Three thrill-supplying destinations and the sporting gear to go with them
Even as our hemisphere finally begins to thaw, we at Cool Hunting think that everyone who's suffered countless blizzards, waist-high slush and bone-chilling cold deserves a break. For sun-worshippers, powder junkies or anyone in between, we put together our latest favorite getaways and the accoutrements—classic products with exceptional design—that complement the locales we've found and make these destinations truly next-level.
Surf Costa Rica’s secret break with handmade wooden boards
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica: Salsa Brava Break
Puerto Viejo, a village on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast (about three hours from the country's capital, San Jose), attracts diehard surfers who are looking for a more relaxed vibe than that of the often-crowded spots on the Pacific. Salsa Brava, a break that has been called Costa Rica’s heaviest and best, provides the main draw to the area while still remaining relatively untouched. Surfers can expect swells that are head-high to triple overhead (swell is biggest from December through March) at Salsa Brava, a name that loosely translates to “fierce sauce.”
If you're going to surf an epic break, then it's essential to have a board worthy of such a storied wave. Hand-shaped in Oregon, the products crafted by 42 Surfboards more than stand up to the challenge. Shaper Lars Bergström, a fifth-generation wood-worker who has been making surfboards since he was in high school, leads the team, producing classic American surfboards that not only ride waves but ride the test of time, lasting buyers a lifetime. Setting the brand apart is both their use of sustainable wood in making the board, as well as their attention to detail and pride in their bespoke creations that combine traditional wood-working technique with CAD technology. Whenever possible, the board will be hand delivered to its buyer—so be sure to order well before planning a trip to Salsa Brava.
Find your "true stoke" at Jackson Hole's first eco-tel
Jackson, WY: Terra Hotel
Hotel Terra in Jackson Hole provides shelter for skiers who've traveled to Wyoming to shred some of the country's best and most challenging terrain, as well as for the many visitors who come to take in the spectacular Teton Mountain Range and nearby national park. The lodgings combine all the luxury and amenities of a boutique hotel with a LEED-certified building and sustainable operating practices (including providing guests with reusable aluminum water bottles and access to alternative and energy efficient transportation). Working with the credo that an eco-hotel is healthier for both its guest and the land it inhabits, Terra demonstrates that luxury and eco-friendliness can go hand-in-hand.
Though some visitors to the Hotel Terra will hole up in the resort's Chill Spa, most will hit the slopes, where the go-to gear for navigating Jackson’s trademark waist-deep powder is a pair of ScottyBob’s handmade skis. When Scotty Bob Carlson was working as a telemark instructor, he noticed that the symmetrical design of skis was inherently flawed. Building on this discovery, he put together a set of asymmetrical skis, a means of construction that ensures the highest level of precision, responsiveness, and ease and fluidity of turns, which will no doubt help you achieve the Telemarker's coveted sublime moment or "true stoke." Each and every pair that Scotty Bob produces is handmade in Colorado, ensuring that all the equipment that he manufactures is built with love and attention to quality and detail.
Image via The American Craftsman Project
Hike Twin Farms' expansive acres in custom boots
Barnard, VT: Twin Farms
Ten miles north of Woodstock, VT lies Barnard, home to Twin Farms, a country estate-turned-resort and spa. Guests stay in a variety of accommodations scattered about the property, from rooms in a 1795-era farmhouse to freestanding cottages, and eat locally-sourced meals custom prepared by the in-house culinary team. In addition to tennis, swimming and croquet, Twin Farms’ property includes over five miles of hiking trails on their 300 acres of property; ranging from beginner to intermediate, these hikes lead guests through wildflower meadows, a hardwood forest, and a smattering of ponds. Those who wish to traverse a little more serious terrain can easily access nearby Mount Ascutney, Camel's Hump, and the Appalachian Trail.
Limmer Custom Boots
Choosing to venture to these strenuous trails requires a comfortable, supportive hiking boot—that's where Limmer comes in. Launched in 1925 when the Limmer family emigrated to the U.S. from the Bavarian Alps, the boot company represents a longstanding tradition of handcraftsmanship and the highest in walking shoe quality. Though Limmer's custom products are built to suit the needs of each individual customer (who often opts to go for a custom model due to a fit challenge or simply looking for the best performing shoe), the boot generally includes a Vibram® sole with a multi-layer system designed to support and stabilize the arch, ankle, toe and heel. It’s worth the cost (around $625) and the wait (usually around six weeks); Limmer’s repair shop often sees boots that are 50 years old (or more) come in to be patched up and sent back to their satisfied owners. Whether you're summiting the peaks of some of Vermont’s most beautiful mountains in a pair of custom Limmers or just braving unplowed sidewalks, trust us—your feet will thank you.
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