Saturday, July 28, 2012

Living it up in Boise

Thursday night after a long drive from Vancouver, I was excited to stop in Boise for a few hours of sleep.  In addition to being a natural stopping place on my way to Colorado, it also gave me an opportunity to check out the Asana Climbing headquarters to see where all of my favorite gear comes from.


I've already posted in the past about my crash pad, my other crash pad, and my chalk bags and shorts, but after stopping in it's a safe bet that I'll be posting about more great gear really soon!  The newest crash pad design in particular looked amazing, raising the bar for versatility even compared to such great systems as the Sir Lands-A-Lot pad.  For all of you roadtrippers out there, especially some I know with brand new trucks, they're also doing custom pads to fit truck beds.  And to make things even sweeter, all of their pads ship free to the lower 48 right now.

After hanging out in the office a bit, Jamey and Nick took me down to the spectacular Boise River Park for my second attempt at stand-up paddleboarding.

Lest anyone think I'm actually that badass, I feel it's only fair to include the photo Jamey took about ten seconds later, when I conveniently ignored the "stand-up" part of stand-up paddleboarding.

After playing on the river for a little bit more, Nick headed back to the office and I went up to the pond for some flat water time while Jamey practiced a few kayak maneuvers nearby.  It was good to feel the balance of the board on water that wasn't moving, and even better to finally remember the paddle techniques that my dad had taught me so many years ago.

Eventually Jamey had to get back to work too, but not before stopping at a local Mexican spot called Los Betos for the best burritos in town.  The fish burrito was phenomenal, actually on par with my favorite ones at Ed's Cantina and Illegal Pete's.  Anyone who's been to those spots knows that's high praise!

I'm sure a few people might wonder why it is that employees of a bouldering company are heading down to the river on their lunch break, rather than getting in some extra climbing time.  As it turns out, Asana has recently branched out into the world of paddle sports, which isn't a huge shock after seeing what the area's water has to offer.  Their bomb shorts are perfect for a day on the water, with quick drying material and a combination snap/tie closure system to prevent any unintentional exposure.  Jamey also made good use of their PDR, which I can only describe as a combination of bath towel and monk's robe, designed to allow discreet changing when no facilities are available.  Thinking of all the situations where this would have been useful in the past, I picked one up on my way out.

Cheap hotel room not included
On a side note, I found it interesting to hear that Jamey, in addition to being a former special ed teacher, personally sews the prototypes of their products.  With so many companies sending designs directly from computer screen to factory, it's awesome to see an owner with such personal attachment to his products. That dedication to quality and interest in the customer was equally apparent in every person I saw there, even those with the seemingly magical ability of assembling a perfect chalk bag in five minutes flat.  While I look at many labels and see only companies, the Asana label instantly makes me think of the good people behind all of the good gear.

Thanks again to everyone who made my visit so enjoyable, and I look forward to seeing you all next time I'm in town!

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