Longboarding is for everyone!

By Ryan Allison

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Longboards are a longer and more stable skateboard than your traditional trick oriented skateboard. They have softer wheels, which allow a rider to roll right over rocks and twigs. Longboards are a great way to get around college campuses or even your neighborhood. These boards carry their speed well, are fun and an easy way to get out and get moving. Longboards have a great range of use–from the neighborhood cruiser, to the fast downhill carver.

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Skateboarding can be difficult and intimidating; but longboarding is much easier and more rider-friendly. This is due to the larger size of the board and wheels, which adds a great deal of stability compared to the traditional skateboard. This stability takes a lot of the hard falls out of the learning process.

 

What do you need to get started?

Well like all sports, there is probably no end to what you could choose to invest in regarding gear; but to get started, you really only need a longboard and a helmet. Always wear a helmet. There is other protective gear like wrist guards, knee and elbow pads and even tailbone pads. Although these options are out there, one can easily and safely learn how to longboard with only a helmet and a good attitude.  It also helps to have a pair of shoes with a flat bottom which will give the rider more control and stability. Once you get the hang of it, you can ride in just about any type of shoe.

 

Finding the Right Longboard

There are a wide variety of shapes and sizes of longboards a person can choose from. As with regular skateboarding, there isn’t really one right way to longboard. You may be a rider who cruises to and from work or class. Maybe you like to bomb hills or skate bowls. However you want to ride, there is a board for you.  The longer a board is the more stable it tends to be. This length can affect the turning ability or agility of the board, so a person who wants to ride in a skate bowl would want a shorter board than someone who wants to ride down hills, since a shorter board is better for tight turns but less stable for high speeds.

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 Great Positioning    

Now we need to know which foot to place in the front and which goes in the back. If you have already   ridden sideways while wakeboarding or snowboarding, then just go with the same stance that you used in those sports. If this is your first time riding sideways, we need determine which foot is your comfortable foot with which to lead.  Riding with your left foot forward is called “regular stance,” and riding with your   right foot forward is called “goofy.” Again, there is no right or wrong stance– there is only what is comfortable to you. There are many ways to determine which foot you are most comfortable having forward. Here are a few that we find work well.

 

Finding your Lead Foot

One way to find out is to imagine you are just in your socks and you are going to run and slide on a wood floor. Which foot would you lead with? That’s your stance.  A different way to determine your stance would be to either imagine or actually kick a ball, and the foot you kick with is typically your rear foot in your stance. For instance, I kick with my right foot and ride sideways with my left foot forward, which is regular stance. Lastly, you can have a friend help you by standing with both feet together, and have your friend give you a push backwards. Whichever foot you put back behind to brace yourself is typically your rear foot.

 

Time to Ride

Now that you know which foot is your lead foot, you can begin to familiarize yourself with standing on and pushing the longboard. Your rear foot is your push foot. To start out, it is good to place your lead foot right behind the front trucks (the things that hold the wheels) at around a 45-degree angle (whatever is comfortable to you). Next, with your rear foot, you can give a push. Then place that push foot right in front of the rear truck. Now you’re longboarding! As you get more comfortable with your balance and control on the board you will be able to move your front foot with your toes facing the nose of the board while you push then when you pull your rear foot on. You will adjust your front foot back to that 45-degree position mentioned earlier.

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Once you are able to push around, you can start learning to turn or carve on your board. Carving is done by leaning your weight onto your heels or your toes.  The direction you lean is the direction you will carve. You can adjust the trucks of your board to make turning easier at low speeds or tighten them for more stability at high speeds.  Find a nice open space with no traffic to practice carving and go down small declines.  You can stop by turning away from a decline or by slowing yourself down by dragging one foot on the ground.

 

However you choose to longboard, always wear a helmet, and remember to have fun! Longboarding is great because there is no wrong way to do it. Just go put down some carves and enjoy being outdoors!

 

8 Things To Remember While Running In The Heat!

Here are 8 things to keep in mind when running in the heat:

 

Make adjustments: Limit your workouts during the heat of the day. If you must run at midday, pick routes with shade. Start your workout slower than you usual. If you’re feeling good halfway through, it’s okay to take it up a bit.

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  Wear as little as possible: Only wear clothes that are lightweight and breathable. Microfiber  polyesters and cotton blends are good choices. Be sure to wear a hat, shades, and sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.



Limit use of alcohol and meds: Alcohol, antihistamines, and antidepressants can all have a dehydrating effect. Using them just before a run can make you have to pee, compounding your risk of dehydration.

 Drink water and sport drink: Top off your fluid stores with 16 ounces of sports drink or water an hour before you head out. Then drink five to eight ounces of sports drink about every 20 minutes while working out. Sports drinks beat water because they contain electrolytes, which increase your water-absorption rate, replace the electrolytes you lose in sweat, and taste good, making it easy to drink more.

 Be patient: Give yourself several days acclimatize to hot weather, gradually increasing the length and intensity of your training. In that time, your body will learn to decrease your heart rate, decrease your core body temperature, and increase your sweat rate.

 

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Try to find shade: It’s always hotter in cities than in surrounding areas because asphalt and concrete retain heat. If you must run in an urban or even a suburban area, look for shade—any park will do—and try to go in the early morning or late evening.

 

Check the breeze: If possible, start your run going with the wind and then run back with a headwind. Running into the wind has a cooling effect, and you’ll need that in the second half of a run.

 

Head out early or late: Even in the worst heat wave, it cools off significantly by dawn. Get your run done then, and you’ll feel good about it all day. Can’t fit it in? Wait until evening, when the sun’s rays aren’t as strong—just don’t do it so late that it keeps you from getting to sleep.

 

Stop by your local Sun & Ski to get all your hot weather running gear!!

My Sun & Ski Challenge: Week 2 by Jillian Despard

Dear Diary,

I’m sure you are as surprised as I to see that I am alive and functioning. I would have said alive and well, but functioning seemed much more appropriate. Another week of my Sun & Ski challenge has passed and well, to say my body hates me would be an understatement. Getting into a routine is hard y’all, especially when the weather has been like something out of a bad Twilight novel (who am I kidding, they’re all bad). I’ve struggled the most with motivation. Who really wants to go out in the chilly rain for a nice evening jog? This space is an honest space so I feel like I should tell you, I haven’t been doing much outdoors. For the most part I have been visiting my local fitness center rather than braving the weather and hitting the nature trails. I feel like a traitor and a cheater. Thankfully the weather will be improving so now I really have no excuse to be indoors.

This week I helped with a Flash Mob running event. For those who don’t know, we do a flash mob running series in March and June. The reason it’s called a flash mob event is because everyone shows up, runs, do a quick raffle, then we all disappear quietly into the night. Blink and you’ll miss it! The route was 2.7 miles, which in my mind equated to an impossible amount to run for fun on a Thursday night. When I really started to think about it though, 2.7 miles wasn’t really far at all. As the runners started coming in from the run I was checking out their times, 16 minutes (!), 25 minutes, 30 minutes, and suddenly it didn’t seem so scary anymore. I think I was psyching myself out and comparing the run to a marathon distance, therefore it would be impossible for me to do and I shouldn’t even try. The reality is, 2.7 miles is incredibly doable. Some of the runners even ran to the park where the event was being held, ran the event, then turned around and ran home. While I don’t expect to be able to do that anytime soon, I do hope to be one of those breezing across the finish line, barely even breaking a sweat and not a pony tail hair out of place. A girl can dream, right?

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So, on to the next week. The friendly neighborhood weather man says to expect rain and storms all week long, but it will be nice and balmy so outdoor workouts won’t be totally out of the question. I just have to avoid the thunderstorms, something tells me that being struck by lightning won’t give me superpowers and a fabulous body like it does in the movies.

6 Offseason Tips for Triathletes

Sun & Ski Triathlon

Though triathlon is indeed “a” sport, triathletes must be able to do the three sports (swimming, cycling and running) in a manner that gets them across the finish line in the least amount of time. As a triathlete, you may or may not be aiming for a spot on the podium but you probably want to be fast—your personal definition of fast.

In order to be a fast triathlete you need to train like a triathlete, even in the offseason. You need to train for the demands of the sport of triathlon. Your winter or offseason training needs to compliment your training in the competitive season.

Here are six strategies for your offseason training to help you be a better triathlete when race season rolls around.

1) Optimize the number of workout sessions or your workout frequency.

If you have a single-sport history, say swimming as an example, more than likely you swam six days per week and sometimes you swam twice per day. If you try to apply that template to cycling and running for your triathlon plan, aiming for six sessions per sport per week, is a sure recipe for injury or overtraining issues.

Triathletes should aim to do two to three workout sessions per sport, per week. This means you will swim two to three times, bike two to three times, and run two to three times. If you are new to the sport, or it is your offseason, one or two workouts per sport each week is a great start.

As you gain experience, get closer to race season, and increase your triathlon performance aspirations, there may be times when you have four weekly workout sessions in one, or more, of the sports.

2) Strength train for triathlon, not body building.

There are differing opinions on the value of weight training in the offseason. I think most triathletes gain value by adding strength training to their offseason program. The value is increased power output on the bike, reducing the likelihood of injuries by correcting muscular imbalances and working on core body strength and stability.

In the weight room, focus on multiple-muscle movements that complement the sport of triathlon. Minimize the exercises that isolate a particular muscle.

3) Plan fast workouts.

It doesn’t matter if you’re doing six workout sessions per week or nine; plan to go fast in some of them. Your body needs the stress of fast workouts—and recovery—in order to make gains.

In the offseason, make the fast segments of your workouts short with long recovery intervals. Miracle intervals on an indoor trainer are a good example of this principle or the speedy segments can be just simple 20-second accelerations. Because the fast segments are very short and you can keep the number of repeats low, you can include some speedy segments in nearly all of your workouts.

I will say there are some coaches that make the offseason completely aerobic—no efforts above the aerobic level, whatsoever. I am not one of those coaches and I believe keeping some fast training in your routine in the offseason is critical.

4) Remove threshold intervals in the offseason.

Though you should keep some fast segments in your training for most of the year, do not keep flogging yourself with the same old lactate threshold workouts year-round. Repeating high-intensity workouts day in and day out leads to boredom, risk of injury and certainly a plateau in performance.

When do you begin to add threshold training back into the fold? The answer depends on your short term and long term goals.

5) Plan key workouts.

Make your “hard” workouts count towards performance increases. These hard sessions should be considered key workouts. A key workout can work on improving your speed, endurance or in some cases both. Depending on what you’re doing in the weight room, a key session may be a strength session in the offseason.

A good rule of thumb is to limit your key workouts to between two and four per week—total in all sports.

6) Consider a single-sport focus in the offseason.

If your swim is your weak link in your races, try swimming four or five days per week. Keep your swimming and cycling workouts easy and limit them to only one or two per week. If cycling is your weak link, try adding a weekly group ride as one of your key workouts. If running is your weak link, add one more run session per week, but keep an eye on injury indicators.

In all cases of single-sport focus, consider spending four to six months training for a single-sport event (a swim meet, a cycling event or a running race) while keeping the other sports maintained at a minimum level.

With some key changes to your training routine and consistency in the offseason, you will be a better—and faster—triathlete next season.

 

Article by Gale Bernhardt

TOMS Mystery Box – Guess What’s Inside!

The TOMS Mystery Box unveils the next chapter of One for One. For TOMS, the next chapter starts on June 7th, when they wont be just a shoe company anymore, but the One for One™ company. What’s your next chapter? How do you want to build a better tomorrow?

Join us at the Memorial City Sun & Ski Sports or the Grapevine Sun & Ski Sports, June 7th, for the launch of the new product from TOMS. Take a guess of what’s in the box for a chance to win a $100 Gift Card from Sun & Ski Sports!

Cambodia Trails – Running it in Houston – Memorial Park

Memorial Park – Cambodia Trails

Today we’ll be taking a look at the memorial park green trail, also known at the Cambodia trial. This trail is marked as an advanced trail due to the nature of the terrain. It is only 1.77 miles long, but requires intense concentration and a good pair of trail running shoes.

This trail is designed for mountain bikers, so please run with caution and always give the bikers the right of way. When you hear one coming, just step off to the side and wait tell they pass. I would highly recommend that you run this without earphones or music. The trail is very narrow, and if you’re not listening for bikers they’ll be on you before you have the chance to get out of the way.

The Cambodia trail has got to be one of my favorite runs. It keeps me on my toes with it’s terrain changing qualities, and helps me forget I’m in Houston.
Memorial Park has so much to offer to us that are here in Houston. You’ve got everything from soccer, baseball, tennis, football, rugby and volleyball courts, to a wonderful 3 mile easy trail, mountain biking trails, horseback riding trails, a fitness center and a swimming pool. You even have some very nice playgrounds for the kids and nice places to barbecue.

I rank trail into three categories: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.

Beginner Trails are under a mile, usually only gravel, asphalt or concrete

Intermediate trails are over 1 mile in length, and under 3 miles. They consist of gravel, asphalt or concrete

Advanced trails are over 3 miles in length or are off road trails that are not paved, usually used by mountain bikers. The terrain of these trails requires intense concentration and a good pair of trail running shoes.

I give the Cambodia trails an advanced ranking. It can be treacherous if you are not careful. I’ve twisted my ankles more than three times already. It is difficult to see the roots and stumps sometimes and extreme caution is needed.

The danger aside, it is one of the funnest and most exciting runs in Houston. It’s like moving zen when you’re running through this trail. a total meditation.
The trail is marked along the way with green pylons and there are a few maps which were recently installed. As long as you stay on the trail, getting lost is hard. There are some trails with posted signs that say, no mountain bikers beyond this point. I would recommend to stay off those trails until you become very familiar with the park. I took one once and was lost for over an hour.

The trail consists of three different surfaces. You have some concrete stones, soft ground, hard rocky ground and spots with lots of roots.

This is an out and back trail, which means that, although the trail is only 1.77 miles long, you will have to run more to get back to your car. You can either run back the same way, adding another 1.77 miles to your run, or you can run back along Memorial Drive which will only add a .79 mile more to your run, for a total of 2.56 miles.
The trail is located next to Picnic Park LN. Which is a good spot to drop off your car, or you can opt for over 4 miles by parking where the tennis courts are and running around the 3 mile trail, adding in the Cambodia trail along the way. I’ll usually run it this way, adding in the purple trails as well.

It’s an adventure running through these trails. Join me on a peaceful, spirited run.

A Packing List Essay by Mairko Liveric

Recently, we had an essay contest within our stores for the best story related to our Ski Trip Packing List and how we use them to assist our customers. Below is the winning entry by Mairko Liveric at our Plainview, NY Store. Enjoy…

So one day…
A nice, fine woman came into the shop, said “Im looking for a snowboard.,
It’s for my son, he’s 14 years old, with his current one he’s so bored.”
I asked “Whats his weight, what size is his shoe?”
and “What type of riding does he like to do?”
She answered “140, about a size 9,
he rides the whole mountain and goes all the time.”
I showed her some Arbors, I showed her some Burtons
she told me with these, her wallet would be hurtin’.
I showed her K2, then tried Ride,
she said “Well I don’t really like the design.”
I said “How about the Destroyer? Or O-Matic Awesome?”
She said “I’m looking for a deal, at Sno-Haus I saw some.”
I told her about Price Match Guarantee,
and we never let a customer leave unhappily.
I pointed her to clearance, said that was the majority of decks,
and I bet you can guess just what happened next.
I reached into my pocket, and oh what was this?
of course it was the Sun and Ski Sports Snow Sports Packing List.
I opened it up, like a scroll it hung,
handed it to the lady and said “we’ve only just begun.”
On the bottom written MJ, my numbers 1480,
I don’t care if you drive a hoopty or a brand new black Mercedes.
“This is for your son, so no one will forget,
The essential items to have a great time and most important don’t get wet.”
She said “He has a jacket and pants, and doesn’t wear sweaters or fleece,
I bought him thermals and glove and sock liners are not something that he needs.”
“He has socks, hats, neck gators, helmet, and a ninja clava thats really cool.
And he has refused to wear a turtleneck since elementary school.
He has some Anon goggles and Spy glasses that he loves,
some NorthFace boots, Burt’s Bees Wax, and DaKine Rover gloves.”
I stayed positive, but any sale seemed “iffy”,
she interrupted my thought and said hand warmers were for sissy’s.
Boot dryers and walk aides she said “I think he’ll live without,
plus if I go buying all of this stuff my husbands gonna shout!”
After gloves and footbeds “no interest,” lock and swimsuit “Check.”,
“He has a camelback so that brings us back to the deck.
If I got him a board then I’d get him a bag,
but I don’t see anything I like, sorry if I’m a nag.”
I assured her the boards were great, and that we have the widest selection,
in customer service we never settle for less that perfection.
I showed her some boots, then onto some bindings,
I was trying so hard, my mind was unwinding.
Then I heard the words that I didn’t want to hear,
“I think I’m gonna hold off on the board until next year.”
On the inside I was crushed, on the outside I was fine,
She thanked me for my patience, then thanked me for my time.
I did all I could, I didn’t regret,
the effort I gave my blood, tears, and sweat.
As she walked away, there was no need to stop her…………..


Cause in the end it turned out she was a secret shopper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

2009 Black Friday / Cyber Monday Deals – Sneak Peek…

2009 Black Friday - Cyber Monday Deals

You have just stumbled across the sneak peek of 2009’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. This is a small listing of just some of the great deals you will find at Sun & Ski Sports. The sale starts this Wednesday (1/25) for the early bird shoppers and available online through Monday (11/30).

Apparel – Men’s, Women’s, and Kid’s

Save 50% Off All Clearance Women’s Apparel Jackets, Polos, Fleece, Swimwear… etc
Save up to 25% Off Women’s Surf-Skate Apparel T-Shirts, Shorts… etc
Save 50% Off All Clearance Men’s Apparel Jackets, Polos, Fleece, Swimwear… etc
Save up to 25% Off Men’s Surf-Skate Apparel T-Shirts, Shorts… etc
Save 50% Off All Clearance Kid’s Apparel Jackets, Polos, Fleece, Swimwear… etc

Watches & Electronics

Timex Ironman HI-Ti Watch Was $119.95 Now Only $29.93
Polar Cs600 Pro Team Edition Cycling Computer Was $429.99 Now Only $239.93

Ski & Snowboards Deals

Save up to 60% off Clearance Ski & Snowboard Gear
Giro 540 Ski Helmet Was $80.00 Now Only $49.93
Smith Cascade Air Goggle Was $50.00 Now Only $19.93
Volkl AC 50 Skis w/ Bindings ’09 Was $1175.00 Now Only $699.93
Elan Black Magic Skis w/ Bindings ’09 Was $700.00 Now Only $299.93
Dalbello Electra 8 Ski Boots Was $475.00 Now Only $199.93
Burton T6 Snowboard ’09 Was $799.95 Now Only $459.93
Burton Blunt Snowboard ’09 Was $349.95 Now Only $169.93

Shoes & Footwear

Save 25% Off Shoes, Boots & Sandals – Online Only Excludes Apre & Cycling Shoes
BOGO 50% Off Shoes, Boots & Sandals – In-Stores Only Excludes Apre & Cycling Shoes

Cycling – Bikes, Apparel, and Accessories

Haro F1 BMX Freestyle Bike ’09 Was $279.99 Now Only $179.93
Haro Flightline S Mountain Bike ’09 Was $319.99 Now Only $249.93
Tri-Ton Mobo Cruiser Was $369.99 Now Only $249.93
Shimano Women’s SH-WF21 Indoor Cycling Shoes Was $89.99 Now Only $39.93
Shimano Men’s SH-R220 Road Cycling Shoes Was $279.99 Now Only $159.93
World Cycling Jerseys – All Styles $29.93 Was $70.00 Now Only $29.93
Primal Jerseys – All Styles 30% Off – – – – – –
Canari Paceline Tank Cycling Jerseys Was $34.99 Now Only $19.93
Sugoi Evolution Cycling Shorts Was $89.99 Now Only $59.93
Blackburn Trak Stand Ultra Bike Trainer Was $299.99 Now Only $199.93
Blackburn Trak Stand Mag Bike Trainer Was $159.99 Now Only $99.93
Croozer 535 Bike Trailer (Double) Was $449.99 Now Only $379.93
Croozer 737 Bike Trailer (Single) Was $429.99 Now Only $359.93
iBert Safe-T-Seat Front Mounted Child Carrier Was $94.99 Now Only $79.93
Polar Cs600 Pro Team Edition Cycling Computer Was $429.99 Now Only $239.93
Yakima Hold Up 2″ Hitch Bike Rack Was $415.99 Now Only $269.93
Yakima Slickroc 4 Hitch 2 Bike Rack Was $344.99 Now Only $189.93
SportRack Voyager II Trunk Mounted 2 Bike Rack Was $79.99 Now Only $49.93
Blackburn Delphi 4.0 Cycling Computer Was $59.99 Now Only $39.93
Rav-X Bike Basics Kit Was $49.99 Now Only $29.93
Giro Ionos Bike Helmet Was $229.99 Now Only $149.93
Giro Phase Mountain Bike Helmet Was $74.99 Now Only $49.93
Bell Sweep Bike Helmet Was $139.99 Now Only $89.93
Easton EA70 Clincher Road Wheelset Was $499.99 Now Only $349.93
Easton EA90SLX Wheelset Was $999.99 Now Only $699.93
Easton EC70 SL Carbon Clincher Wheelset Was $1399.99 Now Only $799.93
Serfas ARC Bike Saddle Was $79.99 Now Only $39.93
Serfas Men’s Eyeflex Saddle Was $49.99 Now Only $19.93
Serfas Women’s Eyeflex Saddle Was $49.99 Now Only $19.93

Inline Skates

K2 Men’s EXO 80 Inline Skates Was $179.99 Now Only $99.93
K2 Men’s MOTO 84 Inline Skates Was $219.99 Now Only $129.93
K2 Women’s Andra Inline Skates Was $179.99 Now Only $99.93
K2 Women’s Alexis Inline Skates Was $219.99 Now Only $129.93
K2 Boy’s Raider Inline Skates Was $109.99 Now Only $59.93
K2 Girl’s Marlee Inline Skates Was $109.99 Now Only $59.93
K2 Fatty Pro Aggressive Inline Skates Was $199.99 Now Only $139.93

RE: Fur – Code Of Conduct With Our Vendors

Noah,

Thank you for informing us of the inhumane treatment of animals in the fur trade.

Based on your e-mail, I have requested that all of our vendors who offer fur (a small part of our overall assortment) indicate to me their animal treatment policies.  So far, it appears that all of our suppliers adhere to a strict policy of humane treatment.  I have included a code of conduct statement from one of our vendors below which seems to typify most.  I am still awaiting info from a few others.

Thanks again for bringing this to our attention.  I am disappointed that when you sent your first e-mail you did not give me a chance to research the situation and get back to you, instead, you immediately began targeting our Facebook and Twitter pages  encouraging people to print and post disparaging posters against Sun and Ski Sports. Having said that, I do appreciate the information and will monitor our vendor policies going forward.

Sincerely,
Barry Goldware

CEO
Sun & Ski Sports

spyder_letter

New to the blogging world!

Hello fellow sports enthusiasts!

My name is Chris and I am the ski coordinator for the Ski Chalet in Chantilly, VA… a sister store to Sun & Ski Sports. I love what I do for a living and I always have a lot to say, so they gave me this space to share my passion for outdoor activities and perhaps encourage some of you to get out there and join in the fun!

Although I love Winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing, I’m also an avid runner, enthusiastic hiker and backpacker, and beginning cyclist.  I hope to relive some of my experiences with you here, as well as pass along my personal reviews of some of the equipment that can be found in the stores.  Hopefully, I can figure out how to post some accompanying photos on future posts!

I’ll post more next time…maybe by bringing you up to speed on how I spent the last year.  Stay Tuned!