First in a two-part report from the Ispo Summer 2005 industry trade show in Munich, Germany.
In July, the Gear Junkie hopped the big pond to attend Ispo, a major sports and outdoors-equipment trade show held twice each year in Munich. A highlight of this show is always the exhibition of Ispo BrandNew Awards, which recognizes innovative products from new and upcoming outdoors, sports and fitness companies.
Here’s what caught my eye from the BrandNew Awards finalists:
KMX Kart — Think the recumbent bicycle is dead? The KMX Kart, a 24-speed recumbent with mountain bike characteristics, may put these ground-skimming cycles back in fashion.
I had a blast cruising at high speeds outside the trade show pavilion, banking turns, spinning out, riding over curbs and stopping on a dime. Knobby tires, disc brakes, nice components, beefy construction and a design that provides good control on the pavement and off trail have allowed the company to sell 3,000 KMX Karts in the past six months in Europe alone. ($1,000, www.atomictoys.net)
Windboard —Windsurfing on dry land is the general idea behind the Windboard, an oversized flexible fiberglass skateboard with sail compatibility. Its large tires let riders catch the wind and sail on asphalt, packed sand or other hard surfaces.
Windboard is for passionate but landlocked windsurfers looking to get a quick fix, but windsurf neophytes may also benefit as the design lets you get the hang of the sport without waves and other water-borne challenges. ($499, www.windboard.com)
Skorpion Skates — Skorpion Sports Ltd. calls its namesake product a multi-terrain quad skate. The rugged roller skates have big wheels and suspension to suck up the bumps and roll over grass, dirt, gravel, cracked pavement and brick cobbles.
A wide foot platform and ratchet straps let you step in and skate in regular footwear. The five-inch wheels have fast bearings and a strong five-spoke geometry. The skate body and axle mounts are light and durable. ($75, www.skorpionskates.com)
Knog Frog light — The flexible silicone body of this micro bike light can be stretched and mounted on handlebars, seat posts and frames with diameters ranging from 10mm to 32mm.
The Frog is water resistant and has no moving parts. It weighs 12 grams and runs on lithium battery coin cells touted to keep the LED blinking 160 hours. ($10, www.knogusa.com)
GoPro Hero Camera — Never miss the shot. That’s GoPro’s mantra for the Hero Camera, a waterproof 35mm camera that attaches to your wrist via a strong Velcro bracelet.
It stays folded down during activities like surfing, mountain biking and skiing. In a photo opportunity, the camera pivots up with the flip of a small rubber tab ready to fire.
Made for amateur sports photographers tired of the inconvenience of traditional cameras, this product is a smart and simple solution. It’s easy to operate, durable, and it will do the job capturing those hard-to-get action shots you might miss in the blink of an eye. ($20, www.goprocamera.com)
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