Stories follow Michael Kobold everywhere. The founder of Kobold Watches, which declares that its watches are “conceived, designed, assembled and tested in USA from domestic and imported components”, has turned his immodest passion for timepieces into a successful business and made relationships with great men — Ranulph Fiennes, Gerd-Ruediger Lang, the late James Gandolfini — along the way. We were lucky enough to catch up with him recently to hear some tales and catch up on his blooming horological business.
Lifelong surf legend
If you’re looking for a lesson in the good life, look no further than Robert August. At 18 he starred in The Endless Summer, the first great surfing film, taking him on a seven-month world tour of uncharted breaks. The rest, as they say, is history. August went on to launch an eponymous line of surfboards, which he still shapes today. We caught up with him at Witch’s Rock Surf Camp in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, to talk about parenting, lamb chops and the difference between monkeys and people.
19-year-old arctic explorer
On December 3, Parker Liautaud and decorated polar guide Douglas Stoup will depart from the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica on a 397-mile journey to the South Pole — an adventure that, if successful, will make Liautaud the youngest and fastest man to trek from coast-to-pole. Not bad for a 19-year-old college sophomore. We caught up with Parker to talk about the expedition, climate change and how to eat 6,000 calories in a day.
Going the distance, going for speed
It’s hard to imagine a more accomplished and well-rounded distance runner than Michael Wardian. In 1996 he ran the Marine Corps Marathon, his first, in a swift 3:08. The rest is in the annals of history: more than 150 marathons and more than 60 ultras; more than 30 marathon wins; three-time US Olympics Trails qualifier…it goes on. We caught up with him for a workout and a chat about chivalry, apple pie and running really far.
Founder of Ponzi Vineyards
Dick Ponzi founded Ponzi Vineyards in 1970 and has been a key figure in making Willamette Valley pinot noir renowned worldwide. Along the way, he started Oregon’s oldest microbrewery, Bridgeport Brewing Company, in 1984. Now, he and his wife Nancy are poised to join artisan chocolate “bean to bar” movement. Gear Patrol wanted to know: How does one man establish such a presence and influence on the appetites of foodies?
Fence, Swim, Jump, Shoot and Run
Think that vegans don’t get the protein needed to really compete? Think again. Justin Torrellas, a raw vegan athlete, spent the past year at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, training for the 2016 Olympics in the modern pentathlon. We caught up with the former bassoonist to talk about children’s books, positivity, and the value of short shorts.
Jack of all wheeled trades
He’s been a stunt car driver for Iron Man 2. He’s the all-time medal winner (nine total) in RallyCross at the X Games. He won the Global RallyCross Championship. He’s got a degree in molecular biology. Tanner Foust is clearly a well-rounded individual — and he’s not all go go go. He’s also the co-host of the American version of Top Gear on the History Channel, now in its fourth season. How he finds the time to thrash the track, co-host a TV show and bone up on human physiology is beyond us, but we were able to spend a few minutes with Foust to talk about his upcoming projects and what gets him going.
Late-blooming triathlon athlete
In 1997, Chris Lieto saw the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon World Championship on TV and decided to start training. Three years later, he became a professional triathlete. We caught up with the one-time mortgage broker to talk about technology, charity, and eating a healthy diet.
At age 12, Anton Krupicka ran his first marathon. He’s been running ever since. We caught up with the minimalist ultra-marathoner to talk sweet potatoes, Don DeLillo, and his degree in Physics.
Leading chef at Clyde Common
Growing up in the suburbs of New York City in a large Italian family, Chris Diminno learned the importance of food pretty quickly. After honing his resume and skills at several fine establishments, Diminno moved to Portland — where ever since he’s been a lead chef at the extremely popular Euro-style gastropub Clyde Common. We chat with Diminno about Twinkies, the farm-to-table movement, bicycles and people who Instagram their food.
Two-time overall UCI World Cup downhill champion
While his contemporaries were putting on puppet shows and learning to play catch, Aaron Gwin was racing BMX in national competitions. He was eight. Today, Gwin is a two-time overall UCI World Cup downhill champion and the first American to win the Downhill World Cup Overall. We caught up with the “Fastest Man in Downhill” to talk ice cream, God and America’s best trails.
Head of Men's Design at J.Crew
Sometimes an outsider’s perspective is just what’s needed to achieve unique excellence. Frank Muytjens is the Holland-born head of men’s design at J.Crew, a proudly American company. Muytjens, who’s been perhaps the driving factor at the brand since he joined in 2008, finds his ideas nearly everywhere. We recently had the chance to chat with him and learned about what he brings to the staple brand, how he refreshes beloved classics, and his penchant for odd numbers.
Three million miles and counting
Irv Gordon looks young for his age. If you were to divide the almost three million miles he’s driven in his 1966 Volvo P1800 by the national average of miles driven per year, he would be 220 years old. Gordon took a few minutes to tell us about his pastrami-driven last meal on earth, his certification as a shotgun instructor and why his next car might be an Aston Martin.
The Zinn master
When it comes to household names in cycling, there’s Lance Armstrong and…who else? We’ll make the case for Lennard Zinn, whose bike maintenance books — among them, the best-selling Zinn & The Art of Road Bike Maintenance — have prime real estate on the shelves of anyone who knows a bottom bracket from a Krispy Kreme. Zinn is a former member of the U.S. national racing team, a technical writer for VeloNews.com and owner of Zinn Cycles in Boulder, CO, where he also designs and builds custom bikes. His college thesis? Building a bike. We caught up with Zinn to talk about what to look for when buying a bike, prepping for cyclocross season and not stressing out.
It started with a photo
Ask any photographer to pencil a list of dream clients and it might look something like this: Nike, Apple, Microsoft, Columbia Sportswear, REI, Subaru, Polaroid, Lady Gaga and Red Bull. With notches in his grip for all of those and more, Chase Jarvis has one hell of a career trajectory. Oh, and he’s the youngest person to be named Hasselblad Master. We took a few moments to talk to Chase about his next project and what makes him tick.
In 2011 Rob MacCachren was inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. You don’t get that honor just by doing doughnuts in the Walmart parking lot. We caught up with him on one of those rare occasions when he’s not behind the wheel of a 700+ horsepower truck to chat about his outstanding career and his plans for the future.
A Mighty Tradition
Tucked away in the quiet industrial surf town of El Segundo, California, stands a cozy theater that has been around since 1921. Within that theater sits a rare gem, something that most of us no longer associate with movies at all. It’s an organ — a massive one, a 1925 Mighty Wurlitzer, to be exact. And sitting before it, for much of the video above, is Bill Field, the owner and player of this special instrument and place.
Founder of Total Immersion Swimming
We know: you have a recurring dream where you fall off a yacht and can’t swim back to shore. First, drop the extra Champagne. Second, remember Terry Laughlin. The former West Point swim coach and founder of Total Immersion Swimming writes books, publishes DVDs and teaches seminars, all on how to swim more like a fish. We caught up with him for a few words.
The Pegu Club in NYC takes its job as one of the “gatekeepers of the classic cocktail” very seriously. So does Kenta Goto, the Pegu Club’s head bartender, whose work at the bar includes not just pouring excellent drinks on a nightly basis but also working with the Club’s owner, Audrey Saunders, to maintain an extensive menu of beloved traditional drinks and new creations that push the boundaries of modern cocktail culture. We had some burning libational questions for him.
To see one is to lust
Ali Sadrieh is a man who lives in the present. From his cutting edge podiatry practice in Los Angeles, to his love of all things tech, he believes there has never been a better time to be alive. It is this very love of all things digital that inspired him to own an “analog car”: the iconic and rare 1968 Jaguar E-Type Series 1.5. Through a chance crossing of paths, we were able to meet Ali and take his gorgeous Jag for a ride. Read on to see the video.
This accomplished Charlestonian is just getting started. Really.
Brooks Reitz may not be a familiar name to foodies today, but don’t expect things to stay that way for long. As the GM of Charleston’s 2013 James Beard nominated finalist for best new restaurant, The Ordinary, Reitz has already garnered comparisons to a young Danny Meyer; in his fleeting spare time, he’s also the founder of Jack Rudy Cocktail Co., which specializes in upscale, handcrafted mixers with a distinctly Southern flair. We recently sat down with the Kentucky gent to talk business, booze and life in our latest addition of 30 Minutes With.
Senior Advanced R&D Engineer, Cervélo
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to design bicycles. Dammit, nevermind: yes it does. Damon Rinard is one serious bicycle designer. He’s Senior R&D Engineer and Race Engineer for Canadian bike maker Cervélo, the most popular brand at the Ironman World Championship at Kona several years running. We caught up with Rinard to talk about the P5, happy meals and the science of comfort.
Senior Director of Global Product Management, Cannondale
If you’ve ever wondered why your bicycle looks the way it does, has the features it has, or just generally why you’re riding a refined machine rather than an old European boneshaker, then Henning Schroeder is a guy to know. As Senior Director of Global Product Management for Cannondale, he oversees all departments — road, mountain, urban, women’s — steering the direction of the brand and working with everyone from engineers to the sales force to figure out what bikes to produce.
A Fly Fishing Legend
Lefty Kreh is one hell of a fisherman. He’s lots of other things, too: retired outdoor editor of the Baltimore Sun, accomplished photographer, prolific author, father and grandfather, teller of stories, entertainer, absolute legend as a fly caster. It seems, though, that all of these things orbit around the first one. We sat down with him to hear about his 32nd book, common casting mistakes, how he was introduced to the sport, and much, much more.
The man behind Israeli wine
Victor Schoenfeld has been the Head Winemaker at Golan Heights Winery since 1992, where he’s spent time studying and understanding the terroir of northern Israel, building a groundbreaking vine propagation facility, and ultimately making wine that’s considered some of the best in Israel and in the world. Not bad for a guy who dropped out of high school. He told us all about that and more when we met him at the winery for their 30th anniversary celebration.
Name ten action movies and you’re nearly guaranteed to hit one that Steve M. Davison has nearly been killed in. He’s logged 166 titles as a stuntman or stunt coordinator, including some absolute classics like Behind Enemy Lines, Planet Terror, Gone in 60 Seconds, Scarface, and, most recently, the very stunt-filled A Good Day to Die Hard (now out on Blu-ray & DVD). The veteran badass sat down to chat with us about hairy moments on the job, getting into the stunt business, and working with big-name directors.
The Man Bringing an Icon Back, One Defender at a Time
After being told he needed a license to sell his personal Land Rover Defender 90 to friends, Matthew Perlman decided to go all in for his passion. His company, West Coast Defender, brings 21st century updates — refinished exteriors, heated seats, power locking and other modern amenities — to classic machines. Sourcing Defenders from all over the world and backed by a staff of former Land Rover mechanics, Perlman’s leading the charge toward the rebirth of the iconic British SUV right here in the U.S. We jumped at the chance to fire up the cameras and chat with him about his passion, why these cars are so special, and how one handles being held at the Turkish border for no reason.
The Youngest Man to Ski to the North Pole Solo
One of only three people to have skied solo to the North Pole — the youngest to do so by over a decade — Ben Saunders is also an avid cyclist, Twitter presence and Land Rover enthusiast. We chatted with him about his own heroes, what scares him and his next epic adventure.
Founder of Wilderness Collective
Canadian-born Steve Dubbeldam, founder of Wilderness Collective, has been described as a “serial entrepreneur”, having begun multiple fashion collections and co-created an online magazine with his wife. His latest venture is Wilderness Collective, supplier of “Legendary Adventures for Men”. We sat down with Steve to discuss his approach to adventure, what men stand to gain from the trips he arranges and what went into starting a company built to satisfy man’s thirst for exploits.
Vice President of Product Design at Kalamazoo Gourmet
Plenty of guys think they’re grill masters. But Russ Faulk, vice president of product design at Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, actually happens to be one. After asking him to add his personal notes to our tips for mastering the grill, we caught up with him to talk about life, family, battling squid and American craftsmanship.