The Red Bulletin Oct/Nov 2020 (US)

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BEYOND THE ORDINARY THE RED BULLETIN 10-11/<strong>2020</strong><br />


LIFE IS<br />


NOW<br />


INSIDE<br />


U.S. EDITION<br />

OCT./NOV. <strong>2020</strong>, $5.99<br />

<strong>The</strong> breakout rapper<br />

opens up about fame,<br />

identity, love, her<br />

new album—and the<br />

work ethic that made<br />

it all happen


STATE OF<br />

THE ART<br />


This issue is anchored by features<br />

on Black women who are leaning<br />

into their personal experiences to<br />

transform their spaces in music<br />

and dance. Our cover story, “<strong>The</strong><br />

Saweet Life” (page 22), is a revealing<br />

interview with breakout rapper<br />

Saweetie, who talks freely about<br />

how her huge success has been<br />

shaped by formative challenges<br />

and her refusal to be confined by<br />

expectations. And in “Love and<br />

Liberation on the Dance Floor”<br />

(page 34), movement artists Sheopatra<br />

Jones and Yorelis Apolinario reveal<br />

how their art and activism as queer<br />

Black women are intertwined in a<br />

beautiful way. We hope you find<br />

these stories as inspiring as we do.<br />

G L<br />

ASKEW II<br />

“Saweetie was so cool as a<br />

person—humble and down for<br />

whatever,” says the Los<br />

Angeles-based photographer,<br />

who has shot the likes of Dr.<br />

Dre, Jamie Foxx, Migos and<br />

Usain Bolt for such titles as<br />

Entertainment Weekly and<br />

Fader and brands like Adidas<br />

and Nike. In particular, Askew<br />

was impressed when the<br />

rapper grabbed a football.<br />

“Her fans would be surprised<br />

to know she’s got an arm like<br />

Tom Brady.” Page 22<br />

ATIBA<br />


“Shooting Sheopatra and<br />

Yoe—two talented and<br />

intelligent Black women—was<br />

amazing, and I have to say<br />

seeing their love for one<br />

another was reassuring of<br />

the positive things in the<br />

world,” says the L.A.-based<br />

photographer. “Black is<br />

beautiful.” Jefferson, a skate<br />

and basketball insider who<br />

also took the BLM protest<br />

image on page 14, has shot<br />

recent covers for Thrasher<br />

and Slam. Page 34<br />

At an outdoors production at <strong>Red</strong> Bull HQ in Santa<br />

Monica, G L Askew II shoots Saweetie, who’s<br />

holding a skateboard she had built a day earlier.<br />


JULY<br />

“Sheopatra and Yoe’s skills as<br />

movement artists, as well as<br />

the warmth of their personal<br />

connection, was beautiful to<br />

witness,” says the Los<br />

Angeles-based writer who<br />

profiled the two dancers.<br />

July’s recent work has<br />

appeared in Vanity Fair, <strong>The</strong><br />

Hollywood Reporter and the<br />

New York Times. “What stuck<br />

to me from our interview was<br />

how they make room for and<br />

embrace all that they are in<br />

their work.” Page 34<br />

LAKIN<br />


“It was great to connect with<br />

Saweetie and talk about some<br />

of the things that Black<br />

women navigate in life and<br />

specifically within the music<br />

industry,” says the Brooklynbased<br />

writer who tackled our<br />

cover story. Starling’s work<br />

has been published by Teen<br />

Vogue, Esquire, Vulture and<br />

Pitchfork. “It was a pleasure<br />

to learn more about her early<br />

life and the many experiences<br />

that have shaped her into<br />

such a boss.” Page 22<br />



Copyright © <strong>2020</strong> MNA, Inc. All rights reserved.<br />




150 years of engineering progress. Check it out at www.BFGoodrichTires.com/150years .


<strong>Oct</strong>ober/<strong>Nov</strong>ember<br />


22 <strong>The</strong> Saweet Life<br />

After a summer of viral hits, the breakout rapper Saweetie<br />

opens up about fame, identity, love and her new album.<br />

34 Love and Liberation<br />

Movement artists and activists Sheopatra Jones and Yorelis<br />

Apolinario are the power couple the dance world needs.<br />

44 Renaissance Waterman<br />

Back home in Hawaii, watersports master Kai Lenny is<br />

rediscovering why he fell in love with the ocean in the first place.<br />

56 Win-Win Situation<br />

In just five years, more than 130 colleges have launched esports<br />

programs, attracting students seeking new opportunities.<br />

68 Let’s Make an Ordeal<br />

Cooped up at home in Wyoming, a crew of outdoor athletes<br />

concoct an intense mountain triathlon in their own backyard.<br />

22<br />


<strong>The</strong> rapper Saweetie is<br />

many things—and<br />

she’s redefining what it<br />

means to be a BITCH:<br />

Boss, Independent,<br />

Tough, CEO and Hyphy.<br />

56<br />


At Full Sail University,<br />

students like Megan<br />

Danaher are prepping<br />

for new careers in the<br />

booming gaming<br />

industry.<br />


THE<br />


Taking You to New Heights<br />

9 How one man shed 300<br />

pounds on a mountain bike<br />

12 A WWII shipwreck that’s a<br />

magnet for Cuban surfers<br />

14 Skateboarders fighting for<br />

BLM justice in Los Angeles<br />

16 An exclusive travel outfit<br />

lets you ski with the pros<br />

18 A personal protective suit<br />

for the responsible raver<br />

19 Changing the way we view<br />

climate change through art<br />

20 <strong>The</strong> 1975’s frontman shares<br />

his top activist anthems<br />

GUIDE<br />

Get it. Do it. See it.<br />

79 Travel: Remote getaways<br />

84 Training tips from pro<br />

snowboarder Zeb Powell<br />

86 Dates for your calendar<br />

88 <strong>The</strong> best new outdoor<br />

barware and snow gear<br />

96 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Red</strong> <strong>Bulletin</strong> worldwide<br />

98 Flipping out in Panama<br />


34<br />



Dancers Yorelis<br />

Apolinario (left) and<br />

Sheopatra Jones<br />

make the revolution<br />

look irresistible.<br />


<strong>Red</strong> Bull<br />

All Varieties<br />

12 oz. Singles<br />

BUY 2<br />

GET 1<br />

FREE<br />

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Or one at Regular Retail Price.<br />

+Tax, CRV & Deposit where applicable.


THE<br />


LOSS<br />

LEADER<br />

Thanks to a newfound<br />

love for mountain biking<br />

and a drive to inspire<br />

others, Anthony Lopez<br />

has already shed 300<br />

pounds. And he’s not<br />

done: “I have no interest<br />

in slowing down.”<br />

“I am in love with<br />

mountain biking,”<br />

says Lopez, who<br />

was photographed<br />

near Anaheim<br />

Hills, California,<br />

on July 31.<br />


“Everything about my<br />

life is different,” says<br />

Lopez, who wants to<br />

help get kids from his<br />

community on bikes.<br />

Anthony Lopez is on<br />

his bike, grinding it<br />

out. <strong>The</strong> singletrack<br />

is steep and rutted and the air<br />

in this inland corner of<br />

California’s Orange County<br />

feels hot enough to bake<br />

enchiladas. He is in a small<br />

gear and mashing his pedals<br />

like cresting this wicked pitch<br />

means something.<br />

Lopez, 30, looks nothing<br />

like a typical mountain biker.<br />

He’s Black and Mexican<br />

American and he presently<br />

weighs a little north of 300<br />

pounds. Cranking that body<br />

up an unrelenting trail takes<br />

strength and willpower and<br />

something more than that—<br />

let’s call it guts.<br />

Lots of people turn to an<br />

active pursuit like mountain<br />

biking to change their body<br />

and outlook, to catalyze real<br />

change in their lives, but few<br />

attempt a transformation as<br />

dramatic or public as this one.<br />

Atop an open ridgeline,<br />

admiring a panorama of<br />

peaks in Cleveland National<br />

Forest to the east, Lopez<br />

pauses to recount how he got<br />

here. He had always struggled<br />

with his weight, but things got<br />

worse a few years ago when<br />

his grandfather got stomach<br />

cancer. Eventually, Lopez<br />

stepped in as a hospice<br />

caregiver, spending months in<br />

the trenches—up all night,<br />

administering morphine,<br />

watching a beloved<br />

grandparent fade and suffer.<br />

“I just gave up trying to<br />

control what I ate,” he recalls.<br />

A few days after his<br />

grandfather died in 2018,<br />

Lopez stepped on his scale<br />

and got an error message—<br />

meaning he topped 600<br />

pounds. “That was the low<br />

point,” he says. “I stared at the<br />

display and thought ‘Fuck<br />

this—I want to fix this.’ ”<br />

After some time to gather<br />

his bearings and formulate a<br />

plan, Lopez, who already had<br />

successful channels on<br />

YouTube and Instagram<br />

focusing on automotive<br />

content, started documenting<br />

his efforts to eat smarter and<br />

exercise regularly and<br />

otherwise regain his health.<br />

He initially focused on<br />

boxing and weight lifting to<br />

get fit, but this past spring the<br />

COVID-19 pandemic shut<br />

down those options. Lopez<br />

had happy memories of riding<br />

as a kid so he got a mountain<br />

bike and took a stab at a hilly,<br />

locally well-known 11-mile<br />

circuit called the Fullerton<br />

Loop. “I was only able to ride<br />

a couple of miles that first<br />

time,” he recalls. “It was hard<br />

as hell for me.”<br />

But he stuck with it,<br />

capturing considerable stoke<br />

and disarming honesty in his<br />

social posts, and forged<br />

himself into a real mountain<br />

biker. Less than 60 days after<br />



T H E D E P A R T U R E<br />

Lopez carves turns in<br />

California’s Santiago<br />

Oaks Regional Park.<br />

At a low point just<br />

two years ago, Lopez<br />

weighed more than<br />

600 pounds.<br />

his maiden voyage, Lopez<br />

completed the Fullerton Loop.<br />

And now, three months after<br />

that, he’s crushing that circuit<br />

a few times a week. “I am in<br />

love with mountain biking,”<br />

he says with a toothy smile.<br />

“And people seem to be<br />

responding to it.”<br />

That is an understatement.<br />

In the early months of his<br />

transformation he saw steady<br />

interest in his videos, but one<br />

day this spring it blew up. “I<br />

went to sleep with a fully<br />

charged phone and when I<br />

woke up it was dead,” he says.<br />

“It literally buzzed all night.”<br />




In a flash, he picked up<br />

100,000 followers on TikTok<br />

and things took off from there.<br />

Now he’s closing in on<br />

800,000 followers and has<br />

shifted his focus from<br />

automotive content to a digital<br />

celebration of mountain<br />

biking and weight loss.<br />

“I think especially right now<br />

people need some inspiration,<br />

something positive.”<br />

His authentic joy while<br />

riding is hard to miss on the<br />

trail. Lopez flows through<br />

tight switchbacks with grace,<br />

and when he sees little ramps<br />

on one downhill stretch, he<br />

starts launching jumps. “If you<br />

have releases, give them to me<br />

now,” he tells a photographer<br />

along for the ride. “We are<br />

definitely doing this.”<br />

His car-nerd obsessiveness<br />

to detail is on display as he<br />

proudly deconstructs his<br />

recently upgraded steed—a<br />

Specialized hardtail that he<br />

had powder-coated and<br />

outfitted with a new fork and<br />

a gold chain. “I think I’m<br />

ready for a road bike soon,”<br />

Lopez says. He says his goals<br />

for the fall are to try his first<br />

mountain bike race and<br />

complete a 50-mile ride.<br />

To sustain such goals,<br />

Lopez has changed how he<br />

eats—eschewing junk food<br />

and eating small, nutrientrich<br />

meals every four hours.<br />

“I eat chicken and fish, fruits<br />

and vegetables. I eat a little<br />

rice,” he says. When asked if<br />

he feels pressure to stay on<br />

track with hundreds of<br />

thousands of new fans<br />

following his transformation,<br />

he laughs. “No, I don’t feel any<br />

pressure,” he says. “I’m<br />

hearing from so many people<br />

who need inspiration and now<br />

I’m feeling this strength<br />

through for them.”<br />

Lopez hardly feels like he’s<br />

at the end of his journey. He<br />

wants to get down to 210<br />

pounds, but his goals are not<br />

focused on digits on his scale.<br />

This summer was full of<br />

firsts—he shared a jet ski with<br />

his brother and rode shotgun<br />

in his friends’ sportscars and<br />

most recently nailed a<br />

tabletop jump at a ski-area<br />

bike park for the first time.<br />

(“I’m not going to lie,” he says,<br />

“I had tears in my eyes.”) And<br />

when the snow comes to the<br />

mountains of SoCal this<br />

winter, he’s eager to return to<br />

the mountains and strap on a<br />

snowboard for the first time.<br />

“Everything about my life is<br />

different,” he admits,<br />

recalling how he used to take<br />

off his shoes if they needed to<br />

be retied. “I have no interest<br />

in slowing down.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> afternoon ride is<br />

almost over—all that’s left is<br />

the steep downhill back to the<br />

parking lot. “I’m getting better<br />

at going uphill, but going<br />

downhill—that’s my happy<br />

place,” he says. And with that,<br />

he clips in and bombs down<br />

the trail. —Peter Flax<br />



Baracoa,<br />

Cuba<br />

WRECK<br />

CENTER<br />


Utah-based photographer<br />

Will Saunders had been documenting<br />

a crew of surfers and skaters in Cuba<br />

for a fortnight when they took him<br />

to one of their favorite spots.<br />

“I couldn’t believe it,” Saunders<br />

says of the rusted wreck. “This place<br />

felt like a spot out of Tony Hawk’s<br />

Pro Skater. We spent the entire<br />

morning making images of this<br />

unique wave and surfing until the<br />

swell was gone. <strong>The</strong> game of this<br />

wave is to try to surf under the bow<br />

of the boat while dragging your hand<br />

along its hull—without getting<br />

tetanus. Yojany [Pérez, the surfer<br />

pictured] made it look too easy.”<br />

willsaundersphoto.com<br />


Los Angeles,<br />

California<br />


J<strong>US</strong>TICE<br />

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter<br />

protests that surged in the wake of the<br />

murder of George Floyd, skaters across<br />

the country took over the streets to<br />

show solidarity and join in the fight<br />

against systemic racism. “People and<br />

companies have been so blind in<br />

supporting and hiding racism,” says<br />

the L.A.-based photographer Atiba<br />

Jefferson, who captured this image in<br />

Hollywood on June 20. “Since George<br />

Floyd, our country finally is facing this<br />

ugly lie of what was the ‘American<br />

Dream.’ I used my camera at the protest<br />

to show people coming together to<br />

show change in our community.”<br />

atibaphoto.com<br />


T H E D E P A R T U R E<br />


T H E D E P A R T U R E<br />

Backcountry Adventure<br />


Got what it takes to ski with the pros? Now you<br />

can jet off to Chile with Ian McIntosh or hone your<br />

backcountry skills in France with Johnny Collinson,<br />

thanks to an exclusive travel outfit.<br />

When it comes to<br />

jobs, Rachel<br />

Findler has one<br />

that is undeniably enviable:<br />

<strong>The</strong> 38-year-old leads<br />

excursions around the world<br />

for small groups of advanced<br />

skiers who get to beef up their<br />

backcountry skills with the<br />

help of world champions.<br />

But what prompted Findler<br />

to come up with the idea for<br />

her boutique business, called<br />

Uthrive, isn’t nearly as<br />

desirable. After a lifetime of<br />

skiing and several years spent<br />

as a sponsored, medal-winning<br />

freeride competitor, she woke<br />

up from a 2015 knee surgery<br />

knowing something was<br />

seriously wrong. Suddenly<br />

riddled with chronic pain and<br />

fatigue, she was frustrated by<br />

dismissive doctors unable to<br />

provide a diagnosis.<br />

“Obviously, being an athlete,<br />

you are in tune with your<br />

body,” says Findler, who also<br />

ran her own wellness practice.<br />

“You train so hard you know<br />

what pain is, so if you say<br />

you’re in pain, you’re in pain.”<br />

When her symptoms<br />

became so debilitating that she<br />

ended up bedridden, Findler<br />

left her home in ski mecca<br />

Whistler, B.C., to move in with<br />

family in her native U.K. “I was<br />

really depressed and also<br />

scared. I didn’t really know<br />

where income was going to<br />

come from,” she recounts.<br />

“I was lying in bed and<br />

thought, I need something to<br />

look forward to. I need a<br />

passion project.”<br />

Considering she’d always<br />

relished opportunities to take<br />

others out on the mountain<br />

and the fact she just happened<br />

to know many of the world’s<br />

top skiers, Findler came up<br />

with an idea. “I reached out to<br />

all my friends who are pros<br />

No more than 10 participants are allowed on Uthrive’s ski excursions, so<br />

each person’s special access to pros like Ian McIntosh is unparalleled.<br />

and said, ‘Hey I’m thinking<br />

about running these ski trips.<br />

Are you interested?’ And they<br />

all said yes.”<br />

She quickly filled her first<br />

trip—a 2019 excursion to the<br />

French Alps with pal Ian<br />

McIntosh, an accomplished<br />

big-mountain skier and TGR<br />

film star—simply by posting<br />

to Instagram. “I spent no<br />

money on advertising and<br />

marketing. I didn’t have any<br />

money,” she laughs.<br />

Since then, Findler (who<br />

was eventually diagnosed with<br />

an autoimmune condition<br />

called systemic lupus<br />

erythematosus, which she’s<br />

now managing) has held ski<br />

retreats in Chile with<br />

McIntosh; the Swiss Alps with<br />

Freeride World Tour champs<br />

Jackie Paaso and Reine<br />

Barkered; and returned to the<br />

French Alps with pro freeskier<br />

and <strong>Red</strong> Bull athlete Johnny<br />

Collinson in early March,<br />

Uthrive’s last trip before the<br />

COVID shutdown. A variety of<br />

new excursions are planned<br />

for 2021.<br />

“It’s really rewarding to go<br />

out with these somewhat<br />

strangers, have a good time,<br />

make new friends and at the<br />

end of it they’re like, man, that<br />

was super fun or inspiring or<br />

rewarding,” Collinson says.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>y’re getting this cool<br />

experience out of it. As am I.”<br />

Trips are capped at 10<br />

participants, who spend<br />

several full days shredding<br />

pristine powder on some of the<br />

Uthrive pros’ favorite—and<br />

often little-known—off-piste<br />

terrain, accompanied by<br />

Findler, the trip’s pro and two<br />

From France and<br />

Switzerland to<br />

Chile and Japan,<br />

Uthrive travels to<br />

the world’s best<br />

backcountry spots.<br />



2021<br />



FIEBERBRUNN, A<strong>US</strong>TRIA,<br />


FEBRUARY 6-13<br />

Findler says: “<strong>The</strong> Freeride<br />

World Tour is there and Ian used<br />

to compete on that tour. That’s<br />

how his career started. Austria<br />

is so overlooked. Everyone goes<br />

to the Alps, but Austria is quiet<br />

and that’s what we want. All the<br />

powder for us.”<br />



FEBRUARY 20-27<br />

Findler says: “[World halfpipe<br />

champion] Kyle has been<br />

going here for six years. It’s<br />

his favorite spot in the world.<br />

Japan is on so many people’s<br />

bucket lists. <strong>The</strong> culture is just<br />

so beautiful and that’s a big<br />

part of it.”<br />




Findler says: “<strong>The</strong> final stop<br />

of the Freeride World Tour is<br />

in Verbier. It’s just a great<br />

experience to go with Reine and<br />

see the mountain he competes<br />

on and get him to talk about<br />

his experiences of skiing that<br />

mountain and hearing the<br />

stories, the tales from the tour.”<br />

local guides. <strong>The</strong>n there are<br />

luxe perks like private chalet<br />

accommodations and multicourse<br />

gourmet meals<br />

created by a personal chef,<br />

along with wellness activities<br />

such as morning meditation<br />

and athlete mindset sessions.<br />

Uthrive’s ultra-niche<br />

market is heavy on strong<br />

backcountry skiers facing a<br />

unique two-pronged problem:<br />

<strong>The</strong>y’ve become so advanced<br />

that they no longer have ski<br />

buddies who can keep up,<br />

and they’ve personally hit a<br />

plateau as to how to improve.<br />

“When you’re a very good<br />

skier, the lessons and the<br />

skills you need to learn are<br />

mountain knowledge—<br />

weather systems, snowpacks,<br />

avalanche dangers, how to<br />

use an ice axe and how to<br />

read a mountain and study<br />

the terrain,” Findler says.<br />

“And that’s where the pros<br />

come in.”<br />

Those pros are perhaps<br />

the trips’ biggest draw,<br />

providing not just guidance<br />

on the slopes but also oncein-a-lifetime<br />

interactions<br />

throughout the entire trip.<br />

“You’re all staying together,<br />

you have dinners together,<br />

you’re chilling out in the hot<br />

tub, you’re shooting the shit<br />

on the mountain all day.<br />

People really enjoy hearing<br />

their behind-the-scenes<br />

backstories of filming or an<br />

expedition or the ski scene,”<br />

according to Findler. “People<br />

always say, ‘I didn’t know<br />

this was a thing,’ and I say,<br />

‘It wasn’t. We created it.’ ”<br />

—Lizbeth Scordo<br />


T H E D E P A R T U R E<br />

Micrashell<br />


As nightclubs and festivals look forward to reopening, this<br />

personal protective suit could be the future of rave fashion.<br />

more complex and desirable<br />

manner.” To satisfy this desire,<br />

Risueño’s studio, Production<br />

Club, has developed a personal<br />

protective suit for ravers.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Micrashell may make<br />

its wearer look like an extra<br />

from <strong>The</strong> Martian, but there’s<br />

some serious technology built<br />

in. “We’ve prioritized the safety<br />

element, which relies on a<br />

filtration system similar to that<br />

found in PAPR [powered airprocessing<br />

respirator] suits,”<br />

says Risueño. “<strong>The</strong>n we added<br />

functional and design features<br />

that make the suit compelling.”<br />

<strong>The</strong>se include an internal<br />

drinks and vape supply, a<br />

personal sound system and the<br />

requisite glowing LEDs: “<strong>The</strong><br />

drinking-canister system is a<br />

solution to long waiting lines<br />

and eliminates the possibility<br />

of getting roofied. <strong>The</strong><br />

individualized speaker system<br />

helps avoid ear fatigue.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> Micrashell is currently<br />

in the prototype phase, being<br />

tested by Risueño himself. “I’m<br />

writing this from the inside of<br />

a very loud, safe and ugly<br />

helmet,” he says. <strong>The</strong> company<br />

has even considered the suit’s<br />

possibilities off the dance floor.<br />

“Drinking, going to the<br />

restroom and potentially<br />

having sex are all things we<br />

could not neglect,” he adds.<br />

“That’s why the suit only covers<br />

your torso upwards.”<br />

Nights spent dancing<br />

in crowded rooms,<br />

sharing drinks and<br />

throwing arms around other<br />

people are all pleasures that<br />

are fast becoming distant<br />

memories for party lovers.<br />

But one collective of club<br />

music fans have made it their<br />

goal to bring back those<br />

moments as soon as possible.<br />

“Human-to-human<br />

interaction gives you a sense<br />

of purpose that cannot be<br />

substituted virtually just yet,”<br />

says L.A.-based creative<br />

director Miguel Risueño.<br />

“It conveys emotions in a<br />



Greenland’s ice<br />

sheet (shown in<br />

black) melted at<br />

record levels in<br />

2019, shedding<br />

an estimated<br />

370 billion tons.<br />


Olafur Eliasson<br />


To make the world a better place, first you<br />

must change your perspective.<br />

With his latest<br />

creation,<br />

Olafur Eliasson<br />

(left) wants us to be the<br />

artist. <strong>The</strong> prolific Danish-<br />

Icelandic artist’s work Earth<br />

Perspectives comprises nine<br />

fluorescent images of our<br />

planet; to unlock their<br />

meaning, the viewer must<br />

take a deeper look. For<br />

example, stare at the dot at<br />

the center of the globe on<br />

this page for 10 seconds<br />

before shifting your gaze to<br />

a neutral surface. <strong>The</strong> image<br />

produced by your eyes is, in<br />

effect, your own work of art<br />

and a new, unique view of<br />

the world.<br />

Earth Perspectives may<br />

be easy to engage with,<br />

but the artist’s meaning is<br />

complex. Though best<br />

known for his vast and<br />

conceptual installations,<br />

Eliasson has created this<br />

smaller-scale participatory<br />

piece to help alter our view<br />

of the planet during this<br />

time of ecological crisis.<br />

By presenting areas under<br />

threat from climate<br />

change—including the<br />

Great Barrier Reef and<br />

Greenland’s ice sheet, as<br />

well as the site of the 1986<br />

Chernobyl nuclear power<br />

plant disaster in Ukraine—<br />

the images prompt us to<br />

recalibrate the way we see<br />

our world.<br />

“Earth Perspectives<br />

envisions the Earth we want<br />

to live on together by<br />

welcoming multiple<br />

perspectives,” Eliasson says.<br />

“Not only the perspectives<br />

of humans but also those<br />

of plants, animals and<br />

nature. A glacier’s<br />

perspective deviates from<br />

that of a human. <strong>The</strong> same<br />

goes for a river.”<br />

Eliasson’s work is part<br />

of the Serpentine Galleries’<br />

Back to Earth program, a<br />

multi-year project that will<br />

bring together more than 60<br />

artists, poets, architects,<br />

filmmakers, scientists,<br />

thinkers and designers in a<br />

call to action on the climate<br />

crisis. Already urgent, this<br />

message now seems even<br />

more prescient due to the<br />

global pandemic.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> current health crisis<br />

has brought our societies<br />

close to a halt, affecting our<br />

economies, our freedoms<br />

and even our social ties,”<br />

says Eliasson. “We must<br />

take the time to empathize<br />

with all those struck by the<br />

crisis, and to seize this<br />

opportunity to imagine<br />

together the Earth we want<br />

to inhabit in the future, in<br />

all its wonders and beauty,<br />

in the face of all the<br />

challenges ahead of us.”<br />

To see Earth Perspectives<br />

in its entirety—and pieces<br />

by other participants,<br />

including Judy Chicago and<br />

Jane Fonda—visit the<br />

Serpentine Galleries online.<br />

serpentinegalleries.org<br />


T H E D E P A R T U R E<br />

Playlist<br />



Matty Healy, frontman of<br />

the 1975, one of the U.K.’s<br />

most socially conscious<br />

bands, on four songs that<br />

stoke his activist side.<br />

Why limit yourself to<br />

just one musical genre<br />

when you can play<br />

them all? With each of their three<br />

U.K. No. 1 albums, the 1975 have<br />

broadened their sound, creating a<br />

unique blend of R&B, punk, ambient<br />

and synth-pop that has won them a<br />

diverse fanbase. Alongside the<br />

music, the Manchester-based quartet<br />

have made headlines with their<br />

political activism—advocating<br />

sustainable shows, speaking out on<br />

LGBTQ+ rights, demanding a 50/50<br />

gender split at festivals; and the<br />

opening track on their latest album,<br />

Notes on a Conditional Form, features<br />

a speech by Greta Thunberg. Here,<br />

lead singer Matty Healy shares his<br />

playlist of music with something<br />

important to say. Notes on a<br />

Conditional Form is out now.<br />



(1977)<br />

“I love this track. It’s a<br />

manifesto, and the lyrics [in<br />

which Tosh demands justice<br />

and equal rights rather than<br />

peace] are just so true and<br />

so real. <strong>The</strong> spirit of this<br />

literally generates all of our<br />

songs, all of the emotional<br />

ideas. Everything starts with<br />

a song like this.”<br />



WORLD” (1966)<br />

“This is an amazing song—<br />

and it’s a very current subject,<br />

obviously. He’s talking about<br />

civil rights and misogyny. He<br />

sings that the world “wouldn’t<br />

be nothing, nothing without<br />

a woman or a girl”—that is so<br />

true. I heard it again the other<br />

day and it made the hairs stand<br />

up on the back of my neck.”<br />

REF<strong>US</strong>ED<br />


(1996)<br />

“This band has had a big<br />

influence on us—like on our<br />

single ‘People’—not only<br />

with their political activism<br />

but also with their energy<br />

and urgency. This song is the<br />

most punk rock thing I’ve ever<br />

heard. Honestly, Refused<br />

were the last heavy band that<br />

I really gave a fuck about.”<br />



(2011)<br />

“At times, Thom Yorke writes<br />

songs that are so odd. This<br />

one reminds me of England<br />

and the disappointment that<br />

fuels our society. We’re so<br />

disappointed in ourselves,<br />

and we celebrate our dreary<br />

shitness right across the<br />

board. It feels like a very true<br />

English statement.”<br />



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Saweetie, 26, was<br />

photographed for <strong>The</strong><br />

<strong>Red</strong> <strong>Bulletin</strong> outside<br />

of <strong>Red</strong> Bull North<br />

America’s HQ in Santa<br />

Monica on July 7.

THE<br />

SAWEET<br />

LIFE<br />

After a summer of viral hits, the breakout rapper<br />

Saweetie opens up about fame, identity, love,<br />

her new album, Pretty Bitch Music—and the work<br />

ethic that turned her desire for success into reality.<br />


Photography G L ASKEW II<br />


As a Bay Area native,<br />

Saweetie embraces<br />

the region’s culture,<br />

style and “hyphy,”<br />

or upbeat spirit.

Believe it or not, Saweetie<br />

has always been the underdog. It’s not<br />

immediately evident by her beauty,<br />

raving fan pages, pristine jewels and her<br />

ability to smash the internet with rap<br />

hits. But proving others wrong with her<br />

quiet charm, laser focus and work ethic<br />

has always fueled her ability to beat<br />

the odds.<br />

For many artists like Saweetie, whose<br />

virality creates a pipeline to stardom, one<br />

may assume that their track to success<br />

was swift and without hard work. It<br />

wasn’t so easy in Saweetie’s case. Before<br />

the glitz of her “icy” career, she was an<br />

undergraduate student at <strong>US</strong>C with big<br />

rap dreams. When she wasn’t in class—<br />

or working one of her three jobs—the<br />

go-getter was uploading Instagram<br />

videos of herself rapping in her Jeep.<br />

Gradually, she built a buzz on social<br />

media, and in 2017 she dropped the<br />

video for “Icy Girl.” Sporting long<br />

platinum tresses, a fur coat and expensivelooking<br />

satins, she embodied the attitude<br />

and luxury that she would ultimately<br />

manifest into her current reality. <strong>The</strong><br />

viral video catapulted her into the<br />

spotlight, and she hasn’t looked back<br />

since.<br />

Born Diamonté Quiava Valentin<br />

Harper, the 26-year-old Northern<br />

California native grew up across enclaves<br />

of the Bay Area. As the daughter of<br />

young parents who were often busy with<br />

work, Saweetie moved around a lot and<br />

was mostly raised by her maternal and<br />

paternal grandmothers. <strong>The</strong> frequent<br />

relocations often made her the new kid<br />

at school, which forced her to gain<br />

confidence and learn to adjust quickly.<br />

Although her classmates picked on<br />

her as an outsider and underestimated<br />

her abilities because of her looks,<br />

Saweetie tuned them out by excelling at<br />

sports like volleyball, skateboarding and<br />

track and field.<br />

Now, as a rapper, Saweetie is<br />

breaking records with nonstop bops<br />

like “My Type” and “Tap In.” Her songs<br />

capture the Bay Area’s hyphy, upbeat<br />

spirit and encourage listeners to have<br />

the maximum amount of fun and selfconfidence.<br />

Her message is not about<br />

having a specific look, but more about<br />

expressing a bossed-up energy that grants<br />

fans permission to shower themselves<br />

with love, good times and, of course,<br />

beautiful things. Saweetie admits that<br />

she’s learned a lot about her artistry<br />

since her earlier EPs and guarantees that<br />

her evolution is apparent in her debut fulllength<br />

album, Pretty Bitch Music, which<br />

releases this fall. It’s a more textured<br />

project, with a ranging production that<br />

lets her audience discover more of her<br />

layers as a woman.<br />


With 7 million<br />

followers on<br />

Instagram, Saweetie<br />

has mastered the art<br />

of giving fans a taste<br />

of her extraordinary<br />

life—like when she’s<br />

trying out her brandnew<br />


the red bulletin: You’ve brought<br />

a lot of fun to Instagram and social<br />

media while we’ve all been stuck<br />

inside. What’s that experience in<br />

quarantine been like for you?<br />

saweetie: I always tell people if I<br />

wasn’t an artist, I probably would post<br />

like once a year. Why? I don’t know.<br />

Social media used to give me a lot of<br />

anxiety, especially when I first popped<br />

off, because it was so many people with<br />

things to say, and it just gave so many<br />

people access to me so quickly. It made<br />

me kind of become a recluse from social<br />

media, but then I realized that social<br />

media is an imaginary world. Good and<br />

bad things happen there. Once I was able<br />

to develop my mental toughness and<br />

learn how to steer through social media,<br />

it became fun for me, and that’s when<br />

I started selectively showing my<br />

personality.<br />

You also show a lot of family and loved<br />

ones on social. How does their energy<br />

impact who you are?<br />

<strong>The</strong>y bring out the best of me. If I’m<br />

working, it’s not that I’m not comfortable,<br />

but no one else can bring out my<br />

personality like my family. I can just be<br />

myself.<br />

Which family members have been the<br />

most influential in your life?<br />

My grandmother, because I lived on and<br />

off with her throughout my childhood.<br />

A lot of people don’t know that, but my<br />

grandmothers really raised me, and I feel<br />

like they did a really great job. I had<br />

really young parents who were always<br />

out working, so definitely my<br />

grandmothers, on my Filipino/Chinese<br />

side and then on my Black side.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y come from different cultures,<br />

but they had the same in the work ethic.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y were always working. <strong>The</strong>y were<br />

always getting their hair done. <strong>The</strong>y<br />

always smelled good. <strong>The</strong>y always kept<br />

their house clean. As a little girl, that was<br />

normal for me. When people say things<br />

like, “What inspires you to be a boss?<br />

Like, what makes you wanna empower<br />

women?”—these are things that were just<br />

regular for me growing up, like women<br />

in my family, all different types, shapes,<br />

sizes, even attitudes, right? You know<br />

how that goes. [Laughs.] But no matter<br />

what, no matter what the circumstances,<br />

it was always love and support. So for<br />

me, that just comes naturally.<br />

Where exactly did you grow up in<br />

the Bay?<br />

I grew up all around the Bay, primarily in<br />

Hayward. One of my grandmothers lived<br />

in the city and the other one lived in<br />

Sunnyvale. I lived in San Jose as well,<br />

but I used to move around as a little kid<br />

because my parents were so young, so<br />

everybody used to babysit me.<br />

But it just made me develop a tough<br />

skin, bouncing around from schools. It<br />

made me an adapter, because if you’re<br />

constantly changing new environments<br />

as a little kid, you never really become<br />

comfortable. You learn how to make the<br />

best of your situation. I really resented<br />

my childhood because I don’t feel like<br />

I grew up as a regular kid, but I felt like<br />

it prepared me to be in this business.<br />

I’m persevering no matter what the<br />

circumstances and dealing with different<br />

types of people, problems. It made me<br />

a really strong young woman.<br />

What about the Bay Area culture and<br />

style has influenced you as a person<br />

and an artist?<br />

A lot of people are surprised that I’m able<br />

to do my own glam. I can do my own hair<br />

and makeup, but in the Bay Area,<br />

everybody wants to look good but be<br />

unique, too. I’ve always been colorful;<br />

I’ve always been dying my hair. I’ve<br />

always been trying to make myself look<br />

good. It inspired me to want to be fly.<br />

I love the Bay Area because it’s like<br />

home of the pretty girls with bomb-ass<br />

attitudes. We’re so down to earth, we<br />

know how to party, but we still like to<br />

“I love the Bay Area because it’s like<br />

home of the pretty girls with bomb-ass<br />

attitudes. We’re so down to earth.”<br />


look good and handle our business.<br />

That’s what made me who I am on the<br />

day-to-day and who I am as an artist.<br />

A lot of creativity and uniqueness comes<br />

from that.<br />

Some people have tried to discredit<br />

your credibility to wear classic Bay<br />

Area styles like long nails, bamboo<br />

earrings and baby hairs. In your<br />

defense, some fans pulled up your<br />

childhood photos. Talk to me about<br />

how it’s always been a part of you.<br />

Because I went to college and I can speak<br />

properly, people feel like they can<br />

question my “authenticity.” But who says<br />

a girl like me can’t go to college? Who<br />

says a girl like me can’t wear long nails<br />

because I got an education? <strong>The</strong>re are all<br />

these false theories and stories about me<br />

because my success makes people feel a<br />

way. But when I think about it, I’m like,<br />

“Damn, I’ve always been this girl.”<br />

But what really stripped me, as a<br />

woman of color, was college. When I<br />

went to San Diego State—and especially<br />

<strong>US</strong>C—it’s predominantly Caucasian, and<br />

I felt like I couldn’t be myself. College<br />

made me feel like I couldn’t be who I<br />

truly was because I had to conform. It<br />

took me about a year or two to feel<br />

comfortable with raising my hand and<br />

participating in class because I came into<br />

college talking so much slang.<br />

I go to these classes and they’re using<br />

all these big words, and I’m like, “What’s<br />

going on?” I didn’t have the confidence<br />

to be vocal because these other kids just<br />

had a different type of education<br />

preparation. It made me feel like I had<br />

to change. So that’s why I love spending<br />

time with my family and getting back to<br />

my roots. [College] made me robotic<br />

because I felt like I had to be what society<br />

expected a student at a prestigious<br />

university to be like.<br />

You also played sports, right? When<br />

did you start?<br />

Girl, I came out of the womb playing<br />

sports. [Laughs.] On my grandmother’s<br />

side, it’s like all boys, so all the girls are<br />

pretty much tomboys because we’re<br />

always kickin’ it with the boys. I used to<br />

race in the streets with no shoes on.<br />

[Laughs.] We used to race all day and<br />

play football. I would try to mimic the<br />

older kids. Tetherball, kickball and<br />

baseball—whatever was around for<br />

us to play, we did, or we made up our<br />

own game.<br />

My dad used to tell me I smell like<br />

“the great outdoors.” [Laughs.] I would<br />

come in with mud all over my jeans. Tree<br />

branches stuck in my hair because I was<br />

climbing trees—just super dirty, so I was<br />

always in the streets as a little kid.<br />

I played a lot of basketball. All the<br />

girls in my family played—my cousins,<br />

my aunties—but it just wasn’t my cup of<br />

tea. I couldn’t hang, going up and down<br />

that court, so my mom forced me to try<br />

out for the volleyball team, and I hated<br />

her for it. But I immediately fell in<br />

love and started playing volleyball<br />

around sixth grade. Whenever school<br />

had Powder Puff, I would always play<br />

quarterback. I have an arm. And in high<br />

school I ran track.<br />

In terms of success or hard work, how<br />

did sports impact the way you read or<br />

operate in the world? Any long-lasting<br />

impact?<br />

I honestly feel—not to get super<br />

sentimental—like, this is purpose. This<br />

is God’s plan for me because I went<br />

through so much shit growing up. I also<br />

had to deal with fighting in the athletic<br />

world because I was a transfer student all<br />

the time. I was always the new girl and<br />

people weren’t so welcoming.<br />

I remember when I tried out [for<br />

volleyball], it was very uncomfortable.<br />

None of the girls liked me, and they said<br />

all I wanted to do was play sports so I<br />

could show off my ass, and other weird<br />

rumors. It was almost bullying, but like,<br />

mentally. People were trying to count<br />

me out. I had to fight to prove that I’m<br />

“People like to question my ‘authenticity.’<br />

But who says a girl like me can’t go to<br />

college? Damn, I’ve always been this girl.”<br />


“I came out of the<br />

womb playing<br />

sports,” Saweetie<br />

says. Although she<br />

played basketball,<br />

she fell in love with<br />

—and excelled at—<br />

volleyball as a teen.

“You have to be headstrong, believe<br />

in yourself and be comfortable with<br />

making your own mistakes.”<br />

athletic. I told one of the girls on varsity,<br />

“I’m gonna take your spot,” and I did. I<br />

always had that competitive edge to me.<br />

It made my determination, my ambition<br />

and my ability to persevere. It made me<br />

mentally tough, and in this industry, you<br />

have to be mentally tough.<br />

At what age did you know that you<br />

wanted to be a rapper?<br />

Definitely when I was a sophomore in<br />

high school, because these boys are<br />

rapping in class. I was like, “OK, y’all<br />

cool, but I’m gonna go home and write<br />

my own rap.” So I came back and when<br />

I spit my shit in Algebra 2 the whole class<br />

went crazy, so I thought, “Wow, maybe<br />

I could do something like this.”<br />

In college you started rapping from<br />

your car on Instagram. Were you like,<br />

“Let me try this out and see what<br />

happens,” or were you actively trying<br />

to make it big?<br />

It was like, “I can’t afford the studio.” As<br />

a new artist, it’s sometimes very difficult<br />

when you’re not blessed with a great<br />

engineer. When you are inexperienced<br />

and a new artist, you sometimes don’t<br />

know when you’re dealing with a weak<br />

engineer because you’ve never done it<br />

before. I had a rough start because<br />

[my first] engineer just outright sucked.<br />

I was like, “I’m tired of wasting my<br />

money, and I’m gonna just record online<br />

because everybody knows I wanna rap<br />

so I’m just gonna start posting it.” That’s<br />

why I was using all of these classic beats,<br />

because I didn’t have any connections to<br />

any beatmakers.<br />

A lot of new artists struggle to get<br />

their songs on the radio and the<br />

charts, but “Icy” went viral, “My<br />

Type” was a hit, and “Tap In” keeps<br />

getting bigger and bigger. What’s your<br />

formula?<br />

You know what, girl? I have no secret<br />

formula. When I meet upcoming girls,<br />

whether it’s Tay Money or Mulatto,<br />

because I did hop on their songs, I try<br />

to share as much as I can, because I feel<br />

like I made a lot of mistakes early in my<br />

career because I had no guidance.<br />

I loved sharing what it took me to get<br />

to this point. You have to be headstrong,<br />

you have to believe in yourself, and you<br />

have to be comfortable with making your<br />

own mistakes. I can’t sleep at night when<br />

I do something that someone told me to<br />

do. I didn’t even believe in it, but I didn’t<br />

have the courage to make my own<br />

decision. And then I have to take it to<br />

the chin because I took so many other<br />

people’s advice.<br />

Work hard, develop a great team and<br />

make sure that they’re the right team.<br />

Just because you have a team doesn’t<br />

mean that they know what they’re doing.<br />

Get the right mentors. You should always<br />

have someone to go to who can be<br />

insightful, who can play devil’s advocate.<br />

I do my own treatments. I pick my<br />

beats. I co-produce a lot of stuff. <strong>The</strong>re’s<br />

a common denominator between great<br />

workers and artists, and nothing that<br />

I’m doing is new. Anytime someone asks<br />

me something, I’m always excited to<br />

share, because if I could save someone<br />

the time that wasn’t saved for me, I’d like<br />

to do that.<br />

Women in rap have been making<br />

the most interesting music lately, but<br />

there’s a sentiment that there isn’t<br />

enough space for them to exist equally<br />

and be successful. What do you say<br />

to that?<br />

<strong>The</strong> numbers prove that that’s a lie. [An<br />

identifier] that I would love to just be<br />

removed from the conversation is “for a<br />

girl” or “for a female rapper.” Like, we’re<br />

just rappers, and our fanbases, our charts<br />

and our numbers all prove that we’re<br />

equals. I used to hate the comment—<br />

especially at <strong>US</strong>C—“Oh, you’re pretty for<br />

a Black girl.” No, just say I’m pretty. I feel<br />

like it’s a backhanded compliment and<br />

although “for a female rapper” isn’t as in<br />

your face, you’re still telling me that<br />

female rappers aren’t doing their part.<br />

But we are. And we have to do that, plus<br />

more, because we have to get our weaves<br />

done, we have to do our lashes, our nails.<br />

You know that shit takes five to six hours<br />

a day. That’s a lot. And lots of money.<br />

My overhead is somebody’s tuition per<br />

month, so quit playing with us because<br />

we really go hard.<br />

Some people have an unfair tendency<br />

to underestimate or simplify a woman<br />

who looks really good, but you’ve<br />

embraced your beauty. Has that ever<br />

made you feel like you’ve had to prove<br />

more or go harder?<br />

Pretty privilege has been associated<br />

with my brand, but if anything, it’s<br />

been a hindrance. When people see a<br />

“pretty girl,” they associate her with<br />

being mean, with getting her way all the<br />

time—but my lifestyle was the exact<br />

opposite of that. So I didn’t want to shy<br />

away from it. I’m a bad bitch, so I’m<br />

going to be proud of it and give that<br />

power to my fans.<br />

And a lot of people—especially<br />

men—are upset by women rapping<br />

about their bodies. You have lyrics,<br />

like in “Pretty Bitch Freestyle,” where<br />

you definitely are celebrating your<br />

sexuality.<br />

I can attest to a moment like that. I<br />

remember when I did the song with Kid<br />

Ink and Lil Wayne, “Yuso,” and I was so<br />

proud of this moment. I was like, I’m<br />

gonna hop on that nasty song because<br />

I got some shit to talk. And I always<br />

tell myself if I’m gonna be nasty, I’m<br />

going to be like Missy. I love Missy and<br />

Missy’s nasty, but she’s gonna make you<br />

laugh with it. I worked really hard so<br />

that my bars were creative, fun and in<br />

my opinion, tasteful. When “Yuso”<br />

dropped, I got negative responses like,<br />

“Oh, she’s the college girl,” or “She’s<br />

classy, she can’t be talking like that.<br />

Wow, she just ruined her brand and<br />

her career.”<br />


“I have an arm,”<br />

Saweetie says. And<br />

indeed, she does.<br />

Here she’s captured<br />

right before she lobs<br />

a bomb across an<br />

empty parking lot.

Saweetie admits she<br />

likes the “finer<br />

things,” but she’s also<br />

a tomboy. “I’m not<br />

just some robotic<br />

pretty girl. I’m a<br />

human,” she says.

Yes, I went to school, but when I see<br />

my man, I’m gonna get freaky. I just call<br />

them “confused fans,” because your<br />

mama nasty, your grandma nasty,<br />

your great grandma’s nasty, too. When<br />

you make people uncomfortable, the<br />

easiest thing they can do—without really<br />

being a critical thinker—is go to their<br />

first thought. So that’s where the tweets<br />

and the hate came from. Celebrate<br />

whoever you are as a woman because<br />

people say, “Oh, she’s too conservative.<br />

Oh, she’s too nasty. Oh, she’s too this. Oh,<br />

she’s too that.” You’ve gotta block those<br />

people out and just do you the best way<br />

you can.<br />

You’ve recently opened up about<br />

your relationship with your boyfriend,<br />

Quavo. What’s it like to navigate being<br />

two very real humans and young<br />

people in love who are also both<br />

public figures?<br />

It’s difficult, but I feel like it’s very<br />

grown-up. I feel like this is my first<br />

relationship where we’re very mature<br />

about a lot of things. I think it’s<br />

important, especially in Black love. I feel<br />

like communication is really important<br />

because—I don’t wanna generalize what<br />

it is—but for a while, I struggled with<br />

expression, because as a kid I was taught<br />

to just suck it up and move on. But you<br />

can’t do that in love. It’s not healthy; it<br />

builds resentment.<br />

Healthy Black love was important<br />

to us and we know that we wanna be<br />

together and stick together. We both just<br />

learned from past mistakes of our own<br />

and we’re working together to be<br />

healthy. It’s not about being perfect;<br />

it’s about being healthy. It requires<br />

both people to participate; otherwise<br />

it’ll fail.<br />

Talk to me about the album Pretty<br />

Bitch Music. That title is an acronym,<br />

right?<br />

It took me so long to start saying “bitch”<br />

in my rap. If I’m going to use this word so<br />

my listeners can have that much more<br />

relatability to me, I’m gonna let them<br />

know what “bitch” stands for. So that’s<br />

why I broke it down: BITCH means Boss,<br />

Independent, Tough, CEO, and I’m from<br />

the Bay, so the H means Hyphy. When I<br />

sift through my fans’ comments, they say<br />

that I make them feel pretty, I make them<br />

feel confident, I make them feel like they<br />

should go out and get their bag, so it’s<br />

like I make “pretty bitch music.” I have<br />

all these layers and all these moods that<br />

can be shown in my project.<br />

How would you describe the layers<br />

that you peel back in this album?<br />

As a woman, I do like the finer things in<br />

life, but I’m also a tomboy. I’m also a<br />

family woman. I also can get my feelings<br />

hurt. I do have emotions. I’m not just<br />

some robotic pretty girl. I’m a human and<br />

through these songs—whether they’re<br />

sentimental, personal, uplifting or fun—<br />

you’ll be able to get that because the<br />

project is over 15 songs. I’m really excited.<br />

I’m finally figuring out what my artistry is.<br />

And the sound? You’ve said this is not<br />

what people may expect from you.<br />

I didn’t have the right guidance at first.<br />

<strong>The</strong> people around me kept trying to go<br />

to the big hitmakers, and no one could<br />

really understand me as a person<br />

because I’m complex. But with this new<br />

project and working with people who<br />

truly know me as a person, I’m finally<br />

able to have everything interconnect. I’ve<br />

been hearing, “When people listen to<br />

this, they’re gonna be able to meet you<br />

before meeting you.”<br />

Are you opening up more and showing<br />

other sides of yourself?<br />

I’d say I’m learning how to. At first, I<br />

didn’t know how to have my personality<br />

come over a beat, which was super hard<br />

when it wasn’t a beat of my own. I’m<br />

learning how to take a song into my own<br />

hands and execute it the way Saweetie<br />

would do it.<br />

“Healthy Black love is not about being<br />

perfect; it’s about being healthy. It<br />

requires both people to participate.”<br />


LOVE AND<br />


ON THE<br />


As movement artists and<br />

activists, Sheopatra Jones<br />

and Yorelis Apolinario are the<br />

power couple the dance world<br />

needs. Here’s how they make<br />

the revolution look irresistible.<br />



Yorelis Apolinario<br />

(left) and Sheopatra<br />

Jones were<br />

photographed in<br />

Santa Monica for<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Red</strong> <strong>Bulletin</strong><br />

on July 29.<br />


As partners in<br />

life and profession,<br />

Sheopatra and<br />

Yoe exude affection<br />

for each other.<br />

F<br />

rom their townhome in L.A.’s San<br />

Fernando Valley, professional dancers<br />

Sheopatra “SheStreet” Jones and Yorelis<br />

“Yoe” Apolinario nestle closely on the<br />

couch for our virtual interview. It’s late<br />

July, and these partners in movement—<br />

and life—exude affection, even over<br />

Zoom. It’s like entering into a warm hug.<br />

Yoe’s face brightens when asked to<br />

describe her fiancée’s dance style: “I feel<br />

like the ancestors come down through<br />

her body and they are guiding her<br />

movements,” she says. “It feels like<br />

a sermon.”<br />

Sheopatra is just as big a fan of Yoe:<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re’s nothing she cannot do. <strong>The</strong><br />

execution of everything she does is at the<br />

highest level. When I watch her dance,<br />

I’m always overwhelmed by how<br />

excellent she is.”<br />


<strong>The</strong>y don’t finish each other’s<br />

sentences as much as they “yes and”<br />

them, helping each other flesh out<br />

details while constantly serving as<br />

mutual hype women. <strong>The</strong>ir unspoken<br />

dynamic feels like the most natural thing<br />

in the world—totally uncontrived and<br />

adorable as hell.<br />

In their world, there’s no separation<br />

between their art and their activism. <strong>The</strong><br />

very fact of their existence—as queer<br />

Black women and “movement artists”<br />

who approach their visibility with<br />

intention—is a daily form of resistance.<br />

Indeed, by the end of my interview<br />

with Sheopatra and Yoe, it would be<br />

clear that in order to understand their<br />

art-activism, I would also need to<br />

understand their love—for themselves,<br />

each other and their community.<br />

“I feel like the<br />

ancestors come<br />

down through her<br />

body and guide<br />

her movements.”<br />


Videos of Sheopatra<br />

and Yoe dancing<br />

have received props<br />

from legends like<br />

Chaka Khan and<br />

Diana Ross.<br />

Both Sheopatra and Yoe have<br />

worked with some of the biggest<br />

names in music today. In Chris<br />

Brown’s 2019 music video for<br />

“Undecided,” Sheopatra plays a smooth<br />

carnival barker; she has also danced for<br />

Missy Elliot and Pharrell. Yoe did a sixmonth<br />

stint as a dancer for Taylor<br />

Swift’s 2018 Reputation World Tour.<br />

She has danced behind Backstreet Boys,<br />

Jordan Fisher, Alyson Stoner and<br />

Tinashe. Her moves have caught the<br />

attention of Justin Bieber and Kehlani.<br />

And with almost 145,000 combined<br />

Instagram followers, they’ve received<br />

props from songstresses like Chaka<br />

Khan, Grammy-winning singersongwriter<br />

H.E.R. and Diana Ross.<br />

A video of Sheopatra and Yoe dancing<br />

to Ross’s hit “Muscles” went viral in<br />

January 2018, with Ross reposting the<br />

video on her own Instagram. Wearing<br />

tailored menswear suits, the duo<br />

freestyles at a pace that pays homage<br />

to Ross’s soulful 1982 groove—written<br />

and produced by Michael Jackson—<br />

while interpreting it for the present<br />

day. <strong>The</strong> video has almost 300,000<br />

views to date.<br />

When Sheopatra dances, she looks<br />

energized, powered by something<br />

ineffable and deep. Her movement is<br />

playful and serious, smooth and staccato.<br />

And she seems to be just as delighted as<br />

the viewer by the inherent surprise of the<br />

free-form movement coming through her<br />

moment by moment.<br />

Yoe’s high-energy movement is at<br />

once graceful, reflective and wild. She<br />

freestyles with fluidity and an<br />

athleticism ingrained by studying dance<br />

since she was 8 years old.<br />

Whether they’re dancing together or<br />

separately, Sheopatra and Yoe transform<br />

entertainment into live-action demos of<br />

what liberation looks like for women of<br />

color within the cyphers of the vibrant<br />

Los Angeles dance scene. In the words of<br />

the late author and civil rights activist<br />

Toni Cade Bambara, as artists they<br />

“make the revolution look irresistible.”<br />

As active Instagrammers, they also<br />

make the revolution accessible. <strong>The</strong>ir<br />

2018 video activation, titled “Say It,”<br />

features Sheopatra, Yoe and four male<br />

dancers, all dressed in vintage Black<br />

Panther Party garb. From the patio of<br />

a house in the Los Angeles hills<br />

overlooking the city below, they each<br />

take turns freestyling to the protest song<br />

“Hell You Talmbout” by Janelle Monáe<br />

and her artist collective, Wondaland. <strong>The</strong><br />

expansive landscape, paired with their<br />

bold movements and the song’s lyrics—<br />

which call out names like Eric Garner,<br />

Sandra Bland and Trayvon Martin—has<br />

an unmistakable galvanizing power that<br />

taps into the outrage over unarmed Black<br />

people who’ve been killed by police.<br />

<strong>The</strong> dancers transform entertainment into live-action demos of liberation for women of color.<br />


“I’m always<br />

overwhelmed by<br />

how excellent<br />

she is.”<br />

Whether playful or<br />

serious, their freeform<br />

movements<br />

enchant viewers.

On their Instagram<br />

feeds, evocative<br />

freestyles and<br />

choreography<br />

appear alongside<br />

impromptu salsa<br />

dances.<br />

For Sheopatra and Yorelis,<br />

documenting their choreography or<br />

freestyles in parking lots, tennis courts<br />

and the sidewalks of L.A. for social<br />

media isn’t just about racking up views<br />

and likes; it’s about using their platform<br />

to amplify the voices of marginalized<br />

groups and the causes they have long<br />

championed, like the Black Lives Matter<br />

movement. <strong>The</strong>y have supported BLM<br />

since it emerged in 2013 as a response<br />

to the killing of Trayvon Martin.<br />

For this duo, movement equals<br />

activism. “I have never met another<br />

woman that moves the way [Yoe]<br />

moves,” Sheopatra says. “Even that is<br />

activism, just being who you choose to<br />

be and not allowing society or anything<br />

around you to force you away from<br />

what’s your call to do, what your gifts<br />

are, and to be the greatest.”<br />

Yoe adds: “Even in our videos, where<br />

we have just a simple setup of a camera,<br />

and we have friends around us in the<br />

dance—that’s a form of activism. That’s<br />

seeing Black and Brown people having<br />

fun, being boisterous instead of a lot of<br />

the things that are presented to us.”<br />

Growing up in Memphis, Sheopatra<br />

was largely self-taught as a<br />

dancer. Her first love was the<br />

Memphis strut style called jookin<br />

(rhymes with lookin’), which artists like<br />

Janelle Monáe and Jon Boogz have<br />

helped usher into the mainstream.<br />

During high school she started taking<br />

studio classes, and when she was 19 she<br />

moved to Los Angeles at the urging of<br />

her brother, a professional drummer who<br />

was pursuing a career in L.A.<br />

But after three months she had “an<br />

L.A. freakout” and returned home. Back<br />

in Memphis, she dove even deeper into<br />

jook and took classes in other street<br />

dance styles. About a year later, her<br />

cousin called and booked her a one-way<br />

ticket to Los Angeles before they hung<br />

up. Three months later she was back in<br />

Los Angeles and has been living there for<br />

more than a decade.<br />


“It’s a raw<br />

experience when<br />

you watch her—<br />

you’re really gonna<br />

feel who she is.”<br />

Now 30, Sheopatra is a full-time<br />

performer, and her dream of dancing<br />

professionally has come true after many<br />

years of grinding in the L.A. dance scene.<br />

Today she dances many styles—<br />

popping, breaking, funk, contemporary<br />

and the fast footwork of house. With<br />

jook as her foundation, Sheopatra<br />

eventually gravitated toward popping<br />

and has garnered national attention for<br />

her smooth fusion of the two. This is a<br />

rare combination, according to Ryan<br />

Webb, a veteran dancer (also known as<br />

“Future”) and the director of education<br />

at the Washington, D.C.–area dance<br />

company Urban Artistry.<br />

“Mixing popping and Memphis<br />

jookin, that was kind of unheard of in<br />

the hip-hop community,” Webb says.<br />

An archivist who has spent years<br />

documenting urban dance styles to<br />

preserve for future generations, Webb<br />

recommended Sheopatra to <strong>Red</strong> Bull<br />

Dance for entry into its 2019 Dance<br />

Your Style competition in Honolulu,<br />

where she advanced to the semifinals.<br />

(She ultimately lost to the dancer<br />

Hazmat.)<br />

Memphis native Sheopatra and Yoe, who grew up in Tampa, Florida, met in 2015 through an<br />

audition for Fox’s reality competition show So You Think You Can Dance.<br />

“She’s not trying to be trendy,” Webb<br />

continues. “She’s truly being herself as<br />

an artist. <strong>The</strong>re’s something that’s really<br />

genuine about her. You really get<br />

something that’s not cookie cutter. It’s a<br />

raw experience when you watch her—<br />

you’re really gonna feel who she is.”<br />

Although Yoe, 25, comes from a<br />

background of formal training in ballet<br />

and modern that spanned her childhood<br />

growing up in Tampa, Florida, she took a<br />

liking to hip-hop dance classes early. After<br />

high school she was part of a breaker<br />

crew called the Flooridians and did a stint<br />

as a go-go dancer in a nightclub. As one of<br />

the only girls in a crew of B-boys, she<br />

eventually realized that she didn’t like<br />

breaking. But she loved freestyling,<br />

something she hadn’t encountered before<br />

as a classically trained dancer.<br />

“Coming from a world in ballet where<br />

I’m told where to put my body 24/7 and<br />

‘you don’t have the body for this but<br />

keep trying’ into a world where [you’re<br />

encouraged to] find your own style,<br />

I really couldn’t see myself reverting<br />

back,” Yoe says.<br />

When Yoe dances, Sheopatra says,<br />

“she has no fear in her movement. Even<br />

if she’s afraid, you won’t know until six<br />

months later. She’s literally like, ‘Oh I’ve<br />

never river-danced before. Cool, I gotta<br />

learn river dancing.’ <strong>The</strong>n you go see<br />

the performance and she’s the only<br />

person you can see on the stage because<br />

she’s standing out that crazy among the<br />

crowd of dancers.”<br />

Yoe says Sheopatra has been<br />

instrumental in exposing her to new<br />

styles: “When I started learning jookin<br />


Alongside<br />

collaborator and<br />

videographer Brian<br />

Smith, Sheopatra<br />

and Yoe direct and<br />

choreograph<br />

cinematic activism<br />

that calls for justice<br />

for Black lives and<br />

female solidarity.<br />


“It is cool to see<br />

artists represent<br />

something bigger<br />

than themselves.”<br />

from her, it made sense, because I loved<br />

Southern trap—I loved Three 6 Mafia<br />

when I was little—and Memphis jookin<br />

and Southern trap music are married.”<br />

<strong>The</strong>n she giggles, “I feel 9 years old every<br />

time I try to jook, and I’m still<br />

discovering new styles.”<br />

In 2015, Yoe got her big break on<br />

Season 12 of Fox’s prime-time competition<br />

show So You Think You Can Dance and<br />

made it to the top 14. She has been<br />

dancing full-time ever since.<br />

Sheopatra and Yoe actually met at the<br />

audition for So You Think You Can Dance.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y felt a connection right away and<br />

exchanged numbers, but they opted to get<br />

to know each other as dance collaborators<br />

first. Eventually, their professional<br />

relationship evolved into a romance that<br />

blossomed almost four years ago.<br />

<strong>The</strong>n in <strong>Oct</strong>ober 2019, under the<br />

guise of shooting a new dance video,<br />

Yoe orchestrated a surprise marriage<br />

proposal surrounded by a group of their<br />

close friends. Sheopatra was genuinely<br />

surprised but quickly accepted.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>y just have the best<br />

communication I’ve seen within a<br />

relationship, observes Alexa Nof, their<br />

close friend and dance collaborator.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>y’re so great on their own that<br />

together they’re even more powerful.”<br />

Nof adds: “<strong>The</strong>y’re very loving toward<br />

each other but they’re also not so much<br />

[into] physical touch in front of people.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y show it through their actions.”<br />

Nof is a member of the Council<br />

Women, the dance company Sheopatra<br />

founded in 2015 not long after she met<br />

Yoe, who became a member of the<br />

group. <strong>The</strong> Council is also something of<br />

a chosen family, where six women are<br />

committed to actively supporting one<br />

another in pursuing their professional<br />

and personal goals.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Council Women’s first big gig<br />

was at the 2019 Dance Your Style U.S.<br />

Finals in Las Vegas. In a video clip from<br />

the performance, Sheopatra, Nof and<br />

company member Crystal Jackson,<br />

dressed all in denim, dance barefoot on<br />

a sidewalk that has been transformed<br />

into a battle stage. <strong>The</strong> enthusiastic<br />

nighttime crowd circles around them<br />


In 2015, Sheopatra<br />

founded the<br />

Council Women, an<br />

all-women dance<br />

company. Yoe<br />

became an early<br />

member.<br />

as they confidently perform their streetstyle<br />

choreo.<br />

When Sheopatra asked Nof to be an<br />

inaugural member of the Council<br />

Women, Nof was a professional dancer<br />

getting hired more to choreograph than<br />

dance. Reflecting on her regular<br />

freestyling—as well as being exposed to<br />

a variety of new dance styles through the<br />

Council—she now finds herself, five<br />

years later, getting more gigs as a<br />

freestyler.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>y keep motivating me to this<br />

day,” Nof says. “<strong>The</strong>re’s not a day that I’m<br />

not watching them as if it’s my first time.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y always surprise me [and] just<br />

continue to inspire me.”<br />

Webb of Urban Artistry is equally<br />

inspired by the pair and their vision. “I<br />

want to keep shining light on artists that<br />

are standing for justice and equality,<br />

and also bringing these art forms into<br />

different platforms to be appreciated<br />

by different types of people,” he<br />

underscores. “It is cool to see artists that<br />

represent something bigger than<br />

themselves.”<br />

As they cozy up on the couch<br />

during our interview, I ask what<br />

Sheopatra and Yoe are working<br />

toward in the future. What the couple<br />

offers is more a mission statement than<br />

a bucket list, and that mission is nothing<br />

short of the harmony of their art and<br />

activism.<br />

For Yoe, she wants to see the<br />

professional dance industry “create the<br />

standard of respect” for its artists. “I<br />

want to make changes so that when<br />

people come in after me, they don’t have<br />

to go through the same things I went<br />

through,” she says. “<strong>The</strong>y don’t have to<br />

feel uncomfortable about going up to a<br />

choreographer and saying, ‘I don’t know<br />

if I can wear this leotard in this music<br />

video’ and not feel like the villain.”<br />

Sheopatra’s response is more<br />

philosophical but shares the same<br />

conviction. For her the heart of her work<br />

is “the betterment of myself, my people<br />

in the world, by any means necessary,<br />

using the art form to create change<br />

beyond our time on this Earth.”<br />


At Jaws in Hawaii in<br />

2016, the powerful<br />

swell of El Niño met<br />

its match with pro<br />

surfer Kai Lenny.<br />



R E N A I S S A N C E<br />

W A T E R M A N<br />

On the eve of his new series, Life of Kai, watersports master<br />

Kai Lenny has reignited his creative spark back home in Hawaii,<br />

rediscovering why he fell in love with the ocean in the first place.<br />


Lenny poses with the<br />

waves in front of his<br />

house in Paia, Maui,<br />

in <strong>Oct</strong>ober 2019.


Kai Lenny says he’s searching for pure<br />

entertainment. Isn’t he always? But since<br />

he’s been locked down at home on Maui<br />

since early spring, when COVID-19<br />

scratched his plans for <strong>2020</strong>, he’s had to<br />

settle for adventure closer at hand. Yes—<br />

it took a global pandemic to finally slow<br />

Kai Lenny down.<br />

You can imagine that it took all of<br />

two minutes before the 27-year-old pro<br />

surfer started to get antsy. Even just<br />

talking on the phone, his infectious<br />

energy pours across the line and you<br />

know that he doesn’t like to sit still. After<br />

all, this is the same guy whose parents<br />

used to take him to the beach every day<br />

as a toddler to tire him out so he would<br />

sleep through the night. He’s used to<br />

jetting off on a plane every week or two.<br />

“It’s the longest stretch I’ve been home<br />

probably since I was 12 or something,”<br />

he says.<br />

That’s how he ended up sailing<br />

across the Kauai Channel on a foiling<br />

catamaran with two-time World Surf<br />

League champion John John Florence in<br />

July. “We were just on the phone talking,<br />

like, ‘Hey, we should do something fun.<br />

What if we sailed your foiling boat from<br />

Oahu to Kauai? Let’s do it!’ ” Lenny says.<br />

A week later they pushed off from<br />

Oahu on Florence’s Flying Phantom. It<br />

looks like a spaceship; the foil extends<br />

down from the bright-red hulls, lifting<br />

up the boat and allowing it to rocket<br />

across the surface of the water. Lenny<br />

and Florence dangled off the side<br />

somewhat precariously. Nine hours<br />

later they arrived in Hanalei, Kauai.<br />

When asked about the crossing, Lenny<br />

says in his trademark stoked tone, “It<br />

was so much fun.”<br />

But it was more than just the<br />

challenge of crossing the channel that<br />

excited Lenny. It was the spontaneity<br />

of it all. Normally it would take a year<br />

or more to pull off something like this.<br />

Lenny and Florence (and their people)<br />

would have to coordinate their<br />

schedules. Between contests,<br />

sponsorship obligations and other<br />

projects, the chances of finding an<br />

overlapping day or two when they’d<br />

both be home in Hawaii would be nearly<br />

impossible, not to mention a lot of<br />

hassle. But with both of their lives on<br />

hold, Lenny and Florence are free to do<br />

whatever they want in the interim.<br />

This spontaneity is a major<br />

contrast to how Lenny typically leads<br />

his meticulously focused life chasing big<br />

projects and big goals. “He has this<br />

incredible can-do attitude—I can do<br />

that, I’m going to do that—when<br />

everyone is like, ‘You’re crazy, man.<br />

You’re out of your mind,’ ” says Johnny<br />

Decesare, founder of Poor Boyz<br />

Productions, who has been filming the<br />

watersports prodigy since he was 11<br />

years old. “He looks at things differently.<br />

What he really sees is opportunity and<br />

possibility.”<br />

And Lenny had ambitious plans for<br />

<strong>2020</strong>: travel with his friends to chase<br />

gigantic waves on every big swell around<br />

the world, while also giving it his all on<br />

the competitive circuit. “Literally, as soon<br />

as I really committed to it, it was like the<br />

whole world came to a standstill,” he says.<br />

While his goals are on hold (for now),<br />

his latest project, Life of Kai, which<br />

launches in <strong>Oct</strong>ober, offers a glimpse at<br />

some of the innovative and mindboggling<br />

things the pro athlete has been<br />

up to and is capable of. His other web<br />

series, Positively Kai and 20@20, which<br />

Growing up in Maui, a young Kai Lenny found mentors among surf<br />

greats like Laird Hamilton, Dave Kalama and Robby Naish.<br />


debuted this summer, highlight Lenny’s<br />

fun adventures and insane, physicsdefying<br />

antics at home and abroad. Life<br />

of Kai, on the other hand, delves into<br />

what it really takes to be Kai Lenny.<br />

“I think people see a general vision<br />

of most pro athletes, myself included,<br />

that you just go out and do this,” Lenny<br />

says. “I really wanted to capture what I<br />

have to go through—the good, the bad,<br />

the tough moments, everything that<br />

leads me to my best times, whether on<br />

top of the podium or riding the biggest<br />

wave of my life.” He wants to inspire<br />

people, too. “How much dedication are<br />

you willing to put toward something<br />

and how much passion is fueling that<br />

fire? That unrelenting determination<br />

has been the magic behind me. Hopefully,<br />

I inspire kids to follow their passion<br />

and think, If he can do it, I can do it,”<br />

he says.<br />

<strong>The</strong> series was shot in the fall and<br />

winter of 2019/<strong>2020</strong> and follows Lenny<br />

through an abbreviated big-wave season.<br />

Sure, you get to see how Lenny preps his<br />

body and mind to surf massive conditions<br />

(and survive mighty wipeouts) at surf<br />

survival training camp, and how he puts<br />

those tools into action as he competes in<br />

the Jaws Big Wave Championships in<br />

December and the Nazaré Tow Surfing<br />

Challenge in February. But the series<br />

also gives you a better sense of who<br />

Lenny is and his approach—as someone<br />

who is constantly learning, innovating<br />

and is always 10 steps ahead of<br />

everyone else. You’ll see how he<br />

adapts to different situations, whether<br />

it’s equipment or technology failures or<br />

fickle weather systems, and how he<br />

refines his surfboards and hydrofoils.<br />

Life of Kai really is just the life of Kai.<br />

“Kai looks at things<br />

differently. What he really<br />

sees is opportunity and<br />

possibility.”<br />

By now you probably know the<br />

story. Kai Lenny is the wunderkind<br />

whose parents moved to Maui to<br />

windsurf. He was a prodigious young<br />

windsurfer himself—a tiny kid flying<br />

high above the waves at Hookipa Beach<br />

Park who used to sew mini sails and kites<br />

during circle time at his Montessori<br />

school. His mentors include Laird<br />

Hamilton, Dave Kalama, Robby Naish<br />

and other famous pioneers who were<br />

literally inventing new ocean sports in<br />

his backyard. It rubbed off on Lenny.<br />

He’s a stand-up paddle world champion<br />

many times over (winning his first title<br />

at age 18), winner of the grueling<br />

Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World<br />

Championships and one of the most<br />



Jaws, January 2015:<br />

Lenny puts up with<br />

the rain to find<br />

his pot of gold at the<br />

end of the rainbow.

dominant wind- and kitesurfers in the<br />

world. Yes, he surfs, too. He’s a fearless<br />

big-wave rider who can also kick some<br />

impressive aerials on a shortboard.<br />

Lenny isn’t just a good athlete. He’s<br />

a gifted waterman. He has a keen vision<br />

of the ocean and looks at it differently<br />

than most people. “He sees the sea<br />

surface and what’s under the sea surface<br />

and uses that energy,” says Decesare. In<br />

big waves, Decesare says that Lenny’s<br />

mind is like a calculator, putting aside<br />

fear to work out different variables and<br />

factors. This gives him the confidence to<br />

perform in conditions that would make<br />

normal humans blanch.<br />

It’s hard to imagine that the kid<br />

with the wide smile that hints of<br />

mischievousness and constant delight<br />

didn’t have a place in the lineup when he<br />

was younger. He wasn’t taken seriously,<br />

because he was a multi-sport athlete. His<br />

first loves were windsurfing, stand-up<br />

paddle and kitesurfing while everyone<br />

else was surfing. Even his mentors like<br />

Naish tried to prepare Lenny for the day<br />

when he’d have to set all other equipment<br />

aside and choose one sport. His dad,<br />

Martin, remembers watching other kids<br />

hassle his son and asking him if he just<br />

wanted to focus on surfing. Lenny looked<br />

at his dad and said, “Why would I want to<br />

do that? All the sports I do are so fun.”<br />

In the back of his mind, Lenny knew<br />

he could be an all-around waterman. He<br />

loved the ocean and didn’t want to<br />

pigeonhole himself. He wanted to take<br />

advantage of whatever the conditions<br />

offered and use whatever equipment he<br />

needed to have a good time. But even as<br />

he became a gifted athlete and champion<br />

stand-up paddler, he still didn’t get much<br />

credibility. “Other surfers were like,<br />

‘Stand-up paddle kid, windsurfer,<br />

weirdo.’ <strong>The</strong>y didn’t really give him<br />

much credit as a surfer,” says Decesare.<br />

It took a while for Lenny to gain the<br />

respect of his peers, and it was his bigwave<br />

surfing that helped him prove<br />

himself. Lenny has surfed the massive<br />

waves at Peahi, the famed Maui break<br />

also known as Jaws, on every type of<br />

board since he was 16 years old. He’s<br />

able to perform so well precisely because<br />

of his windsurfing and kitesurfing<br />

background. People started to take<br />

notice, especially as Lenny began to<br />

focus more on surfing.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>y came to realize he’s not a onedimensional<br />

surfer but the complete<br />

package, from big waves to Sunset-style<br />

waves to Pipeline to shortboard aerial<br />

trick waves to incredible, giant towsurfing<br />

waves, who’s now a champion in<br />

the big-wave world,” says Decesare. In<br />

2019 he racked up two big-wave awards:<br />

Men’s XXL Biggest Wave Award and<br />

Men’s Overall Performance Award. This<br />

year, he garnered five nominations<br />

across three categories for the <strong>2020</strong> <strong>Red</strong><br />

Bull Big Wave Awards.<br />

A big turning point came when<br />

Lenny began competing well on the bigwave<br />

circuit. He won the contest in<br />

Puerto Escondido in 2017. He backed<br />

that up by winning the Nazaré Tow<br />

Surfing Challenge with his teammate,<br />

Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca, last February.<br />

Lenny and Chianca are friends and<br />

competitors. <strong>The</strong>y were at surf survival<br />

camp together, which cemented their<br />

friendship and the blind faith that as<br />

partners they would pick each other<br />

up on a jet ski as 60-to-70-foot waves<br />

threaten to annihilate them. That rocksolid<br />

camaraderie allowed Lenny to<br />

enter the contest feeling calm, focused<br />

and collected.<br />

Both surfers’ gifts for big waves were<br />

on full display in Portugal. “Lucas and<br />

I want to ride the biggest waves in the<br />

world, but not just ride them and<br />

survive. We want to perform and do<br />

huge maneuvers,” Lenny says. “My focus<br />

for years now has been how can I take<br />

snowboarding-type maneuvers and<br />

implement them into big-wave riding.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se guys can do it on huge mountains<br />

in Alaska. Why can’t I do it on huge waves<br />

in the ocean?” While others may have<br />

chosen a safer route to the shoulder,<br />

Lenny took different lines and flipped<br />

360s while riding down the steep faces<br />

of Praia do Norte waves.<br />

“I love the fact that ultimately<br />

I can achieve something I<br />

couldn’t do before. On top of<br />

that, I love the art form of it all.”<br />



Moment of reflection:<br />

Lenny takes a break<br />

from his surf session<br />

at Hookipa on<br />

<strong>Oct</strong>ober 6, 2019.

“For me, it’s never been about<br />

beating someone else. It’s<br />

about beating myself.”

<strong>The</strong>y looked like they were just having<br />

fun, too. You have a sense that Lenny and<br />

Chianca would be out there whether or<br />

not there was a contest running. <strong>The</strong>y<br />

stayed in the water for two hours after<br />

the competition wrapped up because the<br />

waves were still pumping. Once they were<br />

out of the water, Lenny looked at images<br />

on a phone. He chuckled and said, “I love<br />

big-wave surfing.”<br />

Still, despite his success and long<br />

overdue recognition within the surf<br />

community, you’d expect Lenny to have<br />

a little chip on his shoulder. Instead,<br />

he’s laser-focused on performing at the<br />

highest level and eliminating as many<br />

gray areas as possible.<br />

“For me it’s never been about beating<br />

someone else. It’s always been about<br />

beating myself,” he says. He loves rising<br />

to the occasion in competitions when<br />

he’s facing the best in the world. It forces<br />

him to push himself to the next level,<br />

to a place he wouldn’t go without the<br />

pressure—what he calls encouragement—<br />

of someone who rides better than he<br />

does. “<strong>The</strong> reason why I’ve been so<br />

consistent and getting better across all<br />

my sports stems from being purely<br />

passionate on the deepest level for what<br />

I do. I love the sports all the way down to<br />

the technical stuff, like my equipment. I<br />

love the fact that ultimately I can achieve<br />

something I couldn’t do before. On top of<br />

that, I love the art form of it all,” he says.<br />

That relentless march toward<br />

progress and innovation is baked into his<br />

DNA. From an early age, his parents<br />

helped him set goals, baby steps that<br />

would blaze a path to riding mountainsized<br />

waves. For example, when he was<br />

around 9 years old, his dad showed him<br />

the spot up at Hookipa where all the<br />

windsurfers eventually wind up. Martin<br />

taught him where to come in so he could<br />

climb across the rocks. “Eventually,<br />

when he would go out and push himself,<br />

he’d get clobbered. But you’d see him<br />

twinkle-toeing around the rocks. He<br />

knew what he was doing and he was<br />

fine,” recalls Martin.<br />

When Lenny was in his early teens, he<br />

and his dad would sit down every year<br />

and plan out a road map of goals Lenny<br />

wanted to achieve. <strong>The</strong>y continue to<br />

revisit the plan annually, tweaking it<br />

here and there and adding more to the<br />


Daily acrobatics,<br />

<strong>Oct</strong>ober 2019: Lenny<br />

does a backflip on his<br />

foil board in the<br />

waves off of Hookipa.<br />


list. Now, instead of plotting when he’ll<br />

become a world champion, his dad says<br />

Lenny’s thinking of more ambitious goals<br />

and charting a path toward a lifelong<br />

career as a professional athlete.<br />

In some ways, being stuck at home<br />

during quarantine has been a<br />

throwback to old times. Lenny can<br />

toss equipment in the back of his truck<br />

and tackle whatever the conditions offer<br />

up that day: windsurfers, kites, wings<br />

and multiple boards painted cobalt blue<br />

with a red racing stripe down the<br />

middle, a nod to his love of Formula 1.<br />

Maybe he’ll throw in some paddles for<br />

good measure. He’s also taken time to<br />

do things he normally doesn’t have time<br />

for when he’s home for short stints, like<br />

mountain biking, training on his brandnew<br />

road bike or hitting the gym. His<br />

dad says, “It’s been wonderful having Kai<br />

just be Kai at home and getting to know<br />

him again.”<br />

When you give Lenny some leniency<br />

and freedom, it’s hard to keep up with<br />

him. Really, the constraints of being<br />

home have allowed Lenny to become even<br />

more creative. Instead of training for his<br />

next competition, meticulously checking<br />

his gear for his next trip or worrying<br />

about his sponsorship obligations, he’s<br />

been reconnecting with what he really<br />

wants to do.<br />

“I’m able to focus on what caught my<br />

eye when I was a little kid and fell in love<br />

with the sport, which is the sport itself,<br />

versus the stuff surrounding it, you<br />

know?” he explains. He’s more concerned<br />

about perfecting the subtleties of various<br />

maneuvers, like the feeling of looking<br />

over his left shoulder when he does a flip<br />

while windsurfing, or really spotting the<br />

landing when doing full 360 airs while<br />

surfing. He’s landed new tricks, too.<br />

After cocooning at home for months<br />

rebuilding, training and gearing up<br />

without distractions and external<br />

obligations, it wouldn’t be surprising if<br />

Lenny explodes back onto the scene<br />

once competitions resume and travel<br />

restrictions are lifted. He says it’s given<br />

him a new perspective, one that’s more<br />

inward focused and analytical. Over the<br />

past few months, Lenny has tried to<br />

break down situations to understand<br />

what allows him to be who he is and<br />

have his best moments. “Is it when my<br />

gear is set up this way? Is it how I wake<br />

up or how I approach it? Do I like to be<br />

a little more relaxed or focused? That<br />

sort of thing will make me much more<br />

successful when it all returns,” he says.<br />

And Lenny can’t wait for it all to<br />

return because he still has goals—many.<br />

“With foiling, I want to ride huge swells<br />

in the middle of the ocean and travel<br />

from one land mass to another. With<br />

big-wave riding, I want to ride the<br />

biggest waves in the world and ride parts<br />

of the wave that either no one has ever<br />

done or only a very few people ever have,”<br />

he says. <strong>The</strong>re may be a Life of Kai, Part 2<br />

in the future, too. And that’s just off the<br />

top of his mind. <strong>The</strong>re are plenty of<br />

missions he hasn’t even dreamed of yet.<br />

“I just want to do everything. I’ll see<br />

someone across the world do something<br />

incredible and then I really want to do<br />

that. I’m so inspired by their approach.<br />

For me, it’s more that I need to get to that<br />

point and then the actual destination of<br />

accomplishing it,” he says. “For the rest<br />

of my life, so long as I have goals ahead<br />

of me, I’ll always be entertained and<br />

having fun.”<br />

“So long as I have goals<br />

ahead of me, I’ll always be<br />

entertained and having fun.”<br />


Photographer Fred<br />

Pompermayer took<br />

this otherworldly<br />

shot at Jaws in<br />

January: “Whenever<br />

Kai is in the water,<br />

I know something<br />

special will happen.”<br />


Win-Win Situation<br />

Five years ago, there were only a handful of colleges with esports<br />

programs. Today there are more than 130. With the gaming<br />

industry exploding, savvy schools are attracting hungry students<br />

who seek careers in a wild new frontier of opportunities.<br />


At the vanguard of<br />

collegiate esports,<br />

Full Sail University<br />

in Florida opened its<br />

$6 million gaming<br />

arena in May 2019.



Full Sail student<br />

Megan Danaher is<br />

captain of the<br />

Armada’s Overwatch<br />

Varsity Squad.<br />

ne Sunday morning in early March,<br />

Megan Danaher meanders through<br />

the Fortress, an indoor auditorium on<br />

the campus of Full Sail University, a twoyear<br />

college near Orlando, Florida, that<br />

prepares students for careers in the<br />

entertainment industry. <strong>The</strong> Fortress,<br />

which at 11,200 square feet is the largest<br />

collegiate arena for competitive video<br />

gaming, or esports, in the United States,<br />

reflects this academic mission. A giant<br />

screen hangs over a brightly lit stage<br />

where a banner reads “Hall of Fame<br />

Week.” <strong>The</strong> heavy beats of R&B music<br />

blare through enormous wall-mounted<br />

speakers. Camera operators and<br />

photographers surge through a crowd of<br />

young people, some of whom wear blackand-orange<br />

jerseys that signify their<br />

membership in Armada, Full Sail’s varsity<br />

esports team. Danaher strides confidently<br />

toward a group of guys standing in a<br />

circle and takes off her sweatshirt,<br />

ruffling her bangs and revealing her own<br />

Armada jersey. Her gamer handle is<br />

stitched in block letters across her upper<br />

back: Peptoabysmal.<br />

Danaher is the captain of Armada’s<br />

Overwatch Varsity Squad, and the team’s<br />

only woman. A first-person, team-based<br />

shooter game, Overwatch is defined by its<br />

fast pace and complex graphics. Several<br />

of Danaher’s teammates wear black face<br />

paint under their eyes, and now they<br />

crowd in close, jerseys shimmering in the<br />

strobes. <strong>The</strong>re are Lleaf and Anarchy,<br />

Yakisoba, 2A1Z and Beaverbiskit. “I just<br />

washed my hands,” says Danaher. With<br />

the threat of COVID-19 just beginning to<br />

emerge, the organizers have provided<br />

Purell and disinfectant wipes, along with<br />

stickers to indicate whether someone<br />


Danaher, aka<br />

Peptoabysmal, is the<br />

only woman on her<br />

team. Below: Hand<br />

sanitizer at an event<br />

in early March <strong>2020</strong>.<br />


prefers an elbow bump to a handshake,<br />

but people are still mingling. <strong>The</strong> group<br />

fidgets nervously, eager to take the stage<br />

for the upcoming tournament.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Fortress is quickly filling to<br />

capacity in anticipation. <strong>The</strong> hall this day<br />

provides a smorgasbord of delights for a<br />

gamer—fierce competitions, deep expert<br />

commentary, practice sessions on stateof-the-art<br />

sponsored MSI Stealth<br />

computers, free swag and a chance to<br />

meet their favorite players. A dozen<br />

students from two League of Legends<br />

teams are already duking it out. <strong>The</strong><br />

action is broadcast onto the giant screen.<br />

Two commentators twirl pens between<br />

their fingers and call the action. In<br />

another corner a student is deep into an<br />

NBA 2K match with Toxsic, a professional<br />

gamer. From atop the stage, a host<br />

shouts, “Don’t go anywhere, ’cuz you<br />

don’t wanna miss the next match!”<br />

Armada’s Overwatch coach, an impish<br />

and enthusiastic semi-pro, convenes a<br />

quick huddle with his players. “What do<br />

we have to do?” he screams. “WIN!”<br />

comes the thunderous retort. Danaher,<br />

who, like everyone else at the conference<br />

in the early days of the pandemic, is sans<br />

mask, turns aside from the group and<br />

grimaces at her hands. “Ugh, I gotta wash<br />

’em again now.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> tournament at first is lopsided.<br />

<strong>The</strong> fighters battle, shouting into their<br />

headsets as fingers scamper over<br />

keyboards and mice. Pandemonium<br />

consumes the crowd. Armada esports<br />

teams are good. Really good. <strong>The</strong><br />

challengers, Full Sail varsity hopefuls,<br />

can’t quite keep up. <strong>The</strong> looming rout<br />

doesn’t seem to dampen enthusiasm,<br />

though. A particularly vocal fan in the<br />

front row screams and hoots with utter<br />

abandon, jumping out of his seat,<br />

oblivious to stares, while behind him a<br />

young woman stares with quiet, rapt<br />

fascination at the onscreen drama. <strong>The</strong><br />

whole event is being livestreamed on<br />

Twitch, the platform of choice for gamers<br />

the world over.<br />

Esports has been growing as an<br />

industry for years. More recently,<br />

colleges have been getting in on the<br />

action. And for those that aren’t, perhaps<br />

they should be. Esports is set to surpass<br />

$1.5 billion in revenues by 2023,<br />

according to the Esports Ecosystem<br />

Report, published by Business Insider<br />

Intelligence. Meanwhile, the number of<br />

venture capital investments in esports<br />

doubled between 2017 and 2018,<br />

according to the accounting firm<br />

Deloitte, representing a more than 800<br />

percent increase in actual dollars, to<br />

more than $4.5 billion. Nationwide,<br />

hundreds of schools have opened esports<br />

programs in recent years and more are<br />

on the way. Robert Morris University in<br />

Chicago, which merged with Roosevelt<br />

University this year, was the first school<br />

to embrace esports in 2014. Since then<br />

more than 130 collegiate programs have<br />

popped up all over the country, in dozens<br />

of states. <strong>The</strong>y range from the small, like<br />

Roosevelt, to the big, like the University<br />

of California, Irvine, which was the first<br />

public university to create an esports<br />

program in 2015. In 2018, when Boise<br />

State University, in Idaho, opened its<br />

esports program, 20 students enrolled.<br />

Last year there were 200 applicants.<br />

Esports revenue is set to surpass<br />

$1.5 billion by 2023. Smart colleges<br />

are getting in on the action.<br />


“<strong>The</strong> whole esports space is full of<br />

problem solvers. <strong>The</strong>y had to do<br />

that to get where they are.”<br />

“<strong>The</strong> interest in our university based on<br />

esports is a big part of the conversation,”<br />

says Chris Haskell, who runs Boise’s<br />

program. “We advise colleges that are<br />

thinking about opening esports programs<br />

that whatever space they’re planning for<br />

in year one they need to have a plan for<br />

how to double that in year two,” says<br />

Michael Brooks of the National<br />

Association of Collegiate Esports, a<br />

governing body for college esports.<br />

But there’s something else going on.<br />

Gaming is the largest area of interest for<br />

males and females between the ages of 10<br />

and 20, according to statistics compiled<br />

by NACE. Those figures place gaming<br />

right at the cutting edge of a substantial<br />

shift in the corporate landscape of the<br />

future. An entire ecosystem is emerging<br />

that caters to virtually every aspect of<br />

creative and business life that could<br />

possibly spin out from the ubiquity of<br />

video games in modern life. Before<br />

the world went into a COVID lockdown,<br />

stadiums were routinely filled with tens<br />

of thousands of people for professional<br />

Overwatch League tournaments. <strong>The</strong><br />

games’ viewership figures dwarfed<br />

those for more traditional sports leagues<br />

like the NFL or NBA. And increasingly,<br />

colleges are feeling the economic<br />

windfalls. NACE-registered schools<br />

gave out some $15 million in gaming<br />

scholarships during 2019.<br />

In schools and corporate boardrooms<br />

across the country, a convergence of sorts<br />

is underway. On one side of the equation<br />

are employers looking for independent<br />

thinkers with a wide range of skills. That<br />

could mean the ability to manage an<br />

online community, or it could mean<br />

knowing how to build or jerry-rig a PC<br />

to work faster or better or with more<br />

graphics. On the other side is a massive<br />

gaming community that, by virtue of its<br />

problem-solving skills, is uniquely suited<br />

to meet that demand.<br />

“If you want to be the best player at<br />

your chosen game, you had to have<br />

figured out a lot on your own,” says<br />

Brooks. “Employers are looking for people<br />

with these skills, and now they’re<br />

discovering through esports that there’s<br />

this whole subset of students who have<br />

these skills.” In other words, a timely and<br />

potentially very lucrative meeting of two<br />

demographics is unfolding, driving<br />

change in the college experience as well<br />

as the hiring process. “If you’re thinking<br />

of being a rapidly moving company, you<br />

want people with a technical ability on<br />

the software or hardware side, but you<br />

also need people who are good at<br />

problem solving, and the whole esports<br />

Before lockdown,<br />

stadiums were full<br />

of esports fans.<br />



Known as the<br />

Fortress, Full Sail’s<br />

esports arena is the<br />

largest in the country.<br />

At 11,200 square feet,<br />

the facility can hold<br />

up to 500 spectators.

According to NACE,<br />

schools gave out<br />

some $15 million in<br />

gaming scholarships<br />

in 2019. Enrollment in<br />

esports and gaming<br />

programs is soaring.<br />

Events at Full Sail are<br />

currently on hold, but<br />

if there’s any industry<br />

that can transition to<br />

a completely virtual<br />

new reality, it’s likely<br />

to be gaming.


“I would love to go full-time esports.<br />

To live a comfortable life off of<br />

video games would be the dream.”<br />

space is full of problem solvers,” says<br />

Brooks. “<strong>The</strong>y had to do that to get to<br />

where they are.”<br />

With large-scale sporting events on<br />

hold—baseball and basketball seasons<br />

are underway again, but the roaring of<br />

the crowds has been replicated—live<br />

video-gaming tournaments are also on<br />

pause, at least for now. But if there’s any<br />

industry that stands a chance to<br />

transition to a completely virtual new<br />

reality, it’s likely to be gaming. Already,<br />

colleges are adapting. At Full Sail, where<br />

fully half of the students were remote<br />

learners to begin with, the entire student<br />

body had gone remote within a week of<br />

the first closures. Students there have<br />

continued their learning via Zoom and<br />

engaged more fully with each other<br />

through online club gatherings.<br />

Back in March, as Danaher and<br />

her teammates bask in their<br />

Overwatch victory, on the other<br />

side of the Fortress, Gus Hernandez<br />

rallies a crowd to the NBA 2K match.<br />

Hernandez is a man happily defined<br />

by his hair—a glorious bouquet of lightred<br />

curls fashioned into an impressive<br />

Afro. (“I decided to own it,” he says.)<br />

Hernandez is enrolled in Full Sail’s<br />

sportscasting degree program, and as he<br />

paces behind Toxsic, the pro gamer, he<br />

puts his skills to the test. “And ... Booker<br />

moves, passes and ... scores!” he says,<br />

seemingly delighted as much by the<br />

spotlight as by the game on the screen.<br />

As a kid, Hernandez always wanted<br />

to be famous. Raised in a Brazilian family<br />

in north Boston, he grew up watching<br />

his stepfather play rounds of FIFA and Pro<br />

Evolution Soccer on a PlayStation 2<br />

in the family’s modest two-bedroom<br />

apartment. Hernandez spent hours<br />

listening to legendary Boston sportscaster<br />

Jack Edwards broadcast local soccer<br />

games on an old radio and soon began to<br />

imagine himself behind the microphone.<br />

He also started to appreciate the more<br />

“energetic, emotional commentary” of<br />

New England Revolution games he<br />

discovered on local Portuguese stations.<br />

“That drew me in,” he says.<br />

Hernandez was in his early teens when<br />

he first discovered Twitch, and he started<br />

commentating games on his own feed.<br />

A company called Sinai Village found him<br />

and asked him to commentate several Pro<br />

Clubs soccer games. When he was 17,<br />

a league in the United Kingdom offered<br />

to fly him over to do one of their games.<br />

<strong>The</strong> trip ended up being canceled, but<br />

a spark had been lit. As his Twitch feed<br />

grew, Hernandez branched out to other<br />

games, like Counter-Strike. Recently he<br />

opened up the Twitch stream for Counter-<br />

Strike: Global Offensive and found that his<br />

own feed topped the list. “I would like to<br />

think those streams would be attracting<br />

organization owners,” he says. At age 19<br />

he already has an enviable brand and a<br />

position in the marketplace that is likely<br />

to attract attention. “People tell me that<br />

I have a really exciting style of<br />

commentary,” he says.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se days, he commentates every<br />

major Super Smash Bros. event in<br />

Florida, while also keeping up with nonsoccer<br />

games, too. “I would love to go<br />

full-time esports,” he says. “To live a<br />

comfortable life off of video games,<br />

something that was a safe haven for me<br />

growing up, would be the dream.” Until<br />

that happens, he would like to find a<br />

more traditional sportscasting job at a<br />

local network, or an ESPN. His dream of<br />

being famous has morphed only slightly.<br />

“I always wanted to be some sort of<br />

talent, but I never thought it would be<br />

in sports,” he says. “With esports, it’s<br />

a realistic goal for me.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> demand for people like<br />

Hernandez is exploding, even as an<br />

infrastructure to support their dreams<br />

continues to grow. Career choices<br />

abound: Shoutcasters to call games to<br />

millions of fans; managers to organize<br />

the growing number of live events,<br />

which are on par with or even surpass<br />

NFL or NHL audiences. Coders,<br />

designers, animators, copywriters,<br />

product managers, game designers and<br />

technicians—all are in high demand in<br />

the global entertainment marketplace.<br />

This, then, is the boom that has<br />

everyone excited, not least the students<br />

themselves. “This is a whole different<br />

Sportscasting major Gus Hernandez commentates esports games all across Florida.<br />


dynamic these days,” says Sari Kitelyn,<br />

who heads up Full Sail’s esports programs.<br />

“Gaming can really bring you career<br />

opportunities.”<br />

Sports, of course, have always offered<br />

avenues to employment. Traditional<br />

athletes have leveraged their skills in<br />

conjunction with sports management<br />

programs to find work off the field. But<br />

now, the skills and tools being developed<br />

within esports are presenting a different<br />

degree of opportunity. “Think about<br />

consumer brands and how they’re<br />

engaging with the public,” says NACE’s<br />

Brooks. “Almost all that is shifting to<br />

an online interaction, to managing<br />

communities, streaming, to livestreaming<br />

in particular, with personalities and<br />

events, and that’s where we see a ton of<br />

advertising, marketing and journalism<br />

interest, and esports is right there<br />

teaching people how to do that.”<br />

By early afternoon, the Fortress<br />

has begun to empty. Danaher,<br />

Hernandez and another Full Sail<br />

student, Erik Alpizar, take a break in<br />

a lounge area. Danaher munches on a<br />

cinnamon pretzel and talks about her<br />

two cats, Cookie and Gazlowe, who<br />

she named after a goblin in World of<br />

Warcraft. <strong>The</strong> conversation turns to<br />

games. Alpizar, who did a stint in the<br />

Navy, is a devoted player of Dragonball,<br />

a one-on-one fighting game. By his own<br />

reckoning, Alpizar is one of the top five<br />

players in Florida. (He placed 96th out<br />

of some 1,200 players in a Las Vegas<br />

tournament last year.) “When I was really<br />

in the thick of it, there was a month<br />

where literally on a Friday night I was<br />

driving to Tampa, and then on Saturday<br />

I was in Jacksonville, and then the<br />

following week I was in Miami. And then<br />

the week after that, I would be in Orlando<br />

Full Sail student Erik Alpizar is a devoted player<br />

of the one-on-one fighting game Dragonball.<br />


“This is a whole different dynamic<br />

these days. Gaming can really<br />

bring you career opportunities.”<br />


Members of<br />

Armada, Full Sail<br />

University’s<br />

varsity esports<br />

team, go up<br />

against their<br />

Overwatch<br />

challengers.<br />

at a venue they have over at a Buffalo<br />

Wild Wings.”<br />

Alpizar tells Hernandez and Danaher<br />

about Arslan Ash, the <strong>Red</strong> Bull-sponsored<br />

Tekken player from Pakistan who<br />

seemingly came from out of nowhere to<br />

beat a South Korean master named Knee<br />

at the 2019 EVO event and took the<br />

mantle of world champion. Tekken had<br />

opened doors in unexpected ways for<br />

Pakistan and its people, he explains; a<br />

country often in the headlines for stories<br />

about terrorism or geopolitics was now<br />

making news about video games. “It was<br />

just an excellent thing in esports,” he says.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re’s no negative connotation for<br />

people from Pakistan ’cause the common<br />

person doesn’t care. People that play<br />

games don’t care. With esports being<br />

global now and picking up steam, it’s so<br />

easy for any community to just step out<br />

and be like, ‘Oh, hey, we’re opening to<br />

make it more public. Hey, we’re from<br />

Pakistan. Hey, we’re from Jordan. Hey,<br />

we’re from all these places, all who can<br />

play.’ <strong>The</strong>re’s a 7-year-old girl who won<br />

a Pokémon grand final from Indonesia.<br />

It’s like this is our path to world peace.”<br />

Full Sail’s Hall of Fame week has<br />

been an annual celebration for<br />

more than a decade. A select<br />

coterie of graduates who have done well<br />

in their chosen field and given back to<br />

the school in some way are invited back<br />

each year to be inducted and speak to<br />

current students. In that sense the school<br />

feels like the pipeline it advertises itself<br />

to be—a place where people who know,<br />

more or less, what they want to learn are<br />

connected with a workplace that wants<br />

their skills. “Everybody wants everybody<br />

to move,” Kitelyn says. “Everybody’s<br />

almost all in together to keep building<br />

and providing some infrastructure to<br />

the industry. Because obviously the<br />

economic impact has been huge so far.”<br />

One graduate being honored in<br />

March is Erin Eberhardt, who graduated<br />

a decade ago and now works at Blizzard,<br />

the L.A.-based gaming giant. Raised on a<br />

7-acre plot in rural Ohio, Eberhardt was<br />

a free-range child, but in the evenings<br />

the family gathered to watch her father,<br />

an air traffic controller, game with<br />

friends. “We had chairs sitting behind<br />

Dad, and we’d be all like peering over<br />

and would pop out, just screaming like<br />

maniacs, like little kids.” Eberhardt went<br />

to a traditional university but found it<br />

uninspiring. She got a Full Sail degree in<br />

2010. When she entered the job market,<br />

YouTube and other streaming services<br />

were just ramping up. Twitch didn’t yet<br />

exist. She got a job at Disney working in<br />

development and then moved over to<br />

PlayStation for five years.<br />

Esports experienced a surge in 2016<br />

when the Overwatch League was<br />

announced. Eberhardt applied to the<br />

game’s maker, Blizzard Entertainment,<br />

and got hired. Since then she’s seen a<br />

steady influx of professionals from other<br />

sectors into the gaming world. “We’re<br />

seeing a lot of people from traditional TV<br />

and film coming in, a lot from the NFL,<br />

the NBA,” she says. “We just have this<br />

amazing nexus of these awesome minds<br />

all working together on this product.”<br />

She predicts that the next generation<br />

of hires is going to come straight from<br />

the world of collegiate esports. “This is<br />

exactly what is growing the next future<br />

generation of who is working in esports,”<br />

she says. “It’s in the collegiate level.<br />

Pretty much every single major [at Full<br />

Sail] could find themselves working in<br />

esports at one point because it’s kind of<br />

‘all hands on deck’ right now.” Full Sail<br />

is feting Eberhardt in part for her role<br />

in staging a massive live event last year<br />

around a game called Hearthstone.<br />

Danaher, one of Eberhardt’s mentees,<br />

views the Hearthstone event as a key<br />

moment in her own development. “It was<br />

perfect,” she says.<br />

<strong>The</strong> arc of Danaher and Eberhardt’s<br />

respective trajectories in some sense<br />

mirrors the growth of the industry.<br />

A decade ago, when Eberhardt was<br />

entering the job market, gaming was still<br />

an incipient industry. Full Sail didn’t<br />

have an esports team. Now Danaher’s<br />

options stretch out attractively in<br />

multiple directions. Like Eberhardt,<br />

Danaher grew up gaming. “I was the<br />

nerdy girl that liked video games,” she<br />

says. She did theater and sports, too, and<br />

thrived on the team sports environment<br />

and the human connection. Now she<br />

Full Sail alum Erin<br />

Eberhardt now<br />

works at Blizzard<br />

Entertainment.<br />


It’s not just kids playing video<br />

games that has executives from<br />

Hollywood to Orlando drooling.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Full Sail<br />

University<br />

campus in Winter<br />

Park, Florida.<br />

studies creative writing. Danaher’s ideal<br />

job would be to stage the kinds of<br />

massive live events that draw hundreds<br />

of thousands of people to arenas around<br />

the world for gaming events. Her parents<br />

have come around to her point of view.<br />

“Back then they were probably like, ‘Get<br />

off those stupid games and do your<br />

homework’ sort of thing,” she says. “But<br />

now they kind of see, like, yeah, there<br />

actually are jobs here. She’s not just<br />

goofing off.”<br />

After graduating this coming<br />

<strong>Oct</strong>ober, Danaher will begin a master’s<br />

degree program in sports management<br />

at Full Sail. She envisions a career<br />

devoted entirely to esports involving<br />

project management, team management<br />

and team building. She has her eye set<br />

on an outfit in Texas that runs an esports<br />

stadium. “I would help build the team,<br />

manage the team, make sure that they’re<br />

getting their practices, they’re sleeping<br />

right. Making sure that their mental<br />

health is still doing OK,” she says. “I<br />

just want to do things that help build<br />

a team up, like things that I’m doing<br />

right now, but in a larger capacity that<br />

I get paid for.”<br />

Full Sail University began in a truck,<br />

literally, a 26-foot GMC motor home. It<br />

was first conceived as a mobile recording<br />

studio where artists could learn the<br />

basics of music production in short, goaloriented<br />

sessions. Today the campus<br />

consists of several single-story buildings<br />

tucked away in an otherwise mostly<br />

empty grid of office spaces and small<br />

businesses in Winter Park, Florida, in<br />

suburban northeast Orlando. Its<br />

graduates have gone on to work in the<br />

biggest studios in Hollywood, including<br />

Netflix, Amazon and Disney. Every single<br />

Marvel film that has appeared in theaters<br />

to date has at least one, and often more<br />

than one, Full Sail graduate. <strong>The</strong> School<br />

of Sportscasting is named after famed<br />

SportsCenter alum and radio host Dan<br />

Patrick, who is a frequent visitor. Dave<br />

Arneson, the creator of Dungeons &<br />

Dragons, taught game design at the<br />

school until 2008. With courses costing<br />

$450 an hour, it isn’t cheap. But<br />

applications continue to stream in.<br />

It’s not just kids playing video games<br />

that has executives from Hollywood<br />

to Orlando drooling. It’s all the other<br />

stuff. “Twitch has about a thousand job<br />

openings right now but they don’t have<br />

candidates for those skill sets,” says<br />

NACE’s Brooks. Computer engineers,<br />

database managers and sound engineers,<br />

especially those who have a solid<br />

background in gaming, are in demand.<br />

“We hear the same thing for Microsoft.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y’re naturally seeing that their<br />

current employees are also gamers.<br />

That’s where they’re getting employees<br />

from. That’s the population they want<br />

to get in front of.”<br />

This is driving meaningful<br />

connectivity between the corporate<br />

landscape and the collegiate one. It<br />

actually starts even earlier than that.<br />

“You’re going to have some of these<br />

semi-trained, semi-pro kids that are<br />

coming out of high school being<br />

recruited into collegiate programs,”<br />

says Eberhardt. “<strong>The</strong>y’re being recruited<br />

for the skills that they have in their<br />

gaming.” She points to the Overwatch<br />

tournament inside the Fortress, and the<br />

entire Hall of Fame experience at Full<br />

Sail. “Those were all students,” she says.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> sound guys, all the runners, the<br />

PAs, the lighting, the rigging—all a<br />

student-run production. That kind of<br />

experience is exactly what we’re looking<br />

for at studios.”<br />


At Full Sail<br />

tournaments, it’s<br />

a totally studentrun<br />

production,<br />

from the PAs to<br />

the lighting,<br />

sound and<br />

rigging people.<br />


It’s the end of the day at Full Sail and<br />

a crowd starts to gather in front of a<br />

large outdoor stage where a screen has<br />

been set up behind a pair of chairs and<br />

a game console. As the audience begins<br />

to fill in, Hernandez and Alpizar take the<br />

stage. Full Sail’s Armada Smash Bros.<br />

team will be taking on challengers from<br />

the audience. A few brave souls take the<br />

stage. Elijah. <strong>The</strong>n Kenneth. <strong>The</strong>y both<br />

lose. <strong>The</strong> crowd starts warming up. <strong>The</strong><br />

next contestant, Logan, puts up more of<br />

a fight. More people sit down, settling in<br />

for a long evening of video gaming. On<br />

stage Hernandez and Alpizar are finding<br />

their rhythm. <strong>The</strong> warm Florida air is<br />

soothing. A steady thump of dance music<br />

wafts in from somewhere else on<br />

campus. You get the sense, on this<br />

pleasant evening, that everyone who is<br />

here is exactly where they want to be.<br />

“This is esports, baby!” Alpizar shouts.<br />

Employers everywhere from Twitch to Microsoft are looking for applicants with a gaming background.<br />


LET’S<br />

MAKE<br />

AN<br />

ORDEAL<br />

Cooped up by COVID, a crew of<br />

Wyoming outdoor athletes concoct an<br />

informal but intense mountain triathlon in<br />

their own backyard. <strong>The</strong> so-called Laramie<br />

Brunch—which combines biking, climbing<br />

and a glacial-lake crossing—is a tough<br />

reminder that one does not need airlines or<br />

mass-start events to rediscover the soul<br />

and hard-earned joys of adventure.<br />

Words MARK JENKINS<br />

Photography GREG MIONSKE<br />


Two competitors in<br />

the Laramie Brunch pick<br />

their way up the<br />

technical face of the<br />

Diamond in Wyoming’s<br />

Snowy Range. At the<br />

top, they’ll be halfway<br />

home in this homegrown<br />

adventure triathlon.<br />


<strong>The</strong> lake is calm and the skies are<br />

leaden. We were hoping for a Rocky Mountain<br />

dawn—pink welkin with the promise of warm<br />

sunshine—but it is not to be. Dark clouds roll right<br />

above our helmeted heads, enveloping the towering<br />

rock ramparts. If it starts to rain, or more likely<br />

snow, our mission is over.<br />

We are shivering when we finally dismount from<br />

our heavily loaded steeds. It is daybreak, bleak and<br />

desolate. We’ve bicycled 45 miles and gained 4,000<br />

feet—from the benighted plains at 7,000 feet up to<br />

Lake Marie, at almost 11,000 feet, in the Snowy<br />

Range of southeastern Wyoming. Martha can’t feel<br />

her feet. Justin’s on the edge of bonking. Alice is<br />

being stoic. We all pound trail food for the calories<br />

of heat and slug back electrolyte-laced water.<br />

“Critical Error #1,” says Martha. “I didn’t bring<br />

enough warm clothes.”<br />

I’d told her that her puffy winter jacket was<br />

overkill for this undertaking, so she left it at home.<br />

But now I see that there is still deep snow in the<br />

couloirs between the stone faces.<br />

To warm up, we do jumping jacks together along<br />

the shore of the lake.<br />

We are two teams: Justin and Alice; Martha, my<br />

fiancée, and I. Justin unstraps a packraft from the<br />

handlebars of his mountain bike and I pull one from<br />

my panniers. We set to work inflating our tiny boats.<br />

Martha packs our rope and climbing gear and<br />

harnesses into two dry bags. Alice does the same<br />

with their mountain climbing equipment.<br />

Both packrafts, 4-pound inflatable baby boats,<br />

are meant for one person, not two, let alone the<br />

addition of two heavy sacks of climbing gear. Our<br />

biggest fear is capsizing. Lake Marie was frozen solid<br />

a month ago, so the water is unbearably cold. Heart<br />

attack cold. We don’t have wetsuits. I admonish<br />

Martha to be careful as she gets into the raft.<br />

“I know, I know,” she replies.<br />

She delicately kneels in the bow and I get into the<br />

stern, my knees almost against her back. We push<br />

gently away from the bouldery bank and begin to<br />

paddle in unison, our two dry bags of climbing gear<br />

bobbing along behind us on a cord.<br />

I’m immediately paddling too hard.<br />

“Don’t go all Lewis and Clark,” Martha says.<br />

I try to stay calm and match her pace.<br />

<strong>The</strong> water, thankfully, is tranquil. We paddle<br />

silently through the black water like Vikings on a<br />

raid. Trout are leaping here and there, their rings<br />

expanding. Massive-antlered moose lurk along the<br />

shore, concealed in the shadows of the forest. A bald<br />

eagle, its white head visible against the black clouds,<br />

circles above us. <strong>The</strong> world is silent.<br />

Gliding across this alpine tarn, it feels as if we are<br />

floating through another time. A time before cars<br />

and traffic, overpopulation and pollution. A time<br />

when the sky and the earth, the lakes and the woods<br />

and the stars, were still part of a human’s life. A time<br />

that kept quiet and remained humble, confident in<br />

the intrinsic value of its own stark serenity.<br />

We thought it might take us an hour to raft across<br />

Lake Marie (named after the first woman to be<br />


<strong>The</strong> confinement of<br />

COVID-19 had been<br />

driving us crazy. We<br />

had to do something<br />

big, hard—and close.<br />

Harper, Large and Joel<br />

ride back to Laramie<br />

as an evening storm<br />

rolls in.<br />

elected to the Wyoming State Legislature, in 1910)—<br />

especially if the wind kicked up. Instead, stroking in<br />

synchronization across the velvety water, humming<br />

“Lake Marie” by John Prine, we make the half-mile<br />

crossing in 10 minutes. Alice and Justin follow close<br />

behind us, paddling smoothly, soundlessly.<br />

When our packraft bumps against the boulders,<br />

Martha clambers out with a grin. “That was more<br />

enjoyable than I expected,” she whispers brightly.<br />

“Leg two, of six, completed!” I reply.<br />

We pull the raft out of the water and place rocks<br />

inside it to keep it from blowing away. We open our<br />

Walmart dry bags and are dismayed to find they are<br />

filled with lake water. All our gear is soaked, but<br />

there’s nothing we can do. We cinch on our climbing<br />

harnesses, bandolier the climbing gear and slings<br />

across our chests, clip our rocks shoes to our<br />

harnesses and start tramping up the talus. Alice and<br />

Justin are just behind us.<br />

We have crossed the moat and are now working<br />

our way to the castle walls. Clouds have kept the sky<br />

dark, but the fat, furry marmots, whistling to one<br />

another, sound the alarm of our approach.<br />

We reach the base of the 700-foot face of the<br />

Diamond, put on our rock shoes and begin to climb,<br />

silently storming the castle.<br />


<strong>The</strong> Brunch delivered on all counts—technical challenges, scenic vistas and socially distanced camaraderie, all followed by pizza and beer.<br />


<strong>The</strong> confinement of COVID-19 had been<br />

driving us crazy. We had to do something.<br />

Something big but close. Something hard but<br />

possible. Something fun!<br />

“Ever heard of the Jackson Hole Picnic?” Martha<br />

asked me one afternoon. She’d lived in Jackson for<br />

a summer.<br />

I shook my head.<br />

“It’s a mountain triathlon. Bike 20 miles from<br />

Jackson to Jenny Lake, swim the 1.3 miles across,<br />

hike up the Grand Teton—over 7,000 vert—then<br />

reverse it all.”<br />

“Sounds like a solid day,” I said.<br />

“We should create our own picnic,” said Martha.<br />

“Right here in Laramie.”<br />

We googled the Jackson Hole Picnic. It was the<br />

brainchild of writer/photographer David Gonzales.<br />

After failing twice, he finally did the picnic in 2012:<br />

23 hours out and back. Gonzales says he named it<br />

the picnic for two reasons: “You gotta bring a lot of<br />

food, and it’s not an organized event.” Gonzales has<br />

since created a few other picnics in mountain towns<br />

in Montana and the Northwest. Always, participants<br />

have to do it on their own, totally self-supported.<br />

In truth, mountain climbers have been pedaling<br />

to their projects for at least a century. In 1931,<br />

alpinist brothers Franz and Toni Schmid bicycled<br />

from Munich, 200 miles south through the Alps to<br />

the base of the Matterhorn, made the first ascent of<br />

the notorious North Face and then rode back home.<br />

Moreover, the word “picnic” has been used<br />

ironically in many alpine climbing tales, most<br />

notably in Felice Benuzzi’s 1946 picaresque classic<br />

No Picnic on Mount Kenya. Benuzzi and two other<br />

Italians were being held as WWII POWs in Kenya.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y escaped the prison camp at night, trekked for<br />

days, climbed the north face of Mount Kenya, then<br />

returned across the savannah and snuck right back<br />

into the POW camp. Glorious!<br />

In five minutes, Martha and I mapped out our<br />

own six-leg picnic: Bike 45 miles from the Pedal<br />

House bike shop in Laramie, Wyoming, up to the<br />

Snowy Range; cross Lake Marie by any means;<br />

ascend the Medicine Bow Diamond—five pitches of<br />

technical rock climbing—choosing your own route,<br />

5.5 to 5.11; run or rapel off the mountain; recross<br />

Lake Marie; ride back to Laramie.<br />

“You can get across Lake Marie any way you<br />

want—swim, paddle, canoe—but everything has to<br />

be carried on your bike up and back,” she declared.<br />

“Boats, ropes, climbing gear, PFDs!?”<br />

“Everything.”<br />

After watching a couple YouTube Jackson Hole<br />

Picnic vids, Martha said, “Looks too much like a bro<br />

fest. We should require male/female teams.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> next day we pitched our idea to Joel Charles,<br />

chief bike mechanic at the Pedal House.<br />

“I like the co-ed requirement,” said Joel.<br />

“Sausage and eggs! Why don’t we call it the ‘Laramie<br />

Brunch?’ ”<br />

So we did.<br />

It would be a local event for local outdoor<br />

athletes. No sponsors, no professional athletes, no<br />

prizes. You ride your own bike, whatever it may be,<br />

climb with your own gear and wear your own<br />

clothes. By the end of the week, we had four<br />

2-person teams:<br />

Justin Bowen, 28, a serious rock climber and<br />

grad student (in watershed management) who has<br />

lived in Jackson Hole for six years; and his partner<br />

Alice Stears, 26, serious cyclist and Ph.D. candidate<br />

(in botany), who once rode from Missoula, Montana,<br />

to Eugene, Oregon.<br />

Martha Tate, 32, an emigration attorney, ice<br />

climber, globetrotter and adventure gal; with me,<br />

61, as her comrade.<br />

Amanda Harper, 30, a mountain guide, mountain<br />

bike racer, co-director of the University of Wyoming<br />

outdoor program; and Joel Charles, 42, sometime<br />

climber and former bike racer, father of Josie, 3.<br />

Matt “Large” Hebard, 43, a former savage bike<br />

racer and present savage ice climber, father of two<br />

sweet daughters; and a mysterious female partner<br />

none of us had ever met. Large insisted her name<br />

was Rihanna and claimed she was a CrossFit badass,<br />

gorgeous as a model.<br />

Martha, the author,<br />

Justin and Alice<br />

celebrate a<br />

surprisingly quick<br />

ascent.<br />

It would be a local event for local<br />

outdoor athletes. No sponsors, no<br />

professional athletes, no prizes.<br />


We scheduled the Laramie Brunch for the last<br />

weekend of July. Boulder-based photographer Greg<br />

Mionske drove up to document the fiasco, and my<br />

daughter, Addi, volunteered to be safety boater and<br />

cheerleader (she made posters—“Are U Suffering<br />

Yet?” “How About Now?” and “Home Stretch”—and<br />

would wave them, shouting much-needed<br />

encouragement, throughout the Brunch).<br />

In terms of technical skills, the hardest part of<br />

the Brunch would be climbing the chossy, 700-foot,<br />

glass-slick quartzite face of the Snowy Range<br />

Diamond. Because the rockfall risks on this<br />

obscure wall are so substantial, nobody climbs<br />

there except a handful of locals. Indeed, the<br />

chances of getting whacked by a falling rock were<br />

great enough that we decided only two teams<br />

could climb on the wall at the same time, on two<br />

separate routes, 200 horizontal feet apart. Two<br />

teams would do the Brunch on Saturday, the other<br />

two on Sunday.<br />

It wasn’t a race. It wasn’t meant to be a sufferfest.<br />

<strong>The</strong> point was simply to push ourselves with friends<br />

in the mountains—and to finish.<br />

<strong>The</strong> risk of rockfall is<br />

high enough that<br />

teams agreed to climb<br />

200 feet apart.<br />

Off belay,” I shout down at Martha, 200 feet off<br />

the deck on the Diamond. I have been careful<br />

not to knock rocks on her. We are on a route<br />

called Overhang Direct, first climbed in 1959 by K.<br />

Hull and R. Nessle. <strong>The</strong>y rated it grade III, F-7,<br />

A-2—the modern YDS climbing grade is perhaps<br />

5.9R.<br />

I gobble a PBJ while Martha climbs. When she<br />

gets to my stony ledge, she traverses over to the<br />

anchors, only to discover that the nylon webbing we<br />

put in just last weekend has been chewed through<br />

by marmots, the devil’s scouts.<br />

Unbelievably, the next set of anchors, over 300<br />

feet in the air, are also munched by marmots.<br />

Luckily, above the third pitch—the money pitch, the<br />

big overhang with lots of exposure and razor-sharp<br />

rock—the anchors are still intact. I lead the fourth<br />

pitch, Martha quickly leads the fifth pitch and we run<br />

to the summit together. We have taken the castle.<br />

“Halfway!” I yell.<br />

“Two and a half hours,” says Martha. “Our fastest<br />

ascent yet.”<br />

Surprisingly, the clouds have thinned and the<br />

weather improved. We can see far down onto the<br />

high plains, almost making out Laramie 45 long<br />

miles away.<br />

“It’s all downhill from here,” I say.<br />

“We still have to paddle back across the lake,”<br />

Martha reminds me.<br />

Martha eats her PBJ while I peer over the cliff<br />

looking for Alice and Justin. <strong>The</strong>y are climbing a<br />

different route, called the <strong>Red</strong> Spot, first ascended<br />

by R. Frisby, R. Jacquot and J. Mathiesen in 1965.<br />

I can’t see my friends and call down into space.<br />

An unintelligible reply wafts up the wall.<br />

<strong>The</strong> threat of rain has vanished—we can relax.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is nothing quite so piquant as sitting on top of<br />

a mountain you have just climbed, staring out over<br />

the landscape. You are filled with a profound sense<br />

of satisfaction. You can sense the magnetic power of<br />

the planet. <strong>The</strong> earth, after all, is just a big round<br />

stone. When we are gone, geology will continue.<br />

After an hour Alice and Justin top out. We take<br />

the obligatory summit photo—all of us hugging and<br />

yahooing—then start hiking down the trail. Back at<br />

our boats in half an hour, we repack the dry bags<br />

and prepare to paddle.<br />

“I can’t believe how calm the water still is,”<br />

says Alice.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Norse gods are smiling down at us and we<br />

know it.<br />

We slide back across shimmering Lake Marie, the<br />

water having transformed in the past few hours<br />

from murky black to teal blue. Again, John Prine’s<br />

song floats with me.<br />

“Five legs finished,” says Justin as we haul our<br />

boats up out of the water. “One leg left.”<br />

We take our time collapsing our packrafts, rolling<br />

them up and securing them to the bicycles. We dip<br />

water from the lake and drop in iodine pills. We eat<br />

again. I realize I have a flat and pump up my tire.<br />

Everything feels natural and unhurried.<br />

We saddle up and begin to ride. In just two<br />

miles, we surmount the 11,000-foot pass, called<br />


Hard pulls: Crossing Lake Marie in a boat built for one (left) and riding in a paceline on the way back to Laramie.<br />

Libby Flats, abruptly stop pedaling and fly down<br />

the mountain.<br />

At the base of the Snowy Range is a mountain<br />

town called Centennial, population 250. Centennial<br />

is 30 miles from Laramie and according to our selfconcocted<br />

Brunch rules, food and beverages obtained<br />

in Centennial are allowed. We had passed through<br />

this one-horse town before dawn when everything<br />

was closed. <strong>The</strong>re was a headwind and we were<br />

naturally looking forward to a tailwind on the way<br />

home. Alas, during the day the wind shifted 180<br />

degrees, so now we have a headwind riding back.<br />

This seems downright unfair, so we dismount, stable<br />

our steeds, pull up chairs on the patio at the Bear<br />

Bottom Bar and Grill and order pitchers of cold beer<br />

and platters of tater tots.<br />

“I thought this was going to be a sufferfest,” says<br />

Martha, popping a tot in her mouth.<br />

“Me too,” adds Alice.<br />

Pouring himself another beer, Justin says, “I feel<br />

better already!” Justin is riding his fat-tired<br />

mountain bike with clipless pedals but no cleats on<br />

his shoes. This doesn’t bother him a bit.<br />

I’m sure there are serious cyclists who would<br />

question the wisdom of stopping for pints of strong<br />

IPA before riding the final 30 miles of a mountain<br />

triathlon, but that’s just the way we do it in<br />

Wyoming. Besides, tater tots have been scientifically<br />

proven to be the perfect food for long bike rides.<br />

We hang out eating and drinking and telling<br />

stories for two hours before finally saddling up and<br />

riding away. We are ostensibly two teams of two, but<br />

in actuality, from the first minute on our bikes, we<br />

have been a team of four.<br />

With encouragement from Greg and Addi every<br />

10 miles, we roll back into Laramie just after 5 p.m.:<br />

15 hours for 90 miles of biking, 1 mile of boating,<br />

a thousand feet of rock climbing and several long<br />

rest-and-fuel breaks.<br />

Martha and I sleep like dead Vikings but manage<br />

to rally the next morning, drive up into the Snowies<br />

and hike up the back of the Diamond by 11 a.m.<br />

Greg is leaning over the face taking photos and<br />

fiddling with his drone.<br />

<strong>The</strong> two Sunday teams—Harper and Joel, Large<br />

and Rihanna—are somewhere on the face below.<br />

Martha and I drink cold beers waiting for them to<br />

summit, shouting down words of harassment. <strong>The</strong>y<br />

too chose to start at the Pedal House at 2 a.m.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y’ve been moving for over 10 hours when they<br />

finish the wall and clamber onto the top of the<br />

Diamond. But look! <strong>The</strong>re are only three of them.<br />

Martha and I were expecting to meet Large’s<br />

glamorous hotshot.<br />

“Where’s Rihanna?” I cry.<br />

<strong>The</strong> threesome break into laughter.<br />

We have been snookered. Rihanna never existed.<br />

<strong>The</strong> CrossFit babe was only an adventure avatar.<br />

Large couldn’t find a female partner so he made one<br />

up for us. <strong>The</strong>y worked together as a threesome all<br />

along. <strong>The</strong>y even wore matching red onesies!<br />

Harper carried her gear on her cross bike, using a<br />

giant seat bag and handlebar bag. Joel rode one of<br />

his old steel-frame racing bikes with no panniers or<br />

gear, but tethered to the front of Large; Large rode<br />

his 40-pound, $5,000 cargo bike with almost all the<br />

team gear—ropes, wetsuits, everything—in a big<br />

black box. It was not a happy arrangement.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> ride up here totally crushed me,” admits<br />

Large, standing on the summit of the Diamond. He<br />

looks dead and is only halfway done.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y opt to rappel the face while Martha, Greg<br />

and I walk down. Back at the edge of Lake Marie, the<br />

threesome slowly stretch into full-length wetsuits.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y will swim rather than paddle. <strong>The</strong>y pull on large<br />

rubber flippers, step into the water backwards and<br />

then, using dry bags for flotation, start swimming.<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir crossing of Lake Marie is painfully slow because<br />

Large barely knows how to swim.<br />

“I hate water!” Large bellows. He is on his back,<br />

holding the dry bag on his chest like an otter,<br />

In terms of technical skills, the<br />

hardest part of the Brunch would be<br />

climbing the Snowy Range Diamond.<br />


<strong>The</strong> Laramie Brunch is like any other triathlon that includes technical rock climbing in matching onesies and midride stops for tater tots.<br />

kicking as best he can. But he doesn’t know how to<br />

flutter kick. Instead, he kicks as if he were pedaling<br />

a bike, frantically pounding his legs straight down.<br />

Martha, Greg and I are in the safety canoe and<br />

find it all hilarious. Large disagrees. “This is the<br />

longest I’ve been in the water in my life!” he yells.<br />

Joel and Harper seem to be having a good time,<br />

flutter kicking and chatting away. <strong>The</strong>y swim beside<br />

Large as psychological support. At one point, I truly<br />

worry for him. His face is gray and his eyes pinched.<br />

He looks like he might start sinking. Nevertheless,<br />

he eventually makes it to the far shore.<br />

“I told you I hate water!” he roars from the bank.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y all drink mimosas with friends and family<br />

alongside Lake Marie, drying out their wetsuits in<br />

the sun, while we load the canoe back onto my car.<br />

Large rallies with a little beverage.<br />

Eventually the threesome saddle up and grind<br />

slowly up over the pass. On the way down out of the<br />

mountains, Large never touches his brakes. He<br />

passes us at 50 mph. <strong>The</strong>y buy snacks in Centennial<br />

but do not tarry. <strong>The</strong> weather, which had been<br />

bluebird all day, is turning. Thunderclouds are<br />

filling the sky, casting black shadows across the<br />

plains. <strong>The</strong> wind is blowing uncharacteristically<br />

from the east. An upslope wind portends poor<br />

weather in these parts.<br />

Large, Joel and Harper battle this headwind all<br />

the way back to Laramie. It looks exhausting. On a<br />

bike, wind is always worse than an uphill. <strong>The</strong>y are<br />

racing directly into a storm, hoping to beat it, and<br />

they almost do. Just two miles from Laramie they<br />

get caught—buckets of rain and pelting hail. <strong>The</strong><br />

wind swirls like a dervish. To the north, they spot a<br />

funnel cloud, which gives them sufficient inspiration<br />

to get the damn ride done. Sometime after 6 p.m.<br />

they slosh up to the Pedal House: more than 16<br />

hours of suffering.<br />


That night Martha and I had a party at our<br />

house for everyone who had made the<br />

inaugural Laramie Brunch a success. We had<br />

boxes of local pizza and all kinds of local beer. Addi<br />

made twice-baked potatoes that disappeared<br />

immediately.<br />

Justin showed up first with more beer. He was in<br />

high spirits.<br />

“I feel great!”<br />

He said he actually had gone to the gym in the<br />

afternoon. It was too wet to climb hard so he pumped<br />

iron instead.<br />

Justin and I immediately started planning our<br />

next adventure together: a new route on the north<br />

face of the Grand Teton.<br />

Alice arrived next. She cycled to our house in the<br />

pouring rain, not giving it a thought. She looked like<br />

she was ready to do it all over again. “I feel just<br />

fine,” she said brightly. She was leaving the next<br />

morning for a backpacking trip across the Gros<br />

Ventre mountain range in northern Wyoming.<br />

Harper showed up with more beer and friends.<br />

“I’ll do it next year!” she said excitedly.<br />

When Large and Joel finally arrived, Large was<br />

wearing an expedition down parka, he was still so<br />

cold. He was wiped. He slouched on the couch and<br />

could barely speak. Perhaps the gods were punishing<br />

him for poaching the event without a proper partner.<br />

But Joel was in fine form, telling stories of his<br />

bike-racing days in Boulder. He hadn’t ridden a<br />

bike for a decade—he claimed to have trained for<br />

the Laramie Brunch by drinking one less beer a<br />

day—and thanked Martha for coming up with an<br />

adventure that got him back on the bike. He said the<br />

final stretch into Laramie brought back corporeal<br />

feelings he hadn’t had since he stopped racing.<br />

We all told stories. That’s what we humans do.<br />

Martha told one about running a half marathon in<br />

the excruciating heat of Alexandria, Egypt. Justin<br />

had a tale of living in a van and ice climbing in<br />

Kyrgyzstan. I told a story of getting sepsis on a bike<br />

ride across Russia.<br />

Everybody had their own tale of struggle and<br />

perseverance, failure and triumph. Everyone had<br />

their own epic. That is the nature of the tribe of<br />

outdoor athletes.<br />

As everyone was leaving, Alice thanked us and<br />

said, “<strong>The</strong> whole reason I did this was I needed<br />

something to look forward to. COVID has made us<br />

feel like prisoners. This was a wonderful escape!”<br />

Felice Benuzzi, World War II POW, would be<br />

proud.<br />

Everyone had a tale of<br />

struggle and perseverance,<br />

failure and triumph.<br />

Everyone had their own epic.


10 issues for $12<br />

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guide<br />

Get it. Do it. See it.<br />


Solitude is bliss<br />

on Lake Powell.<br />

GLORIO<strong>US</strong><br />

SOCIAL<br />


Getting away from it all is hard when everyone is<br />

trying to do the same thing. Here are four ways to<br />

get creative—and cut yourself off from the crowds.<br />



Do it<br />

G U I D E<br />

Discover Public Lands<br />



California’s Sierra Nevada<br />

mountain range, which runs<br />

400 miles from the Mojave<br />

Desert to Oregon, is home to<br />

the state’s most celebrated<br />

natural wonders. It’s a place<br />

where you can climb the<br />

Lower 48’s highest peak,<br />

Mount Whitney, one day and<br />

hug the world’s largest tree<br />

the next; spend half your trip<br />

touring Yosemite National<br />

Park and the other half<br />

floating on the emerald<br />

waters of Lake Tahoe.<br />

Understandably, campgrounds<br />

in the area are almost always<br />

running at capacity—which is<br />

why those in the know have<br />

cut the campground cord.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> area is overwhelmingly<br />

public lands,” says Bureau of<br />

Land Management (BLM)<br />

Bishop Field Manager Steve<br />

Nelson. “You won’t come<br />

across many “no trespassing”<br />

signs and there is still a high<br />

level of self-discovery here.”<br />

Specifically, Nelson is<br />

referring to BLM and Forest<br />

Service land, where camping<br />

is actually allowed almost<br />

anywhere—as long as you are<br />

versed in Leave No Trace<br />

practices and respectful of<br />

things like seasonal fire<br />

restrictions and no-go zones<br />

near trailheads, main roads<br />

or designated campgrounds.<br />

Simply familiarizing yourself<br />

with which agency manages<br />

what (and mastering the art<br />

of car camping off-grid) is<br />

like having a skeleton key to<br />

secret campsites in some of<br />

the most beautiful swaths of<br />

wilderness in America.<br />

In the Sierra, there are<br />

beautifully secluded pit stops<br />

just a few miles off the east<br />

side’s main artery, U.S. Route<br />

395. <strong>The</strong> Alabama Hills, a<br />

BLM-managed stretch of high<br />

desert, full of RV-sized<br />

boulders, has many dirt roads<br />

that take you far beyond the<br />

day-trippers. Two more<br />

options: Find a secluded spot<br />

near Mammoth Lakes and<br />

Skip the campgrounds and find your own secret campsite.<br />

enjoy an outdoor pint in town,<br />

or park near Lee Vining Creek<br />

as a launchpad for day trips<br />

into Yosemite (bandit camping<br />

is strictly prohibited within<br />

most national parks).<br />

<strong>The</strong> next level is exploring<br />

the network of dirt roads that<br />

crisscross Forest Service land<br />

and take you deeper into the<br />

mountains. Many of the<br />

unmaintained roads between<br />

Isabella Lake and Sequoia<br />

National Park lead to such<br />

Rush-hour traffic<br />

on Lake Tahoe’s<br />

Emerald Bay.<br />

isolated alpine valleys, you<br />

could ignore the must-see<br />

stuff altogether, set up near a<br />

bubbling river and stay put for<br />

an entire week.<br />

Nelson notes that not every<br />

dirt road leads to a parking<br />

spot in paradise. And if it does,<br />

you may not be alone. He<br />

urges you to simply keep<br />

exploring. “No one gives away<br />

their favorite spot anymore,”<br />

he says. “Which is why it gets<br />

tougher every day to find<br />

them.” Of course, that’s<br />

probably a good thing.<br />

Make it happen: Off-grid<br />

adventures on public lands<br />

require next-level carcamping<br />

and leave-no-trace<br />

skills. <strong>The</strong> best resources for<br />

identifying boundaries are<br />

your GPS or map apps like<br />

Cal Topo, which typically<br />

have a feature showing colorcoded<br />

agency boundaries.<br />

<strong>The</strong> BLM and Forest Service<br />

websites list all the rules and<br />

regulations for using the land<br />

safely and respectfully.<br />

Mastering the art<br />

of camping offgrid<br />

is like having<br />

a skeleton key to<br />

secret campsites<br />

in the most<br />

beautiful spots.<br />


Remote Getaways<br />

Pololu Valley has a classic hike that<br />

ends at a black-sand beach.<br />


<strong>The</strong> Waipio Valley<br />

has breathtaking<br />

views—and truly<br />

breathtaking hikes.<br />

Quarantine in Paradise<br />


When the state of Hawaii<br />

announced a mandatory 14-<br />

day quarantine upon arrival,<br />

many decided to put their<br />

vacations on hold. For others,<br />

however, a vacation is a<br />

quarantine of sorts, and<br />

there’s no better place to stay<br />

put than the remote northern<br />

tip of the Big Island, where<br />

lush cliffs plunge into the sea<br />

and the locals like a lot of<br />

space. “It’s a little like Oregon<br />

meets the tropics,” says Bruce<br />

Bromberg, the revered chef<br />

and co-founder of the Blue<br />

Ribbon restaurants, who<br />

moved to the Big Island in<br />

2015. “<strong>The</strong>re’s almost no one<br />

living next to someone else<br />

and it’s the perfect place to destress<br />

and decompress.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> island of Hawaii—<br />

which shares the same name<br />

as the state itself—is five times<br />

larger than the second biggest<br />

(Maui), with nearly the samesize<br />

population. Bromberg fell<br />

in love with the Big Island<br />

during a James Beard<br />

celebrity chef event. A year<br />

later, he, his wife and his<br />

daughter moved to Puako, a<br />

low-key town halfway<br />

between Kona and an idyllic<br />

outpost in the north called<br />

Hawi. Hawi is a place that<br />

somehow remains remote and<br />

undiscovered-feeling, despite<br />

being the turnaround point<br />

for the annual Ironman<br />

Triathlon in <strong>Oct</strong>ober.<br />

In Hawi, house-arrest is not<br />

a bad thing, especially if you<br />

rent an isolated plantation<br />

cottage with wraparound<br />

decks and sea views, and<br />

several acres between you and<br />

your nearest neighbor. Most<br />

rentals sit on huge parcels of<br />

land, and Bromberg says the<br />

town itself has a deep local<br />

Hawaiian vibe. <strong>The</strong>re is a kava<br />

tea hut, an Alpaca farm and a<br />

penchant for living off-grid.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> local Kohala Grown<br />

Market makes these great<br />

smoothies,” he says. “We come<br />

here and get fruit I’ve never<br />

seen or heard of in my life.”<br />

Bromberg heads north to<br />

hang in Hawi every chance he<br />

can get, often on his way to<br />

go hiking in one of the five<br />

stunning valleys that<br />

converge at the end of the<br />

tiny Kohana Mountain Road,<br />

Route 270. Each valley<br />

radiates away from the sea<br />

within two huge natural<br />

reserves. Closest to Hawi is<br />

the Pololu Valley. “We hike<br />

down the cliff to a stunning<br />

black-sand beach that’s<br />

Contemplate<br />

world peace<br />

in Pololu.<br />

great for swimming,” says<br />

Bromberg. “People disappear<br />

into these valleys for days,<br />

camping.” <strong>The</strong> furthest,<br />

Waipio Valley, is the most<br />

well known but is typically<br />

accessed from the east, rather<br />

than through Hawi. <strong>The</strong> best<br />

part: Even when things return<br />

to normal and Hawaii does<br />

fully open to tourists, little<br />

will change in Hawi because<br />

the tourists never came here<br />

in the first place.<br />

Make it happen: Pay close<br />

attention to the state’s rules<br />

around outside visitors and<br />

triple check with your rental<br />

host about regulations on<br />

their end—both can be fluid<br />

these days.<br />


Do it<br />

G U I D E<br />

Go Back in Time<br />


A four-hour drive northeast of<br />

Portland, Maine, just beyond<br />

the historic fishing village of<br />

Lubec, is a lighthouse.<br />

Geographically speaking, this<br />

lighthouse is officially the<br />

easternmost point in the<br />

United States, punctuated<br />

severely by the steep and<br />

craggy cliffs above the Bay of<br />

Fundy, across the U.S.-Canada<br />

border. And Lubec is a town<br />

that truly feels like the end of<br />

the road. <strong>The</strong> town of about<br />

1,500 salty souls is in fact<br />

largely cut off from industry,<br />

technology and even tourism.<br />

<strong>The</strong> weather isn’t just small<br />

talk here—it’s a throwback<br />

town where livelihoods<br />

depend on understanding<br />

tides and predicting low<br />

pressure systems. It also<br />

happens to bookend some of<br />

the best hiking and camping<br />

in the Northeast.<br />

Lubec is also the<br />

easternmost point of what is<br />

known as “the Bold Coast”—<br />

an empty stretch of coastline<br />

between Milbridge and Lubec<br />

that has so many nooks,<br />

Lubec has<br />

authentic<br />

throwback charm.<br />

crannies, caves and cliffs, it<br />

makes Cape Cod look like the<br />

Hamptons. While it may not<br />

be all that surprising that you<br />

can get a world-class lobster<br />

roll at places like Quoddy<br />

Bay Lobster, few people<br />

realize that the state’s best<br />

wilderness experience is<br />

actually an hour beyond<br />

Maine’s natural crown jewel,<br />

Acadia National Park. <strong>The</strong><br />

Bold Coast has dozens of state<br />

reserves and wildlife refuges,<br />

both inland and along the<br />

coast. Lubec’s Coastal Trail,<br />

within the 532-acre Quoddy<br />

Head State Park, soars along<br />

hundred-foot cliffs before<br />

dropping onto a crescent of<br />

sea-sculpted cobblestones.<br />

Leaving Lubec, headed<br />

back toward Portland, the<br />

Bold Coast Scenic Byway<br />

(which parallels much of the<br />

Bold Coast’s Scenic Bikeway)<br />

passes dozens more spots for<br />

coastal hiking and camping, as<br />

well as fresh seafood in small<br />

fishing villages. Cutler is a<br />

good jumping-off point for<br />

multi-day Lost Coast-style<br />

adventures along the Fairy<br />

Head Loop, a 10-miler in the<br />

<strong>The</strong> West<br />

Quoddy<br />

lighthouse<br />

marks the<br />

easternmost<br />

point in the U.S.<br />

Cutler Coast Public Reserve,<br />

dotted with primitive camping<br />

sites and side trips for whale<br />

watching. While most reserves<br />

in the area have primitive<br />

walk-in camping options,<br />

there are a few established<br />

campgrounds. One of the best,<br />

McClellan Park campground,<br />

is in fact right at the beginning<br />

of the Byway (if traveling east<br />

to west).<br />

Fall presents a particularly<br />

unique opportunity on the<br />

Bold Coast. Even during<br />

“high season” it’s pretty quiet<br />

here. But by <strong>Oct</strong>ober, locals<br />

begin drinking at the bars<br />

again, seasonal inns shutter<br />

and the sea begins to stir.<br />

Of course, sunshine is a<br />

rarity this time of year, but<br />

the Bold Coast is that rare<br />

place where moody weather<br />

actually enhances the<br />

experience.<br />

Make it happen: <strong>The</strong>re are<br />

direct flights to Portland from<br />

all over the U.S. It is always<br />

important to respect the<br />

most current regulations<br />

regarding travel into Maine,<br />

and the safety of the small<br />

communities that live along<br />

the Bold Coast.<br />

Admit it: You want a lobster roll.<br />


Remote Getaways<br />

Serenity meets<br />

adventure on a<br />

Lake Powell<br />

houseboat trip.<br />


Hire a Houseboat<br />


Houseboating might have a bit<br />

of an image problem—<br />

floating RVs are not exactly<br />

subtle. But the truth is a multiday<br />

cruise on one of America’s<br />

most stunning lakes is the rare<br />

vacation that blends serenity,<br />

fun and adventure. Captaining<br />

a vessel into an empty cove is<br />

exploration at its finest;<br />

careening from the top deck<br />

into the water using the boat’s<br />

waterslide—while holding a<br />

beer—brings out your inner<br />

7-year-old; watching the sun<br />

set over national parkland, as<br />

the Milky Way appears above<br />

you, is as close to backpacking<br />

as you can get without a heavy<br />

pack.<br />

America’s houseboating<br />

mecca is Lake Powell on the<br />

Utah-Arizona border, where<br />

the Colorado River meets the<br />

Glen Canyon Damn to create<br />

a 186-mile-long reservoir,<br />

with 96 major side canyons.<br />

If stretched out, Lake Powell<br />

would be longer than the<br />

continental United States.<br />

Surrounded by protected<br />

National Monument and<br />

Recreation Area land, it’s<br />

easy to get lost in the lake’s<br />

endless tributaries, deep in<br />

the mind-bending orange<br />

canyons, beneath 200-foot<br />

sheer sandstone cliffs, or<br />

beached on a seldom-visited<br />

sliver of sand. Lake Powell is<br />

surrounded by natural arches,<br />

slot canyons and precarious<br />

spires. But most of its<br />

shoreline can only be reached<br />

by boat (or a prohibitively<br />

long, dry hike), cutting crowds<br />

to a fraction of what they are<br />

along road-trip routes in the<br />

area. And the deeper you go,<br />

the fewer boats you see.<br />

“Escalante Canyon, at mile<br />

marker 69, is just beyond<br />

where most people will cruise<br />

to,” says Robert Knowlton,<br />

general manager of boat<br />

rentals and tours for the<br />

houseboat marinas on the<br />

lake. “It’s my favorite spot; I’ve<br />

been back there and not seen<br />

anyone for two or three days.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> boats he rents vary in<br />

size, bedroom count and<br />

amenities. All come with a full<br />

kitchen and outdoor grill, but<br />

high-end cruisers come with<br />

things like rooftop hot tubs<br />

and bars. Before you scoff,<br />

Knowlton says a hot tub can<br />

make a fall trip. “In September<br />

and <strong>Oct</strong>ober, evenings are<br />

cooler and the hot tub feels<br />

great,” he says. “Fall is my<br />

favorite time of year here—<br />

daytime temps stay below 100,<br />

the water is still warm and the<br />

lake is less busy.”<br />

Busy or not, houseboating<br />

is social distancing in the most<br />

literal sense. Stocked with<br />

enough provisions to get you<br />

through a four-to-seven-day<br />

stay, you spend the entire time<br />

with only the people sleeping<br />

on your boat. Even if you do<br />

see other boats during your<br />

trip, interaction with other<br />

humans is entirely optional.<br />

In the fall, Lake<br />

Powell’s waters<br />

are less crowded<br />

but still warm.<br />

Make it happen: <strong>The</strong> two<br />

houseboat marinas on Lake<br />

Powell are Wahweap on the<br />

western end and Bullfrog, 95<br />

miles to the east. Which one<br />

you choose depends largely on<br />

where you live—people from<br />

Colorado or Texas go to<br />

Bullfrog; Californians tend<br />

to hit Wahweap. Pro tip:<br />

Take advantage of “preboarding,”<br />

in which you can<br />

board your houseboat the<br />

night before the start of your<br />

trip—between 5 and 9 p.m.—<br />

and cast off at first light. It<br />

costs extra, but less than the<br />

hotel rooms you would need<br />

to book that night anyway.<br />


Do it<br />

G U I D E<br />


“I J<strong>US</strong>T LIKE<br />


THE AIR”<br />

Snowboarder Zeb Powell reveals<br />

how he prepares for his gravitydefying<br />

acrobatics.<br />

“I don’t really do the<br />

standard tricks,” Powell<br />

says. “I like to try less<br />

traditional tricks—and<br />

then see if I can make<br />

them crazier and harder.”<br />

Known for his innovative, stylish riding, Zeb<br />

Powell, 20, became a snowboarder out of<br />

adversity. A self-described “crazy child,”<br />

Powell learned to snowboard at age 8 after his<br />

local skatepark closed. On the mountain, when<br />

an instructor tried to force Powell, a goofy-foot,<br />

to ride regular, he nearly gave it up. Still, the<br />

passionate skateboarder took to snowboarding<br />

quickly. “It came naturally, and I didn’t really<br />

have a learning curve,” he says. “I just like<br />

flying through the air.” While attending<br />

Stratton Mountain School (in Vermont),<br />

Powell began competing nationally in<br />

slopestyle events. Intensely creative, he<br />

constantly experiments and takes a “ride<br />

everything” approach. As he invents tricks and<br />

puts his spin on the sport’s signature moves,<br />

Powell pushes his body into ever more extreme<br />

positions. In January <strong>2020</strong>, he won the X<br />

Games Knuckle Huck, which rewards stylish<br />

and innovative aerials. ”I want to do something<br />

that people have never seen before.”<br />


Fitness<br />

SKILLS<br />

“With a new trick,<br />

I break it down”<br />

“At Stratton Mountain School, we<br />

had trampolines and a foam pit,<br />

and were always going crazy on it.<br />

That’s where I pushed my air<br />

awareness. With a new trick,<br />

I break it down. If I’m trying to do<br />

a 720, I’ll do a 360 first and review<br />

the video. If I like it, I’ll keep doing<br />

it or build off of it. Usually, it’s a<br />

grab that no one else is doing.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are so many variations.<br />

I think skateboarding’s really<br />

broadened my variety of tricks.<br />

A big part of it is confidence—<br />

believing I can do the trick and not<br />

bailing halfway through it.”<br />

FOC<strong>US</strong><br />

“It’s all about how<br />

to push myself”<br />

“I don’t really look at it like<br />

training. It’s just snowboarding.<br />

I watch videos of other riders who<br />

inspire me before I go out and try<br />

to focus on my ambitions for the<br />

day. I think ambition breeds<br />

creativity. Being in a light mood<br />

also is important to my riding. I like<br />

to have my friends just laughing, to<br />

be around people who make me<br />

smile. When I went to X Games the<br />

first time, everyone was all serious,<br />

and it definitely influenced my<br />

riding. <strong>The</strong>n I figured out how to be<br />

in my head and make my own jokes<br />

and keep myself happy.”<br />



“I try to be a diverse<br />

snowboarder—to ride jumps,<br />

rails, halfpipe and big<br />

mountain. When I’m bummed<br />

or down, I know that I just<br />

need to get on my snowboard<br />

and I’ll be fine. I get so much<br />

joy out of it. I think that’s<br />

what it’s about.”<br />


“I don’t go to the<br />

gym at all”<br />

FUEL<br />

“I think I’ve only had<br />

five salads in my life”<br />


“All my friends are always mad<br />

at me because I don’t go to the<br />

gym at all. I run sometimes if<br />

I haven’t been active for a while.<br />

But I think skateboarding and<br />

wakeboarding do most of the work<br />

for me. <strong>The</strong>y keep my legs strong.<br />

I think wakeboarding helps with<br />

my core, too, because I’m getting<br />

pulled at like 20 mph. And I’m<br />

doing all kinds of tricks. It definitely<br />

keeps me strong and makes me<br />

more agile. I am into yoga, but<br />

I don’t really have a long enough<br />

attention span for it. I would<br />

definitely like to do it more.”<br />

“I always have granola bars in my<br />

backpack. I like Clif Bars, especially<br />

the White Chocolate Macadamia<br />

Nut flavor. If I eat two of them, I feel<br />

like I’ve had a lunch. That’s about it<br />

when I’m snowboarding—granola<br />

bars and water. I’m actually a picky<br />

eater. I’m like a kid. I’ll eat tacos,<br />

but I won’t eat them with<br />

everything on them. I’m, like, plain<br />

guy. I need to change it. I like to<br />

keep PB&J in my room, in case<br />

I get hungry. I like fruit. I’ll eat<br />

vegetables, too, but I don’t go out<br />

of my way to eat them. I think I’ve<br />

only had five salads in my life.”<br />


See it<br />

G U I D E<br />

15<br />

<strong>Oct</strong>ober<br />

AFI FEST<br />

Although the slate<br />

for this Los Angelesbased<br />

film fest hasn’t<br />

been announced yet,<br />

it’s confirmed that the<br />

show will go on in<br />

some shape or form.<br />

Last year’s lineup<br />

included a rousing<br />

world premiere of<br />

Queen & Slim,<br />

directed by AFI<br />

alumna Melina<br />

Matsoukas and written<br />

by Lena Waithe.<br />

Thru <strong>Oct</strong>ober 22;<br />

fest.afi.com<br />

Available now<br />


In 1998, a 24-year-old Jimmy LeVan landed a jump on his BMX from the top of the stairs at St. Mary’s<br />

Church in Austin, Texas, to the pavement on the other side of the road. It has since become known<br />

as the “Austin Church Gap,” attempted by countless others but so far only nailed by LeVan, the X<br />

Games rider who went on to carve out an innovative and influential career in street BMX and create<br />

the renowned Metal Bikes brand. It’s just one moment in his dramatic life story, as documented in<br />

this captivating film, which also details a terrifying spill he took in 2007. “I flatlined and died four<br />

times in my coma,” LeVan tells the camera, matter-of-factly. redbull.com<br />

17<br />

September<br />



In the throes of a global pandemic,<br />

the NYFF team quickly pivoted its<br />

setup to accommodate for drive-in<br />

screenings and virtual press passes<br />

for its 58th installment. According to<br />

programming director Dennis Lim,<br />

this year’s slate focuses on answering<br />

one question: Which films matter to<br />

us right now? Headliners include<br />

Steve McQueen’s Lovers Rock (right),<br />

Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland and Azazel<br />

Jacobs’ French Exit. Thru <strong>Oct</strong>ober 11;<br />

filmlinc.org/nyff<strong>2020</strong><br />

Available<br />

now<br />

OPEN THE<br />

DOORS<br />

This documentary<br />

was intended to be a<br />

celebration of a newly<br />

minted F1 race team<br />

—Scuderia AlphaTauri,<br />

formerly Toro Rosso.<br />

But, following the<br />

cancellation of the<br />

Australian Grand Prix<br />

in March, it became<br />

an unprecedented<br />

glimpse into the<br />

mindset of an F1<br />

team during<br />

lockdown, and their<br />

eventual debut at the<br />

Austrian GP in July.<br />

redbull.com<br />


Calendar<br />


8<strong>Nov</strong>ember<br />

RED BULL<br />

SOLO Q<br />

After kicking off<br />

this summer, the<br />

global gaming<br />

extravaganza comes<br />

to a head in the U.S. in<br />

<strong>Nov</strong>ember before the<br />

world finals. <strong>The</strong> event<br />

is the official 1v1<br />

League of Legends<br />

tournament for<br />

gamers, with more<br />

than 35 countries<br />

participating. For the<br />

online competition, the<br />

leaderboard activation<br />

can only be accessed<br />

through a <strong>Red</strong> Bull<br />

Solo Q Limited Edition<br />

can. redbull.com<br />

25<br />

<strong>Oct</strong>ober<br />

RED BULL<br />


If you’re a student with<br />

an innovative idea that<br />

could enact positive<br />

change in the world,<br />

this global tech project<br />

is providing an outlet.<br />

Get your application in<br />

by <strong>Oct</strong>ober 25, and the<br />

selected winners will<br />

receive mentoring,<br />

workspace and microfunding<br />

to help realize<br />

their idea, before<br />

showcasing it at a<br />

global workshop<br />

in December.<br />

redbull.com<br />

Available<br />

now<br />

A LAND<br />

SHAPED<br />

BY WOMEN<br />

Freeride snowboarders<br />

Anne-Flore Marxer and<br />

Aline Bock spent a winter<br />

making this film—set in<br />

the inspiring landscape of<br />

Iceland, a country ranked<br />

top for gender equality by<br />

the World Economic Forum<br />

11 years running—about the<br />

push for equal rights in a<br />

sport historically dominated<br />

by men. redbull.com<br />

Available<br />

now<br />

RETURN<br />

TO EARTH<br />

This year will likely be most<br />

remembered for long<br />

periods spent indoors.<br />

Thank goodness, then, for<br />

this cathartic bike movie,<br />

which celebrates the<br />

feeling of just letting time<br />

fly and enjoying it. Filmed<br />

in stunning locations<br />

worldwide—from the<br />

deserts of Utah to the<br />

mountains of Patagonia—<br />

and featuring the kinetic<br />

skills of riders including<br />

Brett Rheeder, Thomas<br />

Vanderham and Casey<br />

Brown, this cinematic<br />

journey will help you<br />

reconnect with nature<br />

or, at the very least, make<br />

killing time at home more<br />

enjoyable. redbull.com<br />



MAGIC<br />

This winter’s coolest new gear for skiers,<br />

snowboarders and backcountry adventurers.<br />


You’ll appreciate<br />

the stretch of<br />

Black Diamond’s<br />

Dawn Patrol Hybrid<br />

Pants when you’re<br />

tackling a steep<br />

uphill pitch.

G U I D E<br />




Breathable soft-shell fabric with four-way stretch<br />

minimizes clamminess and provides freedom of<br />

movement for bootpacking up steep pitches.<br />

Fabric on the thighs and cuffs is reinforced with<br />

a proprietary membrane that is less stretchy but<br />

more protective: Even wet snow won’t soak<br />

through, due in part to the Empel DWR treatment<br />

that’s sustainably produced and contains no<br />

toxic PFCs. $299; blackdiamondequipment.com<br />


DPS’s carbon laminates make for super light skis,<br />

but the Pagoda Tour’s construction of ash and<br />

paulownia, sandwiched with strips of aerospace<br />

foam, dampens chatter on hard snow without<br />

sacrificing power; it holds its own against heavier<br />

skis and climbs like a ski-mo lightweight. Tip:<br />

Order it with DPS’s Phantom, a semi-permanent<br />

waxless base treatment that offers great glide<br />

with almost no maintenance. $1,300 (+ $150 for<br />

Phantom base treatment); dpsskis.com<br />


Torn between light weight for the uphills and<br />

power for turns? <strong>The</strong>se boots are Scarpa’s nocompromise<br />

answer. <strong>The</strong> no-friction walk mode<br />

borrowed from its ultralight Alien touring boot<br />

offers range of motion for comfortable uphilling.<br />

A custom-moldable liner and Boa closure<br />

prevent hot-spot blisters and cold toes. Ready to<br />

rip? Three forward lean angles, a burly power<br />

strap and the carbon-Grilamid cuff offer lateral<br />

power with precise control. $800; scarpa.com<br />


Extremely breathable yet rugged enough for<br />

daily wear, the Sanction (and women’s Solitaire)<br />

combines multiple Gore-Tex fabrics: Pro-Shell<br />

Stretch on the front and arms feels unconfining,<br />

while everywhere else, standard Pro Shell<br />

delivers lightweight durability. Two internal drop<br />

pockets secure even extra-wide skins, and the<br />

Solitaire (designed with pro Amie Engerbretson)<br />

includes a zippered vent on the collar to keep<br />

goggles from fogging. $750; spyder.com<br />



Slim and ultralight, this leakproof travel mug<br />

claims precious little space in your pack and<br />

weighs just 8 oz. But its double-walled vacuum<br />

insulation keeps beverages hot for up to four<br />

hours—and on a cold, wintry tour, sipping a<br />

steaming drink can mean the difference between<br />

pressing on and retreating home. Not too big or<br />

small, the 14 oz. capacity is just right. $100;<br />

stanley-pmi.com<br />


With women’s (Sopris 30-l) and men’s (Soelden<br />

32-l) designs, Osprey’s first airbag packs feature<br />

plenty of thoughtful touches: a cavernous main<br />

compartment; attachment loops for everything<br />

from ice axes to skis and boards, even sleds; and<br />

Osprey’s comfortable, secure harness. Alpride’s<br />

electronic E1 airbag system has simple<br />

rechargeable capacitors for fast inflation and<br />

auto-test LED indicators to constantly monitor<br />

the system. $1,200; ospreypacks.com<br />

<strong>The</strong> rugged, versatile Spyder Sanction and<br />

Solitaire integrate multiple Gore-Tex fabrics.<br />


G U I D E<br />



Until now, you had a choice for technical shells:<br />

high-performance or eco-friendly. <strong>The</strong> Demain’s<br />

solvent- and PFC-free Xpore technology is half<br />

the weight of competing waterproof/breathable<br />

membranes but performs just as well. <strong>The</strong> shell<br />

fabric is made of a blend of sugarcane waste and<br />

recycled polyester, with technical features like a<br />

powder skirt, pit zips and ergonomic hood. You’ll<br />

stay dry and warm, while helping keep winters<br />

cold. $500; picture-organic-clothing.com<br />



Always a great-fitting bib—because Burton sinks<br />

major R&D into designing pants for women—the<br />

uninsulated Avalon now features two-layer Gore-<br />

Tex for extra durability and waterproofing. Pores<br />

in the lining open to release excess heat but<br />

close when the body cools, perfect for stop-andgo<br />

activities like resort snowboarding. <strong>The</strong> dropseat<br />

construction lets you answer nature’s call<br />

without removing your jacket. $300; burton.com<br />


With equal abilities on hardpack and in the<br />

backcountry, the limited-edition Stratos defies<br />

easy categorization. <strong>The</strong> narrow sidecut and<br />

basalt stringers help keep the edge locked in<br />

while carving corduroy, but the directional shape<br />

that tapers to the rear and a setback stance<br />

option offer exceptional float for deep natural<br />

snow. Most hybrid boards aim for capable<br />

performance in all conditions, but the Stratos<br />

achieves mastery. $580; jonessnowboards.com<br />


<strong>The</strong> original step-in bindings were finicky, but the<br />

concept is irresistible: Just step in and slide for a<br />

secure, slop-free connection to the board that no<br />

strap binding can match. K2’s Clicker X HB has<br />

an intuitive toe-first step-in, a large platform for<br />

fast edge-to-edge response, and a stiff nylon<br />

highback for extra ankle support. Tool-free<br />

adjustable lean angle lets you dial in your<br />

position. Pair with K2 Maysis Clicker X HB boots<br />

for the full package. $250; k2snow.com<br />


Smaller faces shouldn’t mean a smaller view.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se women’s goggles feature cylindrical lens<br />

technology for distortion-free vision at every<br />

angle in a size and shape that fits smaller heads.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Magna-Tech interchangeable lens system<br />

uses 14 powerful magnets for a secure hold and<br />

a fast, tool-free swap. Ingeniously, the magnets<br />

pair with compatible MFI Facewarmers for an<br />

airtight seal against the elements. $230<br />

(includes two lenses); burton.com<br />


Giro’s lightest helmets yet at 14 oz., the Grid<br />

(men’s) and Envi (women’s) are stylish, comfy—<br />

and don’t skimp on protection. It starts with<br />

MIPS Spherical, which features a ball-and-socket<br />

system of concentric spheres of EPP foam that<br />

slide against each other to protect the brain from<br />

rotational impact energy. <strong>The</strong> helmet also offers<br />

a cozy Polartec padded liner, adjustable venting<br />

and compatibility with Giro-branded Outdoor<br />

Tech audio systems. $280; giro.com<br />

<strong>The</strong> WM3 goggles are made to fit smaller heads<br />

and have an ingenious magnet system for lenses.<br />


<strong>The</strong> Arbor Veda is<br />

ready to rip all<br />

over the mountain<br />

and has a great<br />

sustainability<br />

story, too.<br />


Nimble enough for freestyle and burly enough<br />

for big lines, the Veda feels at home all over<br />

the mountain, just like its designer: pro rider<br />

Marie-France Roy. Arbor’s Grip Tech sidecut<br />

design puts power under your feet for precise<br />

edge control, while subtle angled riser sections<br />

at tip and tail pull contact zones slightly off the<br />

surface for a less-grabby feel. Roy’s climateactivist<br />

role comes into play, too, with FSCcertified<br />

wood cores, recycled steel edges<br />

and bio-resin laminate construction.<br />

$500; arborcollective.com

Tweaked this year,<br />

the acclaimed<br />

Enforcer is lighter<br />

and more playful—<br />

and just as<br />

powerful as ever.<br />


As a perennial “best of test” pick, you’d think<br />

Nordica would leave the acclaimed Enforcer<br />

alone. <strong>The</strong> latest tinkering makes the new<br />

version lighter (9 lbs., 5 oz. per pair), but what<br />

matters is where: Trimming heavy plastic in<br />

the tips lowers swing weight for quicker turn<br />

initiation, and lets Nordica extend the wood/<br />

carbon hybrid core further along the board<br />

length for a more playful feel. At 100 mm<br />

underfoot, it’s equally at home slashing<br />

grooves on fresh-laid groomers or blasting<br />

through powder and chop in the bowls.<br />

$850; nordica.com

G U I D E<br />

SKI GEAR<br />

Ski<br />

Accessories<br />


Lined with brushed flannel, the Cassiar LT (and<br />

women’s Ravenna LT) delivers a bit of warmth on<br />

chilly lift rides, yet the lightweight fabric and<br />

streamlined tailoring keep pace on aggressive<br />

descents. Pit zips dump heat, a powder skirt<br />

seals out deep drifts, and three-layer Gore-Tex<br />

will remain waterproof for years. Smart seaming,<br />

with articulated elbows and gusseted<br />

underarms, offers freedom of movement and<br />

keeps the fit trim and sleek. $599; arcteryx.com<br />


<strong>The</strong> Polartec Alpha Active technology inside this<br />

hardworking midlayer is spooky good at keeping<br />

you comfortable. <strong>The</strong> airy, lofted insulation<br />

provides warmth without bulk and pulls moisture<br />

away from your body. <strong>The</strong> result: You stay warm<br />

and dry whether you’re bashing moguls at full<br />

blast or hunkered down on a long lift ride. With<br />

a generous hood, full-zip front and men’s and<br />

women’s styles, it also makes a great shell layer<br />

for high-energy winter sports. $289; stio.com<br />

Hydaway Collapsible<br />

Water Bottle<br />

<strong>The</strong> size of a hockey puck when<br />

empty, this light silicone bottle tucks<br />

neatly into a jacket pocket and offers<br />

a more sustainable alternative to the<br />

single-use plastic cups that skiers<br />

find at lodges’ water stations. Instead<br />

of drinking from those one-and-done<br />

vessels, just expand this 25 oz., BPAfree<br />

bottle and fill ’er up. $30;<br />

myhydaway.com<br />

Atomic<br />

Connected Straps<br />

<strong>The</strong>se data trackers attach to boots’<br />

power straps to analyze skiers’ turns,<br />

calculating such metrics as edge<br />

angle, arc shape, pressure control and<br />

G-forces. Results are reported via<br />

Atomic’s Connected App, which skiers<br />

can use to evaluate their technique<br />

and compare it against users<br />

worldwide. $499; atomic.com<br />


<strong>The</strong> world’s top-selling women’s ski was<br />

redesigned this year to keep its easy-turning<br />

likability—while expanding its ferocity. All six<br />

lengths (from 147 cm to 177 cm) feature a new<br />

beech-and-poplar core that’s optimized for every<br />

size, so each model delivers a progressive flex<br />

and solid edge hold. That gives the Black Pearl<br />

more high-speed stability, yet the tip and tail are<br />

soft enough for easygoing maneuvers. Fast or<br />

slow, this ski obliges. $780; blizzardsports.com<br />


Here’s a Goldilocks option for resort skiers who<br />

tour beyond the lifts: <strong>The</strong> Shift Pro 130 (and<br />

women’s Shift Pro 110 W) is light enough for<br />

uphilling but burly enough for uninhibited<br />

descents. Credit the Coreframe construction,<br />

which sandwiches super-stiff carbon between<br />

weight-saving polyamide. <strong>The</strong> heat-moldable<br />

shell and liner ensure a blister-free fit, and thin<br />

soles allow for solid power transmission from<br />

boots to skis. $850-$975; salomon.com<br />

<strong>The</strong> Shift Pro is a Goldilocks option for<br />

resort skiers who tour beyond the lifts.<br />

POC Cornea Solar<br />

Switch Goggles<br />

Many lenses with transitional tints<br />

that fade in dim light require seconds<br />

(even minutes) to adapt to changing<br />

conditions. But the Solar Switch<br />

instantly adjusts its light transmission<br />

and lets skiers zoom between sunny<br />

slopes and shady glades. Solar energy<br />

powers a liquid crystal technology<br />

that’s layered between the antiscratch,<br />

anti-fog lenses. $450;<br />

pocsports.com<br />



This rugged barware is as dapper as it is durable, whether you’re<br />

enjoying a good drink in the backcountry or your backyard.<br />

Words JOE LINDSEY<br />

<strong>The</strong> Camelback<br />

Horizon Wine<br />

Tumbler is<br />

designed to bring<br />

joy to outdoorsy<br />

wine snobs.<br />



Don’t use just any tumbler for vino; the 12 oz.<br />

Horizon’s curved interior wall mimics the bowl<br />

shape of a good wine glass to concentrate the<br />

aromas and flavors of your favorite vintages.<br />

<strong>The</strong> no-slip silicone base pad and adjustable<br />

slider lid reduce the chance of splashes and<br />

spills. Stainless-steel construction is<br />

dishwasher safe and keeps even delicate whites<br />

at a constant temperature. $25; camelbak.com

G U I D E<br />


Skip the flimsy neoprene koozie for this<br />

superior option. <strong>The</strong> double-wall vacuum<br />

insulation keeps drinks cold for hours, with no<br />

messy condensation to slick your hands. <strong>The</strong><br />

stainless-steel construction is durable, dent<br />

resistant and dishwasher safe. It comes in a<br />

rainbow of colors to mix and match, and three<br />

sizes that fit everything from conventional 12<br />

oz. brews to slim seltzers to tall 16-ounce cans.<br />

$25-$30; yeti.com<br />


This slim growler is the ideal companion when<br />

you’re on the move. <strong>The</strong> 36 oz. capacity is perfect<br />

for pouring a cold, frosty brew for yourself and<br />

a friend or two post-adventure. Vacuum-sealed<br />

insulation and a copper lining keeps beer or<br />

other drinks cold for hours, and the screw-top lid<br />

is leak free and can be clipped to a pack for easy<br />

carrying. <strong>The</strong> stainless-steel construction with<br />

optional powdercoat finishes will offer years of<br />

dependable use. $45; otterbox.com<br />



Have whiskey on the rocks—on the rocks—with<br />

this stout tumbler. <strong>The</strong> insulated stainless-steel<br />

construction keeps ice cold up to nine hours<br />

with no slippery condensation on the outside.<br />

A generous 13 oz. capacity works for straight<br />

pours or cocktails, and the slidable plastic lid and<br />

rubberized bottom pad add security for unstable<br />

surfaces. Also makes an ideal coffee mug for<br />

lazy weekend mornings. $15; coleman.com<br />



Take wine for the picnic without worrying<br />

about fragile glass bottles thanks to this<br />

tall 25 oz. tumbler with a leakproof lid.<br />

<strong>The</strong> generous size will hold a full 750 ml. of<br />

your favorite wine. Double-wall insulation<br />

keeps your Fruiliano at a constant chill, and<br />

the BPA-free stainless steel won’t pick up<br />

flavors from previous use.<br />

$45; hydroflask.com<br />


Bring your own portable party with this<br />

sweet cocktail kit. <strong>The</strong> 32 oz. mixer has doublewall<br />

vacuum construction and features a<br />

cap with a pour-through setting for perfect<br />

pours. Two insulated 8 oz. tumblers keep frozen<br />

drinks cold for hours (lids help prevent spills),<br />

and the four-pack of 10 oz. stainless tumblers<br />

(single-wall) let you share your latest cocktail<br />

creation with even more friends. $106;<br />

kleankanteen.com<br />


<strong>The</strong> problem with growlers—even the tightest<br />

lid can’t prevent the fizz and freshness from<br />

escaping eventually. <strong>The</strong> uKeg solves that with<br />

an automatic pressurization system using simple<br />

CO 2<br />

cartridges. Just fill and pressurize for 64 oz.<br />

of fresh, perfectly carbonated beer for up to two<br />

weeks (it’s fridge safe). A pressure gauge and<br />

sight glass help monitor vital signs, all in a<br />

striking steampunk style in stainless or copper<br />

finishes. $159-$179; growlerwerks.com<br />

<strong>The</strong> uKeg growler can keep beer perfectly<br />

carbonated for up to two weeks.<br />



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Action highlight<br />

All flip, no flop<br />

In case you couldn’t tell, Dimitris Kyrsanidis loves the beach. “<strong>The</strong> San Blas Islands<br />

[in Panama] were one of a kind,” says the Greek freerunner. This parkour project,<br />

shot on the tropical coast of Central America in February this year, was titled<br />

From the Office to the After Office. Fortunately, Kyrsanidis’s line of business<br />

doesn’t require a suit. Watch him in action at redbull.com.<br />

<strong>The</strong> next<br />

issue of<br />


is out on<br />

<strong>Nov</strong>ember 17.<br />






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