Sports

Storming the East Coast's best surf town

48 Hours of Sun and Swell in Montauk

When we invited Forest Woodward, one of our favorite photographers, to Montauk for the weekend, we had no idea we’d be graced with the best waves we’ve seen in years.

CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race

30 Minutes With: Knut Frostad

How do you popularize an obscure sporting event that runs through the remotest oceans for three quarters of a year? That is Knut Frostad’s task as CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, a round-the-world yachting competition that takes place every two years. We sat down with Frostad in Newport, Rhode Island, which will serve as a stopover in the upcoming race, to discuss its global appeal.

Taking the Long Way 'Round

Photo Essay: Sailing with Team Alvimedica of the Volvo Ocean Race

Unlike the America’s Cup, which is all about speed over a short distance, the Volvo Ocean Race is a challenge of endurance. In this year’s running of the race, starting in October in Alicante, Spain, crews of eight sailors will race around the globe in stages lasting up to four weeks at a time, stopping in various ports such as Capetown, Auckland and Newport along the way. We set sail with Team Alvimedica as they trained out of their home port of Newport, Rhode Island.

From World Cup Ashes

The Rise of the European Soccer Fan in America

The United States Men’s National Soccer Team (#USMNT) was knocked out of the World Cup by Belgium in the Round of 16, but you already know this. You watched it. More people streamed the U.S.'s third World Cup match versus Germany -- which kicked off on a Wednesday afternoon -- than this year's Super Bowl. Their previous game versus Portugal was the most watched U.S. soccer game ever. Basically, if your television wasn't showing footy, you were either kidnapped or not a sports fan. But here’s the deal: the World Cup is an aberration. Soccer fans aren’t privileged to such an event every other month. It’s every fours years. After the final on July 13, players will travel back to their respective clubs (a “club” refers to a team and its organization), but what’ll we -- the masses of newly converted football fans, spoiled by perpetual matches -- do? Do we fall back under the veil of American ignorance, pretending it's a second-tier sport? No. Watch the MLS? Not just yet. Instead, we'll follow the world’s best players back to Europe. Here are the basics, and how to watch.

One Breath, One Dive

Learning to Freedive with One of the World’s Best

Most of the people who come to Bonaire are SCUBA divers, hauling heavy bags of gear -- buoyancy vests and regulators. But on this visit, I decided to try something different: freediving. No tanks, just a breath of air. I wanted to experience the transcendent silence and freedom freedivers talk about. The best man to learn from is in Bonaire, and I was about to get a one-on-one lesson from him.

My Soccer Ball is Smarter Than Your Honor Student

Tested: Adidas miCoach Smart Ball

Kick the Adidas miCoach Smart Ball and your phone will record its speed, spin, point of impact and trajectory. It's amazingly fun, but is it worth $299? We tested it to find out.

Shades of Tennis's Most Unique Tournament

Photo Essay: French Red

The French have two Brits to thank for their beloved red playing surface, which today lives on in small training centers on the outskirts of Paris, tournaments for the rising stars of the sport, and one of professional tennis’s oldest events. We were on hand during the week of the French Open to capture all the nuance of the storied surface.

Bikes versus Bars

Want This, Get This: Cervélo P2 or Redshift Switch Aero System

Most people will attempt their first triathlon on a road bike before investing in a triathlon-specific rig; it's only at full Ironman races that the transition racks are filled with superbikes. But instead of a triathlon bike, riders can get some of the benefits they afford by outfitting their road bikes with clip-on aero bars. In this Want This, Get This, we look at the advantages of going whole hog with entry-level Cervélo triathlon bike versus spending less on the relatively new Switch Aero System by Redshift.

Stop Being an Asshole About Soccer

What To Watch: The 2014 World Cup Primer

The FIFA World Cup begins tomorrow. Before you shrug off soccer as boring and then promptly nap in front of an MLB game, consider this: by FIFA’s own humble estimation, 909.6 million television viewers watched at least part of the 2010 World Cup Final. For perspective, America’s most-watched television event in history was this year’s Super Bowl, with 111.5 million viewers. And you don’t need to follow the MLS or Premier League to get your Cup on -- everything you need to know is in this short primer. If you want to know more, we linked out to further reading at the bottom, including the nitty gritty of political turmoil, a breakdown of every team and the history behind the World Cup trophy. But for now, let’s get basic.

Blue Collar Biking

Map: America’s Best Gravel Races

Not counting inflatable helmets and leather wine carriers, gravel grinders are the coolest new thing in cycling. These are 10 of the best in America.

Rides for the latest off-road discipline

Five Bikes Built for Gravel Racing

In the last few years, bike makers have introduced gravel-specific models that have the toughness of a mountain bike, the geometry of a road bike and the clearance for big tires.

Be handy, man

The Basics of Bike Maintenance

In this how-to we review the basics of bike maintenance: how to fix a flat, how to adjust shifting and how to clean your bike chain.

Take the back road to paradise

Building the Perfect Gravel Grinder

Gravel racing has a spirit of adventure and the chip-on-the-shoulder toughness of a Leadville ultra. Here's the specialized bike gear you'll need to ride a gravel grinder.

Because It's the Cup

What to Watch: 2014 Stanley Cup Finals

The final series in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs begins tonight (June 4), and it'll be a shame if it doesn't result in a whole new crop of hockey fans. Here's why you should be watching.

Coastal Essentials

Kit: Free-Diving the Mediterranean

Whether you're heading to the Mediterranean coast in real life or just your daydreams, this kit of casual clothes and accoutrements will keep you both cool and looking cool.

Our Favorite Hard Tops

Best Bicycling Helmets for Every Rider

The tricky thing about an aging helmet is you never know when it's time to replace it, and you definitely don't want to be too late. If you're in the market, there are many good options this year, equipped with new materials, new technology and new innovations in aerodynamics. These are five of the best.

The Party Circuit for Cyclists

100 Miles in Style: Best Gran Fondos

The best gran fondos recall 100 years of Italian cycling tradition with routes that trace the most famous mountain passes and historic races in cycling history. And then there's the hallmark of each event: the post-ride celebration, with plentiful food and wine. These five from around the world are the most worthy of your bucket list.

bat dogs, biscuits, and $3 beers...sign us up

Minor League Baseball: The King of Summer Sports

If you’re looking for something to do on a Friday night this summer, put down the craft cocktails and go take in the American Pastime at its absolute best.

Have Fins, Will Travel

Three Diving Adventures to Plan Today

Swimming with Caribbean reef sharks in the Bahamas, exploring the Northern Hemisphere’s largest barrier reef, or crossing the thermocline boundary to explore ghostly WWII wrecks in Papua New Guinea might sound daunting, but whether you have three days or two weeks, there's time enough for one of these adventures.

Watching Pedalers and Panoramas from a support car

GP Short: 2014 Tour of California

We took our espresso stateside this year, catching the Giro d'Italia on television and showing up in person for the 2014 Tour of California, where we shot this video while riding along in a support car.

Work Hard AND Smart

Rewind: (Fitness) Knowledge is Power

In sports and fitness, training plans and pounding the pavement can take you a long way. But sometimes it takes more than a blue collar work ethic: it helps to have bits of wisdom from seasoned vets, deep scientific insight and cleverly-designed products. Since kicking off Limits, we've scraped together knowledge about everything from the effect of caffeine on endurance to importance of VO2 max testing. We still fall down at stoplights occasionally, no amount of wisdom can prevent that. Here's what we've learned.

A Beautiful Grind on Ancient Rocks

Photo Essay: Running the Grand Canyon

Going “Rim to Rim to Rim” is a double-crossing of the Grand Canyon, covering 42.4 miles and 22,000 feet of vertical, and it’s a rite of passage for ultra runners. GP contributor Ben Clark reports on his epic there-and-back-again run.

Embrace your baggage

10 Best Daypacks for Every Adventure

While the lifetime warrantee on your North Face pack from grammar school is meant to be honored, there’s something to be said for retiring before things unravel. Today’s daypacks will haul your climbing gear or your laptop over mountains and through airports. These are our favorites.

Chasing Sun in the Southwest

Photo Essay: Running the Zion Traverse

Mountaineer and ultra runner Ben Clark shares photos from his single-day run across Zion National Park, also known as the Zion Traverse.

Now Hiring: Performance Coach

Breakdown: Wilson Smart Basketball

We break down a basketball designed by Wilson and SportIQ, which knows whether your last shot was a miss or a make and provides an in-app map of your game, showing you exactly what part of your game needs the most work.

Salomon's Running TV on the Western States 100

The Original

Salomon's Running TV reaches back to the history of the 20th Annual Western States 100 in "The Original". The year was 1974, and the Western States (also known as The Tevis Cup) was a 100-mile endurance horse ride in Placer County, CA. Colfax-native Gordy Ainsleigh had been competing for several years. "When my horse went lame in '73, [race organizer] Drucilla invited me to do it the next year on foot", he says. "I said, 'well maybe', and I was thinking: I'll have a better horse by then. I didn't get around to it, so in '74, as the spring rolled on, I ran."

Bottles that chill, filter and fold

Water Bottles for Every Activity

Choosing a water bottle is like buying bar soap: you can penny-pinch and get a three-pack of Dial for two bones, or you can upgrade to Dr. Bronner's and enjoy the marginal benefit of bathing in citrus oils every morning like a refined gentleman. Your old Nalgene Silo? Dial. Fortunately, the options for an upgrade are abundant, ranging from straightforward bottles for the gym to handheld bottles for marathon runners to double-walled glass vessels that could double as flower vases.

May God have mercy on your quads

Photo Essay: The Jerusalem Marathon

Every religion has its pilgrimages, many of them to Jerusalem. Christians visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Muslims, the Dome of the Rock. Jews pray at the Western Wall. Running, while not an official religion, is nevertheless a sport of the pious, and its acolytes meet once a year at the Jerusalem Marathon. We were on hand at this year’s race to take in the struggle and the glory of the scenic 26.2-mile course.

To and From, safely and in style

Kit: Bicycle Commuter

If you're thinking about joining the bike commuter set, you'll need the essentials: bike, helmet, lights, lock and a handsome leather wine bottle carrier. We've got it all in this Kit, plus much more.

Wheels for the working man

5 Best Commuter Bikes

Long gone are the days when the commuter bike was an old-school mountain bike with a potpourri of parts and a rear wheel that was only roughly true. A rise in people looking to build fitness, lower their carbon footprint or simply have fun while getting around has created a big market for commuter bikes. Here are some of our favorites for 2014.

Kids ride (almost) free

Tested: Weehoo iGo Bicycle Trailer

If you’re looking to introduce your kids to cycling, the Weehoo iGo Pro bicycle trailer ($400) is just the tool for the job. We got our hands on one and put it to the test with a five-year-old and a 15-month-old in tow.

Warm, Dry, and Comfortable...that's far from base

Second Skin: 5 Best Base Layers

Whether you're training for a ski mountaineering race or just sick of shivering on your morning commute, staying warm and dry is objective number one. The base layer you choose to wear while doing battle with the elements can't guarantee success, but it sure as hell can guarantee ruin. But have hope. New synthetic fabrics offer amazing moisture-wicking properties, while merino wool is experiencing a renaissance with temperature regulating properties that are borderline miraculous. We've done the leg work to find the best base layers for every outdoor activity and situation for upcoming winters, falls and springs.

Professional grade

Tested: F-Stop Camera Backpacks

F-Stop is a relative newcomer to the camera bag scene, and its St. Louis headquarters is incongruous with its focus on packs for mountain sports photography. But don’t let that fool you. Their packs show a design maturity that could only stem from experience and a smart use of user feedback. We tested both the light-and-fast Kenti ($249) and the sturdier, larger Satori EXP ($379) in conditions as varied as multi-day hikes in New Zealand and peak bagging in New Hampshire.

Earn Your Turns

Kit: Ski Mountaineering

Ski mountaineering is the ultimate punishment tour in the mountains -- moving uphill with heavy gear through deep snow and ice -- with a perfect payoff when it's time to go down. We spent this winter testing the best winter mountaineering and ski gear on some of the biggest peaks in Utah and Colorado as we trained for the Power of 4 Ski Mountaineering Race. If you're looking to start going further in search of deep powder, look no further for the best extreme-condition gear for any winter climbing mission.

Armoring up for battle with frigid surf

Kit: Winter Surfing

When it comes time to hit the surf and temps are in the 30s rather than the 70s, the right gear is the difference between channeling Bodhi and becoming intimate with the symptoms of hypothermia. While it's admittedly tough to be toasty in water less than half your body's normal temperature, with the right kit you can at least pursue your hobby and live to tell about it. Below are our picks for the gear you'll need for winter surfing.

A caving expedition in Belize

Descending into the Mayan Underworld

We’d been underground for five hours, as deep as 600 feet below the surface of the jungle in a cave the Belizeans call the Mountain Cow Cave. The cavern has been rebranded for tourists as the more picturesque-sounding Crystal Cave, though few tourists make it here. Unlike the more famous and accessible Actun Tunichil Muchnal cave, which sees thousands of visitors per year, Crystal Cave only sees a few hundred, most only peeking into its impressive foyer. I could see why. It was not for the faint of heart.