PADDLE MANUFACTURERS aren’t the only ones heading up the high-end road to sleek carbon composites. Shred Ready indulges in the weight loss trend-and improves helmet fittings due to a slightly thinner shell wall-with a new Black Gold composite option for its Shaggy, Vixen, Tdub, Shensu and Standard (pictured). The Standard’s 100 percent carbon/Kevlar shell features vents, and the steep-creek crowd will rejoice in the addition of the Fullface ‘Gnar Bar’ with composite coverage ($200 Standard Halfcut Deluxe, Standard Fullface Deluxe $250, shredready.com).
LIKE CIGARETTES AND MAYONNAISE, you’re sure to find Palm apparel everywhere you go in Europe. The U.K.-based company’s redesign of its proven Stikine drysuit makes us think the Euros may be on to something. “The Stikine is the standard, and this is double the standard,” says Palm product designer Barney Caulfield. “It’s in the discreet details.” Those details include a face fabric upgrade to XP250, making it a more waterproof and durable four-layer element barrier, a brass coil zipper and streamlined seams (in addition to laser-welded, stitch-less chest and arm pockets and relief zip) to reduce its weight. Add double-reinforced Cordura elbows and knees and triple-welded booties and you’ve got one bomb-proof package, also updated in a purple, women’s-specific Element model (Stikine $950, Element $700, palmequipmentusa.com).