“The shell alone is water- and windproof, wears light with a loose comfy feel. In combination with the vest over it, it keeps my soul extra warm while my arms stay free, not pulling extra fabric.”
words: Nate Deschenes
In snowboarding we have many legends. Some riders have pioneered new aspects of the sport. Others have technically progressed what’s possible. And a select few have creatively changed the way we view snowboarding through personality and style. Of those rare birds who have done all of the above, we speak with true reverence. For Gigi Rüf, which in his native Austrian tongue loosely translates to “legend of legends,” the term is less a description of the man than a definition of him. For this, 686 has given Gigi his own Smarty 5-in-1 Complete Jacket.
This jacket is actually three pieces designed to be worn in varied combinations (five different ways) depending on conditions or style or mood…you’ll figure it out. The first layer is the Stretch Fleece Liner, a removable insulator that can be used at your discretion as temperature permits. “This fleece,” says Gigi, “I can wear casually to and from the mountain or keep as an extra in my backpack to have something dry or when needing to stay warm.”
When attached to the 2-Layer infiDRY jacket, you’ve got yourself a number ready for the average winter day: warm enough to keep you stoked, yet with ample venting to decompress after you’ve just shown the crew how it’s done. But the icing on the cake is the 15k vest with 20g insulation designed to work on the outside of the jacket. This is essentially like wearing a puffy but with the advantage of more mobility, as well as the option to de- puff should conditions start to warm up.
Gigi explains, “The shell alone is water- and windproof, wears light with a loose comfy feel. In combination with the vest over it, it keeps my soul extra warm while my arms stay free, not pulling extra fabric.”
Or if you are confused, you could even ride “OJC” (Open Jacket Crew) with it unzipped, flapping like a wounded duck in the wind because I guess that’s a thing now—that Gigi fully endorses. “Yeah, sometimes I run the vest open,” he adds.
Essentially, like Gigi’s bag of tricks, the wearable options are endless with this jacket. Do as you please. And with Gigi’s artistic take on the colorway and stylish details, while it’s unlikely that you will be mistaken for the legend, himself, you may just feel like one, yourself.