Japan is firmly planted on the international ski and snowboard map, an exotic dream destination for many. Powderhounds the world over start drooling with the mere mention of ski resorts in the Northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido such as Niseko, Tazawako, and Minow, all of which are known for their insane (see below) amounts of high quality, dry powder.
With these resorts being world class destinations, resorts in Fukushima’s lesser known Aizu and Minami Aizu mountain regions are attempting to put their name on the map by offering free lift tickets to anyone with a foreign passport between the ages of 19-24. Simply present your passport at the ticket window and away you go. Now, before you quip about the misleading title of this article, if you hold a foreign passport and you’re over (or under, not sure there 19) 24 you can get lift tickets for roughly USD $17. Not a bad deal any way you look at it. The offer is available through March 31st, 2017, at 22 ski resorts in the Aizu and Minami Aizu mountain region.
The promotion, as reported by local news agency Rocket News 24, is being held by Visit Fukushima, the prefectures’ tourism board. Some of the best looking resorts participating in the promotion are:
Grivko lands a powerful right hook to the brow of Kittel early in the third round. Fitting commentary for a boxing match, but things get interesting when we learn that this was the third stage of the Dubai Tour, and Andriy Grivko and Marcel Kittel are professional cyclists. The punch left blood pouring down the face of Kittel:
The blow came early in the 200km stage from Dubai to Al Aqah. Kittel stated in a post stage interview “When we passed a construction site, the sand began blowing and as soon as we went into the crosswinds we were fighting for position, which is always stressful, and Andriy Grivko punched me,”
Kittel tweeted that he would not accept an apology for the incident:
I won't accept an apology for this. That has nothing to do with cycling. What Grivko did is a shame for our beautiful sport. pic.twitter.com/vvMN5LzQN0
Grivko has been disqualified from the race and his Astana team apologised to Kittel and his team, but Grivko also stated on his Facebook page that Kittel had pushed himself and team-mate Dmitriy Gruzdev and spat at him prior to the punch, saying that Kittel created “a very tense and dangerous situation that could cause not only my fall, but a big crash in the peloton.” Grivko added: “I responded with aggressive action to aggressive action from the other side.
Kittel, winner of the first two stages of the race retained the overall race lead by eight seconds despite the incident and finishing outside the top ten on day three.
It seems the Kittel is at least finding some humor in the situation with this tweet poking fun at the whole situation:
SnowSports Industries America’s Snow Show wrapped up for another year this past week and the overwhelming buzzword of the show was sustainability. This isn’t surprising, consumers are becoming more and more conscious of how their purchasing decisions affect the world around them. It’s just bad business for companies not to at the very least have a cute little section of their website dedicated to that particular shade of green that lets the world know they recycle. But how many companies truly embrace those twisty bendy green arrows?
The traditional manufacturing of snowboards, skis, surfboards, anything that brings the stoke, is pretty gnarly for the environment. This is ironic as stoke as an industry relies so much on pristine nature to bring in the bucks. Enter Niche Snowboards.
Niche has partnered with The Mothership; one of the world’s most environmentally friendly and sustainable factories and the world’s most environmentally friendly snowboard factory. The facility is 100% river powered by hyrdo-electricity and emits zero CO2 emissions thanks to electric cooling and NH3 natural gas heating. In addition, the factory uses 98% locally sourced materials, reducing transportation emissions and energy used.
For the 2017/18 winter season Niche is releasing 100% waste-free snowboards, reducing their already impressively low manufacturing eco-footprint. A new system developed at The Mothership creates resin from any waste plastic material, allowing 100% recycled hard plastic to be used in their board construction. In addition to being waste-free and featuring a number of other eco-friendly construction techniques, the 17/18 boards incorporate a flax based fiber stringer, allowing for more pop while dampening the vibration and reducing board chatter.
We’re really impressed with Niche Snowboards for putting their money where their mouth is and committing to being eco-friendly and sustainable. We know where our next snowboards are going to be coming from.
If you haven’t seen the cinematic masterpiece that is Ski Schoolthen you need stop whatever it is that you’re doing RIGHT NOW and watch it, seriously, we’ll wait. Ok, got that out of the way? Great. Now, Ski School is clearly the be all end all of films that capture the raw energy and passion of freeskiing. It also showcases the pinnacle of mountain fashion and attitude, and fashion in general that was the year 1991. We just made that sign with our hands that a mustachioed caricature Italian chief would make, you know the pinch your fingers together and kiss them to let the world know “that’sa tastyyyy meataballll” because 1991 was so on point:
But we digress. Redbull (“that’sa tastyyyy energyyy drinkaaa”) decided to take an expanded look at the fashion and skiing styles of five decades of freeskiing in their latest mini documentary Generations of Freeskiing.
Filled to the brim with neon jackets, long tees, and every other awesome fashion fehler (German for mistake, so we’re told) that has hit the slope in the last fifty years, Redbull’s Generations of Freeskiing also features some of the biggest names in modern freeskiing.
To name a few, Jon Olsson, Ben Mayr, Lisa Zimmermann, Nick Goepper, Jesper Tjader, all throw down to make the film as awesome as it is entertaining.
Generations of Freeskiing can be streamed in full, for free on Red Bull TV. Now if you’ll excuse us we’re going to break out the neon and take back the slope from those pesky snowboarders!
Cycling’s premier event, the Tour De France showcases some of the world’s finest athletes battle it out in a superhuman test of endurance. In recent years however the Tour has also been a showcase for cycling, and professional sport’s dark underbelly, cheating. Perhaps no professional athlete has fallen from such high esteem than cycling’s golden boy, Lance Armstrong, a name now synonymous with both greatness and the shame of being a proven performance enhancing substance user. Armstrong is not alone, The Next Web reports that, from 1998 to 2012, nearly half of top 10 Tour finishers tested positive for performance enhancing substances.
Performance enhancing substances are not the only way to get ahead in professional cycling it seems. A 60 Minutesreport aired on Sunday the 29th, 2017, investigated a new form of cheating unique to cycling, hiding electric motors inside bike frames, complete with secret activation buttons, to give unscrupulous athletes an unfair advantage.
60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whittaker interviewed Istvan Varjas, an engineer who says he invented the motor and drive system which he claims is being used by cyclists in the Tour De France.
Varjas is also already at work developing an electromagnetic wheel-based drive system which will provide the next generation of ‘mechanical doping.’
The 60 Minutes report comes after Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera and France’s Télévisions Stade 2 news station used thermal imaging cameras last April to allegedly catch as many as seven competitors using hidden motors at Strade Bianche and Coppi e Bartali road races in Italy.
Jean-Pierre Verdy, former testing director for the French Anti-Doping Agency who has dedicated his professional career to investigating doping at the Tour De France divulged to 60 Minutes that his sources claim that around one dozen cyclists used hidden motors in the 2015 Tour de France, an alarming trend in an otherwise great competition and sport.
Reelers is a short film competition for everything surf and surf related. Brought to you by Surfing World, the competition features films under 3 minutes in the categories of Story, Action, and Youth. Cash and swag prizes are up for grabs for each of the categories and is judged by surf cinematographer greats; Taylor Steele, Kai Neville and Jack McCoy. Entries can also be selected for audience choice awards via votes on the competition website.
There are some great submissions in the competition so far, so we decided to sit down and highlight our favorite selections for each category. Here are our top picks (and a couple honorable mentions) of the competition so far:
Submitted by Alex Corcoran, a man of few words who describes his film, Up North, as: “A short made for Reelers 2017. This was made from a trip to Lennox Head ‘ UP NORTH ‘. I am 14” Well 14 year old Alex Corcoran we really liked everything about this film but overall it made us feel all warm and fuzzy inside and captures perfectly what it’s like to have a great day out in the surf with your friend and mellow fun waves. Well done Alex Corcoran, well done.
This short is submitted by Gold Coast videographer Dru Adler. Titled The Uplifting, it tells the story of how the recent earthquake in New Zealand has changed the surf landscape in and around Adler’s wife’s home town of Kaikoura. We liked this entry in the Story category as it highlights the silver lining of what was an otherwise destructive and tragic event, and that this silver lining is bringing new opportunity and stoke to a generation of young surfers. High five, Dru, for seeing the glass as half full!
Surfing Private Island is a short film shot in the Mentawais about a group of local surfers having a ton of fun. We liked this entry because it just made us want to go out and surf. Ok, we always want to surf, everyone can relate, but you know what we mean, it was feel good, the waves looked perfect, warm, and fun and it captured everything positive about surfing.
Standards Suck is a short film following Jaleesa Vincent. Filmed and submitted by Olivia Williams the two have ton of fun with the project and it radiates sunshine and good times.
A short film by 17 year old Tai Jennison Rupiah For Shade features four of the best young surfers in the world; Rio Waida, Caleb Tancred, Griffin Colapinto and Ethan Ewing. These dudes are young and they rip.
Submissions for Reelers 2017 can be made until February 1st, 2017, so it’s not too late to submit if you’re a budding surf cinematographer. And don’t forget to vote for your favorite entry for the audience choice awards.
To view all entries click to visit the competition website.
Mother nature is not to be trifled with. She can throw some pretty gnarly things at you, and in a land as raw and pristine as New Zealand the extreme becomes the norm. Enter the Redbull Defiance, a twist on the traditional triathlon, a two person team, two day adventure race which combines trail running, kayaking, endurance mountain biking, and “the creative element of undisclosed special stages.”
Defiance, by definition is the presentation of challenge, but at the same time a means to overcome challenge. The course, created by multisport endurance phenom and Kiwi, Braden Currie is designed to do just that, challenge as well as push athletes to overcome by racing through and over some of the most beautiful scenery the South Island of New Zealand has to offer. Situated in the Wanaka region and focusing on and around Lake Wanaka the 2017 course consisted of a 71 KM enduro mountain bike, 39 KM trail run, 40 KM kayak, 60 M abseil, all of which combined measure out at 5238 M of vertical.
Stage one: Bike
Distance: 43 km Altitude Gain: 1200 m Terrain: Well formed 4WD/rough farm tracks/potentially muddy/river crossings Expected Fastest time: 2hr 20 min
Stage two: Run
Distance: 11 km Altitude Gain: 490m Terrain: Steep technical climb/fully formed trail/abseil Expected Fastest time: 1hr 15min
Special Stage: Abseil
The special stage for day one is a abseil descent of rocky outcrops into the native bush of Diamond Lake. All abseil equipment is provided and instruction from professionals is provided to aid the completion of this stage. Timing for this portion is halted and athletes will have no more than 5 minutes to prepare for the abseil with the equipment provided. Timing resumes as athletes begin their abseil down the rock face.
Distance: 20 km Altitude Gain: 0 m Terrain: Lake/river/rapid/fast flow Expected Fastest time: 1 hr 30mins
Stage Five: Bike
Distance: 28 km Altitude Gain: 1278 m Terrain: 4WD track/single track/rough terrain Expected fastest time: 2hrs
Special Stage: Clay Pigeon Shoot
Both team members get 1 shot each. If a shot is made then the team is free to start the next stage of the event, if both shots miss, teams will be forced to take a two minute penalty before starting the next stage of the race.
Stage Six: Run
Distance: 28 km Altitude Gain: 1848 m Terrain: Farm tracks/markers/exposed alpine route/rocks/shingle Expected fastest time: 3 hrs 15min
Details of Redbull Defiance 2018 have yet to be announced, but with a overwhelmingly positive reaction from the endurance racing community we’re sure that course info and registration for the coming year will be available soon, likely to be held in January of 2018. As Jess Simson, Women’s One Day Coast to Coast Champion 2014, and all around badass, says, “If there is any multisport race to do in the world right now, Red Bull Defiance is it!”
Becoming a pro snowboarder takes hours of riding, hard work, determination, and probably a fair share of pain. Of course being a 16 year old prodigy with a private park in your backyard doesn’t hurt things either.
Amongst the most humble of teen pro athletes out there, Red Gerard’s great attitude and relentless energy makes him one of the most likeable young guns in the game. His family splits their time between Ohio and Colorado and during the winter months call Summit County, Colorado home. Sitting on a beautiful piece of property, the family’s home has a sloped backyard which Red and his brothers immediately flagged for a perfect backyard setup. A rode-to-death 50 cc dirtbike powers a homemade rope tow allowing for endless technical rail hits, and fro Red to perfect his craft for competition riding. In Red’s words “I can come home from snowboarding at the mountain, you know, and just like shred in the back yard” What a dream, but you can’t fault his determination and drive either.
Known primarily as a contest powerhouse (it’s easy to forget he’s only 16), Red’s raw talent will propel him into the freeride and all mountain limelight. He recently was featured in the Transworld film, Insight and we can’t wait to see what he brings to the table in 2017.
Check out the trailer Insight, feature Red, below:
And visit Gogorillasafe.com to learn more about GorillaSafe for free anti-theft protection for your outdoor recreation equipment.
An ultra endurance event is one of the most challenging and rewarding events you can experience. There is little else which will completely test you physically and often much more challengingly, mentally. Many outside of the ultra endurance community wonder why people would voluntarily punish their bodies to such an extent. One of the greatest joys of an ultra event is that they allow individuals to explore and experience an area or culture in a way that isn’t possible any other way. You become intimately familiar with a place after running 100 miles of it. You see things and locations that you can’t reach by car. You interact with people you otherwise wouldn’t ever meet.
As locations go there are few places less explored and visited than The Arctic. Enter The Arctic Triple. The Arctic Triple is a series of three races held in the Lofoten archipelago of Norway. Located 68°20′N 14°40′E Lofoten is deep in the Arctic circle however it enjoys relatively warm temperatures due to its high altitude and Gulf Stream air currents which bring warm air to the region, making for the highest relative temperature anomaly in the world. It is also one of three locations which is both furthest North and has year round average temperatures above freezing. There is no better place for endurance racing in The Arctic, featuring stunning natural scenery including dramatic mountains rising from the wild Norwegian Sea, sheltered bays, pristine grasslands and untouched beaches.
Completing the Arctic Triple means successfully completing three events, the Skimo, the Ultra-Trail, the Triathlon within one year. Each event may also be participated in as a standalone event. The Skimo is a ski mountaineering (snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and running) race offering one extreme 4000+ meters and one normal distance taking place during March 16th through March 19th 2017. The Lofoten Ultra-Trail® is a trail running event with distances of 100 miles, 50 miles and 24 KM. All three routes feature near entire ocean views through and travlel through mountains, beaches, green hills. The Ultra-Trail is run June 1st through June 4th. The Arctic Triple Lofoten Triathlon is offered at two distances, Extreme and Olympic +. Lofoten Triathlon is a unique race due to it’s stunning surroundings and transition zone in the heart of Svolvær city. Held August 17th through August 20th.
With participants labeling the events as “insane” due to course and weather conditions, any one of these races will prove to be a huge challenge, however completing the entirety of the Arctic Triple would be a truly impressive and rewarding experience. As the even organizers put it, “It will be hard. It will be tough. It will be amazing.”
Registration is now open, are you up to the challenge?
The video’s description says that, “Whilst pedaling today my mate Paul went to put his bike over a fence. Half way though he realized that it was electric! So he dropped it on the fence. This is a video of him and my mate Al trying to get it off!”
The whole incident took over three minutes and involved a large stick and a whole lot of laughter. The camera man definitely had the best role to play in the whole operation.
So, as a note to self, just because you can take your fat bike anywhere doesn’t necessarily mean you should take your fat bike anywhere. Stay healthy and stay electric fence free 🙂