The iStik “How Many Ways Can You Stik?” Contest

We all know about the armbands available to hold your iPod Nano while you’re working out. But what if you aren’t running or walking? Sometimes you just need more mobility when you are working out with your music, which is why iStik now offers the Magnetic 3rd Generation iPod Nano Case. Eight high-tech, Neodymium magnets keep your iPod secure, but you still have easy access to change your music in case your mood changes. It won’t get sweaty like an armband will and it will give you much better mobility in your upper body.

Watch the video and leave a comment of what activity you’d use an iStik for and where you’d put it on your clothing. One winner will be drawn from a hat to win (surprise) a free iStik Magnetic iPod Nano Case! All comments are due by 4:30 CST on 10/31/08.

No worries, if you don’t have a Nano, you can win a free Sun & Ski t-shirt just by logging into Twitter and sending out a Tweet that @sunandski is having a contest. Then link to this blog post.

We are getting some great gear in for the winter, so be sure to check out our sales and all the 2009 gear while you are at it ;).

Garmin Forerunner 405 – Never Get Lost While Cycling or Running Again

Having GPS is great in your car, but what about on your bike or on a run ? There is nothing more miserable than getting lost when you are running out of steam, especially if you get stuck in some hills.

Garmin, the maker of some of the best GPS system in the market, has come up with the ForeRunner 405 GPS Heart Rate Monitor watch. Sure, you can get your speed, distance and heart rate, but you can also get your location on a map to make sure you find all the great streets for your ride.

The Garmin ForeRunner 405 also allows you to challenge a virtual partner to make the most out of every ride and will integrate wirelessly with your PC.

Sun & Ski is happy to offer the Garmin ForeRunner 405 to our customers. Be sure to purchase yours before stock runs out.

Check out the Tour de Donut Benefit for Make-a-Wish This Weekend

Shipley’s Donuts+Cycling 28 miles=Tour de Donut!

If your chances of winning the Tour de France waved bye bye long ago, do not fret. You still have a chance at winning the Tour de Donut. Sure it may not take you along the gorgeous French countryside, but you will be helping raise money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which will make you feel better than putting on some old yellow jersey.

How does Shipley’s tie into cycling, you ask? For each donut you eat, you get seconds taken off your time. The trick is to not eat so many donuts that you can’t finish.

Here are the details:
THE WHAT: Sun and Ski Sports Tour de Donut
THE WHERE: The race begins at the Katy Mills Mall. You can find the route here.
THE WHEN: Sunday, November 2 at 8:00 am

There is also a 55 mile ride that will take place that is a recommended ride for preparing for the MS 150.

Find more registration info here, and please call Carl Foy with any questions at 281 340 5000 x145.

Be Ready for the Cycling Season by Preparing in the Off Season

Whether you’ve decided to enter the BP MS 150 for Team Sun & Ski or other races in your area, it’s easy to lose focus on your training during the winter months.  Stefan Rothe of Rothe Training in Austin, Texas offers the following tips in his blog to keep you focused so you start the cycling season right:

  1. You should review ’08 and see what you accomplished. That can be a number (i.e. your 40K Watts or time) or a placing (i.e. win at a specific race).
  2. You should know what you want to achieve in ’09. Specificity is key here, so the more in detail the better. I.e. raise LT Power by 20W; do a sub-56min 40KK; win a State Criterium Championship
  3. You need a plan on what to do in the next 3-4 months:
  • How long should I take off from riding? Or should I not?
  • How do I incorporate off-the-bike strength training with regular riding?
  • Will doing cyclocross races hurt me in my preparation for the next road season?
  • I like to run. What days of the week do should I do that?
  • Is intensity or volume more important in the month of October, November, and December?

The above figure shows an example of a monocyle as part of an Annual Training Plan. Note the phases of Transition, Preparation, and Competition and how volume and intensity varies. (from: Periodization: Theory and Methodology of Training. Tudor Bompa. Human Kinetcis Publishers. 1999)

This time of the year is also very good time to go and check your health by a health professional. A regular physical exam or a simple blood test at your doctor’s office could identify any small problems which you should know about before getting back into “training mode” again.

Getting a Threshold Test done is also highly recommended for this part of the season. You want to know where your performance is as of right now so you can train accordingly in the upcoming month. Knowing your threshold power or heart rate is crucial when following a structured training plan which is based on your individual training zones.

Want to make sure you are meeting your goals this off season instead of packing on the holiday pounds?  Track your calories, distance, heart rate and even distance and location with this awesome Garmin Forerunner 405 GPS Heart Rate Monitor.

Come out to “Rock the Cradle for Johnny Romano”

Sun and Ski was very dismayed when Johnny Romano, a local skater from Galveston, Texas lost his brave fight against leukemia.  Johnny was  very revered in the southeast Texas community for his skills as well as his generosity towards charities such as the Make a Wish Foundation.

To honor Johnny’s memory, Sun and Ski is sponsoring “Rock the Cradle for Johnny Romano”.  Help us rock the world’s biggest cradle and help raise money for the Romano family’s medical and now funeral expenses.

Here are the details:

Date and Time: November 9, 2008, noon-4 PM
Place: Lee and Joe Jamail Skate Park
Suggested Donation: $10 which will go to or a blood donation, which will occur onsite.

Please help us honor Johnny’s memory by coming out and supporting this great cause. If you can’t come out, consider donating money to the Romano family anyway at

A Checklist for Using Your Bike to Commute

Although gas prices are down somewhat, they are still a lot more than they used to be.  Since riding your bike is economical, good for the environment, and helps you lose weight, we are all about helping our customers use them.  Aside from the obvious, here’s what you need to make the economical switch to a bike:

The Absolute Necessities

1.) a Bike Lock.  It is very unwise to leave a bike unlocked for any period of time.  Even if you have your bike registered, most stolen bikes never come back.  A cable lock is the most economical choice as well as the easist to put on, but is also the easiest to cut.  A U-lock with a rectangular keyhole shape is the hardest to pick.  When you put your lock on, be sure to put it through both the tire and over the frame of the bike for maximum security.

2.) a Helmet.  A hardcore fall or a collision could leave you brain damaged or even dead.  A simple helmet is inexpensive and can make all the difference.  What makes one helmet different from another?  A basic helmet can get you covered, but the higher end helmets a.) come in different sizes, b.) are ergonomically shaped to provide less wind resistance and c.) will be more properly ventilated.

3.) Bike Lights.  Inevitably you will ride at night or in twilight.  In some states, it is mandatory to have a bike light in the front as well as the back of your bike.  Some lights are bigger and brighter than others, so consider this in your search.

4.) Bottle Cage and Water Bottle.  Your car needs fuel and so do you.  Getting dehydrated can leave you stranded somewhere and can make any ride a very unpleasant experience.

Other Helpful Accessories

1.) A Rear Frame Wrack.  If you are commuting with your bike, you’ll probably be carrying something.  A rear frame wrack will allow you to tie things to your bike, including a trunk.

2.) A Tailwind Trailer.  There’s no use in leaving the little ones at home.  Hook up your trailer to your bike and take the kids to the store, the park, or wherever you need to go.

If you’d like to calculate how many miles you’ve ridden and how much gas you’ve saved, get a trip computer.  You can also calculate all the calories you burn as you go. 😀

Are you a fan of cycling as a form of sustainable transportation?  Consider joining our Facebook group “Get Green, Get Fit, Get a Bike” for more cool updates.  Join NuRide to earn as you ride.  If you need a bike, visit one of our stores and you’ll be on your way in no time.

Join NuRide, The Online Ridesharing Community & Earn Reward Points

I am pleased to let you all know that Sun & Ski Sports has recently partnered with NuRide (, an online ridesharing community that rewards its members with points for sharing rides, biking to work and even telecommuting! Earned points can then be redeemed for great rewards like restaurants gift cards, tickets for shows and attractions and retailer discount; including a special offer from Sun & Ski Sports-what a concept!

Sun & Ski Sports is really pleased to be a part of a program that will provide a real community benefit! By offering special rewards to NuRide members, our sponsorship will result in 100,000 less miles driven and prevent 41 tons of emissions; while also conserving 4,200 gallons of gasoline!

And right now, our friends in Houston can also participate in NuRide’s 10,000,000 Mile Houston-Galveston Area Rideshare Challenge, the largest ridesharing event in the nation, involving thousands of area commuters who will help prevent more than 4,000 tons of automobile emissions and conserve over 300,000 gallons of gasoline! To add to the excitement, every shared ride automatically enters you for chances to win some terrific Milestone prizes. The Challenge is just about half way completed and Sun & Ski Sports is proud to be the 5,000,000 Mile Milestone sponsor in the Challenge and will provide the lucky winner with two Marin Stinsons plus helmets, accessories and more! You can check it all out and learn more about all of NuRide’s special events by going to:

So, we encourage you to check out NuRide. It’s fun and completely flexible and requires no ongoing commitments-this ain’t your daddy’s carpool and it’s definitely the rewarding way to go!

UPDATE: BP MS 150 Registration Closed!

The registration for the MS 150 closed in record time this year by registering the 13,000 riders within a few hours of opening. I’m sure there are a lot of disappointed potential riders that didn’t get to their computers fast enough to register for the largest bike ride in the United States. If you are in this crowd, hang tight. Over the course of the months to come there are always a number of riders that drop out of the registration for various reasons and spots open back up. If you have questions or concerns you can contact Lone Star chapter.

There has been some confusion for new participants in that registering for a team will secure you a spot in the ride. Unfortunately, that is not the case. All riders need to register with the MS Society to be eligible for the ride… riding on a team only gives you added benefits and support along the way.

If you were one of the fortunate ones to get registered for the MS 150, we welcome you to join Team Sun & Ski Sports and ride with us. There are ton of great benefits again this year…. you can find more information and get registered on our website. The cost is $75 and includes a team jersey and free registration into a number of training rides leading up to the big event.

Here is a list of the training rides that are included with your Team Sun & Ski registration:

o Puddle for the Ducks… February 7th
o Pedaling the Prairie… February 14th
o Spring Breakaway… March 1st
o Tour De Houston… March 22nd
o Katy Ram Challenge… April 11th

Ski Season is Here! Arapahoe Basin and Loveland are Now Open

Making Snow at A-Basin
Making Snow at A-Basin

Stop dreaming and start hitting the slopes.  Arapahoe Basin and Loveland officially opened today at 8:30 am MST.  Check out A-Basin’s mountain cam to check out the snow.

Now’s a great time to get great deals on tons of 2008 gear.  We are also getting a lot of our 2009 gear in, so be sure to check in before your next trip.

Finally Snowboard Equipment Made Just for Women

Women have been down for snowboarding since day one. In fact, Sherman Poppen invented the Snurfer (the 1960s forerunner to the modern snowboard) for his daughter to ride. However, ladies haven’t always had the same choices men do when it comes to snowboard equipment-that is, until now. Excitingly enough, snowboard companies have finally taken notice of the female snowboard contingent and are building gear specifically for women, taking into account everything from her weight and foot size to her sense of style.

What Does “Women’s Specific” Mean?

So what makes a women’s board, well, a women’s board? The simple answer is waste width and flex pattern. For the most part, women have smaller feet and frames than men, so a narrower board keeps everything to scale, ensuring optimum steering power and control over your edge. The flex pattern (meaning how easy it is to bend the board and make it turn) is also specifically designed around the proportions of a lady rider, who’s usually lighter-weight and needs her board to be a bit softer in order to flex it and get it up on edge.

Length is also a factor. A snowboard should reach to about a rider’s chin, so women’s boards tend to be a bit shorter to accommodate the average female height. Of course, riding steep mountains or deep powder requires a longer, stiffer board and such women’s specific freeride models are also available.

Graphics are undeniably important to a board’s appeal, and because women are naturally attuned to style, companies have definitely had to get with it graphics-wise. Most brands employ talented designers (many of them women themselves) who know exactly what appeals to snowboarding’s feminine side, from colors to designs to treatments.

The Perfect Connection

Just as boards are being made specifically for women’s smaller frame and foot size, so are boots and bindings designed for their narrower heels and different leg shape. Women’s boots are typically lighter and narrower than men’s versions. It’s impossible to rip when your feet are sloshing around, so these narrower boots keep the heels firmly in place for ultra-responsive turning power. Also, shorter and wider ankle cuffs accommodate the female calf muscle, which attaches lower on the leg than a man’s. Bet you didn’t know that, did you?

Your boot should not move once it’s in the binding, so ladies’ bindings come in smaller sizes to create a super snug boot-binding fit. Today’s bindings also offer complete adjustability from side to side, in the heelcup, and with the amount of forward lean. It might take a little while to get your binding perfectly dialed, but it’ll be worth it when you do.

Just like in nature, every piece of your snowboard setup is connected. Equipment compatibility is extremely important. If your boot doesn’t jive with you binding, or your binding baseplate won’t work with your board’s hole pattern, then it’s game-off. Make sure everything works together before you leave the store.

Content courtesy of SnowSports Industries America | SIA and