The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Oct 2010

White Knuckles, Big Screen

Screen shot 2010-10-20 at 12.09.07 PM The kayak action genre is generally known for pounding sound tracks and huck-a-minute waterfall drops. Wildwater, a new half-hour film from director Anson Fogel and narrated by kayak legend Doug Ammons that's making the festival rounds now, takes a slightly different approach. Shot with a Red camera, the film focuses on rivers themselves—tributaries of the Amazon in Ecuador, the Grand Canyon, a steep creek in Colorado, and Idaho's famed North Fork of the Payette—rather than the athletes who ply them. Ammons, who's been a vocal critic of the kayak porn genre, bills Wildwater as "a love story." And to that end, it features a half-dozen kayaker die-hards each explaining why their is about the best thing in the world. The level of stoke can be a bit over the top at times but, ironically, it's the action shots that come to the rescue. In a freak twist of fate, Fogel happened to be on hand for the biggest flood in modern history on the North Fork of the Payette. Mr. Love Story ended up capturing some of the most insane kayak porn footage of all time (below)—just proof that an action movie can be both reverent and thrilling. —Grayson Schaffer


WildWater North Fork Payette Teaser from Anson Fogel on Vimeo.

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The Top 6 Ways to Explore Abruzzo

Corno grande
Italy boasts an enduring culture of Alpinism, to-die-for cycling, and hard-core ultrarunning. It's why I planned a trip there this fall.  (Yes, there's also...The food! The vino!)

I spent a week trekking in Abruzzo, a multi-sport mecca for climbing, trekking, paragliding and mountain biking. It's often referred to as "Little Tibet" for its uncanny resemblance to the Himalayas.  The UK Times recently rated a hiking tour of the area as one of the "Top 10 Adventures of a Lifetime." Haven't heard of it? Until recently, neither had I. But I'm grateful I did—its one of my new favorite places. You should go too, and check out some of the things on my list of the top six things to do.

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The Gear Junkie Scoop: Newton Running Momentum Shoe

Newton Running Momentum Shoe copy

By Stephen Regenold

Newton Running is a Boulder, Colo., company known for a line of running shoes that promote midfoot or forefoot striking to dissuade runners from landing on their heels. The shoes are equipped with "actuator lugs," stout rubber strips that sit beneath the foot's metatarsals and prop about a quarter-inch off the sole. The goal when running is to land on the actuator lugs and not your heel. Newton pitches the whole experience as encouraging a "natural running gait."

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An Airbag for Cyclists

Afraid of screwing up your 'do by wearing a helmet, but don't want to crush your skull in a bicycle crash? Two Swedish industrial design students have the solution to your dilemma: an airbag collar.

The Hvvding (English translation: the Chieftain) "springs into action within 0.1 seconds, covering the skull and neck of a rider in the event of an impact," the Daily Mail reports. Because the collar was created with the fashion-conscious in mind, the color of the collar can be changed to match the cyclist's outfit.

The collar will be sold in UK stores this spring for about $407.

Check out the collar in action above. Read more about the invention here.

--Erin Beresini



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Fatal Shark Attack in California


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A shark killed a 20-year old UC Santa Barbara student Friday morning off Surf Beach at Vandenberg Air Force Base, the Santa Maria Times reports.

The student was bodyboarding when a shark bit off his leg. A friend with a surfboard brought the victim to shore, but the victim bled to death as a result of the injury.

The last time humans encountered a shark at Surf Beach, a shark bit a surfer's board in September 2008. In April 2008, a triathlete was killed by a great white shark while swimming at Solana Beach near San Diego.

Click here to read more about the attack.

--Erin Beresini

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