We have been riding for 21 years now, so we have seen our fair share of companies and gear come through. Some last, some don’t. Some were necessary, some weren’t. We now have a general range of brands that we trust–which is pretty broad–but we have a narrow, power alley of stores where we shop. The good news is, and we’ll just use REI as an example for now because we don’t have much content yet, but any brand sold at REI, is one you can trust. There is definitely a range of quality–which directly translates into cost–but in general, the lowest quality brand sold at REI is still very very good and dependable.
We have broken out gear categories into what we think makes the most sense for people who ride regularly. This may not line up perfectly with how big brands and big brand stores organize, but this is how we see the world of riding.
We aren’t loyalists here and have ridden 12 different brands between us in two decades. There are some brands we haven’t touched and some we have used more than once, but take this advice lightly because pretty much everyone is good at making boards these days. It’s not like they are going to break or anything.
We have a difference of opinion on pants. I am more of a dirtbag and will put duct tape on rips and continue on with the same pants long after they are past their prime. Bryce likes to look good and stay super warm (what a weirdo) so he goes through more pants and more styles and has more of an opinion about this.
I have a small head so no matter what I choose I always end up looking like Marvin the Martian. I have had a few scrapes, nothing even close to serious, but each time a helmet kept me from having a knock on the head that wouldn’t have been great. Pretty much everyone wears helmets now, so we are not trying to sell you on helmets, rather just give you some perspective on which to buy and why.