Summer Liquidation

No need to put a toe in the water. It's ready, and you will be too with our guide to the season's best new equipment for ocean, river, and lake.

Jul 31, 2006
Outside Magazine
Water Gear

Water Gear

Water Gear

Water Gear

Water Gear

1. ATOMIC AQUATICS FULL-FOOT SPLITFIN Swim farther, faster. The Full-Foot Splitfin's winglike profile reduces drag and boosts propulsion, so you can kick around for hours with less effort. $89;

2. OCEANIC ULTRADRY Breathe easy with the UltraDry snorkel. A floating valve seals the top of the tube when you submerge, then opens again on the surface, so you can swim like a fish without gulping water. $50;

3. SCUBAPRO PREMIER Planning to go eye to eye with a manta ray? You're guaranteed a good look with the Premier dive mask. Like a pair of glasses, this dual-lens model puts the window close to your eyes for a perfect view—plus the lenses can be customized to fit your prescription. $83;

1. H20 AUDIO FOR iPOD NANO H20 Audio's waterproof case is helping the iPod, already king of the terrestrial digital audio market, conquer the other three-quarters of the world. Tune in up to ten feet under with the new Nano version. The headphones ($40 extra) sound a little hollow, but that's a small price for taking your playlist beyond the beach. $80;

2. NIXON CHANNEL T Whether you're catching waves or dinner, it's crucial to know tide times. The Channel T delivers the data in a stainless-steel package that's depth-rated to more than 300 feet and comes with a seaworthy polyurethane band. The offset crown won't irritate your flexed wrist when you pop up on a surfboard. $180;

3. SEA & SEA DX-75OG Tired of your dive partners calling bull on your alleged shark sightings? Show them proof with the DX-750G, a five-megapixel digicam that comes with a removable waterproof housing good to 150 feet. Shutter lag is a tad slow, so don't waste much time framing the shot when that hammerhead swims into view. $499;

4. MOTOROLA i355 When I called my buddy to brag that I was sea-kayaking while he slaved away at a desk, I made sure to dip the i355 overboard so he could hear the waves. Then I put the drenched phone up to my ear to hear him cursing me—clear as a bell. The rubberized shell makes it a bit bulky. $90 with two-year service agreement;

1. PATAGONIA HANDBOARD Whether you consider it poor man's surfing or the purest form of waveriding, bodysurfing gets a boost with the Handboard, an oversize palm paddle that helps boardless surfers catch swells. It also helped me plane above the water for longer-than-normal rides. $89; Patagonia in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA, 760-634-9886

2. RIP CURL E-BOMB JACKET Shorty wetsuits are so last August. Proper attire today consists of a nimble top like the E-Bomb, paired with boardshorts. The 2mm-thick pullover and its compadre, the zipper-equipped version ($89), warm your core with superstretch neoprene—and leave your lower half unconstrained. $75;

3. VICTORIA WOMBAT Witness evolution at work: The Wombat takes DNA from a skimboard, bodyboard, and surfboard, creating a new species of beach fun. A slick finish makes the fast four-footer a champion skimmer, and its surfboardlike shape is more responsive than conventional bodyboards. $250;

4. WERNER CYPRUS Dig in all day with the Cyprus, a carbon-fiber touring paddle that weighs a svelte 25 ounces. It comes in both a straight-shaft model ($375) and a bent-shaft version ($450) that reduces wrist strain on long outings. Both models let you micromanage the feather in 15-degree increments.

1. PELICAN SABRELITE 2010 RECOIL See coral in all its Day-Glo dazzle, even if you're 100 feet down at twilight. The SabreLite uses a mirror to focus its beam in a tight column that pierces the darkest water. It's rated to a depth of 500 feet and burns for 50 hours on three C batteries. Bonus: A glow-in-the-dark cuff makes it easy to find after dusk. $65;

2. SPYDERCO SALT 1 Salt water rusts standard knives as consistently as Tom Cruise embarrasses himself. Not so the Salt 1. Forged with a unique nitrogen-based steel that's rolled hard, without heat-treating, the knife's three-inch blade, as well as its folding and locking mechanisms, are impervious to corrosion from the sea. $78;

3. BODY GLOVE VAPOR EX Water-repellent boardshorts? Sounds about as necessary as butterproof toast. But the Vapor EX, with hydrophobic polyester fibers, absorbs less moisture in water and dries faster when out, reducing cling and chafing. That, plus two big cargo pockets, make the Vapor a good choice for tropical travel wear. $70;

4. THE NORTH FACE PHILTER The Philter looks like a multisport kick, but open-air mesh uppers, as well as drain holes in both the bottom and one-piece insole/midsole, make it a true submersible. Water flows out like a sandal, but synthetic-nubuck reinforcements, a stable heel, and secure lacing provide this hybrid with light-hiker stability. $80;

Score a boating trifecta—paddle, pedal, and sail—with Hobie's supremely versatile Island. Starting with the stable platform of a 16-foot sit-on-top sea kayak, Hobie added a pair of removable, outrigger-style supports, or amas, to give the boat extra steadiness in rough conditions, plus a mast and furling sail that transform the craft into a wind-driven speedster. It sounds like a strange mutant, but the parts are so well engineered that it took me less than ten minutes to set up. The pedaling system, also removable, allows hands-free propulsion while you steer using a joystick rudder control. I was on high gimmick alert when I took this boat out on the Pacific, but pedaling added at least an extra knot of speed to my sailing pace and enabled me to keep moving during the inevitable doldrums. $2,995;

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