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Ken Lucas recently returned from a trip to Ja-pow and was nice enough to send us these photos. No, we’re not jealous at all. Looks like just another day…at least that’s what we’re telling ourselves…
April 18, 2014
 
 Zeal Optics recently partnered up with athletes and creatives Chris Burkard, Pete Devries, and Josh Mulcoy, to host a fundraiser dedicated to ocean pollution awareness and in support of the 5 Gyres Institute. The 5-Gyres Institute is focused on reducing the consumption and production of plastic waste, and encouraging people to choose cost-effective alternatives to plastic, which they believe “will go a long way in protecting our seas— and ultimately ourselves.”
April 17, 2014
 
 

Future Shock: THE Spot In Frisco

April 16, 2014

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Joe Suta kicking off Tuesday night Skate Night

It takes a lot to stand out in the crowded land that is today’s retail landscape, what some would call a wasteland of sameness – a land where hundreds of shops peddle the same brands, with the same message, competing solely on price in a time when discounts from retailers with little to no overhead are just a click away on ubiquitous smartphones.

But in the high country of Colorado’s Summit County a new business is not only standing out, but destroying by branding out.

imageA short detour off I-70’s Exit 203 brings you to the rolling garage door of Future Shock. Littered with wood-and-metal ramps, ledges, and boxes, the entrance yawns into a ramp lined showroom, featuring some of the most select boutique skate and snow brands available anywhere - including Templeton and Fillmore , and the shop’s mainstay – Nightmare Development snowboards.

Owned and operated by Nightmare Founder Joe Suta, Future Shock is more than just a boutique skate and snow emporium, snowboard showroom, skatepark, and epicenter of a crew and scene, as if that weren’t enough, so much more in fact. 

Continuing back through the insanely well merchandised and designed space, you find yourself in an office space that serves as mission control for this custom-focused collective. With video editing stations, stacks of DSLR cameras, and large format printers, this is the hub for the Nightmare team’s digital media masterminds as well as a station for customers to design, edit and print their own custom skate and snow graphics. image

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Continuing further into the recesses of 616 Recreation Way you find yourself in yet another world – the home of Hubble Outerwear, the brainchild of  physics major and snowboard master Darren Schaeffer, who hand tailors custom outerwear on site.

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Schaeffer with Hubble’s Future Shock team jacket

Throw in a custom motorcycle shop and a bicycle building bay and you’ve got a modern day fun factory a stone throw from some of the best slopes and parks in Colorado, not to mention some amazing skateparks and blue highways for hitting the road and accessing the West on your new chopper.

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This madness-fueled model’s method has lured in partners including snowboard legends Trent Bush and Paul McGinty and a team of up-and-coming riders that are owning the Summit County scene and beyond.

image The Nightmare team.

Join us for a quick tour of the shop and be sure and swing by and say what’s up next time you’re in Summit County!

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Photogasm: #PPChasingLight Contest Winners Announced

April 15, 2014

Last week we teamed up with our friends at Passion Passport for an amazing Instagram contest called #PPChasingLight. A nod to one of Instagram’s most popular hashtags, chasinglight, the contest saw more than 550 people submit their most inspirational images of mind and light-bending shots for a chance to win ZEAL Optics and #SeeLifeDifferently.

Here’s a quick look at the contest’s three winners and nine honorable mentions and the write ups that captured ZEAL’s and passionpassport's imaginations.

WINNERS!

@LoveAmyLee - Chasing the sunset and found myself where the road ends and hardened lava fields begins. Just over the the hill you’ll find Pele’s, the volcano goddess, molten lava trail colliding with the Pacific Ocean. A beautiful dance of waves crashing and lava steaming creating new earth.

@TheRealSpencerCallahan -   I took this picture last fall while I was home recovering from a concussion. My passion in life is traveling, but I was in a surf accident earlier in the summer that put a lot of my travel plans on the proverbial back burner. While I was home, I was able to really explore my hometown, which I hadn’t seen much of in the previous ten years. Photography is one of the things that helped me recover from my head injury, and it also rekindled the love affair I had with Mobile Bay as a child. This iPhone picture taken with #vsco is an unedited shot that highlights the beauty of the bay and couldn’t possibly be more appropriate for a contest theme of “Chasing Light”, as I was clearly chasing the last few drops of sun as it set in the west over the water.@NotWithoutMyPassport- "We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise if we have waited in the darkness." ~Anonymous I was unexpectedly brought to BC under a dark cloud to confront and make peace with a loss that re-opened painful family wounds… but I left feeling soothed. Thank you, Tofino, for the healing light of these sunrises. During my week there, I woke up at the crack of dawn every morning to bathe in them, often on an isolated beach, where I found solitude. Sometimes nature is all we need.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

@ciesla504 - Life’s An Adventure … Make It An Adventure To Remember! Seek out your own adventure. Keep going until you find it, your bliss, your light!

@princessleah19Metis will always hold a special place in my heart. One of my favourite parts about visiting in the summer is spending time with my family and watching the sun slowly set over the water #ppchasinglight

@redavis23 - Stopped on the slopes in Whistler, Canada by chance and was lucky enough to catch this view. Was worth taking my hand out of my glove into the freezing cold temperatures outside to capture this. Looks like paradise to me. The best way to end a brilliant day of skiing.

@pshurst#tbt to my trip to the San Juan Islands. Such a great place for an adventure. I’ve never seen such amazing sunsets. Made up for the fact I didn’t see any orcas.

@linda__b 

@trisataroUsually when the sun is in your face you put on your shades, but when the it reflects off a view this amazing you can’t help but take them off {#Greecethrowback pt. 1}

@purplecowphoto - “10:00am Downtown Newark, NJ - It was one of those mornings where the sky is as crisp as some new dollar bills and the cold was penetrating your skin. Walked around this corner and the sun had just risen, flooding the street of this old city with warm golden rays.”

@tylerkitzman 

 
 

Chris Del Moro’s Bella Vita

April 14, 2014

imageWhen we began putting together the ZEAL Surf dream team, we looked at surfers that brought a few things to the table—an international background, a passion for exploration, a focus on sustainability and the health of the ocean, and a unique style both on and off the waves. At the top of our short list was one name: Chris Del Moro.

We’re incredibly stoked to announce that Chris is bringing his powerful surf style, passion for travel and dedication to saving the world’s oceans to the ZEAL family. We caught up with Del Moro to learn more about what makes him take and why he’s down with ZEAL Optics.

Background - where’d you grow up, inspirations in life, in the water, career highlights, etc. 

I was raised between Florence Italy and Los Angeles, California. From a young age, my family had me in the Med and Pacific. I have always been heavily attracted to playing in nature i.e surfing, hiking, skating, snowboarding and traveling. I’ve been blessed to have great family who supported my surfing habit, that helped my habit turn into a job that allows me to do what I love—travel, work for the environment and explore my deep love of surfing and the planet we live on. imageWhat are you into other than surfing? What motivates you?

I’m an artist who draws inspiration from my travels. It’s the way I document my journeys and express myself best. I also love to practice yoga, which is essential to keeping my mind and body in alignment for surfing and life. I have always been attracted to the great outdoors and do my best to keep my routine fresh and exciting. I enjoy gardening, skating, hiking, snowboarding, mountain biking, reggae music, writing and spending quality time with family and friends.

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How’d you get into surfing and what is it about the sport that continues to get you excited?

My cousins taught me the basics, then they quit and found ice hockey. My passion was like wildfire—the connection to the sea has shaped my world, my friends, and general direction since I was born. I’m inspired by progressing my surfing with more power and flow, while simultaneously studying our rich surfing history. I’m eternally looking for barrels and small crowds and beautiful locations to test new equipment and myself. imageWhat are your favorite places to surf? People to travel with? Why?

I love surfing Northern California and it’s large/wild scale. I also love the east coast of Australia and its magic sands. The three people that I enjoy surfing most with are my little sister because of her fresh eyes, my best friend Oli because of our lifelong sea connections, and with Dave Rastovich because of the unique lines he draws. imageWhat are some of your accomplishments that you’re most proud of?

Helping to run the Surfers For Cetaceans group and standing up towards the injustices our sea kin face around the globe. I hope through the noise and energy we put into spreading awareness we have educated and helped grow a unified voice taking a stand against captive dolphin/whale trade as well as mass slaughters that continue around the globe.

On the surfing front I am proud to have been featured in wonderful film projects such as “The Present”, “Sliding Liberia”, “The Heart and The Sea”, and most recently a film I helped create alongside Jason Baffa entitled “Bella Vita”.

image What are a few things that most people don’t know about you?

I love basketball and am a huge fan of the Los Angeles Clippers. My first language was Italian. I’m a life long vegetarian born into a family of meat eaters.

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What’s next for you as far as trips, goals, etc?

Heading to Australia for a few months, then Indo for deep island explorations and hoping for some national parks state side in the summer.

Craziest moment you’ve ever had in the water?

Having a 20-foot plus shark circling and bumping my sail kayak in the middle of the sea. The power and intensity of that moment was unforgettable, scary, and beautiful.

Why are you down with Zeal?

I’m down with Zeal, because I believe that the brand philosophy is of greater good for the planet and the family that support the brand. I love the fact that the team is thinking outside of the box, making not only stylish shades but doing it with the an earth conscious approach and they are made in Italy!

What are your favorite sunglasses and why?

The ACE, not only are they biodegradable but they are a classic frame made in Italy :)

 
 
Josh Mulcoy may be best known for his surfing, but dude slays it on any board you put under his feet. From snowboarding to wake surfing to his other gig as a pro kiteboarder, we’re humbled by his sideways finesse, balance, and style.
April 13, 2014
 
 
Spring skiing and riding is here, and it’s one of the best times of year for riding with friends, filming, and enjoying two of our favorite things - sun and snow!  Outside Explorer's tierzascaccia is logging footy in her #HDCameraGoggles - get yours today!
April 12, 2014
 
 

Fear Paralyzes! Human Nature With Amy Kotch

April 11, 2014

ZEAL Surfer Amy Kotch was recently featured in an article called “Human Nature” in Australia’s White Horses magazine, where she highlights what she’s learned about life, people, and travel over her years. Here’s a great excerpt to inspire you to check out the full issue:

Fear Paralyzes!

This relates to all areas of life, not just in the surf. So many people thought I was putting my life in danger by moving to a Muslim country to follow my dream. If I had one piece of advice, it’s to let go of fear and take risks. If I’d listened to the fears of my friends and family I would not have lived in remote areas of Indonesia, got some of the best barrels of my life, found my husband and interacted with the most interesting range of people I could possibly imagine. Life is meant to be lived! One of the more rewarding moments in our line of work is when guests conquer their fears in the surf. Say yes. Turn and go. In the surf, in life. One decision, one wave, can open the door to a very exciting future!

 
 

Whistler Backcountry Barrage!

April 10, 2014

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Craig Beaulieu sending.

Memories. They begin with the images we capture in the recesses of our mind, and are shaped and stamped into legend by great photographers who help us see things, even those we watched go down, in new ways.  

Growing up a skateboard-obsessed youth in Montreal, Todd Easterbrook was later forced to move to the Laurentian Mountains where his focus slowly shifted to snowboarding and the great outdoors. It was during a short stint in Whistler in the winter of 2000 that he discovered yet another passion, photography.

Shortly after returning to Quebec he enrolled in a commercial photography program at Dawson College. Upon completion of the course he headed back to Whistler to pursue his love of both photography and powder. Shooting mainly in the vast Whistler backcountry, his pursuits to document what he loves and the people and places around it have also brought him to Japan, New Zealand and numerous U.S. mountain ranges. 

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Todd’s images compel us to go bigger, to find what’s over the next ridge, and to put down runs we didn’t know we had in us to create memories and legends.

Todd works extensively with our team riders Craig Beaulieu and Andrew Burns and we had the chance to catch up with him after a recent backcountry mission to get his take on a day for the ages.

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Beaulieu backing FARGO.

The Weather in the Whistler Backcountry in March can be hit or miss, actually it can be hit or miss anytime of the year in the Coast Mountains. That’s what makes those bluebird days so special and why one must truly take advantage of their rarity. 

Craig Beaulieu and fellow ZEAL ambassador Andrew Burns built this jump spot, named Christmas Eve, four days prior to the actual shoot. The day they built it the clouds rolled in just as they were done and lingered for another day. On the third day I headed to the jump with Burns and Craig, we waited in the clouds for nearly fours hours but the sky never broke enough for the riders to session it. 

The next morning was perfect, not a cloud to be seen and a fresh dusting of new snow awaited us. We rolled up early and got to work, Burns couldn’t be there that day due to a prior obligation, so Craig and some fellow Whistler shreds hit the spot until there was no more landing. All in all it was great day, Craig stomped a Cab Double Cork 1080 and a Frontside 1080 Tail Grab. 

The next few days were all time until the clouds rolled back in, fortunately bringing snow with them for reset…

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This spot may be called Christmas Eve, but Craig’s feeling like a kid on Christmas morning right about now.

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Our kind of quiver!

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Beaulieu’s babies. That’s definitely a Christmas-morning glow.

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Wanna know where this spot is? ‘nuff said. Craig riding in RIVIERA

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BRAP!

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See more of Todd’s work and follow the madness:

Web

Facebook

Instagram/Twitter: @photog_todd!

 
 
Go behind the scenes of an epic night at the Boulder Theater with chrisburkard, Josh Mulcoy, Pete Devries, MTHDS, Thee Dang Dangs and more as ZEAL Optics premieres Surfer Magazine’s "The Cradle of Storms" at a FUNdraiser for the 5 Gyres Institute.
April 9, 2014