Wool Buff Review

31 01 2012

Click on image for my original Buff review...

I posted my original Buff review way back at the start of 2009 – click on image above to read it. By that point I had been using these tubular neck/head warmers for years. My love affair with them has continued and I take at least one on every trip I go on. I generally use them as neck/face warmers like the photo show above, but I have been known to use them in more inventive ways occasionally…=-) I haven’t posted about them much in the last couple years because although they are highly useful – they are also dead simple so what more can you say? Well I recently got a merino wool Buff for Christmas from some friends which was an awesome surprise gift.

Looking Buff!

These wool buffs are very cozy to the touch and are available in some classic/classy designs if you want to look a bit more NYC than REI. They are longer than my synthetic Buffs for better coverage or doubling over for more warmth. Of course they have all the usual benefits of wool – staying warm when wet, odour resistant and excellent temperature regulation. I haven’t had this wool Buff long enough to judge its durability, but the construction seems robust so I am hopeful for a long service life with some reasonable care.

Buff product details - click for larger text...

If you are new to the Buff world try one out. You’ll probably be like me and find it hard to imagine how you lived without one.





Puerto Rico…

31 01 2012

I’ve officially got strapless kite surfing fever…=-)





Slingshot Tyrant Kite Surfboard Sale

30 01 2012

Click on image for my review...

I was poking around the Kite Paddle Surf Bellingham clearance section and noticed that my favourite kite surfboard [Slingshot Tyrant is on sale for $569USD down from ~$800]. You can read my review by clicking on the image above. This board performs like a champ in bigger conditions and the construction is bomber for jumping and getting smashed onto the beach when it gets carried in on a wave. It also looks so sweet with its bamboo and carbon fiber construction. The changes for 2012 aren’t major so this is a great deal on a sweet board. I like mine so much I’m planning on getting another Slingshot surfboard – just trying to figure out which model as they have so many to choose from.

Click on image to see the 2012 Slinghshot Surfboard line up...

This is what Andy from KPS has to say about the Tyrant:

“If I am going out in waves larger than my armpit, this is going to be my board of choice hands down.  It is fast, responsive, and you can drive it through anything like its a hummer.  This board impressed me the most because I perfected my jibes with its smooth turning characteristics, and learned about toe side riding in waves.  It took me to the next level in the surf and gave me a grin I still haven’t wipe away from my face.”

Burly tri-fin setup...

Last winter when I was down in La Ventana with my Tyrant for the first time there were only a few on the water and most were being ridden by people I knew. Fast forward to this winter and I saw Slingshot Tyrants under a good chunk of the kiters riding surfboards. I’m not surprised at all and I suspect it will be a dominant model down there next winter since people now have access to discounted 2011 stock like the sale at KPS. It’s a classic board I won’t be selling and with such a durable construction it’s going to be around for many seasons of kiting.When Sharon is ready to try a directional kiteboard I’ll get her out on the Tyrant and I’m sure she’ll come back smiling.





650B Dirt Dawgs…

30 01 2012

My Boulder Bicycle 650B rando rig...

Training might be too strong a word for our first road ride of 2012, but when you are as lazy as we are you need to count every pedal stroke. I was stoked that pulling my Boulder Bicycle All Road down from its winter slumber hanging from the wall of my office didn’t reveal much work needed to get her operational. Some air in the tires and dead batteries in the taillight & bike computer were the only items that needed attention. I like a bike that doesn’t need a ton of maintenance.

Pre-ride shenanigans...

Taking a photo break...

Aaron's new Bridgestone rando beast...

You can always spot the rolling pumpkin...

A few more tweaks...

eVent jacket and wool keep me comfy and dry...

Aaron coming...

A lot of the ride was slick gravel or mud - perfect 650B terrain...

Aaron going...

Hanging with our good friend...





Patagonia Slopestyle Hoody Review…

29 01 2012

Click on image to jump to Patagonia product page...

This is my favourite everyday jacket. I can’t think of any major trip that this hoody hasn’t been on with me since I got it. My original one [tan hoody below]is wearing out at the seams and cuffs from too much love.  It looks ratty enough I’ve had to banish it from city use and save it for my outdoor adventures. I have 2 more of these – a sweet looking black one I keep minty fresh for business meetings and social engagements where I have to look smart. I just bought another brown one this weekend which will be my day to day hoodie. Luckily I’ve never had to pay full retail for one of these jackets. I always seem to find them at 50%-65% of MSRP. I’m not sure why, but they seem to be under appreciated by the normal Patagonia shoppers.

Slopestyle fishing...

What I like about the Slopestyle Hoody?:

  • fits my build perfectly
  • relaxed fit has room for a light insulating layer underneath
  • DWR coating sheds light rain & snow
  • reasonably wind resistant for cool days on the beach
  • breathes well so you don’t get sweaty inside when biking
  • tough fabric resists stains and abrasion well
  • light and packable enough to always take along
  • doesn’t wrinkle easily so you can pull it out of a backpack at walk into a restaurant looking decent
  • doesn’t get too funky when worn while exercising
  • often on sale for a reasonable cost
  • perfect cross over piece to go from sporty to urban and back
  • if the lazy rando blog had a pro-model jacket this would be it!

Slopestyle surfing...

My plan is to keep buying them on sale when they cross my path so even if Patagonia stops making them I can wear one of these jackets for the next decade or two…=-)





Wet, Wild and Dirty…

28 01 2012

The classic A-Man roll in...

Big storm recently knocked down many trees...

The storm also dropped a lot of rain and snow on the hills...

Dirt loverz...

Chasing the sun...

Lots more standing water...

Lots more foliage to contend with...

A few dead end non-trails to backtrack...

Some hike a bike...

We are so powerful we shred gear...





Victoria BC Unicycle Club

28 01 2012

Click on image to jump to the club website...

A long time ago I posted on this blog about wanting to find a local Victoria unicycle club and although it took some time through the power of the internet folks from the club found the post. My buddy Paul lent me two unis, but my lack of skill and knowledge have kept me from learning much beyond how much I suck at riding a unicycle. However, my enthusiasm remains strong. I’ll be going to the clinic on 23 Feb and I may even pay for some private lessons before then just to get the ball rolling.