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Essential Toys, Tools and Gadgets for Extreme Sports Athletes on Your Holiday Gift List

Having trouble finding just the right gift for your favorite skater, surfer, base jumper, or motocross rider this holiday season? Here are some ideas from the eXtreme Sports Physicist to get you started.

Greenbelt, MD, November 07, 2007 --( As a lifelong skateboarder, snowboarder and surfer, James Riordon, the author of the eXtreme Sports Physics blog, knows how picky extreme sports athletes can be about their equipment. “It’s best to let athletes buy their own boards, bikes, pads and helmets,” says Riordon, “but that doesn’t mean you can’t find all sorts of related gear that pretty much any extreme sports addict will love.”

“Recording big airs, smooth runs or stellar tricks is an important part of extreme outings,” says Riordon, which means everything from helmet cameras to waterproof video equipment to high-speed digital cameras will come in handy. “One of my favorite new gadgets is the Magellan Triton 2000 GPS unit. It includes a high resolution camera and voice recorder so that you can document your favorite spots for surfing, biking, skating or whatever you’re into, and link the data to locations on a map.”

Riordon is particularly keen on some of the new equipment that takes advantage of interesting physical principles in unusual ways, including a line of winter caps that are soft and flexible until you hit your head. Upon impact, they instantly transform to become rigid helmets to help dissipate the blow. “It sounds like science fiction, but they’re based on well-known physics. A conventional helmet offers the best protection, but these new caps are good options for times when you’re not pushing the limits and still want a little protection. Plus, they look like regular winter hats.”

Here are a few other things Riordon recommends, if you’re looking for extreme sports gifts this year.
- accelerometers that you strap to your leg or belt to measure the hang time of jumps and other aerial maneuvers
- rugged phones that can withstand the dust, impacts and water that are often part of extreme sports
- first aid kits, from small packs for bumps and scrapes to comprehensive kits designed for extended treks in the wilderness

To see all ten of the eXtreme Sports Physicist’s suggestions, visit his blog at

About James Riordon
The eXtreme Sports Physicist writes about the physics of skateboarding, freestyle motocross, snowboarding, skimboarding and other extreme sports. His analyses of various maneuvers have appeared recently in Popular Science Magazine, Science World, and Weekly Reader.

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eXtreme Sports Physics
Martha Heil

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