Home  >  Magazine  >  Issue 37 : Nov/Dec 2010  > Columns  >  The X Factor  >  The X Factor


The X Factor

By Racer X

The X Factor


Finally, the blue skies of early winter have arrived, bringing cooler temperatures, colorful leaves and no mosquitoes on the trails. The early winter season in the wilderness or countryside is one of the best times to travel in Japan. Racer X says to get out on your feet or spin your wheels before the mountain passes close and the snow falls.

Nike Omar Salazar Skateboard Shoes
For the ‘downhills’ in life.

Omar Salazar is a gymnast on wheels and worthy of his own shoe. But when I heard Nike was making his skateboarding shoes, I wasn’t prepared to be impressed. These, however, were worth the hype. The sticky flat sole grips well and has a nice built-in arch, providing more lift for your ollie. The thick, padded tongue has a useful, low profile zipper pocket, while the mid-top fit, when laced up tight, helps improve ankle support and is recommended for ramp and park riding. Before you go and get yourself a pair, check out Omar on YouTube and his signature decks by Alien Workshop Skateboards.


Base Layers from Haglofs
Stay dry and warm in bad conditions. 

It is difficult to choose which of Haglofs 100% recycled Base Layers selection is the most useful. The 175-gram long sleeve roundneck top with offset seams gets the most wear from yours truly, although the 135-gram “short john” long underwear will soon be put to the winter test as I try to keep my bum warm under my dasai snowboard wear. While not cheap, these fabrics are worth their weight in gold if you are caught outside in a rainstorm or worse. With a patented “dryskin” fabric that wicks away moisture and keeps the body dry, the Haglofs base layers provide next-to-skin comfort for serious outdoor enthusiasts and city athletes.


Tokyo Bike
More than just human powered fashion.

Tokyo Bike produces reasonable city bikes for sale throughout Japan and have been helpful in introducing cycling to young and old people as a way of transportation, exercise and enjoyment. The bikes are simple, well made and come in assorted sizes yet not recommended for very tall or large riders. I like the ¥52,000 “Classic” model with five colors to choose from and the ¥48,000 SS single speed street machine. Check out their website for information on where you can try out or rent a bicycle before you buy one.


Alien Workshop X Andy Warhol Skateboard Decks
“Art is what you can get away with.” -- Andy Warhol

Would Warhol be rolling over in his grave or rolling downhill with a smile? The Dayton, Ohio, Alien Workshop has gone high brow with its 10 limited edition skateboard decks featuring Andy Warhol’s ground-breaking artwork. The graphics may make them collectable, but the decks are worth talking about, regardless of the artwork. Stiff seven-ply construction with signature pro models in different sizes and camber. Check them out soon before Sotheby’s holds an auction.