Backer's Talk - Vincent de Jong & Mike Woning

Last week we engaged into a conversation with our backer Vincent de Jong and his friend Mike Woning. They correctly pointed out that (smart)phones interfere with signals send by avalanche rescue beacons.

We were aware of this when designing the jacket, but also believe that people will wear this jacket way more often than when riding powder. So we decided to keep the feature. However, we feel a responsibility towards everyone that buys our jacket. Therefore we can't ignore this important safety message and when Mike handed us the great copy, we simply had to put in on to our jacket.

Name: Vincent de Jong
Age: 43
From: Overveen, The Netherlands

What are your favourite snow sports?
Medium level skiing

Where do you usually go riding?
French Alps and nowadays to Germany to teach the kids.

Why did you back this Kickstarter project? 
Chris Westen, is a friend of mine and we met in Hong Kong.  Plus, I'm a entrepreneur myself importing and selling innovative clothing and gear with a focus on visibility for sportsmen and professionals (Uglow Sport and S-Triple X-Vest) so I understand when there is a need for support via Kickstarter. And, also important, I needed a new ski jacket.

Name: Mike Woning
Age: 44
From: The Netherlands

What are your favourite snow sports?
Telemark freeride

Where do you usually go riding?
I try to follow the snow which means we go to the area that has received the last dump in the Alps. I seem to have a preference for Austria and Switzerland for some reason or other. Was so lucky to win a heli trip in Canada also which was totally off the hook AWESOME! Besides that, we go on a family ski trip once a year but that has totally different (also good!) dynamics to it. 

Why did you back this Kickstarter project? Due to bad genes and/or luck I’ve experienced some physical set backs that lead to an ACL reconstruction and associated clean up of my knee, amongst others. Last ski season wasn’t what I had hoped for so not sure what the future looks like for me, ski wise. As such I haven’t put my money where my mouth is (yet) and want to see how my return to skiing proceeds. Despite that, I like the concept and back the idea fully.

Parental advice:

Riding powder is one of the best things, if not the best thing in life. But we should never underestimate the dangers of the backcountry. So our advice is, when going away from the slopes, always wear a beacon and put your phone in your backpack, as well as the rest of the avalanche rescue equipment. But that's not all. Make sure you have the proper knowledge (check for example the wePowder Academy or sign up at a local avalanche rescue course). Never go alone and when you are not 100% familiar with every little aspect of the mountain, always bring a guide.

What about RECCO and interference?

We've got this question a few times before we launched. We did our research, please read this paper if you are interested. Based on the conclusions that RECCO does not interfere during rescue missing, we decided to put RECCO into our jacket. No RECCO is for sure no equivalent to a peeps or anything and should never be used as a substitute. But since it will not harm the rescue, it could only help.