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Thursday, February 26, 2015

What are SUP Lights? Paddleboard Lights for Night Paddle Adventures

Ready for the next challenge on your paddleboard? How about lighted night paddleboard adventures.  We've got SUP light setups that you can strap onto your SUP and experience twilight or midnight out on the water!

paddleboard lights

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Colorado's Best Mogul Runs for Skiers and Snowboarders

By Mike Ryan

There are not many more satisfying feelings than looking up from the bottom of a run and thinking, “I can’t believe I just did that.” On TV they sometimes warn you “Don’t try this at home.” With these mogul runs it’s more like, “Don’t do these alone.” 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Free Giveaway Contest: Enter to Win a Sportube Ski or Snowboard Case and Boot Bag

If you're looking for some new gear to get your skis, snowboards, and boots from point A to point B (a peak somewhere, hopefully), we've got a giveaway for you to check out.

We're giving away a Sportube Hard Case and a Freerider Boot Bag on March 6.  The Sportube Case can be either a Ski Case or a Snowboard Case, your call!

How do you enter?  Just sign up at this website!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Must-Have Snowboard Maintenance Accessories and Tools

By: Claire Botsy

Walking into a snowboard shop is like Christmas morning to most of us, with new shiny equipment on display and our entire wishlist glimmering amongst the boards, boots and gear. If you’re just starting out it is hard to discern what you need and what just looks good. 

snowboard gear

Monday, February 16, 2015

Advantages to Skiing and Snowboarding Smaller Resorts

Our modern world often leads us to think that bigger is always better. It can be enticing to plan your snowboarding trip for multiple days at a time and at a large resort/mountain, but there are some very good reasons why you may want to check out smaller snowboard areas. From price considerations to distance from home, there are also some very nice smaller places that are worth the day trip. Here are some reasons why you may want to avoid the larger resorts this year.

snowboard scene

(1) Price
Depending on where you stay, a trip to a large resort could set you back a small fortune. If you are able to drive to a smaller ski area for a day pass and get back home a few times during the season this may be enough to influence your decision. Often, a smaller ski area has less overhead and therefore can charge less for everything. From food to a lift ticket, expect it to cost a little less.

(2) Convenience
For a large number of people, the convenience factor is pretty important. If a smaller ski area is close enough that you can head over after work and pick up a pass for the evening, it might be a better option than saving up your vacation days to hit the slopes somewhere further away. Being smaller, these areas often are overlooked by serious snowboarders, but they can be a convenient option for a quick getaway.

(3) The Crowd
With many people heading to larger resorts, there is a good chance you can get to a smaller area when there are less people there and have more of the slopes to yourself. An argument against this may be that at a ridiculously large location there is a larger area to accommodate all the people, but generally the crowds (and staff) at smaller places are pretty accommodating as it is. A lot of people use these spots to try out snowboarding for the first time. Others are weekend warriors or stopping by after work to get a few runs in.

(4) The People
In my own thoughts, visiting a smaller ski/snowboard area is much like visiting a small town. Nothing against the city, but there is a difference in how people treat each other when they are in little towns. Staff, locals, and generally everyone else at a smaller ski area can embody that idea. From impromptu lessons in the terrain park to conversations in the lodge, these interactions can make your trip out seem entirely different. This seems to be an opinion shared elsewhere as well.

Before you pack all your gear into an airline-approved Sportube snowboard case and head cross country for a week on the slopes, see if there is a local joint you can hit within a few hours drive. If you are dead set on travelling further for your snow fun, take an afternoon when you get there and head to something a bit smaller. You just might find that it has the best run, or least crowded views, after all.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

6 Tips to Avoid Ski Lift Lines | Timing is Everything

By Mike Ryan
You could always get up earlier, as if we don’t get up early enough as it is. Of course, if you can ski weekdays you avoid the lines, but we’re not talking to you.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Snowboarding (at Night)

If you’ve never tried it, night snowboarding might either seem like a great idea or a really silly one. While flying down a mountain on a board while you can see clearly is one thing, the darkness limits your visibility and depending on the location this could be (even more) dangerous. Have no fear, though, because if you are prepared and stick within your abilities it can be a very enjoyable experience. Here are a few tips to keep you headed down the slopes after dark.


Friday, February 13, 2015

Ski Weekend Guide to Steamboat Springs

steamboat logoBy: Maya Silver

What if you could ski during the day and then rest your weary bones in a natural hot spring? If that sounds like paradise, a trip to Steamboat Springs might be in order.
Roughly a three-hour drive from Denver, Steamboat Springs is a charming town with a main street alight with wild, wild Western history. In the summer, it's a mecca of hiking and mountain biking. Come winter, it's a powder-magnet offering fantastic tree skiing and family fun on the mountain. Year-round, it's one of the best places to soak in Colorado.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Twilight Biking Guide to Forks and La Push

By Megan Maxwell 

Last year my mother and I went on a long-distance bike ride down the Pacific Coast. As cool as I like to pretend I am, there was one destination that I felt compelled to go to having never been to the Northwest before. That destination was Forks, Washington.

biking in Twilight setting

The Twilight books, set in Forks, gave this small town a national presence, and I must admit it is a beautiful place. The forests are lush and the fog is all-encompassing. I was disappointed not to run into any werewolves while I was there (team Jacob), but it was a memorable experience regardless.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

7 Tips for Dealing with the Wind Skiing and Snowboarding

By: Maya Silver
If you love to ski, you know that not everyday will be a bluebird one. Sometimes, temperatures sink into the teens, single digits, or even negatives. Other times, clouds with silver linings bring heavy snow that means super fun powder but also difficult visibility and tired legs. And then there's my least favorite element of them all: wind.

loveland peak view
view from atop Loveland
Recently, my friend and I arrived at the top of Lift 9 at Loveland--already nervous about the line we were going to take—and robust gusts greeted us from all directions. As I tightened my boots, I wondered how anyone was supposed to ski in wind this strong! We made our way to the top of the run we were planning to take and covered our faces as the wind blew icy snow onto our faces. I noticed a few people bailing, sidestepping up the run, and wondered if we should do the same. Between the steepness of the pitch below, and the swirls of snow blown up by the wind, I couldn't see the run below at all. But rather than bail, we set our focus to making turns and it ended up being the best run of the day.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ski Tourism and the Love-Hate Local-Tourist Relationship

By Claire Botsy

beautiful ski viewIf you have never lived in a ski town you may not be aware of the effect that the ski tourism industry has on the respective area. Packing up the car for a weekend on the slopes may have you excited for getting back on your board, hitting up your favorite pizza joint in town, and staying at your usual abode in the mountains.  All of these ceremonial expenditures, from your lift ticket purchase to your apres ski pint at the pub, affect more than you know. 

Some may be confused why there was strong opposition and support alike by locals in the Reno/Tahoe area when the U.S. did not put a bid in for the 2022 Winter Olympics. To not do so would be denying the area's chance for fame and world-recognition, re-establishing the area as a winter sports mecca that rivals the Alps of Europe and the Andes of South America as well as more business for everyone; and to do so, to bring the Olympics back to where they were held in 1960, in what is known as Olympic Valley, would change the area irreversibly. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Bikers' Guide to the Redwood National Forest | A Redwoods Bike Trip

By Megan Maxwell 

The Redwood trees are the world’s tallest, and they are located in Humbolt County in Northern California. With accessible campgrounds, plenty of amenities, and the ability to customize your trip, the Redwoods are a great destination for a bike tour. Being from the Midwest originally, these were definitely the biggest trees I had ever encountered.  

redwoods bike trip

Sunday, February 8, 2015

GoPro Tips for Snowboarders Part II | Tips on Settings and Shooting Perspectives

large_Hero4Black_StandardHousing_0_OB.jpgBy: Ryan Centioli

It is no secret that action cams, specifically GoPro, have exploded onto the scene at mountains across the country. Everyone has one and you always wonder why their footage looks better than yours does.

You watch videos on YouTube, you try and try again, but your footage keeps coming up worse than you hoped. I’ve been there, and here's what I've learned on some technical tips to improve your footage.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dress for Success on the Mountain | Ski and Snowboard Gear Tips

By: Ryan Centioli

Snowboarding fashion changes quickly; the sweet jacket you bought last year was out of style before this season began, and the theme print pants you bought a few years back haven't seen the light of day since you saw the guy in the lift line wearing the same ones back in '09.

While colors, prints, and styles change year after year there are a few pieces of snow fashion knowledge that will never go out of style:

1. You get what you pay for
2. Quality is equally as important as style
3. Do your research
4. Take care of your gear, it takes care of you

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Surf Etiquette and Handling Wave Snakes

By Rick Bickerstaff

It's the big season here in the South Bay of Los Angeles, and with more surfers than miles of beach, it can get a little crowded out there. My last couple of sessions were riddled with drop-ins and ignored lineups, and so I thought I'd write a little refresher course on surf etiquette and handling those who don't comply.

Not an unusual crowd at Manhattan Beach

  1. Respect the lineup: There is a finely crafted, unspoken system for properly sharing waves, particularly at a point break where there is only one or two spots where the wave even breaks. It is called the lineup. Essentially, when you paddle out to the break, sit in the back of the line. As sets roll through, the surfers at the top of the lineup will catch the waves, and then the line moves forward. After a few sets, you'll be at the top. Catch your wave and it all starts again. Paddling to the top of the lineup right away is disrespectful and can sometimes put you in bad standing with your fellow surfers.
  2. The inside man gets the wave: If two surfers are going for the same wave, whoever is closer to the peak (where the wave is breaking) gets the wave. If you're not on the inside, you better pull out! TIP: When you are paddling into a wave, ALWAYS look both ways before dropping in. A lot of times guys sneak up out of nowhere that have the right of way.
  3. Be friendly: I often encounter surfers who feel the need to be stoic out there on the water (these tend to be the wave hogs too, by the way), and keep to themselves. I totally understand the solitude of surfing, but in a crowd, it's way more fun to chat it up with your fellow riders. This also eases tension that may arise at a crowded lineup.
great illustration by
Without fail, there's always some hot shot who calls waves and drops in on his fellow surfers. Snakers gonna snake, snake, snake, snake, snake.  So what if people don't follow the rules of surf etiquette?
  • Snap their leash (just kidding, but this can be a symptom of localism should you get in the way of the wrong person)
  • Don't stoop to their low: If you are getting up in arms about surfing, you are missing the point. Waves come and go, and that "perfect wave that would have changed your life forever that that punk snaked and now you want to punch his face in" -- it probably wasn't what you thought it was. Enjoy the ride and make some friends along the way. It's not worth it to fight over something that isn't yours in the first place.
  • It's okay to give a gentle reprimand to a guy who dropped in on you. A little, "Hey man, look before you drop in," can go a long way, and won't be ill regarded. A lot of times, guys who consistently break the unspoken rules of surfing will lose the respect of the other surfers at the lineup, so you have support.
  • Know when to be aggressive: Sometimes fighting your way into a wave is okay when everyone is on the same page about how to handle a crowded spot. Plus, it can garner respect, and respect leads to more waves. There is a fine balance here, but if you can learn to feel it out, and show people that you'll catch the waves you paddle for (ie they won't go unridden), you'll be set.

At that particular trouble spot, my friend found that, though he lost waves at the top of the lineup, the other surfers would recognize if you were consistently going for it, and eventually let you have one or two. This discovery, along with a little luck in position, led to a great day for him. If you want to dive deeper, here's a great post on what not to do while surfing, with a little more detail on surf etiquette. Basically, have fun and do your best to make sure others are having fun too. In two words: love and respect.

Monday, February 2, 2015

GoPro Tips for Snowboarders | Part I

It wasn’t that long ago that mounting a camera on a snowboard seemed like a wild idea. Now you can hardly walk through the lodge without seeing these little devices hanging around. GoPro may be the go to camera for most action sports, but there are many options. Once the model started working, finding new and innovative ways to use these seemed like a great idea, but unfortunately many people struggle to get really great video consistently. While there may be a laundry list of reasons why your footage didn’t turn out the way you expected, but here are some ways to get higher quality video from your little camera of choice.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

New Kachina Peak Chairlift at Taos Ski Valley

kachina peak chairlift

A closed ski lift is never a good sign. But in the case of the new Kachina Peak chairlift at Taos Ski Valley, this is something worth celebrating. That’s because the Kachina Peak lift was recently completed in the fall of 2014. And expert skiers and snowboarders eagerly await the right snow conditions to ride up to the highest point of off-piste skiing: the double black diamond run of Kachina Peak (12,450’).