Benchetler's artistic touch can be felt on both the top sheets and bases of the limited edition ski paying homage to the band. Atomic Photo.
Throughout our twenty-three seasons of filmmaking, one of TGR’s biggest influences has been the Grateful Dead. Their iconic music has inspired countless film titles and graced our soundtracks. Their presence is interwoven into who we are and the fabric of the films we make. We owe so much to their anthems, which is why we’ve been working on something extra special with Chris Benchetler, Atomic, and Dakine.
After countless hours spent bringing this project to life, we’re excited to announce a limited edition product release paying homage to our infamous muse: the Grateful Dead-inspired 120 Atomic Bent Chetler size 184 skis, Dakine Mittens and Pack, and new TGR apparel.
The project came about while a couple of Dead vinyl records played. Last year, TGR co-founder Todd Jones traveled down to Mammoth, California, to help with Atomic’s Generation Shred edit. During his stay, Jones dropped by Benchetler’s house and couldn’t help but notice the skier’s diverse collection of Dead records. It sparked a conversation about the Dead's relevance within the outdoor community.
“The way we draw lines down a mountain or on a wave is the same improv the Dead have in their music,” Benchetler said. He believes that the Dead’s freeform approach to music is no different from how we interpret and navigate terrain in the mountains.
Meanwhile, TGR’s Director of Apparel Brian Francis was already in the process of scheming a Grateful Dead ski collaboration but was looking for a brand to execute it. “Based on all the success the Grateful Dead have had in snowboarding, the band representatives expressed interest in finding the perfect fit for a ski collaboration,” Francis explained. Benchetler was the missing link. Once Jones put the two in contact, the rest was history.
"Along with a love of music, many Dead Heads share a love of outdoor activity, and skiing is certainly something that plenty of Dead Heads enjoy, including Rhino president Mark Pinkus and me," said David Lemieux, the Official Grateful Dead Archivist, and Legacy Manager. "We are always looking for ways in which we can proudly display our love of our favorite band, and these skis are some of the most spectacular works of functional art we've ever seen. We can't wait to try out these unique and beautiful skis.”
The new skis send just as hard as the regular Bent Chetlers—and they have Chris's custom Grateful Dead flair.
This product line is also just the beginning. “Everyone involved wants this partnership to go into multiyear collaborations with limited edition, world-class, Grateful Dead gear,” Francis said. In fact, the whole collaboration isn’t just isolated to gear. Benchetler has plans to take things a step further.
Always dreaming big, he’s got a multi-sport adventure film in the works with a couple names you might recognize: Kimmy Fasani, Rob Machado, Jeremy Jones, Michelle Parker, Greg Long, Aaron Blatt, and Danny Davis. Orchestrated to a Grateful Dead soundtrack, the film will bring the audience from the coastline to the mountains—with lots of action in between. Until the film’s release, you can at least get your hands on the new product line in March. Don’t hesitate though, there will be a limited amount available, and they're going to go fast.