Bryan Iguchi painting

10 Questions with Snowboard Legend Bryan Iguchi



Who says you can’t look good and feel good? Our new PhD® Slopestyle socks are a beautiful intersection of performance and style. We partnered with iconic pro snowboarder, artist and Smartwool athlete, Bryan “Guch” Iguchi, to bring his dreamy designs of mountain landscapes to the comfort, fit and durability you love.

Bryan has a personality that transcends snowboarding. While he’s been on the podium at major competitions like the World Halfpipe Championships and the X Games, he’s also profoundly connected to the places that have shaped him. He’s a fresh return to the essence of snowboarding. The pure love of gliding through deep powder. The magnetism of rugged, steep terrain. The camaraderie between fellow enthusiasts.

Partnering with Bryan was a natural fit. With more than three decades with a board strapped to his feet, his passion for snowboarding and art are the ideal match for product innovation. We already had the best socks for snowboarding—from the park to the backcountry and everything in-between. With cushioning on both the shin and calf, whether you’re on your heel edge or toe edge, the PhD® Slopestyle socks will help you feel comfortable and supported in your boot.

Bryan delivers culture and emotion to product. We sought to further elevate our Merino wool snowboarding socks by bringing to life Bryan’s interpretation of how the mountains fill his soul. We worked closely with Bryan to convey this spirit and vision with a sock both uniquely Smartwool and uniquely Bryan.  

Whether you venture into the mountains a couple times a year or you are lucky enough to call them your backyard—we share inspiration in jagged, snow-covered peaks. Bryan’s art sublimely captures their allure. Their wildness. Their wonder.

Bryan Iguchi Snowboarding

We sat down with Bryan to chat more about snowboarding, art and the power of place.

You’ve made the mountains, specifically the Tetons, your home for a couple decades now. What about the mountains inspires you?

It’s a combination of elements that evokes my spirit. A mix between the visual landscape and the rugged, physical playgrounds of seasonal change. 

 

How is this sense of place reflected in your art?

It’s primarily the subject and focus of my artwork, a tribute to that sense of “awe” experienced in nature.

 

How were you introduced to painting? How did it become a passion?

When I was 18, I shared a house with my friend Mike. He was an artist and spent hours painting. It was really inspiring seeing the creative process first-hand and it didn’t take long until I started painting with him. It was a good time, we’d hang out for hours talking about life while making a beautiful mess. It’s become a lifelong passion since then.

Bryan Iguchi painting mountains

 

Mountain landscapes are a common motif in your art. Why mountains?

I just fell in love with the mountains. Seeing these landscapes and traveling around the world in these incredible locations—I wanted to capture that feeling that the mountains gave to me.

 

You’ve been chasing powder since snowboarding’s early days, before half of today’s riders were even born. How have you seen the sport evolve? How has your riding evolved?

Over the last few decades, I’ve seen snowboarding evolve from a small group of rebels into a mainstream sport that’s widely known and for the most part “accepted” these days. As far as my personal path goes, my riding has evolved into a way of life focused on living and raising a family in the mountains.

 

What do you love about snowboarding?

Ridiculous missions into hostile environments… or maybe just a good session at the hill with friends and family.

 

How has snowboarding influenced the art you create?

The pursuit of riding keeps me “in spirit”. I’m always on a mission seeking new experiences exploring and riding the mountains. It is this influence that guides and dictates everything I do in my life. It’s a powerful force. Fuel for daydreams and creative visions. 

Bryan Iguchi painting
Bryan Iguchi Snowboarding

Let’s talk socks. Creating these PhD® Slopestyle socks requires taking a 2D piece of art and transferring that to a 3D surface. It’s incredibly technical to knit. What was that process like?

It was fun but challenging. I had to try and imagine how the art would lay on the foot and try to understand and visualize how the art would translate from line art to a woven fabric. I discovered that its limitations were actually pretty cool, adding symmetry and simplicity to the design as a whole. I learned a lot from the experience and feel grateful to work with the amazing and talented designers at Smartwool who made it possible.

 

What was the inspiration for the two designs on the snowboarding socks?

Purpose, places and comfort.

 

What can the mountains teach us?

Humility—and a deep appreciation and respect for the laws of nature.

Bryan Iguchi Socks

 

Socks for Snowboarding

Nothing ends your day on the slopes faster than cold feet. Our Merino wool snowboarding socks have you covered, so you can focus on your form instead of your feet. Merino wool helps manage moisture, regulate temperature, and fight odor. The PhD® Slopestyle socks add a little extra personality to the targeted cushioning, body mapped mesh zones, and 4 Degree™ elite fit system found in our high-end ski and snowboard socks.    

The Tetons