Five Things You May Not Have Known About the Pacific Crest Trail

powder-mountain2-sky-em

  1. In order to finish in four and a half months, hikers must walk 22-25 miles a day (everyday). Much of this walking is endured with blisters on the feet, an aching body and a mind that’s fighting your reasons to finish. A grueling, but incredibly rewarding experience, hiking the entire trail is an incredible gift from Mother Nature.
  2. The Pacific Crest Trail (or PCT), is a 2,263 mile long hiking and equestrian trail running from the US border with Mexico to the US border with Canada. It runs through three states, passes through 25 National Forests and 7 National Parks.
  3. Food is likely the most crucial component of a successful trip. The food must be nutritionally and calorically dense – and also taste good so hikers don’t lose their minds on such an extended journey! There are 30 common food drop off/pick up points along the trail. Food must be mailed or transported ahead of time for pick up along the trail. That’s a lot of preparation and planning!
  4. The speed record for the PCT is held by Scott Williamson who completed a north to south solo mission in 64 days, 11 hours, 19 minutes. That’s an average of 41 miles per day. Scott also completed a “yo yo” circuit – twice. He was the first person to thru-hike the entire PCT both ways in a single continuous round-trip. Who’s ready?
  5. The youngest person to thru-hike the PCT is Sierra Burror, who hiked the trail from April – September 2012 at the age of 9. She completed her hike with her mother, Heather Burror. Talk about childhood stories!

Best Beginner Snowboards

Best Beginner Snowboards

Best Beginner Snowboards

Pair yourself up with the best snowboard for your riding level. It’s crucial for long term success, faster progression and more fun on those first few days of learning to stand sideways. Companies like Burton, Rossignol, K2, Rome, Gnu, Ride and Roxy have devoted extra attention and resources to build snowboards designed for beginners.

So, why makes a snowboard easier for newbies to learn? First off, the edges are forgiving – meaning it will take a lot to “catch an edge” and catapult your body into the snow. Most entry level snowboards have a rocker bend, making them easier to initiate and link turns. You’ll have the falling leaf turns down in no time. Beginner snowboards also have a nearly maintenance free base with wax that will stay in tact all season long. Higher performance snowboards have faster wax that requires regular applications. Last, newbie snowboards also boast a forgiving flex, which makes them easier to handle. Take a peak at our top selling entry level snowboards for 2016…

Women’s Beginner Snowboards
Burton Feather
Burton Genie
Gnu B Nice BTX
K2 First Lite

Men’s Beginner Snowboards
Burton Ripcord
Rossignol District Amptek
Rossignol Circuit Amptek
Rome Tour
K2 Standard
Ride Agenda
Ride Manic

Snowboard Pants

burton-cargo-pants-turf-14-zoomYou’re  new waterproof jacket will mean nothing without some quality snowboard pants to round out your kit. Designed specifically for rider movement, nasty winter conditions, strapping in, and sick Methods, snowboard pants are the only solution to keep your lower half comfortable. Most have standard features like gaiters on the cuffs to keep snow out, pockets, fleece lined rear, articulated knees and belt loops. Some have an adjustable waist, leg lifts, and hooks so you can snap your jacket to your pants (AKA one piece!). With varying prices and styles, dig around The House’s selection of epic snowboard pants to find your perfect match.

What are Snowboard Pants

A good pair of snowboard pants repels water like a raincoat and breathes like a compression tee. It’s best to invest in a pair of pants with a minimum of 10,000mm waterproof rating. In other words, this rating means that you could put a tube of water 10,000 millimeters (32 feet) high on the fabric before it would leak. Pants often bear a breathability index to show how many grams of water can pass through a square meter of the fabric in 24 hours. Generally, you want both numbers as high as possible. For instance, a pair of 25,000/20,000 snowboard pants, will keep your insides dry in almost any condition, but may strain your budget.

Benefits of Good Snowboard Pants

  • Water Resistant – Snowboard specific pants are treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) to allow moisture to bead off of the pants. Some high end snowboard pants, like those made with Gore-Tex, are made with waterproof fabric. Even if you don’t panning on wiping out on the mountain, water resistant pants are an excellent idea since moisture will always try to find a way inside the fabric. From the lift to an afternoon snow shower, you’re sure to stay dry with snowboard pants.ski-lift-snowboard-snowboarding-Favim.com-181897
  • Breathable – Without breathability elements, snowboard pants would surely become quite clammy, damp, hot and uncomfortable. Even worse in cold weather, once your body becomes too hot beneath all your layers, it will quickly get chilled. All snowboard pants are breathable – some more than others. Generally speaking, as cost escalates with snowboard pants, better materials offer increased breathability.
  • Warm -While snowboard pants are water resistant and breathable, the result is protection that will keep you warm all day long. Long lift rides and fast groomers can make you chilly, so don’t skimp on the pants!

Who Should Wear Snowboard Pants?
Every single snowboarder should wear snowboard pants. If you don’t believe us, try out a pair of your dad’s vintage snow pants and let us know how your lower half feels during a four hour mountain mission.

 

 

History of Wakeboarding

Wakeboarding is a popular activity, yet many are unaware of how the sport got its start. It combines surfing, water skiing and snowboarding techniques for a thrilling activity. There are a lot of different variations that come into play with this activity, depending on the boarder’s ability level, preferred towing method, weight and gender.

How Wakeboarding First Started

When wakeboarding first started in the 1980’s, it was commonly known as skurfing. There were several early skurfers in different locations who helped develop the sport. Boards that would be used for wakeboarding were created by surfers in Australia and New Zealand who wanted a different sort of experience. Tony Finn (Owner of  one of the best wakeboard brands Liquid Force) and Jeff Darby were among some of the most notable early skurfers in this region. Howard Jacobs also designed early skurfboards in Florida.

Liquid Force Tony Finn and Jimmy Redmon

Liquid Force Tony Finn and Jimmy Redmon


Changes in Wakeboarding

There have been regular changes in how wakeboarding is done ever since the sport’s start. The earliest boards featured hydroslide pads, along with foot straps. Bruce McKee and Mitchell Ross debuted the first mass-produced boards in 1984. Early features included a concave bottom, keel fin and adjustable foot straps, all of which were designed to provide better movement. Patented designs ensured better strap and binding systems.During the sport’s early years, it was known as skiboarding. It gained much attention after the World Skiboard Association was founded in 1989. The next major changes would be brought about by Paul Fraser, along with his brother, Murray. Compression molded boards used for skurfing were first sold in 1991, made by Herb O’Brien from HO Sports, a close associate of Fraser’s. Because the movement of these boards changed considerably, this sport became known as wakeboarding. Several competitions were held regularly after the release of the compression molded boards. The World Skiboard Association officially changed its name to the World Wakeboard Association in light of its change in focus.

Popular Wakeboarding Brands

Byerly is one of the most innovative wakeboarding brands. The company was founded by an experienced wakeboarder in 2006. All of the boards are designed with the unique needs of competitive wakeboarders in mind. Hyperlite is one of the most recognizable brands in the world of wakeboarding. When it first premiered in 1990, compression wakeboards were introduced to the world. This has helped shape the whole sport. O’Brien is one of the most popular brands favored by professional wakeboarders and kneeboarders. Their selection of accessories is one of the largest ones available. Expert advice is readily available for new and seasoned boarders alike. Ronix‘s product lines draw on the experience of both engineers and experienced wakeboarders. The brand features one of the larger selections of products for women who wakeboard. It has a very visible social media presence.

International Top Wakeboarders 

Scoot Byerly, founder of the Byerly brand, is one of the most well-known figures in wakeboarding. His photos for the Rockstar energy drink have made him known even among those who don’t follow wakeboarding. He’s also known for The Butter Effect, performed with Aaron Reed in 2005.

Daniel Fetz from Austria has an impressive list of championships. He’s a 5 times Austrian champion and has won several other European and international titles. One of his most popular tricks by far is the Whirlybird. In addition to competitive wakeboarding, Fetz is also a snowboarder.

Lior Sofer hails from Israel and is known for the number of championships he’s achieved at his young age. Some of the highlights of his career include IWSF European and world championships. He’s sponsored by Ten-80, along with Three Team and Hyperlite.

Kim Yon Il from South Korea also boasts an impressive number of championships, especially in Asia. He’s very well-known for hios 80 to 85-foot rope length that allows him to perform impressive tricks. Sponsors include Republic and Skull Candy.

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Windsurfing

Windsurfing-Photos

  1. Three-Year-Olds Can Windsurf – With sails as small as one meter, even the smallest water lovers can fine tune those skills and progress at a very young age. Swim lessons are obviously recommended in conjunction with such young windsurfers!
  2. Windsurfers Can Go Faster Than Waterskiiers – Even the most recreational windsurfers sail at an average speed of 25-35 MPH making them the fastest sailing crafts on open water.
  3. Tandem Windsurfing is Possible – That’s right. There are specific boards designed for two people. It’s a fun way to learn from each other and to test your balance and skills with your partner.
  4. Some Windsurfing Competitions Are Held Indoors– Popular in Europe during the winter, a massive indoor pool under a tent is constructed. The boats are propelled with powerful fans along the pool. Competitions held include slalom style races, jumping competitions and more.

Camping – 5 Things You May Not Have Known

camping_fullsize_story1

With visions of s’mores, pristine lakes, blue skies, bug free nights and a picture perfect camp site, the idea of camping sounds pretty darn awesome to most people. After perusing through Backpacker magazine, camping blogs and National Park websites, you’ve mentally prepared yourself for a perfect weekend of camping paradise. Like any outdoor activity, there are always a few not so glamorous aspects of the big event. For veteran or returning campers, the pluses far outweigh the cons. The simplicity of outdoor living, the fresh air and nature at it’s best are just a few of the reasons campers keep hitting the trail for more. Before venturing out on your first (or 10th!) trip, it’s best to be prepared – both physically and mentally.

  1. You will get dirty and you may not look like a beauty queen. If you shower at all on a camping trip, it will be cold and short. For most, a quick wash of the hands and face will suffice. Afterall, isn’t the point to get away from it all? If you’re hair looks gross after a few days of camp fire smoke and lake water, wear a hat!
  2. Packing ahead of time is a must. You might be used to packing your carry on luggage with the essentials for a few nights of business travel the morning of your flight, but camping is a different story. Sure, you’ll need a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, tarp, water bottle and backpack, but there are a slew of other essentials that will guarantee a safe and good time. Be sure to check out our Car Camping Checklist and Camping Food Ideas before you start stuffing that duffel bag!
  3. There will likely be no WiFi. That is correct. If you’re worried about your Facebook friends thinking you had a boring weekend with ef5a8538d16214e337faaa35a46e483cnothing worth posting, then it’s really time to take a weekend break from social media. Floor your friends with some spectacular #lategrams when you return.Rest assured, your recent camping trip photos will reassure everyone that your life is the most exciting. And don’t forget to update you Out of Office! Taking a breather from work, internet surfing and social medial will allow you to surrender to the beauty of nature.
  4. Practice setting up your tent before you arrive at your camp site. It may seem pretty straight forward, but rain, wind, darkness or a long car ride can hinder your thinking and motor skills. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending way more time than necessary setting up your outdoor home for the weekend.
  5. Bring firewood. It’s illegal in most places to use fallen wood for campfires. The forest thrives on fallen wood and trees that have naturally come down. The trees then decompose and nourish the forest floor allowing new growth to flourish. It’s a cycle and if campers repeatedly remove fallen trees, it will throw the forest out of balance. As you’re getting closer to the state forest, national park or campground, keep your eyes peeled for camping firewood for sale at gas stations or food marts. It’s also illegal to bring wood in from too far away. Firewood for your camping trip must be local…again to keep the harmony in the forest. Many campsites sell firewood, but it’s not a bad idea to grab some before you arrive since it might be sold out.

The Interior Plain Project

The Interior Plain Project Dark Meadows Collection

The Interior Plain ProjectThere isn’t a board company based out of the Midwest with as much heart and soul as The Interior Plain Project.  Pete Harvioux has the visionary mind behind The Interior Plain Project which started in 2001 with something simple…stickers.  With a factory ready to produce decks Pete decided to halt the operation until a better time, that time is now.

The Interior Plain Project Harrow Snowboard

The Interior Plain Project Harrow Snowboard

With a skate style of snowboarding influencing The Interior Plain Project board designs there is no limit to what the decks can or cannot do with true twin shaping.  Straight forward radial sidecut and camber featured in both the Harrow and Honalee boards beat other decks to the punch with a simple approach.    Team riders Joe Mertes, Jack Thonvold, and Matt “Booty” Boudreaux have been thrashing The Interior Plain Project decks to their limits and have been loving every second of it.

The Interior Plain Project Honalee Snowboard

The Interior Plain Project Honalee Snowboard

Keeping the project small The Interior Plain Project is only producing 2 snowboard models in the Dark Meadows Collection for the 2012/2013 season; the Harrow (147cm & 152cm) and the Honalee (156cm).  The Honalee Snowboard is a knife to the stomach of snowboarding that offers a tremendous amount of pop and hella’ (9mm) camber.  The Interior Plain Project knows its market, and for that it created the poppy jib press friendly 2mm cambered Harrow Snowboard.  But wait, there’s more…The Interior Plain Project also released softgoods too; hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies.

Expect The Interior Plain Project to blow up.  The company is small and sold only to select retailers (we’re stoked to be one), and it’s only the beginning.  Stay tuned for more.

Rider Bio: Viktor Simco

Viktor Simco

It takes a lot to be Viktor Simco.  Imagine growing up as a skate kid in Texas and then moving to Minnesota.  Seeing snow for the first time and feeling an air temperature below 50° must have been shocking, but Viktor handled it well.  He took his skate skills and transitioned (no pun intended) it right into snowboarding.  Where do you think all of his style comes from?

Yeah Vik!

Viktor Simco Does It Right – Photo by Sean Kerrick Sullivan

For the last 13 seasons Viktor has called a few resorts home; Mont Du Lac, Spirit Mountain, Hyland Hills, and Trollhaugen.  Viktor can pretty much be found anywhere with a toe rope.  His skate style has landed him on the Rome Amary team, it’s a well deserved position and he’ll only keep going to up from here.  Putting time in with film crews Think Thank, Rome Snowboards, and Bald E-Gal Viktor has been around the block and back.

 

Up in the air...!

Viktor Simco Droppin’ Big – Photo by Sean Kerrick Sullivan

Being inspired by Andrew Reynold and Bjorn Leines, Viktor has found the true meaning of style and individuality.  His Father and Grandfather taught him to think about more than himself.  After Viktor’s Grandfather was diagnosed Alzheimer’s and he decided to fight back.  Three seasons ago Viktor start a contest called Ollies for Alheimer’s.  It’s a high ollie contest that gives all contest proceeds to the Alzheimer’s Association.

The furture is looking bright for Viktor.  He’s continuing to pursue filming with Think Thank, Airblaster Clothing, Rome Snowboards, and Bald E-Gal.  If he ever decides to take time off the snow Viktor will probably be in Brazil sipping strawberry Daiquiris with a grip of babes.

Viktor Simco's Complete Seet Up

Viktor Simco’s Complete Set Up

1.  Dye – T1 Goggles
2.  House of 1817 – Yuck Mouth Beanie
3.  Airblaster – Freedom Snowboard Jacket
4.  Rome – Old No. 51 Snowboard Mittens
5.  Airblaster – Freedom Snowboard Pants
6. Rome – Folsom Snowboard Boots
7. Rome – 390 Boss Snowboard Bindings
8. Rome – Reverb Rocker Snowboard

Viktor Simco’s Snowboard Set Up

Viktor Simco’s Airblaster Freedom Jacket

Viktor Simco’s Airblaster Freedom Pants

Women’s Snowboarding – Bubble Gum Crew

Bubble Gum Crew

Bubble Gum Crew  The Bubble Gum Crew is a collection of female snowboarders that love snowboarding, bubble gum, and being with each other.  It all started with a blog and snowballed into something much greater.  Juggling school and work this wild crew still finds time to enjoy each other’s company while riding and of course, blowing bubbles.

There isn’t a membership fee to join the Bubble Gum Crew; only a small list of requirements and one initiation test.  First off you have to be female and secondly you need to chew Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape® when you ride.  The membership skill test is hard – you need the ability to blow a bubble the size of your own head.

Bubble Gum Crew

The greatest part of being a Bubble Gum Crew member is the camaraderie.  No one has dared to leave the Bubble Gum Crew.  Doing so hurts.  If someone happens to leave a wave of termination would follow on their blog, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and Instagram.  No one would ever imagine leaving.  The bond these girls have is stronger than lock tight binding hardware and they’re not getting loose.

The girls compete every once and a while but mostly ride for fun.  It seams that that brands, governing bodies, and event organizers aren’t paying enough attention to women’s snowboarding.  Why is prize money lower for women?  Why do women’s heats usually drop last in rail jam?  Women ride just has hard as men, put their lives at risk, and are on snow the same amount of time.  Everything should even out.  Luckily there are groups like the Bubble Gum Crew doing their best to make women’s snowboarding better.

Hannah Lord Gettin' DownHolding down turf at Hyland comes with a price.  The House of 1817 is the Bubble Gum Crew’s only rival.  Instead of fighting they slap high fives, do trains through the park, and party together.  Wells Fargo Bank actually denied a Bubble Gum Crew check card design because they though it was a gang sign.  The only weapons these girls carry are smiles and attitudes of complete stokedness.

The Bubble Gum Crew has stayed true to their mission – ride together and chew gum.  It’s that simple.  If you’re a girl and have friends that ride, start a girls only snowboard crew.  Have it revolve around snowboarding and another common interest.  The snowboard world needs more girls that thrash together, push each other, and do more than sit on the top of the park.  Someday if you’re lucky enough your crew could be cool as the Bubble Gum Crew.

Bubble Gum Crew Members

Hannah LordHannah Lord
There is always someone that’s having more fun than you, usually it’s Hannah Lord.  This witty firecracker will keep laugh longer than you can stand and push you off a box if you get in her way.

 

Gabi RolstadGabi Rolstad
This girl is beyond sarcastic.  If you don’t get it, you never will.  She’s all laughs until she hits the snow, from then on it’s all business.  Gabi’s a snow gansta’.

 

Laura SchaeferLaura Schaefer
You wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Laura holds the world’s fastest speed on a snowboard if you ever saw her ride.  She rides fast and presses hard – a true killer.

 

Bubble Gum Crew’s Social Feed

Tumblr:  Bubble Gum Crew

Industry Insider: Icelantic Skis

Super Hot Rep Jesse Sorenson of Icelantic Skis

Icelantic Skis – Handmade in Colorado

Icelantic Skis - Handmade in ColoradoIcelantic Skis are a sight for sore eyes and so is Midwest Rep Jesse Sorensen.  These skis ride great and look great – it’s easy to find the rhythm of life floating on Icelantic.  With Icelantic World Headquarters based in the Battery 621 building in Denver, CO it’s evident they chose a great locations.  HQ is positioned close to their manufacturing facility (Never Summer Snowboards Factory) and Summit County (A Basin, Copper, Breck, & Keystone).

 

Icelantic Skis - Josh StackQuality handcrafted skis are hard to come by; but with a 2 year warranty and a rocking pro team you know Icelantic prides itself with durable skis that take a beating from the best in the industry.  Now, imagine a snowboarder repping for a ski company, that’s where Jesse Sorensen comes into play.  There isn’t a ski company in the world that could persuade a snowboard to rep their line – that’s not true for Icelantic Skis.  With a backbone of steel and niche focus keeping Icelantic core,  that’s why and how Jesse made the move.  “I never imagined repping for a ski company, but Icelantic has the best skis the world has to offer, I couldn’t resist.” says Jesse.

Icelantic makes skis for every type of riding, from the park to the sidecountry, they do it all.  So there you have it, Icelantic makes the best skis the world has to offer – even a snowboarders can’t resist.  Maybe that should be their new tag line.

Boom Bam Icelantic Skis

1.  Icelantic Skis – Shaman Skis

2. Icelantic Skis – Da’Nollie Skis

Riding picture courtsy of Icelantic Skis – Rider Josh Stack