YOU HAVE TO START SOMEWHERE
Pro-snowboarder Rob Kingwill started AVALON7 in the spring of 2005 after a trip to the fabric store in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He was looking for a way to protect his face from snow and sun but still be able to breathe and not fog his goggles while riding.
After some searching through the store he discovered a unique polyester mesh material in the back corner of the shop. He took a roll home and started making bandanas out of it-experimenting with size and shape and hand painting them with air dry fabric paint. This is how our original product-the “Bandaril” bandana was born.
Later that summer he made over 120 of these hand-cut mesh bandanas in the backyard of the coaches’ house at the Camp of Champions. They were so functional for riding hot glacier sun he could barely keep up with demand!
Now 10 years later, Rob is banging out new designs on a regular basis and and spreading the AVALON7 across the world.
Here are some photos of some of the original hand cut and block printed Bandarils from 2005:
|AVALON7 IN THE OLYMPICS
If you saw the Olympic Halfpipe events in 2006, you probably noticed the red white and blue bandanas the US athletes were wearing. You can’t have missed Shaun covered up in the Stars and Stripes. What you probably didn’t know is that those bandanas were AVALON7. AV7 wasn’t a uniform sponsor like Burton or Nike, and sure as hell didn’t have the cash to come anywhere close to the Olympics. Now the trick is, how did a tiny company with nothing but heart get itself into the big game on the best athletes in the world?
Kinger competed in the Grand Prix Olympic qualifiers, and thought it would be cool to make a bunch of AV7 flag bandanas to pass out to the crowds at the events. It was sweet to see all the fans waving their flag bandanas as the riders flew over their heads. He also passed the Patriot bandanas out to any of the riders who wanted one as a keepsake of the contest.
At the last Grand Prix in Jersey, Rob walked up and saw Shaun pulling a Patriot bandana out of his backpack. “I’ve been looking for one of these. I want to wear it at the Olympics.” he said. “Yeah right! They would never let that happen. You are only allowed to wear the team uniform.” Rob thought. You know what happened next. Not only Shaun, but all of the halfpipe girls and most of the boardercrossers rocked the Patriot bandana at the biggest event in the world. Pretty cool.
“AVALON7 is an anomaly. Before it even truly came into existence it managed to get itself on the world stage. Seeing Shaun and Hannah win gold medals with my Patriot bandanas around their necks was one of the coolest moments of my life. I am so grateful to all of my friends that went to the Olympics and rocked my gear- Shaun, Hannah, Gretchen, Elena, Holland, Ears, Lyns, Rosie, thank you thank you thank you. AVALON7 is honored.”-KINGER
WHERE DOES THE NAME “AVALON7” COME FROM?
AVALON7 is named after a legendary kingdom hidden in the mountains, accessible only to those seeking the next level. Click here to read the legend of AVALON7.
SOME WORDS FROM OUR FOUNDER:
“I live in the kingdom of Jackson Hole, where on certain days in the winter the whole valley is covered in a layer of clouds caused by a temperature inversion. On those days it is cold and dark below the clouds, a truly oppressive reality.”
“The riders are the lucky ones, able to lift themselves up, elevate their perception, so to speak, by riding the chairlift up the mountain and through the clouds. When you finally burst through the clouds into the sun, it feels like you are entering another world, like stepping through a gateway into AVALON7- a world filled with bright sun, laughing friends and deep pow. It doesn’t get much better than that! ” -ROB KINGWILL