Q&A with Snowboarder & Smartwool Athlete Mary Rand
Rhode Island isn’t known for big mountains, but that didn’t stop Mary Rand from rising to the top as one of the fresh faces in snowboarding the last several years. This winter, we teamed up with Mary on a collection of her favorite Smartwool® gear. We sat down with Mary to chat more about the outdoors, finding balance, and more.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am from a small beach town in the smallest state; Narragansett, Rhode Island. I have been living in Washington state for the last seven years. I made my career in snowboarding by filming hand rails in the streets. It has been four seasons, possibly going on the fifth, since I’ve hit a hand rail. Recently I have committed my time solely to the back country. Snowboarding, surfing, and skating have been my longest passions in life. Having moved to Washington I began hiking in the mountains, mountain biking, trail running, wild food foraging, and camping. Family, friends, good food and music are also a large part of my life.
How did you fall in love with the outdoors?
I’m sure I originally fell in love with the outdoors through surfing and snowboarding as a child. My parents introduced the two to my brother and me as a lifestyle. After exploring Washington I fell in love with the outdoors on a much deeper level. Feeling the powerful raw beauty of the mountains absolutely ignited my love for the outdoors.
Where do you find your inspiration outdoors?
Everything about the outdoors inspires me - the vastness, the hidden beauty, the obvious beauty, the framework, the boundless opportunity for exploration, the power it has to heal and teach, the life cycle. The meaningful and cooperative natural order of the outdoors inspires me to live with community, and understanding and compassion for all.
What’s important to you about finding balance with art, life, and the outdoors?
Not getting burnt out or jaded on any one thing is most important to me in regard to finding balance with art, life, and the outdoors.
What’s been your most memorable adventure?
Our Smartwool and Snowboarder's Journal glacier camping trip in Alaska is my most memorable adventure. We had plans to spend four nights in an artic oven tent, and ended up spending two nights in the tent and four nights in a snow cave we dug after the tent broke in a windstorm in the middle of the night. The crew took about 4 runs total in the 6 days due to unsafe conditions. Seemingly the trip sucked, but that’s what made it the best and by far the most memorable adventure. It was a serious bonding trip for the crew, I’ll never forget it.
What are three things about you that people may not know?
It took me 9 years to finish my Bachelor’s degree, I barely know how to drive stick shift, and I’m bad at geography.
What do you want to see more of in the world?
Honest image portrayals, less social media more human interaction, unity, sustainability, encouragement, love, diversity, humor, true happiness, you get my drift…
Tell us about the inspiration behind the art used on your capsule collection of Smartwool® gear.
The inspiration behind the art used on my collection comes from the thick coniferous woods of the Pacific North West. One of my favorite views is an uninterrupted strikingly green (or white covered in snow) conifer landscape on a mountainside. The intricacy of how all the trees grow amongst each other, supporting one another, with such grace and limitlessness, on a steep mountainside is so incredibly beautiful, moving, and meaningful to me.
Which collab item(s) turned out to be your favorite?
I really like the Merino 250 base layer crew and Merino 250 base layer bottom in the Woodsmoke Forest Scape colorway worn together! It looks like a one piece! I also like mix matching the Woodsmoke Forest Scape colorway with the Deep Navy Forest Scape or Light Grey Forest Scape.
Thanks so much y’all! Appreciate the opportunity to speak. :)
All the best,
Check out Mary's capsule collection of Smartwool gear, and following on her adventure at @bigairmare on Instagram.