Monthly Archives: March 2012

Gander Mountain Plans Smaller Stores

March 26, 2012

“Gander Mountain Co. on Wednesday announced plans to open a new retail store in Valdosta, Ga. The St. Paul-based outdoor sporting goods retailer has 114 stores in 23 states. The last time it entered a new market was 2009, when it opened in Sprinfield, Ill. Its most recent new store to open in an existing Gander Mountain market was in Onalaska, Wis., which opened 11 months ago. The new 52,000-square-foot Valdosta store is expected to be a model for future Gander Mountain stores in small-to-mid-size markets across the country.”

Read the rest of the article at www.bizjournals.com.

Lululemon Reaches $1.0B in Revenue for 2011

March 24, 2012

Lululemon’s Net revenue for the fiscal year 2011 increased 40.6% to $1.0 billion from $711.7 million in fiscal 2010. As Darren Rovell on twitter mentioned on March 22nd: “Lululemon has hit $1 billion in sales. Joins Under Armour, which hit the $1 billion mark in 2010.” He then tweeted: “Lululemon took yoga to $1 billion, Under Armour took compression to $1 billion. What’s the next sports niche? Don’t say coconut water.”

Christine Day, lululemon’s CEO, stated: “Reaching a billion dollars in revenue is clearly an important milestone that as a company we can all be very proud of. But far more important than the number itself are the beliefs, values, culture and people that achieved it. We really are so much more than our numbers; it is the everyday actions of our dedicated team that translates into an unparalleled guest experience and allows us to achieve our ultimate goal of elevating the world.”

Lululemon has definitely proved there is a large yoga market that is only getting larger. They have reached a milestone that only solidifies their name as the first brand you hear when thinking yoga.

RIP-IT Batting Helmets and Baseball Bats! The Game of Baseball is Not without Its Risks…

March 19, 2012

The Game of Baseball is Not without Its Risks…

The game of baseball has been entertaining millions of spectators and participants for many decades. It can be a very dangerous game, though. In recent years, Major League players have taken fastballs to the helmet suffering severe concussions that have taken them out of action for weeks. The importance of wearing quality batting helmets cannot be overemphasized, whether you are a pro or playing little league.

Of course, players at bat are not the only ones at risk. Consider the pitcher who is staring down the batter at close range. In little league (players up to the age of 12) it is a distance of 46 feet from the pitcher’s mound to the batter’s box. In the pros, it is 60 feet, 6 inches. That does not leave much reaction time when a line drive is hit straight at you, particularly when you are off balance from your wind up, release and follow through. Imagine a 90 mph pitch coming off a bat at 108 mph that gives the pitcher .375 of a second to react! Many prudent pitchers are more concerned with protecting various body parts than trying to catch the baseball.

In recent years, there has been talk about putting a ban on aluminum bats since they increase the speed of a hit ball by 4 mph. This increases the chances of injury for pitchers. This is why, in the NCAA, aluminum bats need to conform to new BBCOR bats (Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution) specs and regulations. BBCOR is the NCAA’s new method of measuring bat performance.

Regulations focus on getting the bat manufacturers to deaden the trampoline– like effect that a bat has on a ball. The idea is to get aluminum bats to react more like the old traditional wood bats, making the sport safer. The trade off is fewer home runs and less excitement.

Listed below are some of the more common injuries that are suffered by batters and pitchers:

• Muscle Strain
• Meniscus Tears
• Hand/Wrist Injuries
• Elbow Tendinitis
• Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
• Tears of the labrum
• Dead Arm
• Oblique Strains

Of course, batters and pitchers are not the only ones susceptible to baseball injuries. Players in every position are always dealing with sprains, muscle pulls, broken bones, and concussions.

Another thing to note is that injuries don’t always take place on the field. As noted in a February 2011 article on electro-mech.com, lots of freakish and weird injuries have caused professional baseball players to end up on the injured list. One example given was Marty Cordova of the Baltimore Orioles who fell asleep under a tanning lamp causing burns on his face. His doctor ordered him to stay out of direct sunlight causing him to miss the next game. Another was Adam Eaton of the San Diego Padres who cut himself while anxiously trying to cut open a new DVD with a paring knife. Lastly, Mat Latos of the San Diego Padres suffered a severe spasm that put him on the injured list for 15 days when he sneezed real hard coming out of the dugout! Baseball players suffer a wide range of injuries, whether on the field or off. Baseball is a fun game, but it is not without its risks.

Epson Offers GPS Running Monitor

March 13, 2012

“Seiko Epson Corporation has developed a GPS-enabled running monitor with a thin design. Designed to be worn on the wrist, the monitor uses GPS to provide runners with accurate distance, pace and other data. Epson plans to release a commercial version of the monitor in Japan in 2012 as the company’s first entry in the electronic sporting goods market.”

Read more about the Epson GPS-enabled running monitors at GPSWorld.com.

GoPro HD Hero Camera Review!

March 12, 2012

If you’re into any type of sport, hobby or extreme sport whether it’s biking, skateboarding, motocross, kite boarding, snowboarding or wakeboarding, the Go Pro Hero Helmet Camera is a great device to capture those unique shots and deliver high quality video at an affordable price point. Home videos have been exploding in the past few years with advancements in small cameras and editing software giving amateurs the tools and ability to produce some entertaining short films. I have had my Go Pro Camera over a year now and brought it with me on my trip to Venezuela to capture all my South American adventures including kite boarding and scuba diving. In that time, I have developed an unbiased opinion of the camera as a whole.

There are Pros and Cons of the Go Pro Camera. The image quality is great for a camera of its size and price, which retails for about $300. The one issue you will see consumers discussing on the web is low light and overexposure. All cameras have a hard time producing great images in low light and as expected the Go Pro does as well. I am totally fine with it because I know the size and price of a camera that captures great shots in low light; however, the trend is that everything seems to get smaller with improvements in technology and I’m sure there will be a Go Pro Camera or another comparable device that is capable of shooting in low light in the near future. Larger, semi pro cameras like the Canon XH-A1 are in the $5K range.

The same goes for overexposure but just the opposite, too much light. Ask anyone that regularly shoots still or video and the number one key to getting a good shot is lighting! So here’s the breakdown, when lighting is perfect you better be using your Go Pro. Too much light or too little light will result in lower quality videos but don’t worry, you will be able to correct some of that with color correction in your editing software and not too mention, the average person probably wont be able to tell the difference. As for under water shooting like my scuba diving adventure in Los Roques, the video turned out very well with limited blurring. A good picture quality none the less and I have heard that Go Pro is addressing the underwater blurring issue and should have a product fix soon.

As for the Go Pro mounting system…my theory is that Go Pro exhausted all their resources on the development of the camera and in turn, falling short on their mounting system. If you’re only using it for one sport, you probably won’t feel my frustration. On the other hand, if you’re like me and you’re into multiple sports like Kiteboarding, snowkiting, wakeboarding, snowboarding, single track and small catamaran sailing then you’ll feel the wrath of frustration switching between sports, keeping track of the pieces, changing mount locations and worst of all, only having a side mount available and trying to figure out how to film right side up. I don’t, by any means have a solution to the ill engineered mounting system but I know that they could have come up with something that doesn’t require a screw and a bolt and a feature that allows you to rotate the camera on its mount. Don’t get me wrong, their system does work; I just know it could work better and easier and I bet we’ll see improvements on their future Go Pro models like the Go Pro Hero2.

So let’s recap, $300 for a HD waterproof versatile camera, yeah it’s worth it! The Go Pro is a solid performing device that will only get better with time. The image quality is great, size is great, the interface is good (could use a little of Apple’s creativity), mounting is average and could use some improvements, and I am even impressed with their customer service. When I broke a mount, I emailed Go Pro a pic of it and they sent me a new one in the mail, no questions asked; that goes a long way in my book. In all, I do not regret my purchase one bit and have captured some pretty sweet moments that I will have forever!

Check out our latest Go Pro short film from our trip to the Porcupine Mountains in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan, right on the shore of Lake Superior.



“The World’s Most Versatile Camera. Wear it. Mount it. Love it”

The Hitting JackIt System

March 11, 2012

Baseball season is arriving and there will be plenty of new baseball products hitting the local sports stores shelves. A new product that helps develop bat speed during batting practice is the Hitting JackIt System.

The product comes in four sizes to assist progressive training. The 9oz size develops bat speed and works fast twitch muscles. The 12oz size strengths hands and forearms, and improves muscle memory. The 16oz size develops power and the 21oz “on deck” size builds Big League power. The product works with all baseball and softball bats allowing players to develop during live batting practice sessions and off hitting tees.

All current weighted products on the market are placed on the barrel of the bat causing a “casting” elongated swing, slowing down your swing causing less power and do not let you practice with live pitching. The Hitting Jack-it was developed as a complete hitting system by ball players for ball players to provide immediate results, quickly develop bat speed and power, and force your hands to work properly creating improved technique.

Some Major Leaguers are using the Hitting JackIt, including Evan Longoria. On February 16th, Longoria(@Evan3Longoria) tweeted about the Hitting JackIt: “Spring is coming quickly, pick up a Hitting Jackit System! I promise you won’t regret it. Been using it for 2 yrs now, it’s an amazing tool!” Longoria then tweeted about it again on Feb 28th, “Pick up the Hitting Jackit System. No joke, I am happy I worked with it this offseason. Looking forward to getting going!”

Here are a few videos showing how the Hitting JackIt System works:




You can purchase the all in one system with 9oz, 12oz and 16oz or 5oz, 9oz and 12oz weights included for $49.99. You can buy the 16oz and 21oz weights individually for $19.95 and $21.95 a piece.

Soybu Lifestyle Apparel Now at Sports Authority

March 3, 2012

Soybu, a woman’s performance and lifestyle apparel brand, and Sports Authority, one of the nation’s largest full-line sporting goods retailers, today announced the launch of Soybu apparel distribution in all 472 Sports Authority stores in 45 states.

Soybu is developed and designed to perform for the active woman in yoga class, at the gym, around town and at home. Soybu fabrics are made from a blend of eco-friendly, organic cotton, bamboo and soy. Each item of Soybu clothing is rigorously fit-tested for durability, wearability and technical performance. The result is soft, stretchy and comfortable clothing that Soybu skillfully blends into vibrant prints and colors.

Commenting on the launch, Chief Merchandise Officer Greg Waters said, “Sports Authority takes great pride in joining forces with brands like Soybu that are innovative and cutting edge. When a woman is looking to add Soybu to her wardrobe, we want her to think of Sports Authority as her shopping headquarters.” Jeff Schmidt, Soybu’s founder added “Soybu combines the best of strength and balance in women’s performance apparel – it’s a great fit of Sports Authority customers. When a woman wears Soybu, she can trust that it will not only look beautiful, but it will last.”

It is great to see an all-women’s lifestyle brand get tested out at 145 stores at one of the largest nationwide sporting goods retailers, then get rolled out to all stores. The nationwide roll out started in mid February. Soybu is definitely a brand you should check out.