Red Bull Wake Open 2013: Wakeboarding like you’ve never seen before

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Competitive wakeboarding is a sport that is still in relative infancy. Sure, we’ve all seen decked-out wakeboarding boats being trailered around on the freeway (you may even be an active participant in the sport), yet this year’s Red Bull Wake Open is sure to blow the doors off any preconceptions regarding wakeboard competition in the United States. That being said, make your July 4th week truly epic and complement it with a live viewing of the competition as it airs on July 6th, 4:00 PM ET on NBC.

Wait, so what’s up with the Red Bull Wake Open?

For starters, take a jam-packed Tampa Convention Center, throw in Red Bull’s presenting prowess, then try to imagine a giant floating skatepark with 36 of the world’s greatest wakeboarders battling it out for overall victory – a win that can only be accomplished after remaining on top for all three of the stages: Boat, Big Air and Park.

Red Bull not only raised the bar for wake contests during last year’s inception, but shattered it, dishing out some of the most exciting competitive wake footage ever televised. This year, as goes Red Bull tradition, the event looks to reinforce its dynamic approach to the sport and provide yet another launching pad for the best wake athletes to showcase their skills.

Competitors aren’t limited by a particular discipline, so unilateral domination will be a distant prospect. Who wants to see one guy crush the field in a focus he dominates anyway? Yeah, me neither – doesn’t make for the most exciting TV. Instead, riders will have to exhibit their skills in each of the three stages, allowing for major comebacks and other unpredictable elements to take place. The eventual victor will truly be the most well-rounded wakeboarder in the world.

Chatting with #1 Ranked Phil Soven

Before getting into any competition or sport, it’s always good to hear from the guy/girl at the very top, and we had the chance to touch base with Phil Soven. At just 24, his wakeboarding resume is more decorated than that one neighbor who takes Christmas more seriously than you ever thought possible: 4-time Pro Tour Champion, 3-time King of Wake, 3-time World Champion and 4-time World Series Champ.

As if his ruthless winning wasn’t already sending enough shockwaves through the wakeboard world, his life off the water definitely has. In 2012, Phil took his ambitions into the homes of millions as his reality show, “Wake Brothers,” blew up in popularity through MTV. Adding to his notoriety, Soven then made the decision to break ties with his longtime sponsor Liquid Force and ride for the smaller, rider-owned company CTRL.

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Bucky Lasek Shreds the Dew Tour and Gets Gold in Munich X Games

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The underside of a very large rock would be the assumed living place of someone not familiar with the name Bucky Lasek. As far as action sports go, his notoriety has reached mammoth proportions, spreading out year after year thanks to consistent success in competitive skateboarding, car racing and an ability to foster a hearty presence in popular culture due to his affable personality.

What is that, you say? I’m missing one of his most crucial qualifications? Yeah, I guess I should respect the fact that he had one of the best characters in “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.”

Dew Tour 2013

Last weekend, the Dew Tour kicked off another year with a more streamlined contest schedule — Beach Championships in Ocean City, MD, June 20-23; City Championships in San Francisco, CA, October 10-13; Mountain Championships in Breckenridge, CO, December 12-15 — less events, yet each one bigger and better than ever before possible. The competition in Ocean City was steep, yet Bucky ripped it up and showed his native state fans one hell of a time.

In the Skate Vert semis on Thursday, he went on to finish just behind Pierre-Luc Gagnon for second place, staking a claim right off the bat that X Games gold wasn’t enough to satisfy his 2013 craving for victory. The following day, he was able to stand atop the number one spot and take first in the skate bowl semi-final.

The Skate Vert finals saw Bucky continue to pour on the goods, snatching up the victory from Gagnon and reinforcing his reputation as a continued, proven success in the Dew Tour. The final day in Ocean City included two final rounds in the Skate Bowl. After exciting runs from each competitor, the degree of talent was made apparent as Bucky was forced to take the second spot to winner Pedro Barros.

Gold in X Games Munich

Keeping up his already searing momentum for 2013, Bucky clinched overall victory during the Skateboard Vert in yesterday’s X Games after rocketing to the top following some less than favorable first few rounds. He was able to overtake Gagnon and a whole other slew of young and veteran riders by implementing some more risky maneuvers into his final run.

Age? What is this age you speak of?

When you brush over this guy’s accolades, it’s almost shocking to remember that he is 40 years old. Not 40 years old and running a monthly 10K, but 40 years old and crushing dudes half his age in an extreme sport that requires incredible talent and ruthless guts. It’s almost the norm to associate such longevity with a decline, regardless of how steep the pitch, but glossing over the aforementioned results, coupled with his gold in this year’s X Games, really makes associating Bucky with any sort of downturn a nonsensical notion.

How does skating stack up to car racing? What was it like playing as himself for the first time in the video game “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater”? Get inside the mind of a ridiculously cool dude and read on for the exclusive Bullz-Eye interview:

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2013 Tour of California: The Specter of Doping Sidelined by American Victory – An Exclusive Interview with Ted King

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It’s no secret that American cycling has suffered like a dog under the relentless allegations brought to light by the US Anti-Doping Agency, an organization hell bent on seeking due punishment for cyclists who used performance enhancing drugs to better their careers. Spurred by thorough investigatory tactics and irrefutable evidence, countless US cyclists confessed to using PEDs throughout a whole slew of events, from the Tour de France to the Olympics, all typically in the years prior to 2007. The coup de grace came when once-hero Lance Armstrong, whose seemingly untouchable seven Tour de France titles were a symbol of inspiration to millions of Americans, finally threw in the towel and confirmed what countless skeptics had ranted on for over a decade.

As the dust settled, many brilliant careers were cut short or put on suspension, forever casting them as bad men amidst an even worse culture. Regardless of the validity surrounding these judgments, the sport has continued to pedal on, yet where does this leave American cycling, both for the fan and the rider?

America’s Greatest Race. This title, aptly given to the Amgen Tour of California, describes in three words one of the nation’s most prestigious and successful sporting events, with roughly 750 miles of beautiful terrain. The route, which started in Escondido and finished in Santa Rosa, acted as stadium last week as 16 professional teams from around the globe squeezed every last drop of energy into eight days of battle between man, bike and road.

The Amgen ToC has solidified its reputation as the nation’s most triumphant bike race, offering a hearty platform for domestic athletes to showcase their talents to a large audience. Despite the fallout from Lance and his syringe-prone US Postal teammates, this year’s edition saw American riders shake off the naysayers and cynics, eventually leading to a first place overall victory by 24-year-old Washington native Tejay van Garderen, as well as a stage win by Tyler Farrar of Garmin-Sharp.

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The Definition of Manliness: Daniel Winkler Knives

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Rugged. Bold. Stout. These are but a few manly words that come to mind when browsing through the masterful blade work of Daniel Winkler Knives. These days, forged cutlery seems to be an oddity in the market due to mass production. However, Daniel Winker, master Bladesmith, has combined the traditional craft of metalwork & tradition and shaped a selection of blades that are unique, versatile, and spectacular in their own regards.

The blades, which have found their way on the consumer market such as the set of Last of the Mohicans and in teams from the United States and Allied Special Operations, are hand-forged and crafted based on an individual’s specifications and needs.

Quality and Design like No Other

The blades, forged by the hands of the Master Bladesmith (honored by the American Bladesmith Society), has seen its share of awards, including:

• 1998 – BLADE Magazine “Best Utility Hunter”
• 2002 – “Best of the West” Best Knifemaker
• 2009 – Most Innovative Design

The traditional blades, ones designed that you would happen across in the early America’s, use some of the most rugged materials available to a Bladesmith such as Damascus, Elk antler, rawhide, antique steel & patina, and even items like horse hair and beads for a flourish.

The types of blades that fall under the “traditional” label include:

• Belt knife
• Bowies
• Camp knife
• Hawks
• Hunters
• Patch knife

A second set of offers by Daniel take the tactical angle through a variety of belt, field, hunting, and military-grade knives, and onward to other blades such as rescue & stealth axes, tactical daggers, and a jungle knife perfect for cutting down large brush.

To put things into perspective: many of Daniel’s knives are in use by Naval Special Warfare Development Groups and other special forces – so if the military and those readily seeing combat rely on the blades by Daniel than you can rest assured they’re going to live up to your demands.
The simplicity of the design and features is what makes many individuals flock to the blades offered by Daniel; they strip the conventional, mass-produced feeling that so many knives have seem to adopt and brings it back to the true feeling of a sturdy, reliable, cutting tool.
Likewise, sheaths for the blades have been extensively field tested for practical use though many owners have made their own modes to accommodate their style.

Overall, the keen eye and commitment to high-quality materials under the control of Daniel’s talent has forged a series of knives that will not only have you doing a double take but will become the dream of any individual that needs a blade they can rely on.

Overview

Holding a knife can immediately swell emotions of the rugged outdoors even if you’re the city type. The blades are of high enough quality and design that they could be framed or used as a gift but the real value is their usage out in the wild – so keep that in mind while choosing your knife.

The blades, by Daniel, come at a hefty price but the level of workmanship that goes into each warrants the price especially when you need a reliable piece to get the job done. Availability, due to the extensive time to forge the blades and high demand for Daniel’s work, can be scarce so it’s important to get in touch through his website in order to know of the next available listing otherwise you could place a custom order for a unique blade to your specifications.

  

Duck Hunting Camping Tips

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There are a lot of reasons that people choose to go camping when they’re hunting for ducks: they get to get out of the house for a while, they enjoy some beautiful scenery, and there’s a ton of fresh air to go around. Before you head out however it’s important to get yourself properly prepared and make sure you’ve got all the proper equipment in place so that you can actually enjoy yourself while you’re hunting.

As with any kind of camping trip, make sure you’ve got some kind of canopy or tent with you to not only give you a centralized location, but to also protect you from the elements as best as possible. The fact is that sometimes the weather can be unpredictable and even though the forecast calls for clear skies, you might find yourself in a bad situation if you haven’t got housing with you. You can find some great canopies and tarps at CanopiesAndTarps that will do quite nicely while you’re duck hunting.

Secondly, you should make sure that where you’re planning to hunt will allow you to do what you’re looking to do. A great deal of states have an open policy on waterfronts, allowing people to hunt ducks freely throughout the daylight hours, but you’re going to want to make sure that you’re allowed to camp out there overnight. You can talk to the gaming commission or check the laws online.

While it might seem like common sense, make sure that you’ve got enough supplies to last your entire camping trip. There’s nothing worse than finding out that you haven’t got enough stuff to last you and you have to cut your trip short or run into town, breaking the atmosphere completely. It’s recommended that while you bring only what you need, try to bring a little extra with you to ensure that you won’t be caught in a compromising situation.

If you plan to stay for a few days, bring a small cooking stove with you. A grill will work too if the laws permit that you use one. You can’t live off rations for a week long trip, so it will be nice to have something to actually cook the ducks with rather than just eating crackers the entire time. Again – make sure the laws permit it.

Although you’re probably going to be right near water, bring some fresh water with you so you can properly clean the ducks before you cook them while you’re camping. If you plan to catch fish while you’re out, the water will come in handy for them as well. Never use the lake or river water to rinse off your food as it could be too dirty and mar the meal; always bring plenty of fresh water from home and don’t automatically assume that fresh water will be provided.

If you don’t want to hunt in a public gaming area, you do have the option of setting up camp in a private land. Always ask permission before you do this from the owner of the territory and make sure they understand that you’ll be camping there and not just spending the afternoon. Likewise, make sure you inquire about parking; you’ll need to know if they let you park on their property or you’ll need to find a public lot to stow your car.

Camping out while you’re duck hunting is a lot of fun and a great experience, but without the proper tools or information available, you could find that it can be quite less enjoyable. Make sure that you have everything ready and prepared before heading out so you can make the most of your hunting trip.

  

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