by Brody Leven (above photo by Ian Matteson)
As I ride a bus for 12 hours through rural Colombia, destined for Pablo Escobar’s hometown, the first and most intriguing skier I think of is Ian Wade. Perhaps that is because the Colombian girl in front of me is blaring reaggaeton through her knock-off Nokia, the same cell phone that Ian rocked when he was 14. After having the pleasure of skiing with him at Surface Week at Windells this summer, my appreciation for his skillset has only been augmented by his affable self. With a Brobomb-approved style and an entrepreneurial spirit, he’s a Salt Lake mainstay approaching success from a variety of angles.
BRODY: Hey Ian. How’re things?
IAN: Hi Brody, I’m doing well. Just kicking around, working on projects in the store and trying to get some climbing days in before winter.
BRODY: You own and operate Fresh, a clothing boutique in Salt Lake. What the heck? I thought you were a skier, implying a severe lack of realistic initiative and outside influence.
IAN: I was fortunate enough to meet our boy Mike Schneider [Surface Skis president] at a young age while he was running [the late] Union skate shop. He had a huge influence on me. The stuff Mike was doing at Union seemed far ahead of what anyone else was doing at the time, and I knew I wanted to be part of something like it. Years later, when Helen, my business partner, started cooking up an idea of starting a clothing store, I had to get involved.