Friday, August 26, 2005

The IPO train - next stop...

...Under Armour! It appears more and more often Wall Street is meeting Pearl Street and the result as of late has been positive. So Under Armour is the next industry company to toss lots in the financial fire with the hopes of bringing in nearly $100M.

Is there a dream out there among outdoor and action sports industry entrepreneurs that ends with a successful IPO and the preverbal sun setting on a nice Fijian beach sipping a fruity beverage with a kick? This conclusion would not be a stretch of the imagination. Consider the cost of filing an IPO, which would make most trustafarians do a triple take. Once the stock is sold the stockholders can become a most ferocious taskmaster, peering into all aspects of the business thus possibly altering the core business.

What happened to good ol' fashioned frugality in business, dedicated and focuses work with management and sales that leads to success and growth? Clif Bar - there's a great story there that should be studied by the young and ambitious in the industry.

I recently overheard around our office..."if we were a public company we would not be able to change that but we're not a public company so we can do whatever the hell we want..." Exactly.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Going out on a Limb

My guess as to whom VF(they own TNF, Vans, Reef, Jansport etc) will buy are these brands:
Helly Hansen--yeah a long shot because they are killing it and owned by the Norweigans and they won't sell.
Prana
Burton

That is what the man thinks and we will see if he is right.

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Lafuma Athlete Takes Pikes Peak Marathon

Corinne Favre, sponsored by Lafuma with the Active Trail footwear and clothing finished in 1st place for women this Sunday, August 21st at the US Pikes Peak Marathon in Manitou Springs, CO.

The “America’s Ultimate Challenge” is a 26 mile race, starting at 6,295 ft (1,918 m) and reaching the summit at 14,110 ft (4,299m) and then returning to the starting point. Temperature at the 6,000 ft, 80 F (26C), temperature at summit, 35 F (2C…)!

Corinne finished the race in 4h 31mn 20sec finishing as the 1st woman and 16th place overall!

She is the leading woman in the Sky Race World Series winning 4 of the 5 races this season!

For more detailed information on the race, you can visit the website www.pikespeakmarathon.org


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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Cave exploration goes bad

This time of the year most of us are well toned and ready for adventure at the drop of a hat. It's always unfortunate though when in the name of adventure people don't make it back. Such was the tragedy unfolding today not far fromBackcountry.com HQ.

I've climbed and explored caves in that area of Utah but have never seen that cave. I've probably walked past it before and not seen it. There's something mystical about exploring caves, expecially those that involve water. Be careful out there.

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Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Jackson Hole's Tram to close next September

Next September it is shut down! It would cost $20 million to fix it and who knows what they are going to do to get skiers up there. LAME!!!!

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Oh, Boating!

That's amazing. Crocs for boating. And here I always thought Crocs were gardening shoes. That's what my grandmother uses them for. She and all of her gardener friends have multiple colors to match their gardening hats, gloves and shorts. I kid you not. We're talking like 3 pairs of Crocs per person, at least. That, my friend, is how they have become so popular.


Crocs Inc, makers of the phenomenally popular, brightly colored, plastic boating shoe filed for an initial public offering with the SEC on Monday. It beckons the question, "In a world of specialty products and niches with a continuing focus on fit and function, how DOES a brightly colored, plastic boating shoe become so popular?"

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Patagonia and my trusted Capline Zip T - Common Threads Recycling Program

Last Friday morning found me rock climbing in Big Cottonwood Canyon as the sun came up over the Wasatch Mountains. Since it was a bit breezy, I had donned my Capaline Zip T which has seen more backcountry ski days and climbing adventures than any other piece of gear I own. As I was sitting at the belay ledge on the second pitch I noticed that this trusted zip T was starting to show the miles by a hole or two and a couple of snags. The collar is tattered on the edges, no doubt a silent way of telling the rest of the outdoor world about the many miles of adventure I've been on.

So there I was, perched up high on a rock wall thinking about the day I'll retire my beloved Capiline, not knowing how to part with it. Little did I know that Patagonia wanted my underwear, and my zip T.

Friday afternoon Patagonia, in partnership with Teijin (whose motto is "Human Chemistry, Human Solutions") announce the launch of the Common Threads Recycling Program effective on Sept. 12, 2005 where consumers like me can send Patagonia, via mail or store drop off, my old trusted tattered on the collar zip T Capiline and they will ship it back to Japan (in the same containers that the Capiline arrives in - often empty on the return to Japan) where they will be able to make new polyester fiber from my old Capiline. According to Patagonia and Teijin -
...this will result in an energy savings of 76% and a CO2 emissions reduction of 71% versus creating that fiber from new raw material.

The most mentionable thing about the press conference was the enthusiasm for the program and the heavy dose of reality displayed by Patagonia president Michael Crooke.
We recognize that everything we make pollutes – and most of it eventually ends up in landfills. Moving forward, with our customers’ help, the 1.3 million Capiline pieces we sell each year will potentially live on in perpetuity. Our goal is to take responsibility for every product we make. This includes responsibility for the fibers a garment is made of, as well as what happens to a product at the end of its useful life. Garment recycling is simply our first step towards a truly environmentally sound process.

The question remains - will consumers make the effort to mail in or drop off their Capiline or will they just toss it in the garbage after it's torn and tattered beyond use? I suppose that this same question was posed when recycling tin, aluminum, cardboard and other household items commenced in the early 90's in my Portland Oregon neighborhood. Patagonia, and it's retailers like Backcountry.com may need to work together to find ways to make this process of recycling clothing as seamless as purchasing said clothing.

I for one will rest easy knowing my beloved zip T won't end up in a landfill but may find a new home with another outdoor enthusiast after a trip to Japan for a recycle adventure of its own.

Treehugger ran their version of this story after we posted this here. It's worth the read to check them out.

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After a while, crocodile.

Crocs Inc, makers of the phenomenally popular, brightly colored, plastic boating shoe filed for an initial public offering with the SEC on Monday. It beckons the question, "In a world of specialty products and niches with a continuing focus on fit and function, how DOES a brightly colored, plastic boating shoe become so popular?"

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Friday, August 05, 2005

SCARPA N.A. is Up and Running

SCARPA hired several key in house staff and independent reps for the Rocky Mountain and California territories. Mike Mead and Jonathan Degenhardt will join SCARPA NA in their new Boulder offices while Kirk Haskell and Scott Sutton will rep the Rockies and Ian Reid will cover Northern California.

"We have quickly assembled a team that shares the common bond of friendship and energy to help grow SCARPA in the future," explains Sales and Marketing Manager Chris Clark. "Additionally, we are in advanced discussions with rep groups in the northeast and Pacific Northwest and are actively interviewing so the remaining regions."

At SCARPA NA headquarters in Boulder, Mike Mead will take on responsibilities as Operations Manager while Jonathan Degenhardt will head up Customer Service. Mead¹s previous experience ranges from his most recent role as General Manager for Grivel North America in Salt Lake City, to previous work with SCARPA when Mead worked in Customer Service for Black Diamond Equipment. Degenhardt, likewise, brings diverse work and boot fitting experience from his time at Neptune Mountaineering, Trango and La Sportiva.

Kirk Haskell and Scott Sutton of KNS Reps will add SCARPA to their existing core line up in the Rockies including brands Ambler Mountain Works, Big Agnes, Cloudveil, G3, Jetboil Mountain Khakis and Nikwax. In northern California, SCARPA will be handled by Ian Reid of the Apex Group. Reid reps for K2 Telemark, Life Link USA, Gita Sporting Goods, Great Trango Holdings and is Executive Director for the Avalanche Ski Company which hosts outdoor winter safety/educational workshops.

The new SCARPA rep force will interface with Black Diamond¹s which will continue to handle SCARPA for the coming winter and throughout ski season. At the upcoming Summer Market show the transition will be made with the SCARPA NA team handling the Spring 2006 line and beyond.

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Roxy Launches Ski Division

Roxy Joins Forces with Dynastar for High Quality, High Performance Skis Marking First Major Joint Project between Newly-Merged Quiksilver and Rossignol. Backcountry.com will be carrying Roxy Skis along with other Roxy product.

(Huntington Beach, CA) August 3, 2005 --- Roxy, a division of Quiksilver, Inc. (www.quiksilver.com), the leading outdoor sports company, today announced that it has launched Roxy Ski, a new division with a full line of alpine ski products designed specifically to meet the style and physique of women. Adding to an already developed and thriving snow program, Roxy and renowned ski brand Dynastar have come together to create truly functional ski technology for women. Roxy Ski marks the first major joint project between Roxy parent company Quiksilver and Group Rossignol.

Roxy Skis are made to be light and agile, providing female skiers of all skill levels with greater stability and control. Using Dynastar's Autodrive® technology that adapts to a woman's physiology, Roxy Skis are 25% lighter than most unisex skis, delivering greater maneuverability. The Roxy Ski features a raised heel and increased ramp angle to create better balance and control with less effort, placing most of the ski’s power exactly where women apply muscular pressure and, as a result, provide better grip and efficiency.

”We are extremely excited for the global launch of Roxy Ski,” said Bernard Mariette, President, Quiksilver, Inc. “Roxy has an established reputation for innovation and leadership in the women’s surf and snowboarding markets and, by utilizing our relationship with Dynastar, Roxy introduces premiere equipment for women from the company who created ski technology for women. This new collection clearly demonstrates the progression of Roxy’s snow program, and the overall growth as a leading women’s lifestyle brand.”

“With Rossignol now part of the Quiksilver family, it was a natural progression to draw upon the expertise of Dynastar to expand the Roxy brand into the women’s ski market,” said Steve Tully, Global President, Roxy. “Given the great number of women who snowboard and also ski, combined with the enthusiasts for both sports, this is a terrific way for Roxy to deliver products that women want. Today, female skiers are the fastest growing segment in the sport and we believe that Roxy and skiing is yet another outdoor lifestyle experience for Roxy females of all ages.”

Developed in the Chamonix, France region, the debut collection of skis, bindings, poles and boots combines the highest quality in technology with Roxy attitude: fun, lively, daring and confident. The collection reflects the spirit of Roxy with vibrant florals and playful polka dots providing a wide range of product to skiers of all proficiencies.

About Quiksilver

Quiksilver, Inc. (NYSE:ZQK) is the world's leading outdoor sports company, which designs, produces and distributes a diversified mix of branded apparel, wintersports and golf equipment, footwear, accessories and related products. The Company's apparel and footwear brands represent a casual lifestyle for young-minded people that connect with its boardriding culture and heritage, while its wintersports and golf brands symbolize a long standing commitment to technical expertise and competitive success on the mountains and on the links.

The reputation of Quiksilver's brands is based on different outdoor sports. The Company's Quiksilver, Roxy, DC Shoes and Hawk brands are synonymous with the heritage and culture of surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding, and its beach and water oriented swimwear brands include Raisins, Radio Fiji, Leilani and Island Soul. The Rossignol, Dynastar, Lange, Look and Kerma brands are leaders in the alpine ski market, and the Company makes snowboarding equipment under its Rossignol, Dynastar, DC Shoes, Roxy, Lib Technologies, Gnu and Bent Metal labels. The Company's golf business includes Cleveland Golf, as well as Never Compromise putters and Fidra apparel by John Ashworth. Gotcha is the Company's surf-based European brand addressing street fashion.

The Company's products are sold in over 90 countries in a wide range of distribution, including surf shops, ski shops, skateboard shops, snowboard shops, proprietary Boardriders Club shops, other specialty stores and select department stores. The European headquarters are in St. Jean de Luz and Voiron, France; and the Asia/Pacific headquarters are in Torquay, Australia. Quiksilver's corporate and Americas' headquarters are in Huntington Beach, California.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Climbers are becoming what?

We recently published an article in our monthly newsletter about the record setting landing of a helicopter on the summit of Mount Everest. Since its release, our servers have been en fuego with a litany of comments and feedback concerning the authors position on the effect that this may have upon the climbing community. Gee, we thought the photo included in the article was going to be the best part for our readers.

Here's a little gem we received from a reader:

LOL--such spleen over a helo landing is about 50 years too late. Look around and count the number of "records" set these days that are truly unlimited--i.e. no self-imposed equipment or technique restrictions. The time of proclaiming is over, save for tow-in surfing. Climbers will soon have to get over themselves or risk becoming ever-more ridiculous and paradoxical constructs of technology adopting hippies. Oh....wait, it's too late already!

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Why Arc'Teryx Rules!!!

As I look to write the Spring 06 Arc'teryx Preseason order I noticed that a number of their styles have not changed since their beginning. We still sell plenty of them. So the question is why is that every other brand makes a product, then they stop making it, or revise it or something. Because they are not Arc'Teryx. Arc'teryx makes something that is perfect out of the gate. They don't bring junk to the market they bring only the best. Something that will stand the test of time.

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