Photo provided by Zach Surdell. Photo by Development aerialist Kira Tanghe.
As outdoors enthusiasts, we know you all have an insatiable thirst for the thrill of adventure. Whether you’re a professional climber, hunter, or just someone who likes casual camping on the weekends, the question always arises, what is the one piece of gear that you should be adding to your weekend check list?
We recently had a chance to catch up with Zach Surdell, an aerial skier on the U.S. Ski Team, to see what he deems a novel addition to his everyday adventure gear. Representing the Swiss Valley Ski Area in Michigan, Surdell received seven Top 10 NorAm finishes with two wins. He placed in third place in the men's aerials at the 2015 U.S. Freestyle Ski National Championships. It’s safe to say that Zach has quite a knack for exploring realms beyond just skiing which is why Eagles Nest Outfitters recruited him to be a Brand Ambassador and represent ENO’s lifestyle.
How did your career start?
My career started as a slopestyle skier out of Southwest Michigan then I slowly transformed into an aerial skier and made the development aerial team. There, I spent two years on development before making the U.S. National Team.
Can you tell us your most memorable time when you used an ENO product?
My most memorable time using an ENO product was when I camped out with a teammate during a storm and it was getting very windy and slightly dangerous out there. We were swinging tree to tree in our hammocks and just had a blast. It made me feel like a kid on a swing.
Photo provided by Zach Surdell. Photo by Wesley Perry.
What do you like about gear from ENO?
I like the durability of ENO gear and all of the extras that come along with camping. It makes camping much easier and convenient.
What personal connection do you have with the brand?
I was drawn to the brand after I went on long mountain bike rides. I would sit on the ground exhausted for an hour or so catching a sunset. Then I saw some other riders hammocking and it was a much more comfortable alternative to what I was doing.
Do you think ENO is more style or function?
ENO in my eyes is more function. I have never had an ENO product fail on me. The hammocks set up to trees so much easier than other hammocks I have tried and the material is much sturdier and comfy.
What's your biggest gear challenge and how does ENO solve it?
My biggest gear challenge is space. All ENO products are compact for a perfect fit into a backpack. If you are trying to hike or bike to your camping destination, this is the hammock for you.
What kind of gear are you looking to add next to your adventures?
For my next adventures, I am really looking forward to a DoubleNest hammock so I can sprawl out as well as a bug net and/or a rain and utility tarp so I am ready for the harshest conditions and can camp in comfort.
What still brings you a sense of newness or awe when in the wilderness?
Nothing is more beautiful than a long camping trip with your buddies and waking up in the middle of the woods to the sunrise and other natural elements. For example, we were suspended very high to stay away from the unknown and we woke up to some birds chirping and we look down the hill to a few moose grazing around near the water. It was one of the most beautiful things and is really what keeps bringing me back out there.
When it comes to relaxing safely above the ground, ENO’s strong parachute nylon hammocks can do the job. Whether you’re in the backcountry or backyard, an ENO hammock is the right choice.
ABOUT LIFEVIEW OUTDOORS
LifeView Outdoors prepares people for their adventures with the right gear and tech. Since 2005, the retail operation in Nashville, Tennessee has delivered award-winning educational content to outdoor enthusiasts like you and schools across the United States.