Uncommon Thread


Uncommon Thread episode 5





Welcome to 'The Uncommon Thread' page. This is where we will be showcasing our short films about Cactus Customers who have branched slightly outside the box and are doing something a bit different.

We all think about it but hardly any of us actually do it. We find these people inspiring! 

If you are one of these folk or know someone like this, get in touch and we might make a video on you/them too. In the mean time, sit back and enjoy. 



Ep. 5 : Brett from Black Diamond Safaris



Black Diamond Safaris (BDS) is a ski guiding and transport business based out of Methven, NZ. They've been around since 1996, and specialise in getting visitors off the beaten track, avoiding the hype, and showing them the unique style of skiing that's on offer at the club ski fields of Canterbury. BDS owner and chief guide Brett Evans is the focus of our latest Uncommon Thread. We spent a day trying to keep up with him up at one of our favourite places in the world – Mt Olympus ski area – enjoying the good snow, uncrowded runs, amazing scenery, and the typical friendly hospitality of the local crew.

Black Diamond Safaris has been around almost as long as Cactus. So over the years we've ended up running into Brett quite regularly in the mountains. Whether he's out finding the best snow with clients or ripping a few turns of his own, he always doing it with a decent grin on his face, and he's always sporting his battered old Cactus gear. Brett's the perfect tester for our ski gear in many ways – he's out amongst it every single day of every winter, and he treats his gear harder than anyone else we know!

Brett's always good for a few yarns too, so with the promise of one or two tins of his beloved Speight's at the end of the day, we convinced him to show us a typical day in the life of a Black Diamond Safaris guide (and we knew he'd sniff out the best stashes at Mt Olympus).

Find out more about Black Diamond Safaris here.

Video by Stash Media Worx.

Check out the Cactus range of ski gear here. (Including Brett's fave - the HD Dreadnoughts).



Ep. 4 : Henry of Wattscraft


Introducing Henry from WattsCraft, our latest Uncommon Thread. 


WattsCraft began in 2014 with two brothers hankering for a little jet boat to venture into New Zealand's mountains. Like many Kiwis they had neither the means or the inclination to buy one off the shelf. 


They designed a boat from scratch and then a couple more. Now Henry has a range of little aluminium boat kit-sets and specialist parts to choose from.


Like Cactus, Wattscraft was born out of a passion and a can-do attitude and the desire to make high quality products that have been crafted with care to include all the features that are important, nothing superfluous and, above all, that are more durable than anything out there in the marketplace. WattsCraft specialises in designing very small high performance river jetboats. Careful attention is taken to several attributes which are particularity important in small boats.


With a backgound in environmental engineering, chemical & process enginnering and boat building he's chosen to use his skills to do something different, something he loves doing - and although at the moment takes up most of his time, hopes to reduce his hours to suit his lifestyle while remaining a small one man band. 


Enjoy the video and if you want to find out more about WattsCraft, check out the website here. 




Ep. 3 : Glen Riley


Introducing Glen Riley - Co-ordinator of the Sinclair Wetlands in Dunedin. 


The Sinclair wetlands are part of a 2,000-hectare wetland connecting lakes Waihola and Waipori on the Taieri Plain, 40 kilometres south of Dunedin. The wetlands were named after Horace (Horrie) Sinclair, a conservationist who bought the property in 1960 and had the vision to let it revert to its natural state. 

Glen works with a lot of volunteers who are keen to learn more about conservation - spreading the spark and giving the people an opportunity to help out is what it's all about. 

Glen's day is varied - from co-ordinating volunteers, planting, weed control, pest control and running the nursary which houses a few thousand seeds per year. The Sinclair wetland now consists of ponds, water channels, swamplands and a couple of scrub-covered islands. Over 60 species of bird live in or regularly visit the wetland. It is now privately owned by Te Rununga o Ngai Tahu. Glen hopes to have a healthy functioning wetland. 

Walking tracks and an information centre are open to the public, and accommodation facilities are also available. Check out their Facebook page here

Glen is one of Cactus's favourite customers - he must be close to owning the entire range of gear. Enjoy this wee video about him. We certainly did. 


Ep. 2 : Sarah & Dan




This is Sarah and Dan. The Christchurch Earthquake resulted in them uprooting their young family and making the move to Kaikoura, with dreams of becoming cheese-making artisans. With no background in farming or cheese-making they had everything to learn. While building their first home - a 10sqm tiny house - they bought their first 3 Saanan milking goats and started practicing the art of making cheese.


Within a year that small herd had grown to 7, and they had set up a small cheese plant on family land under the Kaikoura Mountains. Milking by hand everyday, they soon established our first goat’s milk product - “Te Ma”, a fresh French-style soft cheese. Their hardwork was rewarded in 2013, winning several medals at the NZ Specialty Cheese Awards and gaining significant recognition for their budding brand.


If you're ever in Kaikoura go and say hi. In the meantime check out their website here


Ep. 1 : Liv & Kurt



This is Liv & Kurt. A few years ago they decided to buy a block of land in the Rai Valley and spend all of their spare time building mountain bike tracks. People told them it would be hard and they weren't wrong... but it hasn't stopped them - they love it. They've called it the R(a)ide Project. 


The idea is that the property will serve three main purposes: to grow trees to harvest and use as firewood, showcase Kurt’s trail building skills (he's damn good at it) and long term, potentially open the tracks to the public. 


The dream is to have biking events and make a fabulous lodge and huts for people to stay in (kind of like a club ski-field vibe) and to one day provide the Rai Valley with a new vibrant business that will hopefully have a down-stream effect for the community. While doing this Liv & Kurt hope to regenerate the native bush and control the pests and develop the properties off-the-grid infrastructure (water/power etc).


But with the big vision aside, it's really just a sweet place to chillout (get away from cellphone reception) and ride with friends. And did we mention that they live in Cactus gear...


Any queries just email us or call 0800 122 682