by CBCG Athlete Amy VT
Triathletes are pretty particular about their gear, if not certifiably hyper. The latest models, lightest material, freshest colors, and most inventive bells and whistles describe another kind of race, and personal preference and style can make gift-giving seem nearly impossible.
So what do you get the triathlete who has everything? Here are some sure-fire bets, with a range of cost, that any triathlete would thank Santa for, no doubt.
#1 Swim Video Analysis
From the first out of the water at Kona, to those who just learned to swim and are worried about cut-off times, everyone, we repeat everyone could benefit from a personalized analysis by an expert coach. With a CBCG Swim Video Analysis, CBCG coaches go the distance by offering a one-to-one session complete with video coverage from three angles, a sit-down analysis, individualized drill prescriptions, and a takeaway thumb drive of your footage, comments, and visual overlay graphics.
Even if they already underwent an analysis, most athletes renew this invaluable service once or twice a year to encourage continued development.
Dream gift! If you purchase a slot in a triathlon training camp, you’re giving the gift of training, camaraderie, coaching, and an ultimately memorable experience. There are tons and tons of camps of different styles, durations, and foci, all throughout the year, and all over the world. Check out our CBCG Camps for a few ideas.
Of course you’d have to be certain the Camp dates and timing work for your athlete, so this one may require some research and sneaking, or some transparency making it not so much of a surprise. If you do want it to be a secret, we recommend surreptitiously asking your athlete’s coach and boss if the dates and timing are feasible.
#3 Super rad socks
Show us a triathlete who doesn’t want some rad new socks, and we’ll show you...um...err...something that doesn’t exist. In fact, I dare you to shop for super rad socks and not want some for yo’ self at the same time.
No one can have too many socks, especially triathletes, and finding a hip or wild graphic will make your gift personal. We recommend The Athletic®, which also has a drool-worthy brick-and-mortar store in NW PDX. Their best gift option is their “The Athletic Sock Club.” If you drool so uncontrollably you just gotta get your own, consider their “Surprise Sock Pack” grab bag from last season deal.
Of course we’re going to reco some Wattie Ink. socks, too, which feature the added benefit of compression particularly conducive to racing. Check out those purple confetti “Prism Socks.”
#4 Travel-sized torque wrench
You’ll have to check to ensure your giftee doesn’t already have one. If not, and if you’ve got the coin, drop everything and order a travel-sized torque wrench right now. Don’t even read the rest of this list.
Torque wrenches are crucial to triathlon and TT bike maintenance, since carbon frames and seat tubes, and complex headsets require a specific measure of Newton meters for tightening. As triathletes travel all over the world for races, it can be dangerous guesswork to make adjustments without a torque wrench, or a hassle to find a mechanic at the race site.
Any brand that looks relatively like the below pic is ideal, so long as it’s sold by a reputable cycling retailer, is relatively lightweight and compact, and has at least eight attachments. Borrow a paint pen or label gun (my mom has both) because everyone will want to swipe your athlete’s new prize possession.
#5 Imperfect Produce subscription
Great idea, right? All off us need viteys, and busy triathletes who focus on quick carbs for fuel and quick protein for recovery might find it challenging to hunt and gather the recommended rainbow spectrum of fruits and veggies.
Every major city in the US offers a CSA-like weekly subscription to a box of farm fresh produce, and some focus on a rad idea: delivering to you the mis-shapen or over-harvested fruits and veggies that grocery stores won’t accept.
Imperfect Produce® in Portland and a few other cities is radical. They fight food waste by finding a home for “ugly” produce sourced directly from farms, and deliver it to customers' doors weekly for about 30% less than grocery store prices. They support good farmers, create good jobs, and get this: they donate their extras to food banks. Win-win-win-win-win.
#6 NormaTech® recovery pumps
Like Camp, this one would be more of a splurge, but it’s a definite winner. “Do you have NormaTechs?” is a frequent question from those who own them and are ready to gloat. It’s like the triathlete community is bifurcated into two bastions: those with, and those without NormaTech® recovery pumps.
If you’re uncertain what they are, imagine the sleeve around your bicep as you’re getting your blood pressure tested. NormaTech® pumps zip up over your entire legs, delivering an intense and scientifically-controlled measure of compression to aid in recovery for fatigued muscles, utilizing the “compressed air to massage your limbs, mobilize fluid, and speed recovery.”
Most importantly, this gift would be one of self-care. It’s like a gift cert for a massage, only this one doesn’t need to be scheduled, and it lasts forever. Athletes relish sitting in their pumps, multitasking, watching Netflix, eating cereal, or being forced to do nothing since you have to be prone for a sesh. Dream gift.
#7 A super rad swimsuit
“I could never get her a swimsuit because I don’t her size or style.” WRONG! That’s just plain lazy. All it takes is sneaking into her or his drawers, double entendre intended, and finding the size of her or his other suits. Or ask a best friend or training partner. For a girl, also determine if she prefers one- or two-piece suits. If you’re still unsure, buy two and return the other later.
Then, report directly to the Wattie Ink. swimsuit collection. You’ll find both some phenomenal sale prices and some fresh graphics that will make for a perfect and personalized gift. Pro tip: add a silicone cap to complete your bundle of joy.
#8 Hipster instant coffee
There IS such a thing! I betchya if you get some for a gift, you’re gonna get your own. Triathletes travel a ton, and especially in foreign countries we can’t always rely on good coffee to be avail. Enter the Instant Coffee Revolution.
We used to equate the concept with a brand that rhymes with waynka, but now some of the highest quality roasters are offering up little travel packets of rocket fuel that actually taste good, too.
Our fave: Stoked Roasters® out of Hood River Oregon. Stoked Instant Coffee is 100% Certified Organic, and comes in medium or dark roast, in packs of eight. Pro tip: add a full bag of their espresso beans to your gift bundle.
#9 A tub of Fieldwork Primo Smoothie®
The Lamborghini of protein powder. [Fieldwork Nutrition Company® synthesizes a science-based concoction of ingredients with remarkably good taste. Athletes honestly find themselves making smoothies with Fieldwork® just for a treat, and I know a friend who topped one with whipped cream and a cherry.
The best feature of a quality protein powder is the inclusion of stuff we need, but often fail to get elsewhere. In addition to 20 grams of clean protein from grass fed whey, Fieldwork® also packs in healthy fats and omega-3s, vitamins D, E, C, magnesium and iron, curcumin from turmeric and probiotics, creating their signature orange color. A tub of their popular “Primo Smoothie” powder is what we recommend.
#10 Recycled inner-tube gear
Eco-conscious gifts always deliver that special dose of love. So even if your giftee already has a saddle bag, drop kit, wallet, zip pouch, or shoulder bag, it won’t be redundant to get another.
We recommend avoiding these items: hydration systems (too many options), wetsuit (you’ll get the wrong size), goggles (too individual), bike travel cases (unless you’re pozzy you know exactly what they want), magazine subscriptions (the quality varies), bumper stickers (if you have to ask...). Gift cards are also always a winner, in which case we recommend Wattie Ink. or your local grocery store.
The above list, however, should give you some much more exciting ideas for your giftee, or maybe you, yourself, in which case you should just forward this message to your whole family. If that’s too blatantly hinty, send us their email and they we’ll forward it for you.