X-Wear Blog: News, Tips, and Tricks for What Inspires You

Skateboarding Knows No Boundaries

22 May, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Neil Unger on X-Wear.com

Skateboarding is widely believed that to be great at a sport you need to start extremely young and practice every day. Solid training time is absolutely necessary, but you don’t always have to start as a child to have a chance at developing some real skill.

Neal Unger is an example of exactly what happens when passion meets possibility. Neal picked up skateboarding at the inspiring age of 60 and has been hooked ever since. Maybe Neal’s inhibition is possible because of his mindset. As compared with many of his professional skateboarding peers, Neal’s primary goal is not to become the best skater that’s able to pull off the most insane tricks.

Instead, Neal says his motivation is to continue researching the inner workings of his mind. We all know that the best place to really get to know yourself is on the board, in the waves, in the seat, or on your yoga mat. Neal takes that to the next level - using his skill on the board to really uncover what makes him grow, tick, and enjoy being alive.

It’s really quite poetic, as Neal puts it. He says, ‘as I gain more balance in my life, I gain more balance on my skateboard’. Sponsored by Sabre Trucks, Neal is a beautiful example of what it means to be in the game for all the right reasons. Neal doesn’t wear a ton of bold or flashy gear. Instead, if you are lucky enough to catch an impromptu sesh with Neal, he’s likely to be sporting a faded tee and worn jeans. That sincerity (and his advanced age) are what set him apart from the rest and what make him a true inspiration.

Naturally a California native, Neal grew up around skateboarding but never, in his younger years, did he feel the motivation to really hop on the board himself. Sure, from time to time he would go for a quick ride, but it wasn’t until he was way past his ‘prime’, as naysayers would put it, that he really put concerted effort into building up his skills.

Now, at 60, Neal has earned himself the title, ‘the dude’, and continues to astound skaters and non-skaters alike. If you’re into skateboarding, his skills are certainly something worthy of praise. If you don’t know the difference between an ollie and a half pipe, you can still get behind the fact that Neal is a pretty inspiring guy! His relatability and charm have made Neal a lovable character. Make sure to keep an eye on the guy because as he puts it, he wants to see just how young he can keep feeling and isn’t skipping a beat.

 

4 Apps For Shark Sightings & Tide Reports

15 May, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Shark Sighting Apps from X-Wear.com

For those of us that love the ocean, there are very few things that can keep us out of the waves on a beautiful day. The sound of the pounding waves, the glint of the sun against on our waxed boards, the feel of the hot sand as we approach the water: some people are beckoned to the ocean. However, as with any terrain, the ocean has its own set of dangers against which we must protect ourselves. Below we’ve outlined our list of absolute essentials for those of us that love to spend time in open water.

Shark Sightings 

Although statistically very unlikely to occur, having an awareness of shark sightings is crucial. In the US there are an average of only 19 shark attacks each year, accordingly to National Geographic. The Dorsal app is a great crowd sourced gadget that’ll give you the lowdown on where sharks have been sighted most recently so that you can plan your beach day accordingly.

Originally hailing from the waters of Australia, Dorsal has been such a success that it is now available for USA water recreationists!

If you’re in the Atlantic Ocean, The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy Sharktivity App provides information on White Shark sightings, detections, movements, and research to raise awareness and help people and White Sharks co-exist peacefully.  You can use the app to view sightings on submit your own!

Tide Reports 

There’s nothing in life quite as frustrating as packing up the wetsuit, throwing the board in the car, and getting to the beach only to realize the major swell your friend texted you about has since calmed quite down.

We love the TideGraph app for this very reason. Providing incredibly up to date and accurate swell information for the entire month, it makes certain that you’ll get the perfectly surf-able waves you literally just saw a snapchat of!

Tides Near Me app focuses on nearby tide stations and current tidal conditionsl  You can learn the time of the last and next tide and current, as well as when the sun and moon will rise or set.

The Flying Squirrel: No, Not Rocky Or Rodents

08 May, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

 Quincy Symonds on X-Wear.com

Quincy Symonds takes dedication to a whole new level. At only seven years old she’s taken home more trophies, medals, and awards than most of us will in a lifetime. Hailing from Australia (no surprise here), Quincy is a surf prodigy often known as ‘The Flying Squirrel’. Quincy has been surfing pretty much since she could walk and won her first surf competition at only four years old. What does it take, you may ask, to become so professional at such a young age? Well, on average about eight hours in the water per day, followed by gym sessions that’ll give any bodybuilder a run for their money, and a determination and dedication that is almost super human.

Quincy’s surf coach admits he’s pretty astounded by her level of determination. Seven year olds, he’s noted, are never so focused or driven, and that’s part f growing up. But Quincy, on the other hand, seems to have been born with the sole goal of shredding waves. And she’s wasted no time getting to it!

What can we do, you may ask, to even get close to young Ms. Symond's skill level? Surfing success is made up of a blend of the best gear available and inhuman amounts of time spent training. Most of us over the age of seven don’t have eight hours a day to spend on the waves, so making sure we’ve got gear that’s best suited for our skill level is absolutely key.

A paddle jacket is something we’ve found incredibly useful, especially for those looking to improve their skills in the water. Not all of us want to wear a wetsuit that can sometimes be restricting, certainly the case for newer surfers. Instead opt for this Quiksilver paddle jacket that is a superb blend of durability, lightweight material, and protection.

It’s also key to have a wax for your board that will keep you glued to wherever you land your feet. Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax is the original surf wax and has maintained its top spot for good reason. Rub this guy on your board and it’ll give you the best chances for scoring your own surf records.

Of course a great board is essential too, but that’s a choice that requires trying out endless boards and finding one that matches you uniquely. (If your in the area - Cape Cod, MA - stop by one of our BoardStiff stores and check out some of the best surfboards around. Otherwise, the rest of it comes down to pure grit. The best way to become the best is to get out there and start working at it, just like Quincy did.

Capture Your Moments With GoPro

01 May, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

 GoPro Camera on X-Wear.com

It’s pretty easy to tell that the GoPro completely revolutionized photography, especially sport photography. Founded in 2002 by Nick Woodman, GoPro Inc. handles action cameras, video editing software and apps for editing GoPro footage. Anyone who’s ever played with a GoPro knows that they’re completely cutting edge for the way that they allow you to take the camera into the thick of the action with you. Whether it’s while you jump out of a plane or glide atop a wave, a GoPro gives a realistic feeling of what the moment was like.

The Hero cameras are definitely the bread and butter behind GoPro. Debuting originally in 2004 at the San Diego Action Sport Retailer trade show, GoPro wasn’t nearly the behemoth it is now. In its first few years the cameras could only support several seconds of digital video and were not of the same technological advancement that they are now. The Hero series continued to advance and, between 2006 and 2007, sales quadrupled to 3.4 million!

The Hero5 is of particular interest to those in the extreme sports world. This version allows for long, high quality digital video and editing. By combining various add ons, lenses, and accessories, there’s really no place you can’t take a GoPro and no moment you can’t capture. And, with summer on the way, people are snatching these guys off the shelf by the dozen to capture all of the outdoor fun that summer is sure to bring.

Some especially exciting accessories are the surfboard mount and the head strap mount. Obviously we love a good surf accessory and the Hero surfboard mount is perfect. It adds very little weight to the front of the board and captures with excellent clarity the feeling of riding the waves. The head strap is a go to favorite because of the versatility. For literally any moment of action and adventure you can take the head strap and the lightweight Hero with you. If you tend to be the adventurous one in your group of friends, this will help you show the story of what you’ve just done or seen, instead of just telling it.

Do you love futuristic technology? GoPro Inc. is still cutting edge in all that it does, especially with the release of its Karma series. These are drones with the same Hero type photography and video technology. With the Karma, you can take the quality you trust into the air with you and score a drone that can soar higher and record better than all the rest.

Check out all of our GoPro gear here.

GoPro Photos on X-Wear.com 

Image shot from GoPro.

Ricochet The SURFice Dog

24 April, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

 Rocochet the Surfing Service Dog on X-Wear

So you’ve learned how to surf and you’re feeling pretty cool about it? Good! Now imagine trying to surf without using arms or legs but with a… tail! Ricochet is a, now retired, world-famous surf dog. Not only has Ricochet mastered the art of solo surfing but she can surf tandem (she has even surfed with a goat)! Ricochet has made headlines the world over for her surfing feats, even inspiring other dog owners as far as South Africa to teach their dogs to surf.

As if it weren’t enough that Ricochet is an actual SURFING DOG, she’s decided to use her skills for the benefit of the disabled. Ricochet’s owner claims that she, the dog, was the first one to actually make the leap onto a disabled child’s surfboard and start her career as the first ever SURFice dog. According to the story, Ricochet was surfing next to a young disabled boy when she decided, of her own free will, to get a lot closer to her companion and surf on the same board with him! From then on she’s surfed almost exclusively with those in need. Ricochet is actually trained and certified to provide therapeutic assistance to disabled people who are learning to surf. Learning to trust yourself in the water and ride the waves can be terrifying, but imagine the comfort of having a four-legged friend right by your side.

Ricochet began her career by surfing tandem with a young quadriplegic boy. Once that got the attention of her trainers, her skills were further developed and her ability to act as a therapy surf dog became more varied and valuable. Before her retirement, Ricochet surfed with people with PTSD, Autism, Paralysis, and even with disabled veterans! She is skilled at mirroring and alerting. When she is mirroring she reflects back a person’s emotions in her own body language and actions. When employing this technique, Ricochet is able to help a sufferer reconnect with a sense of inner-calm and to self-diagnose when they may be too overwhelmed or absorbed in a distracting emotion. When alerting, Ricochet acknowledges a person in distress and alerts others of their situation by planting her feet and refusing to move anywhere. This is easily noticeable and helps protect those with a risk of sudden attacks.

 

Throughout her career, Ricochet competed in dozens of international surf competitions. By working in conjunction with a number of charity organizations, she has also raised over half a million dollars to support the causes of both humans and animals. At only nine years old, how many of us can say that we’ve achieved anything close to how much Ricochet has.

Ricochet has her own website.  You can learn more about her and her programs here: http://www.surfdogricochet.com/

2017 Boston Marathon

17 April, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Boston Marathon on X-Wear

The most famous marathon in the world - the Boston Marathon - has only ever set 4 world record times, though well over half a million runners have completed it.

This is largely due to the difficult course, unpredictable spring weather in Boston, and unusually late start time.

Heartbreak Hill

The marathon course is unusual because it starts out easy, and gets difficult at the end - a time when most endurance runners have depleted most of their energy. The most difficult section - the Newton Hills, which culminate in the infamous “Heartbreak Hill” - can defeat even the most experienced marathon runners.

The Newton Hills start at mile 16 and Heartbreak Hill challenges runners at mile 20-21 (out of the 26 miles course). This is the point where runners “hit the wall” and must find the willpower and extra push within themselves to make it past these difficult hills.

Marathon Challenges

Besides these challenging hills, runners must be prepared for almost any kind of temperature and precipitation, since April weather in Boston can vary widely depending on the year. And the late morning start time throws many runners off, since most other races start very early in the morning.

In addition, The Boston Marathon is the trickiest of all the majors to grab a bib. The BAA lists qualifying times by age group that you must beat by the previous September in order to secure a spot.

All these factors, plus the training and discipline that runners must have to complete this race, make these athletes inspiring heroes.

Famous Participants

One of the most famous pairs of Boston Marathon runners is “Team Hoyt.” Father and son, Dick and Rick, are famous because of the physical challenges that son, Rick, faces due to his cerebral palsy. Despite his condition, he loves sports and competes in hundreds of marathons and triathlons with his father pushing his wheelchair. They have completed 31 Boston Marathons to date.

Enthusiastic Spectators

The marathon is the most viewed sporting event in New England, inspiring around 500,000 spectators to cheer on the runners from the sidelines. The most famous spectators are those that gather in the famed “Scream Tunnel” outside of Wellesley College. The Scream Tunnel, located around the halfway mark of the race, is said to be so loud that you can hear it from a mile away. The enthusiastic fans offer much needed encouragement to the athletes.

2013 Bombings

On April 15, 2013 in the afternoon, two bombs went off a few yards from the finish line. Three people were killed and 264 were injured, 16 of which lost limbs. The race was halted, and many weren’t able to finish the course. The three killed by the explosions were 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, 8-year-old Martin Richard and 23-year-old Lu Lingzi. MIT police officer Sean Collier was a fourth victim of the bombers.  These victims will never be forgotten.

Lelisa Desisa - the winner of the 2013 marathon - gifted his medal back to the city of Boston to honor the victims of the bombings.

The physical and mental dedication needed for runners to first qualify and then complete this race, makes these runners an inspiration for all. X-Wear recognizes the inspiring athletes competing in this year’s race on April 17, and wishes them all a successful marathon day!

 Boston Marathon on X-Wear

The Incredible Indomitable Michelle Salt

10 April, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

 Michelle Salt on X-Wear

To lose a limb is a devastating and life changing loss for anyone that goes through it. That loss is made all the more devastating and poignant when your body is the athletic machine upon which your career and livelihood are based. Michelle Salt felt that crushing blow when her motorcycle slid off the road, slamming into the hillside in June 2011. Within minutes of the near fatal accident, responders arrived on the scene. Her mangled body was airlifted via helicopter to the nearest trauma center. The chilling voice recording of the paramedics are still available and give an eerie insight into the first moments of a life or death rescue mission.

Michelle is incredibly lucky to have escaped the accident with her life. With substantial blood loss from her thigh, paramedics thought her state was touch and go- they could lose her at any time. And, even when she did arrive to the hospital, she was kept on life support for seven days! Unfortunately, Michelle did not escape unscathed. She did lose her entire right leg. Any amputation is major surgery, but a leg amputation at 10 inches above the knee is almost as drastic as it gets.

For a fitness model and professional snowboarder, losing a leg is unfathomable. Years of training and intensity had given her ultimate command of her body. Now, everything was completely and eternally changed. However, instead of letting this loss completely ruin her, Michelle saw this as a second chance and said she planned to take full advantage of it.

 After months of recovery and years of rehabilitation, Michelle is in arguably the best shape of her life. She has continued competing as a fitness model and is every bit as beautiful as she was prior to the accident. In fact, Michelle even competed at the Olympic level in the Paralympic games in Sochi! Michelle continues to bike, run, snowboard, and drive, despite her significantly altered physique. In addition to maintaining her incredible fitness, Michelle gives motivational talks to young people throughout her native Canada. Her story will absolutely bring tears to your eyes and is something she is keen to share with anyone that may benefit from it.

Although Michelle has achieved incredible feats since losing her leg, she says it is a constant journey. The physical hurdles and changes are unfathomable, as anyone can see. However, there are psychological adjustments that have been some of the most difficult parts of her rehabilitation journey. Recovery has been quite the journey and Michelle continues to inspire and challenge all of us every day through her inspirational lifestyle.

4 Easy Ways To Protect from UVRays

03 April, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

UV Protection from X-wear.com

We all know that when you’re planning to be out in the scorching sun all day you’ve got to lather on the sunscreen to avoid skin damage. But there are quite a few other sun safety rules and important SPF tips that are crucial to make sure you’re being as gentle on that skin as it deserves. To give you a leg up we’ve compiled a few products with some additional benefits and some clues about which circumstances to break them out in.

Solar Recover Hydrate Cream- Regardless of how good (or not so good) you’ve been to your skin after a full day out in the sun, chances are you’ll have lost a lot of the natural moisture your skin relies on to keep it taut and radiant. Solar Recover has 12 ounces of moisturizer jammed into a 2 ounce jar, leaving out any unnecessary fillers and waxes, distilling just the crucial vitamins that’ll have you feeling baby soft immediately. Pack this little jar in your beach bag and lather it on after your beach day. This is also a great option on areas that get a lot of sun unexpectedly (back of neck, chest, left arm during long drives). Even after exposure with no SPF, it’s never too late to try to reverse any new damage that may have occurred.

Sun Bum Conditioner- After a long climbing, surfing, biking, or golfing day, chances are your hair has taken quite the beating from the sun that was shining down. Although our hair does a lot to protect the sensitive skin on our scalps, it can get damaged itself through repeated exposure to sun. This Sun Bum conditioner restores the moisture and vitamins to our hair after time in the sun, providing UV protection for future exposure. As both a before and after sun treatment, this thick conditioner is a great product to take on your next surf trip.

Zinka Nosecoat- Nosecoat is one of our favorite products out there for extreme coverage for high-risk areas. Planning to be in the pool or among the waves all day? Leave nothing to chance and throw on this total coverage product. Absolute protection doesn’t have to be boring either! Zinka makes this super thick Nosecoat Zinc Oxide in every vibrant color under the rainbow. Meant to be super visible on the skin, you can use the neon tint to tell you exactly which area of your tender face and back you’ve already protected and which still need some attention. This is also a great option for those with tattoos that they need to give extra lovin’ to when in direct sun. Don’t let your new ink keep you from spending a full day in the water. Tote this (less than one ounce) bottle with you, and you’ll be good to go.

Sunglasses- You not only have to make sure to protect your skin, but you must also protect your eyes.  Some may think that sunglasses just help to make you look good… but they are a must to make sure your eyes are safe from those harmful UV Rays.

Freestyler Joe Parsons: Back to Back Gold

27 March, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

 Joe Parsons at X-Games and X-Wear

If you’re an extreme snow sports fanatic chances are you know who Joe Parsons is. If not, take a look at this video of him becoming the first Freestyle Snowmobiler to win back-to-back gold medals at the Xgames.

If you’ve seen some interviews with Joe, you’ll know him as a normally mild-mannered athlete. That goes to the wind for a moment when Joe realizes he’s just become the first man to win the gold two years in a row. 

 

Between hugs and kisses to friends and family Joe pauses to let the cameras in on an insane secret, the jump that won him the gold had been attempted 12 times and only landed 3!  When realizing he was facing a 75% fail rate with the trick he’d use to break the record he says, ‘it was game time and I knew what had to be done”. If only it were that easy for all of us, Joe!

The moment was a real tearjerker for all involved in the XGames and freestyle snowmobiling. Fellow snowmobiler and competitor, Colten Moore is seen from the sidelines literally in awe of Joe, cheering him on as he lands jump after jump. You know you’ve got some real talent when even your competition has to recognize the insane skill you’ve got to be pulling off tricks like you are.

So what finally did it for Parsons to help him bring home the gold yet again? Well, he pulled out a move that had never before been seen. The Vault! In this one he’s in the air and turns his body fully around on the sled, at one point being completely backwards on the sled. Then, while still in the air he flips around yet again to land perfectly back on the snowmobile. The crowd knew that this was the move too that would likely push him over the line into XGames record setting as you can tell from the insane cheering all around.

Well done, Joe!

 

 

 

The Perfect Gift for Groups – We’ve Got You Covered

20 March, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Corporate Gifts on X-Wear.com

Picking out just the right gift for someone can be stressful enough, but when you’ve got to purchase for a group or corporate event, the decision can be impossible. The gift that you give to a group or team can do a lot to determine the dynamic and culture, and, if you’re buying unique pieces, can speak directly for your company! To help in the sometimes-daunting process of selecting just the right gift to give, we’ve made it easy for you and they’ll be sure to get more use than the same ol’ tote bag or t-shirt.

X-Wear, along with our Board Stiff stores, accommodate eyewear purchases for larger groups. Who doesn’t love sunglasses?  We all know that a signature frame can be recognized from a mile away.  Sunglasses are such a different idea for a gift and it will certainly do a lot to establish you as stylish, forward thinking, and useful. Every time they reach into their pocket to grab their pair, they’ll be reminded of just how useful your gift was and, in turn, how fun your event was! This gift can range in price from the very inexpensive, to a quality designer frame that’ll be with them long after your event has drawn the curtains.

So, what kind of event can you give sunglasses as gifts?  Well, pretty much anything.

  • Employee Incentives
  • Customer Incentive Programs
  • Customer Loyalty Needs
  • Promotional Needs
  • Thank you for Clients
  • Sales Meetings
  • Conferences
  • Corporate Golf Events
  • Special Events
  • Weddings
  • Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties
  • Anything else you can think of!

Contact us for more information and a member of our dedicated staff will help you choose the perfect pair for your guests.  Believe us, they’ll love you for it!

Corporate Gifts from X-Wear.com

 

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