This is a test. Each fall, thousands of hardgoods, softgoods and accessories hit retail outlets worldwide, destined to fulfill the aspirations of 14.8 million folks, from novices to pros, young and old, male and female, who participate in a snow sport each season.
But how do you pick the best stuff? Well, first you take a staff of four editors with 100-plus years of combined lifetime on-snow experience and let them decide, because it’s their job to do the legwork for you. Then, for the real test, you bring the gear to people who’ve never seen it before, to places it’s never been, to do things that were never in the blueprints during their creation. Then you wait and see what happens. ESPN hit the streets in four snowy epicenters of the country to determine the best gear for each location.
Here, Captain Rocky Bottom from Ride the Ducks models the new ThirtyTwo Boots. The lightest boots in the industry, ThirtyTwo has been perfecting foot fit and comfort since 1995 and with the Sole Tech Institute, they have the world’s only action sports research lab to prove it. Would their floatability aid in a Duck Boat water rescue? “Probably not,” says Captain Rocky Bottom, “But they do match my outfit nicely.”
Yes, Rocky, they do match your outfit nicely.