about in what you're doing this weekend segment about the folks in Santa Cruz because news came out this week that Black Diamond has narrowed its focus to put climbing at the center of everything it does at the brand and it's looking to make a reset.

(18:46)Black Diamond President Neil Fisk was quoted as saying the brand had become way too overextended. We are trying to do too many things, go in too many categories and with too much complexity and it simply overwhelmed the organization. Black Diamond spent last year narrowing down the sports it serves by removing 30% of its skews in the equipment category and it's planning to take out another 20% and really focus on doing fewer things bigger and better. So an outdoor brand or any brand really stating publicly that they're going to get smaller, I feel like that alone is a big deal. Well,

Justin (19:19):

I guess I wish I was more black diamond to aware. I mean, I'm not a climber, so frankly I tend to ignore Black Diamond because of that. The only probably product from Black Diamond I would seek out would be, I know they make good headlamps, so I don't even know where they've extended into. So I'd be curious. I mean most of the time that I see Black Diamond stuff, it's very climbing oriented already. So I don't know what other worlds they've

Colin (19:49):

Foolishly, I mean everything else. So Black Diamond started as was Sheard Equipment. That was the original shard equipment, which then sold off to Clear Space where Patagonia to become Patagonia. The apparel arm of that BDS heritage definitely in climbing, but I mean over the years it's become just all things outdoor. I mean they make skis as well as climbing stuff, but they also drink apparel. They have accessories, right? That's right. And we've talked about with other brands, when you extend into new categories, maybe even categories, that on paper you're a match for your brand. It doesn't guarantee success. I mean the line balloons, profitability can take and before you know it, you're like, well, we're making all this stuff and we're making just enough money from it that the company's bigger, but profitability is not there. And I think that's kind of what they want to focus on. Let's get back to the core element about what people want from Black Diamond and then the profitability will actually come with that.

Justin (20:41):

Okay. I've never owned a business and so I don't exactly know what the pressures are to expand, but I still don't really understand why these brands do that. I really don't. I mean a couple, I know some people that own small businesses like the one I just mentioned and I actually talked to the guy that started Pacific, do you want to grow in this big thing or do you want to just stay like this? And he's kind of two minds I guess. But I have friends who own other small businesses and they're perfectly fine making a profit on what they sell and not having a staff. And that's like their job. It's like a salary you would get from any other job with no interest in growing. So I don't know if Black Diamond is a publicly traded company or not. I don't know if they are beholden exclusively to shareholders. I don't know if they're owned by a larger company that is publicly traded. I don't really know much about what the motivation would be to relentlessly expand. But I mean, God, if there's one criticism about capitalism, I mean it's that, right? We're at a certain point the products matter less than the profitability does. And so you're always trying to find new revenue streams and all you really care about is that it seems like a terrible road to go down to me, but I am not ambitious in not financially ambitious shall we say.

Colin (21:57):

What you're describing is absolutely the stuff problem in the outdoor industry. So back diamond's owned by a company called Claris. I don't know if they're publicly traded or not. I think they might be, and I'm actually even sure when they acquired bd, but they own them. And I mean when a bigger entity acquires somebody else, there might be some,

Justin (22:15):

They only did it to make money. Well, that's it. Claris give a shit. Presumably. Claris does not give a shit about climbing

Colin (22:20):

Being bad. They give a shit about profits is a side benefit to the stuff that the money, they think black Diamond's going to print for them. I'm

Justin (22:28):

Sure if Claris thought that Black Diamond would do better by making inflatable pool toys, they would convert them

Colin (22:32):

To doing that. They'd probably be like, Hey, have you thought about this? And so, and I think that's where, again, back to the email from Elizabeth, it becomes this sort of thing where you now are not beholden to the people who made you cool to begin with. You're beholden to people who just want to make money. And there's a very easy look like, oh look, we know a lot of people who climb, they ski too. What if we made skis? What if we made the best skis that anybody is? But these are the conversations that happen and now all of a sudden you're making skis. I mean, this goes back, I don't know who owns loa, but I mean LOA expands in the trail running a lot of these category expansions look so simple. It's such an easy jump over into something else, but before you know it, you're so far away from what you started as and you're just pumping the shit out.

(23:22)And again, it goes back to making and selling more stuff does not mean more profitability. It's a margin game. And if you're not hitting your margins and you end up with a lot of inventory, then the season or something doesn't hit and all of a sudden now you're just overextended. And I will want to give credit to Claris here. I mean Claris easily could have looked at if this was the situation and said, God, you guys aren't making enough money and been like, we're either going to punch you to somebody else, which is kind of what's happened Marmite over the years. I think it's one reason why Marmite has been so diminished. Marmite was one of the original brands with Timberland, Patagonia, and North Face and what they're kind of like, they're owned by Newell now who owns Rubbermaid? So who's shepherding that brand? So Claris could have done it with bd, but they potentially obviously see the potential with a brand like BD and are allowing this to happen. Which yeah, you want to celebrate it, but it's a rarity, right? The money guy's like, that's fine. Let's step back, let's make less money until you can figure out how to do it.

Justin (24:16):

Well, it's probably more survivable in the long run, right? I mean, forgive me, I actually texted you about this yesterday and I can't remember, is it Kaylee or Casey, the

Colin (24:25):

Person you had on? Okay. Kaylee Fretz.

Justin (24:27):

Kaylee. So I mean his point about,

Colin (24:31):

Just to clarify too, Kaylee, who's the co-founder of the Escape Collective who was on the show a couple of weeks ago. Sorry, keep going.

Justin (24:39):

Oh, I just thought was great about basically tailoring everything that you're doing to the subscriber and only doing it if it benefits a subscriber. To me, that's how I would think. A business that's selling hard goods like BD and soft goods apparently should be operating. If you're a climber, you're a customer. Does this serve you well as a climber? And if it doesn't, we're not going to do it. That to me is how all businesses should run.

Colin (25:03):

Well, the thing that this comes back to for me is this is how the industry started. The industry started on the stories like your buddy who owns Feral Wetsuits, the industry started on the guy you went and saw in Santa Cruz yesterday. Somebody had an idea, it was a solution driven. It's like let's use this innovation or this idea to solve a problem. And the problems were abundant, right? It's like we're talking about a generation of people surfing maybe had a good from the beginning because neoprene was an early invention in the early parts of the 20th century. Everybody else, it's like you're backpacking in the sixties. It's like, well, I got my Wrangler jeans and my flannel on. Maybe you got a dope pair of boots, but maybe you're just wearing the shoes you wear to work every day. And so now we have textile innovations, we have all these things that are happening that allow for all these products that get created and then, oh, look at this.

(25:49)Now there are applications outside of the outdoor world, and so big companies starts snapping up these brands. And there was definitely a time probably the mid two thousands, I mean frankly through the mid 20 teens, I remember sitting with brands when I was working for ptech who had these aspirations in their head, we're going to be the next billion dollar brand. And even at 10 years ago, I'm like, I don't think there's enough room for any more billion dollar brands in this space. And if you just want to be a fashion brand that's sort of outdoor themed, that makes sense. Maybe you'll get there then. But now you're just playing the trend game. I'm actually writing about this for my solo episode this week. I'm taking a look at code, code epoxy, code epoxy product wise, not really doing anything special. And frankly, I think you could be pretty critical about some of the materials they're using and fabrics they're using, but they kind of have come on the scene as a vibe and it's going to be an interesting test case about what happens to them when these sort of barred looks. Puffy jackets go by, would you buy just a black puffy jacket from Co Epoxy or would you go to any number of these other brands that you've known for years?

Justin (26:54):

It is kind of wild that their whole thing is just that they have bright colors.

Colin (26:57):

They're just the whole do good. That's admirable. I'm not saying that's not admirable, but you're using consumerism and products to fund your doing good. And I can look at Patagonia who does something similar and say, well, they brought us the Cilla, they brought us Capline. They revolutionized base layer. There's a heritage there based off of the products and what it meant to the activity. That's where a lot of this stuff stems from. And I think now what hopefully the future holds is as this shakes out is we do have more of these sort of boutique kind of brands who are just creating really interesting products. And your buddy, maybe people aren't as motivated to do this by let's start a company and sell it. Maybe it's like, Hey, let's start a company that makes cool stuff.

Justin (27:44):


Colin (27:44):

That's my rant.

Justin (27:46):

Well, I'll pay more attention to Black Diamond now. I mean, you got my attention.

Colin (27:50):

I think it's cool. It's such a, I did again, the episode a week ago about the Sierra thing and opening 26 new stores and to then have the following week be somebody publicly saying we're going to make less stuff and have their big corporate overlord say it's cool that they're going to make less stuff. All right, good on you black diamond.

Justin (28:08):

You have to actually make less stuff though.

Colin (28:10):

Yeah, we'll see what happens six months from now when we're recovering black diamond going out of business. Maybe

Justin (28:16):

Just like black diamond new flip flops. Be like what?

Colin (28:20):

We're hard pivot into Kohl's only

Justin (28:23):

Replayable pool toys. It's possible we're hitting that raw dress for less clearance section Hard. That's where we want to get our merch.

Colin (28:32):

Listen, our heritage is the peon, the carabiner and the Superman inner tubes toothpaste

Justin (28:38):

Dispenser. Yeah.

Colin (28:43):

All right. Well the next story is in the back country. We had an avalanche forecaster died in a snow slide he triggered while skiing in eastern Oregon last week. Oh no, I know officials said Nick Burkes was 37. And a friend both experienced in carrying avalanche airbags and beacons were backcountry skiing the shoot on gun site mountains last Wednesday near Anthony Lakes Mount Resort. His friend skied down and watched as the avalanche was triggered. And overtook Burkes, of course, all condolences to friends and families. These stories are obviously very common this time of year. I only want to really brought it up not to be doom and gloom, but I talked a little bit about this with Patty last month when he came on to do sort of our mid-winter check-in. But what's your line that you won't cross in the name of adventure? We've talked a little bit about this, but you're a lifelong surfer, but you've said here before, you're not really willing to paddle out a pipeline, which you would think you could draw a conclusion that somebody with your background that might be a bucket list item and you're sort of firmly like the No thanks.

(29:42)I started backcountry skiing when I lived in Washington and the first time I crossed through an avalanche debris field, I was like, yeah, I'm good. I don't need to do this. It scared the hell out of me. And as much as I had fun doing that, I kind of just like, I don't think I want to go down this route. So what's that line for you?

Justin (29:59):

I honestly think it, and I realize this is largely perception based, but I do think it is, will this kill me? Is there a chance that this will kill me? I think that's really, well,

Colin (30:12):

There's a chance you going to dive surfing in Santa Cruz yesterday,

Justin (30:15):

Right? Obviously that's true. But I mean within my normal ability levels and confidence and equipment and blah blah, blah, is there a greater than 1% chance that this will kill me? I mean that's honestly how I think that's think about any of this sort of stuff. And so if it means scrambling on a peak, if I'm out backpacking by myself or camping by myself, which is usually what I am doing, I rarely go to somebody else. And I think that looks like a fun scramble. If I'm kind of getting up there and it starts to get steep and now this becomes more climbing and a fall would be really bad, it's not worth it to me. So I don't know. That's not really a hard line I guess. But also I have kids and so that line is a lot closer to me than it used to be.

(31:08)I've never been a particularly massive risk taker, but at this point now it's like my priorities are a little bit different. So yeah, I mean like a sketchy wave where it's like, you know what? I don't know if I'm ready for this right now. It's pretty easy for me to say. No, I don't think so. Or particularly, I remember was it last, I think it was early last summer when there was still some snow around and I was trying to do one of my favorite hikes and at a certain point the pitch of the slope, I'm kind of zigzagging up on switchbacks, gets pretty steep and now it's mostly covered in snow and I'm just wearing regular hiking boots and very apparent that a slip here would be real bad even if I didn't die immediately. I don't know how I would get out of this.

(31:54)And it's like, you know what? I'm good. I don't need to see what's around that bend. So it's a good question. I mean we all have a different one. I don't know enough about avalanche stuff to have any clue. I mean, I've been in situations where there were like I've been snowshoeing or cross country skiing off trail and there's roped off areas of a hill saying avalanche danger don't proceed. And I've seen tracks leading right out into that zone. So I dunno, I don't know how to describe what the feeling is. There's just a feeling. I remember being with Caza Miro with Stephen Caza Miro in southeast Utah a few years back. And we were just kind of canyoneering and looking for Native American sites and things like that. And we were kind of exploring some granaries and some really neat dwellings in these cliffs.

(32:47)And at one point there was a shoulder of a big sandstone pinnacle that you could walk around to get to this area. And Steve leads out and I'm behind him and then I look down and there's nothing, I mean it was totally walkable, but there's nothing below you. And it's like if I trip on a shoelace, I'm going to die. And I'm just like, I'm going to go over here. I'm going to go around. There's another trail. I'm going to just go that. And it's just moments where you just go, I'm not comfortable with this. So

Colin (33:18):

There's a difference. Dunno if that answers your question. Well, no, because there's a difference that those in the moment moments where you maybe are faced with a turn back versus go forward kind of debate versus the I'm going into an environment that is out of my comfort zone today. I know I'm headed there. Sure,

Justin (33:35):

That's different, but that's different I guess. I mean, I feel like there needs to be something that's worth it. I guess to a certain degree I'm fine with that, but I guess I don't know. To me, I'm not going into a no falls zone at this point in my life. If it's a no fall zone, I'm not interested. There's nothing out there for me that is I'm going to learn or that I'm going to experience, whether it's on a trail or in the ocean or something that is going to be such a life changing moment where I feel like my life is less because I haven't done it. I don't think I'm going to achieve that. I don't think I'm going to find that thing. And so to me, I guess that's what I'm saying. If I perceive it as a no fall zone, I'm not doing it

Colin (34:20):

Well. I kind of look at this as that. Is this a, because we have that intention, but this is a good example of that, of here's a job not that much younger than us, avalanche forecaster, right? Going into a place that probably felt very comfortable going into, I was going to say

Justin (34:36):

Was say probably didn't feel like a no falls zone, right? I don't, I mean

Colin (34:40):

Is want to fell off my

Justin (34:41):

Bike and broke myself. I probably could have died if I hit my head wrong. So I don't know how you, I don't know. Well, that's

Colin (34:45):

Kind of what I mean. This is almost an example. And the tragedy aside of this is almost why we go and do these things because we still embrace that little bit of, there's still always that element of risk no matter what. Even if you go to the no fall zone, even if you go to the place that is perceivably safer, it doesn't mean that something won't happen there too. And that's kind why we do these things.

Justin (35:07):

See, I disagree, or at least personally, obviously that's a big trope in the adventure community. And people will ask, how do you define adventure? And to me, it's not about risk, at least not in the way I perceive it. I don't get a thrill from risk. I get a thrill from doing something I haven't done before or seeing something I haven't seen before. And it could just be my own comfort level with certain feelings, whatever your own personal neuroses or anxieties. But to me, I don't enjoy the feeling of like, oh, this is risky. I'm on a tightrope. That's not something I would ever purposely do. I like to go super deep into the back country and go fishing and go climbing or hiking and go ride bikes, not because if something goes wrong, there's a little thrill that oh, what if goes wrong? It's just because those are cool places to be.

(36:00)And I like surfing waves that some people might find challenging, but plenty of people wouldn't. Not because it's a thrill challenge to overcome something just because that's a cool wave to ride. And I feel that way or mountain biking, this is a fun line to ride down. I'm not thinking like, oh, this is out of my comfort zone and this is a risk and a thrill and that's the adventure. That's not where adventure is for me. I do understand Kir would disagree. His whole thing is like adventure needs a risk. If there's no risk, it's not an adventure. Yeah,

Colin (36:28):

I've heard him say that too,

Justin (36:29):

And I don't agree. I mean maybe it's hard to have an adventure if there aren't elements that make you uncomfortable, I guess. But again, to me, I view these sorts of things as, to me it's an adventure. If I'm learning something new or doing something different or seeing something I don't usually see to a certain degree or I don't know what the outcome will be,

Colin (36:47):

I guess it is a bit of a final,

Justin (36:48):

But that doesn't mean, I don't mean I'm going to die. I mean the outcome might be this isn't fun or this was way harder than I thought, or I don't know what I'm going to see. That's how I think about it. I don't know the outcome, but I'm not thinking of it as in I don't know if I'm going to be okay, my outcome. It's like I literally don't know what will happen. That's why it's an adventure.

Colin (37:06):

Yeah, no, and it's a fine line because there are the people who are obviously risk pursuant maybe is the word, the people who are, it says, what's the avalanche forecast today? Oh, it's blazing red. I'm going to go for it anyway. And it's like there are those, or I'm my level surfing, not your level, and I'm happen to be on the North shore of Oahu, fuck it. I'll paddle out and see what happens. How

Justin (37:29):

Many people do

Colin (37:29):

That? Lots of people do that. I also think though that the element you can get into the game of if there's no risk, then it's like, well, why don't you just sit on the couch and watch movies all day too, right? Because there is the, oh, I negotiated that rock wrong and now I'm down bleeding on the side of the trail. Right? I mean an element of that. I do feel, to Steve's point, I think it's important, but I also agree with you that that's kind of how I approach it too. I think you and I are both saying that we actually climbing on mountain bikes compared to most people who preferred the downhill. And part of that is I same as you. I've never felt comfortable going downhill. I was a nightmare when I was doing mountain bike races. I probably told you this before, where I was a really strong climber and I would pass people on the uphills, but then on the downhills, I'm like an old lady out there pumping my brakes and people, all these people I just passed, now were get out of the way.

(38:20)And then they would repeat on the other side because I think I felt like I still had my mom's voice in the back of my head going, you're going to hurt yourself. So it's a weird thing. And some of it though, it just made me kind of reflect on that with this story of here's someone who was skilled, knew by exactly where to go on a given day and the bad thing still happened. I think maybe I look at the way you described it too, maybe Aaron Rolston is the best example of this, of what he was doing the day he got caught. That'd probably be something I could see myself doing if I knew the terrain where I was going. And the only mistake he made that time was he didn't leave a know to where he was.

Justin (38:57):

The Aaron Ross.

Colin (38:59):

Yeah. The guy who got crap had to cut his arm off,

Justin (39:01):

Had to cut his arm arm off.

Colin (39:03):

The bad thing happened in a place where nine times out of 10 he just goes to that canon and drives home.

Justin (39:09):

It just shows you how gnarly avalanches are. I mean, I don't know how many

Colin (39:12):

Times you have to hear scaries thing that can happen outside

Justin (39:13):

About an avalanche expert getting killed in avalanche. I mean, it just seems like that happens a lot. Maybe it doesn't, but you hear about it enough. So I mean, again, I forget his name, but he may have felt perfectly comfortable. He probably honestly probably wouldn't have been there had he thought there was a danger.

Colin (39:29):

That's what I mean. Usually these stories are like the person who's like, what are you doing? Why were you there? And this one kind of made me a little more reflective on it

Justin (39:37):

Mean nobody goes out there to die on purpose, obviously you would think. Yeah, well probably do. Some people do, I guess.

Colin (39:44):

Alright, so let's not end with tragedy. Let's end with something upbeat that the story of the week, which was last week, solo Sailor Cole Brower has become the first American woman to race solo nonstop and unassisted around the world. This came out right before we recorded last week, so we didn't get to it then. We're excited to talk about it now though. She finished the global solo challenge on March 7th, finishing second overall. And at just 29 years old, Broward was both the youngest skipper and the only female sailor in a field of 16 boats. I don't know if there's a more impressive feat than when you hear about someone sailing around the world solo. I mean it always, and I think that's probably universally kind of known because anytime it happens, usually it's in the news. So-and-so just did this and this one. Not only that is also hugely important. So what did you think when you heard the news about this?

Justin (40:32):

I mean, same thing. We've talked about this before where I think open ocean sailing is probably the most badass thing you can do hands down, even with a crew. But solo, wow. Her boat is 40 feet, which is pretty decent sized. That's not tiny. That's actually a pretty good sized boat. My wife's parents have a 26 foot ranger, which is like a single mast. Of course, it's a single mast sailboat. And you're like, oh yeah, I could spend a weekend on this. So a 40 foot boat is not small, but I'm trying to think. I think it took her 130 days, I'm pretty sure.

Colin (41:13):

Yeah, that sounds right.

Justin (41:15):

Unsupported. I assume that means she's at no point had contact with anybody else. Even just doing that pretty gnarly. It's crazy. I mean, just sitting in a field or whatever, or being a lighthouse keeper, not seeing another human being for 130 days is pretty gnarly. I can't even fathom the storms that she dealt with. I can't imagine. She had some pretty rough moments. She's a great Instagram follow because she would upload stuff. She must have had starlink or something. She would upload stuff constantly to Instagram from the boat. And it was amazing. She's just watching Netflix or having little dance parties. And sometimes in the background of her dance party, there's just a hellacious maelstrom brewing and she's just on the deck dealing with the sail with headphones on, just dancing. And you're just like, this woman is incredible. And I read a little bit about her story.

(42:01)She tried out for another race or tried to get involved in another race a couple of years before, and they were all like, no, you, you're like a tiny woman. You can't do this. You're not like a big, burly, macho sailing man. And how many of those people did this? Probably not any. It was a remarkable thing to have done. And she didn't learn to sail until college. Oh, really? I think she's from, I'm pretty sure she's from Long Beach, long Island or Long Beach, New York. I didn't know that. And she went to University of Hawaii and she learned how to sail there. She's maybe a decade of sailing experience. I

Colin (42:35):

Think this probably gets overused in the adventure community, but people who do this, I read Liz Clark's book Swell about, and people who lay aim for either achievements like this or lifestyles like this, they truly are cut from a different cloth.

Justin (42:51):

Absolutely. I mean, that is an adventure. Yes. Right? Me going backpacking is sure, but that's an adventure. I mean, I can't, wow. Of all the things you could possibly see if you've never been on the open ocean where you can't see land. It's a pretty spectacular experience. And I don't care what kind of boat you're on, I mean Lamely, I've only done that on a cruise ship. But where you can't see land at all and spend an entire day at sea where you can't see land, even just that with a mall below you is still pretty wild if you're just up on deck. So the evenings that she must have had just on the deck, thousands of miles from land,

Colin (43:36):

No light pollution, just

Justin (43:38):

Heaving seas or calm seas, just like, oh my God, what an experience. I mean that to me, nothing is more impressive. There's nothing more impressive.

Colin (43:46):

There's nothing in me that wants to do something like that, but it simultaneously makes like I'm jealous too. You know what I mean?

Justin (43:55):

I feel like she's probably, she probably has had some kind of experiences. That's the thing. That's what I mean. I don't necessarily envy Cody Townsend. I don't ski. Okay. I see your giant big mountain things. That's cool. I don't really have a burning. I don't feel like I'm missing out. I don't feel like I'm missing out. When I talk to big wave surfers about surfing Jaws and Y May, I mean, I know what it feels like to ride away, but I dunno what it feels like to ride a 40 foot wave. I don't feel like I'm missing out that much. Something like this where you really have to dig so deep and experience something that very few people will ever experience to me is pretty special. And so I think I wrote a little bit about this for aj. I think there's only been like 186 people that we've known of that have sailed around the world. Solo. That's it. Out of how many billions people have lived on this planet

Colin (44:44):

Mean was that 9,000 made it the top of Everest or whatever it is.

Justin (44:48):

It's just, that's what an accomplishment. I congrat for a trail run today, and I'll feel like it though somehow. I really adventure today. I went for a trail run that was two miles longer than normal. I'm

Colin (44:59):

Going to go for a bike ride when I'm done with this going to be, I'm going to sweat a little.

Justin (45:04):


Colin (45:06):

So soft. Well, no, I think you're right. Cole Brower cut from a different cloth. Congratulations to her. It's exciting stuff. We can wrap it up there, man. Anything you want. Well, first of all, I guess we should promote Gear and Beer, which is our new weekly gear and beer segment. It comes out every Friday. Secondly, this is coming out on Monday the same day. Your conversation with Cody Townsend over on the Adventure Journal podcast. You're big time over there. Big time. And over there.

Justin (45:30):

Well, I have the connection owns

Colin (45:33):

Word is he reached out and said, I want to talk to Hausman.

Justin (45:36):

That's what I heard. That's true. Actually, I heard it enough. I'm like, all right, fine.

Colin (45:42):

It was like a or something. He's just like another email.

Justin (45:45):

It was a good convo. I would rather have just talked to him about surfing the whole time than skiing. He clearly wanted to talk more about surf, which was fun. But yeah, he has some big, I don't know, I think he maybe makes a big announcement on the show. I can't quite remember, but, well, not really. The fifties winding down. I think the last episode is next week, really? That they're ever going to make. Yeah, and he talks about that. I'll be on the show. So if you're a big fan of the 50, you'll definitely want to listen

Colin (46:10):

To it. I'm definitely a big fan of the 50,

Justin (46:11):

And you should be a big fan of the 50 because it's easily one of the coolest things anybody has put out in outdoor media in a long time. Very, very cool. And Cody is an awesome guy, really. He's exactly what you would think from watching the show. Super humble, super on it. He's a pro. I wish I was like buddies with him. He's a good dude. There you go. Must be so nice to have someone look at you. Go. That's an impressive human being. No one's ever said that about me, about anything. Justin,

Colin (46:34):

You're an impressive human being.

Justin (46:36):

Well, well it is first time. Thanks Colin. I wish I could say the same. Just kidding. You're very impressive.

Colin (46:43):

Thanks buddy. Alright, that's the show for today. But before you move on to that next podcast, could you take a hot second and give the Rock fight a five star rating? Wherever you are listening, maybe leave us a review. Could write something like this show is awesome, Colin and Justin should rule the world. This actually worked one other time that I told someone to write that and they wrote it in the review, so please someone do that. That'd be hilarious. The Rock Fight is a production of rock Fight LLC for Justin Hausman. I'm Colin True. Thanks for listening here to take us out. He's saying goodbye and gasoline. The only way he knows how it's Krista makes with the Rock Fight Fight song. We'll see you next time. Rock fighters. Rockside.

Chris DeMakes (47:20):

Rockside. Rockside. Here we go into The where we our truth slay sacred cows and sometimes agree to disagree. We talk human power, outdoor activities and bites about topics that we find interesting like my culture, music, the latest movie reviews, ideas that for the head, this is where we speak our truth. This is where we speak our truth. Welcome to.


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