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Remembering Freeskiing Legend Jim Jack

It’s been 12 years since the freeskiing world lost one of its best, a friend to many named Jim Jack. We made a simple shirt-jacket (shacket, if you will) as a tiny tribute.

Jim Norman Jack was a man of three first names. He was a beloved, larger-than-life figure in the freeskiing community, a friend to many who loved to share his passion for skiing with others. Jim was one of the early founders of the International Freeskiers Association (IFSA), a head judge for the Freeskiing World Tour, and he helped usher in the era of junior freeride competitions.

“He was the pied piper for a group of the most devout skiers on the planet,” wrote Keith Carlsen in Powder . Jim was as devoted a skier as they come. He drove a 1982 Ford pickup, loved to ski powder with his friends, and he worked tirelessly to support the next generation of freeride skiers.

Jim, along with friends and fellow skiers Chris Rudolph and John Brenan, died in an avalanche on the backside of Stevens Pass, Washington, on February 19, 2012. That was an unspeakably hard day for the ski community and beyond, including those of us here at Flylow. It’s been 12 years since that avalanche and not a day goes by that we don’t think of those three men who lost their lives. As a very small way to show our respects, around 2013, we designed a jacket in Jim’s name—we had to call it the Jim Jacket, obviously. It was a shirt-jacket combo (a “shacket,” as they’re called), a button-up multi-tool that could double as an outer layer. We thought it could be something Jim might have worn. That original Jim Jacket faded from the line after a few years, as pieces tend to do, but we couldn’t forget about Jim.

Hal monkeying around with the new Jim Jacket in Japan

Hal monkeying around with the new Jim Jacket in Japan

Which is why this year, we launched a new and improved Jim Jacket , a revamped version of that old favorite. It’s nothing fancy, because Jim was a simple, easy-going guy, but it’s a layer we hope you’ll wear with pride and wear often.

These days, there’s a youth freeride event at Stevens Pass called the Jim Jack Freeride Challenge that gets youngsters into the sport, and we still love seeing the sticker out there, on bumpers and water bottles that says: “What Would Jim Jack Do?” Because that’s a question we ask ourselves a lot. While standing above a line, or contemplating a road trip to chase powder, or wondering whether it’s worth it to ride your bike up a closed road to get a few late-season turns. What would Jim Jack do? He’d say yes to the adventure.


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