GEAR FEATURE: Slowtide Beach Towels

Drying off is not something many of us give much thought to. It’s just something you do, but a group of individuals saw an opening in the market for a product that would serve as much more than just an afterthought.  Slowtide beach towels came to be in 2015, when Kyle Spencer, Dario Phillips & Wylie Von Tempsky of California, saw that towels were uninspiring and mundane. Their first attempt yielded a functional, new medium for art on a premium 100% cotton towel, and so Slowtide towels came to be.

Functionality

All of the Slowtide products meet the strict guidelines set by the The STANDARD 100 by OEKOTEX® . This is a worldwide consistent, independent testing and certification system for raw, semi-finished, and finished textile products. Having this certification means that consumers can have peace of mind that their product is free of harmful chemicals. In addition to this certification, Slowtide features products that are made with 100% super soft & absorbent cotton as well as velour. Some of their travel products are even made with 100% recycled materials. The materials are all selected for their feel as well as absorbancy.

Art

Slowtide towels are not just towels. They’re art. The brainchild of three friends that saw an opportunity for a new medium. The prints seen on the towels are created by tie-dye, mixed paints, manipulated pixels, and so much more. It’s also not unusual for collaborations with artists and photographers to occur and the results are woven, tactile, travel-able artwork. Some of the collaborations are also forms of giving back and proceeds from the sales are donated to charitable organizations.

So next time you’re drying off, think of Slowtide. This brand has taken an object that is often overlooked and changed it into artwork, transforming it entirely. And they didn’t stop there. Their goal is to make the daily ritual of drying off an art form too.

GEAR FEATURE: POC Cycling Helmets And Apparel

Here at McCoo’s, we look to offer the best gear for all your Whistler adventures. What makes it the best is extensive research into what is needed to perform and play at all levels. We look for gear that lasts, performs in all conditions and of course, is safe. With all things considered, POC cycling helmets and apparel fit what we look to offer to our customers.

POC is a Swedish company on a mission to produce helmets and apparel that save lives and can reduce the consequences of accidents for gravity sports athletes and cyclists. The company was founded in 2005 and initially, they broke into the ski racing market. POC’s new ideas and solutions to improve alpine safety, by reducing the force transmitted to the brain and body in case of a crash, gained a lot of attention. The need for such products quickly transferred into another industry: cycling. This led to the evolution and development of protection for different categories with each sport including freeskiing, snowboarding and mountain bike disciplines. Consequently, POC has become a highly desired brand by athletes and enthusiasts alike of both sports.

The concepts, technologies, and materials used and implemented by POC for the helmets and body armor are highly researched in the state of the art POC Lab. Throughout the research process and during testing, the equipment is scrutinized by POC’s scientific forum that consists of some of the world’s foremost sports medicine experts, brain scientists, and specialists in spinal cord injuries. As result, the products created by POC are scientifically proved to help reduce the severity of injuries in action sports.

In addition to protecting the user and decreasing the undesired results of crashing, POC has set themselves apart with their designs. Eye-catching colors and progressive structures have made their products distinguishable from competitors. What’s more, the aesthetics are an addition to a high-level of comfort. Vents and padding have been put in the perfect places so that users can focus on the task at hand and not their gear.

We hope you enjoyed this gear feature. As always, if you have more questions regarding the best gear for you and your sport, stop by McCoo’s. We’d be stoked to lend our expertise. Stay tuned for more gear features!

How To Spring Clean Your Gear

Spring is in the air. With the warmer weather comes an increase in activity and that means more sweat, more dirt, and more frequent cleanings. The frequent cleaning should be in place to keep germs, mildew, and other gross stuff under control. Not mention, prevent your gear smelling like a locker room. What’s more, not cleaning your equiptment regularly can actually decrease its performance.  Even if you’re regularly cleaning your gear, and you should be doing that, here’s a quick guide to making sure you’re keeping your equipment clean the right way.

Head Phones/ Ear Buds

Dip a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and wipe it across the speakers of your earbuds. This works best for in-earbud that can gather wax as they nestle in your ear canal. The rubbing alcohol should take the wax right out, making your music instantly sound more clear. You only need to do this if you notice gunk buildup, or if the audio is noticeably quieter in one bud.

Backpack

Backpacks collect so much more than what you put inside them. First vacuum out dirt and debris. Then, add a delicate detergent to warm water and use a sponge or cloth to wipe the pack down. Some pack manufacturers also recommending avoiding hot water or spot removers, as these can damage the fabric. As you clean your pack, examine the zippers, which can fail if they’re jammed with dirt and debris. You can vacuum out the dirt, or scrub zippers with a soft nylon brush (like a toothbrush) and cold water. After you wash the bag, don’t put it in the dryer. A good way to dry your pack is to stuff it with newspapers and hang it in the shade.

Water Bottle

Hopefully, you’re not waiting until spring to clean your water bottle but just in case…pick your cleaning solution and get it ready. White vinegar is probably best for the job because it’s an excellent stain remover. Dilute 1-2 tablespoons of the vinegar with a cup of water. Pour the solution into your water bottle and let it sit for 15 minutes and then rinse. Voila!

Sunglasses

Forget using your breath to remove streaks and residue. Rinse your sunglasses under warm water- not too hot, not too cold. Use a mild dishwashing soap to wash all over your frames, working it in with your fingers. If necessary, use a microfiber cloth to dislodge heavier grime. Concentrate on areas that are heavily exposed to your skin – the nose bridge and the ends of your stems. A soft-bristled toothbrush is ideal for cracks and crannies, especially the groove where the lens sits, as build-up is prone to occur there. Rinse off all the soap, dirt, and dust. Watch it swish satisfactorily down the drain. Dry your sunglasses thoroughly using a microfiber or lint-free cloth. If you use a towel, you may end up with lenses covered in towel fuzz.

Clean your gear to prolong its lifespan and also to stay fresh while adventuring. If you have any questions about how to clean any of your other gear, don’t ask Mom, ask McCoo’s.

Heated Clothing

The cold. Most of our winter gear is designed to combat its effects. Gortex, layers, breathability. These terms might sound familiar and don’t get us wrong, they do work. Despite the technologies improving drastically, there still stands a chance of the sub-arctic temps winning and leaving you out in the cold…no pun intended. Presently, there are a number of brands that have lead the way in creating clothing that keeps you warm no matter what conditions are on the outside. They rely on generating heat from an external source, most of them powered. We’ve got the low down on some of the current heated clothing technologies now available at McCoo’s.

Flexwarm Jackets

Flexwarm has spent over the last five years researching and developing patented new technologies that have enabled them to create a completely unique, flexible heating element that is so thin (0.5mm) it can be printed directly onto fabric. Because Flexwarm can be printed, it can then be layered directly onto fabric which enables 8K Heated Apparel to be ultra-lightweight, durable and washable (without the need for adding additional heavy and bulky insulation materials). You can expect upwards of 13 hours of heat from your jacket and when it’s out, just recharge the battery. To adjust the temperature, connect your phone to your jacket via Bluetooth and input your desired level of toastiness! And finally, topping it all off, these jackets are splash resistant, so you don’t have to worry if mother nature decides to change her mind from snow to rain.

Therm-ic Socks

Therm-ic have designed high-end socks that can offer up to 29 hours of heat. The heat is generated from an easily rechargeable battery that sits at top of the sock. The technology allows for even distribution of heat, easy attachment of batteries to the sock, and optimized integration of the heating elements for a guaranteed long life. What’s more, Therm-ic products connect to your smartphone! With the batteries’ Bluetooth function and the Thermic mobile app, you can adjust the heat setting for your sock at the touch of a screen. Now, that’s going to come in handy for turning it up a notch while on the chair lift.

Staying warm while on the hill no longer has to be a battle. With heated clothing technologies advancing, it can be easy to set a temperature and stay there, no matter what the weather is doing. If you have any questions regarding the heated gear currently on the market, come stop by McCoo’s– guarenteed a few of our staff members are probably wearing them right then and there!

Buying The Right Ski Or Snowboard Helmet

Skiing and snowboarding can be full of hazards. You have your airtime, trees, cliffs, and of course, other mountain revelers. While many of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how to protect ourselves from these risks, it should be more than food for thought. Head and facial injuries are just some of the consequences of not wearing the proper equipment when on the hill. Even if you consider yourself a conservative rider, all skiers and riders can enjoy the benefits and warmth that a helmet provides. But where to start? Here are some tips for buying the right helmet.

Ski And Snowboard Helmet Components

Inner liner: This is typically made from EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam, the material that looks like Styrofoam®. It’s designed to absorb impact. A helmet is considered no good after a direct blow to it.

Shell: The shell, or outer layer of the helmet, is a rigid surface (typically high-impact plastic) that can help protect the head against sharp objects, knocks, and abrasions. It also helps spread impact energy over a larger portion of the helmet during a fall.

Certification: There’s a new buzzword in the helmet world, MIPS.  MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System and it is the current gold standard for helmets.

Ski / Snowboard Helmet Sizing and Fit

Measuring for your size: You can find your correct size by measuring your using a tape measure or come on down to the store and have one of our staff help you. To do it yourself, position the tape measure just above the ears and about 1″ above your eyebrows. Measure around the largest part of your head to determine the circumference of your head. The measurement will help you select from extra small, small, medium and large helmets.

Checking the fit: A good helmet should feel snug but not tight. If the helmet can rock back and forth, the fit is too loose. Shake your head from side-to-side. If the helmet shifts, try a smaller size, adjust the sizing mechanism or use thicker sizing pads. Push up the front and back edges. If they move, tighten the straps.

The helmet should be positioned low enough in the front to protect your forehead. It should sit level with its front edge no more than 1″ above the eyebrows. Finally, check to make sure there are no gaps between your head and the helmet lining. If there ae gaps, pads can be used to decrease them.

Chinstrap/buckle: The chinstrap needs to fit comfortably against the throat to reduce the chance it will come off. The strap should fit snugly but loose enough for you to not feel choked. Make sure to always fasten the strap before riding.

Now that you have your helmet picked out, you can add extra features such as audio, camera mounts, and warmer liners. There’s really no excuse for not protecting yo’ head!

Is There Such Thing As Too Much Powder?

Whistler has received 191cms in the past 7 days.

Yes, you did read that right. That’s a lot of powder and for many, it spells ideal snow conditions. We’re talking waist deep, light, and fluffy pow pow just waiting for tracks to be laid into it. Now, as each day passes and the centimeters keep accumulating, you might be thinking, “I need a rest day!” So is there such thing as too much powder? As the ski legend, Doug Coombs would say, “there is never such thing as too much snow.” But in case you’re starting to feel the effects of being a full-time powder-hound, here are some tips to get through the heaviest of storms.

Eat Right

Snow sports require a lot of physical exertion and when you add in pushing through a meter of fresh snow, you’ve just increased your work load even further. To keep up with the demands placed on your body and recover afterward, nutrition is key. First step: A proper breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks that include all the food groups

Sleep Well

This is a hard concept to take in but here we go…Pow > après. You see, après will be there all time during the season but the elusive powder, it can come and go. So get it while it’s hot and get a good night sleep to be in optimal condition for shredding the duration that the mountain is open.

Hydrate

You can feel like a million bucks until a dehydration headaches set in. If you’re having difficulty staying hydrated while you’re riding, load up a backpack and drink on the lifts or make sure to drink a lot after a day on the hill.  Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Stretch

If this is your third day in a row, your legs are going to be screaming as soon as you make a few turns. Combat the lactic acid and decrease your recovery time by performing a thorough stretch both before riding and after. Not only does stretching help you recover faster, but it can also help you decrease the risk of injuries.

Take Care Of Your Gear

Not only is your body taking a beating when you are riding every. single. day, but your gear is also maxing out its capabilities. No matter how tired you are, take the time to properly dry out your equipment. When you’re getting all the goods, your future self will be thanking your past self’s actions!

Powder days are the gold of skiing and you have to get out there while the getting’s good. Take care of yourself and your gear to make the most out of the best days of the season.

10 New Year’s Resolutions To Improve Your Skiing

January 1st marks the first day of the year, and that’s a natural reason for committing to new beginnings. Rather than the usual attempt to save money or cut back on drinking, why not use this time to really make some self-improvements. From stretching after a day on the hill to eating properly – our suggested resolutions are ideal for anyone looking to improve their skiing or snowboarding.

Stretch

It’s simple, yoga can decrease your chances of injury. Even a short stretch routine can aid in prevention. So find a class or search for a video online, there’s really no excuses.

Improve Your Gear

At one point, your gear is going to be the limiting factor. Don’t fall victim to having to leave the mountain because you’re wet or goggles are fogged. Get gear that works and works for you all day long.

Take A Lesson

Yeah, yeah, we get it. Lessons aren’t really where you want to spend your free time. But if you are serious about improving your ski game, then taking a lesson is a sure fire way to get tips that will have you moving in a forward direction (literally). Bottom line, there’s no substitute for the impartial advice of someone who knows what they’re talking about.

Wake Up Early

After a night out, this is the last thing you probably want to hear. Waking up early will allow you to ride longer, get in more laps and get the best snow. No brainer right?

Eat Your Greens

A steady diet of Kraft Dinner isn’t going to provide enough (or any) nutrition for you to ride day in and day out. Think about adding some broccoli or spinach to that pasta dish.

Challenge Yourself

Now, we don’t mean go out and take risks but do go out and ride with better riders and on more challenging terrain.

Have Friends On A Pow Day

Keep your friends close and your ski buddies closer. Having a good friend that is always down to ride, even if it’s just groomers will help you log more hours and more days than if you are always flying solo.

Get Your Hike On

Not only can you access some incredible terrain but hiking or touring is a great way to get in shape. The better shape you’re in, the better your overall riding will be.

Tune Your Equipment

The last thing you want is to deal with a broken binding or rough edges on a powder day. Schedule in those regular tunes and perform regular maintenance!

Educate Yourself

Every one of us can learn more and should focus on learning something new every day. Take another avalanche course, learn how to tune your own skis, or get certified in first aid.

What’s So Great About Oakley PRIZM Lenses?

Goggles are crucial. You need them to navigate your way around the mountain and with the current technologies, that’s possible in virtually all conditions. You’ve probably seen or heard about the Oakley PRIZM lenses, but do you really know what it’s all about? Oakley has launched their PRIZM lenses with vision fine-tuning technology and they’re the talk of the town. But really, what’s so great about these PRIZM lenses anyway?

What is a PRIZM lense?

PRIZM is a new Oakley lens technology that fine-tunes vision for sport-specific environments. The lenses work to emphasize colors, specifically contrast, where the eye is most sensitive to detail, which in return, helps to enhance performance and safety. What’s more, this now happens through a wide range of light conditions whereas other goggles have specific lenses for certain light conditions. Even then, many of them don’t work as well as we need them to.

KEY BENEFITS OF OAKLEY PRIZM LENSES:

– Sharpens visual perception to help you see more clearly and react faster.
– Enhances color recognition to help you quickly spot what you need to see.
– Optimizes your ability to better see the important moving objects in your periphery.

How Do Oakley PRIZM Lenses Work?

Tons and tons of research but more specifically, the lenses provide unprecedented control of light transmission resulting in colors precisely tuned to maximize contrast and enhance visibility. This happens through the use of specially engineered lens tints. Basically, light that could interfere with vision is filtered out while emphasizing the colors that aid your brain creating a more precise visual understanding of the surrounding area. A simpler way of looking at this is in terms of contrast. Oakley achieved this innovation by utilizing “hyperspectral imaging,” a technique used by spy satellites that helps analyze light in real-world environments with levels of detail and precision that is previously un-heard of. What’s more, their design allows for increased peripheral vision.

Sport-Specific PRIZM Lenses

There are PRIZM lenses for all sports as well as daily wear (sunglasses). And for the eyewear to perform at the highest level, they have been tested until the cows come home. Oakley made sure that each sport specific eyewear had the capability to see the perfect colors in the environment that the sport is performed in. In each environment, the lenses enhance the colors you need to see for maximum sports performance and filter out the rest. The improved color contrasts leads to better vision and ultimately, performance.

Do you have more questions about what the Oakley PRIZM technology entails and how it can help you on the hill? Be sure to speak to one of our staff members!

How Long Should Gear Last

Being comfortable in your gear could be the difference between the best day ever and the worst. And sometimes, it takes time to work that beloved jacket or pants into the point of fitting you in all the right places. Now, those favorite ski boots or even long underwear may be nearing the end of its life and it could be sooner than you think. Just how long should gear last?

Ski Socks-Approximately 1 year depending on the brand

According to Smartwool, their socks should last a year if the washing directions and fit are properly executed.

Tips to prolong life:

  • Avoid wearing on the carpet.
  • Do not use fabric softener.

Helmet- 1 Impact

This is debatable but generally speaking, if you have taken an impact on your helmet, experts suggest it’s time for a new one. This is because most helmets are designed to only withstand a certain amount of force in order to perform optimally

Tips to prolong life:

  • Don’t crash on your head. Duh.
  • Store away from factors that can alter the effectiveness of the materials. This includes heat and extreme cold.

Outerwear- Anywhere from a season to a lifetime

How long your outerwear lasts depends on how often it is being used, how well you take care of it and the material that it is made out of. Current technologies can see Gortex jackets lasting years and years, even lifetimes in some cases.

Tips to prolong life:

  • Wash them. Really it’s okay. The sweat and beer will degrade the waterproofing faster than an occasion spin cycle.

Goggles- A really long time

Goggles can last a really long time but that really depends on the quality purchased and the level of care given to maintain them.

  • When you get snow in your goggles, don’t brush it off with a jacket sleeve or glove. Snow is made with abrasive ice crystals that can actually scratch the lenses. Use a special cloth.

Ski Gloves- A season

Your gloves take quite the beating and it can be hard to maintain the durability as well as the waterproofness of the fabric.

  • Hang dry them out after each use.

Most ski gear can last more than a season but the key is to take really good care of it. With these helpful tips, you should be able to prolong the life of some of your most beloved items. If you’re finding that some of your gear needs an upgrade, come to McCoo’s. We can help sort you out so you won’t have to live through another ‘breaking in’ period and can go right to into wearing the most comfortable gear ever!

 

Why You Need A Power Bank

We’ve all been there before, your waiting on a text from someone important, your favourite song is about to drop or your relying heavily on google maps and then the unbelievable happens: Your phone dies. Only a few short years ago this would mean running into every establishment asking if they had a certain phone cord and if you could hang out at the bar while it charges. Not anymore, portable power banks are here. Before we get into why you need a power bank, let’s chat about what they even are.

The Technology

We’re not going to get all Bill Nye on you and lecture about how batteries work in case you’re interested, here is a summarized version: Power banks are comprised of a special battery in a special case with a special circuit to control power flow. They allow you to store electrical energy (deposit it in the bank) and then later use it to charge up a mobile device (withdraw it from the bank).

Types On The Market

  1. Universal Power Bank: These come in many sizes and varieties which can be tailored to your device requirements and to your budget.
  2. Blue Tooth Enabled Power Bank: Looking to run speakers and connect your music? This style of power bank is for you.
  3. Solar Charged Power Bank: These power banks have panels that can trickle-charge the internal battery when placed in sunlight. It’s known to not be as fast but hey, it’s eco-friendly and we like that.

How Many Charges Does A Power Bank Hold

This is a loaded question. You see, power banks come in all sizes and power bank capacities (this is the nerd term for “how much charge”). The power bank capacity should be stated on the packaging of your power bank but the power requirements of the device requiring the charge are not. So how many times a device (phone, tablet, computer, etc) can be charged cannot be accurately determined. This all being said, you should be able to get a few full phone charges of out of one power bank before it needs to be re-charged itself.

And finally…

Why You Need A Power Bank

There are a number of life moments that really can’t be missed as a result of your phone being flat. We’ve gathered a few to showcase when a power bank would really come in handy…

  1. Matched with Tinder dream girl/guy
  2. Sent a message to the wrong person.
  3. Need to check your bank balance to see if one more beer is possible.
  4. Phone flashlight required for navigating stairs.
  5. Going to be late for work.
  6. Lost all your homies while shredding the mountain.
  7. Being chased by a bear and require assistance.
  8. Your friend has lost their phone at Garfinkels and would like you to call it.
  9. The music at the party sucks and you know your playlist is way better.
  10. Directions to that little corner of Emerald that you never even knew existed.

If you’ve decided that a portable power bank is something you need in your life, just come on by McCoo’s, we’ll sort you out.