DISTANT RELATIVES: NEW ZEALAND WITH SAM SMOOTHY

This past September, we met up with Sam Smoothy, Callum Pettit, and Drew Tabke in New Zealand for a couple weeks, where local, Smoothy, offered to show us his ski playground in the Southern Alps on the South Island to launch our new snow series, “Distant Relatives”. With “Distant Relatives,”

Giro aims to bring our community together over the common love of snow while sharing what drives, inspires and shapes the creativity of sport. In this series, we’ll travel to a place to shred, but lean on a key local to show us the goods. Who better than to start the series with than Sam Smoothy?

Smoothy is a typical Kiwi, humble and friendly—you sort of have to be when you’re from a small town on a small island in the middle of nowhere. What sets him apart is his drive to keep moving. He always leads the charge and makes the best of every situation, which is addictive. We were honored when he agreed to show us what makes his home mountains so different and the culture so relaxed.

It only made sense that Drew and Callum join us as well.

They have all been Giro athletes for a while and have been on other shoots together as well. Drew is super mountain-savvy, fundamentally a super strong skier and very articulate. He’s quiet, but engaging, and willing to discuss all topics from philosophy to NFL football, and everything in between.

And Callum… Callum is hilarious and one of a kind. You never know what story or words of wisdom will come from him next. Sometimes he’ll talk softly and ski light, and then the next thing you know he’ll make the whole room erupt with a witty joke or stomp the biggest line.

It only snows in town in Wanaka every couple of years, so when we all got to the rental house in Wanaka and it started dumping, we knew we were in for a treat. Smoothy showed us his favorite spots; Centennial Hut on Franz Joseph Glacier, the backcountry zones outside of Treblecone, and Cardrona.

We were on the move each day. We’d wake up, have a couple of flat whites with avocado toast, and roll to the next ski stop typically with a detour before or after to surf or climb.

During the off time, we skated around, cracked jokes, and threw back some beers. We saw our boy “Beans” at the local coffee shop, Urban Grind, every morning and then we would eat too much lamb at night. New Zealand—surrounded by oceans, forests, mountains, jungles, and glacier—is a pretty magical place to call home, and Smoothy is the kind of tour guide that never gets tired. His high energy personality and his will to never stop could keep you entertained forever.

As Sam Smoothy says, “What’s the best thing I can do for the next 48 hours? Whether it’s skiing, biking, climbing, or surfing, pick which one you think is going to suit the weather most and do that.”

Sam Smoothy truly encompasses our “We’ll Stop When You Stop” mantra. He doesn’t ever want to stop searching for the next adventure, trying out new lines in his own backyard or figuring out how to have fun with his crew. As he keeps pushing for bigger, and better, and living his kiwi lifestyle to the fullest, we’ll keep making the gear that gets him there.