Butora has pretty amazing people. Our account managers spend months on the road each year meeting awesome retailers and customers. We're introducing to you our account manager of the Mid Atlantic-East Coast territory, Nick Puff.
Where are you from?
Dayton OH and White Salmon, WA
Where do you call home?
Bethel, PA. Go Trojans!
Where is your territory?
Mid Atlantic, East Coast
Who is the person you take advice from and why?
If I need advice, I call and talk about it as much as possible. I like feedback from everyone. I listen to podcasts and read books from people who are deep into my needs. You never know someone's experiences and strengths until you ask. I find people who have directly dealt with whatever I am struggling with and listen to their mistakes and successes. It takes a village. Don't ever listen to kid advice from someone who doesn't have kids. Or listen to travel advice to India from someone who has never been to India.
The people who know you best, know these 3 things about you...
1. Aug 22, 1994 is an important day
2. Crazy life stories, I got a ton
3. I have more than 25 animals at my farm sanctuary.
What shoes did you climb in before Butora, and why did you switch?
Lasportiva, muira, cobra, katana, synchro and mytho. A bunch more but these were my favorite. The story...I went on a trip and brought my trusted, never-fail-me muiras. I can't say I was in love or super happy about them, I just trusted them, depended on them. They never let me down. I liked them, and they fit perfect, and my best climbing was done in them. They were my shoes. For three months, I climbed in the Acros and never took my trusted muiras out of my pack. I kept thinking I was going to get frustrated and throw them down and go back to the good old shoes. I compare it to being in a relationship and meeting a new girl that is exciting and intriguing. The kind of girl you want to spend all of your time with and you get excited when you know you can hang out again. Climbing in new shoes is weird and awkward sometimes and frustrating because you compare the old with the new. You have to take it slow, like your new relationship, get used to the new edge line, the super sticky toe patch and the heel that makes that sweet little pop when you pull it on and sticks just right to that heel hook you need so bad. Then it happens, and you send your project with ease and you become more invested. Bottom line, it never happened, I never took my muiras out and the Acros continued to get better and better, I loved the comfort and I never ripped my shoes off at the top of routes again. I loved the rubber and overall performance and they look sexy. In with the new, out with the old. When I got home I put my muiras in my extra gear bin. The next time I went out, I was hesitant to not pack them. It was the feeling of the day I quit my old job because I had a better job, a dream job...I remember looking over my shoulder for the last time as if it was a farewell to old times and good times, and the Acros have continued to shine. A year later, I put my muiras back on, and they hurt, it was like seeing your ex-girlfriend a year later and thinking, that was fun but I have moved on and I am happy. You deserve to be happy. Don't get stuck in your old ways, try new things. Who knows? You might like it. Innovation is awesome. Can you imagine taking huge whippers on a hemp rope now?
Ropes or boulders and why?
Ropes. I suck at bouldering. I like the dance and the routes when your brain shuts off and you can find that flow state. I have never found that in bouldering. Bouldering is mostly frustration and me getting injured. I have 3 crash pads I still like it. I’d rather climb 100 V3 all day than project something all day for 1 move.
How did you get involved with HMH?
I emailed Bryan from a post he made on Facebook. We talked and discussed both of our needs and wants. He had a need and I had a want. He trusted me and I went all in because I believed in the dream and the mission. Butora is the David and Goliath story that I always wanted to be part of. Then a box shoes showed up on my front porch from Korea. And the story begins. Right place, right time and the quest for the next greatest thing. I was tired of being a paramedic and this fell in my lap. Whenever a door closes a window opens. You just have to know what makes you happy and pursue it. I love climbing it makes me happy. and I know a good product when I see it and I tested it and I loved it.
How has climbing benefited the rest of your life?
When you start to climb you meet people, travel to new places, learn about adventure, feel alive, feel fear and excitement, feel failure and defeat. The best part is getting to give that experience back to someone else. What's a better feeling than looking up at a piece of rock? racking up your gear, using your experience, training, and judgment to climb up, high fiving your buddy and then rapping off with a huge smile. That's a good day. A day that only few people in the world can understand. The icing on the cake is to share that with a new person that has yet to experience it.
What is a story from the road that you have that you think could drag a person away from their cubicle to join you?
My neighbor asked what I did for a job and I told him. He said he had always wanted to try rock climbing and asked if he could come with me one day. I jumped at the opportunity. I love taking new people out. He said OMG this is so scary and so fun I love it. We simo-rapped off a cliff ( first time rappeling ever) and climbed 5.6 all day. Second, I went to Iceland with my buddy to get the first ascent on this rock face he grew up looking at. Middle of nowhere Iceland. Why? Why not? I brought 70lbs of gear and we hiked up, only to find out it had been bolted a year before. So we got to climb all the best lines with zero work. Best first ascent ever. Then we went to look at waterfalls and eat fresh fish and fries.
What is the contribution that you have made to the climbing community that you are most proud of?
Having several youth teams and teaching them the ethics of being a good steward to our sport. Then watching them grow up to be pretty good climbers and good kids in the sport. I love watching my own kids climb too. Watching a little kid drop knee and crush a route with effortless technique is awesome.
What is your favorite shoe, rope and chalk bag, and why?
Acro orange, comfort, and performance. Maxim Pinnacle yellow jacket, smooth, sleek and sexy. Organic chalk bag. The boys made me an orange and gray bag to match my shoes. Look good, feel good, safety third.
Where is your favorite place to climb, and why?
City of Rocks, ID granite sport climbing, and moderate trad with great cracks delicate face climbs and drive up approaches.
What is your spirit animal?
YouTube says it's a bear when I took the test? I like to think of myself more of a duckbilled platypus or a dragon.