Keep your gear tight and your plans loose. It isn’t just our motto, it’s a way of life. We’re rolling out a new blog series to shine light on the unsung heroes of the gear world, aptly named #TightGearTuesdays. We’re not talking about the try hards who like their garage more than the great outdoors, nor the sloppy gear taco people who can’t tell left from right. We’re talking about the people who are already dropping into their line of the day while most of us are still packing for the weekend. They don’t even have to think about it, it’s just how they roll.
First victim? The one and only Eric ‘Hoji’ Hjorleifson.
Hoji’s OCD attention to gear is no secret. He spends so much time in his gear cave that he’s almost DQ’d from this series, but 15+ years of mind-melding ski film seg’ies suggests the guy definitely leaves his cave and makes it count.
Hoji doesn’t let any gear limitations or social norms get in between him and a good time in the mountains. If there’s even a chance of making something faster, better or more efficient, he’s damn well gonna try to figure it out.
Hell, sometimes we wonder if he’s doing it differently just to mess with us.
When everyone stops to secure their skis to their packs before a short bootpack, Hoji is half way up the climb with his skis dangling off his waist strap, or whatever the hell it’s attached to.
When a prototype boot loses a part in the backcountry, he pulls a [email protected]$kin screwdriver out of his ski pole grip!
Even off the mountain at the tailgate party, Hoji finds a way to make apres more efficient. Normal people stuff their forearms blindly into a chip bag… not Hoji. He flips the bag upside down, rolls the empty part of the bag inside itself, then voila, all your chips are at the top and the bag stands on it's own.
We made Hoji fill in some blanks, in hopes of scraping at least a few of his secrets.
I spend so much time in my gear cave because:
I have a problem focusing, my workflow is terrible. Usually I head down to work on a project and start working on it, then something annoys me in the cave and I start working on that instead, ultimately I spend too much time working on my machines, building tools and organizing the shop... The bright side is after 10 years of progress I am at the point where I am getting to the end of the list of problems in my cave and after rebuilding and upgrading my machines I have learned how they work and how to use them correctly to get the results I desire. I predict that I am close to the point where I will start really working on creating my ideas instead of fixing things and organizing... At least I hope so, haha!
(The cave saves the day. Hoji cutting some RUX proto parts we needed help with.)
My wife Jen puts up with my gear cave because:
Really I don't know, unconditional love? Maybe she just likes her alone time? Or maybe she believes in me and hopes that I will invent and build something that will support us in the future ;)
If I had to quarantine for 2 months alone on a mountain or my cave I’d choose:
Well if it was during wintertime for sure the mountains, unfortunately this wasn't possible for our current quarantine situation so I ended up in the gear cave.
(Hoji's not picky about what kind of cave he hangs in. Just find the man a cave.)
I challenge gear design and user tricks because:
I am easily annoyed by in efficiency, poor performance or badly designed product. My friend Fritz calls it "Design Masturbation" There are way too many products that were "Designed" by product designers and not built with a purpose or true understanding of the problems they are trying to solve.
I bet none of you knew that I:
I only ski powder and I like drinking beer because I don't want to feel anything at all...
If you’re not first you’re:
Probably f**king with your gear and not focused on getting the pow ;) Also, skiing powder is the best, but skiing someone else's powder is better!