What’s the “Why?”: Notes from a crash-test dummy
“Personal equipment should be warm, light, strong and of first-class quality … [it] will be severely tested, and it must be in perfect condition before every climb.”
One-thousand-foot streaks of water oozed down the mass jumble of gray rock like dripping black fangs. Ice chunks floated peacefully by until one landed close by and exploded, spraying us with shrapnel.
“I think it’s blood.” It’s just the latest affront to our senses. No sheets on the bed in our ridiculously priced first-class cabin. Flies caked on the nonfunctioning air conditioning unit. Inchthick dust in the corners of the cabin. Orange sputters of foul-smelling water from the inberth head and shower.
The wave was fast and the water shallow—I could clearly see the reef flying by just under my board. Strong offshore wind produced a surface that felt like groomed snow while a big southern ocean swell delivered 15-footplus faces. I was in over my head. And I was there because I sold a pig.
The way people live tells the story of who they are. And if you’ve listened long enough, you’ll know there are as many stories as there are waves.
Redefining the Possible at work in The Forge™
If you’ve ever stopped in to Patagonia HQ in Ventura, California, you’ll know it’s a pretty laid-back place. We’re a bunch of surfers, not suit-and-tie people, and we’re always happy to give visitors a glimpse at what goes on behind the scenes.
From Seed to Suit
It’s a long way from the farmlands of Arizona to the nearest breaking wave, so we didn’t expect to find the inspiration for our most important surf initiative in one of America’s driest states. But when you’re trying to get somewhere new, sometimes you have to go to an unexpected place.
To Catch Fish
Twenty-five years ago, a Japanese friend gave me a telescoping fiberglass pole with no reel seat. It was a beautiful, precious gift; light, sensitive, and elegant. When I received this tenkara rod, I didn’t really understand what I was getting.
The basic ingredients of any fly are simple: feather, fiber, thread and hook. But when combined in a way that consistently triggers a strike in a fish—those simple ingredients become the stuff of legend. The “Crazy Charlie” fly is one of these.