Tag Archives: review

Aqua Sphere Vista Swim Goggle Review

As a recreational open water swimmer, I dived in at the chance to see what the Aqua Sphere Vista Swim Goggles were like. I was off to Cornwall for a week, and therefore thought the Atlantic was a suitable piece of open water in which to test them!

Aqua Sphere Vista Swim Goggle

Firstly, I have to say, the goggle case is excellent. It’s a hard plastic, goggle shaped case which protects the goggles – so even if you are the sort to chuck them into the bottom of your kit bag the goggles are protected! The goggles, themselves, have a large sealing skirt around the lenses; which I assume is inherited from their sister company’s diving history. The skirt is extremely comfortable and produces a very effective seal; with no leakage. The strap adjustment is simplicity itself, thanks to Aqua Sphere’s Quick-Fit™ one-touch adjustment. The button allows you to easy extend strap, and once in place, the strap can be tightened; with a reassuring click. If over tightened a simple press of the button releases the strap; a click at a time if your quick!

aqua sphere vista swim goggles
So if you looking for some open water swim goggles; I recommend trying Aqua Sphere’s Vista Swim Goggles!

In the water the visibility was excellent (I had clear lenses), as expected from Aqua Sphere’s ‘Wraparound’ 180-degree visibility design. I had no issues with fogging whilst I was in the water, which was about 30 minutes, thanks to the anti-fog coating. The durable polycarbonate lenses have a scratch resistant coating, too, and over the week the lenses stayed clear. They also provide 100% UVA & UVB protection.

As for drag, there is plenty of other aspects of my swimming that need attention before claiming: “my goggles are slowing me down”, so no comment!


I was impressed with the goggles. I was able to adjust the goggles for a perfectly comfortable fit.  As I was swimming in the sea, and on a few occasions was caught by a couple of waves, I was pleased to find the goggles stayed in place and did not leak! Upon leaving the water, and removing the goggles, I was please to find I did not have the red marks associated with having to tighten swim goggles too much to prevent leakage. So if you looking for some open water swim goggles, I recommend trying Aqua Sphere’s Vista Swim Goggles; and at £26.99 they are great value for money!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Oakley Moonlighter Sunglasses Review

So what are the new Oakley Moonlighter sunglasses like? I had the good fortune to try a pair, with Frost frame and Sapphire Iridium lenses.

The Moonlighter’s are a perfect mix of the retro late 80s style, with modern Oakley technology. The frosted frames are not only a cute colour combo with the sapphire coloured lenses, but they are incredibly durable and lightweight due to their stress-resistant O Matter frame material. Comfort and performance is important to Oakley, so they have a unique Three-Point Fit design that holds lenses in precise optical alignment, while their Unobtanium nose pads ensure a snug, and secure fit.

The Sapphire Iridium lens add a cute and bright ‘pop’ of colour to your day, at the same time they protect your eyes from UVs with Plutonite lens material, which filters out 100% of UVA/UVB/UVC & harmful blue light up to 400nm. And, like all Oakley eyewear The Moonlighters include High Definition Optics (HDO) which is a collection of patented technologies that allow Oakley eyewear to meet or exceed the testing standards of the American National Standards Institute for optical clarity, visual fidelity, and impact resistance.

The Moonlighters are designed for a petite face shape measuring at:
Lens Width53 mm
Bridge Width17 mm
Lens Height42 mm
Temple Arm Length139 mm

So if you know your face dimensions, you’ll know if they fit. Or you can pop in-store and try them on!

The more I wore them (and cheekily checked out my reflection) the more I liked them. They fit comfortably on my face, and they certainly made things clearer and reduced the glare/sun strike on our artificial slope. I think the only negative I have about the Frost Sapphire Iridium Moonlighters is that the lenses are not polarized, however, other styles have polarised lenses. Apart from that, I think these shades are pretty neat. And, if you’re someone who wants trend and functionality out of a pair of sunglasses, I would highly recommend you try these out! I mean, they’re cute, lightweight and durable… What more could you want?

Thanks Sammy (Snowboard and Climbing Instructor)


Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Salomon Q-83 Ski Review

The women’s Salomon Q-83 Myriad  all-mountain skis.

Recently it was that time in your life that every skier loves; time to purchase a new set of skis! I have skied several times around Europe, in different conditions, but whenever I am asked “what kind of skier I would class myself”, I’m not sure! I enjoy blue and red runs, and will go down blacks – if I have too. I’m learning to better my technique in the soft stuff, but most comfortable on piste.  I enjoy my skiing, and to me, that is the main thing.

skier skiing sunny day
I’m learning to better my technique in the soft stuff, but most comfortable on piste. I enjoy my skiing, and to me, that is the main thing.

Salomon Q-83 Myriad Women’s Skis

Personally, there are loads and loads of skis out there and, maybe as I am girl, I’m not one of these people who will do hours and hours of research. I summed up my requirements, to my other half, I wanted an easy turning ski that looks nice and will help me progress. He gave me a few options but the one that stood out most, and seemed to suit my ability, was the Salomon Q-83. As I said, I’m not very technical, so my boyfriend wrote the next part:

The Salomon Q series has proved a huge success and offers a vast range of skies for different abilities and types of skiing. The Q-83 is aimed at female intermediate skiers; that are looking to progress into skiing powder (the softer stuff) for the first time. It offers early wide edges (you’ll notice the bulge) and a hook free taper on the tip to allow for easier turning on piste. Basically this makes the ski shorter, and therefore easier to turn! The ski has a full wood core so will easily ski at speed and will still maintain plenty of control on piste. The ‘honeycomb’ in the tip dampens any vibrations. Finally, The ski has a utility rocker tip and tail which allows the ski to float easily in the softer ‘fluffy’ stuff.

The first point that I really noticed about them from the skis that I have previously used was how easy it was to turn. I have struggled previously with turning skis of this length but found my Salomon’s very easy. Thankfully, this helped with my confidence and when the time came and I decided to head off into the powder: lets just say it didn’t exactly go to plan the first time but after a few falls into the soft fluffy snow I started to gently get the hang of it which is something that I have never been confident enough to do.

skier fallen in powder
The ski has a utility rocker tip and tail which allows the ski to float easily in the softer ‘fluffy’ stuff. Or not!

Back on the piste, I felt that I was getting a little quicker and more confident the more I skied them. By the end of our trip, with the help of my boyfriend I was starting to learn to carve the skis. To me, the skis were exactly what I wanted. They were soft and easy to ski but seemed to be responsive when I started to pick up a little speed. My turning has improved dramatically and I even managed to gain a little confidence skiing in the powder. Overall, I really enjoyed these Salomon Q-83 Myriad skis and glad I went for them. I am looking forward to skiing them next year.

Finally, the fact that they are really pretty sums everything up but I need to remember not to look at them whilst skiing.

Thanks Mega!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Lungau Resort Review Austria

Personally I am a bit of a sucker, and maybe slightly biased, when it comes to Austria as a ski destination. Recently, my girlfriend and I enjoyed four days skiing in the Lungau region and were definitely not let down with everything that it had to offer.

As we only had four days available we wanted to head somewhere that had a quick transfer time to allow us to maximize our ski time. With that in mind, having spent two years in the Salzburger Sportwelt and being fascinated with this area, we wanted to explore a little further. Lungau is around 1 hour and 20 minutes from Salzburg airport, and with British Airways early 0645 flight landing at 0900, we were on the mountains skiing by midday with ease.

Chalet Mur

We were picked up by Ben and whisked back to the beautiful Chalet Mur, which is named after the river that runs through the region. The Chalet is run Ben and Clare and is located in a village called Stranach just outside St Michael Im Lungau. After Clare twisted our arm into an early lunchtime Gluevine, we headed up to one of the smaller resorts of Sperieck and Grossarl for an afternoon ski. It was snowing all the way from the airport and wasn’t disappointing on the hill, even though the wind was up it made for an afternoon of relaxed skiing.

chalet mur lungau austria
Chalet Mur is run Ben and Clare and is located in a village called Stranach just outside St Michael Im Lungau.

On Friday, with the sun making a blinding appearance, Ben whisked us off to Fanningberg or “Funningberg”, as the locals know it. This area on the piste map seems quite small with only 5 lifts but don’t let that phase you at all. There are plenty of runs for all abilities with the main talking point being all the fun that can be had in and around the trees. Fanningberg offers safe off piste as the ski patrols do cover the marked off pistes routes as well as on. I had some of the best tree run skiing at this resort with my girlfriend enjoying the wide groomed pistes to practice her carving. We would definitely head back again. The resort also offers sledging so to finish the day, we grabbed the last lift up, knocked back a couple of Frucht Schnapps and headed down the main slope back to the bottom.

Saturday came and promised to be another good-looking day so we hopped on the free ski bus, which stops just outside the Chalet, for the 5-minute ride up to Katschberg & Aineck. “Katschi” offered some of the best red runs that we have ever skied on and true to the Austria that I know it was like millionaires ski slope. Unfortunately for us, the winds picked up in the afternoon closing Aineck, which has the longest run in Austria at 7.2km. That evening, the snow came in and started to get our hopes up for our last day.

Our final day came way to quick as always but Ben had mentioned about skiing Obertauern. It is the biggest, highest and probably most well known resort in the Lungau region. The village itself sits at 1630m with the highest lift taking you up to 2313m. The resort is all in a bowl, very easy to navigate around and offers a little something for all types of skiers. We were lucky, as the snow had continued overnight

fun sledging
Fun sledging too!

At the end of every day when we walked in Clare had prepared a rather tasty cake with plenty of tea and coffee. After a shower and a relax it was time for an evening meal and to say Clare was a cracking cook would be a major understatement. Each meal we had was a delicious home cooked hearty dinner. There was plenty (and I mean plenty) to go around and every need was catered for, even our fondness for a large glass of wine.

There are several different resorts around the region and each seems to offer something a little different. We would thoroughly recommend Ben and Clare at the Chalet Mur, as thanks to them, our holiday was even more perfect!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Les Arc 1800 Resort Review France

The Les Arc 1800 resort is located on the outer edge of the Vanoise National Park which forms part of the Italian border around 10-12 hours drive from Calais or a 3 hour transfer from Geneva Airport. The resort is linked with La Plagne and Peisey-Vallandry creating one of the largest skiing areas in the world called ‘Paradiski’ and boasts 425km of pistes; ranging from easy relaxing blues to challenging blacks.

panoramic view les arc
What a view! 425km of pistes; ranging from easy relaxing blues to challenging blacks.

Les Arc itself is made up of four smaller resorts Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000 with its claim to fame being the first resort of its type to open in Europe. I stayed in Arc 1800 picked for its location close to the Vanoise Express which is a huge 200 person cable car connecting Les Arc and La Plagne, in fact it’s one of the longest and fastest cable cars in the world!

Les Arc 1800

Built back in 1975 Arc 1800 is not only the largest resort but also the liveliest with lots of bars and restaurants, my favourite being ‘Barking Mad’ with its comfy outdoor seating and views out over the mountains with a pint of beer costing €5, the perfect location for a spot of après ski.

deck chairs on a mountain
Blue bird sky! Comfy outdoor seating and views out over the mountains with a pint of beer costing €5, the perfect location for a spot of après ski.

We stayed at L’Alliet in a self catered apartment located in the Charmettoger region of the town. This apartment is a little gem recently renovated in 2015 in true alpine style, what we loved was the flexibility of either cooking some homely food or dining out at the various restaurants found a short 5-10 minute walk away.

dinning table chairs in appartment
L’Alliet in a self catered apartment located in the Charmettoger region of the town.

In all there are five lifts out of Arc 1800 but by the best and easiest is the Transarc 1 which connects to the Transarc 2 at the mid station. Once at the top you have excellent access to a huge variety of newly groomed runs (if like us you got the first lifts up). The snow conditions were good throughout the week although some started to become icy leading back down to town at the end of the day, all in all the conditions were good despite the slow start to the season. And best of all we had blue bird days most of the time we were there, what more could you ask for!

One of my favourite runs would have to be the Grands Melezes which starts at the top of the Vagere chairlift, the run is both long and wide with the conditions being perfect allowing me to perform some large sweeping carving turns.

An adult lift pass to the whole Paradiski area is €291 (about £222) or the Les Arc local area is €250 (about £190).

mountain view
B-e-a-utiful; but respect the mountains. Warning! Danger avalanches!

Overall this resort and ski area is one of my favourite with its mix of glacial high altitude runs and the option to ski through the trees lower down during poor snowy conditions.

Thanks Michael and friends!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Volkl Kendo Skis Review

So what does a quinquagenarian, recreational skier think of the Volkl Kendo skis? Volkl kindly provided a pair for me to review on my annual ski holiday to La Rosierre, France.

Quinquagenarian Recreational Skier

I taught myself to ski at the Lecht, Scotland in the 80s and had a few lessons, in Austria, while the children were in ski school (the only way to convince them to go was to say we were all having lessons)! I go skiing once a year, and look forward to six days of fun sliding down a mountain. I’d class myself as an intermediate to advanced skier, but fully aware that purist would pull my technique to pieces. I’m happy that I can control my skiing, at speed (which means I think it’s fast, but my sons tell me otherwise), down red and some black runs! Historically I would hire what are considered piste or all-mountain skis. And when I say all mountain, they are 80% piste 20% off piste.

Fortunately most holidays have been groomed pistes (corduroy), until last year when knee-deep powder on the piste took a little fun out of the sliding down a mountain! I wasn’t very good in knee-deep powder; was it me or was it the skis. Whatever it made me think; I go skiing for six days a year, what type of skis should I buy? Piste or something suitable for powder? If money was no object, I’d have one of each.

So when I explained my dilemma to the guys in the Pro Shop, they suggested I try an all-mountain ski that was more off-piste focused such as the Volkl Kendo skis.

Volkl Kendo Skis

The Kendo skis are a 50-50% piste off-piste ski, for an advanced to expert skier, so may be ‘punching above my weight’ with these skis!

The first thing I noticed was how much wider the skis felt, the waist was in fact 10mm wider at 90mm compared to my old skis. The ski also had a much larger rocker at the tip which helps push the ski up on to the powder rather than slicing through it. And the bindings were drilled onto the ski, rather than the usual rail system I was familiar with.

So it was in at the deep end (literary) because there had been plenty of snow in the resort! I would have like a few groomed pistes to find my ski legs, but that wasn’t an option, so the first morning wasn’t great. However after a stern talking to myself, and a few pointers from my son, the afternoon was better; and I began to embraces the conditions and what the Kendo skis offered!

During my week’s skiing we had over a metre of snow, and poor visibility, so not quite the conditions I had hoped for, but never-the-less ideal conditions to test the skis.

la forte la rosiere france
La Forte, La Rosiere France

So what did I think? A bit like the skis 50-50. The skis were a lot stiffer than I am use too, because they are designed for someone of a higher ability, and turn radius was bigger than previous skis at 20.8m; so I found myself having to work extremely hard down the slope. The poor visibility didn’t help! I also struggled a little on the ice, but that may be more down to technique and not fully engaging with the ski. However, what I did find, is that the skis floated through the powder, which had hampered me before.

When the visibility improved, it was a different story. With greater confidence I carved with gusto down the piste. The skis just ploughed through the powdery ‘crud’, that had built up from other skiers, thanks to the ‘rocker’; and the large turning radius no longer hindered my progress, as I zig-zagged down the slope. I had fun!

I now understand where the guys in the Pro Shop were coming from; a ski for all conditions because the weather and snow conditions cannot be guaranteed for the six days I am in resort. And these Kendos certainly ‘cut-the-mustard’.

I think I had ‘bitten-off-more-than-I-can-chew’ with the Kendos, though,  but I certainly like that style of ski. Perhaps a similar all-mountain ski that is more suitable for my ability, such as the Line SuperNatural skis would be my choice. And this is an important point to note when buying skis – be honest!

sun through snow covered trees
When the visibility improved, it was a different story. With greater confidence I carved with gusto down the piste.

Epilogue: there isn’t a right or left ski, but I found I skied better when I could read ‘Volkl’ across the tips of the skis 🙂

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

DC Focus and Mega Snowboard Review

When you think of the brand DC, snowboards may not be the first item that jumps out to you. DC are more well known for, where their roots lie, the skateboarding industry. So what are the DC Focus and Mega snowboards like?

DC History

Damon Way and professional rally driver Ken Block, with the vision of creating a leading actions sport shoe and clothing brand started the company in 1994. In 2004, Quicksilver acquired the brand for just $87 million and since then it has gone from strength to strength. They sponsor some of the biggest names in the various industries including Travis Pastrana, Robbie Maddison, Torstein Horgmo and Travis Rice and in 2012 they released their first women’s range of products.

DC have been in the snowboard market for some time and have some quality products out their for all abilities. When our staff decided to go on their ski testing road trip, DC was at the top of the list of products to put through the paces. Thankfully, the guys at DC sent us the Mega and the Focus Snowboards.

DC Focus Snowboard

The DC Focus is a perfect soft and forgiving board and is ideal for any first timer snowboarder or if you’re looking for something to help you in the park. When we tested the board we found it quite responsive on edge however when the heat was turned up it did slightly chatter; something that is quite normal with softer boards. If you are the type of rider that is looking to increase your ability in the park then this board could also be a hit. It boasts a true twin shape that helps for riding regular and switch, an extruded base that will take impacts from rails and boxes and a poppy Astro core that will definitely get you riding to a higher level. Overall, an excellent value snowboard for money priced at only £224.99.

dc focus snowboard
The DC Focus is a perfect soft and forgiving board and is ideal for any first timer snowboarder or if you’re looking for something to help you in the park.

DC Mega Snowboard

The DC Mega was new for 2016 and is something else that stems from their roots of skateboarding. The first thing we noticed, before we had even ridden it, was the board comes with a pack of stencils and a blank top sheet allowing you to customize the board to your very own liking. When we took the board for a test, we were very surprised to say the least. The board had awesome response thanks to its ‘lock and load’ camber. This basically means the board is cambered between your bindings and has sweet spots on the nose and tail; altogether it helps with stability. DC has also added their radius to flat design to this board that helps with flotation and lift in the powder. All round, this board proved a hit but having a wooden top sheet may prove a negative if, like on our test, it continues to soak up water in the wetter conditions!

dc mega snowboard
All round, this board proved a hit but having a wooden top sheet may prove a negative if, like on our test, it continues to soak up water in the wetter conditions!


We are giving you the chance to win the DC Focus 157cm Snowboard, we reviewed. Yes it might have been used, and have a few scratches, but its in excellent condition and will be fully serviced.

All you have to do is ‘like’ or ‘follow’ us and share this article on either Facebook, Twitter or Google+, making sure you tag our username or #TallingtonLakes, and if we see it will enter you into the prize draw. Will pick one lucky winner on the 29th Feb 2016*.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Morzine Resort Review The Portes Du Soleil France

Arguably the most well known of the resorts within the Portes Du Soleil (PDS), Morzine is located in a valley with ski areas either side, around one hour from Geneva airport or roughly eight hours from Calais. It was the venue of our ski test in December when unfortunately the snow wasn’t fantastic. Even though it sits at a lower altitude than other European resorts, it is still favored heavily with British skiers due to the extensive ski area. The PDS’s motto of 12 resorts one pass highlights the 600km of skiing available. I have stayed in a few different areas within the PDS and always prefer to stay in Morzine as it is roughly in the middle.

Morzine itself is a very picturesque ski town with a variety of activities to do whether skiing is your primary activity or not. The town itself has plenty of bars like Coyotes’ and restaurants like L’etale; and if lager is not your preferred beer, it also boasts the first real ale bar in the Alps. At Le Bec Juane, all the ales are brewed in house and a 4 pint pitcher and a very large plate of Nachos will cost €20.

Skiing wise there is plenty to do for everyone. Out of Morzine itself you have the Pleny Bubble, which takes you up the South side of the valley and connects you with the tree line runs of Les Gets, Nyon and Mont Chery. On the North face, you have the Super Morzine Bubble that takes you across the valley and up towards Avoriaz, which is the highest resort in the PDS and is part of the Helly Hansen Ski-Free campaign. A short bus ride away you have the L’ardent Bubble that will connect you up to the Linderet Goat Village where there are nursery slopes and several lifts connecting you with Avoriaz, Chatel and Switzerland. Off piste is incredible when it’s on in this area. Happy Valley and Hidden Valley are located around the Chatel side and offer perfect powder bowls. Switzerland also offers a vast area of off piste with Les Gets offering some real hidden tree runs.

I would always recommend a full area pass as it allows you to explore literally everywhere. Whether you are riding powder in Avoriaz, Les Gets or Chatel or just looking to charge around the runs through France and Switzerland. The full area pass will cost you around €250 for six days however there are deals to be had so worth checking the website!

zore piste morzine
The Zore run, a gentle blue that takes you back to the Super Morzine bubble and down into the town itself!

Overall, the town of Morzine is a perfect base if your looking to explore the second largest ski area in the Alps. It literally offers something for everyone from complete beginner to top end skier or boarder through to powder bowls and tree runs to immaculate hard packed pistes.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Pragelato Vialattea Resort Review Italy

I just got back from the Italian ski resort of Pragelato Vialattea, which is located in the Piedmont region; due to its western curve the ski resort its dubbed the ‘Milky way’. I have never been to this area, and I had heard little about it. I guess it doesn’t have the boasting name of well-known resorts such as Courcheval or Val d’Isere, where you seem to pay 10 euros for a pint of beer (which they never seem to fill to the top!). The ski area is huge, unexpectedly huge in fact. The six ski resorts of the Milky Way (Via Lattea) differ in size and atmosphere such as Sestriere, Sauze d’Oulx and the home of the 2006 Olympic games, Torino. Continue reading Pragelato Vialattea Resort Review Italy

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather