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The X Factor

By Racer X

The X Factor


It seems as If the snow has just melted and it's already time for sunscreen, sandals and the beach. A revolution in ways to play in the ocean, rivers and lakes is happening around the world as new designs for paddleboards, kiteboards and surfboards are drawing more people to the water's edge for fitness and fun

C4 Waterman Sub-Vector Paddleboard
Balance, Endurance, Strength, Tradition

Represented by the popular RealBVoice brand in Japan, the C4 Waterman series is the standard for "SUP" (stand-up paddleboarding). Beach boy riding has taken off from the local shores of Makaha and Waikiki, with many new and old surfers praising the positive fitness effects, core training and the enjoyable ride with or without waves. Check out the 9’6” C4 Sub-Vector with a hard diamond tail for riders who want radical turning radiuses and firm edges without giving up stability, or the 14’ C4 “Vortice” for cruising on lakes or hardcore racing between Islands.


Cabrinha Kiteboards
When surfing the ocean and rivers is not enough, try the ski

Bruno and Dominique Legaignoux are credited with producing an inflatable kite in 1985 that spawned the sport of kiteboarding. Athletes, such as Maui "Jaws" surfer Peter Cabrhina, have continued to improve the technology, showing the world how it is done. For good value, the Cabrinha "Prodigy" is an excellent entry-level board. Match that with a Cabrinha "Switchblade" kite for a killer set-up on which you can progress. Nick Katz, owner of Kiteboarding Japan school and pro shop in Hamamatsu, says, "Okinawa and Shizuoka are recognized as some of the world’s best locations for consistent wind and, if you think it looks like fun and you don’t try it, you are missing out.”











Index Ink Skateboard Decks
Creative statement for the streets by artist Chad Carothers

As skateboarding finally is emerging as a recognized sport rather than a crime, new parks and places to ride are being built around Tokyo and other cities in Japan. Index Ink is set to grind in 2010 with its limited edition Chad Carothers signature deck, complete with eye-popping graphics. Known for their southern Californian quality construction, these decks are becoming collector’s items as I write. Available at Murasaki Sports or Online at www.gumpshop.net.









Quiksilver Rash Guards
Keep the UV rays at bay and your skin happy

I have worn a lot of rash guards, but my faded Quiksilver top has lasted two years of body boarding, surfing and general wear without losing its snug fit or armpits ripping out like other cheaper models. I especially like the comfortable flat seams and choice of short or long sleeves. The longer cut helps keep me warm on chilly days. The stylish graphics of the “Phiten” and “Proof” shirts are also much easier on the eyes than many of the fashion faux pas found on the beach these days.