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I can take pain and discomfort. I can push my limits to the point of breaking. I like the feeling, I like pushing myself. But when it comes to putting my feet in frigid water I'm a sally. For whatever reason I can't stand the pain before my feet go numb. Thank goodness for the Chaco Ponsul Water Shoe.
Chaco Ponsul Water Shoe Features
- Upper: Polyester webbing
- Molded TPU toe bumper
- Integrated neoprene sock
- Footbed: LUVSEAT™ XO3 Platform (removable insole)
- Custom Adjust'em Fit
- Outsole: Vibram® Bulloo Outsole
Chaco Ponsul Water Shoe ReviewThe Chaco Ponsul Water Shoe is essentially a Z1 sandal with a neoprene sock added to it. You get the same great footbed, adjustable straps, comfort, fit, and durability of the signature Chaco sandal. The Ponsul is great for early season water adventures, cold water, or if you're like me and you're feet freeze in moderately cold water. The neoprene sock acts as it should and traps water around your feet so it can warm up from your body heat. I found that while walking around colder water would flush in but my feet stayed warmer and I could stay in the water longer. The one downside I found was after leaving the water I had to take off the sandals to drain them if I was going to be walking around for awhile. As I was walking I could tell that a blister disaster was waiting to happen if I spent a lot in them without draining. Adjustability remained fairly strong with the Ponsul. The front strap adjusts the same as the Z/1, just be conscious that if you go too tight the neoprene sock will bunch up a little. One area I felt was lacking was heel adjustments...there aren't any. For me the heel hangs too loose. I'd like to see a simple adjustment strap here to help snug down the fit. The LUVSEAT™ XO3 Platform is a removable insole. Some may balk at this but trust me, it's good. It is still shaped and molded like the traditional Chaco footbed but by being removable it allows the sandals to dry out faster. The Vibram® Bulloo Outsole is a good sole. It does provide good traction in water although you still have to tread carefully over mossy rocks. I did find the tread not agreesive enough for extended trail use, but it did fine in the water. For a water shoe one of my favorite features is the toe bumper. Gone are the days of stubbing bare toes on rocks (especially cold toes). I like the added protection. The Good
- Neoprene socks keeps your feet warm(er)
- Chaco comfort
- Needs heel adjustment
- Must remove sandal to drain water
Bottom Line:If you love Chacos but need a water shoe, the Ponsul is the way to go. Buy Now: Pick up the Chaco Ponsul Water Shoe[gallery]... Read more...
A surfing backpack, a lightweight dry bag that doubles as a backpack on summit bid morning, or just a daypack on the rainy days, the Outdoor Research Drycomp Ridge Sack is a versatile, well constructed dry bag with all the bells and whistles added on. My favorite type of gear is that which is simple, durable, durable and even more durable. The beauty of the Drycomp is in it's simplicity. It's a dry bag that is also a backpack. Add a sweet mesh storage compartment, the ability to strap on an ice axe, and that's the final product. Sometimes it's nice not to have six bazillion features- less to break out in the field. The crew at Outdoor Research has hit another home run with the Drycomp Ridge Sack (I don't actually watch baseball. But what's the equivalent in outdoorsy lingo? The crew at OR has sent another 5.13? Shredded another gnarly descent of backpack design? Somehow, the baseball analogy sounds better). Sometimes less is more, and that's definitely true of the Drycomp Ridge Sack. Just the right amount of features to make a great product, but not so many that you're wondering if you should wear the pack on your back, or ask it to cook you breakfast.
Outdoor Research Drycomp Ridge Sack Details
- 34 L drysack/backpack combo
- External Mesh pocket and elastic cord allow for extra layers/gear/h2o storage, ice axe loops allow you to toss your favorite piolet on as well
- Roll top/buckle closure
- $125 MSRP
Outdoor Research Drycomp Ridge Sack ReviewUsually, when you purchase a dry bag of any sorts, you're looking to keep water out of the things you put inside it. In my case, I was looking for a way to keep water inside the bag, and not anywhere else. I needed a bag to use for wetsuit transport on my bike/surf trip this past summer. Something that I could toss wet wetsuits in, and then hike back out from the beach without the wetsuits dripping through my pack and soaking my bum as I hiked out. A reverse dry bag, if you will. Instead of keeping things out, I wanted to keep them in. However backwards my approach to dry bag use may seem, the principal behind it is the same, and I can report that the Drycomp Ridge Sack did in fact keep the water (and the rather unsavory smell of damp wetsuit booties) inside the bag, just as I had hoped. With bomber radio-welded seams, I had no leaks in 6 weeks of wetsuit storage. I kept the bag on the back rack of my bicycle, bungee corded down until it was time to head down to the beach. Then, I'd undo the cords, and in an instant, I had myself a great backpack, with the wetsuits already packed. The mesh pocket on the outside allowed for a towel, snacks or a few tasty beverages to be stowed with ease.
- Keeps water in or out, depending on what your goal is
- Carries comfortably for short adventures
- Constructed of a lightweight and pliable material. Don't think of your typical hypalon drybag. Much lighter. And still as waterproof.
- Durable durable durable!
- Elastic cording on mesh pocket stretches out fast
Bottom LineSometimes less is more. Meet all your dry bag/backpack needs with the Outdoor Research Drycomp Ridge Sack.
Buy NowOutdoor Research Drycomp Ridge Sack... Read more...
When we sat down to plan our bike trip months ago, we continually ran into one problem. How do we get the surfboards to come with us? Sure, they make bike trailers for gear, for dogs and for small children, but no one out there is making a trailer for surfboards (yet). Finding the bikes, panniers, camping gear, etc, all fell into place, but we were still searching for the best way to transport our two surfboards, both just over 6’ long, all the way down the coast with us. Then, the guys from Avenir got in touch with me to tell me they had something they thought might work… “Right,” I’m thinking. At that point I was getting discouraged, and also getting ready to construct something myself, made of PVC pipe and duct tape. Thankfully it didn't come to that. I discovered they made a cargo trailer that was essentially a box on wheels. Nothing fancy, no weird downward slopes that would angle the nose of the boards right into the ground, no seats for small children that we don’t have or want. Just a well constructed, lightweight, aluminum frame that was high enough away from the wheels that the surfboards could sit perfectly on top of. We had found our trailer.
Avenir Cargo Trailer Details
- 30x18 inches of cargo space
- Cargo capacity: 77lbs
- 20 inch wheels
- Weight: 22 lbs (according to the box it came in. According to my bathroom scale it was closer to 18lbs)
Avenir Cargo Trailer ReviewSo, I understand that the majority of people out there searching for bicycle cargo trailers are not looking for a way to transport surfboards 1100+ miles. However, here’s how I look at it. If the trailer can do all that, with no trouble, imagine how mechanically sound and lightweight it would be for you to pull whatever it is your little heart desires, be it surfboards or just groceries from the farmers market. I definitely plan on using mine around town now that it’s back from the bike/surf epic. The Avenir Cargo Trailer comes equipped with a nylon “bed liner” of sorts, plus a bright orange nylon cover. While this material is not 100% waterproof in massive downpours, it certainly puts up a good fight. On all but 2 days of our trip, all the contents of our trailer were dry, even after a hard day of biking in the rain. It also comes with a sweet orange flag. Bonus! The biggest crux we ran into with the trailer was how to attach it to our bikes. The Avenir Cargo Trailer comes standard with an attachment arm that screws down onto the chainstays bike. The tighter you spin the screw, the harder it clamps to your bike. While I am positive that this would work great for around town endeavors (and offer you great flexibility if you want to move the trailer from one bike to another), it wasn’t the setup we wanted for a 1000+ mile journey. Fortunately, Avenir had thought of this already, and makes an adapter that mounts directly to your axle, which you then attach to the trailer with a cotter pin. For us, this eliminated the possibility of the clamp coming unscrewed each day, or worse, coming unscrewed in the midst of some gnarly highway ascent with no shoulder. For those of you who’d like to use the cargo trailer as an around-town grocery getter, or for bike tours, this should be sufficient enough information. Feel free to skip ahead to my summary of positive and negative features of the trailer. For those of you die hard surf/bike fans who’ve been searching for years for a way to make your bike a surfmobile (of which I am sure there are at least, oh, well, 5 or 6 of you), read on to learn exactly how to convert your Avenir Cargo Trailer into the Surfmobile Extraordinaire. After assembling the cargo trailer, we took two regular car top surfboard pads (you know, the kind that DaKine makes), and inserted those onto the top rails of the cargo trailer at both the front and back end. This created some padding between the boards and the metal trailer frame. In all the amazing coincidences, the standard sized surfboard car-top pad length also happens to be the exact same width as the width of the Avenir Cargo trailer body, so it fit perfectly. Next, we loaded all the other gear into the trailer. Then, we put the nylon cover on the trailer, also covering the surfboard pads, leaving us a beautiful, level, flat surface to set the boards on. Last step was to cam strap the boards down just as we would have had they been on the roof rack of my Tacoma. 2 straps, each one looped around each side of the trailer and then coming across, held the surfboards on for the entire trip. We had minimal drag, minimal wind problems, and overall, it functioned amazingly well.
- Durable- 1117 miles loaded with gear and surfboards and the only problem we had was a busted spoke 4 miles from our final destination. Zero flats. Zero attachment issues, unlike some other cyclists we met on the road.
- Lightweight, especially for a 2 wheeled trailer of its size.
- The only trailer out there that will work for surfboard transit. Trust me. I’ve looked.
- Collapsible, making storage or travel to and from your actual biking destination easy.
- 2 different attachment methods ensure that you’ll find something that works for your trailer use needs.
- A great bargin at $230
- A 2 wheeled trailer offers more rolling resistance than a single wheel, making it slightly more difficult to pull than its single wheeled counterparts
Bottom LineA bomb-proof cargo trailer at a great price.
Check It OutAvenir Cargo Trailer... Read more...
Kayak season is here and I'm still only 5 ft 7 inches tall. The Yakima Showboat Lift Assist has been a great addition to my rack to compensate for my shortness. Despite it turning my roof rack into an autobot from Transformers, I do like what this addition has to offer.
Yakima Showboat Specs
- Fits on anything - round, square, rectangle, octogon?
- Padded roller bar to protect your boat.
- Slides side to side to load two boats.
- Corrosion resistant - you'd think that would be important hence it being a water sport.
Fine PrintBars. The cost of the lift assist is $89 but that does not include the extra bars to move this back and forth. And those corroded nasty rusted bars in your garage won't work either. Being this a dynamic movable system, the bars have to be brand spanking new. Kind of a bummer. Kind of spendy. But if you are short and you kayak, this was made for you.
Using the Yakima ShowboatMy short Jackson All Star is so teeny (5 ft and some change) the Showboat isn't needed. For loading a touring boat the Showboat is perfect. You need to consider where you are parked though. If your car is slanted it defeats the purpose and you'll need an extra person to help load. We were at a marina and the lift assist was pointless because the car was slanted too much to load alone. The video demonstration is done on a Subaru outback. Hmmm you don't need the Showboat for a Subaru. We used it on a 2011 Toyota 4 Runner and it was great with how high the roof is. Assembly can be a bit of a chore. Start off with jamming Glee season 1 through your speakers and chase that down with a Diet Coke with lime. There is definitely more to this rack addition than meets the eye.
Benefit vs. CostAre you loading kayaks by yourself? This can be a handy and an expensive addition but the benefit is greater than the cost. Now, are you boating by yourself? You shouldn't be. Don't buy this piece so you can increase your outdoor independence. If you are like me and stand the tallest in your kayak crew then the Yakima Showboat is for you. But if I see this mounted on a Mini Cooper I will mostly likely write 'gomer' in shoe polish on the back window. BUY NOW: The Yakima Showboat Lift Assist on Gear.com. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAykhKIWgvE[/youtube]... Read more...
My two feet have taken me lots of places. Up mountains, across passes, down canyons... I've run, skied, climbed, biked, hiked, and surfed a multitude of places. However, never have my two feet taken me 1000+ miles in one go. This summer, my boyfriend and I have opted to simplify our vacation time and lives by allowing our two feet to dictate the entire journey. No cars. No motors. No gasoline. Just our feet. 1000+ miles of biking. Hours and hours of surfing. Countless trails and hikes. This summer, we'll be biking the Washington/Oregon coastline with our surfboards, living on our bikes and enjoying the bliss that is simplicity.
The PlanTo bike from Seattle, WA to Eureka, CA (the goal being to end up at the Lost Coast Brewery for a celebratory beverage). All in, it should be close to 1200 miles. We'll be riding the coast the whole time, so after leaving Seattle, the plan is to head out to Neah Bay, WA, and then bike south from there. We'll be towing a trailer holding 2 surfboards and taking a full 6 weeks to enjoy this beautiful stretch of coastline, stopping all along the way to surf and hike. No support vehicles, hotels or anything fancy. Just simple, pedal-powered fun. Throughout the trip, I'll have the opportunity to test out some great gear from Specialized, Mountain Hardwear, CLIF, CamelBak, Avenir Accessories, Outdoor Research and Merrell Footwear. Look for lots of reviews during and after the epic!
Got Ideas?Been on a bike tour before? Tried to tow surfboards before? Just a casual biker? If you've got suggestions for my plan, feel free to let me know. Though I'm an avid road biker, I am an avid day-trip road biker. 100 miles at a time, at the most. Never have I tried to live out of panniers for a six weeks. Got some input? Ideas? Good backpacking meal recipes? Share them with me! The plan is ever-evolving, and I'm stoked for any input.... Read more...
Outdoor Research boasts that their products are "designed by adventure," and after a summer of using the Helium Jacket, I'd completely agree. Though I didn't climb nearly as much as I normally would this summer, I certainly had several great opportunities to test out the waterproof qualities of jackets- between living on the Oregon coast and my recent move to Alaska, I've had more than my fair share of rain. For my hiking adventures in both Oregon and Alaska, I always had my Outdoor Research Helium Jacket stowed away in the bottom of my pack. Super lightweight and stripped down, the Helium is the perfect addition to the mandatory "oh S*!t" kit for backpacking, hiking and climbing. So light that you don't notice its there until you see the clouds rolling up, the Helium keeps you dry and warm as you finish out that last pitch, get your tent set up, or hike those last few miles back to your car.
Outdoor Research Helium Jacket Features
- Ultralight Pertex Shell Material
- Fully Seam Taped
- Single drawcord hood and hem adjustments
- Small exterior chest pocket
- Stow pocket at side hem, with an added webbing loop for clipping to harnesses, packs, or wherever you need to store it
- Price = $140
Outdoor Research Helium Jacket ReviewThroughout the summer, I had multitudes of opportunities to grab my Helium out of my pack, and throw it on quickly to escape the rain and suddenly plummeting temps. From hiking to backpacking to kayaking, my Outdoor Research Helium Jacket saw a lot of use. The first chance I really got to use my Helium was actually while I was on a kayaking trip- started out beautiful, and then began pouring a few hours into the excursion. Now, I realize that you're supposed to get wet during water-bound adventures, but I didn't relish in the idea of a soggy top half in addition to my already soggy bottom half, so I grabbed my OR Helium out of my dry bag and tossed it on. I loved how lightweight the shell was while still providing great protection from the elements. Since moving to Alaska, I've been out on some great hikes in the Girdwood and Portage areas, and each time I pack up to head out the door, I make sure my Helium is still stuffed down at the bottom of my daypack. When compressed, it is about the size of my fist, and takes up essentially no space. As I get back into rock climbing up here in AK, I am excited to clip this little guy onto my harness. At 6.8oz, it's certainly not going to add any noticeable amount of weight, but will definitely be the difference between a "happy Claire" and a "miserable Claire" when I'm belaying for that last pitch and the clouds that have been threatening to open up all day finally do. The Good
- I love the stow pocket. No more extra stuff sacks to keep track of (or in my case, to lose).
- Webbing loop for clipping to harness. Really, OR thought of everything!
- Helium is a bit longer than your average shell, which is great when you want to toss this on hiking or climbing- it fits under your harness or your pack belt, so it won't ride up. That extra length allows it to stay put no matter what kind of movement you've got going on.
- While I'm normally a fan of velcro closures on sleeves, the Helium has only elastic. I was concerned at first, but after wearing it for a bit, the elastic-only design grew on me, allowing me the freedom to reach up high without getting stuck in the sleeve of my jacket.
- I am a sucker for pockets. I like something to do with my hands, or some place to put them when they're cold. The Helium has one chest pocket, but no place for my hands during those cold belay transitions or snack stops on the trail.
Buy NowOutdoor Research Helium Jacket... Read more...
For the summer, I've been working with 9:Fish Surfboards to test out some boards within their line and bring the first ever surfboard reviews to Gear.com. The first 9:Fish board I got to try was the 6'2 Seared Ahi, 9:Fish's most popular, and arguably most versatile board. Before we get to the meat and potatoes of the Seared Ahi, lets chat a bit about my surfing abilities. I think it's important to disclose my own ability levels and previous riding experience before you read any further. I began surfing less than a year ago, when I spent a while surfing in Costa Rica. I was instantly addicted, and squeezed in another trip to the Northwest coast in October, despite being full time graduate student. Writing my thesis and studying in the car didn't matter, so long as I made it back to the waves! This whole time I was surfing on a 6'8 epoxy, super floaty, very beginner board. Since moving to the coast, I've been surfing every day for 2 months now, but I am definitely still a novice surfer. Now, enough about me. Lets talk fish. Specifically, Seared Ahi. First, here's the rundown of all the specs.
9:Fish Seared Ahi-Specs and Features
- 6 foot 2 inches long
- 3 inches thick, 22 inches wide, and 16 inches at nose and tail.
- Future fins
- Quad fin setup- put the big fins in back when you first get the board for added stability, then when you're comfortable, move them to the front fin boxes for a looser back end that turns more precisely.
- Available in a traditional glass model, and also epoxy.
- Cost= $529
9:Fish Seared Ahi- The Review
- The Ahi is friendlier to novice/intermediate surfers than other boards of similar height. With my minimal surfing background (see above), I was able to stand up, drop in, and cruise down the face of a wave within a week or so of getting onto the Seared Ahi. That's saying a lot about the "ease of wave catching" that 9:Fish strives for.
- Speedy Speedy- Despite being easy to pop up on, I immediately noticed a difference in board speed and responsiveness when compared to my old board. The old one felt like a slug compared to the Ahi! Definitely wasn't sacrificing manuverability for the ease of popping up, which was awesome. The Ahi is still responsive like a more advanced board, and keeps its speed going down the line.
- Paddling = a breeze on the Ahi- The wider profile (22'') makes it a bit more stable, and the minimal rocker allows you to glide over the water easily, instead of feeling like you're pushing through it.
- Performs in a variety of conditions- I loved it on the waist to shoulder high days, and my boyfriend (a much more experienced surfer than myself) rocked it on some overhead days and loved the manuverability and speed the Ahi gave him. He commented on how much easier it made it for him to surf his heel side, and how much fun it was!
- Take it everywhere- At 6'2, the Seared Ahi is a great "pack-it-around-from-one-foreign-country-bus-ride-to-the-next" board, and also fits in the back if your Tacoma or Sube with ease. Gotta love the portability
- Give it some "break in" time- It did take me a few days to get used to riding a fish, and riding a shorter board. Kinda like a break in period for a good pair of boots. You're not stoked for the 1st few days, and all you can think about is your last, more comfortable pair. However, when you get the new ones good and broken in, you're stoked when you see what they can do, and you'll never imagine going back.
For the summer, I've been living out of a 1978 Toyota EZ Rider RV on the Oregon coast, surfing, hiking and enjoying a moment in my life where I'm not in school. Throughout the summer, I've been working with 9:Fish Surfboards to review several boards within their line here on Gear.com. 9:Fish, a surfboard manufacturing company based out of southern California, has been designing and producing surfboards for over 4 years now. Owners/Engineers/Surfers Sunny Trinh and Wes Negus had 2 things in mind when they started 9:Fish surfboards: designing a surfboard based on engineering principles, and designing a board that would catch more waves, which means more fun!
9:Fish- A History9:Fish began its evolution when Clark Foam, a well known manufacturer of the foam used inside surfboards, shut down in December of 2005. When materials became scarce, the cost of surfboards skyrocketed, with your average fish surfboard costing almost double what it would have pre-Clark Foam shut down. Wes and Sunny, surfers and engineers, set out to make a surfboard that was more affordable and still a ride-able, fun board. Throughout the design evolution of 9:Fish boards, the owners had a few things in mind. They wanted a board that was fun to ride, a board that was more conducive to learning/novice surfers than a shortboard, something that was smaller and less cumbersome than a longboard, and a board that would perform in a variety of conditions. They set out to create a paddling friendly, wave catching profile that any surfer could have fun on. Owner/Designer Sunny Trinh will be the first to say, 9:Fish is not a hardcore, performance only surf company. 9:Fish is geared towards those who surf for the fun of it! After looking at their list of "requirements" for board design, 9:Fish decided they would do one thing, and do it well: they would make fish surfboards. Historically, fish surfboards were small wave, summer boards. 9:Fish sought to change that stereotype and make a board that was fun in all conditions. They started with four prototypes and took those board all over, seeing how they performed in different conditions. Owner Sunny Trinh was able to surf 9:Fish's 6'2 Seared Ahi at Sunset Beach on Ohau's notorious North Shore in dumping triple overhead conditions, and also at the mellow, knee high waves of Waikiki, and have fun in both places on the same board! This type of versatility in a board is unheard of, so 9:Fish knew they'd nailed it. They stuck with that design, and began manufacturing surfboards. 9:Fish now makes a range of surfboards, stressing that they have something for everyone. While the pro surfers may be ripping on shortboards, that type of board isn't for everyone, and 9:Fish realizes that. They are a "beginner friendly" company, a rarity in the surfing industry, and are just looking for all their riders to have fun.
"Our goal is to catch more waves. Catching more waves means having more fun. We're not about ripping the hardest or looking the coolest. We're about having the most fun." -Sunny Trinh, 9:Fish Owner
9:Fish- Making waves in environmentally friendly surfingAs a sport, surfing is somewhat of a tragic irony. Although surfers are arguably some of the most "in touch with nature" folks I know, the process of making surfboards is one of the more toxic processes out there. The production of foam has multitudes of harmful effects on the ozone (see the EPA's website for information on foam and acceptable, less toxic substitutes), and foam is the core of most surfboards. Epoxy, fiberglass, resin... None of this stuff is nice for Mother Earth, and yet necessary for surfboard production. A sad, yet true dichotomy between surfer's love for nature and their tools continues to exist. When 9:Fish started shaping boards, they wanted to be sure to mitigate the harmful effects of surfboard production in as many ways as possible. Currently, 9:Fish's production warehouse exceeds Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards in regards to employee safety and waste disposal. This means added air filter systems to filter dust during shaping, sanding and laminating, activated carbon filters to treat paint vapors, and solid waste recycling. Even more eco-conscious and forward thinking than just meeting and exceeding standards, 9:Fish has another environmentally thoughtful project up their sleeve. 9:Fish is currently working with Harvey Mudd College to develop the worlds first recyclable, resin free, fiberglass free surfboard. With this, the world of surfing has almost come full circle, looking much like the early days of surfing, when redwood planks were the board of choice. However, 9:Fish's new development won't weigh 70lbs, and will surf just like a board developed using today's shaping and engineering knowledge. So far, they've made three prototypes that ride great! The next challenge is how to make those prototypes into wave catching machines with a friendly price point. 9:Fish is dedicated to finding a solution, so I don't doubt they'll get there. For more information on 9:Fish, or to start having fun on a fish of your own, scope the 9:Fish website, or feel free to give the guys a call at 1-877-9Fish-SB. Frank, Sunny or Wes will be happy to answer all your fishy questions. Also, be sure to check out Gear.com's current selection of surf apparel and accessories!... Read more...
Recently, I moved into a 1978 Toyota RV, and drove it out to the Oregon Coast to live out here for the summer. After years of being in school year round, I decided it was time to celebrate my graduation, and do nothing but play for several months. After I started surfing in Costa Rica last year, I decided I liked it so much that I wanted to spend my whole summer surfing out in Oregon. Though it's a whole different beast up in Oregon and Washington (wetsuits, booties and gloves as opposed to a bikini), I am stoked to spend the summer learning the coast and the waves. Since I knew that I would be spending a solid few months surfing, I figured that I had a really cool opportunity to do some great product testing for surfboards, a new realm for Gear.com. Though we've had articles featuring surfing product (like the GoPro Surf Hero Camera, or the Patagonia Rash Guard), we've yet to feature a full surfboard review. 9:Fish Surfboards For the summer, I'll be working with 9:Fish Surfboards, a company based out of southern California that specializes in making Fish surfboards (in fact, they make only fishes!), and bringing my thoughts on their boards to our readers. Keeps your eyes out for a detailed history of 9:Fish as a company in the next few weeks, and watch for my full reviews of boards later on this summer. Also, definitely check out the 9:Fish website to learn more about this great company. Today, I'm off to Portland today to pick up my first board, the 9:Fish Seared Ahi. Maybe I'll score some sushi while I'm there, just to get even more stoked on my Seared Ahi? See the entire 9:Fish lineup at www.9fishsurf.com Check out some of the Surfboards here on Gear.com...Read more...
Longing to be back in Florida with sand between my toes, I opt for flip flops as my first choice after a mountain bike ride or trail run. But, I'm a pretty picky about my sandals, so not just any pair will do. I've had the Ocean Minded Seaweed sandals long enough to realize that these are definitely keepers. Ocean Minded Seaweed Sandals Features:
- Two piece molded rubber outsole
- Made with water-based glue
- Wide, tiered PU nubuck strap adds dimension and support
- Molded anatomical footbed made with Croslite material
- Croslite material is soft, comfortable, light weight and odor resistant
- Nylon toe post is made from recycled plastic bottles
- Weight: 7 oz.
- Colors: Rasta, Black, Chocolate, Black/Turquoise, Charcoal/Lime
- MSRP: $41
- Anatomical footbed cradles my feet
- Soft Croslite footbed provides comfort
- Extra strap width is nice
- Extra-supportive mid and outsole
- Low-profile forefoot puts your toesies at risk
Recently, I moved into a 1978 Toyota RV for the summer and headed to the Oregon coast to spend my summer surfing. Of course, accompanying me is Baker, my black lab/cattle dog mix. Every day, I head to the beach to surf, and Baker heads down with me, wearing his RuffWear Headwater Collar and bringing along his RuffWear Hydro Plane Frisbee. The RuffWear Hydro Plane Frisbee was designed specifically for those dogs who love to frisbee in the water. First, its huge! Way bigger in circumference than most other frisbee's I've seen. The outer ring is made of foam, so the frisbee acts as a pontoon when you toss it out onto the lake/ocean/river. The inner portion of the frisbee is hollowed out, so there's added flotation there as well.
RuffWear Hydro Plane Frisbee Features
- Huge! Oversized feature makes it easy to toss, easy for pup to pick up, and adds flotation
- Outer foam ring- easy on the dog's teeth, and returns to its original shape every time. Beware though, if you've got a chewer- they'll shred through that ring pretty fast if they're not supervised.
- Bright colors- comes in red and yellow, so it's super easy for your dog to spot no matter where it lands.
Bottom LineA great frisbee for water loving dogs. Best use is definitely at a lake, but it works great for a beach frisbee as well!
Check It Out!Looks like our vendors aren't yet carrying the RuffWear Hydro Plane Frisbee, but you can check it out on the Ruffwear Website.... Read more...
My love for Yakima has shown lately with all the shout outs I've been giving them. The EvenKeel gets the same treatment. My Jackson All Star is also happy with its new carriage to the play park. With the spring runoff here in Northern New Mexico, I've had the chance to get some time on the water and use the EvenKeel.
Don't Miss The BoatYakima is really winning me over with the tool-free installation. I still have nightmares of tracking down an allen wrench to tighten my bike rack and bolts coming loose. That's nothing compared to what my Gary Fischer went through as we blazed to Moab and back. This may sound weird but I think Yakima has really thought ahead for the last minute vehicle switch for the road trip. Effortless install. The EvenKeel includes tie down straps that have a plastic sheath in the center of the strap. This really shows Yakima's effort to provide a good quality product that serves a purpose. The four stands that hold your boat integrate the strap seamlessly to prevent any possible shifting while you text and try to keep the car on the road (You probably shouldn't be texting while driving, Oprah said so).
Secure SecurityRemember when you had to buy locks separately with your rack system? Well...you still do. But the EvenKeel comes with security bolts keeping your rack where it should be. Especially when you spend the whole day on the Colorado river, you don't want some goobers janking your rack off your Mini Cooper. You definitely won't be able to fit that $400 carbon paddle in the backseat much less your new Jackson Hero. Eat with peace at Wendy's knowing you won't have to chase anyone down in the parking lot with a Spicy Chicken sandwich in your hand.
Universal. No seriously, this thing is Universal.The designers at Yakima have probably shed some tears in the past due to frustration with rack compatibility. They've probably stood in driveways for hours scratching their heads wondering how much duct tape it will take to hold down their $1700 airlite Perception touring boat while the rest of the caravan has been on the water all morning. I've never met any Yakima employees but I assume they've been through what I've been through. Pure rack frustration. Round bars, square bars, skinny bars, fat bars, cocktail bars....errr you get the idea. I think Yakima should do a youtube contest of how many bars people can put their racks on...safely of course. The design to fit on any bar is downright awesome. To take it one step farther, the EvenKeel fits all boats without having to constantly re-adjust positioning. The flex design is made to fit all boats. Done deal.
My Letter To Yakima
Dear Yakima, It's me, Adam from gear.com. Love the EvenKeel. However, could you put a slicker surface on the pads on the rack? Whenever I slide my boat forward to get it into place the rubber catches and makes it a bit difficult to slide forward. Other than that, I'm your biggest fan. Still wondering what being your biggest fan entitles, maybe a trucker hat with my name on it? Name a constellation after me? A high five works too. -AdamBUY NOW:The Yakima EvenKeel Kayak Rack at Backcountry.com - $99.... Read more...
On my surfing trip out on the pacific northwest coast, I got to take a pretty cool new gadget with me! Piled into my Tacoma, along with the dog gear, surfboards, wetsuits, camping supplies and people was my GoPro Surf Hero Camera. This sweet camera fits in the palm of your hand, mounts to your wrist, your surfboard (or a helmet, for other sports), and it's waterproof! I was able to take pictures under water, in the water and take videos of my horrible attempts to surf!
GoPro Hero Cameras- The Specs
- Mounting info: The hero cameras are intended for action sports- so depending on which mount systems you purchase, you can take it on your wrist, mounted to your surfboard, mounted to a helmet, or mounted to a part of your car. The specific model I tested, the Surf Hero, can mount to your surfboard (via a sticky plate on the front, or a mounting system that uses the hole in the back of the board where your leash threads through), or you can wear it on your wrist. I opted to wear it on my wrist when I used it. Couldn't quite bring myself to permanently mount anything to my baby.
- Camera: The Hero series cameras now come in High-Def. So when you purchase a HD Hero, you are getting a 1080p 5 megapixel HD camera.
- Audio: Built in microphone, with automatic gain control. I was really impressed with how well the camera picks up sound.
- Storage: The Hero uses an SD card to store pics and video. Not included. I'd recommend a larger card, so that you don't have to deal with clearing out video and pics during the day.
- Power: Runs on 4 AAA batteries. Recommended lithium.
- Housing: Waterproof to 180 feet.
- Size: 1.6” x 2.4” x 1.2”
Surf Hero- The Good
- You can take pictures and video while surfing! I know, this sounds stupid as one of the "good" features, but really! Helmet cams have been around for a while now, but GoPro ventured into the water with the Surf Hero, and it's awesome. Now, you can show your friends videos and pictures of all the sweet waves you rocked, instead of just talking about 'em.
- Excellent picture and sound quality considering the size of the camera! Check out some of the pictures I've loaded- all were taken with the Surf Hero.
- Super lightweight! Despite mounting it to my wrist, I hardly ever noticed it when I was paddling out. With housing, the Surf Hero weighs about 6 oz.
- Photo modes: When you've got the Surf Hero in Picture mode, you have a choice of single shot mode, triple shot mode, self timer mode, or auto shoot mode, which will take pictures every 2/5/10/30/60 seconds, depending on how you set it. Awesome for getting pictures of a whole ride in! You don't have to stop and snap, it does it for you.
Surf Hero- The Bad
- Buttons- with gloves on, it's hard to manipulate the "shoot" and "select" buttons for choosing which mode, and then taking pictures.
- After reading the manual, and playing around with the camera for a bit, I still had a fair amount of trouble selecting the correct mode. I would end up with continuous pictures shooting when I wanted video, video when I wanted self timer, etc. While I'm sure that this would ease with more use, the overall initial user friendliness was a little dissapointing.
- Wrist mount- awesome for when you want the camera to go with you, not your board. However, the wrist mount clearly wasn't made for people with smaller arms. I had to rig my own duct tape deal to make sure it stayed on, because even secured at the smallest setting, it was too big for my wrist.
- Battery life: even with the lithium batteries, I was getting about 2 hours of use before having to change the batteries.
- If you're used to immediate feedback when taking digital pictures, don't expect that from the Surf Hero. To keep it light and small, there is no playback LCD screen on the camera. You just have to wait til you upload those pictures and be surprised!
Surf Hero- Bottom LineI was impressed! Despite some technical difficulties, I was stoked to have my Surf Hero with me. I got some beautiful pictures, and I know that as I get more familiar with how to operate it, I'll get even more. It's already packed in my "Surf Box," along with my wetsuit and board wax, ready for my next surfing adventure.
Buy NowCheck out the Surf Hero Cameras or other Go Pro Cameras through our vendors!... Read more...
After my summer trip to Costa Rica, I discovered that I enjoyed surfing so much that I had to get back for more! I planned a trip out to the pacific northwest in October, bought myself a wetsuit, and then began counting down the days til I could be back in the water! After packing 2 people, 1 dog, 2 surf boards, 15 days worth of clothes and food and 2 iPods worth of music into my Tacoma, we were ready to go. We drove out to Oregon to surf the coast down there first, and had an incredibly lucky weather window! In the days that we surfed there, we had 3 BEAUTIFUL days with no rain, warm temps and calm skies. Pretty unheard of on the Oregon coast this time of year. Each morning, I brewed myself a cup of coffee with my JetBoil Flash and Coffee Press attachment, grabbed my surfboard, spent 20 minutes wriggling myself into my damp wetsuit (a skill I have yet to master) and headed out for the morning session. The days were spent alternating surfing and running on the beach playing with the dog. When each evening rolled around, we packed up the boards and the dog, and would find a sweet spot to cook dinner out of the back of the Tacoma, enjoy some Two Buck Chuck (Another great stop along our trip- Trader Joes!), and watch the sunset. Next morning? Wake up, roll out of bed (not so much roll out of bed as it was "squeeze out of the back of the truck from the top of the built-in bed which leaves you a maximum of 2 inches of head clearance"), repeat! Rough life, I know. After getting in some great days surfing, the weather and the swell finally took a turn for the worse, and our surfing days were finished for the trip. We decided to head up the coast, following the 101 all the way up to Neah Bay, and then around towards Seattle. The majority of this terrain is a part of Olympic National Park, which boasts more rainforests than I ever thought I'd see in my life! I spent some time exploring secluded beaches, hiking to see huge Cedar trees, and visiting some amazing hot springs. Eventually, time started running short, so we swung through Seattle for a few days, and then began our drive back to Salt Lake, with a small pit stop in Couer D'Alene and another in Montana. Throughout my trip, I had the opportunity to test out of a lot of sweet gear, including the Flophouse Foam Pad, Hovercraft Frisbee and Bivvy Bowl for Baker (my goofball dog, for those of you who don't know), the new JetBoil Flash, and a GoPro Camera (which came into the water surfing with me several times!). Be sure to check out all my reviews to see how each item performed in the seemingly never-ending rain and the sand! Check out all the cool pics as well!...Read more...
Two weeks from now, endurance athletes Greg Kolodziejzyk of Calgary, AB and Jordan Hanssen of Seattle, WA will attempt a nautical circumnavigation of Vancouver Island, piloting the custom-designed, pedal-powered boat Within on its first long-distance ocean voyage. Greg and Jordan will launch Within on Friday, Oct. 30 from Comox, BC and travel clockwise around the Island. If successful, this voyage will mark the first-ever circumnavigation of the Island in a pedal-powered boat. The journey is expected to take approximately two weeks to three weeks, depending on weather and ocean conditions. British kayaker Sean Morley holds the current record for a human-powered trip around the island, completing a counter-clockwise paddling trip in 17 days, 4 hours, and 49 minutes in September 2008. Greg has previously set 2 human-powered records (land and water) for the longest distance traveled in 24 hours. Hanssen was captain of the American team who won the trans-Atlantic Ocean Fours rowing race in 2006 and has also cycled coast-to-coast in Australia - from Perth to Sydney. Kolodziejzyk's reason for this arduous journey isn't about entering the record books however.
"My objective is to demonstrate the amazing things a human being can do under his or her own power. I hope to motivate and inspire more people to explore their own human-powered potential. It's good for the environment, it's essential for our health, and sends the right message regarding physical activity to our children."Hanssen says they'll be expecting the unexpected,
"I think Vancouver Island is a complex coastline with complex water. I feel confident, but there are definitely a lot of things we will learn. As I was once told by a veteran sailor, it's all about how you recover from your first big mistake!"The Vancouver Island circumnavigation is the duo's first chance to put the boat to the test in ocean conditions and an opportunity to prepare for an even more ambitious journey, called Pedal The Ocean. Kolodziejzyk is preparing for a solo Pacific crossing from Victoria to Hawaii, currently planned for June 2010. Calgary Press Conference - Wednesday, Oct. 21, Glenmore Reservoir, 12pm Circumnavigation Departure Date - Friday, Oct. 30th, Comox, BC. Time: TBA More Info: Visit PedalTheOcean.com... Read more...
Recently, I took some time off from school and spent about 3 weeks in Costa Rica. My goal was to see some volcanoes, see some rain forests, and to try surfing. Surfing happened to be the 1st stop on my list, and somehow, my "Travel around-see the whole country-experience all of Costa Rica" trip turned into a 3 week surf trip! Each day I was out in the waves I was wearing my Patagonia Women's Short Sleeve Rash Guard. Never having surfed before, I wasn't sure what the actual function of a rash guard was. I just figured it was part of the "look," and had seen one on sale before I left the country, so I grabbed it, and figured I'd give it a try. I knew nothing about surfing, had never been before, and was unaware of how stoked I would later be on purchasing this piece of gear. After a few days of surfing, I discovered one of the many benefits of the Patagonia Short Sleeve rash guard- it comes with a UPF rating of 30+, so it keeps you from getting burned! Needless to say, I had a sweet tan line rockin' after this trip from the rash guard. Also, the rash guard kept wax off my stomach (from the board as I was paddling out), and saved my armpits from getting rubbed raw, also from the paddling. On top of all these features, however, was the most functional reason for purchasing a rash guard if you're a female- stable front side coverage. I made the mistake of simply wearing my swimsuit top out to surf one day, thinking that I'd eliminate some of the aforementioned tan line. Within catching the first couple of waves, I was cowering underwater, frantically trying to pull my swimsuit top back down, and hoping that I hadn't offended any of the locals... The pummeling I was getting by the waves each day was enough to rip my swimsuit top right up! I promptly turned around, walked back to my hostel, and tossed my rash guard back on. It stayed down, and my accidental flashing days were over! Not something I would have initially thought about when purchasing the Rash Guard, but definitely the best reason to purchase one.
Patagonia Women's Short Sleeve Rash Guard
- UPF 30 for sun protection
- Slimmer neckband doesn't feel like it's choking you the entire session
- Seamless underarms and shoulders ensure chafe-free paddling
- Colors designed to match Patagonia's swimsuit line, so you can be super stylin' as you catch that wave.
Pretty interesting concept actually... I can see buying a pair of boardshorts, but a bikini might be a stretch (ladies are pretty particular on fit). Maybe they will have a bunch of sample shorts and bikini's strapped to the side of the machine for everyone to try on? That might be interesting. And, for those of you dying for a one-stop-shop, you can buy a Twix, a bag of Dorito's, a Diet Coke and a string bikini all at the same time (that's a joke... you really can't, but you do get a nifty map showing the nearest Starbucks). Here's the skinny: Quiksilver reached an agreement to sell co-branded, board shorts and bikinis available pool side in automated dispensing machines at Standard Hotels, which has locations are in downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, New York, and Spa Miami. The product dispensing machines will be set up and managed by AVT, Inc., formerly Automated Vending Technologies. Each design has a "Quik City Guide" on the inside waistband, with addresses of local places of interest. The vending machines will also dispense zines and $10 works of art from local artists. Four men's retro-inspired men's styles will be available as well as a classic black string bikini for the ladies.
"AVT has been so successful in introducing the automated retailing concept that almost half of our sales are now product dispensing solutions, which are PC-enabled just like these Quiksilver/The Standard models," said James Winsor, AVT CEO.Buy Now: Search for Quiksilver Products... Read more...
Lightning Bolt, the iconic surf-inspired apparel brand recently re-launched in the United States, has quickly become a hot commodity to surf shops and boutiques alike. With the launch of its website and solid support from on-the-pulse retailers, the brand is rapidly catching fire.
“With the recent sluggish economy, it seems that the entire fashion community has been waiting for something different and fresh to show up - they’ve found that this summer in Lightning Bolt,” says Jonathan Paskowitz, president of Lightning Bolt, USA. “The collection was created with quality as a priority and with a straight-up classic, vintage vibe giving consumers a feeling of nostalgic satisfaction while shopping. Although the brand is known primarily as a surf brand, it is such a fashion-forward collection, that many high-end fashion boutiques have been placing just as many orders.”Consumers will be able to find their favorite Lightning Bolt pieces from coast to coast at a variety of boutiques and surf shops including: Planet Blue, Premier Shops, Val Surf, West Coast Surf Shop, LABL, Alpha, The Sea Barn, Wet Sand, IAN, Pancho’s Surf Shop and Los Angeles Sports Club. For those not able to peruse these shops, Lightning Bolt product can also be easily found on the web at the leading, trend-focused online retailer, www.revolveclothing.com. Lightning Bolt has also kicked off the summer by launching a sophisticated and engaging website. The site features the current collection; the legend of the Bolt; nostalgia photos of the original Bolt team; and information on its present team, which consists of inspirational young riders who are a part of a new generation that surfs with a mix of old-school ethos and grace and modern skill. Fans and friends are able to catch behind-the-scenes video footage of the voyages of Lightning Bolt’s motley surf crew by tuning into “Bolt TV,” also featured on the website. Finally, browsers are directed to all of the company’s social media forums, including: its twitter account, Facebook page and MySpace page. Stay tuned to the website www.lightningbolt-usa.com to see where Lightning Bolt will pop up next - whether the team is ripping and grilling out at your local surf spot, or the killer new boardshorts that could show up any day in that kitschy little boutique nearby. About Lightning Bolt Lightning Bolt, originally founded in Hawaii in 1972 by Gerry Lopez and Jack Shipley, is a collection of men’s and women’s apparel inspired by both original and modern concepts of the world of surf and skateboarding. Lightning Bolt’s fashionable and functional collection offers various styles created by a young and experienced team of designers who are inspired by the true spirit of soul surfing and its riders’ lifestyle. Portuguese textile group, TMG-SA, and surf industry veteran, Jonathan Paskowitz, have partnered to re-establish Lightning Bolt in the United States. Lightning Bolt, “A Pure Source.” For further information, please visit www.lightningbolt-usa.com.... Read more...
Freestyle, the original action sports watch manufacturer, announces today its co-sponsorship of the 4th Annual Vans Pier Classic presented by Jack’s Surfboards, taking place March 25th-29th at the Huntington Beach Pier in Huntington Beach, Calif. In addition to its interactive booth onsite during the event, Freestyle has created an in-store promotion at all Jack’s Surfboard locations during the duration of the event.
"As two iconic brands, it was a no-brainer for Freestyle to team up with Vans and Jacks Surfboards," said Freestyle Marketing Director Chad LaBass. "With a long list of talented surfers and one of the most famous surf breaks in the world, the Pier Classic will undoubtedly be a success!"The Vans Pier Classic serves as the second stop of the ASP North American Tour and kicks off the ASP North American Pro Junior Series, featuring both Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) and ASP Pro Junior events. The five days of competition, starting this Wednesday, includes the Vans Pro (Men’s WQS 2-star) and the Ezekiel Pro Junior (Men’s Grade 2 Pro Junior). During the week long event, Freestyle is offering an in-store promotion at Jack’s, where with the purchase of a Freestyle watch shoppers will receive a free "Rock Out With Your Clock Out" t-shirt (while supplies last). Among the 230 surfers confirmed to compete, Freestyle team riders Victor Done, Michael Dunphy, Gabe Garcia, Ted Navarro, Adam Virs and Nat Young will make their attempts to dethrone reigning Vans Pro champion and Huntington Beach local, Shaun Ward and hold off Ventura’s Cory Arrambide, the current ASP North America Pro Junior Champion in the Ezekiel Junior Pro. More Info: Visit Vans.com... Read more...
Ok, so I know it's not exactly swimsuit season. I understand we are moments away from ski season. Recently I stayed with a friend at an apartment complex with a hot tub, and was reminded of how much I love my Patagonia Clare Bidart Racer Swimsuit. Perhaps I'm partial to the name, too... I love the racerback design of this suit. Personally, I'm not a "lay out at the beach in the sand" kinda gal. If I'm out in a swimsuit, I'm doing something active, like body surfing or swimming. This suit offers a great compromise between fashion and function (this appears to be a theme in things I review!). Both the top and bottom offer great coverage, so you can be active in them without worrying about exposing yourself to the world as you dive headfirst into the waves! The top follows the same trend that most of Patagonia's bras do- great support for small to mid sizes, but definitely not recommended for fuller chested women. Check it out! Patagonia Clare Bidart Racer Swimsuit!...Read more...
DAKINE is supporting Project Blue for 2009 with a couple of recycled and eco-friendly surf packs. The men's Recon and women's Oceana packs are a perfect way to haul around your surf gear while supporting sustainable products and efforts to preserve the world's oceans waves and beaches. On sale in January 2009, these Project Blue surf packs are dialed with some great features. Construction of the packs consists of 100% Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. All buckles come from 100% recycled materials and non-toxic Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) is used as the waterproof fabric backing. Wow... that's a mouthful! Not only are these backpacks waterproof, but they are environmentally-friendly in their design and highly functional for a day at the beach to boot! As mentioned above, $2 from the sale of every Project Blue backpack will be donated to the Surfrider Foundation. Features of the Project Blue Oceana and Recon Backpacks
- Seam-sealed wetsuit pocket
- Insulated cooler pocket
- Organizer pocket
- Use of recycled fabric throughout
- MSRP: Oceana - $75 / Recon - $70
- Learn more at www.DaKine.com
Hands down the hottest brand collection of the year, project BLUE features signature apparel accessory items by such brands as Reef, Billabong, Nixon, O'Neill, DAKINE and Electric. Each project BLUE product not only features exclusive colors and designs, $2 from every item goes back to support the Surfrider Foundation and their efforts to protect and preserve our world's oceans, waves and beaches. It's not a charity. It's a plan of action. www.betruetoblue.com.... Read more...