Category Archives: General

Volcom Draft Shoes Review

We all have that one embarrassing memory of walking on a wet surface, only to end up awkwardly flailing in sheer panic, desperately trying to grab onto anything in arms reach. Sadly though, the final result often leaves us sprawled painfully on the floor, greeted by the laughter of friends, family or anyone lucky enough to have witnessed our misfortune.

Depressingly, I was cursed with being accident prone from birth, so this memory is a reoccurring nightmare for me on a weekly basis due to working as a boat driver and wakeboarding instructor.   

“Should have worn better shoes” a phrase that is frequently repeated to me every time a colleague or kind stranger picks me up from my slip of doom.

Volcom Draft Shoes

I feel the guys at Tallington Lakes Pro Shop were taking pity on me when they offered me the chance to try out these ‘Volcom Draft Shoes’, assuring me that I would never fall again. This is essentially like telling a child they are about to move to Disneyland.

It was love at first sight when I opened the box to these pristine conditioned Volcom’s staring up at me. I have never really been a fan of wearing shoes without socks (be they water shoes or not), but when I discovered these Volcoms are lycra lined for ultimate comfort, I decided to test the theory. If feet could talk, they would be singing with joy. Putting on these shoes is like slipping into pure bliss. I was a little hesitant because the width of my feet are on par with bigfoot, but the lycra lining easily adjusts to the shape of your feet.

According to Volcom’s website:

“The Draft shoe was created for incredible breathability and control… design features laser perforations for steady air flow. Sweat and moisture are quickly dispersed, allowing for rapid drying.”

Thankfully, working on a lake provides me with just about enough water to test Volcom’s “rapid drying” statement. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how rapid the drying truly was.  After fully submerging both feet, the shoes did not become uncomfortable to wear or walk around in – if only they could walk on water, it would make them the perfect shoe.

vplcom draft shoes
It was love at first sight when I opened the box to these pristine conditioned Volcom’s staring up at me.

“Ortholite anti-microbial footbed prevents odors and bacteria from spreading”

Now not only do I have abnormally shaped feet, whenever they get sweaty or wet, the smell that is produced is enough to knock out all forms of life in a 10-metre radius. Therefore, I was pessimistic about Volcoms anti-microbial claim. Once again, I was surprised to find that the shoes were holding the toxic smell at bay. People were willingly approaching me without pinching their nose whilst the squirrels and birds didn’t fall from the trees. 

“Custom rubber trading provides enhanced traction and stability for wet and dry surfaces. Lightweight compression moulded EVA midsole offers lasting comfort for years of non-stop wear.”

Here comes the most important aspect for me. When the decking on the dock becomes wet, it turns into a minefield of banana skins. It’s safe to say at first, I was treading gingerly on egg shells when conducting this test, however as time went by and my confidence in the shoe support grew, I could comfortably walk up and down the decking with ease. I’ve safely arrived at Disneyland folks.

To top it off the shoe comes with an EVA midsole which stands for ‘Ethyl Vinyl Acetate’ which basically means your foot is resting in the VIP section of shoe world.

If you’re after a pair of water shoes/ trainers to use near the water then you would be ‘draft’ not to purchase a pair of these!

Thanks Adam (Boat Driver and Wakeboarding Instructor)

 

 

 

 

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Smith Optics Outlier Sunglasses Review

When it comes to sunglasses, I am fussier than a fashion model with OCD:

  • Do I like the colour? Do they fit correctly on my abnormally shaped ears?
  • Are the lenses dark enough to hide my eyes, while also not impairing my vision in the shade?  
  • Will they make my nose appear the same size as Pinocchio’s?
  • Will my street cred rise a considerable amount, finally bringing me to the definition of looking “cool”?

Smith Outlier XL Polarised Chromapop Sunglasses

Therefore I was more than a little sceptical when Tallington Lakes Pro Shop asked me to review these “Smith Outlier XL Polarised ChromaPop” sunglasses. Now, as a boat driver and wakeboard instructor, having polarised sunglasses is an absolute must for me.  If the lenses fail to block the sunlight glare from the water, then I’m basically driving blind and nobody wants that…especially the poor beginner clinging to the handle for dear life behind the boat.

If you, like me, had no idea what the word “ChromaPop” meant and simply thought it was added in order to enhance the “coolness” effect of the sunglasses, then it turns out we were very wrong. Back in 2013 Smith declared:

“ChromaPop Lenses are the most advanced polarised lenses in the world… By blocking colour wave intersections as they pass through the lens, ChromaPop is able to eliminate colour confusion… ChromaPop optimises colour and increases clarity, enabling you to see the outside world with an unparalleled level of vibrancy.”

In other words, they cut through sunlight glare like a hot knife through butter whilst simultaneously spreading the jam on the bread all in one swoop…sweet.

smith optics outlier xl sunglasses
ChromaPop optimises colour and increases clarity, enabling you to see the outside world with an unparalleled level of vibrancy.

Little did I realise how truly magical that jam sandwich would be. I decided to test them around sunset when the glare from the water is at its finest, often resulting in severe wrinkles from squinting so hard, you age by at least ten years.

I was honestly blown away at how the glare from the water turned almost non-existent. I felt I was watching my life behind a new HD TV monitor and Johnny Nash ‘I can see clearly now’ began playing in my ears. 

Not only did the world now look bright and cheerful, when I glanced in my rear view mirror at myself – I wasn’t bombarded with negative thoughts regarding fitting size, shape or colour. I was pleasantly surprised with the way these glasses looked whilst sitting comfortably on the bridge of my nose. I reluctantly removed them, allowing others to test the glasses, and it was clear to see they had the same immediate reaction I did.  Noting the fact our head and faces were all different sizes, yet the glasses always fit perfectly just like Cinderella’s slipper.

If you’re a snow skier/boarder, fishing enthusiast, avid mountaineer or a fussy boat driver like me – these ‘Outliers’ are certainly high contenders in the sunglasses market and will not disappoint.

…Oh and yes, these glasses will definitely raise your street cred!  

Thanks Adam (Boat Driver)

Check out our selection of Smith Optics sunglasses; in store or online!

 

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Women’s Hoodies Fleeces Review

Ladies if you are thinking of a hoody or fleece, for when it gets a bit nippy this summer, why not have a look at a few Charlie has been trying on – it might help !

Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T Fleece

The Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T fleece is ideal in a variety of ways. Firstly this fleece provides a thermal heat with it being 100% recycled polyester which creates a snugly feeling throughout the day, especially if the day is quite chilly! The fleece is also excellent for comfort, thanks to a soft short fur layer lining the inside and high neck. The large all in one pocket not only keeps your hands warm   but can hold objects securely. There is also a small pocket on the chest of the fleece and branded badge.

Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T Fleece

From personal experience trying on this fleece I found it had a slim fit but not tight on the arms. I tried a size up than usual which I found more comfortable because of the larger fit; especially wearing a shirt underneath.

Picture Organic Clothing Nesla Hoody

The women’s Picture Nesla is another groovy styled hoody. This has a large ‘Picture Organic Clothing’ print in the centre surrounded by a summer pattern; which stands out from the navy blue colour. The hoody has  pink and white striped band around the bottom, which can be tightened. A large front pouch pocket which is ideal for keeping everyday items, or your hands warm. Extremely comfortable thanks to the 70% organic cotton.  Thick hood which was well wrapped around the neck with a unique twist.

Picture Organic Clothing Nesla Hoody

This had a slim fit and it fit me perfectly in the correct size ; so no need to go an extra size up for a comfier fit. 

Roxy Cruiser Night’s Hoody

The Roxy Cruiser Night’s hoody is a popular fashion item. This is ideal for wearing in the summer season as a form of casual wear for evenings or daytime due to the thin lining made of 60% cotton which is perfect for the summer weather and chilly evenings. The inner layer has a soft layer of fur which maintains a bearable amount of heat. This also features a simple but potent design which gives off a summer feel and represents the Roxy brand on the centre of the hoody. A front pouch which I found was ideal for keeping everyday items in or useful for just heating up my hands.

Roxy Cruiser Night’s Hoody

Volcom In A Dayz Hoody

 The Volcom In A Dayz hoody is a simple but trendsetting product however, different in a variety of ways compared to the previous hoodies. This has a zip which is perfect for matching with a shirt beneath which may contrast of the heather grey colour. I found this is easy to match with any day outfits as well as being a comfortable and thermal ideal for breezy weather, featuring two pockets ideal for warmth with the thick lining.

Volcom In A Dayz Hoody

The sizing was perfect as this wasn’t too tight or too baggy but had a stretched fit which was cosy to lounge in.

Why not check out the rest of our women’s hoodies from these and other brands!

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Oakley Crossrange Sunglasses Review

When it comes to a pair of sunglasses that are suitable for both lifestyle and active wear, Oakley have got it right. The Oakley Crossrange sunglasses aren’t a hybrid. Theses shades come with two sets of nose pads and temples, or arms (the bit that extends over the ear to help keep the sunglasses in place), to suit the conditions/mood you are wearing them in!

Oakley has a video of some cheeky hipsters, including Chas Christiansen, riding bicycles to show the versatility of these sunglasses, however, I chose to wear them:
Lifestyle – attending a Game and Country Fair
Active – walking in the Derbyshire Peak District

Lifestyle Sunglasses

The lifestyle nose pad and temples were extremely comfortable; and made the shades easy to take off and put back on, as you walked in and out of marquees and the sun. Certainly did the job, and didn’t look out of place –hipster!

Active Sunglasses

You immediately felt the active nose pad and temples get into position, when putting them on, giving you confidence that they would not be slipping out of place; thanks to the grippy nose pads and earsocks. These are made from Oakley’s ‘Unobtanium’; a patented Oakley material that becomes tacky when wet/or you sweat and holds the frame in perfect optical alignment. 

OK walking in the Peak District may not be classed as extreme, but we were keeping up a healthy pace, along undulating terrain (including a bit of scrambling). It was a warm day, so perspiration was building up, yet the sunglasses did not move. Once again extremely comfortable and I was confident they were not going to fall off!

oakley crossrange sunglasses

Crossrange

The Crossrange comes in three styles: the Crossrange, Crossrange XL, and the Crossrange R (coming soon). All are made to Oakley’s exceptionally high standards, and seeing-is-believing with these ‘High Definition Optics’. The Crossrange XL, as its name implies is for a larger face, with a lens height of 46.7mm; compared to 46.1mm and 43mm  for the Crossrange R and Crossrange. The temples and bridge are identical on all three: 137mm and 17mm respectively.

The mechanism to swap the nose pads or temples is very simple to use, yet secure, but not designed to be change mid-activity!

Prizm Lenses

Oakley is moving towards Prizm lenses in all their sunglasses, following the success of Prizm in goggles. The lenses are designed for different environment such as: Everyday, Sport – Road, Golf, Trail, Deep Water, Snow etc.

However, as I found, although designed for a particular environment they are equally effective outside of that environment. Back to my stroll around a Country Fair and walk in the Peak District; the Prizm Sapphire Snow lenses performed outstandingly without a flake of snow in sight! Obviously I will update this blog once I have experienced them in the snow; but for now, as ever, Oakley have designed another excellent pair of sunglasses….

 

 

 

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O’Neill Heritage T-Shirt Collection

Now these  may just look like normal t-shirts to you, however there is an individual story behind each one, the O’Neill Heritage T-Shirt Collection by Jack O’Neill. Back in the fifties O’Neill started up as a small surf shop. Now it’s thriving more than ever and ready to include you in the journey; inside each t-shirt is the story behind the picture on the front of the t-shirt! Welcome to the world of Jack O’Neill……

O’Neill Heritage T-Shirts

The 1950’s t-shirt features a picture of the Surf Shop which was located behind the fence, indicated by the large piece of driftwood written on by Jack and his surfer friends. This is one of the earliest photographs of the surf shop when it first opened in 1952.

oneill heritage t-shirt collection 1950
Surf Shop. Custom surf boards and tailored wet suits.

The 60’s t-shirt is made from a collection of photographs from the O’Neill Heritage archive. This particular collage of photos is called ‘First Name in the Water’ and is inspired by the old surf movie posters.

oneill heritage t-shirt collection 1960
First name in the water, O’Neill.

The 1970’s t-shirt represents the first wetsuit which came from O’Neill. The original advert shows the long john wetsuit which has no sleeves, and resembles a bib, hence the nickname.

Originals. Check out the ‘Long John’ wetsuit on the left!

These are only a few of the t-shirts from the whole Heritage Collection, which we have in stock. Please have a look for them in store or check our O’Neill clothing online!

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Fits Like A Glove (Or Mitt)! 

Whether you are cruising on corduroy, lapping the park or shredding powder, a decent pair of gloves or mittens is essential for keeping warm as your hands are usually the first thing to get cold on the hill. 

For many people, choosing between gloves or mittens is down to personal preference. Gloves will give you a bit more dexterity for picking up your poles or putting your goggles on, while mittens tend to be warmer than gloves as your fingers produce more body heat when next to each other. If you are unsure my advise would be to try both types on and if you are a skier hold a ski pole to see which feels more comfortable and gives you a nice grip. 

The key things to consider before purchasing either models are the specifications. Do they fit well? How waterproof are they? Are they windproof and breathable? 

To stop your fingers from freezing, it is important to get a pair which fits. If you go too small and your fingers are pressing on the end the cold will sooner seep into your finger tips and moisture is more likely to get inside the lining. If you go too big there will be a lot of space to fill with wasted body heat and you’ll lose some dexterity with the extra material. I would recommend trying a few on to get the best fitting pair. 

One of the most important features to look at is the waterproof rating because no matter how insulated your gloves are, if your hands get wet there is no stopping them getting cold. (This is even more important for snowboarders who tend to have more frequent hand contact with the snow). Most waterproof ratings for snow wear will range between 5,000ml and 20,000ml. I would advise an absolute minimum of 5K which will give you only some resistance to water. 10K plus for general conditions would be better but 20K plus is essential to keep you dry in wetter conditions. 

Many ski and snowboard brands including Patagonia and Salomon use Gore Tex technology which guarantees to keep your hands dry with an equivalent rating of 28K. Gore Tex is also breathable and windproof which enable temperature control of your hands in all conditions. This is just as important as the waterproofing as it helps prevent your gloves getting wet from the inside with sweat. You may find the use of Gore Tex adds a bit to the price tag however it is worth every penny. If you are looking for something more affordable, other brands have their own waterproofing and breathable technology including Dakine’s DK Dry which I am currently using and has held up strong in all conditions from +10C and sunny to -15C and snowy 

Then once you have narrowed it down to which specific features you want in a pair of gloves or mitts, the exciting part is choosing which design. Happy pickings!

Thanks Louise for the advice!

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Dakine Prospect Bib Snow Pants Review

As people back home have probably heard Europe has had a slow start to the season with unseasonably high temperatures throughout December. However when it has snowed this year it has been falling intensely with two 50 cm plus snow falls in 24 hour time periods. This has provided us with a wide variety of condition to test the Dakine Prospect Bib Snow Pants!

Dakine Prospect Bib Snow Pants

The first impression you get from the Prospects is how incredibly light they are compared to other winter pants. This lightness provides a fantastic feel when skiing and touring as you aren’t restricted by any heavy materials. They are built from 3 layer Gore-tex which provides the trousers with a formidable shell against all conditions. Despite being out on a few torrential ski days this year I am yet to see the trouser soak through even when sat on wet chairlifts. The bib design is  a great feature for any powder lovers as it ensures protection of your base layers even on the deepest of days and the occasional tumble!

dakine prospect bib snow pants
The bib design is a great feature for any powder lovers as it ensures protection of your base layers even on the deepest of days and the occasional tumble!

However it is not just in miserable conditions that the Prospect shines. I have been touring in them in +15 and there lightweight breathability means that they control your temperature very well. With multiple vents  featured on the trouser you are able to make quick adjustments whilst on the route up as well as insulating your warmth at the top.  

We have been skiing for eight weeks now and as stated the condition have been tricky with plenty of grass and rock on show. This has highlighted one of best features of the Prospect.The reinforced cuffs at the bottom of the legs have made them considerable more durable than other snow pants. Despite being scraped between rocks and ski boot on numerous occasion they are yet to show any sign of wear and the strong boot gators stay firmly attached to the boot.

Overall I would say that the Dakine Prospect Bib Snow Pants are a great piece of kit which when utilised with good base layers provides exceptional performance in the majority of condition a mountain can throw at you.

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Patagonia Outdoor Clothing

Tallington Lakes are proud to announce the arrival of Patagonia Outdoor Clothing to the Pro Shop. Patagonia’s ethos is to “build the best product” and “cause no unnecessary harm” to the environment; which is important to us too!

Firstly we are keen to provide our customers with products that are fit for purpose; products we know will perform in the extreme environments we call our playground. Whether skiing or snowboarding; we have a selection of Patagonia clothing that will enable you to remain comfortable on the mountain. By layering a mixture of the breathable, insulating and waterproofing garments you can regulate your body temperature to the surrounding weather conditions; ensuring you can perform to your best.

The ladies and men’s specific fit are both made to the highest standards, and should last you for years. However if it doesn’t Patagonia are keen to repair it for you; check out their ‘Ironclad Guarantee’.

Secondly, like us and our customers, Patagonia care about the environment. We all love the ‘great outdoors’, so it’s important we take care of it. Patagonia, and many of the other brands we stock, is looking at ways to produce products of an environmentally friendly nature. They have gone to great length to ensure the sourcing and production of the garments has the least impact on the environment. And because Patagonia products are built to last, the impact is reduced further!

So if you are looking for the ‘best product’ and ‘care about the environment’ why not pop in store, or go online, and check out our range Patagonia Outdoor Clothing – you won’t be disappointed!

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Falke SK2 Ski Socks Review

Whether you are a skier or snowboarder, you know a full day in boots has the potential to get sore, and really ruin your holiday. Falke want you to enjoy skiing every day – all day, and their socks really show this. The Falke SK2 ski socks feature a medium level of padding in stress zones like your shins and instep for protection and comfort, along with an asymmetric right and left toe box.

I’ve worn my SK2 socks while both skiing and snowboarding on our own dry slope here at Tallington Lakes, and at two different indoor slopes, and I think they are fantastic! All the padded zones aren’t just for looks; I really felt the difference. The padded zones on the shins are really effective for reducing that pressure you can sometimes feel when pushing forward into your boots. With some socks, the padding can cause a bit of rubbing due to how they are knitted, but with Falke’s socks that’s reduced due to the thin terry style knit giving it a softer, less abrasive feel against the skin.

falke sk2 ski sock
All the padded zones aren’t just for looks; I really felt the difference.

I had my ankle reconstructed when I was younger which makes it a lot less flexible than it should be, and some days my ankle feels particularly stiff which mean I really have to force my foot into the boot which can really hurt. Now, I’m not saying these socks removed the issue but I did notice the reinforced instep helped to ease the pain which is really nice!

Once my feet get cold, there’s not really much I can do to save them. I’ve got quite a few different brands of ski/snowboard socks and considering these Falke socks are a merino wool blend, rather than 100% merino like some of my socks, I was pleasantly surprised as to how warm they kept my feet, and how breathable they actually felt! Not only do these ski socks feature the usual merino properties of heat retention, and moisture wicking properties they have merino’s natural odour control, which is ideal if you need to wear them more than once… ‘Cause honestly, whoever says they don’t try get multiple days out of a ski sock is probably lying to you…

Another cool thing about Falke socks is that they also do socks that are designed for snowboarding, with snowboard boots and bindings in mind. So, whether you are a skier or a snowboarder they have designed socks that’ll keep your piggies warm while protecting your shins, ankles and toes from pressure bruising, leaving you to enjoy the day from your morning on piste all the way through to après ski in the evening!

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Arbor Fish AC 39” Skateboard Review

As an avid skateboarder, as a kid, I was looking to reviewing the Arbor Fish AC 39” Skateboard.  Long gone are the days of kick flips and concrete half pipes, instead my board of choice is on the snow. However, in the summer months I need something to fill the gap left by the lack of snow on the hills, and I feel like I may have found that something.

Arbor Fish AC 39” Skateboard

The first difference between the Arbor Fish and my old trick skateboards is the length – measuring at 39”, in comparison with the 28” lengths of my old boards. Instantly the extra length gives a much more stable ride, and therefore an overall more enjoyable experience as I’m not in constant fear of falling onto concrete at high speeds.

The large Sucrose Initiative Mosh Series Wheels are super smooth, and give an effortless ride even on brick-laid pavements. They absorb all the small bumps and pebbles, and the bearings make one push last what seems forever. The wheels are softer than the trick skateboard’s, making your cruise silent, compared to the extremely loud trick wheels. This also means heads won’t be turning and pointing their annoyed expressions your way as you ride by.

arbor skateboard with lake in background
The Arbor Fish skateboards don’t have a nose or tail like a traditional skateboard, which can take some getting used to.

The Fish skateboards don’t have a nose or tail like a traditional skateboard, which can take some getting used to. Rather than using the tail to control direction, leaning from side to side changes the direction of the trucks and wheels. It gives your ride a much surfier, snowboarding feel, which would explain why I personally enjoy it so much.

The Arbor skateboards are available with a range of unique artwork – the Photo Collection, Artist Collection, and Bamboo Collection to name a few. A number of the boards have Lucid Grip in place of the traditional black grip tape. Lucid Grip is clear grip, made of crushed recycled glass which is sprayed on the board, giving a natural wood appearance. So basically they look awesome too, as well as being extremely well-made, solid skateboards.

Thanks Jake (Snowboard, Skiing and Climbing Instructor)

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