Here's a press release we don't get sent everyday: 686 have just dropped news of an exclusive collaboration with (wait for it...) crab fisherman and star of 'Deadliest Catch' - Captain Elliot Neese.
We know 686 definitely aren't shy of a collab or two - we even had a bunch of pimping Whitelines down jackets made with the brand - but this nautical, lime green (good cod it's bright!) crab themed one's pretty out there. But who's to say that there isn't a plaice on the market for snowboard outerwear inspired fisherman apparel? Besides, 686 probably would have designed it anyway just for the halibut...
As an Alaskan native, Neese isn't a stranger to snowboarding and still gets to go for a sole-surf with his homies once Opie season is done (the internet is telling me that's a crab fishing thing - if anyone knows exactly what it is, please let minnow). 686 have got Elliot on board and kitted him out with a one-of-a-kind jacket constructed with the same 20,000mm Infidry fabric that features in their 686 Plexus line of snow specific outerwear. Yep, sadly this jacket won't be available to all you budding crab fishermen. What a load of pollocks.
And rather than us continue to flounder around with minor details, here's an interview with 686 team captain Patrick McCarthy:
What is the relationship between 686 and Elliot Neese?
[PM] Elliot Neese and I (Patrick McCarthy) have been friends for quite some time now. He was always just an Alaskan fisherman that would come down to Washington state during his off-season to hang, snowboard and recharge his batteries. We started shredding together here and there and just developed a friendship. Elliot can rub people the wrong way, but if you are down with him, he is a good homie. One year, before returning to Alaska he hit me up, wondering if he could get some gear to keep him warm and dry during the fishing season. That was right around when I was transitioning from team rider to team captain at 686, so luckily I was able to hook it up. The gear worked great, and each season after that Elliot would get some gear to battle nature’s harshest conditions in style. He may not be a professional snowboarder, but he is down for the brand and we got his back, literally.
Why should Elliot Neese, a crab fisherman, be rocking 686?
[PM] It actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it, 686 focuses on making highly technical outerwear to protect you from the same elements crab fisherman fight. Frozen wind, ice and water combine to create the harshest combination of elements and working conditions on the planet - the perfect testing grounds for some of the most technical apparel on the planet. So far it’s been a great relationship – 686 gear has been keeping Elliot warm and dry and he has been able to provide amazing feedback as well as help design a special project. Plus, love him or hate him, Elliot walks to the beat of his own drum just like we do here at 686.
Elliot isn’t snowboarding in his gear, isn’t that an issue?
[PM] Although we are a winter apparel snowboard specific company, our technical outerwear can be utilized in a lot of different situations from fishing, backpacking, cross country, etc. From 3-ply shells to down-sweaters and parkas we make gear that can keep you protected in any condition. Supporting Elliot Neese and the crew from the Saga allows us a new outlet to showcase our outerwear in a unique element.
What is this special project between 686 and Elliot Neese you mentioned?
[PM] We (686) were able to do something special and work with Elliot to create custom Plexus™ series jackets and bibs for the entire crew. The jacket and bib are constructed of fluorescent yellow 3-Layer Infidry 20™ waterproof fabric in an Expedition ergonomic fit with custom detailing and custom Saga crab screen-prints on the back of the jacket developed with Elliot himself. The crew wore the gear all season, putting it to the test on the deck in arctic temperatures, blistering wind and with freezing water splashes and came back with amazing feedback. Elliot explained it best saying, “The crew has never been so dry nor had such technical and bomber gear to work in. Usually gear seems cumbersome, wears very fast and begins getting wet and cold and falling apart, but the 686 gear was easy to move in, help up day after day and shows no sign of slowing down!"
What similarities and differences does the Elliot’s custom outerwear have from a typical snowboard jacket?
[PM] You know what’s crazy is that Elliot’s gear is almost exactly the same as our Plexus™ line with just a few extra features to battle the freezing cold Bearing Sea. Both the jacket and bib are constructed from our Infidry 20™ fabric, a 3-Layer abrasion resistant fabric that is super waterproof (20,000mm) while still being very breathable (15,000gm) with fully Bemis® taped seams, with a few more unique details. An extra high, laminated collar with hideaway hood with double Velcro stormflap closure keeps your face warm amidst frigid splashing water and frozen wind and keeps your body heat from leaving the neck of your jacket. The guys typically don’t wear goggles so the extra high collar is a great detail we get to design into the jacket, since it would normally lead to goggle fog on snow. There are 4 fleece lined handwarmer pockets for cold hands and smoke breaks and two external fold over military style pockets to keep water from splashing up into them while still being constantly accessible. Double storm flaps at every opening cover heavy-duty zippers, built to absorb the abuse crabbing seasons put no them. The most interesting detail though, is the double adjustable wrist closures. The outside closure tightens down over a longer inner adjustable gaiter with a PU seal to keep any water out of the sleeve - you don’t want below freezing water up your sleeve or in your gloves. The bibs are a bit different as they don’t have boot gaiters, but do have adjustable cuffs that can seal over boots to keep any water out of your boot and pant. Overall its amazing to see how similar the outerwear and how well it continues to work, keeping the crew warm and dry day after day, and hold up to the abuse that seasons on the unforgiving Bearing Sea can bring.
What is next for 686 and Elliot Neese?
[PM] The future is wide open. We look forward to continuing to support Elliot and the crew and utilize their feedback to make our technical apparel even better. Hopefully we can also get Elliot back on the snow sometime early next year and bring him to a place where we all find peace and happiness.