I was honored when I received the invite to the Under Armour (UA) Ridge Reaper Event. I figured we would tour the UA facility see some new products in camouflage meet the Ridge Reaper TV hosts.
Boy was I mistaken… I arrived at the UA Campus (not facility) tucked very nicely in the revitalized Locust Point area of Baltimore, MD. We were met by the UA staff, they gave a brief rundown of our agenda for the day. Which went something like this:
We have some UA goodies for you
We will be heading back to the UA Fitness center, where you will put on the UA goodies
Everyone will meet on the football field (yes, I said football field)
This is where everyone will participate in a little Ridge Reaper workout… wait, what? Workout? What about the sales pitch and looking a videos?
Then, we will get cleaned up, tour the “Wonka Factory” for UA
Meet and talk with the Ridge Reaper TV team
Eat some lunch!
For those of you not familiar with the UA home grown story goes like this. The company was founded in 1996 by Kevin Plank with the assistance of Kip Fulks while they were playing football at the University of Maryland. Kevin wondered why there were no compression shirts for sports players, there were compression shorts, but no shirts. He had some compression shirts made for his teammates and the rest is history! Now UA make clothing and gear for multiple categories including football, baseball, fishing, hunting and studio workouts to name a few.
Fast forward, I’m all dressed for the “workout” and on the football field. The field is a 50 yard turf field displaying the Maryland Flag in the end zone!
Other attendees were from all corners of the media with the likes of Steve Flores (Bowhunting.com), Mark Kidd (Outdoor Channel), Sandy Dover (Yahoo), and Vicky Hallet (Washington Post) to name a few. I’m thinking we’re going to some push-ups, mountain climbers and some other combination moves. Then the trainer comes out to guide us through a 7 station workout with a short jog at the end, almost. We did this circuit two times, then did suicide sprints all for about an hour under the scorching sun! I was starting to think that my 6 mile morning run, wasn’t such a good idea.
To simply put it, the workout was tough. But very well executed, in showing others not in the hunting industry how some of us hunters train annually.
After the workouts were done, we go showered up, so we could continue sweating in our clean dry clothes. Man it was hot and humid that day!
We got to tour the UA Wonka Factor aka Testing Labs, which was very cool indeed. Tom White the Director of Material Innovation was our tour guide. We caught up with Mark Estrada the Director Outdoor Hunt/Fish Sorry, he talked about how the industry is constantly striving to raise the bar.
One of the cool topics of discussion was UA’s proprietary scent control system. It utilizes what microporous mineral, which is created when volcanic rocks meet the sea water. Zeolites are used in water purification, in medicine, agriculture and for removing nitrogen from the air to elevate oxygen. This technology is woven with silver fabric to complete the UA scent control system. The UA Scent Control claims to be 99% effective after the garment has been washed 50 times! To put this in perspective, carbon based garments lose 50% of their effectiveness after 5 washes. This technology is rechargeable by just tossing the garments in the wash and you’re good to go. At this time, UA is only using this technology in their hunting garments. “Do you see green?”
Sorry there were no photography in the Wonka Lab so, you will have to take my word for it!
Next on our agenda was the meeting of the Ridge Reaper team, to discuss with them how the show came to fruition. What were some of the challenges of filming? What were some of the goals of the show?
Ridge Reaper is a new documentary style TV series, with no re-creates – to “capture” the moment on the Outdoor Channel. Just epic filming depicting western big game hunters hunting in the harshest conditions and environments, showing their perseverance. All hunts are Great American western public lands, where there are no high fences! The show immerses you in each weekly adventure of real hunters getting it done the hard way. You can almost feel the frustration, pain, heartache, excitement and pride that the team goes each week.
What separates Ridge Reaper from the pack, is that it will bring the backcountry adventure to you the viewer!
The Ridge Reaper team is made up Jason Carter, Kip Fulks, Bryan Offut, and Koby Fulks. Who are these hardcore hunters? Here is a little scoop on each of them:
Jason Carter: Jason is one of the most knowledgeable big game hunters around! He has been hunting western big game since he could stand. He has guided and harvested some amazing world class animals. He has been a big game consultant for the 17 years, so he truly knows what he is talking about and how to get it done!
Kip Fulks: Kip is the COO of Under Armour and oversees the design and build of every product that comes from Under Armour. While he is great at that, his passion is chasing big game!
Bryan Offut: Bryan is the Director of Marking for Under Armour. He is the man behind the growth of hunting, fishing, tactical and action sports divisions. Bryan is very proud of his work with the UA Freedom and Wounded Warrior Project. Bryan is a hardcore hunter that just plain gets it done!
Koby Fulks: Koby is the Outdoor Marketing Manager at Under Armour. Koby grew up in Colorado, later went into the US Marine Corps. These journeys in life provided Koby the western big game hunting know how and the persistence to getting it done!
Be sure to set your DVR’s for Ridge Reaper and get a peek into hunting the backcountry.
Ridge Reaper is shown on the Outdoor Channel on Mondays at 11pm EST: http://outdoorchannel.com/show.aspx?show-id=12750