Ben Kerns

Why Fat Biking Is Kind of Awesome

Fat Biking is a sport a lot of people love to hate. That usually happens when something comes along so awesome that it makes people who haven’t had the opportunity to try it a little jealous. The truth is, there are a lot of reasons why fat bikes are awesome.

Improved Traction
Fat bikes were designed for rougher terrain, but also as a great means to keep the fun going into the winter months. They tread snow like a snowboard and make exercising in colder weather a cinch. Fat bikes outshine their slimmer counterparts on snow-laden backgrounds and up in the mountains once the white stuff begins to pour from the sky, so you never have to take an extended break from your favorite sport again.

They’re Simple
Fat bikes take out all of the guesswork or need for know-how when it comes to cycling. You no longer need to worry about rolling resistance or weight. Instead, spend your time leisurely strolling along or push as hard and as fast as you can and your bike will do the heavy lifting for you. Sure, it might not help your training much but it’s sometimes fun to just ride for the sake of riding, isn’t it?

They Work In Sand, Too
Not only are fat bikes great for the snow, but people have recently begun taking them to the sands as well. Biking on the beach is a relaxing way to burn some calories and a fat bike helps you accomplish this without tearing apart your wheels, getting stuck or annihilating your calves in a bad way.



Smooth Riding
Riding over a rock on a fat bike is akin to riding over concrete on a regular bike. What we’re saying is, you hardly feel the damn things when you’re barreling down the side of a mountain. Fat bikes make the ride much smoother and enjoyable, instead of headache inducing like traditional mountain bikes. Sometimes it’s fun to go for a ride without needing to down a bottle of Advil afterwards.

Better Over Distance
The fat rubber tires of the fat bikes make riding over long distances less work. Much like a car tire, the tires on a fat bike absorb more of the shock than something you’d see on a motorcycle or regular bicycle. No, bumps and grooves won’t suddenly become non-existent, but they’re certainly less jarring on a fatty than on a traditional bike.

They Look Cool
This might be a little superficial, but fatties just look pretty cool. They’re uniquely designed and often customized to fit your own desires and specifications. You can add more structure to them so the fat bike is completely “you.” It’s fun to mix it up once in awhile, right?

Fat bikes will probably never take over the scene completely, but they’re here to stay. Now that winter is on its way in, maybe it’s time to think about getting yourself a backup bike for the snow. Or, hell, just get a second one anyway so you can go off-roading in places you’d never have considered before. Either way, fat bikes work.

6 Signs It’s Time To Turn In Your Man Card

There are some things a man just shouldn’t do. Parading around in bra and panties while singing show tunes in front of the mirror comes to mind—or just listening to show tunes at all. When it comes to the world of music, performing some acts is grounds for removal of your man card.

Here are a few signs it’s time to turn yours in.

You Can Name a Taylor Swift Song
Are you and your ex never, ever getting back together? Do you sing about it along with your best gal pal who’s built a career around the musical version of revenge porn? Then you, sir, might as well drive to the nearest sporting goods store and turn in your equipment—you’ve no use for it.

The same goes if you enjoy Disney-esque sing-a-longs with the likes of the Biebs, One Direction, and Nicki Minaj.

You Can’t Start a Fire
Starting a campfire is a part of Manhood 101. We’ve been doing it since our ancestors were beating each other over the heads with wooden clubs—before we could speak, even! If you’ve managed to make it to manhood without learning how to ignite a flame—we’ll blame your dad for that one—how are you ever going to ignite a young lady’s heart?

You Love Sports…Only On TV
Watching your favorite football team great and everything, but if that’s the only recreational activity you partake in, we’re going to need to get you a trainer, stat. Men are meant to be active. We explore, we fight and don’t sit on the sidelines watching other people having all the fun while we get fat.

Get off your ass and go for a bike ride, already.

You Only Drink Craft Beer
Crack open a Budweiser, already. Sure, they’re watered down and taste like a can of slightly salted piss, but real men aren’t picky about what they drink. We’re Americans, and we drink whatever the halftime commercials tell us to.

Just kidding, drink whatever the hell you want—as long as it’s beer. Wine is for women and men who can’t handle whiskey.

You Look At Brand Names When Clothes Shopping
Outside of Eddie Bauer, Outdoor Tech, and clothes you might find at a sporting goods outlet, you shouldn’t be able to identify clothes off the rack. Men don’t pay attention to brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton—you can’t get muddy in those, so what good are they?

Leave the fancy clothes shopping up to your girlfriend, if you really need something for your next dinner date.

Athletic Women Terrify You
A lot of men seem intimidated by women who loves sports and the outdoors—look at all the slack pro athlete Serene Williams catches. If the thought of a woman dominating you on the court makes you quiver in fear go ahead and hand over your card—you’re still stuck in fifth grade.

There’s nothing more beautiful than a woman who knows how to kick ass and take names.

Wireless Earphones are The Way to Go

We’re firm believers that ear buds are meant to be wireless. How are you supposed to run, skate or ski when you’ve got cords jumping up and slapping you in the face every time you make a gnarly move? If you aren’t entirely convinced, here are some reasons its time to toss the cord and go wireless.

No Dangly Cords
OK, we pretty much covered this in the intro but it bears repeating. Cords dangle along the side of your face and really become a probably once you try to move. They flop around, smack into your chin and can even get caught on your clothes and pull your phones right out of your ear. Wireless ear buds don’t do that.

You Can Wear Them Everywhere
Wireless ear buds can fit snugly under a helmet or beanie and can go with you pretty much everywhere. Since they’re easy to cover, they’re great rain or shine…or snow. With cords, you’ve got to make sure they won’t get wet just to keep them working. How lame is that?

They Give Great Sound
It’s true, wireless buds have better sound quality than regular earphones. I mean, we’re not going to claim that as absolute fact or anything, but we’re pretty sure. You should probably buy a pair and test them out, just to be sure.

The Look Cool
It’s no secret that guys with wired earphones look like nerds. Nobody finds those cords attractive, and you’ve got a 96.8 percent increased chance of getting a girlfriend if you wear wireless ear buds instead. That’s just a theory, but it probably holds up.

Nobody Will Know You’re Wearing Them
Wireless buds are great for tuning out your teacher, boss, parents—whoever. Just slip a cap over your head and cover your ears and nobody will ever even know they’re there. They’re also great for tuning out your girlfriend when she starts nagging.

You can slip them on in class, at the office while you’re working or take them out to the park and give yourself a little peace and quiet wherever you go. Sure, you might look like a douche when someone tries to talk to you and you can’t hear what they’re saying, but just crank up your favorite beat a little higher and tune them out until they go away.

They’re Motivation On the Go
Since you can’t really wear wired headphones when you’re skiing—at least if you want to pull off some awesome tricks—they’re kind of useless, right? Wireless buds will go with you no matter whether you’re shredding snow, flipping through the air or sometimes even diving underwater. They’re there to keep you pumped up in the your darkest hour and help give you the motivation you need to keep pushing on when other earphones would fail.

They Can Connect to Everything
Wireless phones usually connect through Bluetooth, which means they can access a lot of different music libraries instead of just one. You’re no longer stuck to the same playlists over and over. You’ve got a friend with a few jams you’d like to hear while you’re gearing up for a race? Just connect to his iPhone, mp3 player or whatever and switch out your tunes for his in an instant.

Music Makes You A Better Athlete. Science Says So.

Music is a blissful thing, isn’t it? It picks us up when we’re feeling down, adds excitement to our favorite movie scenes, helps us in our bedroom activities…and it turns out music can actually make us better athletes, too.

Some professional runners are already aware of this—race organizers have been banning iPods and other musical devices for years in an effort to assuage what many believe to be a competitive edge. That’s right, music is so great at increasing a person’s athletic abilities that it’s been banned so people rocking out on a run won’t ‘unfairly’ win.

Costas Karageorghis, an expert on the psychology of exercise music at Brunel University, once claimed that music is a “type of legal performance-enhancing drug.” You don’t even need a bowl to get high with this one, just a good pair of bluetooth headphones.

The More Beats the Better
Researchers at the John Moores University discovered that increasing the tempo of music during a cycling session can boost a person’s power output by 3.5%. It turns out “Eye of the Tiger” really is an effective performance enhancer, after all. On the other hand, when they slowed down the tempo performance actually decreased. If you’ve been spending time on the treadmill rocking out to the “My Heart Will Go On” there’s probably a reason you still haven’t lost that extra weight from last Christmas even though it’s well into September.

Another study at Lincoln University in England found that any music might be better than no music at all. Researchers there established that subjects performing endurance tests while listening to their preferred motivational music outperformed those simply listening to white noise.

Meanwhile, more recent studies seem to indicate that, while some apps and trainers suggest choosing songs with average beats per minute between 160 and 180, the true ceiling for performance enhancement rests somewhere around 145 bpm.

Synchronize Your Grooves
The key is allowing your body to flow naturally with the beat of the song. When you synchronize, your body is able to use energy more efficiently than when it’s trying to work against the beat. A study conduced in 2012 found that cyclists who pedaled in sync with the tempo of a song used 7 percent less oxygen than those who didn’t synchronize with background music.

It’s also helpful to listen to your favorite songs when you’re performing routine or boring tasks. Music increases electrical activity in the brain in areas that control movement so we’ll move in time with the beat and at a faster pace. The music increases our movement, which also helps to increase our mood. You know they say time flies when you’re having fun, which is why you might find that performing chores or running long distances while rocking out to Kanye seems to go by faster than when you have no music at all.

So, you see, music is essential to performing your best and it’s important that you find an excellent conduit through which to listen to it.

Now Get Yourself In the Groove
If you need a little inspiration on what songs might help you push through that plateau in your training sesh, here are a few tracks proven to help increase power. There’s no Taylor Swift or Imagine Dragons on there, but we won’t judge too hard if you want to sneak them into your playlist. The Biebs is unacceptable, though.

If you need help finding the proper phones for the job, might we recommend these bad boys? They’re wireless (which means no tangling), sweat resistant, and they fit so snuggly inside your ear you can blast your music to decibels incredibly loud and no one will notice while you try to “Shake it Off.” They also look pretty kickass. Plus, the sound quality is pretty hard to beat. That music will probably boost your skills a lot better if it’s loud and clear. Just sayin’…

The Best Earbuds For Each Sport

Choosing a pair of earbuds isn’t as simple as finding the ones that’ll match your hoodie. You’ve got to take into account the size, shape and how they’ll fare in every environment. We’ve done the homework for you.

Orcas: For Water Sports (or if you sweat a lot)
The Orcas, much like their namesake, can handle getting drenched. They’re the perfect earbuds for people who like being on the boat or let loose the Hoover Dam from behind their skin after a good run. They’re water resistant, is what we’re saying. They also pack some memory foam ear tips so they adjust to ears of any size, even if you’re the unfortunate fellow with Dumbo ears. We don’t recommend taking a dip with these things though—they’re water resistant, not invincible.

Plus, each pair you buy helps to save the orcas, so that’s pretty awesome.

Tags: For Moving and Bouncing
Tags are great all-around wireless earbuds, but they truly shine when put to the test in a sport where you’re bouncing around for hours on end. Think football, running, soccer, or anything outdoors really. The fit snugly inside your ear and include clips to wrap around ‘em, no matter how oddly shaped your audio organs might be. Even when you’re not listening to them they can hang tightly around your neck like a pair of dog tags.

Chips: For Helmet Sports
Whether you’re pounding some snow, hopping on your Harley or training for the Special Olympics there’s no better pair of earbuds than the chips for any sport that requires a helmet. They fit perfectly ensconced inside your noggin protector and provide premium sound no matter where you’re at. Make sure to check that your brand of helmet is compatible with the Chips before buying them, though.

Actually, they’re mostly only compatible with ski and snowboard helmets, but you can probably find a way to make it work anywhere else. Don’t quote us on that, though.

DJ Slims: For Solo, Calmer Sports
The DJ Slims aren’t really appropriate for a game of rugby, but they’re perfect for any solo sport where you aren’t likely to get roughed up on the field. Climbing? Check. Parkour? Check? Running? Double Check. The Slims are rugged enough to handle a little bounce and stay firmly on top of your head even if you tend to jump around a bit. Keep them away from water, but otherwise let your imagination run wild.

Privates: For Walking Around
Okay, you probably don’t want to take these guys with you down a rampaging river, but they’re good for a light workout or jog around the woods. The Privates were built for functionality and allow you to use Bluetooth to connect with your phone, laptop or tablet to listen to music or make phone calls. We’ll call these guys “light use” headphones for now, but feel free to test their limits.

Tuis: For Anything Not Involving Sweat
The Tuis are for the classy gentleman or woman who still enjoys a nice stroll through the woods or along the pavement or…something like that. Whatever, just don’t try and get too sport with these beauties. They’re awesome, with some pretty great features, but they were designed to do so while looking great, not while you’re working up a sweat.

6 Signs You’d Probably Suck At Parkour

Anyone can try parkour. Anyone with an ounce of coordination, physical ability and enough stamina to last more than a minute each run, that is. Okay, we take it back—some people suck at parkour.

If you’ve been considering testing your free running and/or parkour abilities, here are a few signs it might be best for you to stick to your bonbons and video games.

You Think Exercise is A Suggestion, Not a Necessity
When’s the last time you walked more than a mile or, God forbid, actually finished one in under ten minutes? If you find yourself getting winded walking up a flight of stairs you’re not going to cut it training for parkour. The sport is all about speed and efficiency. On second thought, parkour might be just what you need to help you get off your lazy ass.

Benches Break Beneath Your Behemoth Weight
We’ve got nothing against the pleasantly plump—they make up half the country after all—but if the burden of your hefty load is enough to crack a park bench when you sit on it we can’t imagine how you’re going to loft yourself over one. Maybe try just running like a normal person for a bit instead? Work your way up.

You’re Proof That People Really Can Trip Over Their Own Feet
Putting one foot in front of the other is just tougher for some people than others. We get it. If you find yourself face planting after toe tussling with an imaginary turtle on a regular basis we really can’t recommend trying to leap over rails and rolling. You need to have the balance of a cat—or at a least a slightly less coordinately-challenged human.

You’re Afraid of Flying, Heights, or Just Air In General
If you’re going to try parkour, eventually your feet are going to leave the ground. Efficiency means hopping over obstacles in your way, not always looking for ways around them. Not only do you have to have the strength to propel yourself over great heights occasionally, but you need to keep your lunch in while doing it. Nobody wants to see your regurgitated California burrito while you’re buoying yourself over a bench.

You’re Afraid of a Few Scratches
Dude, you’re going to fall on your face. Happens to the best of us. If you find yourself fainting at the sight of a little blood, take your Prima Donna self back home. You’re leaping over concrete, stone, wood and whatever the hell else you can find—you expect to never knick yourself or scuff a knee? Come on now.

You Wear Armani and Gucci
Someone running through the city leaping over inanimate objects looks weird to most people passing by—there’s no denying that. But screw those people. This isn’t a world for jackass mama’s boys in fancy clothes driving around in their daddy’s beamer.

If you’re worried what everyone else thinks about you, or spend hours each morning strapping on bowties and mascara, just find another sport now. We hear cricket is nice.

There are exceptions to the rule—parkour is actually pretty good for helping some people get in shape—but if you call into any of the categories about you probably won’t cut it. You don’t have to be a parkour master right out of the gate—it takes training and time to master—but try and be honest with yourself before you jump in on our sport.

6 Reasons You Might Need a Power Bank

If you don’t own a portable power bank, what exactly have you been waiting for? They’re an on-the-go energy outlet that allows you to keep moving when your phone is running low without having to stop and look for an outlet to plug it into. If that’s not enough, here are more ways they come in handy in a pinch.

They Keep You Jammin’ While You’re Campin’
The Kodiak series of power banks are small enough you can easily pack them for a weekend camping trip. You’re going to need some tunes while you’re lounging around the campfire and are tired of hearing your girlfriend nag you about mosquitos. Power banks can recharge your iPod for up to two or three separate times, so you can keep cranking up the volume to tune out your girl’s voice.

They’ll Keep You Feeling Good
Your recreational activities aren’t our place to judge, so if you feel the need to toke up every once in awhile we say go for it! If your preferred method of “entertainment” is through a little vapor inhalation, a power bank can keep you lit up for hours on end. They plug right into a vape pen and will give you a full charge in moments.

You’ll Never Get Lost
We’re not sure about you, but our sense of direction sucks. If you’re the type who constantly refers to a GPS to find your way around, you’ve got to have a power bank to keep from turning into a character in the next Texas Chainsaw Massacre. You know how it ended for those guys. The Kodiak power bank offers 6,000 milliamps of energy into your GPS or tablet.


So Light You’ll Forget They’re There
You can slip a Kodiak Mini portable charger into your back pocket and never notice it’s there. That’s great for those times you want to take a charge with you on your next cycling trip. If you find yourself at a lake and decide to dive in, don’t worry, these things are water-resistant too. Hell, you might even be able to take them snorkeling and charge your GoPro – actually, we don’t recommend that one. But you can try. You paid for it.

Your Friend Might Be a Moron
How many times has your buddy asked to borrow your charger when you’re on a trip? Now, you don’t have to give it to him and forsake you own charging capabilities. The shockproof Kodiak Plus adds a 2nd USB port so you can share your power with your buddy. Or use it to charge your phone and your laptop and tell him tough luck. Dude should’ve bought his own.

They Charge—Well—Everything
Most technology comes with a USB port to plug a charger into these days – smartphones, GPS, computers, headphones, probably vibrators. We’re not sure on that last one, but we’re guessing they do. That means you can use your power bank in every situation. Take it to the beach, camping, on a plane, skating or in the backseat of your car. If your device doesn’t have a USB, there’s also a cable that’ll probably plug into whatever weird port it does contain.

How to Spot a Hipster in the Wild

You’re out camping with your friends, enjoying a beer in the great outdoors when you spot it: the elusive hipster. What is such a creature doing out of its natural environment of dank, dimly lit areas serving coffee and craft beer? In case you’ve managed to never encounter these annoying creatures, here’s what to look for and a few ways to drive them off.

They’re Showing Their Man Cleavage
It’s no secret hipsters love to stuff their closets with flannel, usually paired with a train conductor’s hat and some skinny jeans. Out in the woods, though, it wouldn’t be all that ironic to wear the traditional wooly wardrobe of the woodsman now would it?

No, that’s not sardonic enough for your average hipster. Instead, you’ll be able to spot their man cleavage before you spot them. That’s right; hipster campers will certainly be decked out in t-shirts with deep vs so low they’ll leave you wondering how something so anorexic can still have absolutely no abs.

They “Rock Out” to Mumford & Sons
Hipsters love music that makes most people want to kill themselves, and they like it before it became mainstream. Yet that doesn’t stop them from listening to staples like Mumford & Sons and Death Cab for Cutie, or any band with the word “the” in front of it.

Solution: Drown them out with the sweet sounds of Twisted Sister or, if you can stomach it, throw on a little 90s era Backstreet Boys. It shouldn’t be hard to out blast them—their vinyl record player or iPod Nano has nothing on your Turtle Shell.

Those Beards
Ah, yes. The hipster beard. Nothing screams “look at me” like unkempt facial hair sprouting a foot off your face and speckled with leftover goat cheese. The sight of it’ll make you want to lop it off and use it for kindling.

In fact, maybe you should. Just hover around the hipster with brightly lit torches large enough to catch their beards on fire. Or wave your burning s’mores toward their face. Eventually they’ll get the picture.

They’ll Bring Along Craft Beer
Hipsters can barely afford to pay their rents thanks to their penchant for collecting liberal arts degrees, yet these guys never go anywhere without their ridiculously overpriced craft beer. Nope, no brand named beer like Budweiser for these persnickety peeps. Unless of course it’s Pabst Blue Ribbon. They’re all over that shit.

They’re Eating Organic
Don’t bother offering these guys a bite to eat. They’ll just turn up their noses at that half-off pound of hamburger you picked up at Wal-Mart on your way to the campsite in favor of their organic hotdogs from Whole Foods. It’s doesn’t matter if it tastes like rubbery dog doo because it was $9.99 and made with all natural vegan ingredients, guys!

To help ward them off, convince them you’ve gone all natural with that beef loaded with bloody goodness. Tell them it’s vegan, then once they’ve downed a few bites fill them in on the truth, then watch as they retch it back up over their Keds. Once they’re done throwing their hipster hissy fit you’ll have the woods all to yourself again.