Warren Pieces Mini Surf Piece
Whitney Philips and Matt Groom started their Warren, Vermont, skateboard company Warren Pieces to make use of scraps from their carpentry business. Each exquisite deck is crafted from at least two varieties of ethically harvested wood. Our pick: the smooth-carving Mini Surf Piece ($250).
Channel Islands Average Joe surfboard
Channel Islands surfboards typically collaborates with its team riders (think: Kelly Slater and Dane Reynolds) to create new models. The Average Joe (from $695) is engineered for the rest of us. It's built for small waves, but despite the beefy rails it turns surprisingly well in the pocket, while the minimal rocker allows for early takeoffs.
Revision Skis Talisman
Newcomer Revision Skis designs sticks for all-mountain riding. The twin-tip Talsiman ($400) is made with carbon reinforcements for extra pop and durability, so it performs as well in the terrain park as it does in the trees.
John Wilson steel ice-skating blades
In the 17th century, a toolmaker named John Wilson made skates for England's Royal Court. Today, his eponymous brand of laser-cut, hand-finished steel ice-skating blades (from $137) endure as the choice of Olympians and world champions.
Fishpond Nomad net
Made from the same carbon-fiber and fiberglass blend as a squash racket, Fishpond's Nomad net ($116) is lighter and more durable than typical fishing nets. It also floats like a cork if you happen to lose hold of it while trying to land a lunker.
Sondergut Roll-Up Chess set
Designed by weight-conscious German backpackers, Sondergut's Roll-Up Chess set ($50), with 32 nickel-size pieces and a soft suede board, fits neatly inside a small zippered pocket and weighs less than half a pound.
Be in a Treehouse by Pete Nelson
Pete Nelson was a guru of modern treehouse design long before he became the star of Animal Planet's Treehouse Masters. His latest book, Be in a Treehouse ($38), couples art-book-style images with practical diagrams and plans that will have you up on a limb hammering out your own arboreal retreat as soon as the snow melts.