Posts Tagged ‘ski gear’
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By Emily the Intern for Wakeboardingmag.com
You can’t ride without a board and boots, and it’s tough to get towed without a rope and handle, but a wakeboard life jacket is probably a rider’s most vital piece of gear. After all, life jackets are exactly what their name implies: your lifeline when the unexpected happens on the water. As a result, making sure you buy and wear a properly fitted life jacket could actually save your life. Here are five rules to follow when shopping for the best life jacket for you. — Chelsy Tracz
USCGA versus comp
U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets meet official standards for both buoyancy and impact protection. Competition or comp vests are designed for pros riding in contests and do not meet Coast Guard requirements. Put simply, a USCGA life jacket will keep you afloat when your life is on the line; a comp vest might not. If your love for life doesn’t compel you to opt for a USCGA life jacket, maybe your wallet will. In many states, laws require you to use a USCGA jacket at all times, and you can be ticketed for wearing a jacket that doesn’t meet official standards.
Tight is right
Your life jacket should be snug — really snug. “When you wear a properly fitted vest, it should be hard to breathe when you’re in the store,” says Jeremy Thornell, manager at the Salt Lake City wake shop Marine Products. In fact, think of your life jacket as a second skin. You don’t want any air between you and the jacket, because that air can cause bruised rips when you take a fall. Also, consider that most jackets have a tendency to stretch when wet. When you take a plunge, you don’t want your jacket 3 inches off your shoulder and halfway up your face. Bottom line: If you get an extra large when, in fact, you’re a large, your life jacket isn’t going to be safe or comfortable.
Find the perfect fit
Every manufacturer has a weight range for each of its life jackets as well as a corresponding chest size. Chest size is the most accurate indicator of proper fit, but most people don’t know their exact chest measurements. Therefore, it’s often easiest to use your weight as a starting point. Also, remember the proper size can change from manufacturer to manufacturer and even from jacket to jacket. “Each vest is cut differently,” says Bill Porter, owner of Orlando’s iconic wake shop Performance Ski & Surf. “Certain vests are going to fit certain people better than others, depending on their body makeup.” As a result, finding the right one will involve a process of elimination.
Try it on
Sure, online shopping is convenient, but considering the importance of a life jacket’s fit in it functioning properly, there’s no substitute for your local wake shop. “Just like buying shoes, you want to see different models, understand what justifies price difference and make sure that it fits properly,” Porter says. Trying on several brands and multiple models is the best way to ensure you pick the best life jacket for you. Plus, you won’t have to go it alone. Your local wake shop’s staff can guide you through everything from stretch characteristics to each jacket’s unique cut.
Test it out
“Bend over, flex your back, rotate side to side, twist and see how it is restricting your movement,” Thornell suggests. To ensure optimal mobility, it’s not a bad idea to also mimic passing the handle and grabbing the board. Just keep in mind that a jacket may feel much more restricting in the store. In fact, Thornell says most jackets tend to loosen up a good 10 to 15 percent once wet. With that in mind, Porter suggests another test. “If it has a zipper on the front, you should have to stretch it to get it to zip up,” he says. “It shouldn’t come together easily and zip up without any effort.” Ultimately, it’s important that your new life jacket passes the test of tightness.
As much as we love wakeboard season, it’s sad to say good bye to ski season. What do you do with all your gear while it’s not being used? Here’s a great article from Skiing Magazine on how to best store your ski equipment during the summer months. We encourage you to take these tips to heart!
Ski Pro’s Pick – Thorlo Unisex XSKI Extreme Ski Sock with Thin Cushion
Designed to provide a performance fit for skiers on varied to difficult terrain, wearing custom fitted boots and who prefer thin contoured cushioning/protection. They are also suitable for Cross Country, Ski Touring, and Telemark skiing.
As it is the case of other winter sports, choosing the correct skiing gear is an important factor when it comes to enjoying the practice of this fantastic sport. However, it seems that many ski enthusiasts focus on getting the right boots, goggles, helmets, and poles, but they overlook the importance of choosing the right kind of ski socks. It is often thought that any socks will do and that it is not really necessary to invest in technical ski socks, so regular cotton socks are not an uncommon sights on the slopes.
So why should ski socks be worn?
In the first place, wearing properly fitting ski socks can help your overall skiing experience be smoother and more enjoyable. Ski socks have been especially designed to aid your skiing by preventing unnecessary rubbing against the inner part of your boots. This means that by choosing to wear ski socks that fit correctly, you can reduce the chances of getting those all-too-common blisters. Ski socks do not have seams that may rub against your boots, and are reinforced with a thick lining in those areas that are more prone to blistering, such as the sides of the feet or the back of the heels.
Another advantage of wearing ski socks is that they absorb sweat much better than plain cotton socks. You will sweat when doing any strenuous physical activity (including skiing), even when the outdoor temperatures are hovering around 0 degrees. When sweat builds up around the feet and ankles, the skin in those areas becomes more prone to blistering. Although ski socks cannot stop you from sweating, the materials they are made of will absorb sweat and moisture quickly helping you stay dry and comfortable.
Then there is the issue of insulation. If your feet become sweaty and you are not wearing ski socks, your feet will soon get cold, and this is something you want to prevent at all costs as cold feet can develop into hypothermia or even frost bite. Remember that it does not take long for these dangerous conditions to set in, and if not wearing the appropriate gear, they may appear in as little as 10 or 15 minutes.
Lastly, ski socks provide excellent support to your ankles and shinbones, helping prevent injuries like sprained ankles or bruising.
Now, what should you look for when choosing ski socks? Choose socks that are made of moisture wicking materials, such as merino wool or acrylic fibres, like polyamide or polypropylene. Some ski socks combine wool and acrylic materials for better performance. Look for socks that have cushioning around the ankles, toes, and shins, and that cover the entire calf for optimal warmth. By following these simple tips you will be on your way to a more enjoyable ski experience.
For an inaugural video part, Alex Andrews, Zak Hale and Ethan Deiss brought the heat to the streets. Watch their full part from Standing Sideways now. Where was the best powder last year? Ready for winteror are you glad it’s summer? Let us know on Facebook!
Burton Snowboards brings us yet another fluffy and delightful Snow Porn. This great clip features rider Kyle Mack, best summed up by Burton Snowboards themselves, “Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special order’s don’t upset us: we are having a Kyle Mack attack. For being so small, he rides like he’s been super-sized.”
Anyone up for a little late season skiing? It may officially be spring, but that’s no reason to stop a little winter sport madness. There is still time to get up on the slopes, whether you ski or ride. The snow is still good and the crowds are go on.
So go ahead, take a peek at Luxury Ski Trip’s picks for the Top 10 Western Spring Skiing Resorts.
Winter X Games Europe is over but the celebration is not! Congratulations to the rockstar GoPro athletes who brought home 6 medals from Tignes 2012! Enjoy their victories as the GoPro Team takes the show on the road to French Alps!
Shot 100% on the new HD HERO2® camera from http://GoPro.com. From Go Pro on YouTube.
Get your Go Pro from Ski Pro.
K2 Snowboards brings us “A quick edit from Kyle Miller snowboarding from earlier today at Alpine Meadows. Kyle says ‘A good morning of pow at Alpine Meadows, good start to the big storm ahead.’”
Are you getting in some last minute runs this season? Let us know! Where’s your favorite spot?
Get your winter gear at amazing prices at Ski Pro.
Check out Episode 3 of Sebis’ Different Direction from Ride Snowboards. The powder is insane! Enjoy the last of the season before it’s too late. Get your gear at Ski Pro today.