Putting together an international team of snowboarders is much like building a diversified stock portfolio. It is even more important for a company such as Helly Hansen which offers such a diverse range of products. The team must compliment the product, the goals of the company and help to push design and performance of the gear to constantly higher levels. And they need to do all of this while also inspiring other snowboarders world-wide with pure snowboard talent and passion.
Pulling Nico Droz, Eric Themel and Shin Campos onto one team together are like buying a five star Morningstar rated mutual fund. They are as pro as pro gets and they consistently leave absolutely no doubt they will get the job done. Together these three pack a shit ton of experience, but if you were to shrug them off as veterans you would be missing the youthful vigor they bring to the table. They have been reinventing themselves and increasing their riding performance faster than any company in the industry can. This year Droz has a video segment in Absinthe Films where he destroys every type of terrain a snowboard can slide on. Campos not only filmed a segment in Whiteout, he also found time to do an editorial trip to Bulgaria and stunt double on a Hollywood film. Themel has a big mountain part in Teton Gravity Research’s film, where he shows that he’s always down to drop any mountain or cliff and can bust a powder turn with as much style as anyone.
Clair Bidez, Jules Reymond and Lisa Filzmoser are like IPOs in those upstart companies where you think to yourself, “why didn’t I buy into that? Helly Hansen was able to find these riders early on in their careers and now they are blowing doors. Bidez finished with a 4th place in the 2006 Winter X-Games and also had standout performances in several other venues. Reymond is a bit of a loose cannon (he refers to himself as “the gipsy.) Jules always has everyone around him laughing and having a good time, and when he’s on his snowboard he always leaves a lasting impression. Filzmoser is everything you could ever want in a team rider; insanely talented, always willing to work hard, super fun to travel with and willing to ride everything.
Jussi Tarvainen is what I believe is called a Blue Chip stock — the kind you know is going to bring strong performance (or returns) year after year (or every quarter). It should be noted that unlike Tarvainen, no matter how good the investment it’s not likely to come with help designing better product, give feedback on creative and challenge you everyday to do a better job with your marketing initiatives.
Steve Fisher has been proving his worth for years by going gigantic out of icy halfpipes (half pipes?) from Vermont to Japan and everywhere in between. This is the rider that you likely know, but you need to also know that as we’ve said before the only constant on the Helly team right now is change. Fisher owns a snowmobile and has been taking his fearless charging to the backcountry whenever he can. Keep your eyes open to see where he appears next.
Investments are all about Return on Investment (ROI). The Helly Hansen snowboard team will be showing returns around the world with their smooth style, big lines, soaring air and pulling you in to all their fun and antics. Most of all, they will be doing all of this while being dry, warm and comfortable in the gear they keep pushing forward.