www. i ns i deou t doo r. com Volume 17 I ssue 1 | WINTER 2022 E-bikes Roll Rep News and Notes Winter 2023 New Product Showcase TAKING VIEW OF WHAT’S NEW OF WHAT’S NEW Climbing by light Store Cyber-health
From nature. For nature. Our changing world calls for more sustainable solutions. So we created the first-ever plant-based non-fluorinated water repellent, with performance worthy of the Teflon™ brand. Teflon EcoElite™ finish from Chemours. Learn more at teflon.com/IOMwinter2022 © 2022 The Chemours Company FC, LLC. Teflon™, Teflon EcoElite™ and any associated logos are trademarks or copyrights of The Chemours Company FC, LLC. Chemours™ and the Chemours Logo are trademarks of The Chemours Company.
InsideOutdoor | WINTER 2022 4 INGREDIENTS 22 The power of Zinc on stink 22 Switch to steel 23 Cordura adds to recycled offering 23 Dual-action cooling BRAND WATCH 24 Aventon promotes personalized approach to e-bike retail By Brady Hicks 26 Eagle Creek picks a good time to re-start By Martin Vilaboy IN-SEASON 28 Fall/Winter 2022/’23 Product Market Showcase 6 Editor’s Letter 8 Data Points 10 Rep News & Notes 46 Ad index MADE IN AMERICAS 14 Kitsbow employee takeover 14 Made in America expo 15 Appalachian investment 15 Carbon neutral ropes START ‘EM UP 16 A guiding light in climbing 17 Amazon watchdog 17 Customizable protection 17 Screen-free travels TECH SAVVY 18 Practices to Protect Your Store Cyberattacks becoming retailers’ biggest liability By Brady Hicks C O N T E N T S WINTER 2022 INSIDEOUTDOOR MAGAZINE www. i ns i deou t doo r. com d t Volume 16 I ssue 6 | 2022 Di rectory THE NUTS & BOLTS OF OUTDOOR 2022 RETAIL VENDOR DIRECTORY E S O E DI T R www. i ns i deou t doo r. com Volume 17 I ssue 1 | WINTER 2022 E-bikes Roll Rep News and Notes e and N t Winter 2023 New Product Showcase W 2 23 New Product howcase TAKING VIEW OF WHAT’S NEW KI VIEW OF W S EW Climbing by light b Store Cyber-health yb r h a t 18 15 28
InsideOutdoor | WINTER 2022 6 PRINT RELEAF Inside Outdoor magazine, in conjunction with its printing company Walsworth, is proud to share that it is PrintReleaf Certified. As you flip through these pages, keep in mind every single piece of paper used to print this publication will be fully offset through ongoing reforestation projects. Colorado-based PrintReleaf tracks paper use all the way from a mill order to a vendor’s supply chain to print production, collecting detailed paper consumption data along the way to provide an accurate count of exactly how much paper was used for a print project. Once the paper consumption is measured, trees proportionate to that paper use are automatically reforested across a global network of certified reforestation projects. The patented PrintReleaf technology also monitors reforestation partners to ensure fulfilment, said the group. Currently, PrintReleaf’s network of Certified Global Reforestation Projects includes reforestation initiatives taking place in Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, India, Ireland, Madagascar, Mexico and the United States (at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota). PrintReleaf guarantees every sheet of paper a customer consumes will be reforested at a rate of 8,333 sheets of standard letter (8.5 × 11” 20lb paper) or 37.16 kg per tree (40 ft height × 7in width or 12.192 m × 0.1778 m). This open-source formula is generally accepted as the industry standard as established by the Environmental Paper Network. Third-party audit and verification processes are administered for PrintReleaf by SGS International, a leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company with more than 70,000 employees operating throughout a network of more than 1,350 offices and laboratories around the world. SGS International certifies The Global Forestry Partners and leads field audits across the network of projects to verify 100 percent net survivability of the forests. All projects are liable to replant any loss short of 100 percent net survivability during an ongoing eight-year audit cycle. Each issue, PrintReleaf provides a digital certification for trees planted at the reforestation projects of our choice. At the same time, PrintReleaf will automatically update our Lifetime Certificate and report on the growing reforestation impact across PrintReleaf’s network of global projects. It is our intention to share these updates with our readers in futures issues of the magazine. From the Editor Martin Vilaboy Editor-in-Chief email@example.com Bruce Christian Contributing Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Brady Hicks Contributing Editor email@example.com Percy Zamora Art Director firstname.lastname@example.org Rob Schubel Digital Manager email@example.com Jen Vilaboy Ad Production Director firstname.lastname@example.org Berge Kaprelian Group Publisher email@example.com Anthony Graffeo Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org Nazal Parvin Associate Publisher email@example.com Beka Business Media Berge Kaprelian President and CEO Jim Bankes Business Accounting Corporate Headquarters 10115 E Bell Road, Suite 107 - #517 Scottsdale, Arizona 85260 Voice: 480.503.0770 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org © 2022 Beka Business Media, All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in any form or medium without express written permission of Beka Business Media, is prohibited. Inside Outdoor and the Inside Outdoor logo are trademarks of Beka Business Media
SHOP ONLINE AVENTON.COM LIMITS? never heard of ‘em. Sinch: A rugged & compact folding ebike equipped with fat tires and a front suspension to tackle rough terrains.
InsideOutdoor | WINTER 2022 8 Despite efforts to be more inclusive by the winter sports industry, activists and the greater community, winter sports participation has frustratingly gotten whiter. According to SIA’s latest figures, the percentage of “Whites (not Hispanics)” making up winter sports participation has jumped 10 points in the last seven years. Every other ethnic cohort is down compared to 2014. Feeling Used Much of the drive behind the growth in availability of used outdoor gear is a desire to extend the life of products, and thereby reduce their environmental impact, as well as move toward a more circular economy. For consumers, however, there are lots of popular reasons for buying used, and like many other aspects of retail, a lot comes down to price and cost, show SIA findings. What were your reasons for purchasing used winter sports gear in the last year? Found a deal (because it was used) on something I was looking for 67.6% I can get a higher quality product at a lower price since it is used 66.3% Taking part in the sport is expensive overall; I need to cut costs somewhere 45.4% Buying used is better for the environment 39.9% I am buying for children who will quickly grow out of the gear 31.7% Am new to the sport and want to keep costs down as I acquire all the necessary gear 13.4% I do not participate enough to justify new gear 9.8% Source: Snowsports Industries America DEI Takes a Step Backward Then Again … For a plurality of younger consumers, a fitness reality in the outdoors might actually be less appealing than a workout in front of a screen. According to one survey presented by The New Consumer, more members of the Gen Z generation feel “more like yourself” when online versus when offline. This is a significant shift from the sensibilities of Gen Xers and Boomers. Fitness Rush Researchers at RunRepeat.com expect fitness spending to continue to shift away from gym and health club memberships for much of this decade. The numbers would seem to suggest outdoor businesses could see a healthy boom in active and health-conscious consumers looking for new and alternate ways to stay fit. Much of the shift in spending is expected to go toward online/digital fitness options, but we hold onto hope that people will largely prefer a workout outside to one in front of a screen. Overall Winter Sports Participants by Race/Ethnicity 2014-2021 2014 2015 2016 2018 2019/20 2020/21 Whites (not Hispanic) 59% 60% 61% 67% 67.5% 69% Hispanics 17% 16% 16% 13.6% 14% 13.3% Asians 13% 12% 14% 7.7% 7.7% 9.3% Blacks (not Hispanic) 9% 9% 7% 8.7% 9.2% 7% Other/Not specified 2% 3% 2% 3% 1.6% 1.4% Source: Snowsports Industries America
9 InsideOutdoor | WINTER 2022 Don’t Mess withMother Nature With the recent influx of new outdoor participants, it’s possible some customers could use a reminder about the possible risks inherent to recreating in the great outdoors. If a reminder is not enough, below are some numbers to hopefully instill a sense of the realities. According to data uncovered by a FOI request to the National Parks Authority by Outforia, there were nearly 800 search and rescue incidents in the Grand Canyon alone during a recent two-year period. Top 10 U.S. National Parks with Most Search and Rescue Incidents, 2018 - 2020 Rank Park State Number of incidents 1 Grand Canyon National Park Arizona 785 2 Yosemite National Park California 732 3 Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks California 503 4 Yellowstone National Park Wyoming, Montana, Idaho 371 5 Rocky Mountain National Park Colorado 341 6 Zion National Park Utah 285 7 Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Utah 279 8 Grand Teton National Park Wyoming 224 9 Olympic National Park Washington 204 10 Arches National Park Utah 202 Source: Outforia Going Fishing In the 12 months ending September 2021, U.S. fishing-equipment in-store and online sales revenues across mass merchants and sporting goods retailers, as well as e-commerce sites, grew 4% year over year, reaching $3.9 billion. The fishing equipment market, according to NPD Group, has now experienced three consecutive years of growth and “is the largest it has ever been,” said Matt Powell, sports industry advisor at NPD. Prices over Pandemic Before the Omicron wave hit, but well into the pandemic, consumers still overwhelmingly sighted “low prices” as their top shopping priority. Among seven in 10 shoppers, concerns centered around cost and convenience are more important than ever to shopping decisions, suggests a Shopkick survey of 15,000 consumers across the country. 34% Hopefully a sign that kids will be getting more “active,” the kids’ activewear market is outperforming the adult market in the U.S., with revenue from kids’ activewear increasing by 34% from January through October versus year prior, according to The NPD Group. “Growth among private-label and smaller brands is shaking up the activewear landscape,” said NPD.
10 InsideOutdoor | WINTER 2022 Norrøna, the four-season Norwegian outdoor brand, announced a partnership with Canadian sales representative Ryan Letchford, founder and lead representative of Squamish, B.C.-based Wabi Sabi sales agency. Letchford will represent the brand across Canada, bringing more than 20 years of experience with Canadian brands and relationship building. The addition of Letchford marks an expansion of sales support across North America. Earlier this year, Norrøna announced that it would add three key regional U.S. partners to its sales team, including Summit Sales NW in the Pacific Northwest, Black Dog Sales Group in the Rocky Mountains and Intermountain West and Bluebird Sales Group in the Northeast. “Ryan has an outstanding track record of business development by building trusted retail relationships across Canada with proven sales strategies and expertise,” said Gaute Fonkalsrud, global director of sales at Norrøna. “As we continue to invest and expand efforts in North America, it is only natural that we would grow our investment into the Canadian market as well.” Prior to launching Wabi Sabi, Letchford spent 21 years with Arc’teryx, most recently serving as Canadian sales manager. He was instrumental in growing a cult following for the technical apparel brand from its niche beginnings in climbing and backcountry skiing. Canadian accounts can reach Letchford at email@example.com. Industrial Revolution, the Seattle manufacturer and distributor of outdoor accessories, has partnered with Perpetual Motion Northwest (PMNW) to expand its sales team in the Pacific Northwest. The rep group will cover all Industrial Revolution (IR) brands in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. Founded by David Egan in 2005, Fall City, Wash.-based PMNW, headed by owner and general manager Jason Rowley, will work with IR brands UCO, Morakniv, Esbit and Pedco. “IR team, its products, and purpose are a great fit for PMNW,” said Rowley. “By focusing on personal relationships with retailers and leveraging data analytics, we are thrilled to drive the growth of its new Recover Recycled ECO Ware line of camp kitchen gear, and provide NW retailers with meaningful sales and business support.” “We are excited to have Perpetual Motion on board,” said Chris Clark, vice president of sales for Industrial Revolution. “From multistore chains to independent specialty, the feedback we heard from our retailers was consistent: they are a professional and well-liked agency and will elevate brands across the Pacific Northwest.” Jason Rowley can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 425-222-6290. Free Fly Selects Whiplash as Fulfillment Partner Whiplash, a nationwide provider of omnichannel fulfillment and logistics services, recently announced the successful onboarding of performance-clothing brand Free Fly Apparel. The multi-year contract includes services for U.S. direct-to-consumer (DTC) fulfillment and wholesale distribution to specialty retailers. Founded in 2010, Free Fly Apparel is a digitally native brand and required a 3PL partner with an in-depth understanding of the apparel industry, said Mary-Chelsea Banister, senior manager at Free Fly Apparel. “Whiplash provided the perfect balance of having advanced systems that are backed by decades of proven industry expertise,” she said. “The exponential increase in supply chain complexity caused by rapid growth in order volume is a common pain point for merchants, especially with the boom in ecommerce sales triggered by COVID-19,” said Greg Morello, president and chief commercial officer at Whiplash. “We have become the go-to partner for fast-growing brands that want the best technology but also need a partner that understands how to design a solution that accommodates high SKU counts, high volume and multiple delivery channels.” Free Fly Apparel has a fast-growing DTC ecommerce operation and also serves 400 specialty retailers nationwide, with volumes varying from 50 to 2,000 items in a single order. “Both of these channels require fast, efficient fulfillment, and we’re able to effectively serve these businesses from the same distribution point,” said Caitlin Postel, business development manager at Whiplash. The account is served from Whiplash’s newest Columbus, Ohio distribution center (DC), which opened in May 2021, located in the heart of the Columbus industrial zone. One of two Columbus-area multi-client facilities operated by the 3PL within competitive two-day ground coverage to many major metropolitan areas, the 261,400 square foot omnichannel-ready facility offers the full complement of order fulfillment services, value-added services and is equipped with autonomous mobile robots. Norrøna Adds Canadian Sales Representation Industrial Revolution Taps Perpetual Motion Northwest Ryan Letchford of Wabi Sabi
www.NationalCleanUpDay.org What would happen if everyone picked up at least one piece of litter on National CleanUp Day? SIGN UP FOR LOCAL EVENTS IN YOUR AREA From Coast to Coast, organizations and individuals alike join forces to clean up our parks, trails, beaches, mountains and open spaces.
Cotopaxi Partners with Sport Factory Pacific in Australasian Region Cotopaxi recently announced an expansion of its global distribution strategy into the Australasian region. Sport Factory Pacific Limited, based out of Auckland, New Zealand, and Sydney, Australia, will be Cotopaxi’s appointed Australasian distributor focused on building brand awareness and its “Do Good” message across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. With a proven competency in breakthrough brands, Sport Factory’s founders have been involved in building Keen, Hydro Flask, Teva, OOFOS, UGG and Under Armour, at both a local and regional level, said the companies. “The Australasian region is identified as the next natural step for our global distribution strategy, with like-minded consumers and innovative opportunities in iconic adventure cities,” said Cotopaxi’s director of wholesale, Heath Christensen. “Sport Factory Pacific is a perfect partner for Cotopaxi to introduce our impact and thoughtfully designed brand to the Australasian market.” Sport Factory Pacific will launch Cotopaxi’s Fall/Winter 2022 collection to the Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Island markets, being the first Cotopaxi region in reverse seasonality to the U.S. For more information on Cotopaxi in Australia and New Zealand, visit pre-launch sites www.cotopaxi.com. au and www.cotopaxi.co.nz. Sport Factory Pacific’s director of sales and operations, Johnathan Lopes Da Silva, can be reached at email@example.com. AKU Outdoor Adds Parallel 45 to Rep Midwest, Great Lakes Italian footwear brand AKU announced that Parallel 45 Sales Group has been retained as its new sales team partner. Supporting the Midwest and Great Lakes territories, Parallel 45 president Doug Scott will be leading the agency’s efforts for AKU. Scott has spent nearly two decades in the outdoor industry, initially as a guide, then managing retail, followed by sales for Patagonia. He spent the last 10 years working with both specialty and major manufacturers before founding Parallel 45. “We did indeed find many ‘parallels’ with Parallel 45 and the AKU brand and are happy to bring them on as partners.” said Canice Harte, vice president, sales and marketing for AKU Outdoor. “We see his territories in the Midwest as key elements in our auspicious growth plans for AKU in the U.S.” Sea to Summit Adds to the NA Sales Team Sea to Summit announced the addition of three key members to its North American sales team: Bill Chandler, Jaime Buyagawan and Maggie Doran. Outdoor industry veteran Chandler joins the team as director of sales and will lead Sea to Summit’s North American wholesale business. He brings 25 years of deep and relevant industry experience to the company, said Josh Simpson, North American general manager for Seat to Summit. Buyagawan joined the team as Western senior sales manager, bringing 20 years of outdoor industry experience as a rep, sales manager and merchant to the growing brand. Buyagawan will work closely with Chandler to serve Sea to Summit’s strategic partners, including REI, along with the company’s independent accounts in western territories. Doran, meanwhile, joins the team in the Boulder, Colo., head office as central regional sales manager to manage sales primarily in the Southwest, South Central and Rockies territories. Doran also will focus on the brand’s digital partnerships with online retailers such as Backcountry.com and Moosejaw. Mountain Hardwear Adds Upper Midwest Sales Agency Mountain Hardwear has enlisted Adams Outdoor Sales to represents the Upper Midwest region. Adams Outdoor Sales will oversee sales and service efforts in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. Based out of Grand Rapids, Mich., Jake Adams and Lauren Adams established Adams Outdoor Sales in 2018. “We’ve been a part of the outdoor industry for many moons and love that we can play a small role in inspiring people to get outside and explore,” said Lauren Adams. “We are looking forward to working with the Mountain Hardwear team and dealer base on doing exactly that in the Midwest.” For more information on Adams Outdoor Sales or any of Mountain Hardwear’s sales agencies, contact Sablle Scheppmann at SScheppmann@mountainhardwear.com. InsideOutdoor | WINTER 2022 12
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InsideOutdoor | WINTER 2022 14 In early January, employees at Kitsbow announced that they had purchased the company with the assistance of a group of local North Carolina investors. Effective immediately, employees will own a majority of the shares in Kitsbow Apparel, PBC, which is organized as a Delaware public benefit corporation. A public benefit corporation (PBC) empowers leadership of the organization to embrace “social and public good” of both customers and employees, while operating in a responsible and sustainable manner, and place the interests of shareholders on equal footing. In contrast, traditional corporations are required to put shareholder return above all other priorities. In addition, Kitsbow has started the process to become a certified B Corp from the nonprofit B Lab. “When the opportunity to buy the brand and all of its assets became available, the employee leadership was unanimous in doing so as a public benefit corporation, and immediately starting the process for certification as a B Corp as well,” explained David Billstrom, CEO of Kitsbow, who will maintain the same role with the new entity. “We have been embracing social and public good since we landed in North Carolina to make clothes, so it was a natural step to make.” “We are beginning the new year with a bang, not only with employee ownership but also with a pledge to sell apparel only made in the United States,” added Jessie Inglis, director of production for Kitsbow and one of the senior leaders of the company. “We sold the last of our offshore-made apparel at the end of last year, and from now on, other than gloves and socks, all of our apparel will be made in the U.S. It is truly a very new year.” Established in California 10 years ago, Kitsbow relocated to Old Fort, N.C. in late 2019. Since that time, the company has embraced numerous initiatives such as training a workforce with no prior experience making premium apparel, helping build trails in Old Fort, making PPE for first responders and medical professionals, making apparel in a sustainable way, building and operating a unique retail service with healthy food made locally, hosting the first bike shop in Old Fort in decades, using only compostable materials in all shipping and packaging, and creating generous employee benefits such as health insurance paid 100 percent by the company. All of the Kitsbow employees in Old Fort, N.C. have been offered their same jobs, and all hourly employees received a significant raise to reflect the increased cost of living in Old Fort. Kitsbow will no longer have employees or an office in California, completing the transition announced in August 2019. Terms of the sale, price and the identity of the new local investors are not being disclosed at this time. Kitsbow Apparel, PBC will continue to do business under the brand name Kitsbow Cycling Apparel. Company founder Zander Nosler will continue as an advisor with Kitsbow in its new form. “Our apparel revenue doubled in 2021, compared to 2020, and we plan a similar rate of growth for this year,” explained Dustin Donovan, director of operations, and another senior leader of the new company. “This means we are still hiring, so if you know anyone who wants to join an amazing team of people from diverse backgrounds, please visit our website and apply.” Not only does Kitsbow manufacture in the U.S., but it’s “Made to Order, Less Waste” method helps ensure a more sustainable approach to the apparel industry. Kitsbow doesn’t scrap unsold clothes because the company only makes clothes that are ordered — in precisely the right color, size and fit for each customer. Kitsbow also offers repair services to help futher avoid sending clothes and material to the landfill. Made in Americas Employees Purchase Kitsbow, Reboot as Public Benefit Corp. ‘Made in America’ Trade Show Set for October Product and equipment buyers can experience the latest innovations from American manufacturers at the nation’s only trade show devoted exclusively to showcasing American-made products and manufacturing capabilities. The MadeInAmerica.com show is set to take place October 1 to 3, 2022, at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky. “The pandemic proved that relying on foreign supply chains creates chaos. Then, the Suez Canal crisis made the problem even clearer. Now, domesticating supply chains is a top priority for wholesalers and retailers,” said MadeInAmerica.com CEO Don Buckner. “We’re happy to connect those purchasing agents with manufacturers based right here in their own country.” The event is expected to bring together an audience of celebrities, consumers, businesses, media and government agencies, including hundreds of manufacturers showcasing high-quality, U.S.-made machines and products. There also will be highlevel speeches and panel discussions featuring manufacturing professionals. According to Buckner, event organizers carefully vet every seller to ensure they meet stringent Made in America guidelines. Learn more at MadeInAmerica.com.
InsideOutdoor | WINTER 2022 15 This summer Appalachian Gear Company, an outdoor lifestyle company specializing in American-made performance apparel and gear, announced its expansion into a new manufacturing facility in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. The company said the investment was made to “significantly increase” production of its All-Paca line of hoodies, crews and accessories made with 100 percent alpaca fibers. During the past 30 years, Appalachian Gear founders said they watched as apparel manufacturing left the United States. Since getting started in Charlotte in 2018, App Gear Co has manufactured 100 percent of its fabric in its own facility, with product assembly taking place at various factories across the Southeastern U.S. When the time came to find a larger space that could accommodate the pace of manufacturing needed, App Gear Co founders returned to their roots and relocated to historic Kings Mountain, where they started their first-ever manufacturing operation. The executives believe that by staying in North Carolina, the company gains better oversight of the manufacturing process, ensures the production of higher quality product and guarantees employees have a safe working environment. “App Gear Co really started growing two years ago as more people began to find out about us, and then COVID struck,” said John Gage, co-founder. “Ironically, 2020 was the year that our brand’s public awareness exploded, and we really struggled to keep up with demand in the face of global supply chain issues that impacted our flow of raw material from Peru. I know to a lot of folks, the decision to find a bigger, better space to grow our business in the midst of all that was unthinkable, but we just see it as staying true to the entrepreneurial spirit that helped us start the brand in the first place.” Production commenced at the new facility in June of 2021. Sterling Rope Company of Biddeford, Maine, a manufacturer of life-safety rope, cord and hardware made in the USA, has taken the next step to becoming better stewards of the Earth by going through the complete Climate Neutral audit and becoming Climate Neutral Certified. “We took a hard look at where we produce emissions,” remarked Tripp Wyckoff, CEO of Vertical Supply Group, which owns Sterling. “As a life-safety rope manufacturer, it’s no secret we use and produce plastic products. By becoming Climate Neutral Certified, our consumers and employees can quickly see the steps we are taking to minimize our environmental footprint and to reduce the greenhouse gasses we produce through the manufacturing and distribution of our products.” Earlier this summer, Sterling announced its partnership with Arbor Day Foundation to help the reforestation in the Econfina Creek Watershed and joined its carbon offset project in the Mississippi Alleuvial Valley. m Appalachian Gear Co. Ramps Up Carolina Production Sterling Rope Becomes Carbon Neutral Certified Workers install machinery in new Kings Mountain facility
InsideOutdoor | WINTER 2022 16 The concept is pretty simple: light up climbing routes. But the bigger objective is much grander. In the longer term, Arcade Climbing is looking to extend its line of climbing technology to climbing walls all over the world, including offices, hotels and schools, or any other entities that can be used to introduce indoor climbing as part of its fitness offerings. For now, however, Arcade has announced the recent implementation of its “responsive climbing technology” in the West Loop (Chicago) and Eckington (Wash. D.C.) locations of Brooklyn Boulders climbing gyms. The company plans to expand rapidly across the U.S. throughout 2022. Arcade Climbing was formed by a team of experienced technologists, climbing gym operators and climbers. Its first introduction is a proprietary technology that reacts to climbers’ movements with colored LEDs that light up the next move and guide climbers through an expanding library of routes, creating endless interactive problems, circuits, games, self-guided training and partner climbs. For consumers new to the sport of indoor climbing, the technology provides guided programs and games for learning the basics. For expert climbers, there is a library of advanced challenges and climbing series developed by professionals to complement training programs. To make it work, the climbing holds and wall are wired with LED lights and force sensors. The wall is connected to a tablet through a mobile app developed to control and manage the proprietary smart wall. Using Bluetooth, an iPad is linked to the climbing wall and from there users can select climbs and activate them onto the wall. “The goal is to invigorate the sport of climbing through reimagined technology and a strong sense of community,” said Martin Adler, CEO of Arcade Climbing. “Arcade Climbing is bringing a fresh, vibrant energy to indoor climbing gyms nationwide, making the sport fun and inclusive for newcomers while presenting new challenges and training programs for avid gym-goers.” Users access an extensive library of climbs and activities set by professional route setters and trainers. They choose what they would like to try, whether it’s a beginner instructional program or an advanced training regime, then press climb on the screen triggering the holds to illuminate their path. “Arcade improves your mental game as you move in response to the lights,” said Jen Saito, an avid climber who lives in Chicago. “This technology dramatically widens the number of problems at your fingertips. Plus, you can tailor your experience and train in a targeted way.” AmazonCemetery is a new website dedicated to helping small businesses impacted by unfair practices by Amazon. The website reviews business deaths caused by Amazon and then explores the reasons why businesses fail. The overriding mission is to document all the businesses that have suffered millions of dollars of losses due to the aggressive practices by Amazon and publicize what the e-commerce behemoth has done to mom-and-pop shops around the country that cannot fight against Amazon alone. The website is collecting data from companies that have suffered major losses due to Amazon. “Amazon’s growth has been unchecked for years, and it left destruction in its path,” said the company. AmazonCemetery is encouraging businesses that have been harmed or shut down by Amazon to fill out the form on its webpage. For more information, visit AmazonCemetery.com. Guiding Lights Arcade Climbing is lighting up routes for all types of climbers New Website Fights for Small Businesses Shut Down by Amazon Start 'em Up When a climber pulls on select holds, a calibrated sensor is initiated, and the output is a variety of actions depending on the activity chosen. It could show the next moves of your route, confirm a send after completion, or trigger an action from a class or game. The Sensor
InsideOutdoor | WINTER 2022 17 Traveling with children can be challenging, said LaToya Allison, CEO, of Austin, Texas-based ternPaks. A journey to a family outdoor adventure can include early mornings, long car rides, uncomfortable seats, waiting at a restaurant and the monotony of “are we there yet?”. “Our goal at ternPaks is to provide parents with highly curated options that allow children to disconnect from their electronic devices, so that they may reconnect and engage with themselves, their family, and their surroundings,” said Allison. “Whether it’s a holiday or an everyday outing, we have options for everyone.” Founders Allison and Mariana Güereque created ternPaks as they found themselves spending an inordinate amount of time choosing activities and products for their own children while traveling. As both were constantly asked by other parents about the things their kids were using, they came up with the idea for ternPaks. Offering more than entertainment, the merchandise encourages kids to reflect on their travel experience in the moment. The products are aimed at children aged 5- to 10-years-old during car, train or airplane rides. The start-up’s signature product – the complete ternPaks – are backpacks filled with activities for both short and long trips: magnetic pads and cubes for STEM play, art and doodling materials, reusable dry erase mazes, and a journey journal that includes a bedtime story and space for kids to reflect on their own experiences. Items also are available for individual purchase. m Ryan and Peter Eiler were frustrated by what they saw as an unnecessary limitation of current action sports helmets. So about three years ago, they set out to build a more versatile helmet that could be used yearround for both biking and snow sports. The end result is Bridger, a Bostonbased start-up dedicated to developing a customizable helmet that can be used for just about any type of adventure. The helmet’s patent-pending removable outer shell allows the user to easily change the helmet’s appearance, ventilation and functionality, said the company. “There’s no good reason that folks should be stuck wearing the same, tired helmet for years on end,” said co-founder Ryan Eiler. “Our clothing changes based on the weather and our activities, but we end up wearing the same one or two helmets all the time.” At the heart of their design is Bridger’s CORS (configurable retention system) technology, which gives users the ability to quickly pop the outer shell on and off. If you’re biking in tar-melting heat, you can snap on the highly ventilated summer shell. If you’re riding the chairlift on a subzero day, attach the cold weather shell and ear pads for warmth. Or, if you’re commuting to work, there are a variety of high-visibility, more functional choices to keep riders safe. According to Peter Eiler, head designer and co-founder, “when we were solving the problem of how to make a more versatile helmet, numerous benefits aside from aesthetics became apparent. We discovered that we could offer improvements to safety, while meeting the performance demands of even the most active outdoor enthusiasts.” Most modern helmets use one chunk of hard foam for impact protection. Bridger has introduced a hightech foam on the helmet’s interior, which the company claims is both more comfortable and better at handling the most common types of concussion-level impacts. Additionally, with the ability to remove the shell, the integrity of the helmet’s underlying foam can be inspected at any time. Bridger officially launches this February. The expected retail price for a complete helmet is $195, with additional shells available in the $30 to $40 range. Start 'em Up Company Provides Kids Alternative to Screen Time During Travel Boston Start-up Creates Customizable Helmet for All Seasons
InsideOutdoor | WINTER 2022 18 By Brady Hicks You’ve got your outdoor retail business. Years of passion and planning have finally paid off, and the physical – and potentially cyber – doors are now open. Your success depends not only on your ability to offer products that meet customer expectations but to connect with that same base, keep their info safe and protect your assets. Similar to how you should lock up your storefront at night, today’s retailer needs to take all necessary steps to keep critical data secure against intruders. “Cyber liability has become a real thing,” said Rob Martin, managing director, Outdoor Sports Insurance (OSI), a Horizon Agency program that works with 2,500 shops countrywide. “In the last two years, it’s exploded. From a claims standpoint, coverage is getting more expensive because the carriers that provide it are losing money based on claims activity, frequency and severity. We’ve had many instances [of breaches] over the past year, to the point that it’s becoming more common than traditional insurance losses such as fires, thefts, collapse or any of those things.” To maintain affordable coverage, he added, “you’re better off the more buttoned up you are.” Ironically, most small businesses have fewer resources to protect their assets than their larger competitors, even though the risk they face is potentially more devastating. “As of Q2 2021, 75 percent of ransomware attacks targeted businesses with less than 1,000 [employees],” Cyberattacks becoming retailers’ biggest threat, says OSI TECH SAVVY Practices to Protect Your Store
InsideOutdoor | WINTER 2022 19 said OSI executive vice president, Tori Hoeschler. “The average cost of each attack to the business was $136,000. Of those without proper security measures, data backup or proper insurance, over 60 percent were out of business within six months.” For businesses in the outdoor space, critical time can be lost when their operations are out of commission, especially if the attack goes down during the peak season. To address these concerns, OSI has outlined a series of recommended measures to help keep any mom-and-pop shop safe and profitable for years to come. 1. Knowing and Managing Data Today’s organization needs to understand not just the nature of at-risk data but the calamity that its breach would cause. Organizations need to be cognizant of the types of data that they collect and store, factoring in their own depth of resources for keeping this information safe. 2. Backing Up Files All effort should be made to schedule regular – often automated – informational backups. “Today, a business is 10 times more likely to experience a cyber event than they are to have any other sort of insurance claim,” Hoeschler noted. “It’s reasonable to say that when it comes to an attack, it’s not a question of if, but when.” The executive also noted that backups and encryption should be applied to “all data on a network, even if it’s not private data.” 3. Training Staff to Recognize Cyber-Attack Methods Whether your company has one employee at a cash register or thousands sprawled out across a geographically dispersed area, the concept of keeping information safe can rely on the choices that they make. “These criminals are so savvy,” said Martin. “There’s a lot of different places to access somebody’s system. It could be as simple as a directory or the phishing emails. It happens probably once a month at our company where I get a notification of ‘Do not click on this link.’ Some of them are easy to see through and some of them are really quite well designed, where I feel like that is a legitimate request in an email for me to click on a link and look at something.” 4. Conducting Employee Background Checks OSI recommends having a good grasp of exactly who sits at one’s desk. By weeding out those with a criminal or even questionable past, the organization is able to limit the risk of ill-natured attacks from within. 5. Limiting Critical System Access For many small businesses, common practices such as password sharing run rampant. This dangerous policy grants anyone access who happens to get the proper login credentials, whether due to legitimate or illegitimate means. This is where concepts such as “zero trust” and MFA (multi-factor authentication) come into play. The idea is to restrict access to sensitive information exclusively to those for whom its access is inherently necessary to do their jobs, while also requiring additional validation for every user login. “The primary pushback we get from our clients when we recommend the use of MFA across their network is the cost of installing and integrating it,” said Hoeschler. “Data suggests that email is the primary point of vulnerability for businesses. We encourage starting
InsideOutdoor | WINTER 2022 20 TECH SAVVY with MFA for emails, then stepping up integration as it becomes economically feasible.” 6. Relying on Firewall and Anti-Virus Software Smaller businesses need to invest in resources to detect, block or – in a worst-case scenario – absorb an attack. While no individual software or suite is foolproof, their use in conjunction with one another can offer a protective measure of defense. 7. Employing Intrusion Detection and Breach Analysis Options OSI recommends paying for third-party network monitoring. The concept behind this software type is that it scans for active incidents that have occurred, offering remediation options. 8. Maintaining Security Patches This critical measure is especially important for the small business that does not make a massive, ongoing investment in security software. By actively patching, the business gains information on the latest threats, trends and definitions and can actively scan for potential issues. 9. Focusing on DDoS Security Businesses should work to promote awareness as to how to best avoid (if possible) or absorb (if necessary) a devastating distributed denial-of-service attack. These types of strikes – of which ransomware is just one example – can have devastating consequences for the small business that cannot afford downtime. 10. Planning for Data Breaches In some cases, penetration is inevitable. Today’s environment needs to account for what would happen if such a breach does occur. For this reason, OSI recommends creating a formal “Incident Response Plan” that is then reviewed each year. This program should include clear, descriptive verbiage regarding protocols and policies, specific employee incident response tasks and other roles and responsibilities. One should also have a policy in place to inform the client of the integrity of any stored customer data, how this information is handled and options at their disposal should this information become compromised. 11. Obtaining Cyber-Risk Insurance Coverage These types of policies, for which Outdoor Sports Insurance and other agencies offer coverage, are designed to counteract the high cost incurred as part of a data breach or extortion strike. In particular, OSI believes that it offers the right insurance program, replete with access to experienced professionals who can assist with such an otherwise stressfilled occurrence. “For the smaller companies that make up the outdoor industry, we often hear that ‘My credit card transactions are all protected through a third party’,” said Martin. “There’s an unwillingness to spend money on cyber liability. What they’re not realizing is it’s not just about protecting credit card numbers. It’s about protecting your network, business and assets.” As an industry leader in risk management and liability mitigation, OSI focuses on providing insurance services for specialty retailers, distributors, market representatives and manufacturers. On average, its team has more than 20 years of experience in property and casualty insurance, and has assigned underwriters, claims adjusters and attorneys to service its accounts. By signing up for such a program, members also gain access to many different resources, including release forms and waivers to keep current with state and federal regulations. “There’s a lot of retailers out there that are really just focused on transactional exposure, versus if their network is protected, both through things such as zero trust and also through cyber liability insurance,” concluded Martin. “That’s a message that needs to go out to these folks. They need to broaden their scope as to what exposure really means in the world of cyber theft and all of the risks that they have and may not realize.” Because in today’s digital retail world, one cannot be careful enough. m
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Ingredients The Power of Zinc on Stink With normal fabrics come normal problems. After a rainy hike, your clothes might, well, smell like a long, rainy hike. Frequent washing and maintaining is generally how consumers try to deal with such an odor problem, but that comes with its own problems. Upkeep, such as frequent washing, can be abrasive to gear and wear it down more rapidly, increasing the need to replace items, emptying wallets and filling up landfills. Then there’s the amount of water and energy used when repeatedly washing clothes and gear. That nasty smell, however, isn’t your sweat. Those odors are caused by bacteria, or rather by the eating habits of bacteria. Odor-causing bacteria live in abundance on our skin, and some strains love to dine on the product of a good adventure. The foul odor many of us think of as “sweat” in reality comes from the waste products created when bacteria break down the proteins in our sweat. Fortunately, nature provides a solution — an elemental safeguard that not only protects gear from odor and mildew but also lasts the life of the product. Zinc is a naturally occurring essential mineral all humans need. Internally, it helps your immune system and metabolism function and is essential in the ability to heal wounds. Externally, zinc oxide is a common ingredient used in sunscreens and is considered Generally Regarded as Safe by the FDA. Zinc also has powerful antimicrobial properties. In its ionic form, it acts as a Trojan horse for odor-causing bacteria. Like humans, bacteria need zinc to survive. Because bacteria “recognize” the zinc, they invite it in. But in high concentrations, zinc is toxic to bacteria. The zinc ions outcompete other essential nutrients, hijacking the metabolic processes required for bacterial growth and preventing the organisms from reproducing. Essentially, the active zinc ions “starve” the odor-causing bacteria and keep it from reproducing. Most current solutions for antimicrobial, anti-odor protection include using silver or copper coatings on items and fabrics. These coatings can be effective, but they also come with disadvantages. Since silver or copper is applied as a coating after the final product is produced, normal washing and wear and tear can cause the coating to break down. Additionally, odor-causing bacteria have been known to learn to recognize and build up resistance to silver coatings over time. Zinc ions, on the other hand, are embedded directly into fiber and maintain efficacy throughout the life of the item. Skipping the coating and embedding zinc into the fiber also saves both energy and water in the creation of the product, making it a more sustainable process over existing solutions. To learn more about the power of zinc technology, visit OR.Acteev.com/ Winter-2022. Gnarly Nutrition has transitioned its product packaging to highly recyclable tin coated steel cans, moving away from plastic tubs. As the first sports nutrition brand to utilize steel cans, Gnarly is looking to spearhead a movement in sustainable packaging within the supplement industry. Shannon O’Grady, COO at Gnarly Nutrition, had been thinking about ways to adopt sustainable packaging for many years, and the idea of switching to metal sparked when she was drinking from a large mouth beer can. Not only is the recycling rate of steel immensely higher than plastic (70 percent compared to 7 percent, said O’Grady), steel can be pulled out of landfills with magnets even after discarded. And, unlike plastic, steel can be recycled indefinitely with no loss of quality. Gnarly believes that in a sea of HDPE tubs among nutritional products, its steel can packaging stands out. And in addition to superior recyclability, steel cans also are hermetic, or air-tight, thus improving shelf life and product integrity. Gnarly is a member of the Plastic Impact Al l iance and just signed on to be one of the 100-plus brands dedicated to reshaping packaging as part of prAna’s Responsible Packaging Movement. Gnarly Gets Steely on Plastic Packaging InsideOutdoor | WINTER 2022 22
Invista’s Cordura brand announced the release of a recycled nylon 6,6 collection dubbed Cordura re/cor (RN66), currently available in 36 colors for Fall/Winter 2023. Cordura re/cor RN66 is made from 100 percent pre-consumer fiber material that is 100 percent Global Recycled Standard certified. In terms of quantifiable benefits versus virgin nylon 6,6, the production of Cordura re/cor RN66 decreases greenhouse gas emissions by 83 percent, consumes 82 percent less energy, and uses 57 percent less water, said executives at Invista. “Many of our customers are already familiar with our GRS certified post-consumer recycled polyester and pre-consumer RN6 fabric technologies, both of which are being folded into our Cordura re/cor line,” said Cindy McNaull, Cordura business development director. “Additionally, we are also incredibly proud of our solution-dyed nylon fabric, Cordura Truelock. Cordura TrueLock fabrics are created from Invista nylon 6,6 multi-filament fibers incorporating locked-in color at the molten polymer extrusion level, which offers significant stewardship benefits such as reduced water and energy consumption as well less CO2 emissions in the manufacturing process.” McNaull said Cordura is currently partnering with its authorized fabric mills, such as Dong Jin International, as well as leading brands to bring its re/cor technology to market and expects to make collaboration announcements in the weeks to come. HeiQ announced the launch of HeiQ Cool, a new dual action textile cooling technology that reportedly delivers both instant contact cooling and continuous evaporative cooling. Addressing the importance of body temperature control, whereby both overheating and feeling chilly are problematic, HeiQ Cool powered fabrics are designed to constantly regulate the skin temperature, said the company. In a first step, melting energy absorption delivers instant contact cooling before the first sign of sweat and delays the build-up of heat, followed by a vaporizing energy action that mimics the skin’s thermal regulating system by providing continuous evaporative cooling as long as the body is hot and sweaty. In other words, it cools before the first sign of sweat, delays the build-up of heat and continuously regulates the temperature. Instantly cool to the touch, the components synergistically recharge the surface layer ensuring a consistently cool, dry and comfortable body climate, said HeiG. The biobased vegetable oil-derived thermo-functional polymer absorbs heat energy, giving an instant cooling sensation. If the body continues to heat up, perspiration is generated and the patented hydro-functional polymer transports moisture away together with the heat, creating a continuous cooling effect that stops once cooling is complete. The combination of a hydro-functional polymer with biobased vegetable oil-derived thermofunctional polymer formulation of HeiQ Cool contains more than 50 percent USDA certified biobased content. It is also OEKO-TEX class 1 suited and meets most brand RSL (restricted substances list) requirements. Suitable for all fabrics, the initial launch focuses on home textiles, especially sleeping products such as mattress ticking, pillows and bed linen because of the clear benefit to help users get a good night’s sleep. Cordura Debuts Recycled Nylon 6,6 Collection HeiQ Launches Dual Action Textile Cooling Technology InsideOutdoor | WINTER 2022 23insideoutdoor.com