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Unracked: Fly Fishing the Pacific Northwest

Matt Swainbank: Events and Training Manager / Fly Fisherman Winter steelhead, summer trout – Matt is an avid fly fisherman. And – let’s get this out of the way right now – he is not going to share his super-secret spot. But he will share what he does at Yakima. “My role varies quite a bit. I run point and handle logistics for all of our major national trade shows, plus organize all of our retail training and consumer events. There’s a lot of awesome. A fun aspect is my role is always changing. Spring is about training. I spend a lot of time traveling – I was a Yakima Road Warrior for two years, so I know the fun

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Unracked: 5 Tips for a Successful Mountain Biking Trip

Raul Bonifacio : Customer Service Lead Raul Bonifacio lives to bomb around on his bikes – both Mountain and Cyclocross – but also loves to unrack by quietly hanging out in nature with his wife, Jennifer, and sometimes… a couple of owls. His day job is helping people out. “I work as a customer service lead, helping consumers and my team with fitting racks on cars, teaching them how our products work, and how the products will make their lives easier. Turning people onto the product is really fun.” And sometimes service means stepping up big. “I call this story ‘Ship happens.’  I recently got a call from a customer, ‘Hey man, I’m a ski instructor and believe in karma.

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Unracked: SkyRise Tent Tips & Tricks

Ian Betteridge : Product Integrity Lead No one has spent more time with our SkyRise rooftop tent than Ian. Ironing out bugs and refining new products – it’s a reality of a business, and Ian is the guy to do it. “I’m basically a problem solver, he says. Adding, with a laugh, “I am The Wolf. Like Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction – ‘It takes thirty minutes to get there in traffic? I’ll be there in ten.’ When we are met with challenges from dealers or consumers, they come to me as the first attempt to find a solution.” He cites the SkyRise as an example. ““We take feedback from the market – if there’s a way we need to

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Unracked: Kayaking with Tex Alexander

Tex Alexander – Fit and Technical Training Lead Tex makes sure your rack is gonna fit. “My job is to go out to auto dealers, or customers who are willing to let us use their brand new cars, and assess the auto/rack interface. We have a network of car dealers in Portland, so we have access to new vehicles once they come to the market. We look them over, take measurements, check structural integrity, gather all the data. Say a new Ford Fusion comes out, we’ll go out and test it in the field, relate that to our internal testing, measure everything, then post the info up for consumers.” Tex loves racks. But his true love is paddling. He’s so

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Unracked: Family Vacation Essentials

Garrett Barnum – CATEGORY DIRECTOR Garrett Barnum and his wife love to pile their five kids into the Suburban and head out to set their base camp – wherever that might be.  They’d love to do that all the time, but a guy also has to earn a living. Garrett is our Category Director for Top of Car and – of course – Camping. “I am responsible for what lives and dies in our product line, and I help to look forward and decide what we should develop next,” he explains. “I gather information from a lot of different sources – consumers, retailers, our customer service – and I get ideas from random inventors and people that think they’re inventors

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Unracked: Paddleboarding with Jenna Fallon

Jenna Fallon – Digital Director Jenna loves to stand-up paddle. “Every moment in the sunshine makes me do a happy dance.” And she makes it a point – even living in the rainy Pacific Northwest – to do her SUP and sun inspired happy dancing as often as possible.   But she does have a day job. Jenna is our Digital Director. “I manage the yakima.com user experience. My job is to help consumers find what they need on our website to create their first-ever roof rack system by setting up the online process that helps you figure out how to find the right one for your car as simply and easily as possible.” But when she gets the time, she loads up her husband, their kids

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Unracked: Road Biking with Kenny Graham

Kenny Graham – Product Integrity Specialist “I ride as much as I can,” says Kenny.  “I ride to work  – an hour and a half commute – then I’ll commute home, and after work I try and ride for a couple more hours if I can. Plus long weekend rides.” What about lunch? “Sometimes. But lunchtime rides are over too quick.” Kenny is a Product Integrity Specialist, but that’s just a title. “I like to share the Yakima culture – I consider myself to be a brand ambassador. I want to make sure the cycling community knows what Yakima is about, what our presence is in the cycling world – and in the outdoor community, too – so I work hard to insert our involvement so people

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The Gambler 500

Born from a dream. A dream of giving forgotten, tossed aside and abandoned autos new life. A chance to become legendary. How do they become legendary?  By completing a 500 mile off-road journey through the beautiful wilderness of Oregon.  Imagine a train of beaters, gimmick rides (think sketchy ambulance), and woefully “off-road unready” vehicles charging through the dirt roads that surround Mt Hood and other parts of the scenic Oregon landscape.  It makes for quite a show. It all began in 2014, when co-founder Tate Morgan said to his friend “It would be cool to get a bunch of guys together, go out and buy $500 cars and see how far we can go.”  That simple statement started with 14 vehicles, and three years later the

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