It started with an AWSM sticker and has now morphed into a "performance lifestyle brand," fronted by two of the sport's biggest names, Torstein Horgmo and Andreas Wiig. The new company makes belts, wallets, hats, hoodies and skate tools and currently boasts a team that also includes Mark and Craig McMorris and Ryan and Scott Decenzo.
No, it's not affiliated with Todd Richards' gear n' stuff blog awsm.com. According to Wiig, "It just so happened that we launched at the same time not knowing about each other's intentions."
Like Grenade, it sounds like you guys had stickers long before you had any actual products.
Andreas Wiig: Torstein came up with the idea of the AWSM crew while we were riding in Keystone, Colo. in December '08. With such a cool name for a crew we just had to make stickers right away and get the name out there. After a while, people started asking us what it was.
In 2009, Torstein and a couple others were on the podium at [the] X Games Big Air with AWSM stickers on their boards, which prompted people's curiosity. To us it was just something that represented how much fun we had snowboarding everyday.
Why do skaters and snowboarders need AWSM?
Torstein Horgmo: It represents you doing what you love the most without anyone telling you how to do it. We believe it's important for kids to follow their own dreams and if we can keep inspiring that with this company that's something worth backing 100-percent.
So what compelled you two to go into business together?
AW: We've been buddies for a long time and in the past we've talked about how rad it would be to own a brand and take it wherever direction we want! It started out as the AWSM crew with no plan or direction at all. Initially it was only a fun thing -- just pure AWSMness!
What is the coolest product we can look forward to?
AW: You can definitely look forward to the "Nicole" belt. It's made out performance stretch nylon and takes comfort to the next level. To me [it] stands out because it's such a good belt for all kinds of sports since it doesn't restrict your movements in any way. We will be shipping five different belt styles in March and 25 different styles in October, along with some other products including wallets, skate tools, hoodies, tees etc.
How much does "performance" matter in something like a belt?
AW: It really depends. The most important thing about a belt is that it feels good when you're wearing it and that it's durable. We have an amazing skate tool in the works where performance will play a big role.