5 Exhilarating and innovative ways to get your exercise on
Wouldn’t it be great if the New Year’s song went, “Should old resolutions be forgot?” If you’re anything like the millions of other Americans, your resolutions probably involve maintaining a healthy lifestyle in 2016. Maybe you pledged the same thing in 2015 and 2014, and maybe you weren’t as successful as you had resolved to be. Make this year the year of a fitness resolution revolution. Before renewing that gym membership, consider these five innovative ways to stay active outside, all from California-grown companies. They’ll help you get fit and have fun in the great outdoors of Orange County.
The Blue Planet Plaything
Schiller Bike: An aquatic anomaly, the Schiller S1 has both water and bike lovers saying “Finally!” Thanks to Judah Schiller, founder and CEO of Schiller Sports, based in Mill Valley, biking doesn’t have to end at the water’s edge.
The Story: In 2013, Schiller made global headlines when he became the first person to bike across San Francisco Bay. His inspiration: the lack of a bike lane connecting Oakland to San Francisco – a nightmare for Bay Area bike commuters. Since then, he’s made even bigger waves by developing what might be the world’s most advanced water bike.
The Concept: Schiller’s vision has always been clear. “We’ve created a faster, more dynamic, more exhilarating experience on the water with a product that’s both elegant and well-engineered,” he says. You’ll go from land to water in under 10 minutes, riding what feels like a traditional bicycle supported by two portable, inflatable pontoons. The anodized aluminum body and stainless steel parts also keep the Schiller bike safe from saltwater corrosion.
The Workout: The highly maneuverable S1 is able to go in reverse, working your leg muscles as you pedal to generate the noiseless propeller. Schiller says biking on water adds just enough resistance to the ride while still going easy on the joints. At a top speed of 7 mph, the Schiller bike is designed to minimize drag while increasing cadence on the water. It’s fun, freeing and nothing short of a great ride, regardless of your athletic ability.
The Cost: S1,000-$4,500 :: schillerbikes.com
The Adventure Briefcase
Oru Kayak: First wine and now even kayaks come in a box. San Francisco-based product designer and entrepreneur Anton Willis has married the ancient Japanese folding method of origami and kayak building to create the world’s first foldable kayak.
The Story: Willis moved into his studio apartment in the Bay Area with a kayak he had to put in storage. A later-in-life lover of kayaking, Willis says it’s a highly underutilized way to get outside and appreciate nature. After reading an article on origami, his imagination began designing what would later become the Oru kayak. He launched his idea using the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter in November 2012 and by mid-December, had raised more than $400,000 with 730 backers.
The Concept: Weighing in at roughly 26 pounds, the Oru kayak comes in four models, two for casual bay or lake kayaking, two for more intense expeditions in the ocean. (Our personal favorite? The Coast!) All models are made of corrugated plastic and conveniently fold into a 32-by-29-by-12 box, making them exceptionally storable
and easy to transport from car to shore.
The Workout: Willis recommends kayaking from point to point along the coastline for a workout-adventure in one. Cross-body paddling isolates the lower abdomen and bicep muscles for optimum toning. This year, build upper body and core strength while shredding the waves around Catalina Island, or paddling calmer waters in Dana Point Harbor. Whatever your water destination may be, take the Oru kayak with you – no rooftop rack required – and stay tuned for a new model coming this spring.
The Cost: $1,975 :: orukayak.com
Pedego Electric Bikes: Picture yourself riding uphill on a bicycle – out of breath, weak at the knees, struggling to make it to the top. Take that same scenario, but replace the overexertion with effortless pedaling, freedom and fun. That’s the Pedego philosophy.
The Story: Best friends Don DiCostanzo and Terry Sherry became business partners in 2008 when they started Pedego Electric Bikes, based in Irvine. Shared passions for biking inspired the duo to create what is now one of the most recognized electric bike companies. “It brings a lot of people back to the fun they had as kids riding their bicycles,” DiCostanzo says.
The Concept: With a throttle mechanism that assists the Pedego up to 20 mph, the bike can take on even the steepest inclines. The Interceptor – a classic beach cruiser with an electric twist – is perfect for navigating the Back Bay bike trail. For more rugged terrain, the new Ridge Rider electric mountain bike, with what the company calls PedalSense technology, has six levels to assist you as you explore the peaks and valleys of Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park.
The Workout: Empower yourself biking uphill while working hard-to-tone glute and calf muscles. Riding a Pedego for one hour burns up to 500 calories, whether or not you ever use the throttle. Pedego rider and San Diego resident Rhonda Martin has lost 277 pounds biking to work with the added benefits of more energy and boosted confidence. Spin class has nothing on a Pedego.
The Cost: $2,995-3,295 :: pedegoelectricbikes.com
The Victory Ride
Felt Bicycles: Don’t be fooled by the low-key industrial park location of Felt Bicycles. An OC-based company operating on an international platform, Felt has been leading the pack in bike design and engineering for over 20 years.
The Story: It all started when bike industry trio Jim Felt, Bill Duehring and Michael Mullmann created a company rooted in performance, comfort and efficiency. That’s the Felt way, and will be as the company continues reaching cyclists in Southern California and 36 countries worldwide. From design to production to graphics to marketing, everything happens in-house at the company’s headquarters here.
The Concept: With multiple Ironman wins and victories at all three Grand Tours under their bike belt, it’s no secret that Felt bicycles are built for maximum speed and unrivaled endurance. Efficiency is key. Ultra-aerodynamic engineering and state-of-the-art technology makes riding a Felt bicycle an exhilarating experience. “We’re extremely product-driven, and our products create a lifestyle for our riders,” says Jeff Soucek, director of research and development.
The Workout: Duehring, the company president, is committed to helping people feel their best by performing their best on a Felt bicycle. He recommends the Verza series for comfortable, recreational cycling that will keep you fit year-round. Or check out the AR series for the best in aerodynamic road bikes. No matter your cycling preference, riding a Felt bicycle can become a healthy part of the new you this new year.
The Cost: $7,999 :: feltbicycles.com
That’s What’s Up
POP Paddleboards: Forget everything you think you know about SUP (stand-up paddleboarding). Founder and CEO of POP Paddleboards Nick Lanfranco is aiming to revolutionize the industry with brighter colors, lighter boards and trend-setting outerwear. His one warning: Be prepared to kiss Mother Nature on the cheek.
The Story: Lanfranco is a surfer-turned-stand-up-paddleboarder whose love for the pastime turned into a full-time career when he started POP in 2012. His goal: to design distinctive paddleboards that literally pop on the horizon. Today, POP is the fastest-growing brand in the industry and dominates the SUP scene in Orange County. At the 5,000-square-foot POP camp in Anaheim, Lanfranco and the POP team are innovating nonstop.
The Concept: With 18 boards in POP’s collection, the artfully designed color blocks reflect riders’ individual style and personality. New, unconventional board shapes, a cutout handle for easy lifting and strategically contoured paddles made of carbon fiber are a few ways POP is changing the face of SUP. More important than the
boards it manufactures are the moments you create out
on the water.
The Workout: Think of SUP as surfing’s low-intensity cousin. The stability factor engages leg and core muscles, while the arm and back muscles are worked by paddling front to back. It’s the epitome of a total body and mind workout. “When the brain can connect with the body, it develops a subliminal form of exercising,” Lanfranco says. The POP Paddleboard experience is sure to keep your mind, body and soul fit in 2016.
The Cost: $999 :: poppaddleboards.com