WHAT DO PUNKS, TEST PILOTS, AND YEEZY HAVE IN COMMON? A MICROSHINER REVIEW

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As a kid growing up in the 80s, there were few things I wanted more than a MA-1 flight jacket. What exactly provoked this desire, I couldn’t say, but at the Army Navy Surplus where I would invariably drag my parents, the MA-1 always stood out as the one piece of gear I just had to have. Fortunately, unlike the Atari console that evoked a similar pre-teen lust, I was lucky enough to actually get my hands on one. The MA-1 began life as a new lightweight flight jacket designed to replace the heavy leather bomber jackets used in World War Two. Made from the now readily available nylon fabric, the MA-1 was a perfect compliment to the technologic innovations of the jet age. Sleek and warm, the jacket was issued to air force pilots and naval aviators of many countries and saw widespread use in the decades between the Korean and Vietnam wars.

 

Interest in the jacket from the private sector, driven initially by the military surplus and black markets, spurred manufacturers Alpha Industries and later Rothco to begin supplying the MA-1 to commercial customers. Owing to the significant presence of US military forces there, the jacket first became fashionable throughout Europe and Japan in the 70s, largely with punk and other subcultures. By the time I was sporting one in the mid-80s, the design had become popularized, if not ubiquitous.

 

Still, there is no denying it’s fashion chops. Stylish, functional, and with more than ample street cred, it’s no wonder you find the likes of Bradley Cooper and Gigi Hadid wearing one. Both bootleg and bespoke versions abound, but we challenge you to find any better than this example from our friends at Coldsmoke.

 

Coldsmoke is a core apparel company born, like the MA-1, out of a real need, in this case high quality technical gear for heliski guides in British Columbia. The crew at Coldsmoke took this experience and leveraged it into a clothing line for the total landscape, meticulously designed and consciously manufactured with their close-knit clientele in mind. Using short runs and direct marketing to remain nimble and unfettered, Coldsmoke deftly bridges the gap between technical performance and fashionable good looks. What better to exemplify this philosophy than a MA-1?

 

Stepping off from their already preeminently qualified standard issue construction, the crew at Coldsmoke has just dropped a new MA-1 in navy using dead-stock Japanese flight cloth. Only 28 of these remarkable jackets are in existence, meaning that they are rarer than a Ferrari 250 GT California Spider. Only a hell of a lot more obtainable.

THE FOURTEENER PROJECT

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The Fourteener Project is a grassroots venture committed to proliferating the knowledge and love of Colorado’s 58 peaks over 14,000′. Every product is locally designed and produced to whet your appetite for conquest and satisfy your desire to commemorate the climb.

You already know how it feels to bag a peak. Now you can track each successful climb and display your obsession in a sophisticated way with this beautiful print and the included stamp and ink pad.

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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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NO BINDINGS, NO PROBLEM: POWSURFING EXPLAINED

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What is powsurfing, and how does one do it? Read on…

“It’s an awesome, free feeling without anything strapping you down,” says Johan Olofsson. “The board moves real quick under your feet without the bindings. Slashes and turns starts to feel real surfy. I always wanted to surf since I was a little kid. Snowboarding was the first step towards surfing while living in the sub-Arctic zones of Northern Sweden. Twenty years later, NoBoards/Powsurfers started to appear more and more in the near surroundings… gave it a try, and yeah, there it is.”

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Jeff Patterson

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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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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.

SALT + WAX

Photographer Mark Leary tells us a little bit about his new surf book, Salt + Wax.

Source: HUCK

COLDSMOKE STORE FEATURED BRAND: IISE

At our Coldsmoke store, we have made it a point to find some really unique goods from various brands across the globe. One of those very brands is IISE out of Seoul, South Korea. We are beyond stoked to carry these incredibly well made bags in our store. If you are not familiar with their story, you should really get to know it. When looking at an IISE bag, you can’t help but notice the materials used. At the forefront of each bag is an organically dyed cotton/silk fabric that plays a prominent role in each piece. Only two colors are offered – indigo and black – with each featuring the aforementioned fabric, and thanks to a unique Korean dyeing process that dates back to the 13th century, no two items are the same.

Be sure to take a look at IISE and if you’re in the market for a new bag, we can honestly say that these are well worth the cost.

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COLDSMOKE PRODUCT FEATURE: TECH-CREW PULLOVER feat. JUSTIN KIZZART

We’re feeling pretty good about our debut collection for this Fall/Winter 2013 season and one of many reasons we feel that way has to be in part to our Tech Crew Pullover. This unique piece features some very distinct and functional design details that make it great for any occasion. The Tech Crew is comprised out of a taffeta polyester that sort of has the feel of neoprene. It’s very durable and it offers a great range of movement thanks to the articulation points found on the elbows. Also, this pullover is lined with an uber-soft fleece that will sure keep you toasty, but undo the side zip, and you’ll be getting a nice flow of air to help cool things down a bit. We decided to give it a go to see how it does in action, so we had our guy Justin — who happens to be an avid cyclist — put one on and cruise around while Paul got behind the lens and snapped a few flicks. Justin, who rides everyday from DTLA to our Venice office, says “I’m in love with the fit and functionality of this piece. It’s perfect for all weather riding.”

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