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Outdoor: Did you hear?…Patagonia wins National Design Award, plus Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Rudy Project, Chaco, ispo, Mountain Khakis, Bell Canoe, Bite, SIA, Timbuk2, and more…

Northern Forest Canoe Trail organizes auction to raise funds, Patagonia honored by Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Chaco creates one-of-a-kind sandals for Triple Crown Bouldering Series, Volvo SportsDesigns Awards calls for entries, plus much more...

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For the week of Oct. 25-31

>> From Nov. 1 to Dec. 9, the Northern Forest Canoe Trail is hosting a first-of-a-kind online auction, featuring a unique collection of items including canoes, paddles, paddling accessories, lodging packages, guided trips, local products, and regional books and artwork. All proceeds from the auction will directly support the trail’s mission: Celebrating the rich human heritage and diverse natural environment of the Northern Forest by establishing and stewarding a water trail tracing historic Native American travel routes across New York, Vermont, Québec, New Hampshire and Maine. Bidders can browse items by category and place bids, and also have the option with any item to “buy now.” To participate in the auction, visit the NFCT web auction page at Auction sponsors include Cascade Designs, Chota, Garmont, and Lincoln Canoe and Kayak.  

>> The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum held its sixth annual National Design Awards, honoring 11 individuals and companies for their contributions to the design world. Among the honorees was Patagonia, which received the Corporate Achievement Award. First launched at the White House in 2000 as an official project of the White House Millennium Council, the annual awards program celebrates design in various disciplines as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world and seeks to increase national awareness of design by educating the public and promoting excellence, innovation and lasting achievement. It was noted that Patagonia works with manufacturers to develop new fabrics and implements numerous environmental initiatives, including producing clothes out of soda bottles, recycling scraps and using wind power. The 2005 National Design Awards nominations were solicited from a committee of more than 800 leading designers, educators, journalists, cultural figures and corporate leaders across the country. Winners were selected by a panel of nine jurors, each a leader their respective field, appointed by the museum. A suite of education programs is scheduled for this fall in conjunction with the awards by Cooper-Hewitt’s education department and will include educational materials as well as a series of public programs, lectures, roundtables and workshops based on the work of the winners.

>> Chaco footwear, in conjunction with Rock Creek Outfitters and Alabama Outdoors, will offer one-of-a-kind performance sandals available for purchase at the 2005 Triple Crown Bouldering Series. Proceeds will help the Southeastern Climbers’ Coalition and the Carolina Climbers’ Coalition gain permanent public access to bouldering, climbing and hiking areas in the United States. Featuring two custom webbing designs not available in stores, Chaco performance sandals will be available for purchase to all participants and attendees of the Triple Crown series at nearly 40 percent off regular retail. A large portion of the proceeds are going to help create a new state park at Rumbling Bald, N.C., known for climbing and bouldering. Upcoming Triple Crown ( events are Nov. 5 in Steele, Ala., and Dec. 3 in Chattanooga, Tenn. Chaco, Rock Creek and Alabama Outdoors say they’ll put close to $20,000 into direct action causes in 2006 in the Southeast alone.
>> Tis the season for deals. Rudy Project is embarking on its first-ever holiday promotion featuring a CD giveaway and special pricing on goggles. To participate, retailers need to buy at least four Rudy Project sunglasses or goggles on one order between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, 2005. For the holiday promo, retailers will receive music CD/DVD’s from Pop Artist Xiren ( to give to customers when they buy a Rudy Project product and promo counter card. If retailers buy 12 or more Rudy Project sunglasses, goggles or helmets, they receive 16 Xiren CDs and two Team RP goggles for free. Need more CDs to cover your inventory? Qualifying retailers can order more CDs for $5 each up to the number of stocked units they have on hand. In addition, customers will be able to score a Team RP goggle (MSRP $59.99) online for $10 (includes all shipping, handling and taxes) — up to a limit of five per person or address. To participate, call customer service at 888-860-7597. Or check out:

>> The theme of the second annual Volvo SportsDesigns Award is “active safety,” and will be presented at the ispo winter 2006 trade show in Munich, Germany. Volvo is looking for extraordinary sport products and concepts, developed to protect the body, the mind and sports equipment, which will be picked by an international jury of experts. Categories to be judged are: head protection (helmets, goggles, etc.), body protection (protective jackets and pants, back protectors, gloves, etc.), foot protection (footwear, soles, bindings, etc.), personal safety equipment and security equipment (avalanche and emergency equipment, locks, etc.), equipment protection (ski-tips or scratch-resistant surfaces), human body prophylaxis (against cold, dehydration, injuries, etc.), and concepts (for students only). Winning products and concepts will be showcased in a special exhibition at the ispo winter trade show, be part of the Volvo SportsDesign traveling exhibition and featured in a double-page spread in the Volvo SportsDesign Award yearbook. Participation is free and the application deadline is Dec. 19, 2005. To apply, click here.

>> Mountain Khakis is sponsoring USA Climbing (USAC), outfitting all members of the national setting team for the Youth Bouldering Nationals, the ABS Nationals, the Youth Difficulty and Speed Nationals and the Adult Roped Nationals. The setting team is responsible for creating the various routes for climbers during competitions. The national route setting team will wear Mountain Khakis during events scheduled from February through July. USAC merged with the American Bouldering Society (ABS) earlier this year to form one national governing body for the world of competitive climbing, and organizes climbing events in the disciplines of difficulty, bouldering and speed.

>> The management team of Bell Canoe was honored by Utilikilts with the “Utilikilts at Work” photo of the month award for October. Bell staff wore Utilikilts during the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in August to promote the new Rob Roy series of watercraft. Click here to see why they turned more than a few heads.

>> Fore! Dale Bathum, founder and owner of Bite Golf, hobnobbed with pros and celebrities at the VH-1 Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Tournament at Southern Highlands Golf Course. Better yet, along with team mates golf pro John Rollins, former NFL running back Eddie George, and Matt Heracz, buyer for Golfsmith, his team won the whole kit and caboodle by one stroke. The foursome fended off competition from rock stars like Adrian Young of No Doubt, Darrius Rucker of Hootie and Blowfish, Alice Cooper, Meatloaf and numerous other celebrities.

>> Hurricanes, surging gasoline prices and worries about the job market took a further toll on consumer psyches as the Consumer Confidence Index fell to 85 in October, according to the Conference Board. It was the lowest level since October 2003 and down from September’s revised reading of 87.5, which had been the sharpest drop in 15 years. Analysts expected an October reading of 88 for the index, which is compiled from a survey of U.S. households. Lynn Franco, director of the private research group’s Consumer Research Center, said in a statement that the “degree of pessimism, in conjunction with the anticipation of much higher home heating bills this winter, may take some cheer out of the upcoming holiday season.” Economists closely track consumer confidence because consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. One component of the Conference Board report, which examines consumers’ views of the current economic situation, fell to 108.2 from 110.4 last month. The Expectations Index, which measures consumers’ outlook over the next six months, fell to 69.5 from 72.3. The Conference Board index is derived from responses received through Oct. 18 to a survey mailed to 5,000 households in a consumer research panel and includes responses from at least 2,500 households.

>> DVD distributor VAS Entertainment is getting an infusion of resources, teaming up with New York City-based Uplift Media Group, which invests in the sports and lifestyle markets. The agreement gives VAS the capital to provide new content and delivery methods, and increase its relationships and scope of distribution with producers of all sizes. Expanded delivery methods will include video-on-demand, in-room hotel video delivery, new online partners and even delivery of PlayStationPortable movies in UMD format.

>> Do you have fond memories of your first on mountain experience and pictures to prove it? SIA is asking you to get nostalgic for a moment and search through your attic or your parent’s attic and send it pictures commemorating your first on-snow experience. The pictures will be featured in the second issue of T.I.P., SIA’s trade journal, which is distributed to over 10,000 snowsports industry professionals. What’s it looking for? A high-resolution 300 dpi image and include your name, company name and year picture taken (if available). Email to Tara Borrell at Naylor Publications and copy Alicia Allen, SIA associate director of PR, at Act soon, though. The deadline is Nov. 5.

>> Timbuk2 is showing off the artistic talents of customers who have purchased its new “Do It Yourself” Artist’s Canvas Bag. The classic messenger features a center panel of cotton, untreated artist’s canvas surrounded by black Cordura panels, where anyone can paint, draw, stencil or otherwise embellish it. Timbuk2 has set up an Artist Gallery to showcase bag creations. To see, click here.
>> The Professional Paddlesports Association is seeking volunteers to assist in developing the National School for Paddlesports Business Management. It’s looking for experienced paddlesports business owners (more than five years ownership) and professional educators. Experience in business teaching is a plus. For more information, contact PPA Executive Director Matt Menashes at 703-451-3864, ext. 26.

>> Big Agnes has added Clay Hundley to its sales rep team. Hundley will cover the South Central territory, which includes Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Owner of the New River Sales Group, Hundley also represents Granite Gear, Life Link and a number of paddling lines.

>> Chris Arsenault has joined Dunham as its men’s casuals associate product manager. He’ll manage Dunham’s product line of men’s outdoor casuals by evolving the core of the business in rugged casuals and accelerating the brand’s visibility and productivity in the marketplace. Arsenault comes to Dunham from Speedo North America where he was the
associate product manager of equipment.Â

>> The Industrial Fabrics Association International has appointed Claude Levy-Rueff as its representative in Europe. In his new position, Levy-Rueff will be responsible for generating new business in Europe, as well as handling customer service responsibilities with existing European members. Previously, he was the publisher of Technical Usages of Textiles for 10 years, and also published other magazines and textile reference books.

>> Marmot Mountain has appointed Brian Block, doing business as Ames Adventure Outfitters, as the new Marmot sales rep for the Upper Midwest, starting Nov. 1. Block will cover North Dakota, South Dakota, Eastern Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, the UP of Michigan and Illinois. His firm also represents Axis Outdoors, Blue Water and Five Ten. He’s available at: or 515-276-3771.

>> On the Horizon Communications recently hired Jordan Schultz as an account manager. Horizon handles public relations for companies and products in the outdoor, fitness, health and wellness and general consumer industries. In other news, internally, Heather Thomas was promoted to operations manager in addition to her duties as account manger/web mistress for Horizon. Also, Emily Frydendal has been promoted to account manager, having joined the firm in January 2005 as an account associate.

>> Ryders Eyewear as has hired Tom Kabbash as its product design and innovation consultant. Kabbash returns to Ryders Eyewear after working as the product development manager for the Thor MX Division of the LeMans Corp. Kabbash is working on streamlining the existing product line, and developing several new performance and interchangeable styles to be launched this spring.