What does Apres-Ski mean? (Infographic)

Maybe it’s the fact we’re just excited about the endless amount of snow this season, but there has been a lot more post-shred merrymaking this year. If you have snow, a means for riding snow, and people willing to imbibe, you have the making of a classic apres-ski. Now you’ll need just a little bit of information about this social scene before hobnobbing at the slopes. Here are some classic drinks along with a little history of this festive tradition to get you started.

 


apres-ski

What is Apres-Ski? (Infographic) – An infographic by the team at The-House

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Sochi Winter Olympics Infographic

Snow is falling and it’s time we start thinking about the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.  This year organizers wanted to bring a little more flare to the big show by adding six new events, including the ski half-pipe. Yes, things just got a lot more interesting. Overall there will be 98 events in 15 winter sports. This handy infographic details some of interesting facts about the Winter Olympics and the town of Sochi.


olympic-2014-1200-NO-RINGS

Sochi Winter Olympics Infographic – An infographic by the team at The-House

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Top Rated Skis 2014

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Top Rated Skis 2014

 

Super Awesome Radical Skis of 2014

  • Rossignol Soul 7— extremely lightweight, maneuverable, versatile all mountain, great for on or off-piste, is a 4 in 1 ski quiver, can do everything a skier wants to do, rocker in tip for float and turn initiation, thick enough waist for float yet not too thick—can still perform incredibly well on the resort terrain, “jack of all trades”

  • Armada JJ—  has remained almost completely unchanged since it’s inception because “if it ain’t broke ya don’t fix it!!!”, incredibly maneuverable for a ski with such a large waist, lightweight and very turnable and responsive, a set of big sticks that crush powder lines and are fabulous in variable conditions, strong

  • K2 Annex 98— very versatile, handles “crud” snow and rips the groomers, sucks up bumps, floats in powder, it does it all, slight flare in box tail allows power through turn yet is forgiving in its release from the arc, low profile rocker in tip plains beautifully rather than pushing the powder, just an all around swiss army knife ski

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2014 Winter Fashion Trends: Color is Back!

In response to last year’s neutrals and muted colors, vibrancy and brilliance are coming back with a vengeance in 2014 for Women’s Outerwear.

Clementine Oranges, Blazing Reds, and Yellows are all the rage.  Match them with some Deep Greens and Blues and you have a well-rounded palate.   My eyes would normally pop out of my head but luckily there are plenty of subdued neutrals, blacks, and browns to accent the luster.  No need for sunglasses to shield you from the glow. Considerate fashionistas have brilliantly blended (pun very much intended) flash with matte.  Quite a nifty balance if you ask me.

Nike Jacket

Lively ethnic and marbled prints are popping up, like the Nike Alpenglow Print snowboard jacket in Prize Blue.

There is a lot of colorblocking again this year; a preexisting trend which has been revamped in 2014.  Much like our beloved precious plaids which never seem to go out of style, I’m starting to think colorblocking may become a staple in jacket fashion.

Here’s lookin at you Prints-cess!

Satin, wool, and textured fabrics add a lot of depth to the overall design.  Military inspired collections see waxed cottons, twills and tweeds with a flavorful approach.  About face infantry expressions!  These classic styles are spinning off the nautical trend that blew up in the 2013 Spring/Summer Season.   That is not any scuttlebutt; so batten down the hatches, slack up the mooring, and dust off your Topsiders.

Gwen Stefani puts a twist on throwback style with a combination of vintage flair and modern glam.  But it is not all form without function.  Herringbone Prints, Clementine and Army Colors bring fashion to the performance driven Stormproof Tech Jacket.  I mean, look at the Burton x L.A.M.B. Anorak Jacket.  You’ll be turning heads while getting those turns in, No Doubt.L.A.M.B. Anorak Jacket

To improve warmth and dryness; as well as rid you of the feeling like you are wearing outdated spongy and tight crotched Snow Pants, a few companies have come out with some radical Softshell Snowboard Pants with a cool look.  This design desire has been present in years past yet has not been as exceptionally executed as this year!  Volcom has introduced designs, my favorite being the Volcom Species Stretch pant, that have all the bells and whistles while also being really comfortable.  The Snowboard Pants are super stretchy, easy to move in, and have a great look.  The Volcom Pants Scientists somehow managed to get a mind-blowing waterproof/breathability rating of 15K/15K.

While some companies like Holden Outerwear identify themselves with the Green Movement, using eco-friendly fabrics and techniques, we are seeing more and more companies joining our environmentally conscious homies this year.   Venture over to our Eco Friendly clothing writeup to check out who else is on the bandwagon to help save the snow, one article at a time. (See what I did there?)

Bottom Line:  It’s about damn time women snowboarders got some attention around here.  So often we see new innovation released to our male counterparts first; then, if we are lucky, it slowly trickles into women’s lines.  You have spoken and they have listened.  There are options for all of the tech you could ever want in an array of looks so you are not stuck looking like a 12 year old girl who came out with Sunday School Ski Club; unless that’s what you’re going for.  We’ve got that too.

Jenny Vogel

Eco-Friendly Clothing and Snowboarding…

Eco-friendly clothing and snowboarding go together like Vodka and Redbull

Much like my favorite Friday night beverage; when snow sports and eco-fashion come together I get pumped!  Fortunately, this energizing combination does not lead me to a Saturday morning filled with regret and stomach ache.

What does eco-friendly mean, you ask?

It’s simple silly.  Any product that is made, used, or disposed of in a way that significantly reduces the harm it would otherwise cause to the environment is considered Eco-Friendly. Making Eco-Friendly Products in the snow biz takes EFFORT, lots of effort.  Hundreds of researchers, scientists, and engineers knock there noodles together in order to create materials that make your super snazzy outerwear as gentle on the environment as you; and in some cases, more than you.  But that is another lesson for another day.

Luckily though, that day is today. Why should you give a damn, you ask?

Whoa, chill out bro.  Yes, I know I’m not your mother or your environmental conscience.  But I do have the moral responsibility to bang you on the head if you do not put forth some effort to respect Mother Nature and all that she gives us (ah hem…snow??).  Waterproof/water resistant, breathable apparel typically is made from synthetic fibers.  These fibers come from petrochemicals and take 30-40 years to decompose.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be skiing on landfills my whole life (hello, Buckhill, MN).  As much as I love a pretty sunset, I’d much rather take a breath of fresh air over a smog filled sky any day.  Even the dyeing and printing of fabrics has huge impact on our environment.  Textiles alone account for 20% of the world’s industrial water pollution.

Try this on for size: You are what you wear.

I am not speaking in terms of how your clothes define you; rather, in the fact that we absorb the chemicals from our environment.  Thanks to Biomonitoring, scientists have identified chemicals that do not flush through our system and the effects of toxic exposure.  We are what we wear; we are what we eat, what we sit on, what we breathe. Take heed in what David Suzuki so famously remarked: We are the environment and it is us.

So, what should you be on the lookout for in eco-fashion, you wonder?

Most times, you’ll see the obvious ones like “Organic Cotton” or “Recycled Polyester”.  What you may not know is that companies also use durable and long lasting Hemp, the dreadlocked granola eating godfather of Eco-Fabrics.  Ooowww and then there’s Tencel, my favorite.   Tencel is soft, antimicrobial, and naturally moisture wicking; made from eucalyptus trees. Those Koala Bears are on to something.

Do not forget about those nasty toxic chemicals going into your clothes; not to mention the soil, water and air?  Look for PFOA-free – a man-made chemical used in waterproof/water-resistant textiles that can be harmful to humans and is currently being voluntarily phased out thanks to the initiative of the EPA.

Now that you have passed Eco-Fashion 101 with flying colors, you are now ready to handle the amazingness…

Holden Outerwear, founded by owners Mikey Leblanc and Scott Zergebel, launched with an Eco-Friendly Promise straight out the gates.  Widely known for their Eco-Friendly Outerwear, they’ve developed waterproof and breathable fabrics made from Hemp and Recycled plastic bottles.  For this innovation they have received global awards and inspired others to follow suit.

2014 Snorkel JacketHolden Skinny Snowboard Pants

 

For 2014, Holden came out with the Snorkel snowboard jacket and Standard Skinny snowboard pants that both feature a 10K/5K PFOA free DWR with solvent-free lamination, recycled polyester lining, and recycled taffeta lining. Plus, it ships in a biodegradable bag. These features are echoed throughout their line.
Burton Snowboards, led by the world famous Jake Burton, has teamed up with Mountain Dew (how appropriate!) in producing a whole line of goods made from Recycled plastic bottles.

Burton Landing Snowboard Jacket

Check out the 2014 Men’s Burton Landing snowboard jacket, select colorways like the Raya above, is made with Recycled Bottle Polyester that will make you feel as good as you look.

So next time you’re thinking about chaining yourself to a tree to show your love for Mother Nature, maybe just buy eco-friendly clothing from The-House instead.

Jenny Vogel

Buyers Guide for Womens Ski and Snowboard Goggles

Buying a new pair of goggles can be daunting. With technology constantly changing there are many different styles and brands to choose from. Now, most goggles don’t have the power to make you look like a movie star. They are made more for performance than style although some may be more stylish than others. Much of this has to do with your overall preference. However, choosing the right tint for your lense can either make or break your riding experience.

What conditions will you be riding in?

 The type of tint that goggles have run on a spectrum. The darker the tint, the less light will transmit through them, whereas lighter tinted goggles will allow more light through. So if you are planning on shredding when the sun is at it’s biggest and brightest, you would want to go with a darker tint. On the other side, it would be a better idea to buy lighter tinted goggle for tearing it up during times that lack sunlight. If you are looking for goggles that are more for all around riding, look into buying a goggle with more of an orange tint. This tint will make for a good all day riding goggle but is not the best in either light or dark conditions. One the bright side, some of the higher end goggles will allow for interchangeable lenses for more variety but they will also be more expensive.

How much are you willing to spend?

Price also matters when looking to buy a new pair of goggles. Like most other products, the more you spend, the more you get. What this means specifically with goggles is that the price is relative to the performance of the goggle. This also relates to the shape of the lense. Spherical lenses run a little bit more on the expensive side because they provide better peripheral vision. Most flat lens goggles still have many of the same qualities as spherical lens goggles such as, anti-fog lenses, 100% UV protection, helmet compatibility, etc.

Five Things You May Not Have Known About Mount Hood

Mount Hood National Forest

  1. Mount Hood is a dormant or “sleeping” volcano with steam constantly spewing from fumarole areas. The eroded volcano has had at least four major eruptive periods during the past 15,000 years, three of which occurred in the last 1,800 years.
  2. Twelve glaciers or snow fields live on Mount Hood. Palmer Glacier, home of Timberline Lodge Ski Area, is the most heavily visited of the glaciers. Glaciers and snowfields cover approximately 80% of Mount Hood.
  3. Mount Hood is known as Wy’east by the Multnomah Tribe. They lived in a series of villages along the Willamette River (present day Portland, Oregon) in the early 19th century.
  4. Scientists believe Mt. Hood could have a significant eruption within the next 75 years. There have been a handful of minor eruptions during the following years – 1804, 1853, 1854, 1859, 1865, and 1907.
  5. On October 29, 1972, the first white men “discovered” the mountain. British Navy Lt. William E. Broughton and his crew (representing King George III) saw it from the Columbia River near the mouth of the Willamette River. Broughton named the peak for famed British naval officer (and later, Admiral) Alexander Arthur Hood (who ironically never saw the mountain in person).

SUP Glossary

Paddle boarding is a fast-growing sport that is a fun, easy way to enjoy a day on the water. It requires minimal equipment and waves are optional. Paddle boards are very functional and can be versatile for sailing or surfing with the right equipment and setup. It may be a bit daunting for a first time buyer to get into this sport. This is because there are many aspects that play a role in making the best buy. And let’s face it, Paddle boards are not cheap, so buying the wrong one could be a disaster. In order to help take away a little stress, below is a list of some helpful information on tech and specs, board types, and techniques for first time riders.

sup glossary

Tech and Specs:

  • The bottom of the board is going to be a very important aspect when looking for a SUP board. Flat-bottom boards are very stable and easy to balance on. However, if you are planning on racing or touring, board bottoms also come with different angles, concaves and contours to suit your needs.

  • Deck Pad: This refers to the soft surface that can be made of foam, rubber, etc. and is meant for traction, foot control and general comfort while riding.

  • Fins: These are used for control and maintaining a straight line on the water. Many boards will come with a single fin of a specified length but some may come with double, triple or integrated molded fins.

  • Handles: A useful tool for most paddle boards is the built in handle, which makes transport much easier. Depending on the board type, these can be located in the nose, tail, or along the rails of the board.

  • Rails: This refers to the sides or edges of the board. The general rule for rails is the fuller and boxier the rails are, the harder it will be to turn but the more stability you will have.

  • Rocker: When you think of rocker, think of a rocking chair. This will make more of a difference in surfing rather than flat-water paddling.

  • Tail: The tail is the rear of the SUP. This will be important when considering how you plan on turning. With a more angular tail, turns will be more square and angular, whereas rounder tails make for more smooth turns.

  • Paddle: Paddles for SUPs are made with an angle or “elbow” in the shaft for efficiency and performance. A paddle should be roughly 6” to 10” taller than you (this is broad because it will depend on your preference).

  • Deck Box: Some boards are equipped with a deck box which makes them compatible with sailing. This can be a great option for those windy days and adds more versatility to your board.

  • D-Rings (Front/Rear): can be used to tie down a board or also used in conjunction with bungie cords to stow gear securely on your board.

  • Leashes: A leash is a great option for those who may have balance issues or just want that security of knowing their board won’t float away in the event of a fall.

 

Board Types:

  • All arounders: These boards are going to be majorly for close to shore paddling and general recreational purposes. They will be longer and thicker and best suited for those looking for an all around board from surfing to fitness for any type of rider.

  • Hybrids: Hybrid boards integrate features from a kayak into the paddleboard. Most include storage and hatches to hold gear and other necessary items. Because hybrids incorporate features from both the SUP and kayak, they may come equipped with seat backs, heel rests, rod holders or other accessories.

  • Racing and Touring Boards: This category is more for speed and efficiency, with longer, sleeker designs and a pointed nose (bow). They will generally be less stable but some are still made to be versatile for recreational or cruising purposes.

 

Techniques: Listed are a few things to think about when using your new paddle board.

  • Mounting your board: Stand on one side in the center of the board and hold board by the rails. You can then lift yourself onto the board in a kneeling position. Once you’ve gotten your balance and a feel for it, you can stand up. If your tip or tail are digging into the water, you should adjust accordingly to make sure your board is level for optimum riding. If you have a paddle, the only difference is that you should set that across the paddle board and hold onto it while getting onto the board to prevent the paddle from going overboard.

  • Stance: In order to maintain the best balance, you should stand with your feet parallel and hip-width apart. Move your weight with your hips instead of your head and try not to stare at your feet and instead focus on the beautiful view around you.

  • Strokes: This may seem unnecessary but it is important to know how to paddle in order to get where you want to go. Beginners will want to keep their strokes shorter and close to the side of the board until you get more comfortable. A helpful guide to maintain a straight line is to have about 3-4 strokes on one side then switch to the other side, etc. Also, make sure to switch hand positions when switching sides.

  • Turns:

    • Sidestroke: This refers to paddling on one side in order to turn a desired direction. To go right, you would paddle on the left and to go left, you would paddle on the right.
    • Backpaddle: This will allow you to quickly turn or reverse direction by dragging the paddle or paddle backwards in the water on either side of the board.
    • SEA “C” Stroke: If you plant your paddle in the water towards the front of the board and sweep it back through the water towards the tail, you are doing a sea or sweep stroke.

Stand Up Paddle Board Fishing

paddleboading

Imagine quietly paddling to fish filled pockets of water without having to worry about a dragging rudder or stirring the water too much. Stand up paddle fishing is truly a pristine and magical form of fishing. Also know as extreme fishing or “man on fish,” stand up paddle board fishing has been around since surfing first started (over 3,000 years ago!). Well, it was slightly different since carbon fiber and aluminum paddles hadn’t hit the market, yet. In the prone position (laying on paddle board) the first stand up paddle board fisherman used very long (and unstable) boards. That was all they knew, so determined fisherman certainly made do. With the advent of fiberglass, epoxy, carbon fiber and modern stand up paddle board construction, the game has certainly changed. Wider, more stable and boards specifically designed for standing or kneeling on, stand up paddle board fishing’s popularity isn’t expected to stall anytime soon.

What’s awesome about stand up paddle board fishing is that you can access areas that aren’t possible with a boat. Shallow fishing spots are a prime example. You can also launch a stand up paddle board almost anywhere you can get to on foot. You can get around a lot faster on a stand up paddle board than by surfboard fishing. The paddle makes the sport that much more accessible!

Extreme Paddle Board Fishing

While fishing for smaller fish on a stand up paddle board is most common, the extreme fisherman go for larger fish…and sometimes sharks! Sounds like a job for Steve-O to us. A determined and brave stand up paddle fisherman went for in this clip from La Jolla, California…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SjxKAiEezQ&w=720]

Paddle Board Fishing Accessories

I’ll bet your wondering what to do with your catch on a stand up paddle board? Have no fear. Some stand up paddle boards are designed to accommodate fishing equipment. You can mount paddle board specific “fishing boxes” onto tie down points (4 extra leash plugs in a square formation) on the top of an SUP. Stash your gear, hold your paddle and store your catch in these boxes. There are even pole holders on the sides of the box. It’s a pretty cool and raw sport that’s sure to blossom as stand up paddle boards catch on around the world. You really have to earn your catch. It’s sort of like hiking to get powder in the back country!

Check out all our paddle boards at The House.

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Skateparks

Skateparks

  1. Kelso, Washington was home to the first skatepark in the world for skateboarders which was made of plywood on a half-acre sand lot  in 1966. The first modern day skatepark as we know it today, was built in Carlsbad, California in 1976.
  2. The world’s largest skatepark is in Shanghai, China. SMP Skatepark is 44,936 square feet and hosts an international skate competition known as “The Showdown.” Check out the video tour below of this incredible skatepark.
  3. USA Today reported that anywhere from 2-3 skateparks are built each week in the US. Their popularity and acceptance by small towns and cities has increasingly been on the rise.
  4. Concrete skateparks are the industry standard these days. Prefab skateparks constructed with wood, metal or steel are on the decline since they require more maintenance than concrete parks.
  5. Skaters For Public Skaters is an organization dedicated to providing accurate skatepark data and trends for skateparks advocates to use when planning and funding a public skatepark. Many skateparks in the US are built from the hard work and dedication of skateboarders pleading their case to council members of their town. Success stories are on the rise!