SPT’s Chris ‘Gunny’ Gunnarson On New DC X SPT Boot Collection
DC Shoes has teamed up with Snow Park Technologies to create a rugged line of work boots and snowboard boots, which are hitting retail now. The brand was showing its new line of workwear boots at SIA, which also include some expanded styles and collaborations with athletes, including Travis Rice and Torstein Horgmo.
For the SPT boot, DC worked closely with SPT President Chris “Gunny” Gunnarson, who’s long list of accomplishments include designing and building parks for ESPN X Games, both US and Europe, and Winter Dew Tour, and most recently Danny Davis’ third installment of Peace Park at Grand Targhee Resort— just to name a few.
We caught up with Gunny to hear his thoughts on the new boot collection, his inspiration behind this project, and why he sees the collaboration as another step in the right direction when it comes to positively influencing and progressing the action sports industry.
When does the new collaboration boot collection drop and where will it be carried?
The DC x SPT boot collection was released in stores this fall for fall/winter 14/15 with three different styles. The collection that is out now features an insulated work specific boot (Peary), a high top aprés snow boot (Colter) and a double boa snowboard boot (SPT Judge). All are focused on durability and functionality, in SPT’s signature black and camo. These boots allow us to work hard, and play hard.
All of the boots can be found for sale online at www.dcshoes.com, and at select retailers. Our goal is to continue working with DC well into the future – both on future footwear designs, and on creative on-snow projects.
Take a look at the collection here:
Why did SPT see a need to partner up with DC on creating a footwear collection?
SPT has had a long history with DC, dating back to the DC Mtn Lab days and beyond. We started talking about collaborating on a work boot a few years ago, and that developed into the collection that came out this fall for the first time.
Rather than a "need” to partner on this footwear collection, we mutually felt like this was just such a cool opportunity to do something different. It was probably a bigger leap of faith for DC since a work inspired product line like this is a little unconventional from their normal line. I think that's why it works well with DC's Defy Convention platform.
Our crew at SPT is unique in that we crossover from getting a LOT of riding time on snow, to then working in rugged terrain and in all types of outdoor winter conditions. We're in and out of snowcats, welding, excavating, shoveling, raking, running chainsaws, snowmaking and more. Working daytime, nighttime, in the snow, rain, wind, etc. We deal with so many varying climate and work conditions for long hours and long stretches of time that good footwear is essential to our success. Being able to design legitimate footwear for our type of work is a huge advantage for SPT, and although our job may be really niche to winter action sports, there are a lot of dudes out there who work in tough conditions in all types of jobs that will benefit from these boot options.
It's been fascinating and a lot of fun working with DC on this collab from design to testing to production…and then to see the boots in the stores and on people’s feet is pretty cool. DC has been fantastic to work with, and really cared about paying attention to the details that mattered to our team.
“Our goal at SPT is to continuously push to elevate every aspect of action sports that we can influence in the most positive ways possible. This collaboration with DC is another step in that direction.”—Chris ‘Gunny’ Gunnarson, SPT
What does the collaboration say about SPT and what does it mean to you?
Hopefully it says that we care a lot about our tradecraft and want the best possible equipment to make those long hours a little more comfortable and allow us to do our job the best that we can. Our goal at SPT is to continuously push to elevate every aspect of action sports that we can influence in the most positive ways possible. This collaboration with DC is another step in that direction.
There are a lot of people in working class industries who grew up on action sports—skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding, moto, bmx—who might not have the time to participate in those sports as much anymore, but still connect to the lifestyle and to a brand like DC, even as they head off to work at the construction site, or the factory or a road working crew or a logging job. That's who I believe will benefit most from our boot collection, and that's what means a lot to me.
Talk about how and why the Mtn. Lab came together and why that has been an important partnership for SPT?
The Mtn Lab was really Ken Block's vision of a team (and personal!) playground in the mountains. It was such an exclusive place for anyone to get invited to that working there, and staying right at Ken's Mtn Lab house, for weeks at time in the summer and winter, was truly an honor for our team and me personally. Plus, it was SO much fun. There are so many stories from the various years that we worked out there…many that shouldn't be retold.
One of the best parts of our job is that we get to work on a lot of amazing projects all over the world. The ones that I'm most stoked on are projects that are really different from the norm and create an awesome story and experience. The Mtn Lab had far tighter parameters than designing and building a terrain park or event course, but it had such a cool factor and insider vibe that made it really special. I mean, come on! When is another company going to step up and build a dream park/training center/mountain getaway with it's own mansion and rope tow, too!…We'll be waiting.
Why do you think the progression of the sport is so important, and where do you see the future of SPT headed as a company?
Well, I guess the obvious answer is that progression is integral to the sport and the lifestyle. If progression and creativity were to ever stop in snowboarding, we should all just say goodbye. So yeah, I'd say it's pretty important. As far as SPT's role in that respect, I try to keep our crew working together as a team that is firmly focused on pushing each new project or opportunity in front of us to be the best it can be, in the name of doing right by the sports that we love and the athletes that we tremendously respect.
The bar keeps getting raised to the point where each project we are involved in now takes so much more effort than most people would believe. Every aspect has grown in scope and lead time for planning, design, coordination, logistics and then a huge amount of physical work on-site to execute, and usually in a short amount of time under tough circumstances. That's our version of progression, what we try and contribute to the sport. And we love it. At the end of every job, we get a front row seat to watching the best athletes in the world shine as hard as they can on something that we've built.
I think they call that pride of craftsmanship. Everyone that works at SPT has that, and more people in the world need it.