Too Soon for Snowboarding and Ski Clothes? It’s Not Too Soon for Snow.

It’s official. A foot of snow touched down in Colorado in mid-August. Early snows generally indicate that the season should be full of snow, and last year proved no exception. The 2007-2008 season saw record snowfalls in many areas.

It’s almost September, so it’s not too early to start planning for your next ski or snowboarding trip. Here are the opening dates for some of your favorite ski resorts:
Breckenridge: November 7
Winter Park: November 15
Vail: November 21
Aspen and Snowmass: November 27
Park City: November 21
Big Sky: November 27

Good gear can make skiing or boarding a lot more fun, so we’ve got some new snowboards, snowboard gear, ski gear, and warm clothes to get you ready for the 2008-2009 season.

UPDATE: Bucky Lasek Visit Cancelled

Due to the often unfortunate reality which is nature, the Vans people have cancelled Bucky Lasek’s visit to Houston. They do not want to take a risk of flying in or out of Hurricane Gustav, which is currently hovering over the Caribbean now.

I know. We are just as bummed as you are. Perhaps another time.

Professional Skateboarder Bucky Lasek is Coming to Sun and Ski Sports

Ten time X Games medalist and professional skateboarder Bucky Lasek will be at our Sun and Ski Memorial City Mall store on Friday evening from 7:30-8:30 pm to sign autographs and will be skating on Saturday at the Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark in Houston (103 Sabine Street, Houston, Texas) from 8am to 10am. Come by and don’t forget to bring your board!

In the meantime, watch this killer video of Bucky catching some sick air:

14 Energy-Food Tips for Cycling Stronger & Longer

1. Your body can store roughly an hour-and-a-half to two-hours worth of glycogen (muscle fuel). So, if you’re riding longer, you need to carry food (or stop to purchase it) and consume enough calories to keep from developing a glycogen deficit and running out of energy.

2. It’s best to carry energy drinks (versus water) because they are easily consumed and provide fuel in the form of steady complex carbohydrates, as well as replenishing electrolytes and minerals lost through sweating.

3. Start drinking before you’re thirsty because by the time your brain signals thirst, you’ve already lost one percent of your body weight in sweat!

4. You should carry an energy drink you enjoy because if it tastes good, you’ll drink more. And, if it tastes bad, you won’t drink enough, if at all. Be sure to taste test while riding because the drink may taste differently than it did at home.

5. Cold liquids are absorbed by your system more quickly. Keep your drinks cooler longer by inserting ice or by freezing half-full bottles the night before the ride and topping them off in the morning. You might also consider using insulated bottles. If you’re using a hydration pack, adding ice will keep your torso cool, too.

6. When you’re carrying energy drink in two bottles, lower the concentration in your second bottle because as you fatigue and heat up, you’ll likely prefer less flavor and sweetness.

7. If you’re riding hard, it’s also important that your energy drink isn’t too concentrated. Too rich a mixture can upset your stomach and even slow down or prevent absorption.

8. To make sure you’re properly hydrated before an event, check your urine. It should be pale yellow or clear. Dark yellow and strong-smelling urine is a reminder to drink a few more glasses of liquid, although vitamin pills can have a coloring effect as well. Another key sign of proper hydration is having to get up during the night before the event to urinate.

9. Jersey pockets are designed to carry energy bars, fig bars, fruit and energy gels. Plus, it’s easy to reach the food stored this way so you’re more likely to eat it.

10. For competition, when it can be hard to retrieve food from a pocket, racers sometimes use electrical tape to stick packets of energy gel to their top tube or stem for easy access.

11. For high-intensity events or rides, energy gels and drinks work better than energy bars. They can be swallowed in seconds (chewing an energy bar can interfere with breathing) and the ingredients enter your system quickly.

12. Twenty miles into a century is no time to find out that the energy drink your training partner recommended upsets your stomach. So be sure to experiment in training or on rides that are not as important as your big event to make sure that your food and drink choices are right for you.

13. Energy drinks specifically formulated for pre-workout provide easily digested liquid calories designed to enhance endurance. Look for an all-purpose supplement that supplies healthy complex carbohydrates and protein with low sugar and fat. The carbos replenish your energy reserves, while protein helps your muscles recover and rebuild from the trauma of hard efforts. You may find that energy bars, fruit and cereal make good pre-workout meals, too.

14. Eat within one hour of your workout/event and you’ll recover fastest. During this hour the muscles absorb the most nutrients and glycogen, an energy reserve in your muscles, is replaced most efficiently.

Need a Vacation? Check Out Amazing Hiking in Northern California.

Northern California has some incredible places to go hiking. The weather is always temperate and the scenery is incredible. I hopped in Twitter, a microblogging service, and asked some outdoors lovers what their favorite places to hike were in Northern California. Here are a few of the great responses I got:

1.) Paul Chaney recommends the Muir Woods

The Muir Woods are situated just north of San Francisco. Unlike Redwood National Forest, the Muir Woods are just minutes from San Francisco proper. Take a picture inside a redwood tree, check out the diverse wildlife, and hike to the top to experience the amazing 360 views.

For more info: check out The Muir Woods website.

2.) David Humphries recommends the Tennessee Valley Trail

Located in the southern part of Marin county, the Tennessee Valley Trail is 20 minutes outside San Francisco. It is known for its diverse wildlife and diverse number of trails that make it a great destination for hikers, bikers and equestrians. The Tennessee Valley Trails are so diverse, they are good for the whole family. If you are camping, be sure to get a permit first. Check out this site and call the Marin Headlands Visitor Center at (415) 331-1540 before planning your trip.

3.) Joe Doyle recommends Mount Tamalpais State Park

Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, more than 50 miles of trail are within Mount Tamalpais State Park and connect to a larger, 200-mile-long trail system. Bicyclists are challenged by the twisting road to the top of the park’s summit. Be sure to bring your picnic basket if you are hiking as there is a picnic area in the park.

What’s so cool about Mount Tamalpais State Park? If you are sick of the office and you don’t have the day off to hike, grab your laptop and enjoy their AT&T wifi available by the Ranger Station.

So what are you waiting for? Sun and Ski has a great selection of hiking boots, tents, backpacks and more.

Plan a Day Trip

Now that you’ve decided to embrace winter by learning to ski or snowboard, choosing a resort, getting there and finding your way around are your first challenges. Here’s what you should know before your first day trip.

Choosing a Resort

Go online. The Website gives subjective reviews and pertinent information for all major resorts in North America. Look for those with strong first-timer ratings. Then browse individual resort sites for specifics or call with questions. Large resorts with separate beginner slopes and dedicated learning areas with slow lifts like Copper Mountain’s Union Creek in Colorado and Mount Sunapee’s South Peak in New Hampshire are ideal for novices. So are smaller areas where all runs funnel to a single base with one main lodge. These day areas are less intimidating with fewer people, less walking and no confusion as to where to go for rentals, lessons and lunch. Go with a friend who skis.

Choosing the Lesson

Don’t even think of not taking a lesson, or worse, letting your friend, spouse or cousin teach you. While online, search for Learn-to-Ski/Snowboard packages. Each package usually includes a two- or three-hour lesson, rental equipment for the day and, if appropriate, a lift ticket. The newest trends are lesson packages for families to learn together, such as “Family First Trails” in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire and Family Adventure Clinics (level 2 and above) in Crested Butte, Colorado. Save time by booking your lesson and downloading release forms online.


Make sure your car is equipped for winter travel and that the driver has the skills for driving on ice and snow. While it may be balmy in the city, storms can begin swirling in the mountains without notice.


Most large resorts have free outer parking lots with shuttles to the base area or pay-parking close in. But close is a relative term. Generally, there’s a fair amount of walking involved getting from the car to the slopes. Sometimes you’ll find drop-off points – a good option for first-timers who want to get started on the rental process while a friend parks the car.

Walking to the Lodge

If you bring equipment, don’t walk in ski boots. You likely are not used to them yet, and you can slip easily on ice and snow. Carry your boots to lockers where you can store your stuff and gear up. Boot bags are handy for hauling and storing boots, gloves, googles, helmet, hat, hand warmers and extra clothing.

A Day at the Resort

Once at the base area, look for signs directing you to Skier Services, where you’ll find everything from rental and retail shops to ski-and-ride school to lift ticket windows. Or ask a uniformed resort “ambassador” for directions. Here’s where you’ll begin your first day. After your lesson, practice a bit but don’t overdue it. Above all, relax, take it all in and have fun – talk to other skiers and snowboarders; watch them on the hill; begin the transformation…

Content courtesy of SnowSports Industries America | SIA and

Sun & Ski Sports to Open Two Stores in Dallas Market

Houston, TX – August 12, 2008. . . . . Houston-based Sun & Ski Sports, known as the “guide to the great outside,” is bucking the prevailing retail economic indicators by opening two new stores this year representing more than 40,000 square feet of retail space. Both stores are located in the Dallas market.

The 19-store adventure sports retailer will unveil a 26,000-square-foot-store at 1100 West Arbrook Road at Plaza at the Parks in South Arlington August 15 (photo attached) and a 16,000-square-foot store at I-75 and Royal Street in the Royal Crossing shopping center in the North Park area in mid-November. The dual expansion marks the first new Sun & Ski stores to open since 2001 and will add approximately 80 to 100 new jobs in the Dallas marketplace during the height of the holiday season.

“Dallas is a great market where we are not well represented,” said Sun & Ski Sports CEO Barry Goldware, who founded the specialty sporting store chain 27 years ago. “Contrary to popular opinion, we think this is good time to expand because the slower economy affords better real estate deals. We have confidence in the mid- to long-term, and feel these stores should be very successful.”

The company currently has one store in the Metroplex — at Grapevine Mills.

Both Dallas-area stores have been designed with energy efficiency in mind, including P-5 lighting, which uses approx 25 to 30 percent of the electricity of Sun & Ski Sports’ previous stores. The architect is Castles Design Group of Houston.

In the age of the big box sporting goods retailer, Sun & Ski Sports focuses only on five strategic sports categories — skiing (snow and water), bicycling, skating, running and camping. The company hires individuals with years of experience in their respective fields for its specialized retail team: expert snow and water skiers, champion-level cyclists, hard-core runners and campers, and gravity-defying skateboarders and skaters. The staff guides customers to purchase the appropriate sports wear and level of equipment, selecting specific gear for the beginner, intermediate or more experienced sporting enthusiast.

“We stick to an old concept – do a few things, but do them better than anybody else,” notes Goldware. By providing hands-on, high-level customer service and state-of-the-art clothing, equipment and accessories in these specific areas, Sun & Ski helps customers get the most from their sports adventures.
Through its online social network, MOJO (My Outdoor Journey Outpost), Sun & Ski gives customers a platform to share their outdoor sports adventures with each other, whether it’s skiing, cycling, skating, running or camping,

Sun & Ski Sports’ corporate mission to specialize and departmentalize its stores allows for a comfortable, small-store feel. However, with 19 locations plus a 3,500-item strong e-commerce website, Sun & Ski offers big-store competitive pricing. It is the best of both worlds – the feel and service of a specialty shop with the buying power of a chain.

Sun & Ski organizes events in the store and in the field throughout the year. A respected industry leader on the cycling scene – its lines include Scott, Haro, Masi and Marin bicycles; Sugoi, Canari, Pearl Izumi and Primal Wear clothing; and Yakima, Giro and Shimano accessories — Sun & Ski Sports sponsors cycling education and weekly safety seminars.

There are five Sun & Ski Sports stores in the Houston area; and one each in Austin, Grapevine, TX; San Antonio, Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Cincinnati and Nashville. The company owns three Ski Chalet stores in Arlington, VA, Chantilly, VA and Gaithersburg, MD, and a Ski Stop store in Plainview, NY. Its interactive e-commerce websites ( and boast more than 3,500 specialty products representing 100 brands.

For information, contact the headquarters’ office (281) 340-5000, ext. 167; online customer support 1-866-786-3869 or go to the web,

Giro Atmos Road Cycling Helmet

Originally submitted at Sun & Ski Sports

The Atmos road bike helmet provides superior technology and is the leading style for riders like Armstrong, Petacchi and Freire. It is the best helmet for speed and the thrill of wide open roads.

Giro Atmos Bike Helmet

Great Helmet with Comfortable Fit

By skybox from Houston, TX on 1/16/2008
5out of 5

Sizing: Feels true to size

Pros: Comfortable Fit, Lightweight, Tough, Good Ventilation

Best Uses: Road Biking, Warm Weather, Short Rides, Commuting

Describe Yourself: Avid Cyclist

Love the Giro Atmos helmet… it’s by far the best helmet I’ve ever owned!


Rossignol Zenith Z3 Skis

The Rossignol Zenith Z3 Skis are the perfect fit for a good intermediate skier to the less aggressive advanced skier. It handles great on black runs on down, providing great shock dampening and good stiffness in carving. A perfect all-mountain ski that provides stability and versatility for the entire mountain. And, at a price point of just $399 with bindings from its original price of $829 its a deal that is hard to pass up.

Pros: Durable, Good Carving Ability, Good Grip, Great Flotation, Lightweight, Scratch Resistant, Smooth Ride

Best Uses: Downhill, Powder, Racing

Describe Yourself: Advanced Skier

Notes: Awesome ski. Good feel and minimum vibration.


  • Vibration Absorbing System (VAS)
  • Tool-Free Integrated Ski Bindings
  • TPI2 Dualtec Integral Construction
  • Dimensions: 121/72/100mm
  • Turn Radius: 16.4m (@ 170cm)
  • Recommended Use: Advance skiers
  • Warranty: One Year
  • Skill Level: Intermediate – Advanced
  • Type of Ski: Mid-Fat
  • Gender: Mens
  • Integrated Binding System: Yes
  • What Binding is Included?: Axium 120
  • Construction Features: Dualtec Integral
  • Tail: Straight
  • Model Year: 2007
  • Skill Range: 3-5

More Information…

Packing For A Snow Sports Vacation

How to Pack for a Ski Trip

You only need to put in a little thought and time before you rush off to a winter sports vacation. Here are our suggestions based on many years of mountain resort travel:

Pack garments that protect your body, especially your fingers and toes, against cold, wind, and precipitation according to the climate you are visiting. Snow in the northeast, for example, is wetter than in the Rockies, and temps in Canada are colder than in California. A facemask is rarely needed in Colorado, but you may want it in Vermont. Check resorts’ websites for weather and snow reports.

Take clothes you can layer.

Underwear of polypropylene or other synthetic fibers that wick away perspiration. Don’t wear cotton next to your skin. When it absorbs perspiration, it stays wet. Then when you decrease activity (i.e. ride the lift), you get chilled. You can wash out long underwear at night, and it’ll usually be dry by morning, thanks to modern fabrics.

  • A light shirt or turtleneck to wear over the underwear. (Bring two or three.)
  • A wool sweater or fleece for insulation and warmth.
  • The outer layer – jacket and pants or a one-piece suit. Be sure they are wind- and water-resistant and that they “breathe,” allowing perspiration and excess heat to escape through the fabric.
  • One lightweight and one heavy parka to allow for changing weather. Pack the thinner one, wear the bulky one. Pack more than one outfit for a multi-day trip only if you have room.

Accessories: Hat or helmet (a helmet not only protects your head but keeps your body warm), goggles, sunglasses on a strap, neck warmer, gloves or mittens, a thin pair of “liner” gloves, heat packs for your hands and feet, face mask or balaclava and sunscreen with a high SPF number.

Socks. Bring several thin pairs that aren’t cotton.

Equipment. Check our article on airline baggage requirements. You may want to ship your gear ahead on or forget it entirely and rent ahead at

Clothes to wear at night. Resort restaurants (and especially night clubs) can be very warm. Pack lightweight tops, then layer with fleece vests or sweaters and a fairly heavy parka for walking outside.

After-ski/snowboard shoes. If you’re planning a dogsled ride or snowshoe excursion, call ahead to see if the company provides heavy boots. If not, you’ll need them. You’ll also want warm shoes with good tread and a hat and gloves for village walking.

Toiletries. Pack them in a zip-lock bag. Don’t forget prescription meds and pain-relievers. Know the airline carry-on liquids rule. Check your lodge’s website to see if it has in-room hair dryers.

Cash, credit cards, ATM card, health insurance card, passport (check for country requirements), car insurance card (for renting) cell phone and charger, and phone numbers for resort.

Optional items:

  • A bathing suit for the spa. Tuck in a pair of flip-flops for walking to and from your room.
  • Work-out clothes and shoes.
  • Camera/extra batteries
  • Knee or back brace.
  • Backpack
Content courtesy of SnowSports Industries America | SIA and