Travis Rice Weighs in on Kicker Tool
Susan Pieper and Tom Bennett have been working on the idea for the Kicker Tool for a more than a year. The Jackson Hole, Wyoming-based entrepreneurs and former tech colleagues met while working in Silicon Valley. Self-proclaimed “frustrated cubical dwellers” and “dedicated weekend warriors,” the two realized they needed to make a change. After moving to Jackson Hole and Park City respectively, and pursuing their love for the outdoors through snowboarding, backcountry and urban free skiing, and mountain biking.
Through their own pursuits and the adventures of their family and friends—a roster that included the Teton Gravity Research crew, X Games’ Brandon Semennuk and locals like Travis Rice—Pieper and Bennett started to realize that there was something missing from the equation.
“One day, it clicked,” says Pieper and Bennett on their brand’s website, DMOSCollective.com. “Shovels, one of the oldest tools known to man, needed to be totally reimagined for the way skiers, snowboarders, and mountain bikers use them: Portable, packable, hyper strong, and built to create and groom features for jumps.”
Last year, the two started exploring their idea and nearly 12 months later, the concept for the ultimate terrain-building snow shovel for ski and snowboard athletes has come into its own, supported by friend and fellow athlete Travis Rice, who got to test the product first hand and give his feedback during the design and development process. At nearly twice the thickness of an avalanche shovel, the Kicker is built with aircraft quality aluminum alloy throughout its body and a purposefully crafted shovel head that efficiently moves, packs, and rakes large amounts of snow to build and sculpt the perfect jump, according to DMOS Collective’s Kickstarter campaign page, which has already exceeded its goal of $20,000 in less than a week.
We caught up with Rice this week to hear his thoughts on why this project resonated with him, what he is most hyped on moving into the future.
How did the Kicker idea come about? What was the timeline like from concept to putting a production plan in place, sourcing materials, and then launching the Kickstarter campaign?
Well, my involvement started last year in getting my hands on early prototypes and troubleshooting the product. When it became apparent that I really enjoyed having a compact-able kicker tool that I felt others would find value in, I committed to backing this. But the actual timeline of this has been many years. Hats off to Susan and Tom for the amount of time and effort they have put into bringing this thing to fruition.
Why did you see a space for this type of product in the market? What was the moment you realized this could be a breakthrough project?
Well, years of digging around in the snow leads one to appreciate well-built tools for the Job. And using this tool last season I found it became the go-to day after day. 56” long handle makes easy work for large and hard to reach features. As well as just making it more enjoyable to push around a little snow… Or a lot..
What other products do you see fitting in under the DMOS collective?
Skies the limit… looking forward to seeing how people like this one.
I noticed on the website that DMOS could be interpreted a couple different ways – what’s your definition of the acronym?
D-MOSt ideal tool for the job.
What have you used the Kicker tool for recently that has you hyped on this product hitting the mainstream?
Check out our new film teaser dropping November 18th. We like to shovel!
Any closing words, or anything else you’d like to mention about the Kicker Tool, the upcoming season, or snowboarding in general?
With Chris Farley coming in hot this winter, better get those shovel muscles toned and trimmed for this upcoming season!