Holiday Gift Guide 2018

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Five holiday gift options for your favorite paddler!

You’ve still got time to squeeze in some holiday shopping! Are you at a loss on what to get for the paddler in your life? Don’t worry, PaddeXaminer has got your back. Here’s a list of my top five favorite items from the past year of paddling. Many have been reviewed by either myself or a member of our team, so you can shop with confidence that these holiday gifts are every bit as good as they’re cracked up to be!

Vaikobi

The new VDry Paddling Vest from Vaikobi. In my experience, no one comes close to matching Vaikobi in the performance paddling market for athletes and fitness paddlers. Their cold weather paddling gear continues to raise the bar in terms of performance and the VDry Paddling Vest is one of the latest items to join the Vaikobi range. The VDry Paddling Vest has proven to be the perfect accompaniment for cold weather paddling here in Southern California. Notable features include: highly breathable fabric to prevent overheating, two zipper pockets, inside pocket (great for stashing sunglasses), and a fleece lined collar that feels damn good when the cold wind is blowing. The VDry Paddling Vest is available directly from Vaikobi and through a number of retailers across North America, to include our friends at Ocean Paddlesports and OnTheWater360.

Sensi Graves Bikinis

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How about a new bikini from Sensi Graves Bikinis!? We first met founder Sensi Graves at Outdoor Retailer during our first year in publication back in 2015. Since those humble beginnings our team member Rebecca Parsons has had the pleasure of collaborating with Sensi Graves Bikinis on more than one occasion and continues to be impressed with the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability and of course, making a really great performance oriented swimwear range. So much so, Rebecca highlighted Sensi Graves Bikinis in her 2018 Sustainable Gift Guide. Check out Sensi’s range online today and at retailers around the country. It may be the holiday season, but it’s always summer somewhere!

Infinity

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No holiday gift guide worth its salt is complete without at least one big ticket item. Queue a drumroll for our good friends at Infinity. Founded in the early 1960s by Hall of Fame shaper Steve Boehne, the Infinity legacy continues to innovate under the design tutelage of his son Dave. Dave Boehne designed Infinity’s much heralded SUP boards such as the Blackfish, New Deal, and Downtown, among others, and has thrust himself into the foil surfing revolution of late with the aptly named Tombstone. Infinity’s comprehensive range runs the gambit from waveskis to SUPs and everything in between. Call them up to order a custom model or visit a nearby member of their worldwide distribution network.

MPOWERD

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Imagine yourself here.

Brighten up your life with a solar powered light from MPOWERD. There are a lot of options out there when it comes to solar powered lights and MPOWERD is by far the best. The unique aspect about MPOWERD lights is that they are inflatable! I like to call them bubble lights. Just like a bubble, the lights are super light and they float on water. The lights are available in a range of configurations. If you need a light for early morning workouts or your next expedition, MPOWERD is the way to go!

ECOVESSEL

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Reusable water bottles are a hot commodity these days and for good reason. This year I’ve been really impressed with the range from ECOVESSEL. Based in scenic Boulder, Colorado ECOVESSEL has a sensible range of reusable water bottles that work exceedingly well. Instead of focusing on the latest color trend of the season, the brand is cranking out a versatile and functional range of reusable bottles and drinkware for any occasion. Giant growler? Check. Wine flask? They’ve got that too. Double walled cups? You bet! My favorite and perhaps the most versatile is their 946ml signature model, the Boulder. What I like most about this bottle is its two-part cap. There is a classic wide mouth for easy filling and inserting ice. Then on top is a small beer bottle sized screw top attached to a rugged carry handle for convenient drinking. Another nice aspect available on many of ECOVESSEL’s bottles is a metal mesh insert for making infusions right in your bottle. The mesh insert also prevents ice from spontaneously sloshing into the drinking end of the bottle. Bonus! Check them out online and order a few today.  

Sufferfest Beer Company

The holidays are all about giving and true to that holiday spirit we’re throwing in a bonus item to our 2018 holiday gift guide, the Sufferfest Beer Company. Sufferfest Beer Company was born out of the needs of athletes. The San Francisco-based company believes each of us works hard to earn our beer and deserves a cold brew with a robust flavor that doesn’t include the calories and carbs to slow us down. I can personally attest to the tasty frothiness of their REPEAT, a Kolsch style beer brewed with bee pollen and the FKT, a pale ale brewed with black currant. Sufferfest’s beers taste great straight from the can, or your drinking vessel of choice. Hint, ECOVESSEL has a cool double barreled insulated mug that works nicely!

Cheers!

Matt Chebatoris
About Matt Chebatoris 228 Articles
Matt is a former national security professional and lifelong adventurer. He has published material on a variety of topics in the foreign policy arena and created PaddleXaminer™ as a platform to share his enjoyment of paddling with others. When not on the water, Matt can be found hiking along rugged mountain trails in the California wilderness. Matt resides in Los Angeles and is a member of the Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club in Redondo Beach, California.

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