Welcome to Thank God it’s Gear Friday, a
weekly semi-regular GrindTV gear roundup. A minority of the fun, shiny bits you’ll find out about here will be dropping in the near future—but we'll have firsthand experience with most of what we write about, because there are plenty of other places where you can read slightly warmed-over press releases. Most pieces will be tested in the rough-and-tumble world of the urban jungle (Los Angeles) and the alpine awesome (Mammoth Lakes, California)—the two places we hang our proverbial hat/helmet/handle of Fireball.
Released this summer, the Overland by Loaded is the happy medium between a traditional shortboard (read: the size you’ve been riding forever) and a longboard (fun, but a little old-dude/hippie). At 37 inches long and 9.5 inches wide, this quiver-killer does everything well. Since the nose is just 1 inch shorter than the 5.9-inch tail, there's plenty of room for just about any type of riding. This high-tech bamboo/fiberglass deck has a medium concave and a touch of flex, making it more comfortable to ride than the ubiquitous and stiff 7-ply maple decks. The pre-installed dual-grit griptape may also take some of your sole rubber with it.
Although the board graphics appear to be the awesome intersection of cubism and Kandinsky, they're actually a topographical illustration of Overland Avenue, which is in Los Angeles, near Loaded's offices (highlighted in red). And the bottom sheet even feels good, since it's built from urethane and textured. Attractive enough to put on the wall, face up or face down. Versatile enough for a street session or a quick trip to the 7-Eleven for a sixer, the Overland just might make you late to your next appointment, because although it's fun to ride fast, you'll probably end up taking the long way to ensure more board time. Completes start at $325.
Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody
Yvon’s Earth-loving henchmen just may have built the perfect mid-layer. The $299 Nano-Air Hoody is backed with soft nylon and does the impossible: It lets you start your adventure relatively cozy and not worried about getting way too hot five minutes in. Wicked breathable, it allows airflow of 40 cubic feet per minute, Patagonia claims. We don't know what that means either, but we do know we dry quickly, even after a Bikram-adjacent sweat—making us agree wholeheartedly with Patagonia climbing ambassador Mikey Schaffer, who says, "Having such a breathable jacket nearly eliminates the chills you get after sweating hard. The Nano-Air is definitely one of the most versatile jackets I’ve ever worn." Although going sans hood will save you $50, the Hoody is key for those instances in which you want to maintain your heat.
“Self-Portrait Book,” by Mike Basich
Snowboard photography can be split into two camps: Before GoPro (BGP) and After GoPro(AGP). Shooting for 15 years, longtime pro snowboarder Basich is OG BGP, but what makes his stellar photo style unique are his selfie shots—which preceded that word, and which he achieved by setting up remotes. He also was a pioneer in POV. He recently launched a Kickstarter to fund a book of greatest hits. Already funded, there’s still time to get in on his visual documentation of almost two decades of awesome. It's a limited run, but $49 will get you a hand-signed copy of the 130-plus-page book.
Howler Brothers Gaucho Snapshirts
We love these snapshirts because they have just enough tech and plenty of style. Affordable at $80, they’re built from a lightweight poly-cotton blend, and complete with pearl snaps the shirt's perfect for casual pedaling or hiking or long days on the river. And thanks to pleated chest pockets and rad embroidery—choose from rooster or hula girl—they work for date night or bar-crawling, too.
MSR Hubba Hubba Nx
With too much permanently embedded playa dust in our gear, we upgraded our tent this summer. The Hubba Hubba NX is a two-person that sets up in less than five minutes, costs a reasonable $389.95, and has plenty of pockets. We used it for fun and romantic getaways as well as a bike ride from SF to LA. That time we camped on a football field in Santa Cruz and the sprinklers went on at point-blank range? A nasty sound to wake up to, but we stayed dry. (And that goes for BOTH times the sprinklers went off.) At about 3.5 pounds, it packs down into a manageable package. Simply put, we have zero complaints. If you need a tent, the Hubba Hubba NX should be on your short list, if not in your possession. Just don’t wreck it at the 2015 Burn.
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