Tag Archives: Ken Burbank

Diving for Lobster for Fun

On this hot day in July, a friend of mine asked me to take her 12-year-old son, Joe, free diving.  I had already made plans with Peter, the grumpiest old fisherman in the neighborhood; so after an equipment  upgrade and a pep talk about the ornery captain who we were accompanying, we were on our way. Before we even left the dock, Peter, our 66 year old captain, was griping about the sand on Joe’s fins which were making a mess of his old and worn New England fishing boat.  As we steamed to a fish tank-like dive spot, Joe’s eyes were sparkling with excitement even as the captain continued to find issues with not only Joe, but it seemed every other vessel on the water. It was not long before we dropped anchor and prepared to enter the water.  

We were all kids again, just some with more experience than others.  Peter loved showing Joe tricks he’d learned over the years, like how to spear a fish without ruining the filet or how to pull a New England lobster out of a cave with one breath.  The video below shows Joe swimming in the red suit and Peter diving down and grabbing the lobster with its claws out in full defense mode from a dug out cave.  I know you’re wondering why he released it – well in Massachusetts we release the bugs that are twice the size of the gauge used for measurement so they can reproduce.

One thing I brought back from this trip that is at the core of Zest for Life is that you should share the fun!

What to Wear Mountain Biking

With Mountain Bike riding season quickly approaching, I’d like to take a moment to give you some pointers on what to wear when you go bicycling in the woods.

Mountain Biking image canstockHere in New England, we get a wide range of temperature and weather conditions; so if you’re riding here, you’ll need more than one outfit.  Personally I find it helpful to have apparel for most of my activities in a bag ready to go, so for biking I would have my helmet, clear glasses and my riding sneakers with a good pair of thin socks and full finger gloves.  In the summer and warmer days, shorts are always best, giving you freedom of movement.  Wearing long pants makes resistance with every movement – hardly noticeable, but after a while, you get prematurely fatigued. 

This winter I treated myself to a thermal riding outfit and right away I noticed the ease with which I could move over the rocky, wooded trails, and my endurance also increased, allowing me to enjoy even more of the wildlife, trees, and views from the peak. For years I mocked spandex and biking outfits, but I have to admit here that I was wrong.  Not only is it easier to ride; but the respect I got from hikers, dog walkers, and other cyclists was noticeable.  I used to joke that the only reason people wore those outfits was so that they could distinguish themselves from adults who were on bikes as a result of having lost their driver’s licences due to DUI offenses!  The spandex wearers, I contended, wanted to ensure that people knew they were riding a bicycle by choice NOT by necessity!  

Ken on Mountain Bike Nov2014 sm

For summer riding, I strongly suggest a full shirt with shoulders (because you will rub a branch or the bark of a tree with your shoulder), and a light pair of shorts (make sure they are not so baggy that you will get caught on your seat when going down steep hills, but loose enough to move freely) and sneakers or hiking boots to taste.  A backpack with a water bladder is essential and also a good place for a snack, your cell phone, a spare tube for your tires, a pump, and a minimal amount of tools to do basic repairs.  It’s funny- if you have it you will not need it, but I carry it.

Ken's Mountain Biking Checklist

KEN BURBANK, President & Founder

Zest for Life, Inc.

Testing the Volkl One Ski in Fresh Snow

Volkl Post Mar4I had the opportunity to test ride the new Volkl One Ski this February at Copper Mountain in Colorado on snow demo.  For the two days of demo, I kept going back to this ski in different lengths and found the ski very playful and perfect for the fresh snow conditions we had both days.  

The Volkl One is a fat 116 underfoot ski with rocker front-to-back, giving the ski a surf-like feel in fresh powder; and the legendary Volkl edges were always there, although I never needed them.  I did go out of my way to ride a short section of groomed snow, and these Volkls just grabbed.  I don’t think these would be a good all-condition ski and in New England.  They, would be fun for the rare soft snow conditions but I would not feel confident in these holding in the wide range of icy conditions that New England is famous for – boilerplate blue to packed ice are not what these are made for.

All skis are wonderful in great conditions but if you want to maximise your smile time in fresh powder up to a foot deep I would recommend The One.  I personally liked the graphics on the Women’s Volkl One skis I demoed with polka dots and zebra stripes.  They made me feel the way they looked: wild, crazy and fun.  I found no difference in the women’s ski besides the graphics.

We want to thank Volkl and their staff for providing us with brand new, finely-tuned ski for us to test.