Burton US Open moves after 30 years in Vermont

My guess is you have seen by now, (Especially since my guess is that you read the above title) that the Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships are moving to Vail after thirty years in Vermont. Look, I get it. The move to Vail and it’s Golden Peak is a venue/amenities upgrade, it hits the schedule at a soft time in Colorado’s season, bridges the “Sow Daze” event with Spring Break traffic and it puts the four largest US half-pipe contests next year in Colorado. I get it. But I find myself torn on the move.

On one hand nostalgia rules. As a snowboarder from Michigan I like to believe that all regions have their charm and place in the Snowboarding world. That everything doesn’t need to be held in the Rockies or Europe to matter.

The other hand knows the truth. While snowboarding is great in the Midwest and out East  in places like Vermont. In the US, the Rockies are king. Beyond that, 2014 is an Olympic year. Less travel, a top tier superpipe and the consolidation of events allows for a more unified training program for US Olympic hopefuls.

Bottom line is Burton is right. It is time to push snowboarding’s first national competition to a higher level. This move will do that.

Read more about the move:

Transworld Snowboarding

Snowboarder Magazine

Denver Post

Review- Watermans Applied Science

Lets begin with this nugget of information. I trace my genealogy back to Germany and Scotland. Translation? I make copy paper look tan. Maybe this is why I have always found myself drawn to winter sports. I am genetically predisposed to activities where shielding your skin from the elements is not just a good idea, but damn near mandatory. In the summer I tend to have two skin stages. The aforementioned copy paper white, and the post sun lobster red. This is amplified even more by the fact that I am completely bald. Yep razor bald. So with the lack of hair and melanin I am naturally defenseless against the sun. So when I was setting up my July demo trip I was particularly interested in Watermans Applied Science. Everything I had heard was positive so we ordered the full line. Lip Balm, Face Stick and Sun Cream.

First impressions: This stuff is super pricey. A 3.4 Fluid Oz. bottle of Sun Cream runs $19.95 in Waterman’s web store, and the Lip Balm and Face Stick were no exceptions. (Cheaper elsewhere online)  I was impressed with how long the 3.4 ounce Sun Cream lasted however. The Face Stick went pretty darn quick. It’s life was extended however by the fact that as a bald man I was able to use the Cream all over my head and face in one swoop.

Application: This stuff is thick! I would equate applying Watermans Applied Science to waterproofing your body with liquid vinyl. The benefit being you didn’t need to constantly be re-applying post water contact. It definitely installed a “coverage confidence” in you. Draw back was that you spent the day feeling like a greaseball.

 

Piece of advice- Don’t eat directly after applying. Your hands will be coated, water does not wash off waterproof Sun Cream, you will get it on your sandwich.

Hours later I dragged my fingers across my forehead and the results fostered both confidence in the product and a bit of a gross out factor.

Performance: Stuff works as advertised. 10 days on the water and no savage lobster red burn. In fact some 25+ days later I still have no reverted to my copy paper color.

Overall: Probably the best sunscreen I have ever used as far as protection goes. It does leave you feeling greasy and the price is kind of prohibitive, but if you are going to be active in the sun and water it delivers on the promise.

Pros

  • Very very water/sweat resistant
  • No need for constant re-application
  • High quality protection

Cons

  • High price
  • Relatively small volume
  • Greasy feeling

Win a free pair of Sanuks! Details Below

Simple to enter. Show us on Facebook what “Sidewalk Surfing” means to you. Post a picture, limerick, video, freeform yodel, or whatever illustrates what “Sidewalk Surfing” means to you. The winning submission will get to pick whatever style Sanuk they want! 

Deadline to enter is August 3rd. Winner will be chosen by Sanuk.

Ian Ruhter – Snowboarder Magazine piece

I’m a big fan of Ian Ruhter and his photography. Check out this Snowboarder Magazine piece on his pro career and his passion for photography. Formerly a staff photographer for Forum, Four Square and Special Blend. Ruhter now spends his time pushing the limits of photography.  Silver and Light (the video below) chronicles Ruhter’s wet plate collodion project. In which he creates his own camera out of the back of a truck and produces large scale one of a kind photographs that look like something from another time.

 

 

Giveaway Announcement!

In honor of the Sanuk Spotlight Review we are giving away a pair of Sanuks. Which ones? Well thats up to the winner. Yes you heard me right. The winner will be able to pick their pair. How will we decide the winner? Well you guys did such a great job with the Knockaround giveaway that we are opening it up this one to you too. How can we fairly decide? Let us hear your ideas on Facebook. Bonus points for creativity.

Special thanks to Rachel from Sanuk for coordinating the giveaway. Cheers!

Knockaround Glow Winner Announced Tuesday

Deadline for entry has come and gone. I have to say they lasted a lot longer than I thought they would. And I only had a few people ask me why I was sitting in the dark with sunglasses and a stopwatch. I tried to explain but I don’t think they understood. Thanks for entering. The winner will be announced on Tuesday.

Spotlight Review: Sanuk Sidewalk Surfers

Sanuk Rambler in Tan

I have picky feet, or more specifically a stubborn brain that rules with an iron fist. I also detest wearing socks. Why? I don’t know, I could put some flowery language here about restrictive feelings and conforming to societal constraints but it would all be bullshit. I simply don’t like wearing socks. For many years that meant wearing a lot of flip flop style sandals. Thankfully years ago I stumbled upon Sanuk.

At A Glance for the ADD Crowd

  • Durability – A - Some still kicking it after 2+ years
  • Comfort – A+ - Minimal friction, might not know your wearing them
  • Style – A - Tons of styles and colors

Sanuk Pile

When I purchased my first pair of “Sidewalk Surfers”  the product line was pretty limited and I had only a few options. This has since changed and the offering is large and diverse. Now boasting thirty-nine styles in mens alone. Some with “Vulc-Lite” rubber outsoles and others with the more traditional sandal outsole of EVA. For the purposes of this review we spotlight some of the EVA soled Sanuk Sidewalk Surfers. We will do another Sanuk Spotlight Review a bit later that will focus on their sandals.

Sanuk Womens Plain Jane II

For this review we have two styles of Sanuk Sidewalk Surfers, one mens, one womens. The tested mens kicks are the Rambler and carry a price tag of $72.00, and as you can see from the pictures ours are Tan in color. As for the womens set, we tested a pair of Plain Jane II in Cream that retail for $54.00.

Entering into a sandal or other EVA footbed style footwear review or demo my first concern is always durability. Which is followed closely by comfort, and finally style.

Rambler Sole 1 Month Wear

Durability-Quite impressive. Beyond these two pairs that Sanuk sent us, I have many pairs of my own that range in age of three months to 2+ years. And I am happy to report that they are all still in service. Granted they have varying amounts of sole wear but they are not only functional, but do not cause undue wear on my feet. Every pair of EVA soled “Sidewalk Surfers” I have seen have been fabric coated. This coating quickly wears off at the contact points as the above photo shows, but that “feature” appears to be purely aesthetic. It may provide a small improvement to traction…*Shrug*… but remember that you are wearing flat EVA soled shoes, so you shouldn’t be expecting track star traction anyway. Beyond that you can expect wear craters to appear in your personalized contact

Sanuk Scurvy with 2+ Years of Wear

points. Again this is to be expected and will vary depending on your foot “geometry” and pronation/supination of your foot Such wear will not render them unwearable. The traditionally canvas uppers on the Sidewalk surfers are also very durable. I have yet to see a failure in any of the pairs I have used, With wear from one month to two plus years. The footwear also performs seamlessly in and around water. Some however take to water better than others. The Rambler that was part of this review is part suede and I don’t recommend it in water. Bring a pair of Pick Pocket or Chiba Sanuks for your jungle trek. That being said, water is no issue.

Durability Rating- A

The Rambler Suede Heel Detail

Comfort- As someone who has spent time using ski boots, snowboard boots and hiking boots, as well as professionally fitting them I understand the importance of the right sock. Friction, hydrophobic materials, etc. can play a big role in footwear comfort, and alleviate or cause  uncomfortable wear points and pressure points on your feet. The fact that Sanuk “Sidewalk Surfers” are made to be worn sans socks puts the comfort pressure squarely on the footwear.  A pressure that every style I have tested has shouldered beautifully and the Rambler and Plain Jane II are no exceptions. The Rambler incorporates suede sections in the toe and heel which increase comfort in two of the most important areas.  Even in and out and around water which can increase uncomfortable friction they perform wonderfully. I do not recommend a lot of direct water contact with the Rambler (suede toe and heel). Yet on my recent demo trip I used these everyday out on the boat and had no issues and see no long lasting damage.

Comfort Rating- A+

Plain Jane II Detail

Style- Don’t like the look of the Rambler? Then take a look at one of the other thirty-eight styles. Don’t want laces? No problem. Want a pocket? Sanuk has you covered. Lots of models and lots of color options make the style rating a no brainer. As for the style ratings on the Plain Jane II and Rambler, I rate both highly. The Rambler is essentially the Chiba with laces. It also adds a nice touch with the suede toe and heel and is available in three colors. As for the Plain Jane Il, I will have to rely on Andrea my womens gear tester. As one, these don’t fit on my feet. And two, I know nothing about women’s fashion. The Plain Jane II does tend to live up to it’s name but that’s not a bad thing. It excels at understated casual style and what it lacks in flashyness it makes up for in versatility.

Not your style? Check out one of the many other Womens styles or Mens styles

Style Rating Overall- A+  Models Tested- A

Sanuk Rambler Mens Sidewalk Surfer

Overall- To get a “Spotlight Review” from us it has to be a killer product so by now you already know my feelings on Sanuk Sidewalk Surfers. Super comfy, durable, and stylish. With entry level prices at 50 to 60 bucks what have you got to lose?

The Rambler Off-Road

Be Social!

 

 

 

Plain Jane II Detail
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Plain Jane II Detail
Plain Jane II Sole Unused
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Plain Jane II Sole Unused
Plain Jane II Detail
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Plain Jane II Detail
The Rambler 1month of Wear
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The Rambler 1month of Wear
Rambler Sole 1 Month Wear
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Rambler Sole 1 Month Wear
The Rambler Suede Heel Detail
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The Rambler Suede Heel Detail
Older pair of Sanuks
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Older pair of Sanuks
Sanuk Pile
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Sanuk Pile
Sanuk Scurvy with 2+ Years of Wear
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Sanuk Scurvy with 2+ Years of Wear
Scurvy 2+ Years of Wear Sole Detail
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Scurvy 2+ Years of Wear Sole Detail
The Rambler Sole Detail 1 month wear
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The Rambler Sole Detail 1 month wear
The Rambler Suede Toe Detail
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The Rambler Suede Toe Detail
Plain Jane II Detail
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Plain Jane II Detail
The Rambler Brand Spanking New
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The Rambler Brand Spanking New
Rambler Sole Unused
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Rambler Sole Unused
Happy Corn
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Happy Corn
The Rambler Off-Road
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The Rambler Off-Road
Sanuk Rambler in Tan
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Sanuk Rambler in Tan
Sanuk Rambler Mens Sidewalk Surfer
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Sanuk Rambler Mens Sidewalk Surfer
Sanuk Womens Plain Jane II
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Sanuk Womens Plain Jane II

Programming Note

We have a few Spotlight Reviews coming up and some regular old reviews as well. I don’t think I ever specified what the difference is. Spotlight Reviews are reserved for gear that we highly recommend to all of our readers. That means that they will be almost entirely positive. It’s not because we are kissing ass, we simply love these products and think you will too. Regular reviews are shorter and may profile good stuff, it just doesn’t end up getting rated quite as high, and thus doesn’t get the full “Spotlight” treatment. Hope that clears it up. Sanuk “Sidewalk Surfers” review hits later today. Will it be a Spotlight Review? ………………………………………………………………………………….Yes, yes it will be.