Team STOKED Spotlight: Lindsay's Taking Off On Brazilian Wind

Posted by Devyn Sullivan on

Most of us are enduring the colder temperatures and torrential rain that an Oregon winter brings, while dreaming of warm, tropical beaches. But Team STOKED Ambassador Lindsay McClure is lucky enough to be living that dream. 
This badass lady boarded a Brazil-bound flight at the end of October in pursuit of high, steady wind and an endless summer. She found it.
This is what our Team Rider had to say about the her time in South America:

"There are a myriad of locations on this planet where we can kiteboard, but there’s only one Brazil. Right now, I’m lucky enough to be on the North Coast of Brazil with kiters from around the world. We’ve all come to kite our brains out and become more skilled, especially in freestyle. This is my second trip to Brazil, and I’m one month into my two month trip. One of the coolest things about being here is that every kiter I talk to understands that they are on the trip of a lifetime. 
To set the foundation, Brazil is the perfect place to kite because of the ceaseless wind. Without wind, nothing else matters. In Brazil this time of year, checking a forecast isn’t necessary because the wind blows every day. Along with a constant flow of wind, Brazil wins because the coastline is dotted with lagoons that provide perfect, little flatwater pockets. The surface on the water is consistent, so the takeoff and landing for each trick is the same every time. Training in Brazil can feel like a different sport, it’s almost like wakeboarding, because each attempt at each trick feels the same every time. 
The fantastic conditions in Brazil aren’t a secret. Because it’s so ideal, the whole world comes here, and the lagoons become crowded. However, the kiters in Brazil are good at sharing. Riders wait on the side of the lagoons while others do their tricks. Then, when we see an opening, we go for it. This atmosphere is helping me progress because I have the chance to watch everyone session, and they watch me. So, I feel motivated to push my limits. I don’t want to be taking up space in the lagoon if I’m not doing something rad. Not to mention that the other riders have been generous about offering helpful coaching advice. 
Which brings me to the next factor that makes Brazil the bees knees. Most of the best riders in the world are here right now. Watching world champions nail trick after trick helps me believe that anything is possible. The attitude among kiters in Brazil is all about progression - just going back and forth without trying to learn anything new isn’t acceptable here. 
With all these factors working in my favor, have I been checking off my goals? I’m making progress. A special thanks to STOKED for supplying me with my daily dose of Fallstoke, which adds even more perfection to the equation."
We're glad you're digging the Fallstoke, girl! ;)
I asked Lindsay a little more about the progress she's been making in Brazil and the improvement she's seen in her riding. 

 

"As far as learning new tricks and improving my skills, I’ve added new grabs to my tricks and become more comfortable passing the bar in the air."

 

We're admittedly jealous about Lindsay's rendezvous in paradise, but we can't wait to see the skills they've gained back in our blustery home this summer! Keep shredding, girl!

 

You can keep up with Lindsay's adventures by following her on Instagram @lindsaymcclure, and learn more about her work with World Class Kiteboard Academy on their website! 

 

 

(Photo credit: Lindsay McClure and Blaine Baker)
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ROADSIDE COFFEE: The Very Clever Dripper

Posted by Claire Botsford-Allain on

This edition of Roadside Coffee was curated on the road, where some turns take you to more corn fields, some to vast mountain ridges, and some to the completely avoidable miscalculation of an empty gas tank. Ever been driving for so long that you wonder when the next sign of civilization will be? The only reason you may wonder this is probably because the gas needle is cozying up next to "E," but otherwise the  scenery, the wind through the window, and the musing that goes along with any type of travel is quite enjoyable. With a lack of civilization though, comes a lack of good coffee, that is unless you brew your own.

Facing a twelve hour drive? Seven hour drive? Three hour drive? Regardless of how long your trip is, ask yourself what difference will a ten minute brew stop make? Time-wise, not a bit! Morale-wise, all the difference! Don't get that gas station sludge, unless you can actually stomach it, then go for the gold and cash in on the convenience of our modern age (that's what it's here for).

Seriously though, ten minutes is all it takes. A Jetboil can boil water faster than I can grind my beans and using a Clever Dripper will actually change your life. These clever brewing apparatuses are big enough to brew more than one cup if you're lucky enough to have a co-pilot and easy enough to use even when you're standing. They're actually easy enough to use when you've run out of gas in the middle of nowhere and your hands are so cold you can barely tell you still have fingers and the only good thing in this world is the cup of jo that you've brewed for yourself. That easy. Pretty impressive in my opinion.

 Gas off, coffee accessories out. I like to grind my beans first, seeing as my Jetboil has consistently beaten me every time no matter how fast I try to crank. If you're using a camp stove or other small backpacking apparatus for boiling water it will take a few minutes longer, go ahead and start that water now. If you're a fanatic about getting that paper taste out (I am admittedly so) do a quick rinse of the paper filter you've placed in the Clever Dripper, regular water works fine, and dump the water out over some thirsty plants. If you don't mind a bit of paper aroma in your coffee then carry right on, you little speedster. You'll want to have your Clever Dripper on a flat surface or you can hold the handle (if you set it on top of your mug it will let the water through). If you have your beans ground already then you're ahead of all of us, add those grounds to the Clever Dripper and once your hot water is ready pour it over the grounds. You can eyeball the amount of water, weigh it out if you have a scale handy, or measure it by volume before boiling. I find that brew times for darker roasts will be shorter, around 90 seconds and up to 2 minutes. Lighter roasts I like brewing for about 3 minutes. If I have a utensil handy I'll give it a stir at about one minute. Once time is up, place that Clever Dripper on top of whatever drinking vessel you have anointed as the chosen one and let it drip away. The coolest thing about the Clever Dripper? You can lift it up and it stops the drip, making sharing a full brew super easy. Talk about the age of convenience.

I'm a traveler and a coffee loving gadget geek, a mixture that is hard to combine heterogeneously at times. I like trying out different coffees with different brew methods, and some work better than others. I'm not just talking about the roast or type of coffee, but also the kinds of situations you will find yourself in. Travelling always calls for adaptability and flexibility and learning to adapt your brew method can make your trip better in many ways. While you CAN bring your ceramic V60, there may be a better option for your travelling needs. The Clever Dripper is awesome for road trips, train trips, trips where you have space, but want something lightweight and easy to use wherever. You could probably even take it backpacking and just loop it onto the outside of your pack, it sure is light enough, but an Aeropress or instant coffee (STOKED STIX anyone?) may be a better option. Join us next time for another perusal into the world of brewing everywhere.

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The 2016 San Francisco Coffee Festival

Posted by Claire Botsford-Allain on

What does one encounter at a coffee festival? This may seem like a ridiculous event for some, but for others, like myself, it is anticipated with fervor. The San Francisco coffee scene constitutes not only those who work in specialty coffee, but also general caffeine lovers, which come in all shades of enthusiasms and commitment. Being a part of the coffee scene in SF is about the mingling of professionals and casual drinkers, the mix of baristas and customers, and everyone in between and outside. It is events like this that bring together the wise and the novices, and make us realize that even if we think we know it all, we aren't even close.

Apart from running into familiar faces, everyone from high school best friends, who wanted to attend a fun non-alcohol-centered event, to old coworkers still doing what they love, it was particularly awesome to see what everyone has been up to, what they're roasting, what they're drinking, who they're visiting. As much as I would love to be able to visit all of the multitudinous coffee shops, cafes, and roasters that exist in such a vast city as San Francisco, there are only so many hours in a day and only so many hills I can pedal up, not to mention (milli)grams of coffee that is healthy for me to consume. There were 20 different roasters at this year's San Francisco Coffee Festival, which happens to also be the very first annual event of its kind in the Bay Area. This event unified roasters based in North Bay, East Bay, it even brought roasters from all the way out in Sacramento and of course from the city itself. This year was the inaugural year for the San Francisco Coffee Festival and it completely sold out. That is pretty darn cool.

Representatives from all across the coffee-world were present, from Intelligentsia and Blue Bottle, the notorious bigwigs, to Strauss Family Creamery and the delicious Donut Savant. What is coffee without the proper accompaniments? All the awesome roasters that have saturated the market with truly amazing coffee did not hold back. Algorithm Coffee Co, Andytown Coffee Roasters, RoastCo, Temple Coffee Roasters, and so many others were confidently representing their coffees. Henry's House of Coffee came out with a honey processed Sumatra and Algorithm's natural processed Ethiopian Ayehu is still one of my favorites. Granted, an hour into it I was nearly cracked out from all of the samples I had (have you tried to say no to an Andytown Snowy Plover or Temple's Geisha from Panama rated 96 on Coffee Review?). Can you imagine a bunch of hyped up baristas fervently talking about coffee while also trying to hold their hands steady enough to give and/or receive a sample? It was comedic and poetic and entirely avoidable, but like I said, saying no simply is not an option.

Even if you had never heard of any of the roasters there, it would be impossible not to be excited. These people work so hard and put so much passion into what they do on a daily basis that it translates into the amazing cup of coffee that you bring to your lips. When the owner of Andytown hands you a Snowy Plover herself or you bond over a mutual love for coldbrew with RoastCo baristas that's when you realize what this business of coffee is all about. We just want to bring people together and give them something awesome that we made. You don't have to know the difference between washed and natural process or what the different species of coffee are, you just have to be willing to try something that someone has lovingly and purposefully created.

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ROADSIDE COFFEE: Get Your Stoke However You Can

Posted by Claire Botsford-Allain on

Travel is one of the most beautiful things we can do as humans and in this age, we can do it so easily and quickly with endless purposes and opportunities. Whether it’s travelling to the coast to catch some waves, up to the mountain to shred, or just a good road trip, there’s always space and time to breathe, even if we don’t see it at first. It is easy to forget that slowing down to enjoy the ride is an option. We don’t have to rush to our destination, we can pull over, stop and breathe for a moment with no real deterrent in our overall progress. Roadside Coffee is all about enjoying those moments. Whether you just want a quick cup of instant stoke or you brought your hand grinder with you and are ready to kick your feet up for awhile, the rituals themselves are meditative and your chosen creation is gratifying.

Travel by plane, train, car, on foot, or ski, or even boat and they all have their individual opportunities for a respite, so there’s no excuse regardless of what your mode of transportation is. Coffee is pretty cool because you can make it however you want to. You can get as involved with it as you can manage. If bringing a hand grinder is simply not an option because of weight or space in your pack, or, let’s face it, general bandwidth when you’re on mile 150 of the John Muir Trail and you just want a freaking cup of coffee, then praise and embrace STOKED STIX. Get your stoke however you want to get it. Grab an Aeropress and bring it with you on a cross-country train trip, or in the back country with a jet boil. Go all out and bring that heavy ceramic V60 and enjoy your pour over with a backdrop of the open road. Like I said, you can get as deep as you want to, and we will cover all of your options in Roadside Coffee.

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Paul Ran Like Hell at Elk Kings 25K

Posted by Devyn Sullivan on

On October 23rd 200 registered racers gathered to run at the Elk Kings 25 and 50K organized by GoBeyond Racing. The race took place in Tillamook Forest, Oregon. The race was originally slated for October 14th, but the area took a huge hit from Mother Nature that week, and a lot of trail clean-up was needed to provide a safe and fun environment for an already technical race. 

(A shot of the Tillamook Forest landscape, where Elk Kings took place)

Our own Team STOKED Ambassador, Paul Dzierba, ran in the race and this to say about the course:

"The Elk Kings 25 and 50k are more like mountaineering prep hikes and probably are not the best place to have a trail race. I did the 25k and it had only about 200 less vertical than the 50k race did. The climbing started within about a quarter mile and climbed 1600 feet in 0.7 miles. In some places on the descent the trail was so steep they had ropes in place and volunteers to help get down them. There was a 4 mile continuous descent to and aid station and after thinking most of the climbing was over, it started with a consistent 4 mile 1200 foot climb. Overall I finished 8th in a very strong group of runners!" 

(200 runners registered for Elk Kings 25 and 50K on October 23rd)

The day started with 200 runners fueled up on STOKED coffee. As an official sponsor of Go Beyond, we supply each race with enough stoke to get people amped and ready for the grueling race ahead of them. We are psyched to have had the opportunity to partner with GoBeyond, an incredible organization passionate about organizing scenic and challenging trail races that so many people are eager to run!

(Elk Kings 25K presents an impressive 5800ft elevation gain)

Despite a challenging trail with over 5800ft of elevation gain, Paul finished in 8th place! An incredible feat that most of us back at HQ are still marveling at.

(Paul Dzierba running at the Elk Kings 25K)

WAY TO RUN, PAUL!

Pictures provided by Paul Nelson Photography.

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