ST. PAUL, MINN. — About now, the Holidays are demanding lots of time. To help, this "Product Lines" focuses on gifts. ••• At the board meeting in Lake Tahoe, directors got a preview of USHGA’s 1995 calendar. It’s a beaut’. Slightly wider than last year, a right column text area gives details about the photo, including camera equipment used. Learn from this and next year one of the stunning pictures of hang gliding/paragliding could be yours. See the color ad in this issue and order a few. We all know hang gliding "shows well," so you can buy these calendars for friends or family who don’t fly. ••• HG entrepreneur, GW Meadows and his Just Fly organization have a whole bunch of nifty Christmas notions. GW’s got something else, too: a promise to ship items as late as December 23rd (a Friday), so you can get them in time for Sunday gift opening. With that and a toll-free number, how can you go wrong? Listen to this partial list of fun low-priced gifts: T-shirts (unique designs), polo shirts (excellent quality), hats (sharp colors), HG mugs, license plate frames ("My other vehicle is a… HG or PG"), bumperstickers, dingle balls (el-cheapo strobe light… a cool idea), and all kinds of stuff with the Just Fly logo. Items start at a paltry $4.95. Get some things for yourself and get some more for gifts. GW has exhibited at Sun ‘n Fun and Oshkosh to find great sales potential, so his stuff makes for welcome gifts. I know this because my wife, Randee, helped examine the items Just Fly sent. She quickly grabbed a tee shirt with a hand-drawn eagle. (In truth, she’s also a pilot, but looks at gifts with more of a "normal" shopper’s eye.) Call Just Fly at 800/546-3596. ••• Speaking of shirts, Sky Wear, Inc., sent one called "Moon Shadow." A striking looking design, it features a purple and blue Earth with a silhouetted shadow of a hang glider. When I tried it out at work, several of my associates remarked what a nice design it was. Produced by Mary Clor of fly-town, Chattanooga (nearby Signal Mtn., actually), her new Sky Wear company promotes the "Null-G Sports" logo. Available in short or long sleeves ($15 or $17), the black shirts are a heavy cloth that should last. Call 615/886-7093. ••• With over 400 sold and three years of experience, Mallettec is enjoying a good response to their Mini Vario. Weighing only 1.6 ounces and measuring less than two inches square and an inch deep, this may be the smallest vario you can buy. Mallettec suggests you mount the vario near the pilot’s ear. A tiny audio-only vario, the Mini secures to your helmet, an unobtrusive mount. A "heavy duty clip attaches to anything." Getting it off the control bar may save instrument damage as well. With a 200-hour battery life, the fact that it can zero itself in-flight (in case you forgot at launch), and a price tag of only $169, the Mini seems a good investment. Call 714/541-2625. ••• For those wishing to spend a few dollars less, try the Hall Bros., Mini-Wheels for your control bar. These aren’t the same clunky old wheels you had as a student. They’re ’90s-style wheels complete with a VG line pass-thru hole and priced in the gift range at only $20. Since many pilots feel their new glider can be challenging to land, installing inconspicuous wheels may reduce the whack-factor. Call Hall at 801/829-3232. ••• But if whacks are what make your life worth living, then you’ll need Paul Voigt’s Whack Tape. A compendium of whack after whack, you’ll have to act quickly to obtain one of the last available. I’ve seen it; it’s a chuckler. The best news? The price is reduced to clear the inventory, just $20. Call Voigt’er at 914/744-3317. ••• Today, most pilots at least experiment with cross country. Whenever you head out, you know you might land out. Carrying your heavy factory bag adds weight, so many pilots also own an XC bag. Gunnison Gliders makes a light one (200 denier fabric) with the zipper on the side. This makes it foldable. Indeed the sample Rusty sent rolled up to 12 inches long by four inches in diameter. Postpaid the XC bag sells for $65. If you want a matching harness bag, add $25. Gunnison has other choices, too, with good ideas like multiple-fabric bags to keep moisture out and to prevent zipper rash while on the rack. Write 1549 County Road 17, Gunnison CO 81230. ••• In the same price range, expatriated Aussie David Adams is promoting Ezy-Eye flight sun glasses. Bragging a high-tech lens to improve vision in bright conditions, the Ezy Eye glasses have a durable frame with rubber hinges. Called, "thermal seeking" and "bulletproof," maybe it’s no surprise the Aussie HG team uses them exclusively. Call 213/243-5363. ••• Let’s go way into Giftland with a couple closing items. First is a small collection of hang gliding ceramics. These are hand made items that can be finished as a pin, ornament, or magnet. The stylized artwork can be personalized to reflect your hang glider’s actual colors. Your name and likeness (e.g., hair color) can be added as well. For $15 and another two bucks for personalization, your driver or eternally-patient spouse might like to have one. Call 310/377-6435. ••• At the end of a day of soaring, many pilots like to tell tales over a brew. If this means you, try Cumulus Cream Ale, the "first in a series of home brew kits for the sky minded from BevArt Inc." Designed by a pilot for pilots, you make your own batch of five gallons of "medium-bodied, full-flavored ale with a long lasting frothy head." Other blends are coming, to be named Blown-Out Stout, Wonder Wind Wheat, and Cliff Launch Lager. Two kits sell for $27 or $68 postpaid. One is ingredients only; the other includes everything except the bottles and a boiling pot. Interested? Get a free catalog by calling 312/BEER-579. Ask for Greg. ••• That’s it for ’94. So, got news or opinions? Send ’em to 8 Dorset Rd., St. Paul MN 55118. Fax or V-mail to 612/450-0930. Happy Holidays To All! THANKS!
Published in Hang Gliding Magazine