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Like any kid, bundling up to go outside and play in the snow included two essentials—a hat and a pair of gloves. A product of the 1980s, I upped my playground chic with a pair of Freezy Freakies. Produced by ski glove manufacturer Swany, Freezy Freakies added flare to the standard glove because they came in neon colors and displayed patterns of skiers, robots, and unicorns. My pair had penguins. Even cooler, when temps dropped, the gloves changed colors. Trend set. My Freezy Freaky-lined hands were the envy of everyone on the sled hill.
The gloves used a thermochromic ink that stayed translucent in high temperatures and turned bright colors in the cold—cutting edge technology for that era. During the height of their popularity, Swany sold around 300,000 pairs annually. However their fame declined at the end of the decade. Until this year, when Freezy Freakies are making a comeback, thanks to a pair of twin brothers who are making adult-sized versions of the gloves in San Francisco.
Hans and Karl Reichstetter bought the licensing from Swany and launched a Kickstarter campaign that concluded last February and raised $60,618, selling 1,900 pairs of Freezy Freakies. "We brought the gloves back for two reasons. One, Freezy Freakies were the raddest gloves ever made, and two, we think every day should be gaper day,” says Karl. “I personally find it much easier to execute a Double Daffy while wearing the gloves."
Freezy Freakies may not be for the bitter cold storm day, when a storm unloads 40 inches. But they are warmer than you think. During Alta's closing party atop High Boy, it was foggy, chilly, and had snowed 15 inches over the course of the weekend. While a more subdued event from years prior, folks still came out in costume with their party pants on. The gloves were warm and a total eye catcher, since the cold temps allowed the thermochromic ink to showcase a sexy skiing goddess, who incidentally guided my way back down the mountain after a few beers at the party. Functional and fun, these gloves are now part of my springtime attire, and are just as cool as they were on the sledding hill years ago.
Another must have for apres, Pit Vipers.