This weekend, with the gorgeous weather here, I got in just a bit of fishing. Just like always, I put on my old Columbia PFG long-sleeve fishing shirt for the short trip. This old shirt has been on a lot of trips and has seen its share of blood and guts. I’ve worn it in Red River, New Mexico fishing for trout at Goose Lake in the pouring rain, and it’s even been on an offshore fishing excursion with me in the Bahamas.
Though things never really get as rough around here than they did on that trip in Grand Turk, I always wear it…I (as well as several others) learned my lesson there. There is absolutely nothing in the world that can take the kind of abuse, get soaking wet and dry in a matter of minutes than a PFG shirt. So no matter what, even if it’s just fishing off of the bank, that shirt goes with me.
Things may change soon though. Seeing as how I don’t get to fish that much anymore and never really wear the PFG for anything other than fishing, it’s been quite a awhile since I’ve been in the market for one. So when I took a look at Columbia’s website on a whim the other day, I saw what may have to be my new fishing shirt.
The Columbia Airgill Chill looks remarkable from the get go, and on closer inspection has some truly “cool” features. From looking at it, I can already tell that the venting in this shirt has to be superior to my old PFG, but apparently it goes a step further. While the new shirt has “Omni-Shield” like my old shirt, the new material that they are made of has a feature called “Omni-Freeze Ice”. From reading the description on Columbia’s website, I gather that once the fabric gets wet, it instantly cools and that seems pretty interesting.
Okay, so the temperature of the shirt may not instantly drop to sub-ambient temperatures, but it looks like it might immediately release the heat that the fabric has trapped from being in the sun. Nevertheless, it looks like something that I need to investigate…I’ll keep you all posted.
I’ve been waiting to post this article for some time now, and really can’t believe that I was able to keep myself from slipping up and leaking this information. Well, now is the perfect time. Why you might ask? It’s simple. For the second year in a row, Longines is the official timekeeper and watch of the Kentucky Derby, and with our Derby Party coming up, I thought it was about time to highlight the brand of watch that they will be wearing in the Winner’s Circle this year.
After visiting with Longines several weeks ago, I recently received a package in the mail. When I opened it, I was blown away. Inside was a Longines Admiral…one of the biggest and baddest watches that I have ever seen in person. At 42 mm, this watch is definitely there, and after the initial shock of not wanting to touch it wore off, I finally decided to try it on.
To feel a watch of this quality on your wrist is quite surreal. The heft is definitely noticeable, and you can’t help but look down at it and marvel at its beauty. This particular model features hours, minutes, the date at 3 o’clock, a 24 hour hand as well as a second time-zone mechanism. The stainless steel bracelet with black ceramic links has one of the best ideas for a clasp that I’ve seen. With its triple safety folding clasp, the bracelet has to be buttoned twice, ensuring that you don’t lose your timepiece in rough seas!
Having never owned a watch with a self-winding mechanical movement, it was definitely odd to hear the mechanism working to power up the watch after it had set for several hours throughout the night, but somehow assured me that I was wearing a watch that was crafted by perfectionists who produce a watch for the person who wants the very best.
If you’re going to wear a watch this good-looking, you want a nice backdrop for it. After some thought, I decided that Tom James was up to the task. Paired with my green and lavender plaid sportshirt, I believe that this is the perfect combination.
The Admiral is amazing, and something to behold. If you own a Longines, we’d love to see it! Send us some pictures and we’ll post it on our Facebook page. Until then, you owe it to yourself to take a look at Longines.
A couple of weeks ago, we visited with Grant Hewit of Hudson Sutler and learned about what drives the man. Today, we are going to visit the product. Right now, Hudson Sutler makes one thing and makes it well…duffel bags. With their classic looks, these bags are somewhat of a throwback to better times gone by. They remind us of a time when things were made here, and made to last.
After receiving one of the HS Cummuter Duffels a few weeks ago, I decided to give it another Panhandle Prep stress test. To accomplish this, there was only one place that I could think of that would offer me the tools to perform such a test, so naturally I headed to a place where you and your equipment had better be built to last…CrossFit806.
When I showed up at CF806 with the bag in tow , it passed the first test with flying colors. Jason Rel at CrossFit806, is something of a bag geek. When I walked in the front door, he didn’t even look at my face…I could tell he was staring at the Commutter Duffel. There you go. It’s eye-catching, and has apparently upstaged my usual Saturday morning arrival. One down, one to go…It’s nice to see you too Jason!
The next test was to see just what the bag could withstand. After initially receiving the bag and giving a thorough inspection I was already impressed. YKK zippers. As a son of a Dry Cleaner owner, I’ve come to know zippers, and YKK is without a doubt the best there is. I was very happy to see that, but how about the construction? The exterior of the duffel is heavy (and I mean heavy) canvas, but could it take two 53 lb kettle bells? We were about to find out. The contrasting white straps on the bag are made of a heavy cotton braid, and the snap-hooks that attach the shoulder strap are not of the wimpy wire variety. They seem to be built to last as well, because the bag held 106 lbs of hell and never even groaned.
Stress test passed? Check.
If I were more sadistic, I’m sure that I could have come up with some more brutal trials to put the duffel through, but this thing just looks so good, and I’m not willing to maim this one. No, I’ll be keeping it looking proper. With its amazing interior of plaid, this is sure to turn heads for years to come.
The long and short of it is this. You need to own one of these great pieces of American construction. Check out the Hudson Sutler website, or visit with Grant yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
With our upcoming Kentucky Derby Party, I thought that it might be a good idea to dive into just what to expect at an event such as this. As Derby parties are not the norm in the Texas Panhandle, we hope to change that and show everyone a great time while we raise money for a good cause. By learning what might make your party experience more enjoyable, everyone can then relax and have a leisurely day at the races. To make the learning curve easier, we have compiled a survival guide of sorts to help you prep for the first Saturday in May. So sit back, and take a look at some of the tips that we think can make you an old pro at Derby Day in no time flat.
1. Derby Hats – Ladies, they can be crazy, they can be flashy…they can also be reserved. Here’s great place to start the hunt for yours.
2. Daily Racing Forms – People, this is of utmost importance. Get to know how to read a Racing Form.
3. Derby Fare – The cucumber sandwiches are not the main fare at a Derby Party. They’re almost exclusively for looks…almost. Wait it out until the good stuff arrives.
4. Racing Knowledge – Want to get a leg up on the other guy? You need to be checking out the other races leading up to the first leg of the Triple Crown.
6. The Crown – To win the coveted trophy and prove that you have the best Derby Hat, you better bring your A-game.
7. The Beverage – Mint Juleps are the drink of the day. They may sound dainty, but you’d better try it before you knock it.
For a short while now, I’ve been visiting with a man named Grant M Hewit. For the most part, Mr. Hewit is much like any normal man. If you begin to take a look at everything the man is involved with though, you begin to see that this man is no mere mortal.
For starters, Grant is the President and CEO of the Cross Hudson Group, LLC, where he founded Streaker Sports and produces the Big Apple Pond Hockey Classic. Add the New York City Wingfest to his list of to-do’s and you have one very busy guy. The fun doesn’t stop there though. Which brings us to the reason for today’s post. Hudson Sutler…a company founded by Mr. Hewit that has caught my full attention as of late.
When I first saw a Hudson Sutler bag, I was amazed by the look of it. To me, it looked like an old duffel that I used to have and it immediately took me back in time. Classic and rugged, Hudson Sutler bags bring back the look of those that we all used to carry, but with some very noticeable updates. Crafted from heavy-duty 18 oz. canvas, these bags are all there. Later on, I will do a full review on the bags themselves, but today I wanted to get you acquainted with the man that produces these great items.
The other day, I was able to catch up with Mr. Hewit in between work and prepping for his next triathlon and ask him a few questions.
First, can you tell us a bit about yourself? What is it that Grant M Hewit does on a day-to-day basis? In other words, what fills up your schedule on a normal day?
I fear my day-to-day will sound boring, but I’ve got to answer what’s asked right? Being the opposite of a “morning person” I spend about 75% of my morning in complete silence until my coffee finally kicks in, and then after that I’m actually a decent enough guy to deal with. Right now I’ve been hard at work getting our Spring line for Hudson Sutler ready as well as developing new products for the brand (expected at the end of Summer.) I’m really proud of how much attention to detail we put into our first round of bags, and so I’ve been extremely conscious to put in the same amount of meticulous decision-making into round two. Thanks to the insanely warm weather here in NYC lately, I usually take a break in the afternoon and hit Central Park for a run before returning to my office. I’m training for my second 70.3 Ironman, slated for September. For a guy that looks like Gizmo when he eats after midnight in the water, I’m not sure why I sign up for sporting events that involve swimming, but I really enjoy triathlons.
I’ve found out that you have been involved with Lacrosse for some time now…can you tell us about your past and present roles within the sport?
As the third of four kids, I pretty much did whatever my older brother did, so when he started playing lacrosse, I followed suit. I played through high school in New Jersey and was fortunate enough to play in college at Princeton. What made that experience even better was having my younger brother join me for my final 2 years. When I graduated I moved to New York City and began volunteering with an organization called CityLax. (www.CityLax.org) Unfortunately, this year my time volunteering has been limited, as I try to grow my business, but I’m still involved in the organization and help however I can. In the spring, I suit up and play with some old college teammates and opponents, but truth be told I don’t know if what I do anymore is technically “lacrosse” as much as it is just being on a field with lacrosse equipment on. I love the game though, and try to stay involved however I can.
Let’s get to the reason we’re here. Hudson Sutler…when did you start this great company, and what inspired you to do so?
Almost a year ago I was working in finance in New York City when I decided to roll the dice and try my hand at starting up a company. At the time I had already founded a sports apparel brand called Streaker Sports and was doing that, but Hudson Sutler quickly became my next passion project. The brand (under about 1000 other names) was in development for close to 9 months before it was launched in December. The inspiration for the brand comes from a true appreciation for “Timeless American Classics.” White button down shirts, broken in jeans, the movie Caddyshack and a cold beer on a warm day with some buddies to me are just things that are Timeless American Classics. With Hudson Sutler, we set out to create another classic item that seemed to have been lost over the years; the canvas duffel bag. In paying homage to our namesake, we set out to have our bags Made in the USA, and be evidence that the American working spirit is alive and well.
Tell us about the design process. Was there an “it” moment that you wanted to see that would let you know your bags were exactly what you wanted to create?
I don’t even know how many rounds of prototypes we did before I had that “it” moment, but I do remember clearly, getting the last test round of samples and just knowing. The weight of the canvas was just right, the contrast stitching was just right, the thick, vintage style zipper just clicked and the icing on the cake was the plaid liner. Beyond that, the moment when I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt this way, was about one week after we launched the brand. I was meeting a friend for lunch, and as I placed my bag down on the chair next to me, our waitress commented “That’s a really sharp bag.” As a merchant of products meant to be seen and felt, I get really amped every time we get a comment like that, an email from a customer, or even just a tweet about how much people like their Hudson Sutler bags.
Last but not least. My Hudson Sutler duffel has been just what I needed. All of my CrossFit gear fits in there perfectly. What’s in your bag?
With tri training in full swing, I’ve got a set of workout clothes which always includes (self promo warning) Streaker Sports shorts. Aside from that, I’m kind of old school and always carry a book (no Kindle for this guy) and a folder with tons of work notes in it. After missing some late night emails to myself, and Evernote not working on the NYC subway, I reverted back to writing notes. Work keys, apartment keys and that’s about it. When the warm weather really kicks in, my Randolph Engineering aviators make the daily trip.
Our thanks to Grant for taking the time out of his busy schedule to visit with us. Next week, we will have part II of our take on Hudson Sutler. Be sure to check us out then, and in the meantime, click on over to their website www.hudsonsutler.com and check them out. I assure you, it will be time well spent!