Bike Shoes: Chrome Kursk

Chrome Kursk Bike Shoes

It feels good being able to hop off a bike, lock it up, and walk away without clapping around in bike shoes.  The Chrome Kursk bike shoes are designed for the commuter who can’t fully commit to clips or prefers toe cages.

How can a casual shoe be a bike shoe?  Simple, with tons bike focused features – nylon/glass midsole plates give the shoe a stiff responsive feel, reflective heels keep you seen at night, and tongue lace garages offer a great place to park your steel aglets when your pedaling.

If you like the look of the Kursk but ride with SPD cleats you might want to check out the Chrome Kursk Pro that offers clip compatibility.  Chrome has done the Kursk just right, it’s a staff favorite for our commuters.

Fabric: 1000 denier Cordura

Product Source: Guangzhou, China

Features:

  • Made of 1,000 denier Cordura with back-padding
  • 100% vulcanized construction
  • Low profile design to better fit into a toe cage
  • Reinforced nylon/glass fiber shank to support the midsole
  • Board lasted sole to eliminate pedal hot spot
  • Skid resistant contact rubber on the sole
  • Polyurethane contoured crash pad insole
  • Durable rubber heel cup with reflective safety hit
  • Lace garage so laces don’t get caught in your chainring
  • Steel aglets to keep laces from fraying

Bike Shoes: Chrome Kursk Pro

Chrome Kursk Pro Bike Shoes

Here you have it, finally (sigh), a clip-able bike shoe that doesn’t make you look like a Jetson’s character.  The Chrome Kursk Pro bike shoes look hip enough to raise hell on a rooftop bar, watch the new band, and pedal the streets of your favorite city.

Cordura® uppers keep the elements out, and the built in foot rocker assists walking; the Kursk Pro’s have a stiffer (full length nylon/glass) footbed than you average casual shoe, but by no means is it as stiff as a Shimano race shoe.  Will it take time to break in the shoe?  Yes, but after you do, it’s heavenly.

The skid resistent rubber sole is SPD cleat compatible and when you’re walking around won’t sound like a horse trotting about.  What if I don’t have pedals and clips?  Worry not, you can keep the detatchable cleat pad on or you can check out the Chrome Kursk bike shoes.  The Kursk Pro is packed with bike oriented features; the steel lace aglets won’t fray, the lace garage keeps loose ends from swaying about, and the reflective heel strip will brighten you up.

There has been talk of heel slip in the Kursk Pro; if you wear a light athletic/hiking sock instead of an uber thin cycling sock your heel will fit in snug.  The Chrome Kursk Pro is a sight for sore eyes (or feet), and you won’t break the bank coping a pair.

Fabric: 1,000 denier Cordura

Product Source: Guangzhou, China

Features:

  • 1,000 denier Cordura® with back-padding
  • 100% vulcanized construction
  • Low profile design
  • Compatibility with most clipless pedal systems
  • Full-length nylon shank plate for added riding rigidity
  • Built-in foot rocker for added walking ease and comfort
  • Board lasted sole with Polyurethane slam pad to eliminate pedal hot spot
  • Skid resistant contact rubber on the sole
  • Durable rubber heel cup with reflective safety hit
  • Lace garage so laces don’t get caught in your chainring
  • Steel aglets to keep laces from fraying

 

Bike Bags: Chrome ORP

Chrome ORP Bike Bags

There is something just right about the Chrome ORP Bike Bag. The ORP is lightweight, waterproof, and packable – which is everyone’s dream combination.  The minimalistic design and detail oriented craftmanship of Chrome stands out in the ORP without the classic thick and sturdy material they usually use.  It’s almost hard to believe that it’s made by Chrome.

The first thing you’ll notice about the ORP is that it’s feather light, actually it’s 0.9 lbs (14.4 oz.).  Most backpacks weigh around 3 lbs., but not this beauty.

Of course you can use it on rainy morning commutes without the worries of getting your brown bag lunch or laptop wet because the ORP is waterproof.  The seams are taped, and instead of zippers the top opening is actually a rolltop.

The 100 denier double coated diamond ripstop nylon material is what makes the ORP so packable.  The shoulder straps lack padding, but who needs padding when you can roll the ORP to the size of a pair of jeans?

This flimsy bag may not have the historic feel of a Chrome Citizen but it will stand the test of time just like the rest of their product.

Features:

  • Waterproof rolltop accommodates a range of load sizes
  • 100% seamtaped for water resistency
  • Rolltop compression straps for improved visibility
  • Internal divider sleeve for organizing cargo

Fit:

  • Ergonomic shoulder strap design
  • Sternum strap for load distribution
  • Industrial metal cam lock under arm compression buckles

Fabrication:

  • Lightweight and durable 100 denier double coated diamond ripstop nylon with waterproof taped seams
  • Signature durable truck tarpaulin bottom panel
  • Nylon 69 thread

Dimensions: 10.5” wide, 17.5” high, 6” deep

Volume: 24 L

Weight: 0.9 lb.

Built in: Guangzhou, China

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

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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!

Stand Up Paddle Board Types

Stand Up Paddle Boarding  has been gaining  in popularity in recent years, but the real question at hand is what the right sup for you. A touring Sup? A Surf Style SUP? A all around SUP?  Each type of SUP is best suited for a different style of paddle boarding. Most people will fall into the most versatile type of Stand Up Paddle Boards – the all around stand up paddle board category. The all around SUP’s are are typicality longer, wider and thicker. The increase in length, thickness and wider profile make for boards more stable and forgiving.  Perfect both intermediate and beginners riders looking to surf small wave, do yoga, or just paddle around the lake.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkWhMsB2nY0&w=780]

When selecting paddle boards it is good idea to pick a board that is around 11 feet long and 30+ inches wide. The longer and wider a paddle board is the more stable it will be.  More often then not people start out on a SUP that is too small. This can make learning difficult and disheartening. When in doubt it is always a good idea to get a board that is longer and thicke. If you have a question about choosing the right Stand Up Paddle Board please call out sale department at 1 (866) 243-6932.

Types Of Stand Up Paddle Boards

All Around Stand Up Paddleboards

  • Thicker
  • Wider
  • Longer
  • Stable
  • Good for both small surf and flat water.

Surf Style Stand Up Paddle Boards

  • More Rocker
  • Shorter
  • Rounded Rail
  • More Maneuverable

Race and Touring Stand Up Paddle Boards

  • Less Rocker
  • Displacement Hull Shape
  • Faster and Smoother through choppy water
  • Some offer Piercing nose

Hybrid Windsurfing/ Stand Up Paddle board

 

  • Similar to all  around SUP shapes
  • Thicker
  • Wider
  • Longer
  • Stable
  • Mast Track
  • Dagger Board

 


 

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

 

 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.

Suggested SUP Paddle Lenght

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!

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