The Outside Blog

Skiing and Snowboarding : Jun 2012

Going Really, Really Fast—World Record Fast—While Windsurfing

Don't make the mistake of clicking off this video when you see a wetsuited man skipping through the mudflats while awkwardly carrying windsurfing gear. It gets better, and not just because the windsurfers will reach speeds of roughly 50 knots, or about 55 miles per hour.

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Skier Sarah Burke Makes It Into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame

On Tuesday, the Canadian Olympic Committee announced that it would include the late skier Sarah Burke in its 2012 Olympic Hall of Fame class. Burke died this past January after suffering an injury while training. She worked hard to promote the inclusion of women's ski halfpipe in the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, and likely would have been the favorite in the event. She will go into the hall as a "builder."

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Therm-a-Rest Plans to Radically Improve Sleep—Again

Therm-a-Rest Antares

Therm-a-Rest made the first self inflating mattress in 1971. Sleeping in the backcountry suddenly became way more comfortable and pleasurable for most campers.

Next spring, the brand, which is part of Cascade Designs, claims it will radically improve your sleep again with a new collection of sleeping bags that the company says will be among the lightest, warmest and most compressible in the industry.

Therm-a-Rest's new bags have thermal-mapped, zoned insulation, which means its designers figured out where you are coldest and put more insulation there. They're specially designed to be used with a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir sleeping pad or other 25-inch-wide sleeping pad. And they’re built with extra torso room to let your shoulders, elbows, and hips move freely. The hood and footbox are cut narrow so that your body has less space to lose heat.

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Cycling Shootout: 4 New Helmets

Up this week in our series of head-to-head reviews are helmets. With more and more manufacturers jumping into the head-protection fray, the options are enormous and often overwhelming. And with top models going for $250 and up, it's easy to wonder whether you need to spend a lot of money for a lid. The answer is no, with a caveat.

As with most gear, extra money buys lightweight and more refinement. For instance, we absolutely love the nonexistent feel of the Giro Aeon, especially in endurance events that require the extra weight of a helmet-mounted light. It's crazy light (190 grams), the fit system is one of the best out there, and the ventilation is superb. Having said that, it's no safer than any other helmet, so if crash-protection is a higher priority for you than nuance, other helmets will serve your purposes for a lot less cash.


Rudy Project Windmax ($295)

It's the most expensive helmet we've worn, and at 254 grams it's not even close to the lightest out there. So what's to like about the Windmax? Plenty, actually.

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Summer Camp: Not Just for the Kids This Year

If you’re like most people, your summer strategy probably looks like this: Dispatch the kids to day camp while you spend the sweetest season behind your desk. But research shows that while children may be quicker studies, adults benefit hugely from learning new things, too. Good news: Now you can all go to summer camp together—and no, you won't be sleeping in bunks. Get ready to reclaim your summer with the top six learning adventures for rippers of all ages.

Sea Kayaking the San Juan Islands, Washington
On REI’s San Juan Family Adventure, families with kids eight and up explore the San Juan Islands’ cliffs, tide pools, and trails by kayak, bike, and foot. An overnight paddle to Jones Island State Park, where you’ll set up base camp, will satisfy your littlest wildlife junkies: Watch for porpoises, orcas, seals, and sea lions. During an afternoon at the University of Washington Labs, biologists will treat you to a private tour of the invertebrate touch tanks for an up-close look at the strange and fascinating life of the Salish Sea. Day hikes to lighthouses and island peaks, plus a visit to Friday Harbor’s whale museum, round out the six-day trip. Bonus: The San Juans sit in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, so summers there are typically dry and warm. From $2,299; kids under 17 receive a $200 discount;

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