The Outside Blog

Dispatches : May 2012

The Biggest Big-Wave Rides of the Year, Including the Biggest Wave Ever Surfed

Nathan Fletcher, Ride of the Year and Monster Tube Champion, Teahupoo, Tahiti

Garrett McNamara won with the Biggest Wave Award, earned a Guinness World Record for the biggest wave ever surfed, and took home the Wipeout of the Year award at the 2012 Billabong Global Big Wave Awards this past Friday. After a video of McNamara surfing the giant went online this past November, a dispute rose over its actual size. The official measurement of the monster he rode off the coast of Portugal was 78 feet.

"It's amazing we get to do what we do, I am so grateful. The world record doesn't mean as much to me, this is for the town of Nazaré and Portugal and for all my family and friends there. To be able to give them something to be proud of and inspire them, a world record for this town doing it tough in the middle of nowhere is great," McNamara said."I didn't want to get caught up in it all, but I have to tell you the truth, when they announced my name I got a bigger rush than probably on all the waves I rode this year."

Even with so many accolades going to McNamara, Nathan Fletcher took home the $50,000 check for Ride of the Year. He also won the Surfline Best Performance Award and the Monster Tube Award. Maya Gabeira walked off stage as the Girls Performance Champion for the fifth time. Billabong announced the winners in Anaheim, California, at an event packed with surfers and celebrities.

Here is a quick video round-up of all the awards.

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Guess Who's Sponsoring New York City's 'Citi Bike' Share Program?

7152995925_9c20209c6f_cPhoto courtesy of New York City's Mayor's Office on Flickr

Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced today that Citi paid $41 million to be the main sponsor of New York City's new bike share program.

“The idea behind bike share is simple: give people one more way to get around town,” Bloomberg said in a press release. “We’re able to create this new option at no cost to taxpayers because of the commitment of an institution with a 200 years tradition in New York: Citigroup.”

Ten thousand blue bikes and 600 docking stations will carry the financial group's logo. Commuters can buy a $95 annual fee, which will cover unlimited use so long as the rides between docking stations do not exceed 45 minutes. Any ride over 45 minutes in length will be subject to additional fees. A week's access will cost $25 and a day pass will cost $9.95.

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A Better Night's Sleep With New NEMO Sleeping Bags

Rhode Island School of Design student Cam Brensinger came up with the idea for NEMO (New England Mountain Equipment) and his college senior project, high on the flanks of New Hampshire's Mount Washington. One weekend Cam went camping and got caught in gale force winds.

Cam recalls: “I was up all night inventing new bivy designs, thinking about how to use my Thermarest to make a cube over my head so I could breathe. That was when I figured out where NEMO should start—it was the seed of the inflatable tent.”

NEMO launched in 2002. Since then it has earned an ISPO Brand New Award for its inflatable tent, and it has been featured many times in the pages of Outside magazine, as well as Time and Popular Science.

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Photographing Haiti for 25 Years

It's usually difficult to sit through a long slideshow of images, especially one that goes on for more than 20 minutes. That's not so with photographer Maggie Steber's images of Haiti. The veteran photographer, who has worked in 62 countries, spent the last 25 years chronicling the Haitian people. In The Audacity of Beauty, she gives context to her pictures.

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Building the Ultimate Lightweight Chair, 1 Butt at a Time

Screen Shot 2012-05-08 at 9.38.25 AM

Just how much material is really needed to build a chair that can stand up to every type of everyday stress? That's the question designers Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram are trying to answer by employing new technology from Audi and the butts of visitors to the 18th-century Palazzo Clerici in Milan.

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