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Best of 2015: Profiles and Interviews


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365 days is a lot of time to seek out stories on adventure, gear, and everything in between. Here’s a look back at the those people, places, sports and companies our writers profiled in 2015 — from two preeminent rock climbers to an ex-journalist turned brewer-extraordinaire.

Anecdote of the Year

Getting Intimate at Brooklyn Brewery

“Hindy was sitting in a broken office chair, his feet off the ground, leaning back, when they burst back into the room. The boss said nothing, instead taking a hearty handful of Hindy’s twig and berries. He raised him out of the chair and threw him against the wall, looking hard into Hindy’s eyes. He parted his lips, showed his teeth, and breathed into Hindy’s startled face.”

– Will McGough

The Stories

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Jimmy Chin Is Unstoppable

Jimmy Chin skiing in Chamonix, France.

By Jack Seemer: In 2011, Jimmy Chin climbed one of the hardest peaks in the world, Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru. What’s more impressive is that he filmed the adventure, then turned it into a documentary that just won big at Sundance.

The Mad Scientist of Guitar Effects Pedals

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By Jason Heaton: Meet the mad scientist who invented the Fuzz Factory, the most iconic guitar effects pedal on the market.

Brooklyn’s Fastest-Growing Bespoke Suit Maker

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By J. Travis Smith: In a small studio apartment in Brooklyn, an unknown menswear designer started making custom suits with clean, slim lines at affordable prices for everyday wear. Now, Daniel Lewis’s business is outgrowing every shop space he rents out.

A Talk with Steve Hindy: Brooklyn Brewery Founder, AP Journalist, Mob Archnemesis

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By Will McGough: Craft beer is full of cool, intelligent and well-traveled founders and brewers. But a soft-spoken, unassuming guy from New York City has tales to top them all.

Drugs, Snipers, Alcoholism, Death, Ammunition and Golf with David Feherty

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By Matthew Ankeny: David Feherty is a former pro golfer, massive Ryder Cup fan, author of four books and commentator on CBS and Golf Channel. Here are his thoughts on becoming an American, religion, building ammunition, how cycling almost killed him and, of course, golf.

The Man at the Helm of Surfing’s Greatest Magazines

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By J. Travis Smith: We spoke with Brendon Thomas, the past Editor-in-Chief of SURFER Magazine and current Director of Operations at The Surfer’s Journal, about his new job, how surf coverage has changed and what he has to look forward to.

New York Rangers Goalie Henrik Lundqvist Talks Softly and Carries a Big Stick

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By Chris Wright: “King Henrik,” as he is called by New York Rangers fans, talks fashion, dealing with tough losses, and the art of goaltending in the National Hockey League.

An American Revives the Traditional Turkish Shoe

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By Tucker Bowe: Nobody makes slip-on shoes like Sabahs. They’re traditional Turkish slippers, hand stitched by cobblers in Turkey, that have been reimagined in a contemporary style.

The Cafe Where Jazz Musicians, Scientists and Poets Rub Elbows

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By John Zientek: At Cornelia Street Cafe, the arts and sciences aren’t two different cultures — they’re one.

Death and Wingsuit Flying

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By J. Travis Smith: On May 16, Dean Potter and Graham Hunt died while BASE jumping from Taft Point in Yosemite National Park. Less than two months later, Jhonathan Florez, another giant in the world BASE jumping, died while training in Switzerland, shaking the community yet again. We asked the athletes, who continue to jump despite the risks, to reflect on the state of the sport.

Conrad Anker

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By Jeremy Berger: For a generation’s preeminent climber, passing the torch comes easily. An end to world-record pursuits? Not so much. (To read this story, subscribe to the Gear Patrol magazine.)

Flavors of the Earth

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By Jack Seemer: Chile’s top chef, Rodolfo Guzmán, uses his homeland’s countryside like a pantry. We tagged along for a foraging trip, and took a peek inside the test kitchen in his top-notch restaurant, Borago. (To read this story, subscribe to the Gear Patrol magazine.)