GoPro Hero HD Camera
Boring people with pictures of your vacation used to require a lot of
equipment — slide projector, screen, a couch — but the GoPro digital camera, and its waterproof case, has revolutionized the vacation
photo industry and created countless You Tube stars. The camera itself
is just a little gray box with a couple of buttons on it, but the accessories allow you to attach that little box to any number of sports equipment from helmets to surfboards to boats to, well, anything else. It
comes in a variety of different kits, depending on which attachments
you want, or even a 3-D version if you really want to take it to the
next level. ($259.99 for the HD Hero “Naked” kit; www.gopro.com)
The SPOT personal locator brought about a
bit of a revolution in satellite locator technology when it was introduced in 2007. The
SPOT Connect offers all the features of previous units — an “SOS” button to summon
help; an “I’m OK” button to assure your loved
ones; and a tracking feature that leaves a trail
across an online map to show your progress — and adds the ability to pair with your
smartphone (iPhone or Android) to send satellite text messages to any cellphone or e-mail
address. Instead of being limited to whatever
you programmed in (“Please help!”), you can
now get a little more specific (“Bring gas!”).
SPOT is now joined by a new entrant
into the field, GPS manufacturer DeLorme.
DeLorme’s model, the inReach, takes it a step
further, allowing you to not only send short mes-
sages via satellite, but receive them as well. The
price is a bit more ($249.95 for the inReach
vs. $169.99 for the SPOT Connect) and the
compatibility is different (the inReach only
works with Android phones). Both devices work
with DeLorme’s Earthmate PN-60w GPS unit.
Service plans start at $9.95 a month (DeLorme)
and $99.99 a year (SPOT). Lest we forget,
SPOT units can also summon 24-hour
BoatU.S. towboat services.
The DeLorme inReach
and Spot Connect are
available from delorme.
com and findmespot.com,
respectively. The Spot
Connect is also available
from westmarine.com) STAY CONNECTED SPOT Connect & DeLorme inReach
Unless you live on the water, transporting a paddleboard can be a pain.
The ULI Board line of inflatable paddleboards inflates to a rigid board, but
when you’re done, you can roll it up and stow it in a duffel bag. Their latest model, the FAQ (Fat Ass Quad, if you must know) weighs 26 pounds and
inflates to 9’ 3” by 33” for a 250-pound rider. ($1,295; www.uliboards.com)
Starboard’s new Astro infatable paddleboard line is available in three sizes
from nine to 11 feet, and rolls up into a backpack weighing 22 pounds.
The Astro has multiple stainless-steel attachment points and a cargo
bungee on the nose for your gear. ($1,199; www.Star-Board-SUP.com)