Thursday, December 17, 2009

Just Released: Jackson Kayak Villain Prototype Photos

Thanks to the crew at Jackson Kayak for showing us photos of their brand new river-running creeker, the Villain. Along the same lines as the Pyranha Burn and Dagger Mamba, the Villain will be super beginner-friendly but able to drop big falls in a single bound (when leaving the scene of a villianous incident). The flatish hull should be easy to steer and control, but the rounded, recessed chines should provide good secondary stability. The waist-high side line helps stiffen the walls of the boat, giving you a solid, tough sidewall.

We think it may become easiest roller in our fleet, and it looks like it'll be pretty speedy, but we won't know for sure until we get it on the water. Luckily, we'll be doing just that tomorrow with the JK crew. Expect to see photos from the test run on the Cascades tomorrow both on this blog and on EJ's blog.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pyranha's New Playboat

Wayner's First Impressions of the Molan

I had a chance to take Pyranha's new playboat for a spin at the NOC wave today and wanted to give some my first impressions of the boat. In the past the Pyranha playboats have been a little on the aggressive side so I was excited to try this new boat that promised to be more user friendly.

After playing around for a few minutes doing spins, blunts and front surfing, the boat lived up to that promise. It is very user friendly and was comfortable in the water whether it was pointed upstream, downstream or sideways in the hole. Spins on the corner were very smooth and easy. What would have been a tentative move for me now happened with ease.

If you're into cartwheels, it is smooth on both ends and feels very well balanced. Other vertical moves were easily controlled. Chan and Casey Jones took the boat to Eternity Hole and have some great shots of stout air in the boat on their Facebook pages.

Watch Chan and Casey going big in Chan's video:

First Impressions of the Pyranha Molan from Chan Jones on Vimeo.

If you paddle this boat, you just might have to get one of your very own.

I definitely give this boat a Big Boomin' Fun!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

12 Days of Christmas

December 10th- 21-31% off IR Drytops (Men's Session Short Sleeve, Women's Session Short Sleeve)

December 11th- 13% off NRS Farmer John Wetsuit

December 12th- 25% off Astral PFD's (Willis & Bella)

December 13th- 25% Kokatat Meridian Dry Suit

December 14th- 13-25% Select Helmets (Shred Ready Super Scrappy & Standard, Sweet Rocker & Strutter)

December 15th- 30% off Down Jackets (Patagonia Down Sweater & Micro Puff, Outdoor Research Transcendent)

December 16th- 30% off Mountain Hardwear Mecurial Jacket

December 17th- 30% off Mountain Hardwear Micro Grid Zip T

December 18th- 20% off Peak UK Creek Jacket

December 19th- 25% off Mountain Hardwear Women's Printed Magical Longsleeve Tee Shirt

December 20th- 45% off Specialized P.1 All Mountain Rim Mountain Bike (Used Rental Bike- In stock items only)

December 21st- 18% off Pyranha Z.One Kayak (Connect 30 Outfitting)

Didn't find the deal you were looking for? Go to our Holiday Gift Zone for more deals.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Free Shipping

NOC Customers

Get a jump on the holidays with a special deal from NOC. Starting today, shop for gear at NOC and get Free Shipping on all orders over $49. This offer starts today shop @

Monday, November 23, 2009

NOC Holiday Gift Zone

NOC Holiday Gift Zone

This Holiday Season we have all of the gifts that you need. Shop our Holiday Gift Center for a full range of gifts for any budget or need.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NOC Fall Boat Sale

NOC's Fall Boat Sale is going on now. For a limited time get special deals on these great kayaks & canoes at NOC's Outfitter's Store.

Check out all of the whitewater boats at

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

AT Paddles 20% Off

Early Christmas Present or Late-Season Steal? Kayak Paddles by Adventure Technology are Now 20% OFF! See the full selection when you click the link below.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Cascades are Running...

Check out our report on the Nantahala Spills & the Best Whitewater Week All Year. The reports from NOC staff are that the flows are epic today. In addition, folks are anxiously awaiting both the Fall flows on the Cheoah River and the classic Green Race.

NOC's Outfitter's Store has all of the gear you need for this great week of Paddling. Have fun out there, and don't forget your protection!

Friday, October 16, 2009

NOC Honors Dagger, Immersion Research with 2009 Paddlesports Manufacturer Awards

Nantahala Outdoor Center announces the first-annual selections for Paddlesports Manufacturers of the Year. With 37 years as a leader in the paddlesports industry, NOC has selected two companies to receive top honors in two categories: Dagger Kayaks was named Kayak Manufacturer of the Year, and Immersion Research was recognized for excellence in paddling accessories.

Sutton Bacon, President and CEO of NOC, said of the awards “We are proud to present these honors to two highly motivated manufacturers who have been great partners in our industry.” NOC works with hundreds of top-quality brands, and selecting top companies in particular was a challenge. Bacon explained, “We resisted offering this award in the past, as there are many quality companies out there, but we felt the time was right to begin recognizing the companies who go above and beyond in our industry.”

Dagger is a well-established leader in the paddlesports industry. In 2009, Dagger made concerted efforts to engage paddlers in online programs such as Paddle it Forward and Dagger Community. Their dedicated sales force, highlighted by Rep. Adam Motes, accompanied by a team of accomplished athletes promoted kayaking in a way that strengthened the popularity of paddling across the board. In 2009, these Dagger ambassadors were seen around NOC more than any other company, promoting a quality product and a general love for paddling.

While only a handful of kayak manufacturers exist in the market, companies that make paddling accessories are almost limitless. NOC honored Immersion Research (IR) in recognition for innovation and customer engagement. From drysuits, tops and pants, spray skirts and decks, hip apparel, layering options and accessories like pogies and creek bags, IR makes products that are functional and prized by paddlers everywhere. IR is one of the most active paddling companies in the social media space, and has utilized their website to highlight user comments and reviews. Sales Rep. Spencer Cooke has been integral in customer engagement, and a quick scan of their site shows their dedication to talking to their customers not just listening.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

2010 Jackson Fun to Debut at GAF This Weekend

NOC will have the all new 2010 Jackson Fun ready for you this weekend. Come and test out the 2010 Fun on the Nanty at GAF! NOC will have a range of boats ready for you to take home so come see the new Fun design that will debut the first time on Friday at noon.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Adventure Upgrade: New Gifts from NOC & Subaru

When you purchase or lease a new Subaru, you'll get a NOC Gift Card worth $500, good for any NOC purchase or program. You'll also get enrolled in a Weekend Whitewater Clinic from our world-famous Paddling School. Offer valid at any participating dealership in the Subaru Southcentral region.

Save Big on New Paddling Gear with GAF Specials at the Outfitter's Store

The time has arrived for our big Guest Appreciation Festival, just three days from now! NOC's famous Outfitter's Store is the nation's largest paddlesports retailer, and these are just some of the deals you can expect to find this weekend at GAF.

Sweet helmets are 35% OFF

Drytops, dry pants and drysuits by Palm are 30% OFF, and they come in great colors

The PeakUK Riverguide PFD is 30% OFF

Peak UK Freeride Drytops are 30% OFF

All Werner and Adventure Technology Paddles are 20% OFF

Purchase any NEW boat and receive $150 off of MSRP! (Includes canoes, recreational and fishing kayaks.)

NOC's Outfitter's Store sale officially begins this Friday at 9am. Store hours for the weekend are as follows:

Friday 9am-8pm
Saturday 8am-8pm
Sunday 8am-5pm

The store's used fleet of demo boats goes on sale Saturday morning at 8am.

Here's a link to our festival announcement in the Asheville Citizen-Times.

Sneak Peek: Special Sales on North Face Gear at GAF

This Guest Appreciation Festival, NOC's Outfitter's Store is blowing out North Face apparel at incredible prices. We know you're going to scoop this stuff up, so here's a sneak preview of special sales you'll find at GAF, next weekend

Men's Venture Parka Anyone who's hiked in the Smokies knows a rain storm can catch up with you at any moment. Whether you're on the ridge to Andrews Bald or in the hollow starting the Bartram Trail, The Venture Parka is the ultimate rainwear piece for any occasion. This popular piece has been updated to include an improved hood for greater coverage. Your GAF Price: $78
Men's Hedgehog Mid GTX ShoeDesigned for multisport athletes and adventure racers, the Hedgehog Mid GTX XCR is the optimal all-terrain shoe. Designed with a grippy Vibram outsole, this do-it-all speed-hiking shoe offers a mid-cut profile for added support. Break them in onNOC's Flint Ridge Trail! Your GAF Price: $66
Men's Half Dome Hoodie Designed with athletic-inspired ribbing at the cuffs and hem, the Half Dome Hoodie is a classic pullover layer for cool weather excursions. Contrasting color logo is screen-printed on the chest. Your lady will definitely want to borrow this one on layover days.Your GAF Price: $24
Women's Carmen Shirt Perfect for meeting friends for lunch or hanging around the river on sunny fall afternoons, this soft cotton shirt features feminine detailing throughout that flatters all shapes. Smocking along the back and empire waistline creates a close-to-skin fit. The Carmen Shirt also features a longer torso length provides greater coverage while reaching and moving.Your GAF Price: $21
Women's WindWall 1 Vest A sleeveless version to the favorite wind-inhibiting fleece. The WindWall 1 Vest delivers athletic warmth in cold weather and excellent insulation when layered. Great for training on cool fall days at Tsali. Your GAF Price: $48
Women's Akira Sport PantsDesigned for low-impact use, the Akira Sport Pant is made with 8 percent elastane for increased stretch during workouts. A wider waistband hugs your hips, ensuring a secure fit while squatting, kicking or pivoting. Stitching details accentuated on the outside in contrast color add modern style lines to these timeless pants. All-day cozies. Your GAF Price: $27
Women's Hedgehog Mid GTX XCR Shoe Decked out with all the same features as the Men's Hedgehog, the women's version comes in beige as seen at left, and in gray/blue. All-terrain shoe is lightweight, waterproof, breathable and durable with Vibram sole. Your GAF Price: $66

Monday, August 31, 2009

Fall Product in at NOC Outfitter's Store


2007 Jackson Punk Rocker Kayak
Special deal on this great creek boat. After two years in the Rocker and with extensive feedback from the hardest users, the Rocker enters a new era of creek-boat performance – in 3 sizes! Refined rocker transition delivers auto-boofing characteristics to this fast, stay-on-line design. The boats have more leg room for entry and exit, raised, catch-free edges for the most challenging cross-currents and Boat Armor outfitting for a rock-solid hull with "Uni-shock" impact-absorbing bulkhead system.

Deep See Warmers Paddler Glove
The kids are back in school and Fall paddling is in full swing, keep your hands warm in Soft, flexible 3-mm neoprene gloves. These gloves have a hidden layer of titanium to warm your hands by reflecting body heat. An improved Tuff Skin palm and fingers provide a sure grip on the paddle.

Patagonia Capilene 4 Hoody
All the benefits of Patagonia's quick-wicking, fast-drying and ultra-warm Capilene® 4, with the added advantage of a cozy hood. The fabric's interior grid traps heat; its smooth jersey-knit exterior layers easily. Cuffs and hood edges are turned out for extra softness and insulation, and a drop-tail hem keeps the elements out. Seams are thoughtfully placed for chafe-free mobility and contoured shaping, resulting in a bulk-free, feminine fit. Made from 50% recycled (and 100% recyclable) polyester from Patagonia's Common Threads Recycling Program, with a Gladiodor™ anti-odor finish. Imported.

Patagonia Bandha Dress
Light, sleeveless, sexy – as suitable for post-yoga cover-up as for dancing on the deck of the palapa. The Bandha's V-neck drops into a knotted bodice. Made from fabric (92% nylon/8% spandex) originally developed for climbing tights, for resiliency and shape retention and to shake off wrinkles and dust. Below-knee length.

Patagonia Capilene 2 V-Neck Long Sleeve
The open, highly breathable knit and feathery weight of Patagonia's Capilene® 2 affords unhindered airflow, excellent wicking for endurance activities in warm to moderate temperatures--it's also Patagonia's fastest-drying Capilene®. Because of its low-bulk design and streamlined fit, Capilene® 2 also acts an excellent layering piece beneath Capilene® 3 or 4 during colder weather. Made of quick-wicking, fast-drying 54% post-consumer recycled (and 100% recyclable) Capilene® 2 polyester, with Gladiodor™ natural odor control. Made in USA.

Patagonia Morning Glory Halter Top
If you are on the move a lot you need your clothes to be able to adapt. This tieless halter from Patagonia will go from the river to the Café'. Featuring ultra-stretchy material and a knack for keeping it's shape this top will go where ever you go!

Patagonia Puckerware Shirt
Seersucker! Funny word, right? Great for clothing. Patagonia Puckerware Shirt will make other shirts wilt. Its crinkled weave sits just off the skin, allowing air to circulate and sweat to dissipate. Oh and it is already wrinkled so you don't have to worry about ironing.

Patagonia Capilene 3 Zip Neck Long Sleeve Men's
Ideal as a baselayer for endurance activities in cool to cold temperatures, Capilene® 3 moves moisture effectively to keep you dry. Its brushed interior retains heat, while its smooth jersey exterior glides easily beneath layers. The fit is contoured and sleek without being restrictive. Made from quick-wicking, fast-drying and insulative 64% post-consumer recycled (and 100% recyclable) Capilene® 3 polyester, with Gladiodor™ natural odor control. Imported.

The North Face Men's Atlas Triclimate Jacket
Not sure if the forecast calls for a thunderstorm or a snowstorm? This versatile three-in-one jacket provides optimal cold and wet weather protection so you'll never need to debate which jacket is best for the conditions. With a waterproof, breathable, seam sealed exterior featuring an adjustable, removable hood, stay dry during wet weather with just the shell. For cold, wintertime weather, pair it with the fleece interior jacket for optimal warmth. Both jackets feature color blocking under the arms and sides.

The North Face Men's Zeus Triclimate Jacket
During the winter on Mount Olympus, Zeus probably wished he could have traded in his toga for this versatile, three-in-one jacket when the temperatures dipped below those suitable for barely-there threads. Paired together with a HyVent® 2L, waterproof, breathable exterior and a removable fleece interior, this versatile jacket keeps its bearer warm during a variety of cold weather activities; excluding tossing thunderbolts.

The North Face WindWall 1 Men's Jacket
"Wind can be your worst enemy, making cold and uncomfortable, dangerous and unbearable. The WindWall 1 Jacket takes the edge off." -Cedar Wright, The North Face® Athlete, Rock Climber. The WindWall 1 Jacket is a great windchill-inhibiting fleece for everyday wear. Delivering athletic warmth in cold weather, and excellent insulation when layered, there's no wonder why this is a favorite fleece among athletes in windy, cold conditions.

Men's & Women's Sugoi Evolution Cycling Shorts Women's
The Sugoi Evolution Short is built for distance and comfort. Made with 8 contoured panels and detailed flat stitching, and a Ricaro2, multi-component, pressure-sensitive chamois designed and developed to offer race ready performance. 8 inch inseam and flat drawstring with elastic waist. Signature grip leg elastic
Made with Evotech fabric - a gradient-denier, a dual-surface technology for durable, dependable, comfort. The inner side features a micro fibre-track to draw and disperse moisture to the surrounding micro surface for rapid perspiration transfer.
Buy Now

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tsali Challenge Triathlon

NOC Tsali Challenge Triahlon is this weekend. It’s an adventure triathlon brought to you like only NOC and Gone Riding can. Who wants to get kicked in the head during the swim anyway?

The Tsali Challenge Triathlon replaces the traditional swim, cycle and run with a 3-mile lake paddle, a 5-mile trail run and a 12-mile mountain bike ride, all at beautiful, nearby Tsali Recreation Area on Fontana Lake.

Individuals compete on Saturday with five classes of racers: Women’s Open, Men’s Open, Women’s Masters and Men’s Masters (Masters Classes are open to competitors age 40+), and the Grandmaster (60+) Class. Sunday sees the Team Challenge, where 3-person teams divvy up each leg of the race to one team member. On Sunday, there are three classes: Female, Male and Co-Ed teams. A racers’ meeting is held 20-minutes prior to the start of competition on both Saturday and Sunday.

Click here to register online for the Tsali Challenge.

Shop for some great gear to prepare for the race!


NOC Logo Jersey

Bike Accessories


Recreational & Touring Paddles

Hurricane Aquasports Tampico 136 L Kayak

Recreational & Touring PFDs


Men’s Vasque Velocity

Women’s Vasque Velocity

Check our Store Anytime for

NOC Hot Deals- Limited Time Sales Items

NOC Gift Card- $25 and up!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


check out all of the deals at noc outfitter's Store. We have all the gear you need at great prices.

Jackson Punk Rocker Kayak 2007
Now: $695.00 (Save 42%)

Dagger Agent Kayak
Price: As low as $649.00

Seals Shocker Sprayskirt
Now: $92.00 (Save 23%)

Sierra Designs Lightning 2 Tent
Now: $199.99 (Save 31%)

Columbia Mean-Lil Monster Hat
Now: $6.50 (Save 57%)

Pacific Outdoor iPouch
Now: $10.00 (Save 55%)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hybrid Boat Testing

by Wayner

The Dagger Approach, LiquidLogic ReMix XP and Pyranha Fusion

When I started paddling a kayak, I had a lake boat, playboat, river runner, creek boat and racing boat. They were called a Perception Mirage. One boat did it all. Now with so many categories of boats and vast number of designs it’s often hard to imagine one boat doing it all. Four years ago, Pyranha produced the Master TG, a whitewater boat with a built in skeg that became a huge success in Great Britain but never caught on in the US. When Dagger released the Approach 2 years ago, it was an attempt to combine the relative speed and stability of a recreational kayak with the sporty feel of a whitewater boat. The concept and design was a huge success, so much so boat Liquid Logic and Pyranha launched similar boats for 2009.

Each of these boats features a built in, drop-down skeg for ease and speed on the lake. Lift the skeg into the hull and you have a formidable river runner, comfortable in Class II+ whitewater. Though many of us have enjoyed paddling these boats on Class IV-V runs, they are not really built for rivers that offer more than the occasional Class III rapid. However, with the hatch in the back and solid outfitting, I think we’ll be seeing several people doing expedition trips in both the ReMix XP and Fusion.

Although these boats are of the same character, the designs were fairly different in many ways including performance, outfitting, price and other factors. We wanted to assemble a diverse team to help sort through all of the features and determine the advantages and disadvantages of each design. There are smaller versions of the Dagger and Liquid Logic designs which would work well for smaller paddlers, but to keep the test fair we used only the 10-foot-long models.

We began testing the Hybrids on Fontana Lake.

The Approach offered the most spartan outfitting, with a large cockpit that made entry and exit easy on the paddlers but offered less control. For the novice paddler, especially someone that has the sense of feeling trapped in a closed cockpit boat, this was a real bonus. Some of our intermediate paddlers however, felt it lacked a fit that gave them the control they were used to. The Fusion offered high end whitewater outfitting that was very comfortable to most testers and offered a better sense of control than the Approach. Our biggest tester—at 6 feet tall and190 pounds—felt a little cramped in the boat. The ReMix won the comfortable outfitting award but felt like a “bathtub,” swallowing up some of the smaller testers (lucky for them the 9-foot version is available).

Confidence on the Lake
All of the boats inspired confidence on the lake offering a good combination of stability, tracking and maneuverability. Both the Approach and ReMix offered excellent primary and secondary stability, a welcome feature for novice paddlers. The Fusion is narrower than than the other two boats, yet it offered good all-around stability, even for the novices.

Going Straight
Most lake paddling is spent going straight ahead, so we wanted to see how each of our boats performed while paddling in a straight line, first with the skeg up and then with the skeg down.

With the skeg up, the ReMix was the overall favorite and easiest to paddle in a straight line. Some of our more-advanced whitewater boaters felt that the Fusion was easiest to control. One paddler commented on the weight of the ReMix and that it seemed more difficult to get up to speed.

With the skeg, down the favorite was the Fusion. All of the paddlers commented on how much faster the design was than the other boats and it was dubbed the “bullet” by the group.

Hands down, all of our testers felt that raising or lowering the skeg was most easily done with the ReMix’s lever action rather than the ropes and cleats of the other two boats. The lever action took some of the guesswork out of trying to determine whether the skeg was up or down.

After assessing the boats strengths and weaknesses on the lake, we decided to take them to a local class I-II section of the scenic Little Tennessee River to see how they performed on moving water.

Phase II: Fun on the Little Tennessee River

Downriver Action
We paddled downriver and enjoyed the confidence that these boats provided on the smaller rapids of the “Little T.” All of the boats were easy to control in Class I rapids and as well as the Class II rapid at the end of our trip.

On our way, we did a few ferries, eddy turns and peel-outs to see how the boats performed moving across the current. Lindsey, our most novice paddler preferred the ReMix on the lake, but her favorite boat on the river was the Approach, feeling that it was easier to maneuver. Lisa and I both enjoyed the Fusion the most on the river, probably because of its maneuverability and it paddled most similarly to whitewater kayaks.

Ben T. hits some wave action.

We managed to find a few waves to surf, and Ben even hit some spins in the Fusion. We felt that all of the boats were capable of surfing small waves on the river. We imagined they would also be fun surfing ocean waves! Overall, each of the boats performed well on the lake and river exhibiting a variety of performance characteristics. After our day of paddling and testing, it was time to ask the all important question…

Which boat would you buy?

Ben T. — ReMix XP
Ben W. — Fusion
Lindsey — ReMix XP
Lisa — Fusion
Wayner — Fusion

Another thing to consider is the weight of each boat, especially if you paddle alone. Below are manufacturer’s listed weight for each boat, from lightest to heaviest:
Dagger Approach — 37 pounds
Pyranha Fusion — 45 pounds
Liquid Logic Remix XP-10 — 49 pounds

Price is also a consideration for many paddlers. Here’s the retail price from least to most expensives. In general, they are more expensive than a recreational kayak but cheaper than a whitewater boat.
Dagger Approach — $749
Pyranha Fusion — $899
Liquid Logic Remix XP-10 — $979

Although each of us had our favorite on the lake and river, we thoroughly enjoyed paddling all of these boats. We're sure these boats won’t show up on the latest extreme kayaking videos (probably), but they all offer most paddlers many days of fun and confidence on the water.

Hybrid testers Lisa, Ben T. and Lindsey.

Thanks to our testers Lisa Watkins, Ben Thorpe, Lindsey Thorpe and Ben Wiggins (not pictured) that gave up a beautiful Sunday afternoon to help us put these boats through the rigorous testing process!

Each boat is available at NOC's online Outfitter's Store, NOC Direct:
Dagger Approach
Liquid Logid ReMix XP-10
Pyranha Fusion

Friday, June 26, 2009

Outfitter's Store Staff Workout: Nantahala Attainments

For fun and fitness, many NOC staff members paddle attainments on the Nantahala River on lunch break, or after hours. Doing "attainments" means paddling upstream from eddy to eddy, and like riding a bike uphill, paddling upstream is harder than floating downstream. Attainment workouts are good for both strength and overall fitness, and are especially popular among NOC staff in the winter since you can stay pretty dry, and your constant exertion keeps you warm.

In this video, NOC's retail director (and Olympic paddling coach) Chris Hipgrave demonstrates the attainment workout, beginning from the Founder's Bridge (near River's End Restaurant) all the way upstream to Nantahala Falls. Disclaimer: unless you're really interested in paddling, you may not find this very stimulating! You'll see that the workout involves navigating paths of the least resistance, and even a few up-river boofs.

This is why the staff of NOC's Outfitter's Store are known for their expertise and their passion for play. They've worn every shoe on the shelf, packed and assembled every tent we sell and paddled every boat in stock, even some of them upstream!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Set Yourself Up with a Yakima Base Rack System

June is a great time to outfit your ride, because you'll get $30 back when you purchase a Yakima Base Rack System at NOC!

Yakima is the first name in automobile rack systems, having perfected "Destination Hardware" over their 20 years in business. Much more than two-by-fours and some brackets, Yakima systems help you securely haul gear for almost any outdoor activity, without looking like the Clampetts.

Purchasing a base system sets you up for any adventure sport. A combined purchase of towers and crossbars before June 30 qualifies you to get $30 back from Yakima. From that base, you can add any number of equipment-specific attachments (our favorite is the Hull Raiser) for secure storage/transportation of your most prized possessions.

Visit NOC's Outfitter's Store today, on the banks of the Nantahala or online. Our helpful staff can walk you through choosing the right base rack system for your vehicle and equipment needs.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Keen Visits NOC

Jeff Weathersbee, our rep from Keen paid a visit yesterday to talk about new Keen footwear, and some very helpful trivia about rubber-soled shoes. In fact, did you know that sturdy Vibram soles are made by a family-owned Italian company that got its start with the help of their friends, the Pirelli's (think tires)?

Whatever the origin of rubber soles, Keen shoes are their apotheosis, with incredible form and fashion. They're also available at NOC! A great new item this year is the Roatan water shoe for women. It's lightweight, drains water and comes in a cute but secure ballet flat!

Our education continued with other items like the Vibram Five Fingers, a shoe engineered to simulate barefoot walking.

The Outfitter's Store staff also modeled new sunglasses by Native. I mean, how stylish do these guys look? The white pair got props for having a tortoise-shell inner.

Finally, we all got to brag about our beloved Marmot Precip Jackets. This is one of the only waterproof, lightweight and breathable rain jackets on the market under $100. As anyone at NOC and they've most likely got a well-loved Precip.

Stop in NOC's Outfitter's Store and learn more about any of these products, and thanks to Jeff for the great info!