No snow? No problem.
The Backyard Blizzard home snowmaker ($2,995) is capable of blanketing your yard with ankle-deep fluff in a few hours, and runs off a standard garden hose and household power. Use it along with some plastic reindeer for holiday ambience, or covertly plug it in to your neighbor's outlet and blast out a half-pipe overnight. On Christmas morning you'll be ready to commence ripping, but to start out right you'll need this complete snowboard setup from Salomon, Bonfire, Motorola, and Dragon Optical.
Salomon gear: Mavericks helmet ($109), Mandate snowboard ($360), SP6 binding ($250), and Synapse boots ($250). Bonfire: GT Advantage Jacket ($280), GT Progression Pant ($220), Gold Glove ($60) [www.salomonsports.com / 800-225-6850]. Motorola: TalkAbout T6220 two-way radio ($100) [www.motorola.com / 800-353-2729]. Dragon Optical: Liquid Cherry goggle ($70) [www.dragonoptical.com / 800-995-0008].
Compiled and written by Eric Hansen, Jonathan Hanson, Mike Kessler, Tim Neville, and Paul Scott
Time to Give
These stylish watches do more than just look good
Top to bottom: FreeStyle, Stüssy, Oakley, Avocet, Tag Heuer (left), Nixon, and Nike
The company isn't named in honor of ol' Tricky, but Nixon's The Don ($120) is a 100-meter water-resistant chronograph worthy of any high-ranking crook. Relish the brawny masculinity of this stainless-steel showpiece, with its classy double-gasket crown, raised bezel, and face-color choices that include a snazzy green called "money." [ www.nixonnow.com / 760-944-0900 ]
The look of the FreeStyle Viper ($80) borders on the psychedelic; it's as if you're telling time through a fish-eye lens. Should you perchance get worked at Maverick's or accidentally bump into your towel rack at the Marriott, the polyurethane band secures the mother ship to your wrist via a molding processno wimpy pins. [ www.shopfreestyle.com / 800-949-1563 ]
With the Vertech II Ski from Avocet ($160) you can quantify every high-speed quad ride, off-piste climb, and knee-deep descent through the powder. Not only does it tell temperature, barometric pressure, altitude, splits, and vertical feet descended, it calculates your rate of descent, so you can tell the ski patroller about the two-second, 30-foot rock jump that landed you on his toboggan. [ www.avocet.com / 800-229-1378 ]
Oakley culled the best engineering and design ideas from around the globe to make the titanium-banded Icon ($1,300) feel and look like wrist-porn. The bearings and gears are Swiss and German. The microcircuitry is pure Japanese wisdom. And best of all, the Icon runs on kinetic energyyour own. [ www.oakley.com / 800-403-7449 ]
Function supercedes flash with the Triax S-Series from Nike ($135). Take, for example, the no-frills facenothing but the time, date, and splits. Or the ergonomic band and body, which are canted a wee bit inward so you no longer have to twist your wrist while running, cycling, or checking out mall girls at the Orange Julius. [ www.niketown.com / 800-344-6453 ]
Stüssy is no longer just the beach punk's preferred T-shirt maker. Case in point: Tourmaster ($340), the company's latest ocean-culture accessory. Waterproof to 350 meters, it shows time and date in minutes, seconds, and tenths. All that capacity is encased in matte stainless steel and wrapped around your wrist in burly rubber. [ www.stussy.com / 949-474-9255 ]
With the ten-, six-, and five-minute markers emblazoned in red on its bezel, Tag Heuer's Searacer ($1,895) makes it easier to hit the regatta starting line on time. A push of a button also lets you, as cool-headed skipper, recalibrate as little as one minute before the countdownkeeping your crew and the red-nosed committee-boat officials in sync. [ www.tagheuer.com / 800-321-4832 ]
You Deserve a Good Paddling
Competitive paddleboarder Dan Mann out for a cruise
The 18-foot Eaton Unlimited Class Molded Paddleboard ($2,500), like all paddleboards, is an intriguing hybrid, somewhere between a sit-on-top kayak and a longboard with a hull. Its builder, San Diego-based board-shaper Mike Eaton, who's been crafting surfboards for 47 years and paddleboards for 15, combines a little boat technology (there's a kayak-like rocker and a foot-controlled rudder) with a smattering of surfboard design (long and slim profile and a polystyrene-foam core for buoyancy) in the construction of this elegant open-water cruiser. Swell, but what's the suddenly popular ocean sport of paddleboarding all about? Fitness, for one thing. Whether you kneel or lie down, surfboard-style, you'll need to be (or become) a strong-shouldered waterman to make the thing cruise through surf and chop at a comfortable clip of five miles an hour. Beginners can expect to go half as fast. Elite paddlers, like those competing in the venerable Catalina race held each August for the last 45 years, can clock 32 miles in five hours. In other words, even without the aid of a paddle in your hands or a wave beneath you, this baby can glide. [ www.eatonsurf.com / 619-224-5603 ]
Say It With Rope
A smattering of gear for that special climber in your life
The six-panel fleece Euroshag Hat Diggity ($24) by Horny Toad is soft on the noggin, and a roll brim keeps it nice and snug while you're kinking your neck on belay. [ www.hornytoad.com / 800-865-8623 ]
At 10.2 millimeters, Mammut's Supersafe 50-meter dry rope ($200) is the skinniest rope on the market that passes the sharp-edge drop test. It also features a proprietary core treatment that reduces friction, allowing the rope to spread shocks evenly. [ www.climbhigh.com / 802-985-5056 ]
PrAna's Hybrid Windblock Sweater ($110) melds the warmth of wool with the windproof properties of microfleece. The stylish yet technical combo lets moisture escape on the way up and corrals warmth when you stop on the summit to scarf down your energy-bar lunch. [ www.prana.com / 760-431-8015 ]
Here it is, a bona fide expert shoe for $100. No, really. Scarpa's Reflex has a pronounced downturned toe for gripping holds on overhanging routes, a split rand for better heel-hooking, and super-sticky rubber for enhanced edging. [ www.scarpa-us.com / 801-278-5533 ]
The Wind Shirt from Wild Things ($85) is made of Epic's "encapsulated" polyester (meaning each microfiber is sealed in a waterproofing agent). The skinny? It's a 5.4-ounce shirt that sheds rain like a tin roof and compresses to fit in a pocket. [ www.wildthingsgear.com / 603-447-6907 ]
Gramicci's Return of the Classic climbing pants ($48) are a welcome throwback. Made from two-ply twill for durability, they're old-school and rugged. Hobnailed boots not included. [ www.gramicci.com / 800-814-5000 ]
Looking more like a syringe than a piece of protection, Splitter Gear's 2Cam ($52) has a narrow profile, thanks to two directly opposed cams (unlike traditional cams, which have three or four lobes offset along an axis). Squirt it into pin scars and cracks as shallow as a half-inch. Three sizes expand from 0.75 to 1.5 inches; all are rated to nine kilonewtons, which, if you've forgotten all your high-school physics, means it's strong enough to catch an AMC Gremlin on a 20-foot fall. [ www.splittergear.com / no phone ]
Bend Ze Knees
The dream telemark setup for hard-charging free-heelers who ride lifts
Most telly skis are simply alpine skis with telemark graphics and, if you're lucky, a rounder flex. The new Atomic TM 18 ($387) is no different, except that it inherited superior genes in the form of Atomic's "Beta" construction: A cross section of the twin cores looks like a B on its side. The engineering and the 104-62-93 millimeter sidecut make the 18 surprisingly stable at Hahnenkamm speeds and unerringly precise in slalom turns. [ www.atomicski.com / 800-258-5020 ]
As the name implies, the Rainey Designs HammerHead binding ($200) is tough and aggressive. To wit: the unparalleled strength of its toepiece, crafted from one hunk of stainless steel; its adjustable cable, routed underfoot for even more security; and the six screws that hold each HammerHeadand youfirmly to the ski. [ www.raineydesigns.com / 307-733-0553 ]
Unlike yours, which are skin and bone, Arc'Teryx's Kneecaps ($40) are made of plastic and foam, a fact you'll appreciate when you drive your patella into a rock. Two small camlocks keep them snug, and the pads fit unobtrusively under shell pants, saying, in essence, I've come to ski, not install carpet. [ www.arcteryx.com / 800-985-6681 ]
Thanks to a removable drop-liner, two main vents, and a liner of Outlast (astronaut insulation that cools you when you're warm and warms you when you're cool), the Boeri Rage helmet ($140) handles sweat and cold better than a hat. [ www.boeriusa.com / 781-551-9933 ]
The original Scarpa T1 ($450) ended the era of classic telemarking, that knee-to-ski backcountry ballet of ankle-biting leather boots, because its stiff plastic shell allowed pinners to stand taller and hold an edge better. Well, the revolution is over. Now it's a slew of refinements that sets the T1 apart. Its adjustable cant, for example, lets knock-kneed skiers carve the uphill board. Thicker plastic shields the bellows from mangling ski edges, prolonging boot life. And its asymmetrical flex follows the natural movement of the foot, prolonging toe life. [ www.blackdiamondequipment.com / 801-278-5533 ]
We too have watched friends endlessly fiddling with jammed collapsible poles. Trust us, it won't happen with the Black Diamond Carbon Fiber FlickLock ($125). The levered adjustment cams close effortlessly and stay that way, even when you're bashing the bumpsor the bumps are bashing you. [ www.blackdiamondequipment.com / 801-278-5533 ]
Along for the Ride
Gadgets and Gear for Adventure Travelers
Sandals? Sorta. Bite's Trail Los ($80) are hiking shoes with skylights. Offering superb lateral supportthanks to a wide, toothy, triple-density outsolethey handle warm-weather day hikes with ease. When the trail gets nasty, the proprietary Toe Guard prevents cartoonish toe stubbings. [ www.biteshoes.com / 800-248-3465 ]
The UnderCover Silk Money Belt from Eagle Creek ($22) is soft against the belly, easy to get to, and damn near impossible to steal. A waterproof PVC pouch inside means your visa stamps won't bleed when you're sweating your way up Machu Picchu. [ www.eaglecreek.com / 800-874-9925 ]
Drown out the whining of your poorly selected trekking partner with the palm-size Archos Jukebox 6000 ($250), a one-pound MP3 player that runs off four AA batteries and houses a whopping six-gig hard drive. That's the memory equivalent of 150 LPs (you old coot) or 6,000 minutes of music dragged and dropped off your PC or Mac. This little unit likes to multitask: You can even download digital pics or add a microphone and record the cacophony of the Bangkok market buzz. [ www.archos.com / 949-453-1121 ]
First Need's 22-ounce Trav-L-Pure water purifier ($141) strains out the infamous trifecta of cysts, bacteria, and viruses. Able to treat 1.25 liters a minute, it removes particles as small as 0.1 microns, including chemical pesticides and other carcinogens common in far-off waters. [ www.generalecology.com / 800-441-8166 ]
Socks, you might think, make lousy gifts. Au contraire: Ex Officio's Open Air Hikers ($18) come with X-static, an antimicrobial, antistink weave of silver fiber. Translation: You can wear them for days without your feet curling noses at the sushi bar. [ www.exofficio.com / 800-644-7303 ]
With 2,900 cubic inches of pack space, Timberland's Mountain Athletics Howl ($75) is big enough for the essentials, like a change of clothes, toiletries, and books, but small enough to stuff under the seat in front of you. The mesh back helps keep you cool, while the padded CD/ MP3 pocket and laptop sleeve keep your electronics secure. [ www.timberland.com / 888-575-4400 ]
Slightly larger than a quarter, the half-ounce CMG Equipment O4 Mini Task Light ($16) has a blinding LED with a 100,000-hour life and burns for 12 to 14 hours on a single replaceable lithium battery. Use it when digging for your toothbrush on the night train to Moscow or finding your way from car to stream. [ www.cmgequipment.com / 888-699-0622 ]
Don't Leave Home Without It
Why rough it? This deluxe garageload of gear makes car camping a home-in-the-woods blast.
Front to Back: Eureka! tent, L.L. Bean sleeping bag, and Slumberjack cot; Byer table and ARB fridge; Zodi shower (back right), Lafuma chair, and Paha Qué screen house.
The Eureka! NightScape 6 tent ($530) stands seven-feet-four and boasts nearly 100 square feet of floor spaceyet it weighs just 21.6 pounds. Pull the cord hanging from the ceiling and the fly folds back, uncovering a massive screened skylight for stargazing. [ www.eurekatent.com / 800-572-8822 ]
Dining out? The Paha Qué Screen Room ($250) includes roll-down panels so you can block out wind, rays, or less-than-satisfactory views. Roomy enough for a picnic table, it erects in minutes. [ www.pahaque.com / 888-700-8368 ]
Short of bungeeing your Serta to the roofrack (effective, but arduous), you won't find a more comfortable sleeper than the Slumberjack Big Lux cot ($100); it's nearly as wide as a twin mattress. [ www.slumberjack.com / 800-233-6283 ]
No claustrophobic mummy shape herethe L.L. Bean XL Camp Outfitter ($90) is a proper rectangular sleeping bag, like the one you had as a kid. No, it won't keep you warm in an emergency bivy on a big wall, but this is the bag to pick when comfort is king; the lining is oh-so-comfy Portuguese cotton flannel (in plaid, of course). [ www.llbean.com / 800-809-7057 ]
Lafuma's RSX Lounge Chair ($190) poses a serious threat to camping's image as a robust, healthy activity. Crank it upright for eating or, you know, watching nature and stuff, then recline for a nap. [ www.lafuma.com / 303-527-1460 ]
Cold shower, my ass. Stick the inlet tube of the Zodi Hot Tap DP Continuous Flow Shower ($200) into a lake, flip on the battery-operated pump, fire up the twin burners, and the supply of 100-degree water is limited only by your cache of propane canisters and D-cells. [ www.zodi.com / 800-589-2849 ]
There's six inches of tepid water sloshing around in your ice chest. Pathetic. And, thanks to the ARB refrigerator/freezer, no longer a problem. The 41-quart unit ($790) draws a maximum of 3.5 amps on 12 volts, or just plug it in to the outlet at the KOA. [ www.arbusa.com / 888-427-2872 ]
Hang an enamel coffee pot over your campfire for atmosphere, then plug the Burton 12-Volt Coffee To Go drip brewer ($31) into your cigarette lighter and make yourself a perfect cup. [ www.athenainternational.com / 800-272-8603 ]
Dehydrated beans and beef jerky? Nonsense. Blackened steak and roasted corn is where it's at. The Coleman Propane Party Grill ($50) is perfect for real meals, and it runs off standard propane. [ www.coleman.com / 800-835-3278 ]
Spread out a banquet on this four-foot-long wooden Roll Top Camp Table from Byer of Maine ($100)it's big enough for four people to get sloppy. Diagonal leg braces lend it impressive stability under a load of grits, brisket, and elbows. [ www.byerofmaine.com / 800-338-0580 ]
Who You Callin' Soft?
Waterproof jackets and pants that "breathe" are a hoaxwell, most of the time anyway. The problem is, any garment that is truly waterproof can't respire enough when, say, you're digging an avalanche test pit or slogging up Mount Washington with a heavy pack. Heat and perspiration logjam at the shell wall, core temperatures skyrocket, and you're left exhausted, playing the layer-management game: Off goes the shell, in comes the wind, on goes the shell, and so on. Fortunately, there's a cure: a new generation of soft-shell rags that are cut from lightly insulative stretch fabrics. They breathe better than Lance in the mountains, repel drizzle and light snow with aplomb, and oh yeah, they look damn good.
The 12.6 ounce Arc'Teryx Gamma LT Jacket ($185) may-be the best top ever for aerobic activities. Augmented by flow-through mesh pockets, the Schoeller Dynamic fabric breathes like crazy, yet it sheds everything short of a downpour and seems immune to abrasion. Wear it over a midweight fleece in cold weather or with a base layer in mild conditions. [ www.arcteryx.com / 800-985-6681 ]
The Schoeller Skifans fabric in the Ibex Backcountry Pant ($225) is a blend of wool, acrylic, and spandex, with a noticeably softer feel than many all-synthetic fabrics. Thoughtful touches like extra pockets, built-in concealed gaiters, and Cordura reinforcements inside the cuffs make them ideal for both skiing and snowshoeing. [ www.ibexwear.com / 800-773-9647 ]
You'll return from the most grueling grunt looking suave and collected in The North Face's Freeclimb Jacket ($245). The Polartec Windbloc fabric won't wrinkle, and thanks to a fleece lining it's also toasty, water-repellent, and 98 percent windproof. Climbing in the Tetons? The freedom of movement is truly amazing. [ www.thenorthface.com / 800-447-2333 ]
Patagonia's Salopette pants ($245) lend extra coverage to your vital mid-torso area, lessening the wooo! effect from stray drafts. Suspenders keep 'em up, but a zip fly and clever drop seat let you answer nature's call without any hula-dance maneuvers. Fleece lining adds warmth, while the double fabric in the seat and knees provides durability. [ www.patagonia.com / 800-638-6464 ]
With a comfortable hood and fuzzy Coolmax lining, the 19-ounce Ice Floe Jacket by Cloudveil ($295) feels like a broken-in cotton hoody, but it sheds weather like no sweatshirt ever could. The hood and waist snug with pull cords, and mesh pockets allow extra air movement when you need to vent the Schoeller Dryskin Extreme fabric. [ www.cloudveil.com / 888-763-5969 ]
Beth Rodden on crack couldn't exceed the range of motion built into the knees and seat of Marmot's ATV pants ($225); for cold-weather climbing they're unbeatable. Often all you'll need over a base layer, the Schoeller Dynamic fabric has a thin lining of micro-fleece for warmth and wicking. [ www.marmot.com / 707-544-4590 ]
Electronics built to handle the elements
With a stainless-steel body and a 3x zoom lens that retracts when not in use, the diminutive Canon S300 Digital ELPH ($600) is one tough cookie. There's even an optional waterproof case that lets divers snap away 100 feet down. [ www.canon.com / 800-828-4040 ]
You can duplicate the military's 810E durability test by spilling coffee and the contents of a vacuum-cleaner bag on this computer and then knocking it to the floor. No worries: The magnesium-cased Panasonic Toughbook 28 ($4,100) will survive. Yeah, at nine pounds it's heavy, but inside the armor are a Mobile Pentium III 600 MHz processor and a gel-mounted 20-gig hard drive well worth protecting. [ www.panasonic.com / 800-662-3537 ]
Take a full-color handheld computer, wrap it in thick rubber and watertight gaskets, beef up the action buttons, and you get the 10.3-ounce Casio EG800 ($900). It's able to withstand fumbles on a talus slope, and a sealed screen and lidded CompactFlash card slot render it splashproof. If nothing else, you can play Maze Craze while you're stuck in a bivouac. [ www.casio.com / 800-836-8580 ]
In addition to its altimeter, the Suunto Observer wrist computer ($500) has a barometer, a thermometer, a compass, a clock with stopwatch, and continuous-flow bearing information. Better yet, all that technology is tucked into a titanium package so tough you could use it to club fish. [ www.suunto.com / 800-543-9124 ]
Thanks to the Iridium satellite system (which, after a well-publicized hiatus, is back on line) and the Motorola 9505 satellite telephone ($1,500), you can once again check in with your sponsors from the Arctic Circle. The handheld unit weighs 13.2 ounces and supports voice-mail, text messaging, and (with a computer and a $150 kit) Internet data transmission. "Hello, Quokka? Where's our food cache? Hello?" [ www.motorola.com / 800-353-2729 ]
Geographically challenged but loath to admit it? Download maps from MapSource's huge CD-ROM library; select a camp, hotel, or restaurant; and the nine-ounce, waterproof Garmin GPS V ($535) guides you there. [ www.garmin.com / 800-800-1020 ]
Lose the Bowl of Jelly
Gear for the outdoor fitness freak
Heart rate, schmart rate. The FitSense running Speedometer ($200) gives you that and the one thing every runner is dying to knowspeed. Drawing on technology originally developed for the military, a pod on your shoe records the motion of your feet and then sends the data to a wrist monitor. You get miles per hour, minutes per mile, total time, and average pace. It also sounds off with target-zone alarms, but you'll be too busy feeling like Steve Austin to notice. [ fitsense.com / 800-419-3667 ]
Tired of limbering up your quads with a towel? StretchRite ($25) is a sturdy nylon belt with loops at each end and patented polycarbonate handholds that supply leverage without rope burns. [ stretchrite.com / 877-787-3824 ]
Enervitine, the Italian-made maltodextrin-and-fructose-based carb supplement of choice for Tour de France riders, comes in a resealable foil pouch and serves up the same calories as its American competition (120 calories per 1.2-ounce package; $4). Because it's a liquid rather than a paste, it doesn't require a water chaser. Which would be a crime, since Enervitine tastes like Froot Loops. [ enervitamerica.com / 877-324-7448 ]
Graber Products recently purchased Power Tap and spent nine months ironing out the kinks on the only hub-based bicycling power monitor. Now waterproof and easier to find in stores, the $799 hub and receiver brings the training techniques of elite pro roadies to the people. [ power-tap.com / 800-783-7257 ]
The Litespeed Blade ($5,180) is to wind what a Stealth Fighter is to radarnot much. This velo whisper, crafted from impossibly aerodynamic titanium tubing, represents the state of the art for time-trial and triathlon riders. With its steep tube angles and big gearing, the Blade was designed to do one thing very wellaccelerate. All you have to provide is the inner wattage to bring it up to cruising speed. [ litespeed.com / 423-238-5530 ]
With the Superfull ($450), Quintana Roo has turned out its fastest wetsuit ever. Speed-cut leg openings mean fewer peel-off face-plants, and Breakaway Zippers let you remove the suit either by pulling up or zipping down. The special "micelle" coating is six times as slippery in the water as bare skin, and variations in the thickness of the neoprene make you more buoyant in the legs and torso. [ rooworld.com / 800-548-6369 ]
The Art of Giving
The season's most sublime outdoor books
Neumeyer Glacier, South Georgia Island
South with Endurance: Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition 1914-1917, The Photographs of Frank Hurley
(Simon & Schuster, $50).
Without Frank Hurley's photographs of Sir Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic voyage, the Endurance expedition would be left largely to the imagination. This anthology features all of Hurley's nearly 500 images, including 32 color prints made from surviving Paget Colour Plates in a process using dyed potato-starch grains. Interspersed among Hurley's stark black-and-whites of the icebound ship, these rare images add a pale, eerie warmth to the Antarctic landscape and offer a staggering photographic record of one of history's greatest survival stories.
Ansel Adams at 100
by John Szarkowski (Little, Brown, $150).
This oversize jaw-dropper brings together two legendsphotographer and environmental activist Ansel Adams and celebrated MoMA photography director emeritus John Szarkowskito commemorate Adams's birth in 1902. The 114 images and introductory essay go far beyond the average dorm-room-poster centennial hoopla and recall Adams as the pioneering craftsman and mountain mystic that he was. Printed on 192 pages of thick-stock French paper and bound in soft Dutch linen, Ansel Adams at 100 expertly renders the photographer's "chords of tone." And, like the rest of his work, it simply feels good.
Eliot Porter: The Color of Wildness
essays by John Rohrbach and Rebecca Solnit, memoir by Jonathan Porter (Aperture, $60).
With the publication of his 1962 book, In Wildness Is the Preservation of the World, Eliot Porter virtually created modern nature photography. If some of the 110 images in this retrospective look familiar, it's because Porter inspired 40 years of imitators. In these pages, however, shots of poplars, rock faces, and streams reveal the master's unmistakable vision. Porter's photographs appear uncomposed, as if he simply let nature leap onto the negative, yet somehow perfectly balancedthe best work of a man who was both naturalist and artist.
Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife
edited by David Burnie and Don E. Wilson (DK, with the Smithsonian Institution, $50).
Animal is the ultimate zoological reference, with fat, lavishly illustrated sections on more than 2,000 of the world's species. Even if you don't care about the aerial boxing technique of hares or the ambush strategies of the marsupial mole (though how could you not?), the surprising photography on display here will keep you marveling at the breadth and bizarreness of the animal kingdom.
Dreaming of Africa,
by Denis Clavreul (Rizzoli, $250).
French watercolorist Denis Clavreul's elegant visual diary of three months in East Africa is part Lascaux painting, part da Vinci sketch: Ghostly washes of color (Masais crossing through mist) appear next to spare line drawings (storks basking in the sun). Fascinated with Africa since boyhood and trained as an ecologist, Clavreul captures the muted shades of dust and the bright gore of blood in a lioness's feast. If that doesn't make you dream of Africa, maybe this luxurious (and luxuriously priced) volume, with silky cloth box and ten frameable prints, will.
blower: Snowboarding Inside Out
by Jeff Curtes and Eric Kotch (Booth-Clibborn Editions, $55).
Check out any ski-resort half-pipe and chances are you'll see as many spectators with cameras documenting every 360 and fakey as you will boarders pulling off the tricks. That's the kind of multimedia immersion captured by blower, a sweet compilation of photos and profiles that covers the entire lifestyle, from freeriding to T-shirt artas assembled by Burton photo team Jeff Curtes and Eric Kotch. In the true spirit of snowboarding, blower comes with a DVD showcasing the high-octane sights and bass-thumping sounds of the sport that Burton helped create.
Remains of a Rainbow: Rare Plants and Animals of Hawai'i
by David Liittschwager and Susan Middleton, foreword by W. S. Merwin (National Geographic Books, $65).
The Hawaii in this book is dramatically unfamiliaryou won't find palm-fringed Pacific beaches or migrating humpbacks. Instead, veteran nature photographers Middleton and Liittschwager trained their telephoto lenses on more than 130 of Hawaii's nearly lost natives, from the glinty-eyed Wøekiu wolf spider to the last known Clermontia peleana plant. Paired with poet W. S. Merwin's thoughtful foreword on the saving power of human compassion, these color portraitsthe result of more than five years in the fieldargue beautifully for protecting the imperiled.