Who We Are:
ZP Sports is located in North Conway, New Hampshire. We are a company whose products are driven by our love of outdoor adventures.

Several years ago on a climbing trip to the Dolomites, we found ourselves on a mid-grade via-ferrata outside Cortina. After four challenging hours in the brilliant September sunshine we reached the summit, a small patch of grass surrounded by crags of pink dolomite. We watched a flock of 30 to 40 raven-like birds, soaring on the updrafts, playing, upside-down, and diving. They seemed to share our joy in climbing and our love of the mountains. It was a magic moment.

We soon learned that they were called Choucas, pronounced shoo-kah, (Pyrrhocorax graculus), also known as the Alpine Chough, the Chocard a bec jaune, Alpendohle, and the Gracchio alpino depending on which country you are in. Found in the high mountains from the Pyrenees and Alps to the Himalaya, choucas are sociable, curious, confident, and playful. Choucas are resourceful enough to swim and sunbathe. Said to pair for life, they have nested higher than any other bird species.

We decided to name our hats after these wonderful birds.

Hat History:
The idea of the Choucas TOUR Hat came while on a spring ski tour trip to Chamonix, France. We realized the need for a hat that offered protection from the bright sun, intensified by the upward reflection from the snow. But the hat needed to stay on for the wind induced, ski descent. While on tour it is helpful to be able to easily stow one’s hat in a jacket pocket for easy on and off as conditions change during the day.

The Choucas GLIDE Hat evolved from a need for a light weight, breathable, easy to stow hat for cross country skiing and from the demand for colorful accessories by Nordic skiers.

Once prototypes were made, it became apparent that both hats were useful for other activities that we love such as sailing, ocean rowing and sea kayaking for the Tour. The Glide works well under an ice climbing or ski helmet and for ice skating, snowshoeing, and winter hiking.

Photos:
Choucas bird photos provided by Christian Pourre and Luis Manuel Martin Moris.