Publishing
6 min read

Making (Radio) Waves

6 Podcasts Changing Storytelling in the Outdoors.
Words by
Matthew Tufts
November 30, 2023

In a world where long-form print has taken a hit, and feature-length films are frequently replaced by minute-long edits, a new (or perhaps old?) form of media is ascending the ranks as the premiere destination for lengthy immersive storytelling in the outdoor industry: the podcast.

Perhaps we’re all spending more time commuting in the rebound of the pandemic? Or maybe we like the ability to multi-task with our eyes and hands while filling our ears with the latest happenings? Perhaps we’re just in a golden age of oratory storytelling? Outdoor sports podcasts have exploded onto the scene of late, providing intimate access to some of the greatest names in the industry while simultaneously providing a far-reaching platform for voices previously left unheard. Interstellar has curated six of the finest outdoor podcasts, cumulatively totalling thousands of hours of listening so you’re prepared for your next cross-country road trip, Sunday morning coffee, or commute to work.

You find them all wherever you get your audio.

The Bomb Hole — free-flow conversations with snowboarding focus
An uninterrupted, one-take, hours-long, tangential conversation that leaves nothing off the table. Interviews cover the journeys of both titans of the sport and up-and-coming young guns, filled with humour and personal anecdotes. Hosted by longtime pro snowboarder Chris Grenier, the definitive “Snowboarders’ Podcast” highlights the mainstream and the peripheral, captivating the most core sideways sliders and skiers alike (including the author) who will marvel at the coolness of snowboarding.

@thebombhole

Out of Collective — insightful interviews from the ski and cycle world
What started as a singular podcast created by Adam Jaber has morphed into the “Out of Collective” — a creative entity responsible for a half dozen shows hosted by a range of industry stalwarts. New last fall, professional skier Michelle Parker hosts “Care Less, Do More,” a conversational interview podcast featuring professional athletes, filmmakers, journalists, and entrepreneurs. Other shows under the “Out of” umbrella include “Big Stick Energy,” which aims to amplify diverse voices in the industry, and the original, “Out of Bounds” (which recorded its 250th episode in spring 2023!), hosted by Jaber, which combines interviews with personal commentary and opinions from more than a decade in the industry.

@outofcollective

Blister Podcast — not just gear guides (but don’t worry—they still do that, too)
Like Out of Collective, Blister transformed into a network with numerous shows catering to various audiences. Its reputation as the source of everything gear-related still exists in Gear:30, where the hosts debate the merits of BOA versus buckle boot closures, elastic travel in pin bindings, and which backpacking luxuries are worth the weight. But the Crested Butte-based podcast has expanded its repertoire to include a monthly outdoor news wrap featuring Cody Townsend and a poignant commitment to discussing complex topics and hot takes. This year’s highlights included an hour-long panel discussion from its Blister Summit event, facilitated by Colorado Sun reporter Jason Blevins, on mountain town economics and innovative solutions to common issues plaguing alpine communities.

@blisterreview

Dirtbag Diaries — creative storytelling from the periphery of the outdoor community
Produced by the creative wizards of Duct Tape then Beer, Dirtbag Diaries spins gritty yarns from the periphery of the outdoor community. The Diaries focus on human development, community and connection rather than athletic achievement. They are told in a unique style that feels as raw as a campfire story and creatively refined as you’d hear from an award-winning NPR narrative short series. With more than 300 episodes since 2007, you can spend your entire road trip (and the next one and the next one) immersed in the timeless tales of Dirtbag Diaries.

@dirtbag_diaries

Enormocast — the podcast that lives, breathes, sleeps, and sweats climbing
Like hangboard training for your earholes, Enormocast — hosted by Chris Kalous — is as unapologetically obsessed with climbing as that dirtbag taping his fingers at Camp 4 in Yosemite or along the gravel roads of Indian Creek. The podcast varies from one to multiple hours, dissecting esoteric beta while taking a broad look at the meaning, community, and spirituality of climbing. The guest list is as eclectic as your local crag, featuring the likes of Steve House, Alex Honnold, and Adam Ondra beside under-the-radar crushers and climbing’s brightest creatives.

@enormocast

Looking Sideways — a unique European perspective with the biggest names in action sports
Hosted by former Whitelines editor-in-chief and Transworld Snowboarding’s European correspondent Matt Barr, Looking Sideways hosts long-form conversational interviews with the biggest names in surfing, snowboarding, and other action sports. From conversations with photographer Stan Evans about the impact storytelling choices have on marginalized communities to discussing how viral Internet culture fundamentally shifted Danny MacAskill’s career, Barr leaves no stone unturned as he searches for unique perspectives in the industry with some of action sports’ most prominent names.

@welooksideways

Matthew Tufts is a journalist and photographer focused on the intersection of outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, and rural communities. He’s a born n’ raised Vermonter (the “t” is silent), and skis uphill more than down.
Making (Radio) Waves
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