Keep your pants on: Arcade Belts updates overlooked gear with style.
By Megan Michelson | Photo by Tai Power Seeff
A few years ago, Cody Townsend, a Squaw Valley-based pro skier and avid fly fisherman, started wearing a fishing belt to hold up his pants while skiing. A lightbulb went off in his head. Well, not literally. He had an idea. “There was a need for a better belt in action sports,” says Townsend, 29. “Leather belts are medieval technology, nylon belts wear down too fast, and no one had ever designed a belt where function is the first priority.”
In 2010, Townsend and his friends Tristan Queen and David Bronkie formed Arcade Belts in a ski house near the base of Squaw. They made one-size-fits-all, stretchy, woven nylon belts with durable plastic buckles that snap open or closed even with gloves on. To promote the product, they begged their big-name skiing friends to wear them.
Because they are ski bums, not business folk, they priced the belts for skiers—$24. Despite the lack of MBAs, the idea took off. This year, Arcade will sell more than 8,000 belts.
From the Early Winter 2012 issue. Visit arcadebelts.com for more information.