The Road to 2012 OR: Travels of a Global Brand

Hello everyone,

Rick Franken, founder and designer of Bomber Gear here. Bomber Gear is a global brand on the rise, which makes me a global traveler in the off-season, searching the globe for the best products and practices out there to keep my products on the cutting edge. This is the first in a series of journal entries that will take you through the Bomber Gear journey to 2012 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. It’s going to be a good one. First stop, my homeland: The Kingdom of Thailand.

I landed in the Bangkok airport Friday morning, and on my way to where I was going, I witnessed a unique site that I choose to believe is a sign of the things to come in the 2012 Bomber Gear journey. I drove by forty monks walking barefoot in a line along the motorway. Having grown up here and spent a lot of time traveling the country, I was delighted to witness such a thing. I admittedly pulled over and took a few pictures. As I did, I noticed the people around me giving the first monk in the line a bit of money (for good luck, they say). I felt obligated, as monks live off donations, to follow suit. And after all, believing in a little luck can’t hurt, right? I proceeded to pull out a 100 bhat and stuffed it into the leading monk’s bag as I had seen others do. He then reached out and touched me. It took me off guard – monks rarely touch people; particularly head monks leading a migrating group of 40 other monks. A sign of good things to come? I would have to say so. Four solid weeks of submersed designing begins.

I will be spending the next four weeks at a factory in Thailand creating the product line for the 2012 Outdoor Retailer Summer Show. I have been working with this factory for fifteen years now, and it has been an amazing relationship. As founder and designer of Bomber Gear, I choose to involve myself in every step of the process, from design to production systems. When creating durable, quality products, strict guidelines from the design to the production procedures are in order. By being here and working with the factory this closely, I am able to control much of the environment to ensure quality products that I’m proud to call mine. I speak the language, I work directly with the operators, and I am able to personally take my ideas from concept to prototypes.

This is always an interesting time for me in the grand routine of events that cycle through my life and thus through the brand every year. This is the creation stage. The part of my design process when my art takes form; when my ideas become reality. I would imagine it’s how an artist feels just before he touches paint to a canvas. Better yet, it’s the rush I feel just before the last stroke off of a waterfall. I am excited and ready to make it all happen.

More to come on the Bomber Gear journey to 2012 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market…

Stay fluid,

Rick Franken


K-Bomb Sprayskirt Review on Mountain Buzz

Check out the latest Mountain Buzz review on the K-Bomb sprayskirt!

…I’ve use 3 different sprayskirts since 2009, KBomb from Bomber Gear is the best I’ve used and most likely the best skirts around. They are super strong, made out of very high quality materials and put together right.I’ve been hit by huge waves in the ocean while playboating and no implosion occurred as well as in whitewater. Getting out 2-3/week in decent weather, I’ve abused the KBomb and it’s still going strong. Other skirts before I bought the Kbomb either tore and or imploded quite regularly. I would highly recommend you check out bomber gear to see their line of skirts. You won’t be disappointed. 10/10 rating…”  Click here to read the whole thread.

Outdoor Nation: Connecting Young Americans With Their Waterways

Hey Outsiders!

Happy New Year! Outdoor Nation is thrilled to start 2012 with a new funding opportunity and announce that it is accepting applications from individuals between the ages of 18 and 28 or 501c3 non-profit organizations who are interested in connecting young Americans with their waterways through recreational paddling.Campus Club launch DC

Award Amount: Individuals and/or non-profit organizations can be awarded up to $2,500 for submissions that meet the grant requirements. The top 10 ideas will be awarded funding along with technical support and guidance from The Outdoor Foundation.

Program Overview 

This funding opportunity supports pioneering projects and initiatives that are youth-developed that result in increased paddling participation. Projects should reinforce the idea that recreational paddling is one of the most accessible and impactful ways in which young Americans are introduced to the outdoors.

The deadline to apply is February 15, 2012 so apply today! For more information and to submit your application, visit the Outdoor Nation website at


Outdoor Nation