July 10, 2018

118: Brad Werntz- We talk about New Normal and Boulders Climbing Gym in Madison, WI

Show Notes

Rick Saez
118: Brad Werntz- We talk about New Normal and Boulders Climbing Gym in Madison, WI
Brad tells us about some changes at New Normal, his climbing and writing background, and Boulders Climbing Gym in Madison, WI
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Show Notes

First Exposure to the Outdoors

Man, you know, my parents took me down the river when I was an infant, less than six months old. My Dad took an old Coleman cooler when they were still made out of metal, and inflated an inner tube around it and towing it next to the canoe on a canoe trip and, you know, it’s just part of growing up. And then when I was in kindergarten I had a PE teacher give a slideshow on of all things recreational rappelling and I thought that looks cool. I want to get into vertical ground as soon as I can. And um, you know, I had a passion for the ocean, had a passion for mountains, had a passion for being outdoors. And I just followed that passion my whole life and I’ve been lucky to be here ever since.

Things we talked about

Skinner Brothers Wilderness Camp

Erehwon Outfitter



Outdoor Retailer



New Normal Consulting

Boulders Climbing Gym

Land Water Conservation Fund

Conservation Alliance

Advice, tips

You know, I get that question a lot, we got it a lot during the recession and it was just kind of like, you get a call from somebody who might’ve been in a completely different career like insurance or advertising and they’re like, you know, it’s kind of a struggle in my career. If I have to restart here, I might as well. We’d start with where my passion is and my advice was always . . . Yeah, follow that passion. You know it’s challenging to do it mid-life, I’ve known people who’ve done that and done it successfully. But you kind of have to start at the basics and then network up really quickly, which means get a job at retail, even if it’s a part-time job and just a wedge in because it’s going to be difficult. Even if you sold $10,000,000 worth of insurance every year, it’s going to be really difficult to translate that into a rep career.

I think also connections are really a part of that. And then you know, I’m on the younger end of the founders. I’m Gen x and most founders in our industry are boomers, so, you know, I kind of had been on the lower end of the coattails of giants. I could literally call Wayne Gregory, you know, and many others. So knowing them has helped me to know people who are younger as well. But you got to just kind of wait it out and start meeting people and go to the events, go to the trade shows, but also the non-trade events. It’s kind of too bad that we don’t do rendezvous anymore. I think it was a great environment. This is a whole other conversation and I don’t want to go too deep into it, but Outdoor Retailer has kind of become pretty much a networking activity. You know, reconnecting, networking, learning about a lot of exciting new products and new things, but it’s more of the gathering of the tribe. So I think the net result is it’s a really good time to get into the industry because, you know, we’re all kind of rewriting our playbook right now.

Other Outdoor Activities


Stand Up Paddling


Trail Running

Favorite Books

Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard

The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

Best Gear Purchase under $100

Leki Trekking Poles


Connect with Brad