Living in the present, yet looking towards the future is the way I like to live -especially if we’re hitting April, and it’s still freezing out.
To put it simply: It’s been a long, harsh winter, and I can’t stay inside, curled up on the couch, watching movies any longer, so when someone invites me skiing or snowboarding, I go. Nevermind that it’s been at least five years since I’d last been, and I was never any good. If they provide transportation, and one way involves a helicopter, I go. I’ll have a great time, all the while still looking forward to the warmer weather and beaches to come (which is where I feel I really belong). Nike seems to understands that philosophy too.
When they recently invited a small group of editors to preview part of their 6.0 line at Windham Mountain with team mentor, Barett Christy, not only did they take us snowboarding, they also got us psyched for summer by showing a teaser trailer of their upcoming all-women’s surf film, Leave A Message, starring 6.0 team surfer, Monyca Byrne-Wickey (who we profiled in Dossier no. 6), Carissa Moore, Lakey Peterson, Laura Enever, Coco Ho and Malia Manuel.
Our adventure started early, with long drive up to the mountain. After some coffee to wake us back up, we had an entertaining panel discussion with Barett, Monyca (in addition to her star athleticism, she has, hands-down, the best hair ever. Apparently being out in the sun and salt-water all day work in her favor. Some girls have all the luck!) and Sam George, a former surfer-turned-director/documenterian, who also wrote for surf magazines, often times even under the pseudonym of a woman. It was impossible to listen to them speak so passionately about their careers without thinking, “How did I not get the memo?” I want that life of travel, snowboarding, and surfing- seems like so much fun… But it was very clear that their sports are their lives, and without the complete dedication that they’ve given, they wouldn’t be where they are today. Monyca, traveling the world and starring in Nike’s surf film, Barett, 6.0 team mentor and the most decorated women’s athlete at the Winter X Games to date, and Sam, chilling on a mountain with a bunch of awesome ladies. But seriously, Sam had an amazing wealth of knowledge about the history of surfing, and was really excited to share with us specifically, the history of women in the sport. I guess that makes his writing under a woman’s name less surprising and just completely endearing – he didn’t feel there was a positive woman’s voice out there in the surf-writing world, so he took it upon himself to speak his, er – I mean, her – mind. Also endearing- when he later cheered me on from the ski-lift. Certainly an ego massage and bonus points.
I thought it was a little odd that Nike organized a snowboarding trip yet brought in two surfers to speak at length about their sport, until I realized what a genius idea it was. The temperature was cold, and conditions were still good enough to snowboard, but it was just warming up enough for us to be excited about bikini time. And after viewing the upcoming swim/surf collection, which Monyca had a large part in designing, I was mentally taking notes of my summer shopping list. A great bikini top, from Nike 6.0′s Swim’s Tempo Collection, was inspired by a yoga bra she owned, but had reconfigured to make it surf-safe (no wardrobe malfunctions!), and the apres-surf clothing was cute and casual for beach BBQ’s, but also cool enough for the city life. Which is great because you don’t really need to be into action sports to want to wear the line. Nike 6.0 supports a range of them- 6 to be exact. Snow, Ski, Surf, Wake, BMX, and Moto. Each sport within the line sponsor’s some of the best athletes in the world, and Nike does it’s best to ensure their development, too, by bringing on team mentors like Christy. Because I don’t really consider myself an action-sport enthusiast, I wasn’t very familiar with the line before our trip. But since having gotten to see and actually experience it, that’s sure to change. I have a feeling that it will be gaining a lot of momentum in and outside of it’s current communities, due in large part to it’s highly technological, yet completely attractive and and functional designs. In fact, when a rack of extra Snow gear had been rolled out, one editor quickly found the jacket everyone was soon coveting- a neon-pink parka with a removable Navajo-printed outer-vest. There is just something about wearing neon on a mountain that seems right. She got the last one in the room, but I have my eye on the website stalking its arrival, which is not for a few more months (read: next winter’s collection). Something to look forward to.
After the discussion and Surf collection preview, we finally got to hit the mountain. Luckily the rain from the night before had subsided and it was turning out to be a really nice, sunny day. It’s not a Nike event without audience participation, so they ensured that we were outfitted head-to-toe in their Snowboarding gear, and despite everyone’s skill level, we each had our own instructor. A few trial runs on the bunny hill to reacquaint myself with the sport, and we were finally off to the bigger trails. I am proud to say I never once fell, a feeling that could only be topped by the rush of our helicopter ride back to the city later that evening. Looking back towards the mountains, I felt the rush of adrenaline from a day of snowboarding and getting to meet some of the coolest and most inspiring people yet, but I was also happy to get home, watch some surf videos, and plan my next trip to the beach. Pretty sure I’ll be wearing the Monyca Brazilian Tempo-Twist Bikini.