Dropping In With Robin

Dropping In With Robin

We caught up with pro snowboarder Robin Van Gyn to get her winter report.

November 2020

Professional athletes are just like normal people, except for, you know, being faster and stronger. So, just like for everyone else, this year has been strange and challenging for those whose lives and livelihoods revolve around getting outside and getting after it. This is especially true if your work involves flying around the globe chasing winter storm cycles in search of blower pow and untracked lines, which is pretty much snowboarder Robin Van Gyn’s job description. But being flexible and having a good attitude are also part of the what it takes to perform at the highest levels, and those two attributes are at the core of how Van Gyn takes on the world. We caught up with her during some down time at home in British Columbia, as she prepares for a winter season unlike any other she’s faced.

It’s been a crazy year, but winter is almost here. What have you been doing to prepare? (Have you been treating it differently?)

Normally, I’d be in gyms, in workout classes, at the resort early. This year, I’m sort of grounded and doing my training from home. With COVID and not being able to travel the way we normally would, we have to pivot to be in our homes and learn how to do our jobs within those confines.

For me, it’s been interesting to stay home and really explore my own backyard. I fly a lot, so now I get to travel by car. In the spring, I went out into the B.C. backcountry and felt like I was seeing things I’d never seen before. I realized that when it comes to my own area, I really don’t know it all. I’ve barely touched the tip of the iceberg.  So, I’m stoked to expand my exploration of B.C. and really get into my own backyard more. There’s so much to see—you could never see it all!

It’s a really good reminder that we don’t need as much as often think. We can live a bit more simply if we just get creative.

What are you looking forward to this season?

I’m really excited for the Natural Selection contest series. Travis Rice has been scheming up this backcountry-focused contest tour for a long time, and I can’t wait to see it come to fruition. There’s three events—B.C., Jackson Hole, and Alaska. I’m not totally sure how they are going to manage it, but I’m really stoked to see what it looks like.

Personally, I’m in the middle of shooting and producing a 5-part series about women in action sports called “Fabric.” It’s a two-year project, and I’m working hard to make it come to life. Filming, production, and post-production will all be a challenge this year, for sure. For us, it’s all about funding. There’s so much uncertainty, which makes it hard for sponsors to commit, but I’m confident and optimistic about it coming to life.

Things will look a little different on the mountain this year. What’s your approach to tailgating or overnighting in the parking lot or at the trailhead?

I’m a veteran tailgater! So, this is in my wheelhouse. I’m excited to see the larger community embrace this kind of approach and spend a little more time outside together. I’m a backcountry rider, so that’s what we always do. We end the day at the trailhead and celebrate the day and our time in the mountains. For resorts, I think it will simplify things. There’s a lot of expense involved with resort skiing, and this approach brings the mountain experience back to its roots. You come together in the lot, have some snacks, have a beer, talk about the day. I love it.

What are your must-have items for the winter tailgate?

I always have a cooler. Mine’s bear proof, so I can leave it the back of the truck. Inside: hot lunch; cold drinks; lots of snacks. It’s something I love to have—a mobile snack situation. I love having it as a way to gather people together.

Do you have any advice for people heading into this winter in particular?

Be patient. I’m pretty used to being outside, so I know how to be out and be comfortable for long periods of time. But for a lot of folks, it’s not that way. It takes a little bit of getting used to. Don’t give up! You’ll learn what you need, whether it’s better gloves or more layers or embracing the sweat of going uphill.

I truly encourage people to stick with it. Being efficient in the outdoors takes a little time, but once you start to get it, you love it and you never let it go.

Pictured with Yakima OverHaul HD truck towers with HD Bars Medium (60”), and SkyBox 16.

Yakima ‘EXO System’ Turns Your Car Into a Pickup

From GearJunkie by Berne Broudy

Bike and ski racks, gearboxes, even a BackDeck to grill out — with the Yakima EXO system, it’s all on the hitch of your car.

The secret behind Yakima’s latest innovation — the EXO System — lies with its modular rack system. With it, car campers of all levels can enhance any vehicle’s storage and organization with seasonal parts and pieces, like bike and ski racks, that swap with a click.

“Inspired by the overlanding space, we saw an opportunity to do something on the hitch that hadn’t been done before,” said Yakima product manager Jonny Wood.

The foundation of the system is the EXO Swing Base, which mounts to any 2-inch hitch receiver and cleats to EXO’s various parts and pieces, tool-free. The Swing Base sits on a swing arm that levers toward the side of your vehicle to move the base and attachments away from the trunk, allowing you to access your hatch or tailgate.

But it doesn’t stop there. Another attachment, the EXO TopShelf, turns that EXO Swing Base into a double-decker rack. Add it to the Swing Base for two levels of gear storage; install a box or basket on the bottom and a bike or ski rack on top.

Yakima EXO System: Accessories to Match Your Needs

The EXO system has parts and pieces to personalize a system that meets your needs. Accessories include the Gear Warrior basket, Gear Locker storage box, DoubleUp two-bike tray rack, Snowbank ski/snowboard carrier, organizer totes, a bamboo tabletop that turns the rack into a camp table, and Warrior Wheels, an adapter kit that converts the cargo basket into a wagon.

For example, the EXO GearLocker has the functionality of a rooftop cargo box, but positioned for easy access. It detaches, even loaded, so you can carry it to your campsite for watertight storage. It also means no unloading and reloading until you actually need something inside.

GearTotes fit inside the GearLocker to keep things organized. Durable, collapsible, and dividable, they’re made from ripstop nylon with a weight rating of up to 50 pounds. Load them with groceries, sport-specific gear, or your camp kitchen.

The EXO TopShelf, meanwhile, holds the two-bike DoubleUp tray rack at a height that keeps the bikes out of road grime. When you’re not carrying a box or basket, the rack also mounts on the bottom shelf. The TopShelf also holds a ski/snowboard rack where it’s much easier to load and unload than on your vehicle’s roof.

Yakima EXO: More Extras

One of the most clever and unexpected pieces of the EXO system is the WarriorWheels accessory. Unclip the WarriorBasket from your base and clip it to these wheels, and you have a wagon to transport heavy, bulky stuff — like firewood, an oversized cooler, or your overloaded Gear Warrior basket. The WarriorWheels and handle attach while the basket is still on your base rack, so you can drop it and go.

If you live or travel somewhere where cops get cranky when they can’t see your plates, you’ll appreciate EXO’s LitKit. Mount it on the SwingBase, and it gives any vehicle taillights and a license plate a mount where they’re most visible.

Last, but not least, the EXO BackDeck may actually tie the WarriorWheels for “cool and surprising” innovation. Mounted to the rack, it becomes a work surface for bike wrenching, food prep, or a backcountry bar. And when you’re not using it, it stores in a bag inside your car.

Yakima EXO System: Price

When I mapped out the pieces I’d like, it’s not cheap. The EXO Swingarm Base costs $499. Add the top shelf for $379. The Gear Locker adds an additional $399 with organizer totes at $49 each.

Then, the two bike rack costs $479, while the back deck table runs $129 — that’s nearly $2,000 for a three-season EXO system. And all that before adding a ski rack or the basket and wheels. It’s close to the same cost of buying a premium roof box and rack to hold it, along with a hitch-mounted bike rack.

So, it’s sure to give some potential buyers sticker shock. But the convenience and versatility could well make the price worth it for some.

Stay tuned for more on the Yakima EXO.

Introducing – Yakima EXO

Check back or subscribe for more info on the Yakima EXO coming 2021.

Yakima OnRamp – E-Bike Hitch Rack

From snews

YAKIMA OnRamp

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore., October 2020 – The transportation of Electronic Bicycles, or “E-Bikes” just became a whole lot easier. Yakima is proud to introduce the OnRamp, an incredibly convenient way to load and transport heavier than average bikes, such as E-bikes. With an included bike ramp and fully adjustable cradles built to carry everything from mountain bikes to beach cruisers, the OnRamp is one of the most innovative and versatile bike racks on the market.

“The OnRamp will change the way that you transport heavy bicycles like E-Bikes,” said Garrett Barnum, Category Director. “If you are a bicycle enthusiast, then you know how much of a hassle it can be trying to wrestle a heavy bike, or multiple heavy bikes onto a rack. The OnRamp now makes that process a breeze when you can simply roll your bike up the ramp and into position. Plus, with its adjustability to fit different frame sizes, it is a bike transportation no-brainer.”

The hitch mounted OnRamp has the highway hauling capacity of two bikes up to 66-lbs per bike, with off-road and RV ratings coming in at 40lbs a piece. Although designed with E-bikes in mind, it has adjustable cradles which will accommodate a wide array of bicycles types, including urban, road, and mountain bikes with a wheelbase up to 50”, and tires up to 3.25”. Wider tires up to 27.5 x 4.5” wide are also acceptable with the FatStrap Kit (sold separately). The adjustable options of the rack also minimize any bike to bike interference that can occur while travelling. The aforementioned bike ramp makes the loading and unloading simple while also neatly storing right on the rack itself. Once the bikes are loaded, the OnRamp can tilt so there is still full accessibility to your trunk.

Like most Yakima products, the OnRamp (MSRP $549) comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty and is available now at Yakima.com and associated retailers.

About Yakima
A pioneer in vehicle racks and cargo management solutions since 1979, Yakima is known for its rugged and dependable products. Built for a wide variety of recreationists, Yakima products embody the company’s commitment to quality and safety and its passion for the outdoors. Yakima Products, Inc. is headquartered outside of Portland, Oregon.

For more information visit yakima.com

Follow Yakima on social media: facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and youtube.com.

How Yakima Knows Its Racks Will Fit On Your Car

By James Riswick From AutoBlog.com

Yakima’s Fit Team scouts car news and dealers to get settings and instructions on its site ASAP

As I’m writing this, Autoblog won’t get its first drive of the all-new 2021 Mercedes GLA-Class for another 11 days. It’s as new as a new car can get. And yet, I already know that my Yakima FullBack bike rack will fit on the liftgate. I even know that I’ll need to use hub setting 5 and will be limited to 60 pounds of bike. There are pictures, too.

That’s because Yakima’s Fit Team is seriously on top of things. Although they can coordinate with manufacturers ahead of time, such as with the 2021 Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport, most of their “fits” are determined by simply getting access to the cars at dealerships and determining which of Yakima’s products will fit and, if they do, identify instructions for customers of the car and product alike.

“We follow new releases,” said Yakima fit technician Taylor Thompson. “We’re looking at all the (sites) for news about the upcoming vehicles that are coming out. Part of our job is knowing when those vehicles are going to be hitting the lots, because we’ve got to get our hands on it and be able to tell people where to place (the products) on their car.”

Sure enough, a new GLA recently arrived at Mercedes-Benz of Wilsonville near Yakima’s headquarters in Lake Oswego, Ore. As one of the Portland-area dealers Yakima has a relationship with, the Fit Team was soon on the scene to size up the redesigned subcompact crossover.

“We could look at a car yesterday on the lot, and we’ll come and get that fit entered in, and our website is populated with information the next day,” Thompson said. “So you have close to real-time information. It makes us very nimble and quick to the consumer.”

The site in question is yakimatech.com, and it’s not just for the newest cars for sale. They have fits going back decades, with a 1976 Porsche 924 the oldest one listed on the site. More helpfully, it makes it very easy to see which of Yakima’s products will fit a car you already own and then provide the appropriate product settings for your car if necessary. In many cases, there are diagrams provided (usually for roof racks and rails) or pictures of cars on dealer lots (usually bike racks like my FullBack). The latter is a terrific idea to make sure that what you accomplished by following the instructions matches what the Fit Team managed with the same car.

After all, getting the right fit is paramount.

Read more of this post

Water Woman and Yakima Rackpack’r – Kayla Lockhart

For as long as she can remember, Kayla Lockhart has always been drawn to the water. Born and raised in Minnesota, she was the only one of seven sisters to gravitate towards the hunting and fishing her dad loved. “I didn’t have the easiest childhood, and I would use the outdoors as a tool for healing,” she says. “When things were tough, I would seek out water and walk to the lake. Luckily, in Minnesota there’s always a lake nearby.”

A committed angler, Kayla is constantly on the move in search of new water and new challenges. In 2019, she got a lot of both. “Last year I experienced some intense highs, and some serious lows,” she says. “I got married, fished incredible water in Colombia, and caught my Holy Grail of fish in Mexico. But I was also in a serious car accident and went through some really down days. Now I’m looking forward to a slightly less crazy year.” Knowing her, it may be less crazy, but probably not less busy.

A Year of Gear

Going through a few vehicles in one year, Kayla definitely put her Yakima set-up to the test with her on-the-road lifestyle. “We road trip every year to Jackson, WY, and last year on the way home our brand-new van broke down—like all the way broke. We had to buy a new van to get home,” she says. “Then a few months later, we were hit by another driver and that van was totaled.” Luckily, the van suffered the worst of the accident.

“Honestly, I was dreading the transfer of our rack system,” recalls Kayla, “But it was so easy! We just unlocked the racks and switched it all over to the new vehicle.” Kayla uses a combo of a SkyBox 16SlimShady Awning, and LoadWarrior cargo basket to carry her gear and keep her camp dialed, but she’s most fired up about her newest Yakima addition: the DoubleHaul“I’m super excited about the DoubleHaul rod carrier!” says Kayla. “It’s so nice to be on the river and when you’re ready to check out a new spot, just slide your rod in and move on.”

Fishing Line = Lifeline

There’s plenty on the list for her in 2020, including another trip to Mexico, but it’s a project closer to home that she’s really excited about. “In the summer of 2020 I’ll be helping launch the Portland, OR chapter of the Mayfly Project,” Kayla says. Founded in 2015 in Arkansas, The Mayfly Project is a non-profit organization that uses fly fishing as a catalyst to mentor children in foster care and give them tools to manage their mental and emotional health. “I grew up as a foster child, with some challenging family circumstances,” says Kayla. “I didn’t start fly fishing until I was in my 20s, and I fully believe if I’d discovered it when I was 10, it would have helped so much.”

Kayla knows firsthand the positive impact of holding a rod, and the power of community to help people navigate challenges, both of which have guided her to a life connected to the water. And she’s committed to expanding that community, to help protect the outdoors she loves. “The more people fly fishing and caring about the waters, the more people who can give a voice to the fight to protect our watersheds and our natural resources,” she says. Spoken like someone who knows how to read the water.

Men’s Journal: Outdoor Retailer 2020: The 10 Coolest Products We Saw This Year

From Men’s Journal by The Editors

Every January, the companies that make winter gear, including skis, boots, jackets, and more, gather in Denver at Outdoor RetailerOpens in a new Window. to show off their latest technology and designs. Gear will hit shelves at your local retailer between the day the show doors open and next fall and winter. We combed the aisles for the latest and greatest, and this is a sneak peek at the gear we’re most excited to put to the test for ourselves.

Yakima CBX SOLAR

Designed in conjunction with Sunflare, this is the first commercially available cargo box to hold your skis and other gear that can also power your campsite. The box has an integrated 36 Watt 5 Volt (3 amp) solar panel that’s permanently affixed to the box lid and powers two USB connections. Other innovations include the removable torque tool that eliminates knobs, clicks when the box is properly installed, and that stows out of the way of gear storage. A new open/close lever features a handle that’s easy to grab even with gloves on. The glossy anthracite box has a matte micro-texture and streamlined shape.

Available later this year $1299

Yakima Grand Tour Cargo Box

Yakima Grand Tour

For those who like to travel in style, GrandTour elevates cargo box design with a premium, sleek look that doesn’t sacrifice superior functionality or exceptional capacity. It offers best-in-class features like a torque knob that takes the guesswork out of a safe and secure attachment to your vehicle. That same knob is also fully removable, helping to take full advantage of the flattened interior floor for maximum internal usable space. The beautiful shape and automotive finish that compliments your vehicle make GrandTour the perfect addition to your next grand tour.

Grand Tour will be available at your local Yakima dealer this month.

PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Removable torque limiting knob ensures a safe and secure installation
  • Market-leading internal usable space with an unobstructed flattened floor provides more space for your gear
  • Optimized hatch clearance for better vehicle fit
  • Internal lid stiffeners for durability and easy open and close
  • Dual-sided opening for easy access on either side of your vehicle
  • Integrated interior tie-down points
  • SKS Locks included for added security
  • Distinctive automotive badging
  • Made in the USA
Grand Tour 18 Specs:
  • 18 cubic feet of cargo space
  • Weight: 58.00 lbs
  • Dimensions: L 91.00in x W 37.00in x H 17.00in
  • Minimum Crossbar Spread: 24in
  • Maximum Crossbar Spread: 38in
Grand Tour 16 Specs:
  • 16 cubic feet of cargo space
  • Weight: 51.00 lbs
  • Dimensions: L 79.00in x W 35.00in x H 18.00in
  • Minimum Crossbar Spread: 24in
  • Maximum Crossbar Spread: 36in

Outside: The Coolest New Gear from Winter Outdoor Retailer 2020 – Yakima CBX

From Outside Online by The Editors

We know winter is well underway when the Outside gear team heads to Denver for the Outdoor Retailer Winter Show. Here, the outdoor industry—retailers, media, and brands—is already hyping up products for winter 2021. Our editors are on the show floor this week, sifting through thousands of items to bring you the highlights, starting with our picks for Gear of Show. Here’s what we’re most excited to test out.  

Yakima CBX Solar Cargo Box ($1,299)

For serious outdoor aficionados who inevitably load up their car with gear, rooftop boxes come with some serious pros and cons. Namely: you get more storage space but lose valuable real estate for heavy-hitting upgrades like solar panels. Yakima solved that issue with the CBX Solar, the first mass-produced cargo box with an integrated sun-powered sheet on top. 

Its lightweight Sunflare panel is 36 watts (five watts of power with a three-amp max), enough to power your spare batteries and electronics from two USB ports (there is no built-in battery to store the charge). Yakima claims the panel works great in low-light situations but exact charge times have yet to be determined. And there’s no loss of space in the carrier: it features 16 cubic feet of cargo room, comparable to its non-powered boxes, and is long enough to hold up to 185-centimeter skis. Plus, it opens from both sides and is easy to install on any type of crossbar. 

There are plenty of car-rooftop solar options out there, but if you want simple installation, added storage, and a tidy little amount of juice for life on the road, the CBX Solar is a smart solution. We can’t believe no company made this sooner. 

Yakima Acquires Road Shower

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore., December 5th, 2019 – Yakima, a pioneer in recreational cargo management solutions and outdoor specialty products, announced today that it has completed an asset acquisition of Road Shower, the leading on‐vehicle outdoor recreation water transport system. Through the acquisition, Yakima will take ownership of Road Shower’s intellectual property and existing inventory as it works to transition production to its own facilities.

“We are thrilled to add Road Shower’s proven products to our ever‐growing portfolio of industry‐ leading racks, cargo boxes, and outdoor specialty equipment,” said Yakima CEO Ryan Martin. “Road Shower is a natural fit for us in that it fulfills specific needs for a wide range of Yakima customers and facilitates greater enjoyment of the outdoors.”

Following on the heels of the launch or expansion of several key categories for Yakima—including Truck, Basecamp, and Sportsman—Road Shower offers utility and versatility to adventure campers, anglers, surfers, bikers, kayakers, and anyone who wants to keep their gear, their vehicles, and themselves clean while out in the wild.

“After four years of exploring options with Yakima, I couldn’t be happier to hand the Road Shower reigns to such a forward‐thinking, innovative group of people,” said Road Shower founder Joel Cotton. “I take comfort in knowing that the products I put so much into developing and bringing to market are now in such capable hands.”

Cotton began work on the first‐generation Road Shower in 2007 after a frustrating experience trying to clean up with a solar shower after a long day of riding Utah’s White Rim Trail. In fact, Cotton mounted his very first Road Shower to a Yakima bike rack for transport. Fast forward 12 years and Road Shower is now in its fourth iteration, available in 4‐, 7‐, and 10‐gallon capacities.

“One of the things that drew us to Road Shower, aside from its quality, is the entrepreneurial spirit that went into its development,” said Jonny Wood, Yakima Product Manager, Automotive & Expansions. “Yakima came from humble beginnings, too, founded in a Yakima Valley machine shop some 40 years ago. We’re big fans of Joel and his vision and are excited to continue his great work.”

Road Shower will be available for purchase at Yakima.com beginning December 12th.

To learn more about this newest addition to Yakima’s product offerings, please visit Yakima.com/roadshower.

PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Available in 4, 7 & 10-gallon sizes.
  • The Patented Design is built strong with welded aluminum construction and durable powder coat finish.
  • Brass water connection fittings.
  • Large top-cap allows for easy filling.
  • Pressurize the tank through the Schrader air valve or a garden hose.
  • Pressurize with hand or electric pump – Built in pressure relief valve safely and automatically tops out at 65 psi (max).
  • Included garden hose adapter harnesses the pressure of your home water spout and fills and pressurizes at the same time.
  • Includes a stick-on thermometer strip for the outside of the tank.
  • Includes two outlet water ports, one on each end, for convenient water access.
  • Included Hose Lengths: Small and Medium 55”, Large 81”.
  • Integrated lock loops allow you to lock RoadShower to your roof rack.
  • Stainless steel universal mounting hardware fits all Yakima® crossbars and most other roof racks.
  • 1-year Limited Warranty.
  • RoadShower SM with 4 gallons of water – 53 lbs.
  • RoadShower MD with 7 gallons of water – 84 lbs.
  • RoadShower LG with 10 gallons of water – 120 lbs.