Episode Three | James Buck

Episode Three | James Buck


In this conversation, Casey and James discuss various topics, including the message of Fight Club, resisting consumerism, James's background in kayaking, breaking free from rituals and routines, James's role at TEREN, and expanding the retail presence of the brand. James shares his favorite TEREN product, the travel tee, and emphasizes its versatility and comfort. Overall, the conversation highlights the importance of pursuing meaningful experiences and finding balance in life.


00:00 Introduction and Reading from Chris's Book
01:11 Discussion on the Message of Fight Club
03:35 James's Wrestling Story
04:34 James's Background in Kayaking
06:27 Breaking Free from Rituals and Routines
07:22 James's Approach to Buying Things
08:21 James's Introduction to Kayaking
09:18 James's Collection of Kayaks
10:47 The Green Race and James's Experience
12:43 James's Role at TEREN
16:18 James's Connection with TEREN
21:51 Expanding Retail Presence
24:41 Favorite TEREN Product and Closing



Casey Hyde (00:00.75)
Story time with Casey. So yeah, Story time with Casey. I picked these out as I'm reading them and Chris's was like, talking about age. And Chris is older than, Chris is not even as older than me. And he was like, you can travel at whatever age you are. And I was like, I'm sorry, Chris, I didn't do this on purpose. But yeah, I'm gonna read this page.

then we're gonna chat about it, discuss it, and get to know you better. So if you don't care about the page and you just wanna learn about James, skip ahead.

Casey Hyde (00:40.366)
Don't let the rituals of status limit your life options. We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like. Chuck Palinajek Fight Club, 1986. So we've already learned that I can't say any Wednesdays for these things. Have you seen Fight Club? Yeah, a long time ago. This is, yeah, exactly a long time ago, but this is all about Fight Club 11.

At the beginning of David Fincher's 1999 movie Fight Club, Edward Norton's protagonist, feeling alienated by the dull realities of American office drone life, finds his only sense of purpose in buying new lifestyle accessories. The strange set of circumstances introduces Norton to Brad Pitt's Tyler Durden, who has an aphoristic way of summarizing their plight. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes,

working jobs we hate so we can buy things we don't need," he says. The things you own end up owning you. Though not initially a hit, Fight Club eventually became a cult sensation, compelling its viewers to ponder the limitations of American consumerist life. Curiously, while the movie itself was a dark -hearted satire with its characters seeking meaningful existence in basement fistfights and increasingly dark pranks, many fans

took its message at face value. In the decade after the movie's release, literal fight clones were reported to have sprung up in places like Silicon Valley, Seattle Mega Church, and Princeton University, which I did not. While it might feel obvious to suggest that Ed Norton and Brad Pitt's characters would have been better served by a year -long round -the -world journey, then...

the diminishing returns of low stakes fisticuffs, the very idea makes for an interesting thought experiment in an age when far too many people still abide by status rituals like conspicuous consumption. Anytime there's a dash, I can't read the word is what I found. And they dash like six times so far. Fashion in the mindless acquisition of new things, the most sensible way.

Casey Hyde (03:05.805)
to resist such compulsions might not be to punch strangers in the face, but to buy a plane ticket or strap on a pair of walking shoes and humbly seek out more meaningful horizons. So, just face value, anything jump out to you there before I start asking you questions? I think it's interesting that the face value message is to go and start a fight club, but I feel like the face value message from fight club is about consumerism.

That's true. Have you been in any fist fights, any fights in your day? No. No? We're good little English boy, we don't do that thing. Good little English boy, we don't do that. But you like to wrestle, right? Only when there's copious amounts of alcohol involved. And that's not me, that's a different persona. That's my Brad Pitt. That's your Brad That's my Brad Pitt to me being Edward Norton. Nice. That's a good one -two punch you might have, but...

Um, wasn't, uh, was this way before or like right when you first started at TEREN? Like, um, way before, way before when you met Nick. Yeah. So Nick is one of our founders. You'll meet him later in one of these episodes, but, um, tell us, tell us, but that's the story I'm, I had no, I found out this morning what this was. And I was like, I'm going to ask you about this wrestling story. Um, so give me some insight on that.

evening or what was that? It was the end of COVID and we had a holiday party. So because we'd all missed all of the holidays through COVID, effectively all of our friends, we did a big party and each couple or group had to pick a specific holiday that you then bought something themed for that holiday. And we celebrated a year's worth of holidays in an evening. That's cool. It was awesome. It was a great way to finish COVID. But...

It was also the first time really being out of the house and hanging out with people for a long time. So I drank a little bit too much. As one does, COVID did things to a lot of people. I drank a good bit during COVID and then I got outside a little bit more. Yeah, but being outside in someone's yard, it was a fun little time. Yeah, a bunch of our friends were there that might meet here, I don't know.

Casey Hyde (05:27.885)
I don't know. But like, okay, so I asked about this wrestling incident. How, what happened? What, how did that start? You're avoiding the question. I can't really remember to be honest. Something along the lines of the guy's house it was started, I don't know, just like the silly little like wrestling thing. He used to do a summer camp. Like the whole, you stand with your toes touching, you try and push the other person over. Okay. Or you try and make them step. So they either step forward or step back. Oh. Or the finger one, finger jousting.

So you point your finger and you have to try and touch the other person. So just on things like that. So it started with this and then it got way, way more intense to the point of tackling people off of chairs. Just tackling people off of chairs and yeah. Yeah. We'll leave it there. Your mind is your own imagination. Mildly embarrassed about the whole thing. No, super fun. I love that story about you. I wasn't there, but it just seems like a rowdy good time. Yeah.

That's what you bring. It was 20 year old James coming back out, I think was the thing. I hear that for sure. Well, sweet. So kind of the questions, I want to go off of this idea here really quick. It seems to be that you found yourself in a scenario like you mentioned COVID and you were in these like this ritual or this routine and you guys chose to get out of that.

So like this main thing is like, don't let the rituals of status limit your life options. And then the first quote was super cool. We buy things we don't need, with money we don't have to impress people we don't like. Have you ever like seen that in your life or like, have you ever like, utilized you were doing something like that and then made a change or an adjustment or anything or like? I don't think I've ever done that.

I've never had the disposable income to be able to buy things that I couldn't afford. I've only bought the things I could afford so that I can go do the things I want to do. What's the highest number of kayaks that you've owned? At one time? Yeah, at one time. Only like six. Only six? Only six. I don't have the disposable income to buy things I don't need. I use all of those on a weekly basis. Guaranteed. You would use all six on one...

Casey Hyde (07:51.405)
They all look for different things, though. I would use them all on a near enough a weekly basis. Okay, so James's big white water guy. Get into that. Give us your background. Like, how did you get into that? And like, when was the first time you found that sport? And then like, and then prove to me that you used all six in one week. Okay, so I found outdoor education when I did kind of an outdoor leadership college course in the UK.

But I went into the course being like, I'm a mountain biker. I love mountain biking. Left being like, this is kayaking. This is the best thing ever. And it's pretty much shaped my life from there. It's why I came to the States with my wife. It's pretty much everything. She was a big kayaker too. Yeah. We can like, we met, we met teaching kayaking and working at summer camp. But yeah, it was the reason why I came to the States in the first place. And here I am now, 13 years later. 13 years of kayaking.

But yeah, but pretty much it was... different boats did you have and what different things did they do? I'm not trying to remember. I'm to remember. So I had a really long kayak, which while I was living in DC and it was really good for getting a work at it. So paddling up river, you do a few miles up the rapids where you pick a way through, call it a tailing. You commute to work that way? No, but I did that to Rock Creek once. I walked down the hill.

to Coolidge Park, paddled upstream from Coolidge Park to Rock Creek when I worked at the Riverside store. And then paddle back and then, yeah, back up hill. So right now, our audio is super janky. And so I don't know if I need to tell you to not bang on the table as much. Oh, sorry. But that might be something I should tell you. It's helpful to know. So you can go up Creek in one when you're in DC. Yeah. What's some other... So then I had a really short one that's for doing freestyle tricks in.

Do you know the names of these maybe people? So I had a, at the time I probably had a liquid logic stinger, it was my longbow that I was using for retaining and doing races in. I had a Piranha Jed, I think, which was my short play boat at the time. Which again, I was running a kayak school. So either on my day off, I'd go and use that or it would be, oh, I'm running a freestyle clinic. So here we go. Let's get a freestyle boat out. Oh, so when you were instructing, you probably use different ones for different instructions.

Casey Hyde (10:17.677)
And then I had my half slice boats, the back is all squashed down. Uh, but there's enough front to it that it's stable. That was what I taught out of most of the time. Cause when you're teaching, you're not really on stuff that I'm pushing my limits on. So it's like, I can play around in this, but also I'm safe enough to be able to look after other people. Um, and then I had my Greek boat, which was for big scary things, which, um, yeah. So was kinda used now on South Creek. Yeah.

So sometimes when we're like, we get like a bunch of rain, we'll just get a text from James and he's like, Hey, I put a couple hours this morning, I'm hitting the river and then I'll be in late. And then he like works late. So like James changes his work schedule even around. Yeah, around the rain. When the rain happens, like a lot of times I'm like, Oh man, the rain, um, it's like, you know, harder to go camping now. Probably because of the happiest when it's raining. The happiest when it's raining, but also like.

If you have the right gear, it shouldn't prevent you necessarily. There is a level of enjoyment difference in rain and out of rain when you're just camping or something. But I mean, it's the same with paddling. If it rains and it's nice and sunny, it's still much nicer than when like yesterday when it rains. It was snowing the whole time we got on the river. Really? Yeah. It was snowed yesterday? We were at Caney Creek. It was a wintery mix. I missed that. We were like two and a half hours north. Oh, okay. But.

Yeah. But then yeah, we've got a friend who's had a dry suit on the way, but he was in just the dry top and everything else yesterday. So yeah, gear really makes a difference, which again, it's like, it costs a lot of money for a dry suit, but it just, it's kind of a need at this point. I don't know what to say. So when you're in a dry suit, your hands and your face get wet. Your hands and your face. So do you have, do you have like gloves that work or mittens or anything? I have what we call Pogies. So it goes around your paddle and you put your hand inside of it. So your water gets in there.

Yeah, but it's neoprene so it warms up like a wetsuit and so your hands stay nice and warm. That's nice. But it means you get to hold onto your paddle which I prefer. Some people are paddling gloves. Well sweet, well one more kayaking related question. I can do kayaking all day. To throw you on your balls before we move on to like how you got involved with TEREN and what your role is here and everything like that. But there's this famous race, the green race that was called Where Is That? It's in...

Casey Hyde (12:43.917)
North Carolina. So it's close by to Chattanooga. And it's a monster race. Like it's a pretty sketchy, dangerous, like when it's run in, it's like only like pros to my pros, like legit people run it or like describe that I'm doing it not justice. For the race, it's pretty intense just because there's a lot of consequence to getting it wrong on that river. Cause it's pretty shallow, a lot of rocks, there's a lot of very unsafe spots on that river. Yeah.

But I mean, year on year they're getting more and more people running better and better than that race course. Sweet. So who, do you know who won it in this last year? Um.

So this is 2024 and so last year it would have been 23. I'm assuming Dane won but not 100 % if someone else Jackson. Yeah, Dane Jackson. He's a local boy. Yeah, he's what? The pink boat? That's his thing. So if you ever want to look up Dane Jackson, he'll be the pink boat these days. He's a badass on the water. He's doing tons of firsts and...

I guess is it called first descent, like climbing or what is it called? First descent. That's funny. So I know you've run that. What year did you run that? 2015 was the year I raced. It was my, I hadn't run the river in two years. I had one practice lap the day before the run. Did you place or how did you do? Oh, no, no, no. I made it into the highlight reel for carnage. Nice. So highlight reel. So if you find the highlight reel somewhere near the

about near the, oh, it's like the 15, 16 minute mark, I think. There's me dropping into a go left, trying the race line for the first time ever, never run that line, flip over, get surfed in the hole. They get a nice close up on my face as I roll up going, yeah. So why, I know this, Hector, but why is it called go left, James? Because you're meant to go left because the right has a big siv in it and you might die.

Casey Hyde (14:52.749)
Yeah, so you don't want to die, number one, right? Number two, going left. It's much cleaner. It's cleaner. Okay. So what did you do? I went backwards through the right slot with one hand on my paddle. So you backwards through the correct one? No, backwards through the wrong side. So you went backwards through the wrong side, which technically, if you were backwards, was going left for you. Right? I guess technically, yeah.

That guy still went left, I was facing upstream. To ask this question seems a little ridiculous, but did you die? No, the death part is more outside of your kayak. Oh, so you didn't die? I didn't die. So he went backwards, right, left and didn't die. And still, thank goodness, right? Yeah. Sweet. Well, that's, I just, whenever I heard that story, I love the idea of you.

technically going left. Yeah, I've never thought about that. That's a different perspective on it. Well, let's speed up to now. So what were you doing before you got involved with TEREN? What's your connection with TEREN? I talked about Chris and kind of the origin and how he founded the company and where the idea came from in our last episode, but...

Just want to touch base on your experience from being in Chattanooga for a minute and then connecting with us and then the past couple of years, I guess. Yeah. Yes. Like I said, came from, moved down from, well, we're in Boston after DC. I've always done outdoor work. It's kind of how I traveled around doing outdoor gigs. So outdoor retail is an easy kind of like short fix. They're always hiring. And I moved to Chattanooga kind of on a whim.

And I was like, Oh, it'd be really easy to find some instructing work down here in terms of that is not. So I applied at Rock Creek and got a little job at Rock Creek at the Riverside store. And then got the, became the manager when the current manager was leaving. So ran the Riverside store. So describe what's Rock Creek for those not in Oh, Rock Creek is our local outdoor store. And then the store that I worked at was kind of our paddle sports focused with a bunch of other stuff.

Casey Hyde (17:12.909)
Um, location. So we have this, it was a big warehouse. So we had the space for motorbikes and kayaks and rafts and all that kind of stuff. If you're looking for a good podcast, the, um, one of the founders of Rock Creek, uh, Dawson Wheeler has a podcast that he runs called day fire podcast. So check that out. Uh, Chris and Nick have an episode, uh, when they founded TEREN at the time it was named trucker. So if you're looking for an interview of our founders with, uh,

the founder of Rock Creek, which is our local outdoor store as James described, check that out. Um, but yeah, keep going with what you're, what you're telling us about your connections. So I worked there, but outdoor retail is notoriously makes it notoriously difficult to go and enjoy the outdoors. Uh, just with hours and all that, all that kind of stuff. Yeah. Um, you kind of like committed to certain hours and afternoon times and all that.

It's people leave outdoor retail so they can go and do outdoor stuff. It's tend to be how it goes. But that's kind of how I got here is through a paddling friend who was working in Rock Creek when I was there. And then he knew Nick and Chris and you know Chris Lurth much? I know Chris Lurth. I knew his wife when I knew him until the past couple of years. But yeah. He kind of showed me around the Chattanooga paddling scene. And I think I paddled with Nick at least once before Nick came and...

Request like, ask me if I wanted a job to earn a little more money and have more time out. We learned, we were like, hey, we have a bunch of stuff that's like kind of fucked up. We're just like in a, it's a ramble or a mess. It was complete chaos. Yeah. And so we were like, as we were like starting a business, we had like,

you know, limited opportunity of where to be, how to store our goods. And then we started growing and having some success like in our sales, but then that added a lot of time to that, you know, shipping out the orders was our number one priority to get customers their product. But that month over month, week over week, whatever day, every single day, it kind of got more of a, like a clusterfuck. And so I think what it was, was Chrysler said that,

Casey Hyde (19:33.087)
He's really good at taking something terrible or a mess and just hammering down and making it workable. And so we were like, yeah, it sounds like somebody that we wanted to team. Yeah, it's a good description. Yeah. And so working out of an office that was about this wide, really. Yeah, it was really small. We had a 400 square foot office with no windows and the hallway was...

There was no door at the end of the hallway in this old warehouse that had like leaks in the roof. And it was like, if a customer ever found us online and wanted to come inside and purchase and try things on, it was like, we would write back to them on email or over the phone and be like, we promise you we're legit and we promise you we're not gonna kill you when you come into the office. Cause it just looked so scary. You're walking down a big aisle in a warehouse to a dead end.

And then all of a sudden there was a door around the corner and there was our office. Yeah, and friendly faces and friendly dogs. Yeah. So talk to me about what was the first things you did for us and then where you go next for us as we grow. Yes, I came in to handle the warehouse and customer service and all that jazz. So all of our orders that go out.

run through James, all of our, any requests that you guys have or anything you're likely talking to James on the phone or via email or any of our like, like review support or anything like that. Yeah, that's all me. So you can imagine the English accent coming through on an email. That's what it sounds like in my head when I type them out. I wonder if there's a way to like, like force, if people like listen to their email to force it to be read in like serious English.

person. It's worth a try. Yeah. And then so we recently just brought on someone to help you with that. So what's your new... Yeah. So now our push is to help grow our retail presence. So we're finding more small independent outdoor stores and yeah, just trying to get everybody stoked on Terran all across the... Well, there's some way, a physical location people to get stoked on Terran around the U .S.

Casey Hyde (21:51.853)
So what's the reasoning behind going that like independent store versus just like jumping into REI nationally right now for us? Yeah, so big, big box stores, I just feel like you don't get the same level of service or knowledge that you can get out of a smaller independent retail store. But like smaller, smaller stores tend to have more of a, you know, kind of like a family vibe a lot of the time. Yeah.

And yeah, they just seem to fit with our ethos a little better. Yeah, I think so too. Rather than getting lost in a massive conglomerate of stores where you don't really see a staff member for 10 minutes while you're lost in the back of a store. Yeah. Nothing against REI. I think REI is one of the big box stores that we will eventually pursue to get into. I'm not saying that they're not knowledgeable. They obviously have very knowledgeable staff. Yeah. But I think also for us, like the size we are right now, we also want to...

we want to get into those hyper -focused retail stores. So then, you know, as a new brand, we want to, you know, make sure that people have the information, like you mentioned, those mom and pop or the more independently owned have that like, that really good knowledge. And for us, you know, telling people about new products, new brands, it's a really good fit for us. So I like that. And then eventually, you know, we'll pursue those big box stores. Yeah. Yeah.

Eventually that'll be the next leg up. But yeah, just kind of building from the ground up. Yeah, it's been fun. Sweet stuff. Yeah, I think we've got a handful of stores in the Southeast right now. If you are watching this or, yeah, leave any comments that you want about any questions for James or anything to get to know him better, and then we'll reply to those. But also, like, if you have, what's your favorite outdoor retailer in your local town? We would love -

If you love TEREN and you love rocking our gear and want to be able to try future products on, we want to be in retailers and we're pursuing that this year. So who are the outdoor retailers in your local cities or towns that you want to see TEREN in? And we'll reach out to them. If you want to make a connection, that would be great. Go tell them they need to stock TEREN and then give them RE Billionaires. Yeah.

Casey Hyde (24:12.909)
Well, thanks, man. You have anything else you want to say? Anything else you want to share? What's your wrestling story? You've got a wrestling story. I have various stories that will come out on the later podcast. I'm the interviewer. Later for that one. I told Chris, I don't know how to end these yet. So yo, yo, we're doing that. We're getting weird. All right.

Okay. So I almost forgot. I'm supposed to ask you the same question every single time. What is your favorite TEREN piece or TEREN product? Yeah. My, my favorite product is the travel of tea, our merino tea. Um, I wear one pretty much every week and I wear one for an entire week. He looked down and he realized he's wearing a prototype of something. I'm not wearing it.

Damn it. But yeah. Okay. So like, so it's great. So it's fantastic. I literally wear one for an entire week. Like I just had this conversation with my wife last night and she was like, I have so many clothes in the laundry and you have two pairs of pants and a t -shirt. And I was like, yeah, look how much I'm saving on washing clothes by wearing one Merino t -shirt that I can wear an entire week and it doesn't smell. Um, it looks as fresh as it does at the end of the week, because it did at the start of the week. Um, I also, I wear mine just as a

daily wearer is like my t -shirt, but I also wear it when I go kayaking as a base layer. I wear it when I go hiking or any other outdoor activities because really good at wicking that sweat away helps with a little bit of thermal regulation. Nice. So we live in a James goes commando cause he only has one tee and two pairs of pants and he doesn't wear socks either is what I just learned about Jake. That's it. No wonder why no socks. Don't hold me to that. Nice.

Cool, awesome. Yeah, I mean, I love that piece too. Yeah, my favorite. I wear it all the time. It's hard to pull anything else out of the drawer. And favorite color in that line? Favorite color. Between the black and the sage. The black's hard because my dog has white dog hair. That's true. So that shows up, but the sage hides everything. That is nice. The sage is pretty rocking. That's a color. I'm typically a black tee.

Casey Hyde (26:37.965)
black pants, black puffy. Obviously with TEREN and I've tried to diversify and go outside of my comfort zone. But if you order that, if you order that from my website, I always think of it as the Casey special. Black tee, black pants, when I pack it up, that's Casey special. Nice. I've liked the dark navy. It's dark enough where it feels like, um, I had it on this weekend. Uh, yeah, it just feels like it fits me. Yeah. That's why I wore it last week. It was the navy. Nice. Yeah. I have a black.

This is a Look Out Wild film festival. That's our Daily Driver Tee. Yeah, but we put this graphic on there for that film festival we sponsor every year in January. But yeah, well, thank you. We signed off earlier. I forgot the question though. So we're going to do it again. Sounds good. All right, see you.

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