There’s no easier way to cool down on a hot summer day than an adventure at the local lake or river, and no better way to enjoy said body of water than a kayak. A good one will help you ditch the crowds and find the perfect hidden spot for some summer fun –- all while traveling the water less paddled. Don’t know the difference between a whitewater creek boat and an ocean kayak? We’ve got you covered with some great kayaks for summer adventure.
You've got twelve weeks. Get busy!
We love winter and all it brings: fires, warm sweaters, skiing and flasks of Scotch. But come June, we’re ready to bust out and undertake some adventures that can only be done in the warmer months. Memorial Day is traditionally when bikes and boats and boots get dusted off and you hit the ground running until the Labor Day slow down. This summer, why not go a little further and tackle something truly epic? We’re here to help with five great summer-only adventures. There are only twelve weeks of summer, so get planning.
Meet the concept cars of the sneaker world
Nike has been a dominant force in basketball for years, equipping some of the game’s biggest stars with footwear both on and off the court. Recently, we had the chance to sit down with Nike Basketball Design Director, Leo Chang, to discuss the second generation of the Elite Series, a limited collection of kicks designed for Nike’s premier athletes just in the time for playoff season. Given the stakes, the series which originally launched last year, provides a unique opportunity for Leo and his team to push what’s possible. It’s about designing the best for the best, when limitations have left the building.
Smartphones have made typical point-and-shoots about as useful as Ryan Lochte in a public speaking class. But until our favorite thigh weights gain a thicker skin, there will always be space for tougher rigs designed to take a licking and keep on clicking. Toss one of these rugged cameras into your bag before your next big adventure, and maybe you’ll finally capture some evidence to go along with that hell of a yarn.
Zero Drop, Zero Limits
The vernacular of the running shoe industry has morphed in recent years. While we were out pounding pavement and burning trails, the polo-clad retailer who spoke of under- and overpronation (often interchangeably) has been replaced by a more sophisticated runner who uses terms like “minimalist”, “zero-drop” and “windlass effect”. New slang is good, but it can be confusing — and it doesn’t necessarily bring us closer to understanding what makes the perfect running shoe. To get a better grasp on what goes into running shoes today we spoke with Golden Harper, founder of Altra Zero Drop Footwear.
An inside look at the insider's home of horse racing
Kentucky is the undisputed mecca of the thoroughbred industry in the U.S., both for breeding and racing. Each year since 1875 this truth has been reaffirmed on the first Saturday in May, when sport’s brightest spotlight turns toward Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby. Its reputation as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” is well-deserved. The same goes for the race’s record attendance numbers, which eclipse both the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. But those who follow the sport beyond the Julep-fueled weekend of seersuckers and sundresses know that much of the prestigious race’s success is owed to another place a mere 80 miles east.
Detroit is trashed worse than Ke$ha on a Tuesday morning. Everybody knows it, and that’s why we love that the city’s in the hunt to host the X Games for the next three years. If you’re going to have a rundown slum of wasted buildings, why not use said buildings as dramatic backdrop for awesome 360s and Fakie kick flips?
The Right Boards For Any Mountain
It seems that you can’t walk through a ski resort parking lot without seeing a few new brands of skis and boards being toted around. Some of these new styles are grounded in real testing and evaluation, while others miss the mark in favor of design flashiness, but how to tell? Our intrepid ski testers put quite a few sticks to the test this season to make sure you’ve got the best ski out there. Whether you’re searching for a burly, rockered pow slasher for your upcoming Alaska trip, or you’re on the prowl for the perfect park-rat set up to impress the ladies with your mute-540s in the half-pipe, the end of the season is often the best time for great deals. We’ve got the skis you should be after right here.
Mr Hasemeyer tests gear, tries not to die
Scrambled eggs, Canadian bacon, homestyle potatoes, a bowl of oatmeal and two cups of coffee: when preparing to take on Squaw Valley with Chris Davenport, simply a two-time World Champion skier who recently scaled and skied Mt. Everest, one must fuel up. So I did.
Sitting on 3,600 acres northwest of Lake Tahoe near the California and Nevada border, Squaw Valley offers skiers the chance to take on wide open runs (groomed and not) of greens, blues and blacks, most of which are clean of trees (death sticks), allowing the average skier to be more daring with less severe consequences. This range in terrain, altitude and weather presented the perfect setting to test my new gear — a Bern helmet, Gordini gloves, and Obermeyer jacket and pants — while being guided by this veteran pro.
Bike Geek Spoken Here
The annual traveling circus known as the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) is the high point of the year for the arcane world of custom crafted bikes. I connected with the 2013 edition of the show in Denver a few weeks ago, and I was damn lucky to have my bike-geek daughter along as an interpreter.
Skis for the Snowbound Connoisseur
When picking out a new pair of skis, most of us don’t think to ask about core materials, side cut or vibration dampening — in fact, even knowledgeable ski bums probably don’t have more than a general understanding of these topics. Fortunately for you, the designers at Park City, UT-based RAMP Sports live and breathe ski engineering and manufacturing. It doesn’t take long after stepping on to their small manufacturing floor to see that building handmade skis is both a passion and a way of life for this small collective of diehards.
Drink coffee, go really fast
Coffee and cycling go together like beer and brats. It may be because the local coffee shop is the ideal spot to hook up with your buddies for a ride, or because you want to get a quick jolt so you can drop them at the county line sprint. But the simplest explanation lies in the data, which strongly suggest that caffeine improves performance for endurance athletes — cyclists, triathletes, runners, you name it.
Now you're ready for some Football
The Nike Vapor Laser Talon was designed from the start to shave time off a critical combine metric — the 40-yard dash. Given that goal, Mr. Golden Shoes himself (a.k.a. Michael Johnson) was brought in as a consultant on the project and emphasized the importance of the “Zero Step” in determining an athlete’s propulsion and acceleration.
Rack 'em up
Indoor bike racks come in all shapes and sizes, most of them trending toward “modern chic” or “classic natural”. Some just look like ugly contemporary sculptures. The Make 001 Bike Rack ($180), first product of fledgling design group Make, combines the best of both worlds with an unpresumptuous shape and clean design.
No cubes in this icebox
Guys like to climb stuff — trees, corporate ladders and, of course, icy mountains. The scarier, the better. The Black Diamond Ice Box ($80) is a great solution for storing lots of pointy gear that needs to be handy at a moment’s notice. The box holds four tools, a pair of crampons (stop giggling, dammit)…
Sick paddlin, brah
Northeast dwellers currently whimpering through this nasty cold snap may take solace in dreams of Three Brothers Paddle Boards ($1,200+). How can anyone not feel warm and fuzzy while imagining a calming upright cruise through warm coastal waters? Based out of Daytona Beach, Florida, Three Brothers hand shapes some of the best paddle boards —…
Know the course like the back of your hand
Golfers looking to escape the winter weather and start working on gloved tan lines will be all too happy to let the Garmin Approach S2 Golf Watch ($250) remove a stripe of sun from their arms and a few strokes from their scorecards. Much like the S3 Approach, the S2 comes preloaded with maps to…
Much like the carpenter, a skier is often no better than his equipment. Fit matters, weight matters and material matters, which is why freeride pros Eric Hjorleifson and Fredrik Andersson combined their decades of ski experience as inspiration for the Dynafit Beast 16 Binding. Available only in a limited run of 2,500, these bindings employ…
Get off the pipe
Leaving first tracks through three feet of fresh stuff on an uncharted backcountry run can be a spiritual experience — especially for snowboarders struggling to get off the pipe. It’s tough to be sure, as most lift tickets lead away from the Promised Land and deliver only crunchy corduroy runways back to the beast. To help powder seekers find salvation, Austrian manufacturer Splitsticks (~$1,800) has developed a complete splitboard package that conquers the mountain.
I ain't afraid of no snow
Winter is the time of year when we reflect on those epic single track rides that cleanse the soul and remind us why we ride in the first place. But it’s also a season to remember that while you’re sitting on the couch with your rig hanging on a stand your fitness is disappearing faster than the sun. Let’s not let that happen. There’s no need to hang up the bike when it gets cold.
Now we're really piste off
With record storms dumping fresh powder in the Rockies and Pacific Northwest, we couldn’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year than celebrating with a trip to the nearest ski hill. What fun would a resort trip be without ducking under the safety ropes to sneak a few turns in the untouched backcountry? With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of gear that will be equally useful bombing through 20 inches of fresh powder and charging lines of freshly groomed corduroy snow inbounds.
Light on your feet, heavy on technology
The adizero Tour ($180) is the latest adidas shoe to integrate the company’s ultra-lightweight adizero technology already found in everything from running shoes to soccer cleats to basketball shoes. As a result, the new model weighs in at mere 10.6 ounces when using the included Cloudfoam insole — making it 38% lighter than the already…
50 mph on a skateboard, brah
If what you know about skateboarding is huge verts, Vans shoes, or longboarders on college campuses, then the Loaded Boards Chubby Unicorn deck ($360) and the whole downhill/freeride movement will blow your mind. Somewhere between snowboarding and street luging, this fun activity involves crazy talented and insanely balanced (maybe not mentally) human beings flying down streets at 50 mph, pre-drifting into turns and emasculating “play it safe” onlookers the whole way.
Never stop riding
There’s a reason the term “cold feet” is synonymous with apprehension and doubt in our vernacular. It’s a miserable physical experience that will drive even the most dedicated to question moving forward.
12 gifts for the adventure seeker
He shows up at Christmas dinner with new scars and less digits from his latest cage dives and winter Alpine ascents. His tales, most of them true, scare Aunt Betty to tears and enchant the kids. And while the adventurer’s gifts for you usually amount to a carved tribal trinket or a rock from a…
Music and snow sports go together like Rick Ross and cheese covered honeybuns, but squeezing your favorite cans inside a helmet is rarely a formula for comfort. The POC Receptor BUG Communication Helmet (~$330) skirts this dilemma by integrating Beats by Dr. Dre headphones into the helmet neck roll, which combines bass-heavy tunes with a…
A wicked curveball
You may have never been beaned by one in the stands, but that doesn’t mean a cool baseball is out of reach. Bergino Handmade Baseballs ($20) combine your love of the sport with whatever else it is you’re into. Hippie who loves catching pop flies? Tie-dye peace ball. Crossword nut who always nails clues about…
12 gift ideas for the fitness obsessed
The fitness fanatic is the man that puts in a quick 5K before the rest of us have even tossed the beans in the burr grinder. His body fat is measured in fractions, and biceps in feet. His dinner conversations involve things like basal metabolic rate; his pecs flex, noticeably, when he passes the pepper….
Make the best runs yours
One of our many joys in life is taking the yearly hajj to our nearest ski Mecca. Days of fresh powder, nights of warm (or warming) beverages and dreamy broken-bone memories make this annual pilgrimage worthwhile. Luckily, even after the snow melts, there’s Lifts and Bounds Ski Run Art ($165) to add a dash of wall…