X-Wear Blog: News, Tips, and Tricks for What Inspires You

The Perfect Gift for Groups – We’ve Got You Covered

20 March, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Corporate Gifts on X-Wear.com

Picking out just the right gift for someone can be stressful enough, but when you’ve got to purchase for a group or corporate event, the decision can be impossible. The gift that you give to a group or team can do a lot to determine the dynamic and culture, and, if you’re buying unique pieces, can speak directly for your company! To help in the sometimes-daunting process of selecting just the right gift to give, we’ve made it easy for you and they’ll be sure to get more use than the same ol’ tote bag or t-shirt.

X-Wear, along with our Board Stiff stores, accommodate eyewear purchases for larger groups. Who doesn’t love sunglasses?  We all know that a signature frame can be recognized from a mile away.  Sunglasses are such a different idea for a gift and it will certainly do a lot to establish you as stylish, forward thinking, and useful. Every time they reach into their pocket to grab their pair, they’ll be reminded of just how useful your gift was and, in turn, how fun your event was! This gift can range in price from the very inexpensive, to a quality designer frame that’ll be with them long after your event has drawn the curtains.

So, what kind of event can you give sunglasses as gifts?  Well, pretty much anything.

  • Employee Incentives
  • Customer Incentive Programs
  • Customer Loyalty Needs
  • Promotional Needs
  • Thank you for Clients
  • Sales Meetings
  • Conferences
  • Corporate Golf Events
  • Special Events
  • Weddings
  • Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties
  • Anything else you can think of!

Contact us for more information and a member of our dedicated staff will help you choose the perfect pair for your guests.  Believe us, they’ll love you for it!

Corporate Gifts from X-Wear.com

 

Our Picks for The Best Oakley Sports Sunglasses

13 March, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Even if you’re 100% pro, chances are you’re not entirely in the know about all the best sunglasses to wear for different outdoor activities. And that’s ok! We’ve outlined top outdoor sports glasses so that you can get back on the road/in the seat/ on the trail, or however it is you do what you love!

Oakley Flakjacket on X-Wear.com

Runners

When you’re out there pounding the pavement there’s nothing worse than having your record time ruined because you have to keep pushing your glasses up your nose or saying, ‘screw it’ and taking them off all together. The Oakley Flakjacket collection is a top rated pick for serious runners at a seriously doable price. Starting at $170 depending on add-ons, polarization, and special edition pairs, this lightweight glass will keep your eyes shaded mile after mile.

 Oakley ChainLink on X-Wear.com

Cycling

When in the saddle you need a pair of glasses that are going to stand up against whatever terrain you might speed through. That’s why we’ve chosen the Oakley Chainlink Glass for our cycle fanatics. These bad boys are made with a lightweight resin frame that’s water, oil, and dirt resistant. Also, constructed using a hydrophilic side material, these glasses will only hug closer to you as you start to sweat. Coming in at just over $100, they’re an excellent cycling lens!

 

 Oakley Fuel Cell on X-Wear.com

Hiking

When hiking, scrambling, or doing light climbing you’re going to want a glass that’s light weight, durable, and able to help you stay focused even as the terrain around you is changing rapidly. The Oakley Fuel Cell glasses are our favorite pick for even the most avid hikers. Their full coverage helps you get panoramic vision (crucial when you’ve gained crazy elevation and are about to get a breathtaking view), a lightweight frame, and insane polarization to suit you even if you’re wading through thigh-high alpine streams. At only $170, you’ll be glad you’ve got the best when you’re perched at the top of the mountain.

 

 

Have You Tried These Apps To Find The Best Skiing/Boarding Yet?

06 March, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Planning a ski or snowboard day sometime soon? Don’t go in blind, crossing your fingers that the slopes will be as powdery perfect as you’ve dreamt, the weather as predictable as you’ve hoped, or the Apres Ski Parties as poppin' as you’ve heard. Here are six apps to give you absolute certainty that your day (and night) will be filled with the best slopes at the best spots.

OnTheSnow Ski and Snowboard Report- Use OnTheSnow to get up to the minute condition reports and accurate forecasting, pulling data from all the top resorts. And, if reading a screen full of numbers isn’t helping you paint the best picture of what to expect, pull up a live webcam of the slopes you’re into and get the real picture of what it’s like.

NOAA Snow Forecast- NOAA is super helpful as it tells you exactly how much snow to expect in your area. Pick specific locations and wake up to daily info about what conditions those places saw overnight. Instead of generalized area info, choose info that is precise and accurate. Also, NOAA is giving an end of season 50% discount on this bad boy!

Liftopia- Use Liftopia to get snow conditions, specific slope info, resort maps, AND lift ticket discounts. That means you can pull up a ton of info about a specific resort and then get yourself on that very lift as cheaply as possible.

Peaks- Sitting at a fork in the road with a half dozen ski options in front of you and don’t precisely know which is which? Peaks has over 25,000 mountains in its database and can let you look like the ultimate mountain master with the names of every peak on the horizon.

Epicmix- The official app for some of the biggest resorts in the country (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breck, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton), and rightly so! It’s a social app that allows thousands to share up to the minute stats about snow conditions and anything else you may need to know to plan your day. It also has the benefit of allowing you to talk to anyone else using the app and, if you’re up for it, to compete for a top spot on the Leaderboard!

Snocru- Although Snocru can’t tell you how much new powder may be settling on various slopes, this app won best ski/snowboard app from Wired Magazine, Ski Magazine and Snowboard Magazine and deserves a spot on our list. Snocru connects you to everyone on the mountain regardless of signal or service using a ‘Near Me’ function. Get all the possible stats on your skiing (and other boarders on the slopes with you) that you could want, and discuss them at a great Apres Ski Party that Snocru can also connect you to!

Shredding it on X-Wear

Now that you’ve got all the info you could possibly need in the palm of your hand, go hit the slopes! Happy shredding  

#GetOutThereAndDoSomething

27 February, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Derek Mitchell on X-Wear

 

Derek Mitchell will never be the fastest. But this doesn’t stop the Kansas City native from stepping up to the starting line and making his way towards the finish line 3.1 miles later.

The 560-pounder embodies the X-Wear spirit of forging your own path. He has been doing so for the past three years, taking part in 5Ks throughout the country as he strives to lose weight and improve his health. In the process, he has inspired others, showing them what is possible, if you only try.

Mitchell’s health issues are the result of prolactinoma, a non-cancerous tumor of the pituitary gland that impacts his metabolism. Because of that, Derek told us, “I got bigger and bigger. I’d go on several diets where I’d lose 20 to 30 pounds. Then it would plateau.”

Doctors finally diagnosed Mitchell’s condition seven years ago. He takes medication and has undergone treatment to minimize the impact of his condition. In recent years he has taken matters into his own hands by improving his eating habits – he no longer drinks soda – and adding exercise to his physical regimen.

He participated in his first 5K in Kansas City three years ago. He followed that up by completing 21 more in 2015 and then 30 in 2016. This year, he has run 2 so far and plans on doing another 23 5Ks and 5 10Ks. “My goal is finishing,” he said. “Early on, when I started doing these and getting better times, I focused more and more on that. Then I got a stress fracture because I was pushing to get faster and faster. Now, as long as my feet cross the starting line and at some time later cross the finish line, I’m a happy camper.”

For Mitchell, it’s not only about finishing. It’s about the camaraderie he has developed with other participants. “The running community is one of the most positive, encouraging groups of people I’ve ever met,” he said. “There is nothing more positive and encouraging than being there on the course. They don’t care how big or slow you are. The fact you are out there is what they care about.”

In the process, the 36-year-old Mitchell has built up a legion of fans – he has nearly 26,500 followers on Facebook – who root him on each race he runs. He also inspires others who are struggling with similar issues in their own lives.

On a GoFundMe set up to cover the expenses of the races he runs, one donor wrote, “You’re my new hero! I, too, am an obese guy and just finished my first 5K. I plan to follow in your footsteps! Thanks for the inspiration!!!”

Another wrote, “When people tell me they can’t run, I tell them your story.”

These comments are just a few examples of how Mitchell’s story is having a positive impact on others. “It is awesome to see the kind of effect I can have on someone,” he told X-Wear. “It is also a way to motivate me not to stop.”

And so Mitchell continues to set goals for himself. He wants to continue losing weight – at his heaviest he weighed 625 pounds – and he wants to continue traveling the country, competing in 5Ks and 10Ks. While it’s unlikely he will ever win those races, the fact that he is competing in them is victory enough.

You can learn more about Mitchell, who has been featured in People Magazine, Runner’s World and Inside Edition, by liking his Facebook page here.

Forge Your Path

At X-Wear, we believe people like Mitchell should motivate us all to forge our own path, regardless of whether it’s running, hiking, skateboarding, surfing or biking.  To do so requires the proper equipment. Start with sunglasses, necessary to protect your eyes and optimize your vision during those times of day when the sun is at its brightest. Our performance line includes Oakley, Native and Wiley X, all brands that are durable enough to withstand the physical elements of long hours spent outside.

We're Not In Kansas Anymore ...

20 February, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Lauren and Henry Costa paragliding in Switzerland

We all settle into routines and embrace the familiar. But doing so can be dangerous, leading us into complacency and a life where procrastination becomes the norm.

We’re not sure whether any of those thoughts crept into Lauren and Henry Costa’s minds last year, but if they did, they were used as motivation for the pair to throw their Los Angeles routines on their head as they spent five months embracing the unfamiliar.

In early August, the couple left their comfortable confines on the West Coast and embarked on a 25-country tour that started in Oslo, Norway and ended in Seoul, South Korea. Their travels took them to much of Europe and some of Asia, with a short layover in Dubai. It was chronicled in Lauren’s blog, Wanderfull Explorer, which includes traveling tips on where to stay and what to do in the cities and towns they visited.

While the couple is filled with wanderlust, Lauren is admittedly the free spirit of the two. “I always mentioned wouldn’t it be awesome if we did a really wild adventure that people do where they take a sabbatical or move somewhere abroad,” she told X-Wear.

Henry, who is more of a pragmatist, had long dismissed the idea of traveling the globe until his wife finished her school year – she was a special education teacher in Watts – in June. “He told me, ‘Now is the time for us to do this crazy idea,’” Lauren said, explaining that Henry was in between jobs at the time. “The impetus was we don’t have these huge responsibilities, in terms of kids or owning a home. We thought to ourselves, the next time we’ll be able to do this is probably when we’re in our 60s or 70s.”

They spent the next two months planning for an adventure that opened up their eyes to new cultures, their hearts to new possibilities, all while deepening their insights into themselves as individuals and strengthening their bond as husband and wife.

Favorite Experiences

The Costa’s trip was one spent chasing the sun and warm climates, “because we hate any form of weather that is not spring or summer,” Lauren explained to us. They started in Scandinavia, traveling from Eastern Europe from the north and proceeding south before creeping west towards England and Ireland. They then headed east visiting India, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Bali and South Korea.

Of course, we had to ask, their favorite places to visit. In Europe, Lauren listed Lake Bled and Ljubljana in Slovenia; the Bernese Alps in Switzerland; and Portugal’s beaches. In Asia, Laos and the Philippines topped her list.

While sightseeing was a part of their itinerary, so too was recreation. The pair went paragliding off a mountain in Interlaken, Switzerland; set out on an early morning hike in Indonesia ; went on a safari boat tour of Norway’s fjords; rode motorbikes in Vietnam; and explored the Mekong River in Laos while perched atop elephants. “We are going through this famous river in the middle of Asia on these gigantic animals,” Lauren said of the elephant tour. “It was one of those moments when you stop and think, ‘This is what life is all about.’”

Tips for Travelers

For those looking to follow in Lauren and Henry’s footsteps, they had some practical advice to get the most out of your overseas adventures. First, Lauren suggested, to set aside enough time for planning. “We met so many people who would arrive in a city and didn’t have a place to stay,” she said, explaining that their time was then spent trying to find accommodations instead of exploring. “We planned our train travel and flights… And make sure you are educated and look at all of the routes you’re going to take and see how fast they book  up because maybe you want to go to a festival in a city and the train there is booked for that week.”

The Costas planned their trip by starting big – first the route and what countries they wanted to visit – before focusing on the smaller, day-to-day activities.

An additional tip that some may overlook: “Make sure you add an extra day in each place to relax,” Lauren said. “You need a day to just walk around or sit in a café or watch people passing by drinking a cup of European coffee or sleep in on a weekend. Factor in a lazy Sunday at least once a week.”

Of course, capturing your memories is important. Lauren brought her Canon DSLR, but wishes, “I had a GoPro when we went rafting, were on elephants, on crazy hikes, paragliding, motorcycling in Vietnam or cliff jumping in the Philippines. These are definitely experiences I’ll cherish in my mind, but I do wish I got video of it.”

She also recommended traveling lightly, asking the ever-important question of, “do I really need this?” while packing. “If you have to ask that question, then you don’t need it and you’re going to be mad it’s taking up space in a travel bag.”

Embracing the Travel Bug

What’s next for the Costas? Currently, they’re taking a slight break as they squeeze in weddings on the East Coast and Midwest over the next few months. In December, they may cross Israel off their list. If so, this would add to the 42 countries Lauren has already visited that includes Iceland (one of her favorites), Tanzania (she taught there for half a year) and Thailand and Maldives (the couple honeymooned there in 2014).

As to why people should embrace the travel bug, Lauren put it this way: “Travel helps you collect moments that will help you find yourself, learn more about yourself and open up your mind to the world which just makes you a fuller person, makes you understand people on a deeper level, no matter who they are.”

That’s definitely a philosophy X-Wear can embrace. If you want to learn more about the Costa’s travels, visit Lauren’s website www.wanderfullexplorer.com, like her page on Facebook here and follow Lauren on Instagram (LLCExplores) and on Twitter (@laurenlevy).

You can also read some of our staff’s favorite places to travel here. And if you’re unsure of what you should pack for your trip, besides the GoPro which you can find here, don’t hesitate to contact us by clicking this link. We can recommend an assortment of clothing and gear ideal for your next vacation.

How to Win Against All Odds: DO YOUR JOB

06 February, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Patriots win Superbowl 51 in typical exciting fashion

Brady or Belichick? It’s the NFL’s chicken or egg scenario, causing an endless debate that obfuscates the other necessary pieces that go into creating a Super Bowl champion.

Yes, last night’s performance by Tom Brady was brilliant. Yes, Bill Belichick somehow convinced his team they were still in it, even when they were down 28-3 midway through the third quarter.

Together, they have a 183-52 regular season record (.778 win percentage) and a 25-9 postseason record (.735 win percentage). The pair have been to the Super Bowl 7 times, winning 5 of them, all in dramatic fashion.

Perhaps none of those Super Bowl wins was more dramatic than last night’s heart-stopping 34-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

But one thing all these numbers can’t compute is the heart of a champion.

While Brady and Belichick played a pivotal role in that victory, to throw it all on them overlooks the other contributions that made it possible for those two to be lifting a record 5th Lombardi Trophy.

  • There was linebacker Dont’a Hightower’s sack of Falcons QB Matt Ryan, forcing a fumble that his teammate Alan Branch recovered in the middle of the 4th
  • There was wide receiver Danny Amendola hauling in a 17-yard reception on a 4th down in the 3rd
  • And then there was Julian Edelman’s miracle catch, drawing comparisons to David Tyree’s helmet catch in the 2008 Super Bowl which the Pats lost, before the two-minute warning in the 4th

Look down the Patriots 53-man roster and you found players – Chris Long, James White, Chris Hogan, Ryan Allen and Trey Flowers – contributing in big ways and small. The game was indicative of a system better known as the Patriots Way that emphasizes team first.

It’s a grade school approach to sports that doesn’t always work in the pros, but it does with the Patriots. They have players who buy into the philosophy, starting with Brady. He has done so since 2001 and his teammates have followed suit; the result has been a sustained level of excellence rarely seen in professional sports.

In any collaborative effort, success starts at the top and funnels its way down. This is why Belichick refused to glom onto any praise that came his way after Sunday’s victory vaulted him past Chuck Noll for most Super Bowl wins by a head coach. “The most important thing tonight is the team win,” he said. “I am happy for our team, our players and our organization. Everybody worked so hard for this. The only reason I am here is because of what our players did, what our assistant coaches and coordinators did, but Chuck Noll is a tremendous coach, a tremendous legacy. I coached against Chuck in his final game. I always admired Chuck and his style. The way his teams played. It is an honor to even be mentioned in the same sentence with Chuck Noll. Tonight is really about our team. It is not about some record or something like that. It is about what our team accomplished. They deserve to be champions. They earned it tonight.”

If you’re wondering how and why the Patriots won on Sunday, and how they’ve been so good for so long, look at that quote again. It’s not about Brady. Or Belichick. It’s about the entire team.

Babiators: Not Just For The Cuteness Factor!

30 January, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Babiators on X-Wear

Babiators (n.) – Amalgamation of the two words baby and aviators; sunglasses for children

Ted Fienning remembers the moment when the small sunglass company he had formed with his wife, Molly, and their two friends, Matthew and Carolyn Guard, was on the verge of something special. His wife had just given birth to their first son, Harry, in the fall of 2011. “My wife was in the hospital bed recovering and reading US Weekly and she saw Babiators on Mariah Carey’s baby,” Ted said, laughing. “Molly started jumping up and down, yelling that these are going to be a hit. She was so excited. And she was right.”

About a year prior, it was Molly who had conceived of the idea while on a military base in Beaufort, South Carolina, as planes made their descent onto the runway. “She was seeing all the kids waiting for their parents to come in with all the wives wearing aviators and all the husbands wearing aviators while the kids were looking directly into the sun,” Ted, a former Marine Corps fighter pilot, told American Sunglass. “She realized they needed some eye protection. She said to me, ‘We should make baby aviators’ and we came up with the name Babiators.”

The couple brought the idea to their college friends, the Guards, and a company was formed. It was a simple concept – sunglasses aimed at kids; they were durable, colorful, stylish and, most importantly, they protected children’s eyes. That last part, Ted said, should not be understated. “Research shows that up to 50 percent of one’s lifetime UV sun damage occurs before children reach the age of 18,” he said. “Even today, we don’t talk a lot about sunscreen for the eyes. When you’re at the beach, moms slather their kids in sunscreen, on their arms, feet, legs, every part of the body… But the eyes have so many health issues as well.”

With 100% UV protection, Babiators ensure your child’s eyes are properly shielded from the sun’s harmful rays.

Education has been a key component to the Atlanta-based company’s marketing efforts which have seen it featured in such media outlets as Bloomberg, Fox Business, People Magazine and Newsweek. A slew of celebrities – Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner and Sarah Jessica Parker, to name a few – have embraced the brand for their own children.

Roughly a year into the venture, Ted said the company received a huge push when Nick Cannon appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and spoke about how his kids loved the sunglasses. “And then our servers crashed,” Ted laughed.

Today, the company is entering its sixth year, having sold more than one million pairs of sunglasses for children all the way up to teens. They even offer a one-year lost or broken guarantee.

For Ted, he derives satisfaction in “building a company that supports the families that work with us. That is part of the American dream as a business owner.”

As for the future of Babiators, he said, it is to continue “growing into a brand that parents trust… We don’t ever want to lose focus on protecting kids’ eyes. I feel like we’ve created a category here and we’re making it known eye health for youth is an important thing to promote. And we think our sunglasses look great on kids and so do moms and kids.”

To view our lineup of Babiators, click this link. And to learn more about the importance of protecting your eyes, regardless of your age, read our blog on the topic.

The Tuck: The Legacy of Jean Vaurnet

19 January, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

The tuck, it’s one of the most famous and simplest moves in all of skiing. And earlier this month, the man responsible for inventing it, Jean Vuarnet, passed away at the age of 83.

The Frenchman introduced it to the sport in 1960 during the Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California. The New York Times noted in their article announcing his death that Vuarnet was not even his country’s favorite when he entered that competition.

But thanks to his interest in the aerodynamics of skiing, he realized that the tuck – bending one’s knees while keeping the back parallel to the slope with the rear end elevated – would increase his speed. The tuck soon became known by another moniker, l’ouef, the French word for egg.

Using this technique catapulted Vuarnet to the gold medal in downhill skiing. Vuarnet’s 1960 win also helped propel two additional changes to the sport. The first was metal skis which Vuarnet became the first to adopt. The second was anti-glare sunglasses which Vuarnet and his teammates used during the winter games.

Vuarnet’s other contributions to skiing included developing the Avoriaz ski resort in his hometown of Morzine, France. There a glass statue of the French skier was unveiled in 2010 – on the 50th anniversary of his Olympic victory – featuring Vuarnet in his famous tuck position.

While it may be easy to overlook the tuck, Steve Porino, a former downhill racer for the U.S. team, spoke to its importance upon Vuarnet’s passing: “The tuck seems so obvious and self-evident that we forget someone had to invent it. You cannot survive without the tuck in ski racing.”

Honor Vuarnet’s Legacy

This winter, we have one simple request for all our avid skiers: take some time to honor Vuarnet this winter by getting into the tuck position. Bend your knees and your back, and keep your rear end elevated. Vuarnet may be gone, but each of us can proudly carry on his legacy.

For those looking for the best in ski gear, check out our line of winter jackets which includes such name brands as Salty Crew, Volcom, Billabong and Reef. And throw in a pair of durable, rugged sunglasses, all featuring the best in polarized technology. Finally, consider a GoPro camera and accessories to capture those special downhill moments this winter.

2017: The Year of Seeking New Adventures

29 December, 2016 0 comments Leave a comment

Mick Fanning and X-Wear

Being attacked by a great white shark and living to tell about it, would top most people’s list of accomplishments. But surfer Mick Fanning is not most people.

While the attack, which occurred on live television in July 2015 during the final heat of the J-Bay Open, represented a heart-pounding moment for the talented surfer, it was the least of the hurdles he has had to overcome in his 35-year life. 

The first occurred in 1998 when his brother Sean died in a car accident.  At the time, Mick was 17 and Sean was 20. Like most younger brothers do, Mick looked up to Sean. And so his older brother’s sudden death was heart-wrenching, difficult enough that Mick contemplated giving up the sport of surfing.  

Instead, he used his grief as motivation to honor his brother; the pair talked often about competing on the world surfing tour together. While that eluded Sean, he was never far from his brother’s heart. His name is tattooed on Mick’s arm.

And so an older brother who died far too young has been the impetus for what Mick has achieved as an adult: three world championships that have helped him lay claim to being one of the best surfers on the planet.

Then 2015 happened. First it was the shark attack. And then last December as Mick was competing for a fourth World Surf League title at the Billabong Pipe Masters, his 43-year-old brother Peter was found dead at his home due to heart complications. In the midst of that tragedy, Mick defeated 11-time world champion Kelly Slater to make it to the semifinals where he would eventually lose to second place finisher Gabriel Medina.

In the final days of that competition, Fanning posted on Instagram about the difficulty of that event. “Today was one of the most challenging days of my life but I knew I could find the strength to take part in the final event of the season because that’s what Pete would want,” he wrote.

This year, Mick has taken a much different tack, opting to choose where and when he would surf as opposed to competing on the professional circuit full-time. “The point of 2016 was to put myself in places that I wouldn’t normally see myself,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald, shortly after he had traveled to Norway for a photo shoot to capture him surfing under the northern lights. “This year… I could actually just stop and smell the roses.”

Following Mick Fanning’s Lead

As we say farewell to 2016 and venture into a new year, we hope you take a page from Mick Fanning’s book. For him 2016, was a year of seeking new adventures.

At X-Wear, we urge you to venture into places you normally wouldn’t find yourself in. We urge you to stop and smell the roses. And we urge you to seek new adventures.

If you need some tips on where to start, check out this blog we wrote in advance of the holiday season which features a list of products perfect for those looking to follow Mick Fanning’s lead.

The Blind Rider

22 December, 2016 0 comments Leave a comment

Marcelo Lusardi on X-Wear.com

In its purest form, skateboarding combines the best of art and athletics. But, for a few, the sport is more than that. It is a way of life.

And in some rare instances, it has the ability to heal.

At the end of the famous pilgrimage, Way of St. James, in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, one 19-year-old has found comfort in skating in the midst of personal tragedy. His name is Marcelo Lusardi.

Since the age of 11, Marcelo has been riding. That is until last November when he lost his sight due to a genetic disorder. It was a traumatic event for one so young. He was not only depressed. He was lost.

His story could have ended there. But with the encouragement of friends, he started to skate again. And it is through skateboarding that he rediscovered who he is. Marcelo’s incredible tale was told in a short movie that premiered at the end of last month. It was produced by the Spanish production company Runastudio and directed by 32-year-old Carlos Junquera.

X-Wear caught up with Carlos to talk about his touching film which has led to newfound fame from Marcelo who has been featured on GrindTV, The Guardian, Kingpin Skateboarding, VICE Sports, Thrasher Magazine and has even caught the attention of skate legend Tony Hawk.

X-Wear: Why was it important for you to tell Marcelo’s story?

Carlos Junquera: I am a skateboarder too and when I heard about him and met him, I thought his story needed to be told. I knew it would probably help him, give him support and hope. Skaters are family and I connected with Marcelo from the beginning. He was just so awesome. Ironically, he was the one who gave me hope.

X-Wear: Perhaps the most powerful moment in your film occurs a little more than 2 minutes in when Marcelo talks about the first time he skated after losing his vision. He’s unable to finish his statement and breaks down in tears. It shows just how important skateboarding is to him. Why do you think he has such a passion for the sport?

CJ: I think it’s because skateboarding is a form of expression, of art and allows us to disconnect from our everyday troubles. And that becomes very important in a skateboarder’s life. For Marcelo, it’s his passion and it’s what makes him happy.

Skateboarding gives you hope and motivation every time you land a trick. No matter how good or bad you are, you can feel that when you skate.

X-Wear: What do you hope audiences get out of your film?

CJ: I hope people realize that no matter what problems you may encounter in life, you can always push harder and move on.

There are two audiences for this film: skateboarders, or extreme athletes, and those who aren’t extreme athletes. For skateboarders, I believe they will be proud of the skateboarding and remember the iconic phrase, “skateboarding saved my life,” that a lot of us reference.

Non-skateboarders will feel the awesomeness around what Marcel is doing, and also feel hopeful.

I hope everybody realizes after watching this film that we are capable of anything, and that Marcelo is the most courageous person in the world.  

X-Wear: What are Marcelo’s thoughts about “The Blind Rider”?

CJ: He is very, very happy about the feedback he is receiving. He knows this is an important point in his life and this film is giving him opportunities and hope.

X-Wear: What’s next for you? And what do you think is next for Marcelo?

CJ: I am very interested in telling more stories that have social themes. I will continue skateboarding with Marcelo so we can share our passion together. I believe Marcelo opened the door just a bit and this is the beginning for him. Now he is strong and he has decided to keep living and make his dreams come true, so the opportunities for him are infinite.

Keep Shredding

At X-Wear, we believe Marcelo’s story should inspire us all to keep riding and to keep shredding. You can start by clicking this link to a section of our online store dedicated to all things skateboarding. If you’re in Falmouth or Provincetown, make sure to visit our Board Stiff stores where you’ll find an assortment of skate gear to meet the needs of the most passionate riders.

And to turn your own rides into a story, check out our GoPro cameras and accessories which will help you capture your best tricks from unique perspectives.

Finally, if you want more blogs like this one, check out these ones on Kilian Martin, Ben Jaeger-Thomas and Barbara Odanaka, three skaters who are taking the sport to new heights.

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