After a year framed by a million Zoom windows, there’s an analog thrill to lifting a hefty pair of binoculars to your eyes. For San Francisco–based product developer and surfer Chris McKleroy Jr., the quest for the perfect ’nocs began with a desire to check the Ocean Beach waves from his apartment, 10 blocks inland. Casting around for eyepieces, he says, “all I found was nonsense: $250? $40? I was like, where do you go?” So McKleroy hit the drawing board. Finding design inspiration in retro bike grips and the trippy line paintings of Frank Stella, he created a prototype using high-quality Swiss lenses. Reviews from friends were so enthusiastic that he quit his day job and started Nocs Provisions in March 2020, just as the world locked down. The company’s flagship binoculars are compact, waterproof, and cool enough to whip out at a music festival. (“You don’t want to look like you’re about to raid the Capitol,” McKleroy advises.) The specs come in a variety of colors, and, most important, their optics are superb for the $95 price point. We’ll be training our pairs on the treetops all summer long. nocsprovisions.com•
This article appears in the Summer 2021 issue of Alta Journal.