Friday, January 30, 2009

Skate with the Stars....

if you can afford one of the three Louis Vuitton skateboards worth $8,250...I saw quite a few amusing comment online, it kindda of reminded me when Nike started to get into skateboarding and snowboarding....After the huge corporates trying to get a piece of the cake, now that's the Luxury brands trying to get into the Action Sport world.

Does it mean the companies created by snowboarders/skaters are going to break under the power of those corporations??? Well I would not to worry too much, those skateboard/ case were created for a charity event in New York City.

Speaking about Luxury brands, instead of buying a skateboard for 8K, why not buying a Chanel snowboard for $2,750.00. Noooooooooooo our worst nightmares are coming true.
For all of you, people who don't feel the crunch, The Paris Hilton of Switzerland, if you read this blog, no worries at least the board is the Ultralight from Nidecker.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Siiiick graphic....

When I went to the Movie Premiere "That's it, That's all", my wife and I saw this art being done by Mike Parillo.
Really Siiick graphic and pretty spiritual as well...I knew snowboarders were more spiritual than surfers. But to surfers defense, Point Break did not really help to make surfers look smart:)

You can check my previous blog about Lib Tech tech but here is just a picture of the board, now you can levitate both physically and spiritually on the pow-pow.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Have the board, be the artist.

Most riders are really proud of what they ride and we can talk about a board forever. Of course when we buy a board, we do our homework and read reviews to make sure it's a good board and that it fits our style. One thing that most people do unconsciously is that the final purchase decision/call to action comes from the graphic on the board.
It can be the best board in the world, a crappy graphic would be a big turn off...Anyone would prefer to skip it and go with the second best board in the world (with blazin' graphic).

With that said, what about having your own graphic so people can either tell you how talented you are.

So Series 13 (Burton) can do that for you and take care of all the logistic headaches (with acost of course). Janet Jackson from the Super Bowl is not allowed.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

First layers for women

Now in their second season, Cilla has brought a fresh perspective to the often overlooked first layer category. Conceived by professional snowboarder Priscilla Levac, the line is designed for women who are serious about their gear.

Check out my previous blog on EESA, first layers for men ...maybe I should create my line for French speedo collection:)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ride in collaboration with Tokidoki

Tokidoki started from a Italian artist who created a web to share his love for stuff from Japan, then was approached by two entrepreneurs from the States and soon after Tokidoki became a lifestyle brand in 2005.

So nowadays collaboration are very popular, here is Ride snowboards and Tokidoki creating a complete women collection, Limited of course. If you love pink and original design, this collection is for you.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Celtek by Leines brothers

Lot of skateboard companies are created by skateboarders, and we are starting to see several pros creating their own. Particularly snowboard gear and accessory as it require less capital and overhead than creating a snowboard company.

I have mentioned before Kanny Kass/Pow Gloves, Joni Malmi/Makia so today i am going to talk a bit about the brothers Leines who decided to create some gloves in the basement of their house in Hutah.

Celtek gloves looks pretty solid in design and looks different from other brands. So if it fits your personallity : go for it

Thursday, January 22, 2009

waveless'best friend...Indoboard

Indoboard has been popular for quite some time now. Every time I would go to my friend's place I would use it. I have to admit that it is pretty fun but doesn't replace the real thing.

The Indo board consists of a wooden oval shape board and a roller. I feel it is a great tool to improve your balance and to become more aware of your feet: how much weight you distribute and those happy feet becomes more flexible, responsive as well.

So here is the thing to watch out for. I tried to do a ollie pop shov-it after an hour practicing on this thing. Obviously I didn't land it, ended up on my ass and the board went flying across the living room.
my two advices: do it on a carpet so that if you fall, you don't hurt your self. Then remove any furniture around (particularly if there are made of glass).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

cord wrapping around leg

I finally went surfing last weekend with some mates from Best Kiteboarding, we still had to drive to Melbourne to get some stomach high waves...yep that's Florida:(

Anyway I hate wearing a leash for the simple reason that it is annoying, gets around the feet,etc... So here is an gadget from XM : the Tangle Free, a double swivel leash that helps avoid this problem.

There is a slider (small weight) that moves on the cord, it pulls the cord down which decrease the chances to step on it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Danny Kass: Zoom Force 1

Danny Kass just signed with Nike last December and the guy came up with some sick tripping boots.
The ad is a way too long but you can fast forward a little

Monday, January 19, 2009

Action sport is an art....mais ouiiiiii

By reading this blog, I am sure you agree with me: action sport is an art, it's a form a personnal expression, and requires creativity.
I did not find it on Wikipedia but I am sure snowboard equipments should be considered art as well.

Now you should have no problem convincing your wife to hang your snowboard, kiteboard, etc.. in the living room. the other way is obvious, women always get what they want.

So here is this new hanging system: Rixon

but if you are a bit handy, you should have no problem going to Home Depot and replicate this.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Brand connection

I was looking for new brands from Europe, when I found Transform, a fresh brand from the UK.
They say to offer a European twist into the largely dominated US industry, but quite frankly looking at their products and website, I feel there is no strategy to differentiate themselves.

I am not sure if they have even thought about a brand vision because the website is poorly designed and doesn't reflect any brand personality.
In addition they are featuring there gloves with a girl wearing lingerie, where the shot seemed to have done in the roommate's bedroom.

At least if it was a French brand, the girl would be topless :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Almost like....Florida

Notttttt...Here is a quick teaser of Cory Lopez at Skeleton Bay, prettty sick. For the past three months I have watched this clip and dreamt to surf a wave like that.... I miss Black's beach and Swami's a lot.

If you want to see the rest of the movie, it's 5'5" x 19' 1/4" Redux

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fron lift to Lounge...this is EESA

Few days ago, I asked my friend Mayta what is hot in Vermont, her simple answer was EESA.
the brand from Vermont was launched in late 2004 by Stephen Cleary and Fran Frost. While at Burton and riding quite often Cleary realized that pros and kids in general preferred to wear tshirt instead of technical innerwear: why ???? Do you really want your friend to see you in tight pant like if you were 6 years old, the only missing ingredient would be a teddy bear.

Anyway that's what EESA is about, bringing style into those first layers in addition to be loaded with moisture-wicking, antimicrobial and quick-dry technology.

Don't you find there is a resemblance with Donovan, one other stuff is back, that's the stach...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bring the style to bindings

I usually I don't speak about riders joining new team, otherwise it would take me all day, and I would become the dlisted version of the actionsport blogsphere. However Romain De Marchi is in my opinion one of the best snowboarder out there, and it seems he is now joining the Flux family.

"I felt that I would go back to my roots and align myself with a company that represented a core image. I’ve always seen myself on Flux, so here I am, back on Flux.”, waouuu that's so deep:)

Seriously go check them out, I looked at different reviews, test riders all agree to say it's solid, comfortable and stylishhhh.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Like in cars...the hottest trend is to be hybrid

Firewire is launching a new hybrid surfboard, named RapidFIRE that has just been released. What I like about Firewire is that I can get a high performance surfboard while being environmentally responsible.
While it cannot be recycled, they are using materials that have less impact on the environment during the manufacturing process like EPS foam, Epoxy and for this new board a top deck made out of Bamboo. In addition they give 1% of their sale to 1% For The Planet

To sum up the technology, the bamboo deck works in synergy with the interior carbon rods to provide ultimate flex patterns, to the lucky B*&tches who will own those boards that mean you will be able to maximize speed and generate better turns.

One other big advantage of this model mentioned by Chuy Reyna, Marketing Manager for Firewire is that the retail price is at $595. So it is more affordable than other models from Firewire while having better performance compare to PU boards.

Then for guys like me who live in South Florida, that means the bamboo deck will look sick in my condo as I have bamboo floor...and then once a month I could use it going upcoast.

SIA reports first decline


The snow sports market contracted for the first time this season as recession-conscious holiday shoppers spent fewer dollars, according to the SnowSports Industries America (SIA) Retail Audit. Overall, the snow sports market declined to $1.875 billion for August through December 2008, a 1.5% drop compared to the same period in 2007. Hardest hit was the alpine equipment category where current model ski sales were down 17% over last season.

The snowboard category declined 5% in boards, boots and bindings. Overall apparel was down 3%, but snowboard apparel, shell parkas and fleece sales remained strong. Accessories sales were up 4%, particularly hats, gloves, and wax purchased at resort shops.

The equipment category declined 4% in dollars overall with the deepest loss in alpine ski and equipment sold in chain stores. Alpine ski sales, particularly current year models, declined 17% over last season. Alpine boots and bindings sales were about even with last season sales and current year models are selling well. Snowboards, snowboard boots, and snowboard bindings sales declined 5% season over season. Nordic equipment sales declined 2% in dollars and 7%.

Apparel sales accounted for more than 40% of all dollars spent overall in the snow sports market. Fleece continues to be the big seller in the apparel market with $170 million in sales, which was flat compared to Aug-Dec sales last season. Adult shell parkas sales increased 5% season and snowboard apparel continued to sell well but increased just 1% compared to last season.

The Internet channel enjoyed strong growth in December, gaining 12% in dollars and 23% in units compared to August to December 2007. At this time last year, Internet sales were up 23%. Overall, consumers spent $376 million on snow sports equipment, apparel, and accessories online. Internet sales comprised 20% of all the dollars consumers spent on snow sports products in the U.S. between August 1 and December 31, 2008.

The specialty channel was hit hard by falling sales in December, declining 5% in dollars. Specialty shops were responsible for $1.1 billion of the $1.9 billion in total sales (includes specialty shops, chain stores, and online sales) for the snow sports marketplace August through December 2008. Specialty shops accounted for 76% of alpine equipment, 73% of Nordic gear, and 63% of all snowboard equipment was sold so far this season.

Chain stores’ equipment sales continue to sink with decreases of 16% in dollars and 14% in units. Alpine ski sales are down 20% and snowboard equipment sales decreased 18%. Chain stores equipment sales ($391 million) accounted for just 16% of all equipment sales in the U.S. snow sports marketplace from August to December. Apparel sales made up almost half of all chain store snow sports sales August through December 2008.

The market data for the SIA Retail Audit is provided by the Leisure Trends Group. Each season, Leisure Trends gathers data between August 1 and March 31 from a representative panel of more than 1,200 snow sports retailers who provide sales data directly from their Point of Sale systems. The panel and the method for extrapolating the results out to the entire industry is based on a triennial census of snow sports retailers designed to accurately define the size and structure of the snow sports retail marketplace.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Finally a good graphic on Nitro board...Buy IsenSeven

I haven't tried the T1 boards from Nitro but heard good things about them, they work best for snowpark and street that's why there is the new "RailKiller Edge" to increase durability and features the X Power Core for improved snap, blablablah....

I have owned few Nitro in the past but I have never been impressed with their graphics, it's kindda of boring. Salomon used to be that way too in early 2000. Well the snow movie production IsenSeven from Munich, Germany to is using the T1 board from Nitro to provide a limited Edition with some sick graphic (I would like the brand a little bit smaller on the bottom, otherwise I feel like I am a billboard)

So far it is only available on their website, at 399euros (close to be $550)

I am kinda of late here, I guess it takes time for the news to go over the Atlantic, the movie "Teenage love Grafitti" is sick and there are some funny parts too.
Go check out the trailer, it's pretty damn good.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

When Electronic products break days after the warranty expire

I believe in karma but WTF, every time I buy an electronic product, it breaks within a month after the warranty period ended. To make things worst when I buy an extended warranty, it never breaks.

Anyway warranty suck so that's why I am now looking at product that are rugged like this new Panasonic SDR-SW21 that records to SD/SDHC cards. I am not an expert on video quality,etc so don't ask me if you can become the next MackDawg with it, but my point is that it can survive a 4 foot drop, waterproof down to 6.5 feet and is dustproof.
An other nice feature is that you can download your biggest slam directly to site like Youtube

It supposed to hit the stores on April 2009 with a tag price of $400 and in three color options: lime green, orange, and silver.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Always wear never know

On January 1st, a skier boarded a high-speed lift in Vail's Blue Sky Basin.the seat was not working properly which made the skier fall when he boarded, however his right ski got jammed and his boot never dislodged.
At least he was wearing goggles and a helmet...aahhh what a great way to start the year.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cover your bold spot

Last month I went to the movie premiere That's it, That's all and I was amazed by the number of guys wearing caps, specially at night and in a movie theater. This doesn't make any sense but ehh who am I to judge.
A friend of mine mentioned Elm so I decided to go check it out and honestly their limited edition was not too bad: the cap is made of wolten wool and leather paneling with satin liner.

Personally I prefer their Copeland collection

Monday, January 5, 2009

Never get lost: Navjacket

For the ones who have seen the movie" Les Bronzees font du ski", you understand that getting lost in the mountains suck.

In the States, I only went snowboarding at Big Bear, so you have to be dumb to get lost but if you go to the French Alpes, it is actually quite easy. The slopes are so gigantic that you take a lift and then an other one, next thing you know it's 4.30pm, lifts are shutting down and you are miles away from your chalet...Yep that's the Alpes.

Sometimes you happen to find a natural kicker but then can't quite remember how you got there...Well those days are over with the the Navjacket from O'Neill.

There is an integrated display on the sleeves and audible instructions from the hood. You can tag your favorite spots, record routes and find friends, favorite bar and even download 3D map to your cellphone.

At 1350 euros (I have not seen the US retail price yet), It may not be for everyone, however I would have like to get a keyboard on the jacket to be able to login into my facebook account. Ohh well maybe next year.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Board Bag review

Just before Xmas, I went to my storage room to pick up some luggage and noticed how beat up was my FCS surf bag. I have had couple of friends asking me for advices on how to prevent any damages to their board when they are gonna surf abroad.
-buy a bag that is 6-8 inches longer than your longest board
-remove wax from boards, and fins
-use foam pipe insulation to protect rails, you can also cut them in half and place them on top and bottom for additional protection

-Finally put clothes on nose and tails, between surfboards for additional protection

Now about surfbags selection, after trying both conventional and wheeled bags, the latest one are worth the extra money. The following three have similar features such as corrosion free zipper, 600D polyester, rubber handle, polyurethane wheels, internal pocket for fins, etc..

I am going to review three bags:
-Dakine: World Traveler (4 boards, $225), it has a solid construction but I have found nothing innovative about the bag.
-Komunity: Delta Wheeled Coffin (4 boards, $220), the skid pad is better than dakine and similar to FCS, the handles are comfortable and the one for the shoulder is well thought but I would have like to see a better construction for extra comfort as it can be a big pain to carry.
Overall I prefer this bag over the Dakine

-FCS: Triple Wheelie (5 boards, $240).
I found this bag to be innovative and this is the one I would purchase. Unlike the two other bags, the wheels are placed on the rails, which makes it the easiest bag to carry in busy airport. Just make sure you protect the rails, as an impact from the top will not only damage the rail but could damage up to five boards.
Instead of having a pad separating each board, FCS offers one literunner single board bag, which is the best feature of this bag, that is a bit more expensive than the other two.
(the 7 boards version at $280, has two literunner).

Friday, January 2, 2009

Snowboard goes Banana

I first saw the skate banana at Big Bear, Ca last year and talked with guys who tried it. From what they said the Magne Traction gives a strong hold when you ride on ice, which naturally make sense because of the 7 point of contact. In the park, they are actually pretty good and slide well on rails.

So when I went to France, two of my friends were going to buy a snowboard and I told them about Lib Tech and it would be worth checking them out. I could not find it in any stores though and after searching on the web, it seems those boards are hard to find. It's too bad that they come up with all this buzz but don't have the supply to satisfy the demand which is going to give some time to competitors to come up with similar technologies before Lib manages to convert those riders.

So far I heard great things about the Banana technology, and actually I did the same experimentation when I was studying composite and snowboard technology 6 years ago. "As the weight presses out the rocker, tips and tails still makes full contact for control and stability but edge pressure is reduced in tips and tails , allowing them to float. The flex pattern is stiffened at tips and tails to give extra pop and stability during landings."

I am a believer that video is worth a 100 words, so check this video out, it's a bit old but good enough to give you a visual idea.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Heated snowboard Jacket

I just came back to the States after 8 intense days of eating, drinking French wine. During those holidays there was a Siberian cold front making my Floridian clothes pretty much useless. I was looking in stores for a new jacket and finally tried the Aaron jacket from FourSquare. I haven't bought it because of the price but what a jacket, super comfortable, removable heated system, back arm venting and I loved the fur on the hood.

The battery charged heated liner seems pretty simple to use and reading the user instructions, it seems 6 hour of charges will delivers 8 hours of heat.

And the facts you can remove/add layers is a good way to have one jacket that can work from Dec 'til May.