Homeschool Snowboarding

Homeschool Snowboarding

Posted on Mar 15, 2012 by in INTERVIEWS, SNOWBOARDING

I first heard about this new Portland based outerwear company 2 summers ago. A friend of mine told me there’s some new brand called, “HomeBoy.” I thought quietly to myself… “ummmmmmmmm, hmmmmmmmm.” Luckily within a week or so, I finally met Danny (founder and creative director), along with Jevan (Sales and Marketing Manager) for a few cold beers at The Bye and Bye where they clarified the name for me. And I’ve been a fan ever since.

2011/12 winter season was your official launch. How many years of working behind the scenes did it take before you could officially launch HomeSchool and have product in stores?
It’s been a long process for sure. At least 2 1/2 years developing and testing the product. Outerwear can be pretty complex and the lead times are quite long. We also had to build samples and go out there and test the product for a couple seasons. I worked on Homeschoo Snowboading (HSS) during the day and worked a night job for a while. The corporate world wasn’t really where I wanted to be anymore.

Homeschool Snowboarding Founder / Creative Director Daniel Clancey

What experience did you have in outerwear prior to having the crazy idea of starting your own company?
I got a design degree in apparel and then started working for some established brands like Ride and Columbia Sportswear where I learned what it takes to get product made. I learned everything I could. I learned what I liked and what I didn’t like about the process. My Dad ran a successful apparel business for a long time and I grew up around it so entrepreneurship is something to which I’ve always aspired. I have always been interested in the idea that with good outerwear you can be totally comfortable in some pretty gnarly conditions.

Tell me about what makes HSS stand out from other brands technically?
Our approach isn’t really rocket science; it’s bringing the product back to what we think snowboard outerwear should be. Functional, technical and not kooky looking. We are using really high end fabrics, zippers some nice features and a technology that works. No gimmicks. Breathability, durability and a timeless aesthetic is really what this brand is about.

Morgan Hebert, AK

What is the importance of breathability vs. waterproof rating?
It’s super important, and something that has been overlooked for a long time. People are starting to get hip to it and you are going to see a lot of brands jumping on the breathability bandwagon in the coming seasons. It’s something that is obvious when you think about it. It’s about creating an equilibrium between a really high level of waterproofness and breathability. You can’t have one without the other and still be comfortable. It’s worth noting that making something super duper waterproof generally kills breathability. It can be too much of a good thing. When you strike that perfect balance and think of outerwear and base layer as a “system” you then are going to be really comfortable, warm and dry no matter what the conditions are. That’s what, from a technical standpoint, we are bringing to the table.

Why Breathability Matters from Homeschool Snowboarding on Vimeo.

Tell me about the Cocona technology? Are you the first outerwear company to start using this?
We actually were the very first brand in the world ever to start using Xcellerator technology, although because we took our time dialing in the product other brands beat us to market. We are one of the few brands in the world using the Cocona technology as a “system” base layer, mid layer, and shell. And together there is nothing better for keeping you warm and dry. Cocona is not a fiber it’s an activated carbon particle derived from coconut shells. This particle is applied to our fabric laminate adding a huge amount of surface area. This allows the laminate to function MUCH more effectively. In our base layer and mid layer product, the Cocona particle is attached to the fibers making the fabrics dry much faster and moving moisture away from your skin. It also doesn’t stink which is a huge plus.

How did you come up with the Darth Hater Hood idea?
I came up with that one at hood up on vista when I was getting the skin on my face blasted off by a sideways 35mph wind. The raised panels are an example of a simple feature that is there when you need it and when you don’t you don’t really notice it.

I saw some new color ways for 2012/13. Did you make any significant changes for next year, or are things staying pretty similar to this year technically.
We made some refinements to the product and the Cocona Carbon is now a visible “print” on the back of our laminate on our 3.5L stuff so the consumer can actually see the carbon technology on the fabric. We’ve added a Cocona insulation micro puffy jacket that people are digging and made a bunch of other small tweaks that I think people will be stoked on. Our designs are different, and we’ve added a new fabric on our hood series. We aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel in our second season, just refine and expand on what works.

Jacket: Anvil 3.5 Layer in Crater /
Airbreather Baselayer

Do you think the lack of overall snowfall in North America has effected sales for you in your first year?
Yeah for sure. It’s made it really tough going in some regions like the east coast and Cali. It makes being new that much harder. If retailers have a hard time they can’t pay us and that makes it a tough go. We are adding a lot of new shops in year two and let’s hope for a better one next year. We have put a lot of hard work into this brand but we also need the snow gods to smile on us a bit..

What shops can people find HSS is this winter?
We’ve got some really great shops on board, US outdoor, Sno-con, Tactics, Salty Peaks, World Boards and others. Our full dealer list is on homeschoolsnowboarding.com . Always buy from a core shop if possible and help support the people who really make snowboarding what it is. We need the little guy in our industry in order for it to thrive! I also want to thank everyone who has supported us this first year and we hope to keep it going.

Dirksen Derby, Joel, photo: drew smalley

To learn more about the brand, check them out online here.

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