Up On the Sun: Explain a little bit about Canyon State Beard Club. What exactly do you guys do when you're all together?
Stoker: You've probably heard the phrase, "We're a drinking team with a bowling problem" or something similar for a bunch of dudes who want to hang out and drink beer while including some other activity. Well, that's pretty much us. It's a great excuse to get together over a few beers and talk facial hair. We talk about what product someone might be trying and if it's good or not. We do also plan events. We've got some charity events we're working on. We're also planning to hit up the third Beard Team USA Nationals competition in New Orleans in September. So we kick those ideas around and try to put some things in motion.
Are there any particular challenges to living in Arizona with a beard?
Stoker: Well, 117 degrees will always be rough when you're hauling around your own natural scarf. I'd say that's the big one. It'll definitely test your will to continue to grow a fierce beard when you're watching a river of sweat pour out of it. Keeping the skin under your beard moisturized is a must. Luckily, there are some pretty good conditioners out there.
Jeff Cogswell: There are times it can be challenging. It's definitely a commitment and tests your dedication. You just gotta man up and deal with it. I've worked outside on rooftops in Arizona for 12 years with my beard and when you sweat and move around it acts like a nice swamp cooler. As long as there's a nice breeze and you're tough enough, it really isn't that bad.
What makes a beard a beard? For instance, is patchy facial hair all around the face still considered a beard?
Stoker: For me, you gotta come down from the side burns and meet at the chin. Tying in the mustache and the neck hair is a serious plus. But really, there are a million different styles out there. Anything that someone shows dedication to maintaining works for me.
Craig: There are many types of beards and many types of faces who wear them but for me to be called a full beard you have to have the mustache and a full face of hair to be called a beard. But in the arena of bearding there are many levels of what is considered a beard.