Photography provided by: Caleb Benson
When it comes to finding supporters of DMOS, it isn’t very hard, since so many of them exist. However, few fans are as dedicated to the brand as Caleb Benson. Caleb grew up in South Dakota, homeschooled by his parents and completely unaware that skiing even existed. At the age of ten, however, after being encouraged to try the sport by a group of other homeschoolers, Caleb strapped on a pair of skis and has scarcely taken them off since. “My love for the sport just exploded from there,” Caleb describes. “I ski pretty much year-round now.”
But Caleb is much more than just a skier. Even from the time he was a young kid, his parents always emphasized the importance of working for the things he wanted, and thus instilled in him a strong work ethic. At the young age of 15, Caleb bought himself a ski pass, using the money he had earned from part time jobs, like mowing lawns and working maintenance for a trucking company. “I’m one of 5 kids,” says Caleb, “so my parents said, if you want something, you work for it. I’m so grateful for that because it has really made me appreciate what I have.” Caleb follows his parents’ same logic today, working as a full-time salesman at a local motorsports shop and part-time at a trampoline training gym, picking up extra shifts as they come available. “The main job pays for my bills and the second job pays for my ski pass,” Caleb explains. “Work hard, play hard. I work a lot to ski a lot.”
But despite his seemingly overwhelming schedule, Caleb still finds time to volunteer at a local rail park in Whitefish, Montana. The park, which is open to anyone and everyone that wants to use it, is completely volunteer run, and when Caleb heard that the gig was available, he was more than ready to step up to the plate. “I’ve been building jumps and jumping off things since I was 4 years old,” he says. “I love being creative and building stuff, so I was like, dude, I’ll totally do that job. I could sit there all day long and build jumps and be the happiest person alive.” Even more, he remarks, the rail park gives kids an opportunity to invest their energy in something healthy and creative, instead of getting into trouble. “I love giving kids an option to ski, even if they can’t afford a season pass,” he notes. “I stop by every once and a while and maintain it and, as far as I know, I’m the only one that does it”.
Caleb maintains jumps on the mountain too, just because he can. “I make them more fun, and safer,” he says, “Plus, they’re naturally there, so ski patrol doesn’t get mad. I throw my DMOS in my backpack, pull out my bluetooth speaker and use my Stealth all day long”. For Caleb, shaping jumps and maintaining them is an art form, but even more, it is a way to give back to the community. “Skiing is my happy place”, he says. “It’s where I can go every weekend to relax after a stressful week. I’m not a pro skier or sponsored skier, but the biggest thing for me is giving back to the sport that has given me so much fun and joy”.
Caleb gives back by supporting smaller brands and local companies as well. He says that, for him, it is worth it to invest in startup companies that are doing awesome things and making better tools. “When I started using the Stealth Shovel, I was like a kid on Christmas”, he says. “Plus, the fact that it’s made in the USA is even better. Who doesn’t want that?”. Caleb supports other small companies as well, but he says he ultimately loves the Stealth Shovel because it has saved him a lot of money and back pain. “I really wanted a park rake,” he explains, “but you go online and they’re like 200 dollars. This is exactly what I wanted. And I’m 6’1", so digging stuff with an avy shovel just destroyed my back. Now I move twice as much snow with half the effort, and my back isn’t even sore”.
Pictured here: Some of Caleb's favorite small brands (Daymaker Touring, DMOS Collective, Haskill Baselayers, Tall t Productions, Slopestyle Ski, and Lafachannel)
In fact, Caleb was so stoked about the DMOS that he even ended up sharing his Stealth Shovel with Tanner Hall, a well-known free-skier who lives in the same town. “They’ve been holding onto my shovel,” says Caleb. “It has helped them immensely with their filming project, since they’ve been able to shape snow and chop ice with no problem”.
And though Caleb is looking forward to getting his shovel back, he says he is the most excited about getting the Stealth Pro. “I’m planning to use the shovel for everything that I used it for before, but on a bigger scale,” he remarks. “I’ll be able to move twice as much stuff in half the time again, so everything will be twice as big.” Plus, he explains, it will make volunteering at the Whitefish rail park way easier, since all of the features in the park are about the size of the shovel, meaning he’ll be able to clean them up with a swipe or two.
Photo provided by DMOS Collective
Most of all though, Caleb just wants to give people a chance to experience the same joy that skiing has given him and, like his Instagram biography says, he is just a kid at heart sharing his passion for skiing. “The best part about skiing,” he says, “is that there’s no right or wrong way to do it. There’s creative freedom and it doesn’t matter if you’re urban riding, skiing backcountry freestyle, racing, etc. It’s just you expressing your own way of going down the mountain”. In the end, Caleb may be a big fan of DMOS, but we’re an even bigger fan of him. As an enthusiastic, fun-loving and generous guy, Caleb pairs perfectly with DMOS and its values, as we strive to be the brand for the hardest-working, most dependable, and most courageous people in the world.
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