How to Grip Tape a Skateboard

 Grip Taping a Skateboard

Sooner or later you’ll need to know how to grip tape a skateboard.  Grip taping a skateboard is very simple process that involves a small amount of tools and skills.  However, gripping a deck can be tricky, but with a few tips the process can be easier than expected.  It’s so easy even a monkey can do it.  (see video above for monkey)

Some projects, like assembling a bike, use many tools – to grip tape a skateboard there is only 4 things need:

  1. Skateboard
  2. Grip Tape
  3. Razor Blade
  4. Screw Driver *Philips

There is a four step process to grip tape a skateboard.  A fifth step can be added to the end for finishing touches:

  1. Laying Down the Grip Tape
  2. Scoring the Grip Tape
  3. Cutting the Grip Tape
  4. Polishing the Grip Tape Off
  5. Finishing Touches
Like a treflip, practice makes perfect.  Go get some.

 

Step #1 – Laying Down the Grip Tape

Lay a skateboard top up on a flat surface.  Peel off grip tape backing.  Hold the grip tape between your thumb and index finger.  Line up the grip tape with the skateboard while using your middle finger as a support guide.  Set down the grip tape on the tail and gradually roll the grip tape at an angle (to reduce the amount of air bubbles) towards the nose.  Squeeze out extra air bubbles by laying grip tape backing onto grip tape and slide your fist from the center of the skateboard towards the edges or pop the air bubbles with the tip of a razor blade.

Step #2  – Scoring the Grip Tape

Score the grip tape with the side of a screwdriver in one firm quick pass.  Keep a tight grip on the screwdriver as you hold it at a perpendicular angle with the skateboard’s edge.   The skateboard can rotate around as you score.  Scoring the edge helps to remove the grit around the skateboards perimeter that will assist in the next step.

Step #3 – Cutting the Grip Tape

With a new razor blade cut four perpendicular slots from the screwdriver score to the outside of the grip tape above the wheel wells.  This will allow you to cut the grip tape into four sections; two on the rails and two on the tips.  Hold the razor blade at 45° and use your middle finger as a guide that rests on the skateboard’s edge.  In a smooth consistent motion run razor blade along screwdriver score.  Save the extra pieces for the next step.

Step #4 – Polishing the Grip Tape Off

Use excess grip tape pieces from the previous step to polish off the skateboard’s edge.  Fold the pieces in half so they won’t stick to your fingers.  Firmly press the excess grip tape on the skateboard’s edge and run along perimeter.

Step #5 – Finishing Touches

Use a small diameter philips screwdriver to poke through the bottom of the skateboard’s insert/hardware holes.  Clean out insert/hardware holes by pressing and rotating screwdriver on the top of insert/hardware holes.

After grip taping a few deck you’ll be able to do it in under 1 minute.  Best of luck and have fun skating.

 

 

 

Paddle Boarding for Beginners

Beginning Paddle Boarding

Getting Started with Paddle Boarding

Stand Up Paddle Boarding. Paddle Boarding. SUP. Whatever you’d like to call it, paddling around on a giant surfboard while soaking in nature’s beauty is truly priceless. Paddle boarding has gained immense popularity the past couple of years for good reason. It offers a solid upper body and core workout, while being easy accessible. Nearly any body of water will work – ocean, lake, river, and even reservoirs.  Many people are attracted to paddle boarding because it’s a safe, non-impact and easy to learn sport that brings peace and serenity while spending time on water. Paddle boarding requires minimal equipment that can often be shared among family members and friends. A one time investment will bring years of fun on the water. Sold? Alright, let’s check out where to begin…

Paddle Boarding Gear
Fortunately, only a few pieces of equipment are essential for stand up paddleboarding.   Additional info on SUP Gear.

  • Paddle Board – The paddle board itself is the biggest investment, which is why it’s not a bad idea to borrow someone else’s board or rent before diving in on your own board. Sizes are based on the paddler’s weight and experience. More experienced and lighter paddlers can get away with a narrower board, which allows for quicker, smaller turns and also glides faster on the water.  Beginners and novice paddlers should go with a wider and flatter board as this will provide much more stability.
  • Paddle – The paddle quality is nearly as important as the board itself. If you’re paddle is sized incorrectly, a fun day on the water could turn into tired shoulders and frustration. The paddle should be an average of 8″ – 12″ taller than the paddler standing barefoot. Experienced paddlers will be happier with a light weight carbon fiber blade, while less a less expensive plastic blade will do the trick for beginners.
  • Clothing – For summer time flat water paddling, all you’ll need are trunks or a bikini. Woo too! Ocean paddling can be breezier, thus sometimes requiring a rash guard even in the summer. Year-round paddling, regardless of the body of water, will require a wet suit to stay comfortable.
  • Sun ProtectionSunglasses are strongly recommended since the sun’s rays reflected rays on the water will be intensified. Even overcast days will warrant eye protection. A hat is also a good idea to shield the sun from your face. And of course, don’t forget your sunblock!
  • Personal Floatation Device (PDF) – A life jacket is required by the US Coast Guard if you’ll be paddling beyond the surf zone in the ocean. Parks have various rules and regulations, so be sure to read up before hitting the water. You certainly don’t want to miss out on a day of paddling because you don’t have your PDF or have to pay a fine!

How Do I Stand Up On My Board?
Once you’re in shallow water, standing beside your board, place the paddle so it’s perpendicular to the board. With your hands on either rail (the sides of the board) and one hand grasping the paddle handle, climb onto the board. Beginners should first kneel on the board, just behind the center, in order to find balance. The nose shouldn’t pop up, nor should the tail dig into the water. Once you’ve found the sweet spot, stand up!

Where Do I Stand on My Stand Up Paddle Board?
Unlike surfing, a paddler’s body faces the nose of the board. Feet should be parallel, about hip width distance apart, just behind the center of the board. Knees should always be slightly bent and the head and shoulders should always be upright.

How Do I Paddle?SUP beginner
Practice, practice, practice! The angle of the paddle shaft should be vertical in order to go straight. If it’s at an angle, the board will go sideways. Shifting your weight to side that you’re paddling on will also make for straight and faster paddling. Push down on the paddle handle grip with each stroke. Switch paddling sides every four or five strokes and be sure to reverse your hands. It’s that easy!

How Do I Turn?
Turning quite simply involves paddling longer on one side until the nose of the board turns, also called the Sidestroke. Paddle on the right to turn left and vice versa to turn right. Another quick way to turn is to Backpaddle to to paddle backwards on either side of the board. You can also drag the paddle in the water for a quick turn. Lastly, you can make a Sea Stroke to change direction. Plant the paddle as close to the nose as possible and drag it back towards the tail in the water.  Check out all of our Paddle Board Turning Tips here.

 

SUP – Stand Up Paddle Boarding Gear

SUP Gear

Paddle Boarding Gear

Stand up paddle boarding or SUP has exploded in popularity the past couple of years. And for good reason! It’s a fun and easy way to enjoy beautiful scenery, soak in some vitamin D and experience that peaceful bliss of being on water. It offers a great full body workout and skiers and snowboarders enjoy cross training on paddle boards during the summer months. Choosing the best SUP gear for your needs and budget will depend on your level of experience and what you hope to get out of paddle boarding. Regardless of whether you’re an expert or just starting out, there are a few things everyone must have.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IN7bbcfTAkA&w=745]

Paddle Board
First things first – the board! Stand-up paddle boards come in an array of shapes and styles, each best suited for a different style of paddling – surfing, cruising, or racing. Sizes are based on the paddler’s weight and experience. The general rule is that once you’re up to paddling speed you don’t want the tail to drag. The flotation is a combination of the length, width and thickness of the board. More experienced and lighter paddlers can choose narrower boards. They are tricky to navigate for beginners, so we don’t recommend narrow boards for beginners. Novice paddlers should choose wider, flatter boards, which offer more stability.

 

 

 

Paddle
Next, you’ll want to choose a paddle. It should be between 8″ and 12″ longer than your height when standing barefoot. If you’re on the fence, remember that a slightly longer paddle is better for flat water where longer strokes are used, while a shorter paddle is better for more challenging water where shorter, high cadence strokes are necessary.

Paddles come in a few different materials which impact their weight and performance. The least expensive paddles have an aluminum shaft with a plastic blade and handle. They are most often considered a beginner’s paddle because of it’s relatively inexpensive cost and high durability. More experienced paddlers should steer toward higher end paddles with fiberglass shafts and carbon fiber paddles. Such paddles are much lighter weight than plastic and allow for more efficient strokes with less shoulder and arm fatigue. Distance paddlers will be far happier with a more expensive, performance paddle. Check out The House’s diverse selection of paddles for every budget and experience level.

Paddle Boarding Regulations
Depending on where you plan to paddle, you might need to invest in a few more pieces of gear. Stand up paddle boards are nowclassified as vessels by the US coast guard, which means that paddle boards must comply with the same rules as kayaks and canoes when outside the surf zone. So, a personal floatation device (life jacket) must be worn or attached to the boat. Since there really isn’t a great place to put your PDF on a paddle board, most people prefer to wear their life jacket at all times. Many life jackets are now constructed in a way that they can be worn without limiting your movement. When paddling in the ocean beyond the surf zone, the Coast Guard also requires a sound producing device (whistle) and a light (headlamp or flashlight) if you’re paddling before sunrise or after dusk.
Clothing Yup, you should probably wear clothing when paddle boarding. Depending on the temperature and time of day, a bikini for the gals and board shorts for guys is perfect. Many girls will wear board shorts over their suit. For chillier days, a rash guard will provide a little extra warmth. Even in warmer climates, it can be chilly on the ocean certain times of the year, so a wet suit will make for a more comfortable (and longer!) experience on the water. Sunglasses are a must, even on overcast days. The sun’s rays will be stronger on the water due to the reflection. A hat is also a good idea to shield the sun from your face. Sure, you might fall in the water or might want to take a dip mid paddle, so wear a strap with your sunglasses and leave your favorite baseball hat on shore if you’re worried about it getting wet!

Accessories
While not absolutely essential for paddle boarding, a few accessories will make life a little easier, especially if you plan to hit the water on the regular or travel with your board. For choppy waters or peace of mind, a leash will keep your board from floating away should you fall or or take a dip. A board bag will protect your investment during the winter months when it’s stashed in your basement. It’s also nice for traveling if you have a packed SUV or truck. You don’t want that baby banging on the walls of a flat bed! Some people enjoy traction pads on their boards. Again, it’s not essential, but they’re helpful for more aggressive paddling and also serve as a sturdy place for your pooch to sit. Yup. Your dog can sit on your board while you paddle away! The House carries all of these accessories, so check them out!

Shop The House for paddle boards.

 

How To: Paddle Board Turning Tips

Turning on a stand up paddle board is an essential skill to make the most of your SUP experience on the water. It also adds to the fun factor and excitement of paddling! If you are a beginner, it is important to first master your balance, change directions on the board, and finally be able to turn correctly and efficiently. With a little practice, persistence, and determination you’ll turning like a pro in no time. Check it out…

Proper Feet Positioning
Begin by placing the board in the water. Beginners can first kneel on the center of the board to get the feel of the board. Once you stand up, find balancing point of the board which is right in the center of the paddle board. Your feet should always be pointing forward toward the nose, about shoulder width apart. Two things can happen if you don’t stand in the center. If you are standing too far forward, the nose will start to sink as you stroke. If you are standing too far back, then you will drag the tail and therefore move slower. Your knees should be slightly bent with hips aligned. Avoid bending from the midsection. Once you have your feet and knees properly positioned, you are ready to learn to steer!

Steering a Stand Up Paddle Board
Crawl before you walk, right? The same rule applies to paddle boarding – steer before you turn! Beginners should always start on a calm body of water with little waves or wind. Trust us. This will help nail down your techniques with little frustration or fatigue. Steering is actually pretty simple. Paddle on the right side of the board with your left hand on the handle to turn left. Switch your hands and paddle on the left to turn right.  Once you get the hang of stroke steering, practice moving your center of balance with your hips over to the side you want to move in. Keeping your knees bent and your back upright, place more weight on the foot that’s on the turning side.

Turning a Stand Up Paddle Board

Now that you’re a steering master, it’s time to learn some various turning techniques. You can certainly ‘steer’ your way to make a 180 degree turn, but how about a quick turn in the opposite directions? Your friends will be impressed and quick turns will up your game!

Sidestroke

The most basic of turns, the sidestroke is used the most often. Keeping strokes quick and short, paddle on the opposite side for which you wish to turn. This style of turning takes up more surface area on the water, so make sure you’re clear! To bring the board around more quickly, pull the blade back away from the board rather than pulling it parallel with the board. Once you’re heading in your desired direction, begin paddling on the opposite side to straighten out.
Back Paddle

A much faster turn, the back paddle will be one of your favorites once you get it down.  To initiate the turn, tightly grasp the paddle and dip your blade into the water on the same side that you want the board to turn towards.  This will begin to bring the board round in the right direction. Once momentum ceases, begin to paddle backwards on the same side to continue the turn. Once the board has turned about 90 degrees or slightly more, begin to paddle normally on the other side to straighten the board out. Now you’re ready to cruise!
Pivot Turn

The most advanced of turns, the pivot turn is the fastest way to turn your board around. It’s most useful if you’re surfing and trying to pull yourself into a wave. You’ll need to turn your board 180 degrees in a hurry to catch the most waves! First, you’ll need to get your weight back in order to lift the nose out of the water. Turn your body sideways with your toes facing the rail, and put more weight on your back foot. Make quick strokes on the opposite side that you want to turn your stand up paddle board. For maximum leverage and rotation, put the blade in the water away from your body, and then pull it in towards the tail of the board. The board should turn around fairly quickly with the nose in the air during the turn. You’re likely to fall in the water a few times while mastering this baby, so have fun with it!

As mentioned earlier, practice is the key to feeling comfortable with your new turning techniques. Before too long, all of these turns will be second nature and you’ll be having more fun than ever on your board. You’ll also notice that the back paddle and pivot turn will work your arms and upper body a little more. Bonus!

Shop The House for paddle boards.

 

Stand Up Paddle Boarding: The Forward Stroke

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20jmXBZnqa8&w=745]

Stand Up Paddle Boarding: The Forward Stroke

Alright! Sweet new stand up paddle board. Check. Paddle. Check. New trunks. Check. Polarized sunglasses. Check. A pristine lake lined with birch trees. Check.  Now it’s time to hit the water and soak in every moment of summer! Although paddle boarding looks simple enough, you don’t want to be that guy on the lake flailing around using inefficient paddling strokes.

The forward stroke is the basic stroke that every paddler must have on lock down before steering, turning, racing, or surfing. First, find your balancing point on your board in the water. Trust us. Don’t try paddling until you’re fully centered and balanced. Get comfortable on your board. The balancing sweet spot is center of the board. Stand with your body facing the nose, feet parallel to one another, knees slightly bent and feet hip width distance apart. Never bend from your torso or your waist. You’ll lose your balance and worse, you’ll look like am ammeter!

Next, you’ll need to grasp the paddle correctly. Firmly grasp the handle with one hand and place your other hand in a comfortable place on the shaft. Depending on your anatomy, the hand placement on the shaft will slightly vary from person to person.

Finally, it’s time to paddle! Paddling involves alternating 4-5 strokes per side in order to move straight ahead. If you only paddle on the right, you’ll board will continue to turn left. When paddling on the right side, your left hand will be on the handle. When you switch to the left side, your hands should also reverse with your right hand on the handle. Your upper shoulder should lead the way while using your stomach muscles to pull with each stroke. Once again keep an eye on the movement of the blade. This will help keep your paddle board straight as your paddle.

As you paddle, remember to keep one hand over the other. As you use your paddle to stroke along the water, make sure the paddle is sliding alongside the board with every stroke. The key is to keep your blade as close to the center of the board as possible. This will make turning a lot easier when it’s time to change directions. If your board begins to work against you, try switching the position of your hands or paddling on the opposite side. Just remember to keep the proper posture with your back upright and knees slightly bent as you switch hands. That’s it, now get outside and have some fun!

Paddle Boarding SUP Wetsuits

SUP wetsuits

Paddle Boarding Wetsuits

Sometimes, all you’ll need is trunks and sunglasses for an afternoon out on your paddle board. If you plan to extend your paddling season, even if you live in warmer climates, a wetsuit is nice to have on hand. It’d sure be a bummer to carve the time out of your busy day to hit the water, only to find that ten minutes is all you can handle due to the chill!

Since you won’t be spending much time in the water when paddling, the warmest suit on the market won’t be necessary. In fact, a suit that’s too thick will actually make you way to warm since you’ll be working up a sweat with each stroke. Look for a suit that’s designed for temperatures slightly warmer than you plan to be in.

Wet Suit Thickness
First off, what sort of air and water temperature will you be paddling in most? For water temperatures between 55° and 64°, a 3/2mm thickness will be sufficient. Short sleeves are also an option at this thickness, which would also be ideal for 55° plus days. Many paddlers prefer the shorter sleeve suits for increased upper body range of movement. Also, take into account the air temperature and wind conditions when choosing a wetsuit thickness.

If you’re truly paddling in year round climate in a true four season area, then you’ll definitely need a winter suit, 5/4/3mm or 6/5/4mm, for the coldest months.  If you find that 6mm cold water suits restrict your movements too much, you might want to look into a drysuit.  You’ll also need booties, a hood and gloves. For such avid paddlers, two wet suits would cover your bases – the thickest suit for the winter and a short sleeve spring suit. If you’re not quite ready to sign up for paddling the North East in December, but you’d like to head out in April, booties and/or a hood are a great addition to a spring suit. They’ll add a hair more warmth that will do the trick.

Rash Guards
Most people are familiar with the lightweight rash guards that protect surfer’s chests from rubbing on the board.  Less common, but very practical for paddle boarding are rash guards made with neoprene, the same material used for wet suits. Again, a 3/2mm would be a nice weight for spring paddling. Rash guards are a less expensive alternative when there’s a chill in the air, but it’s not quite cold enough for a full wet suit.

Conclusion
New wetsuit technology has resulted in more flexible and warmer suits than suits from the 90’s. In some cases, people can actually go down in wet suit thickness. Any new wetsuit will yield enough flexibility for full range of movement when paddling. Although wet suits aren’t essential for every paddler, they certainly will extend your season and make for more comfortable days on the water.

 

Choosing The Right SUP Paddle

 

 

With increased demand and decreased cost of production, the cost of stand up paddle (SUP) boards have certainly come down the past couple of years. Paddles are a different story. They need to withstand a lot more abuse and stress than boards. Simply put, if the paddle isn’t made well, it’s highly prone to breakage and it just won’t perform well on the water. It’s important to learn about your gear, especially when buying for the first time, so read on find out how choose your perfect paddle.

What Kind of Paddler Are You?

  • Will you be surfing or flat water paddling?
  • What is your fitness and skill level?
  • What kind of board do you have?

Paddle Construction

Before having a panic attack over the varying prices of paddles, first consider the components and essential materials used to make a quality paddle. The paddle consists of the blade, shaft and handle, each affecting the ergonomics of the paddler as well as the efficiency of the paddle stroke. A less expensive paddle has an aluminum shaft with plastic handle and blade. Viewed as beginner paddles, these are the most durable paddles on the market. Performance paddles, on the other hand, typically have carbon fiber blades and fiberglass shafts, both of which are far lighter weight than aluminum and plastic. Carbon fiber has incredible strength to weight ratio making it ideal for smoother strokes, using less energy. In a nutshell, if you’re a novice paddler or only plan on cursing on flat water a few times a month, a less expensive paddle will do the trick. If you have a few seasons under your belt or if you’re looking for a little more excitement with your paddling, lighter weight materials will greatly enhance your experience on the water. And of course, if you’re racing or plan to paddle for extended periods of time, you’ll definitely need to drop a little more cash on a performance paddle to reduce fatigue and to go faster.

Carbon Fiber SUP Paddle-

 

    • Offer a better weight to power ratio.
    • Perfect for surfing or long distance paddling.
    • Lighter
    • Higher Cost, typicality $179-$300.

Adjustable Aluminum SUP Paddles-

 

    • Strong and Durable
    • Less expensive $89-$150
    • Heavier
    • Perfect paddle for the first purchase of a passionate SUP family


Blade Size and Shape

Paddling style and body size are the main factors to consider when choosing a blade size. A smaller person should stick to a smaller blade for more control and less fatigue. You’d think that a larger person should always use a larger blade, but many larger people still prefer a smaller blade due to their paddling style. A high, fast cadence style of paddling will be more efficient with a smaller blade. Dynamic turning with quick, short strokes will be easier with a smaller blade. Larger blades put more power into a lower cadence stroke. Such a blade is helpful when trying to get into waves for surfing. If your paddling style depends on the day, give preference to your distance paddling needs. You’ll be much happier with a smaller blade that won’t tire your arms and shoulders out.

Length of Paddle

As a general rule of thumb, the paddle should be 6″ to 10″ longer than your height (shoes off!). A longer paddle provides a longer, stronger stroke for flat water SUPing. A shorter paddle enables the quicker, shorter strokes needed to navigate more challenging water conditions  and waves. Adjustable paddles are recommended for people who plan to share their paddle with friends and family. While not performance paddles so to speak, adjustable are still perfect for most recreational paddlers and will deliver for years to come.

Conclusion
Like any other sport, it’s not a bad idea to ‘test the waters’ before throwing down on the highest end gear. First timers, a less expensive paddle will guarantee a summer of fun. And hey, if the paddle was only $99 and you found your new calling with stand up paddle boarding, then treat yourself to a performance paddle next summer. You can always share your old paddle with friends or other newbies!

Shop The House selection of Sup Paddles.

Snowshoeing for Beginners

Snowshoes of all types

The sport of snowshoeing has gained immense popularity over the years as a cost effective, caloric burning and enjoyable means of exploring the wintry outdoors. It’s sort of like having big bear feet that can plow through any amount of snow or terrain. There is basically zero learning curve – if you can walk, you can snowshoe! Crazy as it sounds, snowshoes date back to the days of animal trapping, fur trading and life before sliced bread. Today, families, back country mad men, cardio junkies and even toddlers effortlessly tromp through the snow while increasing stamina, improving endurance and getting a healthy dose of nature.

If you’re ready to step onto a new pair of snowshoes this winter, The House has a wide selection and the best prices on Tubbs Snowshoes. A household name since 1906, Tubbs uses quality materials that deliver season after season. They’ve even perfected women’s snowshoes, giving them a narrower frame and unique binding design. Since women have a very different frame and a smaller stride than men, it’s important to outfit yourself or your lady in gender specific snowshoes for the most enjoyable experience.

Where to Snowshoe?

You won’t need to wait in line, drive to the mountain or buy a lift ticket to snowshoe. Golf courses, state or local parks, and even your own back-yard can be a snowshoe haven. Snowshoe specific trails also exist at Nordic Centers near ski resorts, bed and breakfasts or inns and national parks. Skiiers and snowboarders in search of pristine powder, earn their turns in the backcountry and side country by trekking out of bounds. Snowshoes make it possible to ascend beyond the lift or to venture outside of marked trails.

How to Snowshoe

How to Snowshoe

A natural and normal stride is best, although the feet must be slightly wider than normal to avoid hitting the insides of the snowshoes. The inner thighs will love this low impact workout! Most people simply walk in their snowshoes, but others run in snowshoes on designated trails and even partake in organized races.

Packed snow is ideal for beginners, while cleats and a kicked up nose enable the user to walk up hills and plow through deeper snow. When walking down a slope, smaller steps should be taken with the knees slightly bent for increased stability. Snowshoeing uphill tends to come more naturally and has the added bonus of toning your buns! For longer treks with diverse terrain, snowshoe poles are quite helpful for balance and giving the upper body an added workout.

Snowshoe Sizing

While snowshoes are sized by length, weight is the most important factor when determining snowshoe size. No fudging your weight either! The more you weight, the wider the footprint of the snowshoe and the longer the length. This will enable you to sink perfectly into powder – not too much and not too little! The House provides size charts for every model that will help you determine the proper length of your snowshoes.

Types of Snowshoes

Depending on your snowshoe intentions, there are three styles of snowshoes. Although they are all fairly versatile, the most expensive pair doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re “the best” for all types of users. What’s nice about snowshoes is that upgrading in the future won’t be a major investment like dropping in on a carbon fiber bike frame.

  • Recreational snowshoes are ideal for users who live close to trails, parks or open space where one can easily get their snowshoe on. The majority of users fall under this category. These value oriented models offer easy to use bindings and are designed for flat or rolling terrain with primarily packed snow. Running specific snowshoes also fall under this category.
  • Adventure snowshoes are a step above recreational models. Stronger traction, more advanced bindings and ergonomical design make treks through powder and moderate terrain effortless. Adventure snowshoes are better for ‘breaking the trail.’
  • Backcountry snowshoes are hardcore to say the least. They are most suited for steep, uneven terrain with deep powder and icy slopes. Backcountry skiiers, snowboarders and backpackers typically opt for these models due to their durability, aggressive crampons, advanced binding system and dependability on untracked terrain.

Outfit Your Feet For Snowshoeing

Leather hiking boots that have been treated with a protective waterproofing spray are perfect for recreational snowshoeing. Trail running shoes are ideal for aerobic and fitness snowshoeing. And for the adventurous souls who ascend the backcountry wilderness on snowshoes in search of fresh lines, snowboard boots work perfect.

Regardless of what type of snowshoeing you plan to partake in, moisture wicking socks are crucial for the most enjoyable experience! They keep your feet warm, allow them to breath and soak up any excess moisture so your feet don’t turn to popsicles. For your ankles and calves, gaiters keep the snow out of your boots. They aren’t crucial for leisurely strolls on packed snow, but for any trail cutting or powder, gaiters will truly make or break your day!  For a full snowshoe gear checklist go here.

Dress for Success!

Types of Snowshoes

Layering is by far the best way to dress for any winter aerobic activity. Multiple layers make it easier to control the temperature around your body. Add a layer if you’re chilly and ditch a layer before you start to sweat too much. Base layer tops and bottoms are worn directly against the skin serving as the key ingredient for moisture management and breathability. Cotton is a poor choice for a base layer since it will soak up sweat the instant the body starts to perspire. Once that happens and you stop moving, get ready to shiver in your own freezing sweat!

An insulating layer such as a fleece is ideal for the second layer. Fleece offers a bump in the warmth department without compromising range of movement or adding excess bulk. If it’s 30 degrees or above, two layers should be sufficient. Pack a technical shell in your pack in case the temperature drops or if it starts to dump snow. This outer layer is your main defense against blustery winds and precipitation.

Don’t forget a hat and a pair of gloves or mittens! If you start to overheat, take off your hat for a bit to quickly dump some heat. If you tend to sweat during aerobic activities, lighter gloves or mitts will best protect your hands from getting clammy.

Last but not least, have fun out there!!

 

Longboards for Beginners and Advanced Riders

Many would consider Loaded Longboard to be the best in the industry. With  fiberglass additive, vertically laminated bamboo and a drop through design, these are the perfect board for those who are looking to take their longboarding skills to the next level.

Check out our inventory of moderately priced longboards from GoldCoastSanta Cruz, Arbor and Sector 9.

Click here to see our full selection of Longboards.

If you are looking for your first longboard or something to cruz around campus with, check out the GoldCoast Rebirth Moon. It has a eco-friendly bamboo construction and the durability of a Mac Truck. The  GoldCoast Rebirth Moon is a reasonably priced longboard that is perfect for anyone looking to get in to the sport.

Key Features of the Gold Coast Rebirth Moon Longboard :

  • 40″ x 9.5″
  • 24″ Wheel Base
  • Kicktail
  •  Bamboo Consturtion
  • Century 7″ Reverse Pivot Trucks
  • 68mm 80a Wheels
  • ABEC 7 Bearings With Teflon
  • GoldCoast Printed Grip Tape

Camping Checklist

 

The list
The Boy Scout Motto is simply “Be Prepared.” Preparation is essential for any outdoor adventure. Having the necessary supplies and equipment can make or break your overall enjoyment, experience and likelihood of spending time in the great outdoors again.  Checklists are a great tool to help with your organization and to ensure that you don’t leave any essentials behind. Your camping checklist will vary according to the type of camping and activities you have planned, the time of year and the length of your trip. Add or remove items to suit your individual needs and desires…

Shelter and Camp Checklist – New campers often over look what sort of gear they’ll need besides the tent. Where will you sit by the fire? On the ground? Sure, but a folding chair is much more comfortable. Check out the items that made it to our shelter and camp checklist…

  • Tent
  • Tent footprint, tarp or ground cloth for underneath the tent
  • Extra stakes
  • Shade tarp or screen house
  • Mat for tent entrance
  • Folding chairs
  • Folding table
  • Musical instruments
  • Hammock
  • Rope or clothesline

Bedding – A sleeping bag and a sleeping mat are really all you’ll need. Some people, especially people with babies, prefer air mattresses with sheets and blankets. Stick with a sleeping back to start, then see which you prefer!

Food – Now of course, your camping meals are a matter of preference. Some campers go all out with marinated steaks, corn on the cob with herbed butter and freshly roasted potatoes. It’s certainly possible to prepare a gourmet meal in the wilderness! However, don’t spread yourself too thin at first. Keep it simple and satisfying for your first couple of family camping trips with the food basics below.

  • Coffee and/or tea
  • Hot chocolate mix
  • Granola/oatmeal
  • Eggs
  • Energy bars
  • Pancake mix and maple syrup
  • Butter
  • Bread or bagels
  • Jam and peanut butter
  • Meat (fresh and jerky)
  • Cooking oil
  • Vegetables
  • Drink mixes or electrolyte mixes
  • Trail mix
  • S’moors fixins (graham crackers, chocolate bars, marshmellows)
  • Fruit (dried and fresh)
  • Cheese
  • Pasta
  • Jarred pasta sauce
  • Canned soup
  • Crackers/chips
  • Spices and herbs

Kitchen – You can set up a mini, functional outdoor kitchen in no time. Grills are often the norm at campsites, but don’t rely soley on the grill unless you’re planning to fire it up for burgers and grilled veggies three times a day. To vary your meals, you’ll need a few pots and a pan to place on top of the grill for cooking. Again, not every item below is essential, but take a look and decide what you’ll use most.

  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Matches/lighter
  • Charcoal with firestarter
  • Frying pan
  • Two different sized cooking pots
  • Portable coffee maker or coffee press
  • Bottle opener
  • Plates, bowls, mixing bowls and utensils
  • Chef knife and paring knife
  • Table cloth
  • Resealable food storage bags
  • Garbage bags
  • Coolers with ice
  • Water bottle and hot/cold thermos
  • Spatula
  • Whisk
  • Cutting board
  • Sponge
  • Dish towels
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Collapsible water container
  • Portable or standing camp sink

Clothing and Footwear – Check the weather several times before you leave for your camping trip. Assume that it could change at any moment and be prepared with the essentials below.

Personal Items – Roughing it is fun and all, but you’ll certainly want a few items to feel clean, fresh, and protected from the sun on your camp trip.

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Toilet paper
  • Insect repellent
  • Hand sanitizer
  • First-Aid kit – Check out our First-Aid Checklist
  • Personalized toiletry kit
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Shower shoes/flip flops
  • Personal medications

Tools and Gear – Your last bit of gear includes some miscellaneous items that will be handy and/or fun to bring along. The more you camp, the better an idea you’ll have of what’s most important and useful to you from this list!

  • Hammer
  • Multi-tool or knife
  • Headlamps
  • Flashlights
  • Lantern with fuel
  • Candles
  • Water purification/filters/treatment   – How to purify water?
  • Park map/area guide
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Notebook with pen/pencil
  • Games/cards
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Duct tape
  • Cell phone and charger and 2-way radio/walkie talkies
  • Work gloves
  • Daypack  – Review of best daypacks

Happy Camping!