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

Can An 8 Year Old Be A Skateboard Star?

26 June, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Sky Brown and Vans on X-Wear.com 

Y.E.S.

The youngest competitor in Vans US Open Pro Series has officially hit the scene. Sky Brown is only 8 years old and hails from Miyazaki, Japan. Her long journey out to California for the competition proved well worth it, however, seeing as she made Vans history as the youngest competitor ever. Although she did fall off of her skateboard during a heat, her determination and spunk, partnered with her shockingly young age, made her a crowd favorite. It was truly an inspirational moment at the competition to watch young Sky fall off her board, put her head in her hands for a moment, and then hop right back on her board, this time with a vengeance. She is certainly one in a million, but it does look as though her younger brother is following suit. At only four years old, Sky’s younger brother, Ocean, is ramping up to be quite the skateboard prodigy himself.

So, what does it take to become so masterful at a sport at such a young age? Pure determination, consistent practice on a daily basis, and the ability to get right back up on the bard, even after taking a spill in front of thousands. Her parents were skateboard sensations themselves. They knew that Sky would have a propensity for the sport and put her and her younger brother in a preschool with a skatepark. That means that starting at the young age of three, both children have been exposed to the skating world and have been encouraged to better their abilities as athletes and skaters.

In addition to skating, Sky is a very adept surfer. You should definitely check out some of her surf videos! Her parents are firm believers that one sport’s performance can be improved by working on others. They must be onto something, seeing as Sky’s skating abilities have steadily improved in tandem with her surf skills. Her parents also manage an adorably inspiring Instagram account for their prodigal children, highlighting their talents and adorable, little faces. So, if you’re looking to become the next athletic prodigy, it’s all about getting on whatever board you can at every single opportunity. And also, as Sky proves, the most important thing is just to get out there and try! It’s ok to fall down. What matters is how you handle getting back up.

 

'Sup? Cape Cod: Looking For A Great SUP Beach?

19 June, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

 

 Cape Cod SUP beaches on X-Wear

In the past ten years, a new water sport has grown immensely in popularity. What was once a fringe activity, most commonly referred to as ‘stand up surfing’ and taking place in Hawaii and Asia, SUP is now a staple on American beaches, from coast to coast.

SUP stands for Stand Up Paddleboarding. This sport couldn’t be simpler to get involved with. All you need to get onto the water as a bonafide SUP enthusiast is a long paddle board, generally foam, a paddle, and a swimsuit (don’t forget the sunscreen). The ease of getting involved with SUP and the variety of places where it can be enjoyed have allowed the sport to grow exponentially since early 2008. Although almost any beach or waterway can be used for SUP, certain conditions do make the experience more enjoyable. To help you get out and on the paddleboard as often as possible this summer, we’ve compiled the top five beaches in Cape Cod for doing some SUP.

1) Megansett Beach- This beach is located just outside of Falmouth and features relatively calm waters and a somewhat secluded environment. The calm waters make it an excellent spot for beginners. The views of North Falmouth and the stunning homes that dot the coastline make Megansett a superb SUP spot.

2) Skaket Beach- If you’re looking for a side of sunset with your SUP order, Skaket is the place to be. This public beach allows people to SUP the Cape Cod Bay, an amazing coastline to be in front of. Featuring arguably the most beautiful sunset in Cape Cod, this is a popular destination for those looking to enjoy the skyline, the coastline, or even yoga on the sand.

3) Sandwich Town Neck Beach- Town Beach is a ton of fun, as much for what one finds above the water as below. With the boardwalk leading from the mash to the beach and the bustling shoreline, everything that takes place outside of the water is a blast in itself. Beneath the surface it only gets cooler. With a clay reef and sunken ships, it’s a SUPer’s underwater dream. Gaze below the waves as you paddle from end to end.

4) Sandy Neck Beach- This beautiful Cape Cod beach features the longest shoreline in the region and sweeping views that seem to go on endlessly. The windswept sand dunes and calm waters make it among the most zen beaches to SUP in.

5) Herring Cove Beach- Located in Provincetown, Herring Cove features the other most amazing sunset in Cape Cod. The waters at the cove provide the ultimate opportunity to really engross oneself in nature. It isn’t uncommon to see seals and whales breaching and splashing by the water’s edge. For SUPers, this is undoubtedly the best way to get cup close and personal with the action happening in the water.

Maui Jim Shoots The Ocean

12 June, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Maui Jim Ocean Shootout on X-Wear.com

Photo Credit: MauiJimOceanShootout.com

This June 3-4, Maui Jim Sunglasses hosted the annual Maui Jim Shootout. The weekend long event is always organized for the opening weekend of the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere. This multi-day event is comprised of 10 individual sprint races and 2 co-ed races in various ocean sports challenges. Events in the competition range from swimming, to SUP (stand up paddleboarding), to open water kayaking and are meant to comprise every main aquatic sport.

Challengers are organized into teams and the majority of races are run solo, with a singular event requiring two contestants. Challengers accumulate points throughout the weekend both on an individual basis as well as for their teams. The team with the highest number of points at the end of the weekend takes home the cash prize, which this year is an enticing $50,000. In addition to a team winning the overall prize, a single Water man and Water woman are crowned for most individual points accumulated throughout the duration of the weekend.

This year’s champions for the overall Water man and Water woman were Travis Grant and Amy Woodward. This brought the titles’ winners back stateside after 2016’s dynamic Aussie duo held the titles prior. The same American champion duo won the exceedingly competitive swim and SUP combined challenge. Throughout the competition they dominated competitors and performed with superhuman stamina.

This year’s events were held on the picturesque Ka’anapali Beach in Maui where athletes from all corners of the globe met to show off their skills. Maui Jim decided to use the same beach as the predictable conditions and incredible scenery make it a perfect background for a competition of this magnitude. If you’re looking for some workout motivation or some inspiration to plan a trip out to Hawaii asap, definitely give the official videos a look.

Aquatic sports are often touted as the best overall workouts to help you tone your body without putting much direct force on your joints. If you’re trying to get a great workout in and want to try something a little different, hop in a pool to swim some laps or try out SUP which has become increasingly popular in recent years. Regardless of what you do, make sure to be safe in the water and always be sun safe!

Our Favorite Summer Sunnies Styles

05 June, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Summer Sunnies 2017 on X-Wear.com

As the season starts to really warm up, we’re spending more time in the sun, day by day. The final bits of winter cold have fallen away and we’re starting to get excited about the potential that summer holds.It’s normal that our wardrobes will start to reflect this shift. Shorter sleeves, sandals instead of boots, and a whole lot more swimwear start to make their annual debut.

However, it’s important to remember to stay summer ready with a pair or two of sunglasses that will both protect your eyes from the increased UV rays, as well as pair well with the brighter colors and looser fits of summertime clothing. To make getting your Eyewear wardrobe up to par, we’ve compiled a list of a few sunglass trends and how to wear them.

Mirrored Lenses

This year mirrored lenses have done nothing short of skyrocket to the top of all eyewear trends. From monotone lenses to those that seem to encompass the rainbow, mirrored lenses are a great way to add some vibrancy to a summer outfit. What makes them such a stellar summer pick is that they literally use the summer sun itself to create a multidimensional, eye catching appearance. These Prada Cinema glasses are the perfect addition to a summertime outfit and will catch not only the sun, but everyone’s attention.

Cateye Frames

Cateye sunglasses have made a comeback in the most incredible way. With a decades old tradition of leading the way in style, the cateye is absolutely still at it. Especially for rounder face shapes the cateye frame is an excellent way to add some sharpness to your look. The Michael Kors Cateye is a beautiful and timeless way to add a bit of flare to summertime looks. This frame type is also the most seamless to integrate from a daytime look into an eye catching evening style. So for long summer days that turn into nights, this should be your go-to.

Aviator

The aviator style was basically made for summer time. Sure, they make a great style choice year round, but the aviator truly comes out to play when it’s hot and the vibe is free. This timeless style choice pairs beautifully with a day on the water, at the beach, or enjoying the summer rays somewhere beautiful. This is an excellent frame choice for squarer jaw lines. This Givenchy pair adds minimal metal to a beautifully crafted lens and keeps all eyes on you.

 Did your fave style of sunnies make the list?  Let us know the ones you love.

Make Your Own Headline with OneWheel

29 May, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

OneWheel on X-Wear.com 

Once in a while a technology comes along that completely changes the game. It isn’t often, but you know it when you see it. The OneWheel is exactly that, a completely revolutionary, authentic, technology that is changing the way we view board sports.

The OneWheel is purely Californian, from concept, to engineering, to production. It’s West Coast spirit is evident through and through as it rides like a surfboard with the command of a skateboard. The geniuses behind this Santa Cruz-based start-up are all riders themselves, engineering a board that they themselves are excited to use. It’s a very magical combination when you can find enthusiastic boarders with the creativity and ingenuity to develop something this innovative!

By design, the OneWheel looks like a board about the size of a normal skateboard, with a thick wheel protruding through the middle. While riding, you’re about four inches off the ground, only slightly more than you would be with a traditional skateboard. The thick wheel is specifically designed to provide increased stability and the ability to ride on a variety of terrains. Although you might think this is just for sidewalks or half-pipes, this bad boy can be ridden through low water and even on the sand. With LED lighting around the edge of the board, you’re free and safe to ride at night on the road.

The engineers up in Santa Cruz have simplified the thousands of electric computations that make the experience of riding a OneWheel so familiar and yet so innovative. They’ve recreated the experience of surfing, which has two primary components- floating and carving. These two surf elements have been digitized to provide riders with an experience that feels oddly comfortable.

The OneWheel is making headlines around the country, as an alternate method of transportation for athletes, techies, and anyone with any kind of commute. It’s even been called ‘the best ride on the planet’. 

Check out OneWheel on our site here.

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 5 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/

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