Product Reviews – January 2009

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1800 Tequila
Essential Artists Limited Edition
1800tequila.com
This is tequila so smooth that it’s best shot straight without lime or salt. It’s that good. Lime and salt are both so rowdy that they’re both best left to help novice drinkers and/or people shooting bad tequila. What’s new here is the 1800 Essential Artists concept. So eighteen hundo is on a mission to find 1,800 essential artists and feature their work in national ad campaigns, on bottles of 1800Silver as well as on shoes. Nine different artists are being represented in this first run of bottles, with each artwork being run in an edition of, you guessed it, 1800. I’m giving this whole thing an A+. I feel like 1800 Tequila has tapped into something better and perhaps more genuine than the trend of going green, while at the same time utilizing an amazing marketing technique that is supporting and generating interest and an appreciation of art. – Sean Kerrick Sullivan

Amzer Snap On Case
Rubberized Snap-on case/ Jelly Case for the Iphone
www.fommy.com

I’m not sure I see the point of a supposedly protective case for my iPhone because I don’t really see the point in protecting my iPhone since I am pretty sure that Apple will just release another version of the damn thing in six months time which means I’ll have to go get a new one. A thin plastic case or a condom like rubber sleeve doesn’t seem to do much more than save your phone from pocket lint. Even if it breaks before the new one is out, it’s under warranty and Apple will replace it anyway. In all honesty I don’t see much difference between these two cases (one hard, one soft) and the four or five thousand other snap and jelly cases out there. So why buy this one, only available at fommy.com, when you could just run over to Mac Docs or The Apple Store or any other electronics spot close to your house and get something just as good. –Fred Worbon

Celtek
Outbreak Face Mask
Celteksnow.com
The Celtek clan set out to solve every rider’s dilemma of what to cover their face with as protection from those icy cold face shots. Most people choose to go the bandito route and tie a two dollar Wally world bandana around their face and look like an old western outlaw. The bandito status always works temporarily until it freezes up with snot and spit from your leaking facial orifices. The Outbreak Face Mask is constructed of two different types of mesh. There is a mesh with larger holes, allowing air to escape from your nose and mouth without causing the dreaded moisture freezes, while a tighter micro-mesh covers the rest of your face, keeping it nice and toasty. The mask itself is very comfortable and with the cool outbreak character on the front everyone will think you are smiling even if they cannot see your face. It is almost 2009 now so I think we can officially drop the old school bandito styling of the 1800s and jump on the Celtek wagon and cover our faces like high-tech gangsters. –Mike Reff

Ruckus Trucks
Ruckus R4
Ruckusmetal.com

Photo: Sam Milianta
The true way to test a skateboard truck is how well it turns and how well it grinds. I intended to test both by going to the local red curb at the grocery store and throwing myself up on some slappies. These trucks had a hard time with both. I don’t know if it’s because they were brand new or just had cheap bushings, but they seemed to be unable to be tightened to the point where they would even be usable. I like riding loose trucks, but when a flatground ollie gets you wheelbite it seems a little harsh. However, these trucks did a good job of keeping my growing pile of mail from blowing away on a windy day. –Sam Milianta

Pig Wheels
Pig Head 54 mm
Pigwheels.com
Let me start out by saying that I have severely underestimated this wheel company. After seeing the Slaughter House video a year or so back, I’ve always wanted to try a pair of their wheels, but being a frequent hill bombing slope styler I was worried about flat spots. I’ve done some wicked 90 degree slides down the steepest of hills in downtown Salt Lake and these things are riding smoother than Madonna with a tube of K.Y Jelly. If you are a Street Tech rider I recommend that you give these a try. Who knows, they might make you skate like me. –Hehshun

Ultra
The Zappa Printed V-Neck
Ultra.bigcartel.com
In recent times the v-neck has become the staple uniform for the senseless starving hipster. Ultra clothing of Salt Lake has sought to bring some style and authority to their 100 ombed cotton screen-printed v-necks. These things do have style and the smooth combed cotton feels just as good as it looks. The fit is slim and long, which make a perfect fit for that special friend in the morning that was enticed by the slick mustache print on the shirt from the night before. For me the fit was superb, slim fit to accentuate my physique and the v-neck collar was just deep enough to allow the top of my Jew-patch to show through. Those deep v-necks that some stores sell out there just show a little too much of my patch to the ladies. I like to give them something to wonder about. These shirts have screen-printing on both the inside and outside, so I assume they’re reversible which is great for saving coin on laundry. Bottom line is chicks in Salt Lake like v-necks so buy local and get some shirts from Ultra Clothing. –Mike Reff

Es Footwear and Apparel
Theory 1.5 Shoes, Incan Cord Pants & KB Stacked T-shirt
Esfootwear.com

The other day I skated a mini-ramp while wearing a rather comfortable pair of shoes that had Chocolate all over their insides. Not to be mistaken for the Es equivalent to Steve Caballero’s Half Cab shoes, these kicks do one better with removable Velcro straps and hidden stash pockets in each tongue. Chocolate Industries and Es Footwear have collaborated to design the striking Theory 1.5 mid-tops that frankly outperform the Half Cabs. The flashy Velcro straps serve as both lace protectors and lady lures, and if you really want to pull some numbers, rip out the laces and only use the straps to secure them. Women love a man who can’t tie his shoes. Es also provided a smooth pair of black Incan Cords and a red KB Stacked t-shirt, covering me from neck to toe. Although very comfortable, the Incan Cords collect dog hair and lint like a Swiffer Sweeper. The 100 % cotton t-shirt, on the other hand, was a little easier to keep clean while still being as gangster as a hollow tip bullet. –SUPeRB

Nicacelly
Jumper Hoodie
Nicacelly.com
As everyone knows, action sports enthusiasts worldwide always date hot chicks and being one myself I figure I know our tastes. Originally I was slotted to receive the reversible blazer from Nicacelly, however once the items came in, I was instantly attracted to the embellished hoodie. The Editor and myself both have very distinct styles. We made the switch to both of our enjoyment. This sweatshirt is very comfortable, although I would expect for the price tag that the sleeves wouldn’t be gathered like any old Hanes sweatshirt your mom made you wear throughout elementary, much to your dismay. The pattern used on the piping on the collar of the piece is beautiful with vibrant orange and magentas. Definitely the highlight of the top is the lotus floweresque patchwork the designer used to embellish the hood. Unfortunately, it can’t be seen unless you wear your hood up, but it’s a good enough reason to go undercover even on a sunny day. –Meghann Griggs

Foundation
Distressed F Paint Zip Hood
Foskco.com
This hoodie is pretty basic. Who doesn’t like that? I hardly got a chance to wear this one because my wife loved it so much. That’s good, right? It has clean styling and is pretty straightforward. I don’t know what else to say except that unless you’re one of those tragic hipsters that only wears organic cotton from American Apparel that this hoodie will work well for just about anyone. –Sam Milianta

Underground Products
Burnout Shorts - Vintage Dark
Being a tad catty as I am, its generally easy for me to waive off any of the new hipster trends as something I wouldn't try. All the rage this summer seems to be the knee length shorts. Utahn's should be quick to recognize this look because it is the same one you and all your elementary school girlfriends were rocking. Back then it wasn't a trend, but a must. You didn't want the bishop of your local ward telling any of the neighbors that their kids shouldn't play with you because you wore "shorty shorts" so you wore it to blend in with the masses of happy valley. These days when you see long shorts, it is primarily Mormon wives out shopping at the noon hour with their six children, all under the age of five. However, with the fad of fix gears and other biking crews blowing up, the shorts are beginning to rub off into the masses once again. Being the overly skeptical person that I am, I was hesitant to try the shorts. I was skeptical only until I tried them on. The denim is stretchy in contrast to most denim jeans. They fit very snug on the legs in a comfortable fashion and don’t squeeze my mom thighs like a stuffed sausage. These shorts are great, because the waistline isn't too low to show your ghetto g-string but not too tall like the old "regular cut" gap pants we all wore in various dyed colors. While wearing these shorts I felt hip enough to know what’s going on, but not too trendy like I just hit the Hot Topic sale rack. This is one fashion fad I'll adopt, at least until next season. - Meghann Griggs

iStik
Apple has so much turnover when it comes to their designs and products that the skinny version of the iPod Nano I received as a much anticipated gift two years ago is already a thing of the past. Trying to find accessories for my version is next to impossible, so much so that the guy at the Apple Store laughed at me when I inquired about purchasing the arm band so I can at least look the part while out running. The idea behind the iStik is you place your iPod in the hard plastic case and it magnetically clips on the opposite side of your clothing as the magnetic base. In essence the gadget should keep your iPod snug while you brisk walk, jog or sprint. Well that's all nice in thought. Starting out, I placed the iStik on the top left corner of my t-shirt and I welcomed this pleasant change from the norm of tucking my iPod in the strap of my sports bra. Not even half a lap into my workout, I noticed that the damn thing had slid down below my chest, so much that it was flapping back and forth against me as I circled the track. Insisting on finishing my run, I continued on while the so called "stik" contraption proceeded to slide further down my shirt until it almost fell off all together. The majority of my exercise that night was in patience, trying to keep the iStik on while I finished my workout. To much disappointment I may need to just jump on the marketing band wagon and upgrade to the short and gurthier Nano, and if I hurry they may still be producing the accessories to outfit it. - Meghann Griggs

Hooves by Gravis
The Beast
I will honestly and earnestly admit, reviewing a shoe designed for the metalhead lifestyle might be out of my full opinionated range. I haven’t been to a metal show in I don’t know how many months, I do spend a boatload of time listening to all that is metal (i.e. iPod, home stereo, in the car, so on and so forth) but as the infectious disease known as aging with a side ailment of being broke, I’m mostly a homebody. So how much of the metal lifestyle is sitting around on your ass, just listening to music––hell, I can’t even say I’ve been listening to music while drinking and say that the shoes will support you when your staggering around shit-faced. The shoes are dark looking, obviously only coming in the color black, though there is red laces included. I wouldn’t say they’re entirely brutal looking or anything, though the inside is lined red filled with pentagrams, with one pentagram on the tongue of the shoe. The Beast is basically a “high-top” format shoe––I’m not sure if that’s what they even call them now, but it’s kind of a cross between a sneaker and a boot and it has that upper ankle support that I can see beneficial if you’re running around in a moshpit. The traction seems to be lacking from the outset due to the lack of waffling, but the thin, tight bottom surprisingly keeps you from slipping and sliding. The shoes do come in half-sizes, but for some reason the pair I received were a size 11. I’m just a half size up and the manufacturer actually says if you have a wide foot, to go up a half size. So unfortunately, even with plenty of wearing in time, including a day-long excursion running around in the shoes at Lagoon, resulted in a portion of my ankle being rubbed raw. Other than that, my tootsies were nice and comfy throughout the day and the shoe seemed to breathe well, keeping the fire out of my feet with tons of support. The end result is that the Hooves are full of support and a great multi-use shoe––just pick your size wisely and you should be stomping around in no time. –Bryer Wharton