Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 18

Yvon Chouinard and Gerry Lopez
it off immediately. These days Lopez works designing boards with Yvon's son Fletcher.
No surprise, Lopez in particular is an interesting analogue to Chouinard himself. He's
the Living Plan B, embodying a low-fi path
Chouinard might have taken had he not gone
into business. And Lopez could have ended up
more like Chouinard.
Lopez "blew up" in a sport that was glowing
a lot hotter in the 1960s and 1970s than climbing ever could. Surf, in fact, has always had the
ability to suck in more heat. While Chouinard
lambasted Outside in a profile in the New
Yorker last year for causing the "death of the
outdoors by promoting outdoor 'lifestyle,'"
surf was co-opted by business interests at least
since the late 1960s when Gerry Lopez started
shredding Pipeline on Oahu's North Shore and

1980s

Outdoor Retailer 35th Anniversary
Warshaw explains that Lopez never wanted
to run a company, nor did he love the spotlight.
"I think Gerry was kind of embarrassed by
the commercialization," he says. "He really
didn't want that. He wanted to have a life."
Which is probably one reason he fled Oahu
for Bend, Oregon. "It seemed shocking that
he'd move to Bend," says Warshaw, "but when
I got older it made perfect sense. If you've ridden that many good waves and ridden them
beautifully, you don't stop surfing-you stop
being the person who lives for surfing."
Like Chouinard, Lopez's guiding lights
are simplicity and craft-as well as reinvention. Lopez still makes boards under his own
name, and is now a great SUPer and snowboarder, just as Chouinard is now a worldclass fly fisher and less of a climber. "Lopez is

Chouinard's an athlete, and he's always
filtered what Patagonia produces
through that purposeful lens: What's
the actual use? Rather than making gear
just to make more gear.
"Wide World of Sports" showed up to shoot it.
Suddenly, millions of people knew Lopez's
name, and companies like Hang Ten and
Billabong (and later, Quiksilver) wanted to
cash in on surfer cool. Lopez rode that wave
for a while and was featured regularly in
Sports Illustrated. He even had cameos in
movies and television dramas. And he might
have leveraged that fame for longer-lived
branding. His was the face of the Lightning
Bolt surfboard company, which later began
to sell clothing, keychains, and jewelry. It all
could have gone very big.
Former editor of Surfer and pre-eminent
surf historian Matt Warshaw says, "Bolt was
a bunch of great surfers making the sleekest
boards that looked like spears. It was the best
logo in sports, these two-tone boards with
these giant logos that had enormous style,
way more than the Nike swoosh or anything
else." But Bolt fizzled. It didn't become Nike,
and probably if it had Lopez would've been
gone anyway.

18 OUTDOOR RETAILER

/ 35th Anniversary 2017

a godhead, a shaman and a Yoda for surfers
around the world," Warshaw says. "He can
sell every board he makes."
But Sheahan says the reason why someone
like Lopez makes sense within the Patagonia
pantheon is that he's a good spokesperson for
causes that should matter to Patagonia customers. "That's why Rick Ridgeway's there,"
Sheahan adds.
Ridgeway, even more than Chouinard,
could have stayed on Plan B, since he's one
of the most accomplished climbers of his
generation. But today he's better known
as Patagonia's VP of environmental affairs
who's behind the famous Black Friday "Don't
Buy This Jacket" ad that ran in The New York
Times in 2011.
"Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, The North
Face-we're all showing athletes as these
rugged individualists on some peak," says
Sheahan. "That's not good for the athlete and
it's not good for us. Talking about safe drinking water, about somewhere they're going

and helping the people there, not just doing
an expedition, it's just a better model."
Sheahan says Chouinard's leeriness about
supporting professional athletes isn't about
animus, it's about mindfulness, about sponsoring brand ambassadors who have a larger vision-and who can articulate that. The
brand image at Patagonia is very tightly contolled, and it always comes back to the ethos.
That's why Patagonia has done so well with
athletes like Lopez, and Chouinard himself,
representing what it is.

ARTICULATING A VISION IS ONE PLACE
where Yvon Chouinard and Gerry Lopez
find their greatest synergy-in Hawaiian
it's called mo'olelo, or talk story. Lopez is a
good spokesperson for causes that should
matter to Patagonia customers. He writes
eloquently about everything from the hazards of plastic in our oceans to SUPing for
charitable causes, both on his own site and
for Patagonia's blog, "The Cleanest Line."
For his part, Chouinard's been telling stories since long before Patagonia existed.
Galen Rowell's 1973 praise of the Chouinard
Equipment catalog makes it plain that
Chouinard wasn't just out to entertain or
sell stuff-he wanted to change crusty old
climbers' minds about pitons.
Sheahan says Chouinard is still trying to
pry open closed minds, even as Patagonia
gets ever closer to being a billion-dollar business. "He'll always be uncomfortable with
that..." And Sheahan says whether the stories Patagonia tells are with its blog or with
ads targeting politicians (and customers)
with campaigns such as stopping the federal government from rescinding Bears Ears
National Monument's status, Patagonia will
continue to tell them.
"They're a private company," Sheahan
says. "They can take all their sales from
Black Friday last year and put them toward
environmental causes, and Yvon knows
he couldn't do that if they were public."
Sheahan believes that kind of leadership is
a net positive for the entire industry, public and private. "Yvon and Patagonia aren't
afraid," he says. "Yes, they're going to make
some people mad. And that's good. That's
their legacy. They can always be counted on
to take action." O.R.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - July 2017

OUTDOOR RETAILER - JULY 2017
CONTENTS
CONTRIBUTORS
FIRST WORDS
THE TRIBE
GREG THOMSEN
YVON CHOUINARD AND GERRY LOPEZ
STEVE BARKER
THE SCENE
JEFF LOWE
PETER AND PATTY DUKE
BEAVER THEODOSAKIS
CARSON STANWOOD
CHAD GALLWITZ
JOHN MEAD
THE TORNADO
THE SCENE
SALLY MCCOY
JOHN STERLING
CASEY SHEAHAN
THE SCENE
MUSIC AND MEMORIES
PETER METCALF
SALLY JEWELL
CONRAD ANKER
JEN TAYLOR
DAN NORDSTROM
JEREMY COLLINS
JOANNA HOSHIMOTO
THE FUTURE
THE BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - OUTDOOR RETAILER - JULY 2017
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 1
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CONTENTS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CONTRIBUTORS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 5
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - FIRST WORDS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 7
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE TRIBE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 9
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 10
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 11
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - GREG THOMSEN
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 13
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 14
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 15
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - YVON CHOUINARD AND GERRY LOPEZ
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 17
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 18
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 19
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - STEVE BARKER
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 21
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 22
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 23
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE SCENE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 25
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 26
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 27
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JEFF LOWE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 29
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - PETER AND PATTY DUKE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 31
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - BEAVER THEODOSAKIS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 33
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CARSON STANWOOD
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 35
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CHAD GALLWITZ
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 37
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JOHN MEAD
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 39
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE TORNADO
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 41
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 42
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE SCENE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 44
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 45
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 46
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 47
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - SALLY MCCOY
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 49
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 50
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 51
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JOHN STERLING
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 53
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CASEY SHEAHAN
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 55
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE SCENE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 57
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 58
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 59
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - MUSIC AND MEMORIES
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 61
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 62
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 63
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 64
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 65
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - PETER METCALF
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 67
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 68
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - SALLY JEWELL
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CONRAD ANKER
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 71
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JEN TAYLOR
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - DAN NORDSTROM
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JEREMY COLLINS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JOANNA HOSHIMOTO
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE FUTURE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 77
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 78
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 79
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - Cover3
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/february_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/january_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/december_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_07302020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_07212020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2020summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_07072020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06302020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06232020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06162020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06092020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06022020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_05272020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_05192020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nxtbook_bhtest/weeeekly_05052020__JJ
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_05122020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_05052020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/postshow2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2020_day3
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2020_day2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2020_day1
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/preshow2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2020winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/postshow_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/day3_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/day2_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/day1_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/preshow_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2019summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/postshow2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2019_day3
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2019_day2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2019_day1
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/preshow2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2019winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2018summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2018winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2017summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2017winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2016summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2016winter
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com