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The Most Beautiful Adventure Trails across the US
October 15th, 2014

One of the great things about this country is the wide variety of landscapes and environments. Luckily, many of these places are easily reachable and make fantastic spots to go out and experience nature, whether you are a fan of hiking, biking, or riding.

We are blessed to be located in beautiful Santa Barbara in California, where adventure trails abound, but we chose to feature a wider range of trails. Feel free to ask us for local tips too!

Hiking

Getting out on your own two feet can be an amazing and rewarding experience. Being able to feel the ground as you hike, taking time to experience all that is around you at your own pace and getting your heart rate pumping are all just a few of the benefits of taking a hike. Whatever your skill level, make sure that you are adequately prepared and have the knowledge to make sure you stay safe while having fun. Here are just a few of the amazing places you can visit on your adventure.

Kalalau Trail: This pristine 11-mile trail on the slopes of the island of Kauai offers the only route into or out of this majestic area of the Hawaiian Islands. The trail winds over five valleys, through rivers and jungle brush before ending at a secluded beach.

The Narrows: A popular destination in the heart of Zion National Park, Utah, this mountain path has you wading directly through the Virgin River where canyon walls reach over one thousand feet high and at some points are only 20 to 30-feet wide.

Appalachian Trail: This almost 2200 mile long continuously marked footpath ranges from Georgia to Maine and is made up of dozens of smaller hikes that take you through all kinds of vegetation and terrain. This adventure is suitable for hikers and backpackers of any skill level.

Biking

A two-wheeled adventure with your legs as the engine can often be just as exciting if not more and is an even better source of exercise than traveling on foot or by vehicle. But once again, make sure that you take the necessary precautions when riding on trails, have all the knowledge and the gear you might need to stay safe when traversing the sometimes difficult terrain.

Crested Butte, Colorado: Considered one of the official birthplaces of the sport of mountain biking, this region features several hundred miles of biking trails that highlight the beautiful landscape that Colorado is famous for.

Sedona, Arizona: This unique and world famous location boasts some of the most amazing scenery in all of the country. With the majestic red rock towers and dozens of trails that begin from the center of the small town, it is a favorite of bike enthusiasts everywhere.

ATV Riding & Motorcycling

Letting a motor do the work for you can free you up to focus on your surroundings and the beautiful environment around you. As with any motor vehicle, be sure to have adequate knowledge of the machine you are operating, as well as complete and comprehensive safety gear for you and your passengers, including body protection and secure helmets.

Hatfield-McCoy Trails: With over 700 miles of trails located in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia, this area boasts the largest off-highway trail system in the country and offers a variety of scenic spots for riders of all skill levels.

Oceano Dunes: Also known as Pismo Beach, these sand dunes are fun for adventurers of all ages and difficulty levels. The dunes run all the way to the ocean’s edge and are located only a couple of hours from Los Angeles, California.


XShot September 2014 Picture of the month: Safari Selfie with Elephants by David Hoffmann
September 30th, 2014

Great adventures in South Africa by David Hoffman of David's Been Here.

XShot Elephant selfie at Klaserie Wildlife Reserve.

xshot safari selfie

Photo @David Hoffmann

Please continue to share your pictures with us : we love it and you may be selected like this one and win prizes. You can email them at xshot@xshot.com , or upload them directly on our Facebook page. 


Wearable Technology Changes Everything, Even the Way You Swing a Bat
August 29th, 2014

Want to find out how to lob the ball better when you play tennis? Document the biggest fish you ever caught? Improve your batting average? You can do every one of those things. All you have to do is wear a little technology.

Ultimate health-tracking

Apple is pulling out all the stops to release the most tech-savvy smartwatch in the world this fall. Among the iWatch features are a pedometer with step detection technology, advanced mapping technologies and, as incredible as it sounds, a feature that aims to predict a heart attack before it happens, reports Know Your Mobile.

To give it a final run before release, Apple has employed professional players (such as Kobe Bryant) from sports leagues (NBA, NHL, and the MBA) to test the device’s capabilities in fitness environments, reports Mac Rumors.

Fix Your Swing

Want to impress everybody with your home run average? Put this sensor on your bat. Zepp Labs has come out with a baseball swing sensor that will analyze your swing. It attaches to your bat and weighs less than 20 grams. A 3D swing analyzer is built in that will let you watch your stance to get a better idea of what’s going on with your swing; this will be among all the information that is collected in an app for personal viewing.

Smash Your Serves

Smash is a new wristband that uses motion sensors to track your swing so you can hit the ball better. The wristband sensors measure the spin of the ball to your favorite types of shots. It then analyzes your skill level and sends all the info back to your Android device. It takes hundreds of measurements every second so that you can play like a pro. No release date has been announced as of yet.

Document It

Outdoor enthusiasts can really benefit from Google Glass. If you hunt game, film it and analyze the footage to determine if you might need a little more hunter training. Wish you could have a picture of that big fish that you caught? Look at it and blink your eye. Give it a command when you’re out bicycling: “Glass, start a ride” and it starts tracking your bike ride.

Got a GoPro? Use the XShot to give a different angle when snowboarding, mountain biking, kayaking and more.

Better Strokes

Game Golf is a sensor device that clips onto the belt and interacts with little red tags that are attached to the end of the grip for every golf club in your bag. When you’re ready, you touch a red tag to the sensor on the belt and swing. It’s designed to record the distance and direction the ball flies and tracks your performance the entire game.

Information that’s obtained is sent to Game Golf’s website; you can get it when you log in to your Game Golf account. You can share your information with the Game Gold community through the website if you wish.

Wearable technology has come a long way in the past few years. There’s a lot more of it to come; bigger and better is a general technology motto, and it’s no different if you have to wear it.


Swimming with Turtles in Kauai : XShot August 2014 Picture of the month
August 27th, 2014

What a beautiful shot taken at Tunnels Beach in gorgeous Kauai island! Swimming with turtles…It can't get better than that.

Shot taken with a Pocket XShot camera extender and a GoPro hero 3.

Please continue to share your pictures with us : we love it and you may be selected like this one and win prizes. You can email them at xshot@xshot.com , or upload them directly on our Facebook page.


New XShot Pro Camera Extender Video Review by MarblProductions
August 8th, 2014

Thank you Andrew from MarblProductions for the detailed video review of the XShot Pro camera pole for GoPro Cameras, compact cameras and smartphones. Check it out:

 

Video MarbleProductions on YouTube


Enter the XShot Photo Caption Contest on Facebook
August 2nd, 2014

Call it like it is. Caption the photo. Five will win. 

 

Enter the XShot Caption Contest on Facebook until August 8th! 

Be creative, be witty and make us laugh…

 

 

Five winners will each receive:

One (1) XShot Pocket Extender

One (1) XShot Smartphone Holder

Follow us: instagram.com/xshot and Facebook www.facebook.com/XShotPix

Running until 8/12/2014


XShot July 2014 Picture of the month: Glamour Travel Selfie by #2sisters2backpacks
July 31st, 2014

Congratulations to Cody and Blakely Thomson for their amazing daily XShot self-portraits.

The two sisters just returned from a month-long excursion to Europe and have totally and skillfully mastered the art of positioning the angle of their arms and the XShot extender itself in order to maintain the mystery, which resulted in the repeated question of, "Who is taking all these awesome photos of you girls?!"

We chose one of our favorite pictures for the July selection and elected it the most  gorgeous #travel XShot self-portrait so far! Stay tuned to see more of the #2sisters2backpacks adventures.

Photo: #2sisters2backpacks

Please continue to share your pictures with us : we love it and you may be selected like this one and win prizes. You can email them at xshot@xshot.com , or upload them directly on our Facebook page. 



America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride by Gary Cruz with a GoPro and XShot Pro
July 22nd, 2014

Congratulations Gary for this amazing and beautiful race around Lake Tahoe!

Our dear XShot friend Gary Cruz you may know as a photographer, is an bike fanatic as well.  He ran the 23rd annual America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride organized by Bike the West and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The video was filmed with a GoPro Hero 3+ black, and the XShot Pro camera extender: a perfect combo to video yourself and your surroundings and get unique angles on the bike.

Follow Gary along the way and enjoy the beautiful scenery and amazing race.

Video Gary Cruz on YouTube

The 72-mile America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride circumnavigates the highways clockwise around Lake Tahoe in both Nevada and California. It includes a challenging 800 foot climb to a rest stop overlooking Emerald Bay and a 1,000 foot climb to Spooner Junction. There are also many short rolling ascents and descents totaling over 4,024 vertical feet of elevation gain! The altitude ranges between 6,300 feet and 7,100 feet above sea level and the ride is recommended for conditioned recreational bicyclist, not for beginners. 

More info to prepare next year's race : http://www.bikethewest.com/americas-most-beautiful-bike-ride/


Technology is Pushing Sports to New Realms
July 18th, 2014

These days, sports fans know the best seat in the house for a game is actually in their houses, in front of the television. Today's sports are so big and the fans so demanding they challenge modern technology to keep up with them. Fans are hungry for the next new experience in their beloved sports. Modern technology is giving them that opportunity.

Looking at Sports From a Different Angle

If you watched this year's Major League Baseball Home Run Derby, you'd notice a lot of camera action around the hitters. One in particular is the small camera mounted on top of the catcher's helmet. When Nick Woodman designed the GoPro mobile camera, it gave sports fans the opportunity to view their favorite sports in a whole new and unique way, from the athletes' point of view. With the popularity of social media use among professional and amateur athletes, these nifty little cameras have given athletes the ability to show their points of view more and also show a little of their personalities, too, often recording themselves and teammates where television cameras can't access.


Photo @Giufo Soulboarder

Social media and the athletes' growing urge to have their own personal voice has given modern technology the ideas to create "selfie" personas, both in the sports fan base and with sports figures of all kinds. Since GoPro was introduced in 2004, these wearable video cameras have been mounted everywhere in sports, from motocross helmets to to race car dashboards even on daredevils participating in the running of the bulls at Pamplona.

Actually, the local authorities in the city of Pamplona are trying to prevent the use of devices like GoPro as they feel it generates irresponsible behaviors as people try to get a dramatic shot as the bulls are coming at them. But no doubt this convenient device has allowed fans and athletes the chance to show a fresh perspective of sports.

Similar to GoPro is the lightweight monopod XShot device, which allows a user to take video or photos. Its handheld telescopic pole also gives fans an advantage when videotaping action on the field, as it allows you to extend it a few feet to get that great shot of a home run in the stands over the crowd, for example. Perfect for all the action shots and videos: snowboarding, paragliding, hiking, surfing and more.

Send in the Drones

National League Football fans and fantasy football fanatics can't get enough of the sport, with the off-season being most grueling. So when football camps start, anything and everything is absorbed and dissected. Hence the reason drones are being used to cover action at football camps. Where drones were once specifically thought of as a military spy weapon or a neat air mailing device, it has now become the modern version of the Goodyear Blimp. Not only can these devices provide a birds-eye view of practice of your beloved team, they can also be used to dole out gifts, like T-shirts, to the crowd. Drones will be a featured tool in the production of the NFL Network's "Inside Training Camp" television series, too.

Feeling the Game

Every fan feels the exhilarating rush of triumph and the crushing blow of defeat. But advanced technology has found a way to actually feel the game even more. Using Bluetooth technology, creators of the Alert Shirt have managed to make a shirt with built-in sensors that enable fans to literally feel a player being tackled or feel the jitters a player is having as a big play develops. The Alert Shirt is only available for Australian Rules Football at the moment, but it can't be too long before big-time sports industries like the NFL pick it up. It is yet another example of how the curiosity in sports fans and players alike are driving modern technology to deliver a cutting edge experience.



Interview of David Hoffmann, independent Travel blogger and videographer
July 2nd, 2014

Meet David Hoffmann, one of our favorite independent travel blogger and videographer! David has been thoroughly exploring one country at a time in order to share what every country has to offer through videos, guides, articles and photos and sharing it on David's been here. He has been to 59 countries and 916 cities and counting…

It has been a pleasure getting to know him better and we can't wait to discover David's new upcoming adventures in South Africa.

 

1. Why did you choose your path and how did you get started? 

"I always had a feeling that I would somehow make a career out of travel. It’s always been a passion of mine to explore new places and meet strangers who eventually become friends. I got started in 2007 hosting travel videos for my David’s Been Here web show. Since then I have expanded significantly and we now have guidebooks, merchandise, and custom tour packages. I still create my web show, which is why I thought the XShot would be the perfect compliment to my work. It’s small, portable, and I can easily travel with it. It helps me use my GoPro in ways I couldn’t before."

2. How did you hear about the XShot camera extenders?

" From my friend and fellow travel blogger, Ryan Gargiulo of Pause the Moment. When he came to Miami to visit, I took him to an Alligator Farm in the Everglades. He took the XShot with him on an airboat ride and filmed the whole thing. He got great footage of the ride, so I went on the XShot website and was blown away at how other people were using it, especially the professional skiers and snowboarders." Read his XShot Pro very detailed review.

3. What do you always carry in your camera/travel bag? 

"I can’t leave without two extra camera batteries for my Canon 6D, a one-terabyte external hard drive, my monopod, and now my XShot, which has my GoPro attached to it."

 

4. Where is your favorite location to take pictures? 

 

"Anywhere from above. I love going to the top of the tallest buildings, surrounding hills, or anywhere that will give me great panoramic views of the places I visit." 

 

 5We noticed that you had been very creative with the XShot, how do you think you will use it the most?

  "It will for sure enhance my videos because now I will be able to get steady shots of myself walking through streets, markets, or other crowded places, plus I will be able to shoot busy areas from above because the XShot extends.

I am also happy that I won’t need to ask other people to take my picture anywhere again!"

 

6. Can you share an anecdote or funny story you encountered while using your XShot?

 "I have more of a warning for other XShot users: When fully extended, watch where you’re going! I almost wacked a few tourists in Belgrade while I was trying to get a video of myself walking."

 

7. Tell us about your new exciting trips and projects to come.

"At the end of May,  I was off to the Faroe Islands and thenI'll go to South Africa for a month beginning August 14th. The XShot will get lots of use in the coming months, for sure!"


About David Hoffmann

David Hoffmann is a twenty-something media production company CEO. Since 2007 his aim has been to bring destinations to life through fun and informative videos, as well as to help others travel independently. David publishes guidebooks and articles, and encourages all travelers to ditch the rushed group tours and buy a map! Find out more on http://davidsbeenhere.com.

Connect with David through Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.

 


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