Getting Sticky

Photo by matt cohen / cowboy journal

Photo by matt cohen / cowboy journal

Reno Rodeo, 2017. Extreme Bulls. New glove. Sage Kimzey breaks it down.


I like the feel of a new glove, but new gloves are smooth, almost oily. Ever since I messed up my riding arm, I need a really sticky rope.

In this photo, I’m using the blade from a multi-tool to rough up my glove so the leather will hold the rosin. This was at last year's Reno Rodeo, just before the Extreme Bulls competition.

I used to never ride with a sticky rope. In high school and college rodeo, I had a stronger grip. But during my rookie year, 2014, I tormented my body more than I probably should have. At one point, I saw this sports-medicine doctor. He told me I had tennis elbow, golfers elbow and the equivalent of shin splints in my forearm. I was like, Man, I don’t even play tennis!

But I do love golf.

It feels like I have a cramp in my forearm pretty much all the time. I don’t really consider it an injury, because we bull riders suffer way worse. It’s more like wear and tear.

But now I need one of the stickiest ropes in the locker room.


The Rosin

The basic stuff isn’t good enough. Back in 2014, I borrowed some rosin from Robson Aragao, a Brazilian I met in the CBR. The Brazilians are known for their rosins. The stuff he gave me had the consistency of molasses. Man, was it sticky! I asked if he would make me a batch. Robson now competes in the PBR, but I still buy his rosin. It comes in a little Tupperware container, costs $35 and lasts four or five months. I have no idea what’s in it, to be honest—some concoction of black and white rosin and who knows what else. It’s so sticky that when I finish a ride, the rope rips a layer of leather off my glove.


The Glove

I get all my gloves from a little mom-and-pop business in Payette, Idaho, called Tiffany Glove Co. It’s literally a little old man and little old lady, and I think they’re son works with them, too. Bill and Joann White—the nicest people in the entire world. They love what they do, and they’re passionate about every detail. They make the best bull-riding gloves, for sure. Shoot, I’ve been using Tiffany gloves since I was in seventh or eighth grade.

I only buy right-hand gloves. They cost around seventy-five bucks apiece, depending on features and customization. I ask the Whites to add an extra layer of leather inside the palm to keep my hand from hurting so much.

I order a dozen at a time and start with my favorites, because there are some differences in the fit and texture of the leather. When I get down to three or four gloves, I call Bill and Joann, and they whip me up another batch.

The Tiffany Glove Co. isn’t one of my sponsors, but I’ve become friends with the family over the years. They’re such good people. Whenever I make the National Finals Rodeo, they come to Vegas and bring me two new gloves.

There aren’t many family shops like that left. Everything’s been run out by big business. The Whites have withstood the test of time because their products are just so good.


The Armband

I started wearing it during my rookie year as an everyday reminder that I’m out here doing stuff a lot bigger than myself. God’s first, and I’m second. It’s a reminder to keep things in perspective. People who aren’t familiar with this campaign will say, Why wear something saying “I’m second”? When I explain it to them, they understand. I love being able to spread my faith through my platform.


The Buckle

That’s my 2014 World Championship buckle—my first gold buckle and the only one I wear. It’s surreal every time I get up in the morning and put it on. That buckle is what we cowboys work for our entire life. It’s not some overnight thing. And it’s not like other sports. To have a championship trophy that’s so practical, something we use everyday, that’s pretty cool, for sure.

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