Introducing Sessions to The Board Basement
New for the 2018 snow season here at The Board Basement, we are taking in a new brand we are very excited about: Sessions. Sessions may be new to us, but it certainly isn’t a new snowboard brand. To bring you up to speed, we thought we would take a closer, deeper look into Sessions’ decorated history in the snow, skate and music industries.
Sessions was founded in 1983 and was the very first snowboard store in the US, based in Sunnydale California That is a pretty big thing given the age of the sport! To top this, Sessions, 3 years later in 1986, were the first snowboard store to have a pro team, so as you can tell they are pretty rooted in the industry. On this team were some pretty major names even in today's terms; Steve Cabellero and Terry Kidwell! Steve is still a pro skater today which is an even bigger feat, whereas Terry with his legendary snowboard status is still riding and involved with the snowboard industry today. As you can see the roots in this sport go deep!
Skate and snow were part of the bloodline of Sessions from day one. As the original owner of the company, Joel Gomez loved the sports and engrossed himself in its lifestyle and culture. For Joel, though, there was one thing missing; music. Joel already had a mail order record business on the side, so he decided to combine the snow and skate shop side of things together with his music business. So, in 1986, Sessions mail order records became part of the operation, all under one roof. The result was a booming snowboard shop, encompassing all elements of snow, skate and music. In 1993, this progressed and Sessions launched its own record label producing vinyl for some huge bands over a 12 year period. The first big band on the list was none other than Foo Fighters as well as Pearl Jam, Fu Manchu, Gwar, AFI, Swingin’ Utters, Audioslave, No Use For A Name, Supersuckers and only the biggest heavy band ever, Metallica! But we will come back to that later in the story.
With the music, shop and pro team all booming, Sessions was in a good place, going from strength to strength. In the winter of 1990, things got even more interesting when pro rider Terry Kidwell got a cover shot on an issue of International Snowboard Magazine. In the shot he is wearing a jacket with a Sessions patch sewn onto it, after Joel had some patches made up with the shop's logo. This caused a huge response and a large number of calls came through to the store, all asking for a Sessions jacket. From this response, Sessions outerwear was born! From here, things picked up pace pretty fast with Sessions having the best pros on their team as well as the coolest outerwear of the time. Sessions took full advantage of this giving their new pros to the team, Jamie Lynn and John Cardiel, a pro model jacket and pant. This is when Sessions realised they were innovating their market and pushing the boundaries of what was possible with snowboard outerwear.
Sessions continued to do this, being the first outerwear company to use Gore Tex in their outerwear, Recco reflectors, whistles forzips,, d30 protection, and speakers built into the hood of the jacket. They were also the first outerwear company to release their own snowboard film – Viva La Sessions in 2001. The list goes on. They like to innovate! And lastly the one which ties us back to what we briefly touched on, they were the first outerwear company to collaborate with bands.
The band link was a natural progression from the record label to the outerwear company, working with the big bands who they were making vinyl for. The first collaboration of this kind was in 2010 with the biggest Heavy Metal band around - Metallica - featuring their new album of the time, Death magnetic full album artwork liner and Skullcandy speakers built into the hood of the jacket. Sessions then followed this up a year later with the Pearl Jam x Sessions collaboration which again teamed up with Skullcandy and had a remote control for your ipod on the arm of the jacket and, of course, Pearl Jam graphics on the liner.
Jump forward in time to 2015 where the company is taken over by The Pretty Great Company (yes that’s the actual name) after a brief season of being a Japan only brand. Pretty Great wanted to bring Sessions outerwear back to what it was and be an innovator in the snowboard outerwear industry and get back to Sessions real roots; Snow, Skate and Music! Straight away they put ex uber pro Nick Visconti in as team manager to get the team back up and on track with Scotty Vine, Jesse Paul, Ryan Paul, Ryland West and Nick Geisen all on the pro team. Jesse Paul kindly responded with an X-games Real Street Bronze medal and Transworld Snowboarding 2016 Rookie of the year proving Sessions are back to their old tricks again.
Which brings us back to the present day and the first full outerwear line under the Pretty Great Company. To celebrate this, they went back to the music collabs of the past, and what better way to do that then to remake their most popular one and the band they have deep roots with? Yep, Metallica! For the 2017-18 season, the Sessions x Metallica jacket fuses together a classic rocker style band jacket and a technical snowboard jacket all in one.
With a large And Justice For All band patch on the back of the jacket and Metallica logo on the front chest pocket and arm of the outer shell, which looks slick. Especially with the longer fish tail cut and slimmer fit. Open the jacket up and you are in for a treat, the entire liner is a homage to Metallica’s discography with all their artwork from their previous albums in there, from Master of Puppets and Kill ‘em All to Ride the Lightning and Death Magnetic. Remember this isn’t a brand cashing in on a band's name, oh no! Sessions go back with Metallica a long way to the 90s when they were producing all of their vinyl for them.
Another new innovation for the 17-18 season from Sessions is the new external audio pocket they just released. With Sessions’ history with music, a natural tie in to the outerwear products is to incorporate the two. Now, audio pockets have been done before, but Sessions took a different look on this and made it an external audio pocket which is accessible whilst wearing gloves. Pull the flap up and the entire pocket folds down to give you full access to your smart phone and music. The clear plastic is fully touch screen compatible, so if you have touch screen gloves there is no need to take them off and keep your digits warm! The headphone wires (if you haven’t gone Bluetooth) feed through a hole in the bottom of the jacket to stop wires getting in the way and into the jacket held in by loops to keep them out of the way. Sounds good right? Sessions stay ahead of the game by insulating the external pocket too so the battery life doesn’t get zapped by the cold! Clever!
Sessions still carry on their heritage with the new outerwear too, with all of the front zips in the range doubling up as a whistle. All but one pant in the range features Sessions classic tool pocket on the lower leg too. This is located on the lower leg on top of the boot so if you fall, the tool will not cause any harm to you by digging in etc, another Sessions innovation from way back!
In short, we are happy to be supporting the rebirth of Sessions and the heritage that it carries within snowboarding.