Recreational Gear for a Covid-19 Winter
By Neil Wolkodoff
Thanks to Covid-19, there are challenges to what you can do recreationally this winter. Some manufacturers have made gear that makes participation on a whim easier.
With Covid-19, you are less likely to keep your ski legs and technique with more infrequent trips. Manufacturers have adapted with boots that fit better right out of the box, and the skis to fit both a wide range of abilities and snow conditions. Maybe the best adaptations were developed by Atomic, the legendary race ski company. If you can win numerous world cups, you can obviously build great gear.
Starting with boots, Atomic has taken their renowned Hawk boot and made variations in widths, flex, stance, custom fitting, and women-specific variations. That means you get the precision of a race boot, but in the width and flex that matches your skiing style, all the way from a 90 (beginner) to 130 (just short of a full race) rating. And stance-setting options ensure you have an individual tweak that makes a personal difference.
Atomic is renowned for their race ski technology. Where Atomic really thought outside the core is the Vantage 90 TI. An all-mountain ski, the shorter lengths use a carbon core for weight reduction for lighter skiers, while the longer lengths rely on titanium for heavier, more powerful skiers. The 90 mm width underfoot performs for both hard and powder snow with additional umpf from the expanded balance sweet spot this season. And given that Atomic was a binding company early on, you can expect their line of free-flexing bindings to mate pretty seamlessly to any of their skis.
Over 700,000 new golfers started golf during this last season. And the one club company that is ahead of the use curve is TourEdge. If you are the occasional golfer, or travel to play, you don’t need the clubs used by any tour pro. Easy to hit should be your mantra.
What is nifty about TourEdge clubs is they pack may be the best combination in golf for performance versus cost. Known traditionally as the best hybrid and fairway wood company, they furthered their entries in occasional golfer sets and specialty clubs. They make great travel ensembles as they are noticeably better than rental clubs, and they are yours.
Having a driver that you can count on to hit the ball straight is a big deal as a new golfer or when you can’t play much. TourEdge just released a driver, which is low on piggy coin, while being easy to hit, big on performance, and fits the profile of the club to take on a trip. Their HotLaunch E521 driver, which is only $229, has exceptional performance. The advantage during travel, and even playing at home here and there, is you need something easy to hit without a warm-up or much practice, and the E521 delivers with a super-large sweet spot.
Crescent Moon Snow Shoes
Maybe you get to the ski resort, and due to Covid they are up to capacity, what then? When it snows, you can trek via snowshoes around in the park or on a local trail. If you travel, you want something that is light but still has a bit of stability to it on the trail or deep snow.
Enter Crescent Moon with their Eva foam snowshoes. Just hook and loop into the binding with any shoe or boot that is past a water sandal, and you are ready to muck and luck. The Luna is their minimalist model for trail running, while the Eva is built for hiking.
These are really durable as the foam and outsole were tested in rental situations, lasting more than a whole season of weekly rentals. The design boasts a rocker platform that rolls with your foot, similar to an athletic shoe. And, very important in Sasquatch observations, they are silent.
Neil Wolkodoff, PhD, is a Sports Scientist in Denver, Colorado who has worked with golfers over the last 15 years. During the rare free times, he travels to exotic golf destinations to see how golf, culture and local geography mix in different locales. He has penned articles for Colorado Avid Golfer, Golf Digest, and Golf Magazine. In his travels, he has golfed with royalty, tour professionals, the local duffer, and the occasional goat.