Below is the latest and the greatest from Rachel F. AKA RachShredGnar, our action sports blogger. Here are some of the hottest things to do, see and own in 2013. And it kicks off tomorrow at Mavericks. Rachel will be there. Will you?!
Rachel’s Must-Not-Miss, Hit-List for 2013
For me, January has always been a month of new beginnings, not just because of the obvious reason, but because my birthday is 12 days after the New Year. This gives me time to first break and then refine my new years resolutions for a second starting over point. And with 2012, and my twenties coming to a close this year, I’ve come to realize that 30 is definitely the new 20, and I definitely plan to stay young at heart and act with reckless abandon. Having said that, let me share with you my list of must see events, new products I want to use, and exciting activities that I believe are a can’t miss. Here is my 2013 Action Sports Hit List:
1. Mavericks Invitational
The insane Big Wave competition is taking place this Sunday at Half Moon Bay. The event hasn’t happened in 3 years, and finally there’s a swell headed this way with 25-foot waves possible. You no longer can sit on the bluffs to watch, but with my new 30’s outlook I’m going to take the risk and try to catch the big waves from high up on the hill. Plus who wants to watch a surfing competition on a big screen when you are actually there and can watch it in person?
For more information check out: http://mavericksinvitational.com/ but the essential info that you need is that the Festival Doors Open at 7:45 AM and heats start at 8 AM, so it’s gonna be an early day, which is good so you can catch the 49ers game!
Competitors to Watch:
Greg Long: After surviving a gnarly wipe out at Cortes Bank it’ll be interesting to see how he bounces back.
Twiggy Baker: He won the 2010 Ride of the Year at Billabong’s annual XXL Big-Wave Awards, which happened to be from the Maverick’s Contest. He is always a force to be reckoned with in this competition.
Mark Healey: He is true waterman whose gained legendary status by riding the big waves of Hawaii. Healey is mentally prepared to paddle into waves that no one else wants, which is a game changer if you ask me.
Shane Dorian: Well he’s pretty much considered the best Big Wave surfer in the world. Have you seen his monster barrel from Jaws? ‘Nough said. But make sure to keep your eye peeled for Dorian going left. I’ve heard he’s out for that elusive Mavericks barrel.
Kelly Slater: Probably the most well know surfer in the world. Slater is an 11-time World Champion who has been a dedicated Big Wave rider as well. He’s only ridden Mavericks 2 other times, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of style points he brings to the competition.
I’m headed down early Sunday to catch all the action, so Pictures and a new Post to come next week.
2. X Games Aspen
This event has always been a favorite of mine to watch in person or on TV. Fortunately this year I am headed to “ … a place where the beer flows like wine. Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I’m talkin’ about a little place called Aspen”. I’ll be live Tweeting and Facebooking for GoodPeople.com. Like GoodPeople on FB and follow @GoodPeople on Twitter to get all the behind the scenes action. There’s a bunch of interesting story lines I am particularly stoked on for this year’s games:
1. Tanner Hall is Back: He’s kind of like the godfather of X Games skiing, but he’s 29 and has broken both his knees, and now he’s back trying to gain a spot in the Olympics. Should be interesting to see how he competes against all the teenagers.
2. X Games has Joined the World Snowboard Tour: This is particularly exciting because for the first time the X Games actually mean something to the Athletes in the rankings to be the best snowboarder in the world Yes, the X Games have always meant something, it’s been the crème de la crème of competitions, but it’s never had any points bearing for athletes in search of the title, but now it does!
3. The Influence of the Olympics: Even though the X Games is not a qualifier for the Olympics there will still be a ton of influential factors affecting these games. A) There will definitely be a rise in the overall level of competition. B) There are more competitors, which means bigger and better tricks. C) There will be more specialization within each discipline for athletes so they can really focus on what’s important. D) You will most certainly feel the heightened level of competition on the female side. And E) With Slopestyle Skiing and Pipe Skiing being included in the Olympics, the X Games is the perfect stage for athletes to live up to their potential and put on a sick show!
4. Shaun White vs. Mark McMorris: Everyone loves a good old rivalry. Well these 2 will be the talk of the X Games. McMorris was the 2012 Gold Medalist in the Big Air & Slopestyle competitions, and he was the first person to land a triple cork 1440. In 2011 White didn’t even make the Slopestyle finals, but he did grab Gold in Tignes for Pipe and Slope. So their resumes are stacking up, and we’re pretty sure White’s been practicing his triple, so it seems to be, that whoever goes the biggest might have the games in the bag … we’ll see!
3. The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast
This event is the first stop on the ASP Surfing World Tour. I’m always a little partial to it because I got to catch a bunch of the competition in 2004 when I was studying abroad in Australia, plus Kelly Slater and I had a moment there, so yeah. This year’s world tour will be a little different with Joel Parkinson being the one to beat after he dethroned Kelly at the Pipeline Masters. It’ll be interesting to see if Kelly comes back to reclaim his birthright or retires and enjoys Victoria Bitters from the beach.
4. GoPro Hero 3
I am so stoked for whatever my next action sports activity is because my boyfriend and I have just welcomed a new exciting member into our family: the GoPro Hero 3! I’m looking forward to sharing our reviews of the new camera and our shreddits.
5. Oakley Air Wave Goggles
Another new product I am really excited to try is the Oakley Air Wave Goggles. If anyone needs a tester … I could be that person. There are so many reasons to have these goggles, which have a built in display that integrates GPS and Bluetooth. They track your speed and vertical as well as giving you instant access to analytics that show distance, height, and airtime for jumps. There’s also preloaded maps, music playlist controls, buddy tracking, and get this, incoming text messages and calls. They run at about $600, so they aren’t cheap, but seem to be well worth the money spent, but I’d have to try them to give a real review.
Ever since moving to the San Francisco last year, Kitesurfing has been at the top of my bucket list of new sports to try. From the looks of it there seems to be an amazing juxtaposition of graceful power dominating this sport and it is something that I am looking forward to mastering through out my life. It definitely won’t be this year but I am looking forward to getting in the water and learning the patterns of the wind and how to get catch some air.
7. Woodward Tahoe
Back in October when the snow had just started to fall, and I was getting super stoked for winter, I joined the SheJumps Girls and Woodward Tahoe for their Ladies Night. What an awesome experience everyone should try. I was able to master the back flip on the tramp, something I hadn’t done since I was 12 years old. Now that Woodward is fully on my radar I plan to take my skills to the next level and get some more tramp sessions in this season. (Stay tuned for a special post from Rachel about her Woodward experience!)
8. The Backcountry
The backcountry is something I’ve never really dabbled in. I’ve done some side-country off of Vail, and I’ve always been satisfied by the fun I had exploring the mountains in-bounds that I never really needed to get that extra little bit of pow. But now, I see it as more of a way to challenge myself and up my game. With this being said the backcountry side of the snowsports industry is on the up and up, and it seems like everyone wants to get into some forbidden pow. So this year I’d like to get educated on avalanches and all the equipment I need to fully be the best backcountry partner I can be. Stay tuned for my adventures in the backcountry.
Stand Up Paddling is an activity I enjoy immensely and would like to get into more often. You can do it everywhere! Lakes, the ocean, they bay, rivers! I pretty much want to have a SUP on me at all times so I can get on whatever body of water I run into. So my goal of the year is to actually own a SUP and take it on camping adventures around California.
So there it is. My exciting list of events, products, and activities I’ll be jumping into in 2013. Stay posted for updates on Mavericks and the X Games in the next couple of weeks. Don’t forget to follow me @RachShredGnar for my live musings.