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Oakley Top To Bottom | Sean Pettit

We deep dive into Sean Pettit's get-up and break down what makes it his gear of choice

Photo above: Sean Pettit by Oakley.

Over the last few years, one of the most exciting snowboarders to watch has been, of all things, a skier. Sacrilegious, I know. But before you polish the pitchforks, consider the transformation of Canadian Sean Pettit. Make a list of freeskiing’s heaviest hitters and Pettit’s up there, thanks to shredding immortalized in Matchstick Productions classics like Claim (2008) and The Way I See It (2010).

“Over the last few years, one of the most exciting snowboarders to watch has been, of all things, a skier”

Pettit was a two-time Red Bull Cold Rush winner and added to his trophy case with a handful of IF3 and Powder Video Awards, including three “Best Male Performance” nods, as well as “Best Powder,” “Best Manmade Air,” and “Best Natural Air.”

Now, take this with a grain of salt. This research came straight off Wikipedia, because, well, I write for Whitelines. I’m not a skier. But arguably more impressive than Pettit’s jam-packed trophy shelf and illustrious ski career has been the speed at which he’s taken to snowboarding.

Venture down memory lane (AKA Pettit’s avant-garde Insta) and you can watch the progression unfurl. At first, Pettit’s interest in snowboarding had a tinge of novelty — “Watch this pro skier learn cripplers!”

 

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But with time, snowboard clips began to outnumber ski clips, to the point that if you type in “Does Sean Pettit” into a search engine, it auto-populates with “Still Ski?”

A lifetime on snow — and in the air — translated. Pettit’s style and skill matured at unprecedented speed, and he all but skipped the pubescent awkwardness of learning to ride. It’s as if Robin Williams’ 1996 flick Jack was produced by Absinthe. Esoteric references aside, Pettit’s prodigious growth spurt has been equally inspiring and depressing, especially for those of us who have been snowboarding for decades, and now must watch this spry savant add to his bag of tricks while we’re mired in mediocrity, eternally plateaued. But I digress.

 

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Such a proverbial 180 might cause some sponsors to bail — marketing departments are paying Pettit to throw award-winning 7s, 9s, etc. on skis, not take a crash course in snowboarding. But luckily, Pettit rides for K2, who crafts both award-winning skis and boards, and Oakley, the optics and outerwear juggernaut who’s home to many of the biggest names in snowboarding: Sage Kotsenburg, Mark McMorris, Eero Ettala, Ayumu Hirano, Chloe Kim, Jamie Anderson, etc.

Pettit’s certainly not the best snowboarder in Oakley’s stacked lineup of riders — no one’s arguing that — but his late-to-the-party, learn-as-you-flow antics make him arguably one of the most follow-worthy. This year, you can catch him in a head-to-toe Oakley kit that embodies Pettit’s adaptability — his unparalleled ability to drop jaws on skis one line and style out a perfectly tweaked air on a snowboard the next.

Off the hill, Pettit’s got a penchant for Oakley’s retro, far-out shades, but on the slopes, he likes to keep things simple with the Ridge Line. The classic frame style, XL cylindrical lens, and helmet-compatible flat brow make this goggle a top choice for hard-chargers who like to fly under the radar. The price point is another attractive element of this goggle — it’s ideal for riders looking to score Oakley’s premium optics at a welcome price.

On the outerwear front, Pettit’s rocking the Oakley Evocative Shell. The choice is unsurprising — the purple and black pattern with the grey stripe might be old-school in form, but the three-layer shell is modern in function. It boasts an FN Dry 20K laminate membrane that’s treated with a Durable Water Repellant (DWR), which provides an excellent balance of waterproofing and breathability. The nylon face fabric is also coated with a DWR treatment and mechanically stretched so you can contort into whatever yoga-like tweaks you desire.

“Pettit’s certainly not the best snowboarder in Oakley’s stacked lineup of riders — no one’s arguing that — but his late-to-the-party, learn-as-you-flow antics make him arguably one of the most follow-worthy”

The shell is purposefully lacking insulation to increase versatility: you can wear a puffy jacket underneath during the coldest snaps, or rock it with the pit zips cracked and a t-shirt underneath for slushy spring sessions. Factor in a performance fit, easily adjustable cuffs and hood, a smattering of pockets (zippered chest, zippered hand, goggle, media, etc.), and a removable powder skirt, and it’s obvious why this feature-packed, stormproof jacket is Pettit’s go-to, all-weather armour.

Pettit pairs the Evocative Shell Jacket with the Evocative RC Shell Pant. Simple, stylish, and affordable, the Evocative RC Shell Pants sports a relaxed fit and articulated knees for radical range of motion. Boot gaiters and snap-reinforced cuffs keep the pants snug and secure around the boot, while the snaps help deliver a more contemporary silhouette. The FN Dry 10K laminate and DWR-treated, recycled polyester fabric combo isn’t the most waterproof textile in Oakley’s lineup, but it handles precip-heavy resort days well. Not only that, but it keeps the cost extremely low, making the Evocative RC Shell a smart choice for boarders on a budget. With four zippered pockets to boot — two hand, one thigh, one back — the Evocative RC Shell Pant is a full-featured, stylish workhorse pant well-suited to long days of hiking hits, hucking meat, and chucking buckets.

Beneath the outerwear, Pettit stays comfortable thanks to the Gradient B1B Patch Hoodie — a performance-oriented iteration of everyone’s favourite lay day loungewear. The brushed fleece fabric is treated with Oakley’s Hydrofree hydrophobic compound, enabling you to wear the hoodie solo on warmer days. The small, neon patch is understated and subtle, making the hoodie as stylish as it is versatile — perfect for on and off the hill.

“While many pros exclusively rock a brand’s top-of-the-line gear, Pettit values style over price tags”

On colder days, Pettit amps it up a notch with the Gradient B1B Patch FZ Fleece. The Sherpa fleece is thick and plush, trapping warm air beneath a shell for extra insulation. Like the hoodie, it’s stylish enough to wear solo during aprés or travel days. The biggest danger with FZ Fleece? It’s so soft that significant others will try to steal it, and strangers may pet your back in pubs.

Pettit’s not one to miss a grab, so he keeps his phalanges dexterous and dynamic in the well-insulated Ridge Gore-Tex Mitten — a staple in grab guru and teammate Sage Kotsenburg’s mid-winter arsenal as well. 3M’s thermally efficient yet slim Thinsulate insulation wraps the hand in winterproof warmth, while a synthetic leather palm can carry, slap, grab, and tweak sharp edges at will. A Velcro cinch keeps the wrist locked down, and low-profile leashes ensure you don’t lose a mitt on the lift. Of course, there’s no need to ditch the Ridge when you’re checking clips or filming friends — Oakley kitted the mitt with touchscreen-compatible patches on the thumb and index finger.

Even chargers like Pettit who never get proverbially cold feet can have days ruined by literal cold feet. That’s why he stays comfortable, cosy, and cold weather-ready in the Pro Performance Sock. Stitched from soft, odour-resistant merino wool and reinforced in the toe and heel for longevity, these socks are a no-brainer for freeriders who aren’t fond of frostbite.

There you have it — Pettit’s top-to-bottom Oakley kit. While many pros exclusively rock a brand’s top-of-the-line gear, Pettit values style over price tags. The resulting kit is heavy on “drip,” as the youth might say, yet light on the wallet. Adaptable, affordable, and fresh to death, this gear will have you balling out from bell to bell, whether you’re plateaued like yours truly or progressing like Pettit.

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