WORKING FOR THE MAN? LIVE VICARIOUSLY THROUGH THE VAN

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While resisting the 9-5 grind for over a decade and travelling all over the world, living vicariously through other people’s travel images isn’t something I’ve felt compelled to do.  But now that I’ve joined the ranks of the gainfully employed, it’s become a mild addiction, as painful as it is pleasurable.

To appease and prod my pain, I’ve started following Foster Huntington’s blog Van-Life and instagram. It’s mildly comforting to know that I’m one of more than 720,000 followers, most of whom like me, are parked in front of a computer screen rather than in a personalized hybrid van/truck/home at one of the remote and wondrous locations he’s snapped during the years he’s spent travelling since quitting his NYC design job.

Check out Foster Huntington’s lusty (wanderlusty that is) images featured in the new Monsterchildren #41 that Coldsmoke helped inaugurate last weekend in Vancouver.

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THE SURFBOARD GROOMING KIT

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The most sophisticated maintenance kit for your surfboard on the market. This kit includes a Bronze and Brazilian Lapacho waxcomb, a black cotton cloth, a bar of wax and a small bottle of methyl hydrate to clean off any residue left by the wax. The waxcomb features your standard comb grooves, a scraper and a bottle opener so you can enjoy a cold brew after you have laboured and loved your board. It also comes with a leather lanyard so you can attach it to your jeans or keys and carry it with you anywhere.

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COLDSMOKE CHRONICLES: BIG SUR NEW YEARS SURF TRIP

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Even as we endure the un-snowiest winter season on record, for us lucky (and smug) Californians, there is plenty of  H2O to be ridden, albeit of an unfrozen variety.  Fun waves, good friends, delicious food, warm Coldsmoke gear, and crisp starry nights, made for an enchanted and memorable Big Sur New Years adventure.  Thanks Pascal Shirley for the great shots.

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SS/14 SNEAK PEEK

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SS/14 is coming together nicely. Here’s a sneak peak of a few pieces during a fitting at our factory in Vancouver B.C.

 

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BUY MONSTER CHILDREN ISSUE 41 – GET COLDSMOKE GEAR

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As the fellas at Monster Children have so courteously put it….“So we messed up. (Actually FedEx did.) We promised there’d be Coldsmoke t-shirts in each tote bag at the Vancouver launch alongside the new issue, but said shirts never came. We waited and we drank and we actually didn’t feel all that bad because people’s bellies were full of Canada’s finest craft beer and they didn’t have to pay a cent for it! So now we get to entice you with the quality, locally-made garment, as they’ve just arrived at the LA office.

Also feeling a bit of unnecessary guilt, Coldsmoke threw in a couple of Vets Tusk Jackets below (worth $395!) for two lucky winners.”

Buy issue 41 here by Christmas and we’ll include a Coldsmoke t-shirt and maybe a jacket. (US only)

 

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SITKA HOBO KNIFE

Case XX and Canadian surf label Sitka have come together to create the Hobo Knife. The detachable blade holds a complete set of cutlery to keep on hand while traveling, camping or hiking. Thoughtfully crafted detailing and excellent workmanship make this the perfect companion on any on-the-go excursion.

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Source: Heldth

HANDCRAFTED RETRO HELMETS BY STUDIO BMD

The French graphic design studio BMD present its private collection of handcrafted retro helmets, designed with old school influences. MDB Design is a talented graphic design studio located in Bordeaux who works in the fields of graphic design as visual identity (logo), signage, printing (posters, brochures, advertisements) and a specialization in graphic design textile , allover and placement print. And yes. As you can see for yourself, typography and graphic design can very well meet up on top of a helmet, creating a statement piece of jewelry really, rather than just a safety device for urban easy riders.

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Did you know that? The oldest known use of helmets was by Assyrian soldiers in 900BC, who wore thick leather or bronze helmets to protect the head from blunt object and sword blows and arrow strikes in combat. Soldiers still wear helmets, now often made from lightweight plastic materials. The word helmet is diminutive from helm, Medieval word for combat protective headgear. As for its origins… In May 1935, T. E. Lawrence (known as Lawrence of Arabia) had a crash on a Brough Superior SS100 on a narrow road near his cottage near Wareham. The accident occurred because a dip in the road obstructed his view of two boys on bicycles. Swerving to avoid them, Lawrence lost control and was thrown over the handlebars. He was not wearing a helmet, and suffered serious head injuries which left him in a coma; he died after six days in hospital. One of the doctors attending him was Hugh Cairns, a neurosurgeon, who after Lawrence’s death began a long study of what he saw as the unnecessary loss of life by motorcycle despatch riders through head injuries. Cairns’ research led to the use of crash helmets by both military and civilian motorcyclists.

Scroll to the right to check out some of their designs:

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Source: Design Father

BEER CONCENTRATE – HIKING JUST GOT WOBBLY

You can now crack a cold one after scaling Mt. Everest. Brew-loving mountaineers will go crazy over Beer Concentrate, a powder that when combined with water and carbonated will magically become an honest-to-goodness delicious craft ale. Welcome to the future. Alaskan school teacher and amateur brewer Pat Tatera created the NASA-caliber miracle so backpackers didn’t have to carry a heavy case of brewskis up a mountain. And it’s easy to make: simply take a packet, mix it with carbonated — and hopefully filtered — locally-sourced water, and then enjoy your micro brew in the great outdoors. Buy the Portable Carbonator and various powder packets at the online store, and stow away the goods along with the carabiners and cooking gear. You and your hiking buddies will never go hiking sober again.

 

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Source: Thrillist

COCONUT HUSKS LIGHTEN UP BOARD MODELS

As the latest innovation in sustainable surfboard production, Global Surf Industries‘ Coco Mat Technology employs coconut husk fibers to reduce both board weight and harmful chemicals used in processing and manufacturing. Weighing between three and four pounds lighter than traditional epoxy boards, the strength-to-weight ratio of the Coco Mat boards supports their claim as the world’s lightest, strongest and therefore fastest surfboards currently on the market.

The production process for Coco Mat surfboards uses discarded fibers gathered from local self-sustaining crops near the manufacturing facility, making the production process significantly more environmentally sound than the methods to make traditional epoxy models. The readily available husk fibers only require minimal processing before being randomly arranged between layers of fiberglass, an innovative technique that lends each board a unique look and, more importantly, reinforces the fiberglass laminate.

The agile, loose-riding boards include the small fish, which at just 6’4″ makes an ideal board for less than ideal conditions. Plus, the board’s squat shape helps it retain stability, which would otherwise be lost with extra length.

As the boards grow in size the weight differential increases as well, with the Coco Mat stand-up paddle boards and longboards weighing in four pounds lighter than traditional epoxy models. Keep an eye out online and in specialty shops for the NSP Coco Mat boards‘s March 2012 release.

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Source: Cool Hunting 

MEET EARL – THE BACKCOUNTRY SURVIVAL TABLET

Meet Earl, a revolutionary tablet engineered for the most extreme of outdoor situations. Built for survival, Earl works where today’s smart phones and tablets cannot. Style meets efficiency with Earl’s intuitive design, fusing Android 4.1 together with an energy sipping E-Ink screen and the latest in GPS, weather sensor, and radio communication technology. With Earl at your side, stay in control of your journey no matter where it takes you.

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FUNCTION ULTRALIGHT SKI & SNOWBOARD CARRY SYSTEM

A very cumbersome name for something that makes your life easier. No longer do you have to carry your snowboard or skis with your hands, like some kind of animal. Here is a sling system made from Mil-spec Nylon webbing with Hypalon edge protection. I have no idea what that actually means, but it weighs less than an iPhone and if you watch the video below you’ll see how rad it is to use.

Source: Empire Ave. 

TRACE – ACTION SPORTS ACTIVITY MONITOR

Rad gadget alert. We truly hope this makes it to production. Could be revolutionary for the industry…read below:

“Trace makes action sports measurable, sharable, and comparable. Track, compete, and share. Trace identifies your resort, lifts, and trails, as well as your speed, vert, air, and more.  For skiers and snowboarders, Trace takes AlpineReplay to the next level. All of your data will now have sub-second level of accuracy. In addition to max speed, vertical distance, distance traveled, Calories, number of jumps, and airtime, Trace will also be able to identify tricks like 360s, backflips, and more. And, of course, Trace won’t drain your phone’s battery.”

Read more about this sick venture and support them via Kickstarter.

NEW HINGED BINDINGS – A DREAM OR REALITY?

A couple weeks back we stumbled across Pivit bindings – a bizarre prototype binding system that allow your feet to hinge on your snowboard laterally for maximum tweakability. So, in an attempt to get a different perspective on this particular creation we fired some questions over to inventor Christopher Scott Hassell:

1. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE THE PIVIT BINDING?

Many years of skateboarding. I grew up an avid skateboarder. It’s pretty much all I did in middle school and high school. I skated vert, mini ramp and/or street everyday. I lived on the east coast in Suffolk, Virginia and there was not much snow. The few times it did snow we took the trucks and wheels off our boards, grabbed one of moms candles for wax, flipped the front two truck bolts upside down to catch our front foot and went “snow skating or snow skimming” on local hills.
(I also skim boarded at the beach which was similar: toss board, run, jump and slide.)

Those few glorious days a year were so fun and memorable that I became consumed with the thought of real snowboarding. I dreamt of moving to Colorado for real snow & real mountain experience. Several years later that’s exactly what I did. I moved to Colorado and spent multiple seasons living in Eldora, Breckenridge, Vail, Beaver creek and Winter Park.

From my very first season I never liked the feel of my feet being locked down flat to the board while in the air. The way the soles of my feet were shackled flat to the board kept me from contorting my airs. I felt I had these “movement stoppers” called bindings on my feet and that really irritated me. It felt terribly restrictive when doing freestyle. It held me back from positioning my body the way I wanted to on my board. My tweak style was decent but to me it paled in comparison to the same look and feel of fully tweaked out grabs that I did on my skateboard. I wanted my aerial freedom of body movement on the snowboard and I wanted to tweak exactly like one could on a skateboard, not just close enough but almost exactly, like fully contorted. That was my desire. So that inspired me to start designing and building my own binding prototypes, just for me, so I could improve my personal snow style and gain more freedom of movement in the air.

2. HOW DO YOU THINK PIVIT BINDINGS WILL CHANGE THE WAY PEOPLE SNOWBOARD?

I think people riding them can snowboard the same way but with the added benefits of much more freedom of body and leg movement in relation to the board. For me they just feel better, like a much more natural connection to my board. I personally enjoy the added range of motion and freedom my legs have. The binding is a simple, efficient and successful design for what I set out to achieve. Having this ability to do more expressive or tweaked out aerials & tricks without that feel of one’s feet being limited and stuck flat to the longitudinal plane of the board does open up style and trick options.

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SHARK REPELLENT WETSUITS x BETA TESTING

In light of the fatal Indian Ocean shark attack of a 15-year-old vacationing French girl, a product of this nature is bound to have a high demand. GrindTV has the scoop:

“At last, a line of wetsuits has been developed that will protect surfers and swimmers against the threat of shark attack. Or can there ever be such a product? Two Australian businessmen believe their line of Shark Attack Mitigation Systems, notably wetsuits developed with the help of a university research project, will protect those who wear them.

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If this is true it’s great news, coming in the aftermath of a two-year period during which five people were killed by sharks in Australia. But only time will tell if these wetsuits and other SAMS products (surfboard and kayak stickers, etc), in fact, will serve as a level of protection … or provide a false sense of security. One of the wetsuits is the blue and white Elude suit (pictured, top), which is designed to make surfers and swimmers practically invisible to sharks.

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The other is the black and white Diverter (pictured, immediately above), which is supposed to give surfers and swimmers the appearance of poisonous critters sharks generally avoid. New research suggests that sharks are color blind, a line of thinking that went into the design of the wetsuits and other products.


Shaun Collin, a researcher with the University of Western Australia, told the BBC: “Many animals are repelled by a striped pattern which indicates the potential prey is unsafe to eat.” One series of tests, deploying dummies dressed in the striped wetsuits and traditional black wetsuits, involved tiger sharks. The large predators avoided the former, while attacking the latter. That shows promise, but great white sharks are not tiger sharks. They’re ambush predators, which strike from below, violently. On a sunny day, a surfer wearing an Elude suit or Diverter suit might still look like a dark silhouette. More testing will be done in the next several months, off South Australia and South Africa. Craig Anderson, one of the entrepreneurs, said demand is already growing.

[quote]“Everyone’s looking for a solution, everyone’s nervous about going in the water around the world now,” he said.[/quote]

The Australian firm isn’t alone in wanting to develop products to keep people safe from shark attacks. Surfboard leashes that emit electronic pulses are also on the market, and a small company recently produced a rash guard that has the pattern of a poisonous lionfish. Boatstogo.com states on its website: “The unique color pattern of our Rash Guard mimics the features of highly venomous lion fish, therefore minimizing your chances of being mistaken for a sea lion or any other type of favorite food on the menu of local sharks.” The company does not guarantee that these will guard against attack, which is smart. Especially considering that lionfish, as pointed out by shark ecologist Bradley M. Wetherebee to National Geographic, do not typically encounter lionfish, so they’re not conditioned to leave them alone.

Besides, Wetherebee added, “People spear lionfish and feed them to sharks some places where they are trying to reduce the number of lionfish since they are an invasive species.”

The developers of the Elude suit and Diverter, likewise, are not ready to make any guarantees. Stated Southern California shark expert Christopher Lowe: “One of my favorite stories is when [famous diver] Valerie Taylor tested out the sea-snake-colored wetsuit, thinking that sharks would avoid sea snakes because they are so poisonous.

“Well, apparently [developers] hadn’t read the tiger shark literature … turns out the No. 1 prey item found in tiger shark stomachs from Australia were sea snakes! So, imagine what that tiger shark would be thinking as it rounded the reef and bumped into the giant, fat sea snake!  Yum, yum!”