Lynne Weiland, CB, and the Heyday of Ski Culture…
When Lynne Wieland was a child growing up in Vermont and skiing at Killington, the most coveted look in skiing at the time also happened to be a homegrown one: CB Sports. For Lynne, the company helped shape her childhood memories on and off the ski hill, and its live-life-to-the-fullest ethos stayed with her through a productive career as a professional skier that began in the early 1980’s.
“CB then was the hot item – everyone wanted to wear it!” she said. “Back then, times seemed simpler, and when you’re in it, you don’t realize it, but the 70’s and 80’s really were the good old days. That’s why it’s so great to see CB again, when people are just eating up the nostalgia of the past, and people want to go back to a different time in life and skiing.”
During Lynne’s childhood, CB clothing was based and made in Vermont, and one of the industry’s most well-known and progressive brands – perfect for a burgeoning freeskier. Wieland loved skiing, and chasing around her two brothers on the ski hill made her an exceptional skier.
By the time she was a senior in high school, Lynne Wieland was the top amateur mogul skier in the country, and the second best in aerials. She joined the US Ski Team for a year, where she remembers receiving her first piece of official US Ski Team gear, a red CB puffy with the team logo on it, and headed off to college at the same time.
College proved to not be where her heart was, however, and a fateful meeting soon changed the direction of her life. “I ran into my old ski coach, Robbie Huntoon; he was living in Squaw Valley. He told me if I wanted to move to Squaw, he’d get me a job as a ski coach and help me find a place to live,” she said. Lynne’s family supported the idea, and her father bought her a one-way ticket from New York to San Francisco.
Lynne’s old coach was a big part of the making of Hot Dog: The Movie, and soon, Lynne had a minor part – until they saw her ski. “It turned out the actress they’d hired from LA for the part of Michelle couldn’t really ski, so, I got the part.” Lynne’s part in ski history was quickly cemented as the famed Michelle Banana Pants, because of her character’s pink CB jacket and bright yellow CB pants.
“I was this 19-year old from Vermont, out with all these people from LA, I was a deer in the headlights! If I’d known then what [the movie] would become, well, it’s probably better I didn’t know.” More than anything, though, Hot Dog launched Lynne as a skier to be reckoned with. She stayed on in Squaw, waiting tables, coaching and ripping around. In fact, the next winter, she simply skied every day, because she’d made so money – for a ski bum, anyway – from the movie until fate came knocking again. “In the space of one week, I got a residual check from Hot Dog for $3,000, and I got a call from Gregg Stump asking me to drive to Steamboat to be in his new ski movie. I bought a car with half the money, and headed to Colorado.”
When Stump got his footage from the trip back from the developers a couple weeks later, he called Lynne again. He told her to get her passport: her footage was better than most of the guys, and she was coming to Europe with the movie crew. Lynne went on to make three movies with Greg Stump’s film company: Maltese Flamingo; The Good, The Rad, and the Gnarly; and Blizzard of Aaaahs.
Although her film career came to halt when she broke her back filming in Chamonix with Mike Hattrup and Scott Schmidt, Lynne stayed in the ski industry, got involved in the pro mogul tour, and today runs a ski shop called McU Sports in Boise, Idaho. Even though skiing is a busier, slightly different industry, it’s still one of the most rewarding sports out there, and Lynne, like many others, is thrilled to see an icon of the 80’s skiing heyday come back onto the scene.
“I am so excited to see the reboot of CB! People really are craving something like when skiing was simpler, and the industry was not so saturated, and when times were easier, and skiing was all about, as Warren Miller used to say, having a taste of freedom!”