Tested Gear Guide: Julbo Wave

Reviewer :The Expeditioners Roberto
Gear: Julbo Wave Sunglasses

It’s not often that a pair of shades lasts more than 3 months with us. And it’s not because we’re careless. It’s because sunglasses are one of those items that you can practically use every single day (depending on where you live.) But this frequent use, like anything else, is what usually causes there to be a high probability that you will lose them, scratch them, or break them.

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If you’re an outdoor adventurer, then that probability is even higher. Which is why Bella and I literally go through about 7 lost/broken/sunken pairs of sunnies per year. In the past year, we drove over a pair that had fallen in the snow, lost 4 to kiteboarding, one got scratched so badly that their un-usable (while crawling through a section of caves 1km into the earth that were 3 feet tall and 70 feet long,) and another also got bent out of whack somehow.

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So it’s with great surprise that I still have my Julbo Wave sunglasses after 5 months. And there’s a key factor why… they float.

When we’re kiting, the crashes can be pretty superb– and for a few moments you don’t know what is up, left or right. Most sunglasses don’t float– so if they came off your face, then Poseidon’s got a new look. Thanks to me, he has a new collection now.

With the Wave shades– they float perfectly. My solution to keep them from ripping off my face (when possible) was to put one of those touristy floaty bands. Both for keeping them on my face and for greater visibility after a crash. And trust me– these Julbos are so comfortable that you don’t want to lose them!

With many of the glasses I lost, the band just ripped off the end of the arms. In the case of Julbo’s Waves, I can tie the band to the arm tips, which kept it from tearing off like the others. The strap they supply is great for kayaking and calmer water sports, but tended to snap off with my kiting wipe-outs. Luckily, the wave’s arms have holes through which you can tie the strap nice and tight.

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Even if your strap does come off, with the Waves, after the confusion of a crash settles, you can easily spot them floating. Now it isn’t just the floating factor that made these one of my faves, it’s the incredible polarized lenses coupled with fantastic full eye-protection. When you do lots of water and snow sports, the sun is reflecting on the water or snow from beneath you- usually squeezing under your glasses and hurting your eyes. But with these, they cup your eyes just perfectly– so that no sun squeezes through, and so that I don’t get water into my eyes that’s kicking up from my board.

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Another neat factor I like is the drainage/venting holes, so that when you do take a dunking and come out–the water just drains out nicely. They give great air circulation while still protecting you. Must have been a water athlete that designed these! Here’s a few pics of mine in use!

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But what if you’re biking or doing a sport where you have way too much humidity and you nee extreme air circulation? Then you just snap off a section and suddenly they’ve got all the ventilation you could ask for. Transformer cool.

If you want to get yourself a pair, you can input ‘The Expeditioners’ as a promo code and get 10% off ANY Julbo shades!
Link to purchase: www.julbo-canada.ca

Website: www.julbo-canada.ca
Test Locations: Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico | Yellowstone National Park, USA | Whistler, B.C. Canada
Price: $130
Available in 5 color combos.

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Sian Ka’an | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World

Sian Ka’an | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World
By. The Expeditioners Roberto
Photos and videos by Roberto & Bella

WHERE: Sian Ka’an Nature Reserve, Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico

WHAT WE DID: Kiteboard. Watch turtles nest. Open endless coconuts with a machete. Swing a lot in a hammock. Eat lots and lots of fresh and cheap fruits.

HOW TO GET THERE: Best way is to fly into Cancun and then either rent a car (for $18US) per day, and drive down to Tulum (about 2 hours) and then into the reserve. Another option is to take a bus to Tulum from Cancun, and then have a taxi drive you to El Ultimo Maya

WHERE WE STAYED: Sian Ka’an Nature reserve is a little known destination in Mexico. It literally merges with Tulum. Long desolate beaches join with those of the Tulum hotel area. There are few places to stay in Sian Ka’an–ranging from campgrounds (with or without facilities) to $500US per night rooms. By happenstance, we discovered “El Ultimo Maya” a campground with facilities (shower and toilet) and with a Labrador style canvas tent with a queen size bed. The showers have saloon like doors and are somewhat open-air. For tall people like myself, you can clearly see everyone around the campground as you shower. Kinda humerous. As we were usually the only people there, it wasn’t an issue, but I could see it being a tad uncomfortable if you go during Semana Santa (Mexican Holiday)… or if you’re a really tall gal.

For Tulum rates, it’s quite affordable: $600 ($45US) pesos per night in their canvas tent, or $500 pesos per night if you stay the week. Bringing your own tent or hammock and it’s only $150 pesos ($11US) per person per night.

There is a little restaurant who’s patron’s are ready to cut you a coconut, make you some ceviche, or bring you your coffee in front of the ocean. Incredible service. “Cho” (Jorge) or Takyo are some of the most attentive and polite people I have ever met.

Now, on to the juicy part…. this place has it’s own piece of pristine beach right in front of it. We spent many of our 9 nights on the sand, swinging in our hammocks watching the stars and looking for the massive turtles coming onto the beach to nest. The beach is kept clean by the campground– but alas, a few hundred meters down the beach you will find refuse that washes up on shore daily (reality of our oceans.) Still, this aside, the place is jaw-dropping and magical. We lolled away our afternoons kiteboarding in surf and enjoying our incredible private beach, watched for mating turtles….and throughout… fresh coconuts in hand.

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HOLBOX | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | TRAVEL GUIDE TO THE WORLD

HOLBOX | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World
By. The Expeditioners Roberto
Photos and videos by Roberto & Bella

WHERE: Holbox, Quinta Roo, Mexico

WHAT WE DID: Kiteboard. Kiteboard. and some more kiteboarding. The scuba diving and whale shark season is coming up though.

WHERE WE STAYED: Holbox is an un-discovered destination. Many locals say it is like Playa del Carmen 30 years ago. A tiny island with some 2000 inhabitants, the roads are made of sand, people walk around barefoot, with a bike, or they take a golf cart (which is what most locals have.) A big part of the island is protected land, and the beach is stunning. Fresh fruit is extremely inexpensive, and a freshly squeezed orange juice will only put you back a couple of bucks!

We arrived to a new and wonderful hotel (La Casa del Viento) owned by a super personable Fernando. Only a block away from the beach, and a couple of blocks from town, it’s perfect for the kiteboarder and beach comber alike.

Casa del Viento: http://casadelvientoholbox.com/

OTHER THINGS TO DO:
1. Kiteboarding – there are three different areas you can kite in Holbox : Punta Mosquito (which is accessible with Holbox’s kiteboarding school’s boat) then there is Las Nubes, which is accessible by bike or golf cart, or walking- -and finally the sand-bar, which is for experienced riders only as it is off-shore kiting out in the middle of the sea. There was a place which we loved to kite called Punta Coco, but apparently it is now forbidden there.
2. Whale Shark Tours are big here during the spring and summer months. The whale sharks congregate not too far off, making it an ideal launch point.
3. Beach walking and reading.
4. Sea-Kayaking
5. Paddle Boarding with Holbox Kiteboarding (for the non windy days)
6. Scuba Diving is also only during the summer months. The water here can be churned with a lot of sand as it is where the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean meet.

HOW TO GET HERE: Fly to Cancun. From Toronto, New York and the likes, a ticket is only $500US round-trip. Then you catch a bus/taxi to Chuiquila, and then a ferry to Holbox which runs hourly.

It has only been a few months since Bella and I got into kiteboarding/ kitesurfing – but we’re totally addicted to it. With frequency and stronger winds we’ve become better and better kiters. In Turks and Caicos we were able to improve significantly because of the shallow waters where we were learning. But add deep water to the mix, and it is a whole different story. Your kite will be pulling you down-wind while your board is up wind from you. Like a sail boat, you then have to body drag away from your board to zig zag back up wind to it. This can be quite intimidating at the beginning, but here in Holbox we’ve learned to be in a lot of deep water conditions, lose our board, and get back to our kite.

Yesterday was the first time that Bella and I launched from a boat. This requires preparing your lines and gear in advance–and making sure they don’t tangle–as it is tricky to fix your lines from boat. You also have to be able to kite upwind to get back to the boat, as it is off-shore kiting (yes, worse case scenario the boat will get you.) It was extremely exciting, and we had some gusts of wind the were super powerful. Happily, this just meant we got to jump higher!

Check-out the photos and videos below that Bella and I took here in Holbox.CTK_6960

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