The most honest and in-depth reviews of outdoor sports equipment on the planet.

Xan Marshland

Age: 20 | Vitals: 5’9”, 140 lbs. | Years Riding: 10 | Current Residence: Colorado Springs, Colorado

I’ve never been too interested in team sports. It’s not that I’m against competition, I was just always the type of kid that would rather make up his own rules than follow someone else’s. Given this attitude, it’s probably no surprise that I quickly gravitated toward outdoor sports.

Xan Marshland reviews the Magura MT5 NEXT brakes for Blister Gear Review

Xan Marshland, Squamish, BC. (photo: Kendrick Dettmers)

I was introduced to mountain biking when I was about 10. It started casually, when my uncle began to take me on mellow rides around the gravel fire roads of the Bay Area. I don’t know whether it was the first time my tires left the ground, or the first time I rolled down a hill brakeless, but something clicked on one of these rides, and riding bikes quickly became an obsession.

What followed was a beautiful few years of poorly executed staircase hucks, trail rides, and prepubescent bike tomfoolery.

Xan Marshland reviews the Ventana Zeus for Blister Gear Review

Xan Marshland, Colorado Springs, CO.

High school gave me a chance to do a bit of XC racing, which I credit for getting me fit, but not much else. Racing had its moments, but after a few trips to burlier terrain in Utah and the Sierras, lycra and race results became a lot less important to me. Sending it became the new priority, and my XC days were left in the dust.

When it came time to go to college, I knew I needed a place that would give me access to technical rocks and lots of vertical, so I headed out to the Front Range to continue my education at Colorado College.

Xan Marshland reviews the Ventana Zeus for Blister Gear Review

Xan Marshland, Colorado Springs, CO.

My life today consists of riding as much as I can after class, and staying up way too late writing papers. Trying to balance my workload with my riding schedule is still a struggle (I’m gradually getting better), as is my goal of trying to not damage as many rims (no improvement so far).

Riding-wise, I like to mix in the occasional DH race or park day with long and epic technical rides that emphasize burly descents over everything else. My ideal ride would consist of a combination of low-speed technical moves, reckless high-speed charging, and a few rock ledges to huck. Whenever I’m back in the Bay Area, I’m always happy to take the hardtail out and make my lungs hurt, but I’ll always feel most at home on a big bike in big mountains.

Some Favorite Equipment:

Rockshox Pike. Maxxis High Roller IIs and Ardents. Ventana Zeus. Honey Stinger waffles. Still looking for the perfect dropper post…

 

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