Peter Line at the Helm as Dakine's Outerwear Designer
Words: Will Cockrell
If you ever get a chance to ride with Pacific Northwest legend Peter Line, there's a good chance he'll tug at your zippers or yank on your hood. "It's just a habit," he shrugs.
You see, Line, 41, is one of the rare vets of snowboarding that cares how shit gets made, as well as how it looks on and off the hill. So, when another Pacific Northwest fixture, Dakine, went looking for the right guy to reboot their men's outerwear collection, he fit the bill. After two seasons with Dakine, Line is lead designer on the entire collection. "When he first submitted his ideas, it was incredible what he turned in," says Scotty Connerly, Dakine's snow marketing director who approached Line about the job. "I didn't think my bosses would get it, but I was totally wrong. They recognized his vision and his creativity--and his northwest aesthetic."
To be clear, this is not a signature series or pro model. You won't see the former pro's name anywhere on the hangtags of these rugged workwear-inspired pieces. "We didn't want people thinking he just had 'input'," explains Connerly.
Line came in with some strong opinions about the state of snowboard clothing. "Outerwear was getting way too technical--Alpine mountain stuff with waterproof zippers everywhere," he says. "That looks completely nerdy to me and the average customer doesn't need it. I'm designing for Dakine but also for what I like, and I draw the line at fluorescents--fire-engine red? Nope, has to be a brick red."
Former teammate and longtime friend Eddie Wall says that back when Line was part owner of Foursquare, his pieces were always very fashion-driven. "At the time, Special Blend was the hip hop brand and Pete wanted Foursquare to be cleaner and simpler, with more earth tones. He was adamant about it," remembers Wall.
More than anything, Line is chasing the fickle intersection of form and function. His outerwear is utilitarian with a heritage feel--think pocket flaps and Pendleton-plaid liners--but each piece has tech features that you'll actually use. He sounds like a gear geek describing how important mesh is beneath pit- or leg-zips, or how stupid it is not to include wrist gators ("if you don't need them, it's not like they're restricting").
But Dakine was much more interested in Line's experience on the hill than in Adobe Illustrator.
"I never went to school for design--just the school of snowboarding," admits Line. "I've lived this entire industry and I know when something needs to be designed a certain way to work on the hill. That's innate to me."
The collection doesn't quite reveal the full scope of Line's artistic chops. He designs board graphics for Capita and photographs ad campaigns and magazine profiles. He'll even throw down an oil painting every now and then. "Pete is one of the most artistic people I've ever met," insists Wall. "He's always drawing and sketching, and every piece of furniture in his house has some meaning behind it."
Don't let Line's lofty new title at Dakine fool you. At their first meeting at his house in Seattle, Line promptly offered Connerly an 8 a.m. mimosa. "Pete is like Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean," says Connerly with a laugh. "He seems like a mess but really when he comes in with his vision, it's crystal clear. Pete's a visionary."