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Posted: April 01, 2012

Made in Colorado: Sports equipment and clothing

Maria Martin

The Tuff Shed Pro
Sports Edition
Denver
www.tuffshed.com

When Daniel and Laura Kindregan approached the gurus at Tuff Shed about a corporate sponsorship for their pro mountain bike team, a brilliant plan was hatched.
A Tuff Shed designed specifically for athletes.
That place wasn’t difficult to create, says Phil Worth, director of marketing for Tuff Shed, which employs more than 700 people and nets around $120 million in sales annually.
“It was a fairly simple matter of taking our standard 10-by-12 building and customizing it for the athlete,” Worth says.
The company worked with athletes to plan out the ideal interior space, Worth says.
The athletes’ wish list included bike mounts on the wall, a work bench, cubbyholes to store helmets and shoes, and an overhead loft, which serves as storage space for extra tires and wheels – or whatever athletic gear is taking up space in the garage.
The finished product rolls out this spring, and Worth expects the sports-inspired Tuff Sheds – priced between $4,000 and $4,500 – to be a success.
“These are people with a very specific need, and we found a way to meet it,” Worth says. “We wanted to do a lot more than simply put a logo on a jersey.”

Icelantic skis
Denver
www.icelanticboards.com

The first thing you need to know about Icelantic skis is that stepping into them guarantees an adventure.
The short, fat skis were created with a lot of surface area, making them easier to maneuver, especially through powder, says Chris Blackett, operations manager for the company.
The second thing you have to know, Blackett says, is that adventure and art go hand in hand. Ben Anderson, who founded the company in 2006, joined up with artist Travis Parr, whose intricate work graces every pair of skis the company sells.
“We have a theme every year,” says Blackett, one of eight employees. “These have included everything from warriors of each continent – think Genghis Khan – to music – think bluegrass and rock.”
Animals take center stage on this year’s skis. For instance, the Gypsy, which sports the walrus, is for people who “jib in the backcountry.” Oracle, which features the lynx, is for “the hard-charging woman who likes to ski all over the mountain.”
Those interested in checking out Parr’s artwork can visit anytime, but Blackett suggests stopping by the shop during the Santa Fe Art District’s First Friday.

Newton Running
Boulder
www.newtonrunning.com

Danny Abshire has a suggestion for all runners who are confident in their stride.
Take your shoes off and run from one room to the next, or if you’re no tenderfoot, step outside and find a grassy patch to run across.
Now stop and think about something. Did your heel ever even touch the ground?
The basic philosophy behind the Newton Running shoe is that running heel first – the way we’re naturally inclined to walk, but not to run – is causing all kinds of problems.
“For so many years, the running shoe has gotten higher in the heel, and that’s caused us to heel strike,” says Abshire, chief technical officer for the company, which he cofounded with real estate developer Jerry Lee in 2007. The focus of the Newton, he explains, is on the natural running gait of a midfoot strike.
Newton Running shoes, says Abshire, were based on the findings of Sir Isaac himself, specifically, the third law of motion: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
The colorful shoes, which sell for between $125 and $175, are sold in 36 countries, and can be found in around 300 retail stores in the United States.

10 More

skis
Wagner Custom Skis,
Placerville
www.wagnerskis.com

cycling apparel
Pactimo,
Greenwood Village
www.Pactimo.com

scuba gear
Innovative Scuba,
Colorado Springs
www.innovativescuba.com

fleece jackets
Janska,
Colorado Springs
www.janska.com

ski wax
Purl Wax,
Boulder
www.purlracing.com

outdoor wear
Spyder,
Boulder
www.spyder.com

shoes and clothing
Outlast Technologies,
Boulder
www.outlast.com

outdoor clothing
Melanzano,
Leadville
www.melanzana.com

lightweight jackets
Loki, Grand Junction
www.lokiusa.com

socks, hats and gloves
SmartWool,
Steamboat Springs
www.smartwool.com
 

Maria Martin is a freelance writer.

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