Staff Picks – Jin’s Bargain Snowboard Setup

This setup features gear from previous seasons that is currently in-stock at Sturtevants.com. This package can be purchased for $500!

The package above includes a Rome Factory Rocker Snowboard ($240), Burton Rampant Boots ($120) and Burton Mission Bindings ($140).

The Rome Factory Rocker Snowboard is consistently on many ‘Best Value’ lists. Even at an MSRP of $340, it’s probably the lowest priced ‘hybrid’ snowboard on the market (one that features a combination of camber underfoot and overall rocker shape). When it’s on sale, it’s an even better deal.

I miss my Burton Rampant Boots. If I didn’t have an opportunity to try multiple pairs of boots each season, I would probably wear my Rampants as my primary pair. They’re the lightest pair I’ve worn, and I love that they’re comfortable whether they’re tied tight, or worn loose. These have a great combination of features, especially for their relatively low MSRP of $200. I’m not someone who wants too many bells and whistles in my boots, so these basic lace-ups with a solid Imprint liner are perfect for me.

Again, I’m going to show my plastic binding bias here, but at $140, the Burton Mission bindings offer many features that were once reserved for Burton’s top of the line bindings in previous seasons.

If you have any questions or would like to try and locate some of these products, please email us at customerservice at sturtevants.com! Thanks for reading!

Staff Picks – Jin’s Snowboard Setup

With the new season just around the corner, we wanted to give some input on what gear “we” are most excited about. So here goes!

Hey everyone. Jin here. I’m going to offer up 2 setups today. One featuring all new 2015 equipment with a combined price of $1,000. And a second featuring a combined price of $500 that’s more geared towards those of us on a budget.

The above setup features the 2015 Capita Indoor Survival Snowboard ($400), 2015 Burton Cartel Bindings ($240), and the 2015 Nike Kaiju boots ($360).

Capita – Out of all the snowboards we carry, I chose the Indoor Survival because of the shape (true twin and flat camber). For the past few years I’ve gone back and forth between camber, reverse camber and hybrids. If you’ve never tried a reverse camber snowboard, you’ll notice how playful and fun they are, until you’re trying to hold an edge on ice or groomed runs. Camber is the opposite, where you’re able to hold an edge on just about anything, but it’s not as playful.

Flat snowboards and hybrid snowboards offer a balanced combination of both.

There’s also a desire among many snowboarders to support small ‘core’ brands. And with that said, we’re glad to have Capita back in our stores.

Nike Boots – Nike may seem like the opposite of a ‘core’ brand, but boots tend to be a part of the winter industry where small companies struggle. Mainly due to the lack of resources and research and development. After breaking my leg on a pair of stiff double BOA boots, I decided last season to give these mid-flex boots a try. And everything people have said about them are true. My feet were never sore (usually my feet require a few days of riding to break in new boots) and they felt like I had casual sneakers on. It’s unfortunate that Nike will likely be out of the industry after this upcoming season, so if you want a pair of Nike boots, you’ll have to jump on them now.

Burton Cartels – Bindings, to me, are more important than any other piece of gear. They go through the most tinkering and adjusting during a day of riding, and if something goes wrong on your binding, your day is most likely over.

It’s also the most personal choice and the one piece of gear where brand loyalty is strong.

People seem to have strong feelings one way or the other about metal bindings versus plastic. And I’m the same way; plastic all the way!

I’ve used many brands of bindings, and I always go back to Cartels. Comfortable highbacks, screws that don’t come loose day after day, and solid straps.

Next, I’ll post a good solid $500 setup for those of us on a budget.

North Face Ultra Trail Running Shoe Review – Men’s

Dark Shadow Grey / TNF Red – US Men’s size 9.5

I had an opportunity to try out and test the North Face Ultra Trail Running Shoes over the past week. That included a day of wearing the shoes around the office to break ‘em in, wearing the shoes during a Crossfit session, and a short hour-long hike on Cougar Mountain.

First Impressions: Before trying them on, I was really surprised at how light they are. I thought to myself, “Could these be lighter than the Nike Flyknit 4.0?” It turns out, they’re not quite that light, but still really light by most standards (the North Face weighs 9.1 ounces per shoe, while the FlyKnit measures 7.8 ounces). And you’d expect them to hold up well, since they’re designed for outdoor and trail use, but durability has yet to be confirmed.

My previous trail running shoes were made by a different brand and they blew out on the sides along the seam. So I’m glad there appears to be more reinforcement in this particular shoe.

Sidenote: My foot actually measures 8.5 EEE, but I always wear size 9.5, mainly because I don’t like my toes touching the front of a shoe. They fit true to size, like every other 9.5 on my short-wide feet.

The Verdict: So far, I love these shoes. You don’t feel any seams or edges. The tongue feels a tad short, but it was probably designed that way since it’s out of the way and you don’t realize it’s there. I tend to tie my shoes a little looser due to my wide foot, but my foot still felt secure during all my activities.

I haven’t had a chance to actually do any trail running in them (I have a hard time running much due to my recovery from a broken leg), but I did run in them for a short distance on hot pavement during a Crossfit session and they felt solid underfoot. I checked the Vibram soles, and they still look brand new. Not sure why but I expected them to melt a little bit in the almost 90 degree weather we’ve been having. That was not the case. I realize it wasn’t really designed for gym use, but I thought it would be a good test for the shoe.

During the short hike, they were more comfortable than expected. I’m used to hiking in mid-top boots with Gore-Tex to help protect my foot. But it was nice to have on something extremely light and breathable. The sole provided great grip. I stopped a few times to test the shoes on an incline and they held up great. I will probably go back to the boots when fall and winter arrive (along with all the rain), but these shoes will definitely be in the rotation for future hikes, especially in dry conditions.

*North Face shoes can be special ordered through Sturtevants. If interested, please email customerservice at sturtevants.com.

About The Reviewer: It’s easy to pick a winter sport, it’s either skiing or snowboarding. But summer time is when I get to try lots of different things, although I don’t really get to excel at any one. So look for my reviews on hiking gear, tennis products, golf, mountain biking, and more. -Jin

Father’s Day Sale 2014!

 

Father’s Day is June 15th!

Pick out something nice for Dad during our Father’s Day Sale!

June 2nd-15th

In-Store Only at Sturtevant’s in Bellevue and Ski Mart in Alderwood and Tacoma!!

Receive 20% OFF Men’s Spring 2014 Tennis, Golf, Active Apparel, Footwear, Life Vests, and Wetsuits!!

Receive an additional 10% OFF Sale Men’s Tennis, Golf, and Active Apparel!!

*Discount is off original retail price, taken at register. Not combinable with any other discount or offer.

Mother’s Day 2014

Mother’s Day is coming up, Sunday May 11, 2014!

To help celebrate mom’s everywhere, we’re offering 20% off women’s Spring 2014 tennis, golf, active apparel, wetsuits, life vests and footwear.

We’re even offering an additional 10% off tennis, golf and active apparel items that are already on sale.

This deal takes place in-store only, at our Sturtevants Bellevue, and Ski Mart Alderwood and Tacoma locations.

Introducing Reel Cameras

About a week ago, I was doing some spring cleaning and found my GoPro Hero 3 Black edition tucked away in my file cabinet. Out of curiosity, I grabbed one of our shipping scales and did a quick comparison of the GoPro and one of our newest cameras, the Reel Slayer HD.

I was surprised to find out that the Reel Slayer HD is smaller and lighter by a considerable margin (both with and without the plastic casing). Now I know what some of you may be thinking, “What’s a fraction of an ounce here and there?” And I agree. I’m not one to obsess, but the fact remains that the GoPro marketing always points out when newer models are 10%, 20% or 30% lighter / smaller than their previous models. And when I saw the scale readings, I had to do a double take, “Is this camera actually lighter than the GoPro?”

If my calculations are correct, the 2.4 ounce Reel Slayer HD is a little over 14% lighter than the 2.8 ounce Hero Black.

But the cool thing about the Reel is that it already includes an LCD screen that is built in, and includes a tripod mount in the case. Once you add the LCD screen and tripod adapter to the GoPro, and the weight difference becomes more significant.

To be completely fair though, the GoPro Hero 3 Black edition offers higher definition recording modes than the Reel Slayer HD. No camera can compare to the top of the line $400 GoPro. The Slayer HD doesn’t offer 4K, and records at a maximum of 1080P at 30 frames per second. But for almost all my videos, I record at 720P anyways. The higher resolutions seem to drain the battery and are difficult to work with while editing.

So if you’re on a budget, and want an all in one package, the Reel is a great option that will work for most sports enthusiasts, especially at $299.

My favorite camera of all time is still the Contour Roam 2. It had the best combination of ease of use and battery life (the thing only used battery while recording, which was great). It’s a shame they went out of business. But the Reel Camera is quickly becoming one of our favorites, especially as we’re able to use it more and get used to the settings and controls. And we love the LCD screen, even if we mostly use it to setup shots. The battery life is superior to the GoPro, which only lasted 2 runs (about 20 minutes) at Mission Ridge on Sunday in 20 degree weather. The Contour and Reel ran out of memory card space before the battery ran out, but both were used for the entire afternoon.