Inside Spark: Training and Having Fun in the Off-Season

Ahhh, summer. Warm nights, long days, and endless opportunities to go out and explore. Like the populations of many mountain towns, Bozeman is full of people that love their winter recreation, but crush it just as hard in the summer. Here's a look at what some of us are doing this summer to have fun and stay in shape for the splitboard season.

Will Ritter - Chief Designer / Owner

Will Ritter

You mean beyond SplitbordicTracking every day? Biking is my main summer activity, anything from my short ride to and from work, some longer road rides while visiting family this summer, or my favorite, shredding single track on my mountain bike.  Hauling one or two kids on the back of your bike really adds to the burn!

Becca Ritter, CFO / Owner

I took a fun backpacking trip to the Olympic peninsula in May which was a great transition from winter to summer. I bike to work most days, and spend a good amount of time on trail either running or mountain biking (I love my Norco!). This summer I signed up for a six week interval training class called Mountain Burn which is kicking my butt. I'm usually limping around the office those mornings, but it's totally worth it.

Ethan Marcoux, Assistant Machining Manager

I’m out on my mountain bike with guys from work or my girlfriend as much as possible. So far this summer I've been able to hit the single track three or four days a week. We spend a lot of time biking in zones that we split in the winter. It’s fun to see the areas at different times of the year. This is also good training for my dog Banjo who spends a lot of time out on the skin track in the winter, and is occasionally asked to keep up with the snowmobiles for some approaches.

Zach Bailey, Shipping / Warranty / Customer Service

Zach Bailey

Splitboard training? I never stopped splitboarding. Well, I’ve slowed down a little but I got four good days in June, and have a split mission planned in August. I've been getting my adrenaline fix on my longboard and mountain bike this summer. Myself and a few of the dudes from work have been getting out on our bikes at least once a week together. I’m also trying to eat a lot of snack packs – That is the kind of fuel I need to get me ready to crush vert next winter.

Dan Ventura, Marketing Manager

Dan Ventura

In preparation for next winter, I’m quality testing the water of SW Montana, before it turns to snow. How you might ask? Well, I put on a pair of waders, then I attach a water testing device to a nylon string, which is attached to a long, graphite rod. I then flip the water testing device out into the many rushing rivers all over the state. Sometimes fish attack my water testing device. That’s fun too.

Matt Huffstetler, Anodizing

I took a three week splitboarding trip to Norway in May, which was epic. I don’t know if that counts as training, but it was certainly after the main season here. Now, I’m mountain biking as much as I can after work and on the weekends. Biking at altitude really helps you stay tuned up for the skin track. I’m also trail running at Drinking Horse mountain right in town and playing soccer a couple of times a week.

Spark R&D Summer BBQ

We got together in June for a BBQ and did a little dry land splitboarding. Cross training? Maybe not, but it was a whole lot of fun! 

(More profiles below)

Jon Whittenberg, Graphic Designer

Jon Whittenberg

I like to get out and hike with my wife as much as possible. I’ve lived in Bozeman for 11 years now and I’m still checking out new trails all the time. The Bridger, Gallatin, and Madison ranges all offer great trail networks that are just a short drive away. My wife and I are also playing tennis each week. We’re not real competitive but we’re enjoying it and it’s a decent workout.

Hing Poon, Assembly & Pre-Assembly

Hing Poon

There’s a ton of sick climbing right in our backyard here in BZ. I can be out my front door and roped up in 15 minutes if I’m hustling. Climbing is a lot like splitboarding in that if you find yourself even a little out of shape, you feel it quickly. Climbing is good cross training for the shred season because it forces me to keep my core in good shape and my stamina up. I also get out hiking a fair amount – there’s a lot of good exploring to do around here.

Ryan Leadbeater, Machining Manager

Ryan Leadbeater

I do a little mountain biking, but not as much as I used to. If I’m up in the mountains I’m more likely to be out on my dirt bike - I can cover a ton of ground that way. My big summer thing is golf. Aerobically challenging – not exactly. But, it gets me outside, relaxes me, when I’m not playing terrible, and helps keep me in shape – I always walk, never take the cart. That counts as training, right?

Keith Lewis, Shipping Manager

Keith Lewis

Well for starters, I’m doing a pull up for every trip to the vending machine to keep that upper body strong. Coach Dan works us pretty hard for Map R&D softball which helps keep the aerobic fitness level in a good place. On the weekends, I’m usually out hiking with the family. There are so many great places to explore within 30 minutes of Bozeman, we’re off to somewhere new almost every Saturday.

Luke Dale, Sales Manager

Man, I love summer in Montana. It might not be long, but it’s pretty sweet. I’m getting my cardio in 15 second sprints around the bases playing softball for Map R&D (our collaborative team with Map Brewing). I’m keeping the legs in shape skating almost every day, and the upper body gets a workout rowing on the mighty Yellowstone River.

Keaton Britt, Machinist & Pre-Assembly

Keaton Britt

I began the summer on the road travelling to Prague and Ireland for a couple of weeks. Now that I’m back in Bozeman I’m hitting the single track a couple times a week with my dog Festus. Mountain biking is perfect for the summer – you get some much-needed adrenaline and it keeps both me and the dog in shape. I also try to get out fishing which keeps me active and breathing the fresh Montana air.

We are definitely lucky to live and work in such an awesome area of the country. Fun summers and even better winters. We hope that all you splitboarders out there are enjoying summer too! A friendly reminder - it won't be long before the nights get shorter, the days cooler, and the first snows dust the mountains. The first tours won't be far beyond that, so don't wait too long for a little cross training. You'll thank yourself on your first mission of the year.

Team Spark

For anyone interested in more formal off-season cross training, we did a blog series called Split Fitness last summer.  Here are the links to those articles: Split Fitness Part 1 - Aerobic TrainingSplit Fitness Part 2 - Strength Training, and Split Fitness Part 3 - Active Recovery.