There are plenty of thrills on the Twilight Zone trail at Mammoth Mountain. Rider: Mueller. Photo by Peter Morning/MMSA
If you’ve only been to Mammoth Lakes, California, in the dead of winter, you’re blowing it. Sure, Mammoth Mountain is known for its world-class skiing and snowboarding, but it also lies smack dab in the middle of some of the most beautiful bike terrain the state of California—and the West—has to offer.
For mountain bikers, the area is steeped in history. Not only was Mammoth Mountain one of the first ski resorts to host and create its own mountain bike event with the Mammoth Mountain Kamikaze, in 1985, it also hosted three consecutive World Mountain Bike Championships from 1987 to 1989, and it has been hosting events nearly every year in the decades that have followed. Though it stepped back from events in the 2000s, for serious cyclists the area is still extremely popular. And in recent years Mammoth Mountain has stepped up the game again by drawing in a whole new generation of riders.
No matter if you’re a beginner or a pro, Mammoth’s Mountain Bike Park caters to every skill level. Riders: Mueller and Encisco. Photo by Peter Morning/MMSA
As one of the largest single bike park facilities in the west, the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park has something for every rider and skill level. With more than 80 miles of singletrack and downhill mountain bike trails, the area doesn’t disappoint. Families will find places to cruise, and with plenty of banked turns, jumps, and drops, the serious downhiller will be busy all day long. For the uninitiated, Mammoth Mountain offers lesson and rental packages, so everyone can roll home happy.
Off mountain, cyclists will be happy to notice the town is bike-friendly with numerous walking and cycling lanes and trails.
The gondola will start spinning to the top on Friday, so we suggest you start planning your trip now.
Tackling the Twilight Zone trail at Mammoth Mountain is an experience no one should miss. Rider: Mueller. Photo by Peter Morning/MMSA
With more than 80 miles of singletrack and downhill MTB trails, Mammoth Mountain has a lot to offer for every rider. Map courtesy of MammothMountain.com
Spot Check: Mammoth Lakes, California
Elevation: 7,880 feet in town, where the base lodge at Mammoth Mountain sits, and the top is at 11,053 feet.
Weather: Average nights from May through September range from 60 to 77 degrees. Lows sit in the 30s to the low 50s.
Getting there: Mammoth Lakes is on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada in Mono County, California. It sits just off Highway 395, three hours south of Reno, Nevada, and a little more than 300 miles north of Los Angeles. It is served by the Mammoth-Yosemite airport with daily flights to and from LAX on Alaska Airlines.
Don’t miss: The resurrection of the legendary Kamikaze Bike Games on September 4 to September 8. This year the race stretches over a four day weekend and will feature events in nearly every mountain bike category from Enduro to the dual slalom or the cross-country and Legend of the Kamikaze retro race. Check out the website for more information.
Eat: There is no shortage of food in Mammoth Lakes. Special occasion meals will be elevated at The Lakefront Restaurant at Tamarack Lodge or at the restaurant at Convict Lake just south of town. Other good bets are Whiskey Creek, Shogun, Nevados, or Slocums Grill and Bar. If morning is the time for your meal of the day, The Breakfast Club never disappoints those looking for a huge plate of hearty home-cooked fare.
Out of the saddle: There is no shortage of things to do in and around Mammoth Lakes on the days you feel like resting your legs. Take a drive to Yosemite National Park. Visit the nearby ghost town of Bodie. Go canoeing and kayaking, fishing, rock climbing, horseback riding, check out some nearby hot springs, or even try skateboarding at the Volcom Brothers skatepark.
Take flight at Mammoth Mountain. Rider: Enciso. Photo by Peter Morning/MMSA
Walden surfboards for Malibu Barbie by Trina Turk; photos courtesy of Walden Surfboards
It’s no easy feat designing a surfboard for Barbie—after all, the girl’s got taste. That’s why designer Trina Turk reached out to Walden Surfboards for their help in designing two surfboards and one SUP board for the newly launched Malibu Barbie by Trina Turk collection. The result? Very colorful, very girly and—no surprise here—very pink boards.
Celebrating the iconic doll’s California roots, Turk’s new collection includes apparel and accessories for both Barbie and her fans, including beach towels, bikinis, sun hats, tunics, water bottles, and of course, the limited-edition surfboards, designed by Steven Walden himself, who’d already left a large footprint in the women’s sector of the surfboard industry with his “Walden Wahine.” And in case all the Kens of the world were starting to feel left out, they can also pick up some colorful board shorts and the more manly Mod Wave surfboard.
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Getting air and a sweet tan at Germany’s biggest sandboarding resort; photo courtesy of Unofficial Networks
If the post-winter blues have you down, it might be time to visit Germany’s year-round ski and snowboard attraction, Mounte Kaolino. Located in Hirschau, Bavaria, the “mountain” is actually a 110-meter-high pile of quartz sand mined from nearby in the early 20th century. In the 1950s, a melancholy skier in search of snow decided to slide down the sand pile, and by 1956 there was a ski club dedicated to skiing the quartz hill. Today thousands of skiers, snowboarders, and thrill-seekers flock to the sand slope in search of summer fun. The area even has a terrain park with jumps and rails, in addition to an alpine coaster and swimming pool. Mounte Kaolino also hosts the Sandboarding World Championships, clocking athlete speeds up to 60 mph.
Today we went to the Hyperlite Experience at the Carlsbad Lagoon, the birthplace of wakeboarding. It was one of the first real days of summer and everyone was out of school and ready to ride. The sun was shining and the water was flat, perfect conditions for wakeboarding. Eight riders went out on the boat for the morning session to test out the 2013 Hyperlite gear and hang out with team rider Jimmy LaRiche. Everyone was stoked and ready to ride after watching Jimmy go huge behind the Nautique. Each rider got to demo the board and system bindings of their choice and got one-on-one instruction with Jimmy. Jimmy was really friendly and stayed around to talk to the riders and sign posters for them after their session. I got to chat with him about his week on the Hyperlite Experience Tour and his first time riding at Canyon Lake. Every rider was hyped on their session with Jimmy and got to take home a swag bag with some new Hyperlite gear.
For more information go to: http://www.hyperlite.com/experience/
At age 13, twins Bob and Bill Meistrell of Missouri built a scuba diving helmet out of an oil jug, a garden hose, and some tar, and fashioned a switch valve out of a spring and a marble. They tested it out in a farm pond and it actually worked.
Profile photo of Bob Meistrell from YouTube video, shown below.
The boys were infatuated with the sea and diving at an early age, even though they lived in the Midwest.
“We’d read any book on the ocean we could get our hands on,” Bob told Forbes magazine in an interview earlier this year. “We hadn’t ever even seen the sea and we were in love.”
The love affair blossomed when the family relocated to the Southern California coast in 1944 when they were 16. They pursued scuba diving, and they fell in love with surfing.
Combining their two passions, Bob and Bill went into the diving and surfing business. In 1953, they bought into the Dive ‘N’ Surf shop in Redondo Beach and launched a venture that today produces a reported $80 million in annual sales worldwide. What they did was revolutionize the wetsuit.
Today, the diving and surfing communities know the Meistrells very well as the founders of Body Glove, which celebrates its 60th anniversary later this year.
The twin Meistrell brothers, Bill and Bob.
Sadly, Bob will miss the celebration. Bob suffered a heart attack and died Sunday morning—Father’s Day—in a place he loved so much: on the ocean, in his boat named The Disappearance. He was 84.
“He passed exactly as he would have wanted to,” Bob’s nephew Steven Lockhart wrote on Facebook. “Near Ship Rock, outside of Two Harbors, Catalina (his favorite dive spot in the world), on his boat.”
Bob and family members were participating as an escort boat for the Rock2Rock paddleboard race from Catalina Island to Palos Verdes.
“He was the greatest man I have ever known,” Lockhart continued. “He was my best friend, brother, father, and hero rolled into one. He leaves this world a month short of his 85th birthday, with my Aunt Patty as his wife, with three sons, nine grand kids, two great grandchildren, tons of cousins, and thousands and thousands of friends.
“He was the most generous and loving person you will ever meet. He and his twin brother, Bill Meistrell, revolutionized both the surfing and diving industry. He was a man of integrity, generosity, and peace and always conducted business this way. He lived every ounce of his life to the fullest.”
Bill passed away in 2006 after a battle with Parkinson’s. Both are in the Hall of Fame for diving and surfing.
Russ Lesser, president of Body Glove International, sent out an email announcing Bob’s passing and saying he will be “greatly missed.”
“His motto was ‘Do what you love, love what you do,’” Lesser wrote. “He and his twin brother, Bill, who passed away a few years ago, helped to create the ‘surf culture,’ which changed the world, with their designing, manufacturing, and selling the first commercially viable neoprene wetsuits.”
It was in 1953 when the Meistrells discovered that the insulation used in the back of refrigerators—neoprene—worked well as a material for wetsuits. The wetsuit was originally known as the Dive and Surf’s Thermocline Wetsuit. Recognizing the need for a better name, the brothers hired marketing expert Duke Boyd, an entrepreneur and founder of the Hang Ten surf brand.
“What makes your wetsuit different from anybody else’s?” Boyd was reported to have said.
“Well, they fit like a glove,” Bill was said to have responded.
From this exchange, Boyd came up with the Body Glove name.
“He charged us $235 for the logo,” Bob told Forbes magazine earlier this year. “That’s a pretty good deal for an icon that’s all over the world.”
Nau’s women’s designer Carey Mullett; photo courtesy of Mullett
“I actually lived in a tent down by the river,” says Carey Mullet, and it’s obvious she’s telling the truth. She exudes the type of enthusiasm for the outdoors only those who’ve lived in it exude. “Seriously, one of the best times of my life, subsisting on a diet of Bing cherries, Black Butte Porter, and whatever my friend brought home from her restaurant job.”
Maybe it’s the lessons her past living situation provided, or 20 years of experience designing for outdoor companies like Patagonia, but Mullet knows how to make a piece of apparel, and make it well. She’s currently doing so at Nau, a Portland, Oregon-based outdoor apparel company focused on sustainability, and we like what we see: a recycled polyester dress that doubles as both a vest and a coat, a modern chino short that hits at just the right spot on the leg, and a down-insulted jacket disguised as a shirt—all made for outdoorsmen (and women) who appreciate a little style. “We’re taking the less is more approach,” says Mullett. But when it comes to Mullett herself, more (enthusiasm, adventure, love of the outdoors) is definitely more.
What details do you add to give outdoor pieces a stylish edge?
The idea is to take the functionally that needs to be there and then to make it as beautiful as possible. A good example could be something as simple as a pocket. What is the shape of the flap? Could it do something special, like have a hidden security pocket underneath? Will the pocket need drain holes for water? Is there a benefit to gluing versus sewing? Sometimes details are as subtle as a texture or a slight point on a collar. Modern classic is always the goal and details are where the magic happens.
Photo courtesy of Nau.com
What outdoor activities do you partake in?
My dad had me on 30-mile backpacking trips and class-four rapids by the time I was 8, so I really appreciate the wildness of the backcountry. This has led to a love of rock climbing, mountain biking, trail running, and backcountry skiing. My dad is now wheelchair-bound and not a day goes by where I don’t thank the heavens for my strong, healthy body and the freedom it affords me to experience the outdoors.
What is your biggest pet peeve about outdoor apparel and gear?
That it is fussy, complicated, and there is too much of it. I prefer to travel light and fast. That freedom allows the experience to take center stage. I experiment on myself all the time. Before leaving on a trip, I often plan around how little I can bring and not suffer for it.
Tell us about your favorite post-hike meal ever.
After a chain of unfortunate events climbing Wolfs Head in the heart of Wyoming’s Wind River Range, I became very drunk off one glass of wine, which I will, for our purposes, call my dinner that night.
What’s your proudest accomplishment as an outdoorswoman?
That I don’t freak out, even in dangerous situations, ever. I have a strange barometer for keeping my cool that surprises even me.
Name the coolest place you’ve ever traveled to.
One place I always seem to return is Bali, Indonesia. I love the people and the way they nurture the sacredness of the place through rituals and ceremony. I love the smell of rice, coconut milk, and incense that fills the air. The family of five on the tiniest scooter you’ve ever seen wearing bright colors and smiles. The 12-foot snake stretched across the road that everyone just drives around. I once took a local supply ferry from Bali to Nusa Lembongan perched atop a sea of gas cans. The guy next to me was chain smoking clove cigarettes. I figured if it blew at least it would be fast, so naturally, I asked him for one.
Photo courtesy of Nau.com
What’s a rookie gear or clothing mistake we should avoid if we’re just starting out hiking and camping?
I often see people trying to re-create the comforts of their home life outdoors with way too much stuff in an effort to “beat” the environment. I like to really try and blend in with my environment and feel connected, even if that means being a little exposed. With clothing, it’s all about the layers―base layer, insulation, shell―that’s all you need. Pack simple, healthy food that’s easy to prepare. Get a Jet Boil. Pace yourself; it is easy to overestimate how far you can travel with a heavy pack on. Be aware of the altitude differences, how it will affect your stamina, and really hydrate. Please be respectful of our wild animals by storing your food properly and not speeding through national parks. Know that a marmot can eat a hole in your backpack just to get at an apple core and he may still be in there when you go to put it back on (yikes!). Most of all, it’s really important to have fun and not take yourself too seriously.
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WORDS: Sarah Ward
Most college students care about cheap food, hooking up, and drinking games. Julian Carr dabbled in some of these pasttimes, but he also studied computer science, devised a plan to create a clothing company, and became a pro skier.
Knowing that being a pro has a shorter shelf life than most jobs, Carr started Discrete Headwear in 2008.
“I love snow. I love skiing. It is just another manifestation for my love of this sport,” says Carr. In the beginning, he made beanies and gave them to all his friends who conveniently were pro skiers and snowboarders. Over time, people and shops asked where they could find his stuff.
“I literally didn’t know a thing about running a brand,” says Carr. With the ability to learn on the fly, Carr’s initial lack of experience within the business brand side of skiing is practically untraceable. Pumping out over 100 different products, including hoodies, T-shirts, hats, and beyond, Discrete is blowing up. As for its 2014 line, Carr says, “This is by far the coolest stuff we’ve ever created.”
Julian Carr's favorite beanie, the Doyonator. The original reservoir tip beanie. PHOTO: Discrete Headwear
Carr’s secret to design: coffee and quality techno music. “Bust out the headphones, color pencils, crayons and good luck. Go nuts,” he says. Carr designs everything on his own, though nowadays he has a girlfriend (fellow skier Sierra Quitiquit), who is able to provide a feminine filter when it comes to designing for women.
In addition to creating, Carr has learned the art of balance through managing his business and pro skier life. The key he says—awareness, routine, and discipline. “After a good day of shredding I have to get back to my e-mails that night even if all I want to do is just go to bed…if I ignore it for a day it delays everything.”
This discipline helped Carr create the Discrete brand. Pulling from simplicity, Discrete’s style and design is clean and simple—something Carr thought the ski gear world was lacking when growing up. Principles Carr learned in the computer science class “Discrete Structures” gave inspiration to his business. Discrete structure is almost a separate entity within the mathematical world, incomparable to any other principle. This aspect of Discrete structure is what Discrete Headwear aspires to be, so unique that it is considered incomparable to any other ski clothing company. Keeping with this inspiration, all the product is named after mathematical and computer science terminology.
To boot, Discrete’s logo draws from a Vietnamese-legend-based game, which requires algorithms to achieve enlightenment. Carr’s history and these philosophies are as he describes, “an unconscious undercurrent of the brand.”
Inspired by his studies, Julian Carr names his product after mathematical and computer science terminology. PHOTO: Discrete Headwear
This undercurrent lead to the oh-so-popular “reservoir tip”—no we’re not talking condoms—in beanies. Carr’s original and favorite beanie, the “Doyonator,” was originally cuffed. Taking the cuff out Carr made the beanie longer and baggy. “I thought it just looked cool,” he says. Apparently other pros thought so too, and, thus, the reservoir tip on beanies was born.
Looking toward the future and an exciting 2014 Carr still pays homage to his friend and business partner Billy Poole: “He passed away right before the first tradeshow in 2008. He will always be a part of Discrete.”
Voting is now open for the second annual Canoe & Kayak Awards presented by Verizon. A production of Canoe & Kayak magazine, the C&K Awards recognize excellence in the sport of paddling, as voted by the paddling community. The criteria couldn’t be simpler: paddlers vote for the athletes, expeditions, films, and causes that most inspire them to seek out their own adventures.
Go to CKAwards.com to meet the nominees and cast your vote. This year’s categories include: Male and Female Paddler of the Year, Expedition of the Year, Photo of the Year, Filmmaking Achievement, Paddle With Purpose, the Spirit of Adventure Award, and Lifetime Achievement.
Voting continues through June 30 at CKAwards.com. The awards presentation and celebration takes place on Aug. 1 at Pierpont Place in Salt Lake City during the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show.
Scouring the internet as we do on Mondays I found this pretty awesome compilation of mishaps throughout the history of the sport. I think my favorite is Gabe Lucas getting whacked in the head by the tree, but I’ll let you decide. Sorry Gabe! Thanks to the people from the Boaters Outlet for putting this together!