Mike Hanson, Disc Dog Trainer Extraordinaire

Posted by Dave Taylor

Aug 16, 2018 10:00:00 AM

There are a lot of different customers who rely on Nite Ize gear, but few have cuter co-workers than Mike Hanson. Mike is a member of the Nite Ize Field Team, a disc dog trainer and has traveled the United States competing with his various dogs at flying disc competitions. We caught up with him for this interview…

Q: Right off the bat, all your dogs are female:  Jordan, SiZZle, and, MaggEY. Why female? Are they better at catching or staying focused?

I prefer females based on personality. They have a touch of individualism that when trained correctly, makes for a good team.

the-girls

Q: Tell us all about your dogs! Tell us their names, ages, how  they joined your family and their personalities. 

MaggEY – 12-year-old Border Collie mix. She is my first dog and the pack leader of the house. She has the best personality and is the best dog I have ever owned. She was rescued in Colorado Springs, CO. Her litter was thrown into a field, and she was the only dog that made it. When a group went out to look for them, they found her under a tree stump whimpering. She went on to win five Colorado State Championships, three World Championships, and has performed before hundreds of thousands of people. She has performed for all of the major Denver sports teams and local colleges. I am truly lucky to have her come into my life.

Cooper – 11-year-old Border Collie mix. He was rescued in Paonia, CO. His disc career was cut short due to a freak accident in which he jumped off of a third floor balcony of an apartment complex. He survived the fall, but his budding disc career was over. He now has the best life a dog could have at our house--chasing squirrels and ensuring there are no monsters under our daughters bed.

Jordan – 8-year-old Border Collie. She was rescued in Gunnison, CO. She is the smartest dog I have ever owned. She learns so fast and is always willing to work. She might be cross-eyed, however, because she can’t catch a disc very well at all. She enjoys going for hikes and playing disc golf with me when she is not pretending to be a disc dog.

SiZZle – 2-year-old Australian Shepherd/Border Collie/Cattle Dog mix. She came out of the birth canal chasing a disc. She has so much energy, and is always willing and wanting to please. She is our “up and comer” and is turning into an amazing dog. I can’t wait to see where she takes us.

Q: How did you get into training your dogs to catch flying discs? Most dogs live for fun, but bringing a stick back is a lot easier than jumping up and catching something mid-flight!

We went to a competition in Littleton, CO for the Colorado Disc Dogs. MaggEY and I spent the day watching them and at the end of the day, they gave us a disc and a couple of tips. The next day I took her out, gave her a throw, she ran it down, and we were hooked. From there we went and learned online from watching YouTube routines. The rest is history.

sizzle-soars

Q: What competitions have you participated in with your dogs?

We compete in freestyle competitions where you do a two-minute routine with tricks set to music. You are judged on style, athleticism, teamwork, and overall presentation. We also do a “Toss and Catch” competition where you have a 40-yard field with different bonus zones and try to get as many catches as possible in one minute. A fast dog can get five throws to the furthest zone in one minute.  One of our favorite competitions is a long distance competition called “The Hero Cup” where you throw as far as you can and have your dog catch it. I have had catches past 87 yards before.

Q: When you're not tossing discs for your girls to catch, what's your day job?

I run a youth sports program for kids age 3-14 in Littleton, CO. We take kids that have never played sports before, teach them, and give them and opportunity to play. We help over 5,000 kids play sports each year.

Q: What's your favorite Nite Ize product?

The Pack-A-Poo® Bag Dispenser is a game changer for a guy that picks up a lot of dog poop. The fact you can wind your poop bags back up into the dispenser is pretty awesome. I also use the Gear Ties® in my cars for everything. I especially like them to tie the dog bowls to the front of the crates. The SpotLit® is great to have on road trips to keep track of your dogs at night as well.

flying-jump

Q: Back in 2015 you and your dog did the NFL halftime show during Broncos vs. Colts. What did you do and what was that experience like?

My friends and I did the halftime show for the opening night of the NFL season. When MaggEY and I got out to the field, there was no one else on the field- just her and I under the lights at Sports Authority Field in front of 80,000 people doing what we both love to do the most. She didn’t drop a single disc that night. It is an experience that leaves me with goose bumps every time I think about it or tell the story. It is a moment I will remember for the rest of my life.

Q: Ever thought about training cats to catch flying discs? How do you imagine that'd go?

I am allergic to cats, LOL. I am sure someone could train them to catch a disc. Good luck on them bringing it back, though!

Mike adds: I love my family and the fact that this sport can be enjoyed by all of us. My daughter, Emma, won the 7-and -Under World Championship with MaggEY last year. This sport allows us to travel and meet friends we would have never known if it wasn’t for our dogs. It is amazing how much these dogs have changed my life and all it took was rescuing one. I encourage everyone to go out and rescue your next pet.

People can find me on Facebook as Mike Hanson and my Instagram is DiscDogMike

 

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Topics: LED Dog Products, Field Team

Find Your Adventure with the Handleband

Posted by Dave Taylor

Aug 6, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Whether you're a double-century sort of bicyclist or just like to get on your bicycle and explore, the combination of your smartphone and the Nite Ize Handleband will make your rides more fun and relaxing. No one likes to get lost while biking, but there are a lot of roads, intersections and opportunities for unplanned adventures in even the smallest town. That's where the Handleband comes in: it lets you easily attach your smartphone to the handlebars of your bike and have a live map showing you exactly where you are at all times.

handleband-2

 

Kids don't worry about this so much and the iconic imagery from both the cult film hit "The Goonies" and the popular horror series “Stranger Things” was of the group of pals jumping on their bicycles and pedaling off down the street. A mystery was afoot and they were ready to explore!

Plenty of adults use their bicycle as basic transportation, in which case it's likely that you already have a route mapped out and never vary from it. But what if there was a better way to get to work, the market or the gym, a prettier route that avoided some of the worst vehicular traffic and shaved a few minutes off the ride? Having a live map on your handlebars can give you the confidence to try out different routes and change things up to make the commute a bit more interesting.

Regardless of what type of bicyclist you are, the modern cyclist's problem is how to actually access your smartphone while en route. You can’t just hold it, you can’t have it in a basket, and you can’t leave it in your pocket. And yet, you get text messages. You get email. You need to check your route. Solution: attach it to your handlebars:

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That's the purpose of the Nite Ize Handleband. It’s a simple universal smartphone mount that lets you securely attach just about any phone to the handlebars of your bicycle, so that the screen is still visible and fully functional. Not only that, but if your life is more about strollers, or even shopping carts, it’ll work great with those, too.

Constructed of a lightweight expandable silicone with an aluminum base at its core, the HandleBand is inexpensive enough that you can buy one for each of your riders, adult or child, and know that you’ve acquired a great tool to help avoid dropped phones and cracked screens. It’s also flexible enough that it can be attached and removed thousands of times, whether you need to move it to another bike or use the convenient bottle opener built into the base.

If you’re on a bicycle, if you have a stroller, or if you just like to have easy access to your phone while at the market, the Nite Ize HandleBand could be a great addition to your smartphone accessories.

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Quick Facts | HandleBand Universal Smartphone Bar Mount

  • Universal design fits nearly every smartphone, including plus-sizes, with or without a case
  • Easily attaches to most common bar diameters in either horizontal or perpendicular configuration
  • Aluminum base piece functions as a convenient bottle opener
  • Fits most bar diameters

 

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Topics: Bike

Nighttime Flying Disc Adventures with Flashflight

Posted by Dave Taylor

Jul 31, 2018 2:32:12 PM

Growing up in Southern California, many of my best childhood memories are tied to being at the beach. Whether it was Santa Monica beach, if we wanted to be down by the pier, or Zuma and Malibu beaches, which were the two just down the canyon from our neighborhood.

FFD_Feature_01_lIf you’ve never grown up near a beach community, you don’t know that high schools have designated lifeguard stations, too. On Zuma beach, my local high school had our station and it was a fun way both to find friends and avoid the kids from the rival cross-town school. 

While we occasionally just lay on our towels and listened to music on our boom boxes, mostly everyone was up and about, walking around, playing football, body surfing, splashing in the water, or swimming. Hands down one of the most popular activities, though, was throwing a flying disc back and forth. For hours and hours.

Back then, flying discs were just lumps of plastic without much going for them. So we all had a stack in our cars, so that the loss of a disc in the surf wasn’t going to stop the show. Still, once the sun started to set, that game was over because you can’t play when you can’t see the disc zipping towards you!

That’s why the Flashflight from Nite Ize is so incredibly fun: It’s a well balanced and easy to throw flying disc that lights up, making it perfect for nighttime play! For those of you that measure discs by weight, it’s a 185g disc, so it’s got some heft to it. This means you can throw it further and catch it easily as it has a nice, deep lip.

FFD_Feature_02_l

But it’s the colors that make the Flashflight so darn fun. When I headed out to the street one evening with my kids to try out the color-changing Disc-O Flashflight, we all instantly became fans of this great flying disc. You can watch it transition from one color of the rainbow to another, even as it’s zipping from person to person. 

The tech is also a lot more sophisticated than it appears at first glance: the Flashflight is built around a patented LED and fiber optic system that makes the light-up disc look somewhat like a psychedelic jellyfish. It’s also quite durable - skittering along the road didn’t ding or scratch up the disc - and it’s also water resistant and floats!

Where was this when I was on the beach every day? My kids have been playing with the Flashflight quite a bit and now are insistent that it travel with them to Hawaii for their summer vacation. There’s no doubt about it, the Flashflight will be absolutely perfect for play on the beach once one of those glorious Hawaiian sunsets wrap up.

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Nite Ize Flashflight

Extremely durable 185g plastic flying disc
LED + Fiber Optic illumination system, with user-replaceable batteries
Available in a rainbow of fun colors

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Topics: Adventure, Fun & Games, Flashflight, outdoors, Flying Disc

Nite Ize: The Ultimate in Smartphone Convenience

Posted by Dave Taylor

Jul 19, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Let’s face it, at this point your phone is part of your daily wardrobe. But even calling it a “phone” is a misnomer: The last decade has seen mobile devices evolve from clunky portable telephones to extraordinarily powerful entertainment devices that just happen to fit into your pocket. Or sit on the table, be propped up on your desk or bounce around in your vehicle as you drive.


That’s why the Steelie® system from Nite Ize® is such a great addition to your world. The Steelie line of products make it ridiculously easy to have your phone on a stand by your desktop computer, and quickly adjust it to the perfect angle for watching TV or keeping track of Twitter and Facebook. It’s a system that’s ready to deck out your car with more mounting spots, whether attached directly to your windshield or clipped neatly to an air vent. And that bedside table is another perfect location, as is the conference table in your office. In fact, there are hundreds of places you’ll want to have a Steelie mount ready to use.

The secret to the entire Steelie system is the powerful magnet that connects with a satisfying “click” to whatever Steelie mount you decide works best for your setup. For example, here’s a view of the Tabletop Stand with my Android phone ready for action.

steelie-1

What’s most useful about the Steelie design is that it’s super easy to tweak and adjust angles and orientation unlike most competing desktop stands. Watch the World Cup while working? They’ve got ya covered.

Jump into the car and there are just as many different solutions including the latest addition to the line, the slick Steelie Windshield Mount Kit Plus. Through the use of an adjustable arm and ingenious suction cup that locks into place on your windshield, it’s ideal for using your smartphone as a navigation system in the car without risking it reorienting, falling off or distracting you. Don’t want a magnet on your phone? No problem. Steelie offers the FreeMount™, which is perfect for using Steelie with multiple phones. The MultiStick™ Adapter is also available to make the magnet easily removable and replaceable.

steelie-2

If you’re like most people, you’re fed up with cheap knock-off solutions from overseas that work for a few days - if at all - and then fall apart. That’s another reason you’re going to really appreciate the Steelie system: it’s so well made that these are going to work for the next fifty years, far longer than your smartphone will be around!

You can get started with the Steelie system - since you want to ensure that you get a Magnetic Phone Socket for the phone itself along with whatever mounts you need - by checking out the Steelie Pedestal Kit for Smartphones. You’ll see, soon enough you’ll have ‘em everywhere like me.

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Quick Facts | Nite Ize Steelie Magnetic Phone Mounts


Powerful neodymium magnet and silicone center provide a strong grip and smooth glide
Adjusts and holds your mobile device in any viewing angle
Confident hold with easy one-handed release
Versatile solutions for everyone

 

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Topics: Consumer Electronics, Mobile Device Accessories

Road Team Tested: The Fun Doesn't Stop When the Sun Goes Down

Posted by Live Outside & Play Road Team

Jul 12, 2018 9:54:41 AM

When you live in a van in Colorado and the sun dips below the horizon, you have two options: Get in and enjoy that claustrophobic feeling of being in the same small space for far too many hours, or grab some Nite Ize products and keep the fun going. With the fire ban stretching across the state, it’s easy to get discouraged after sunset in the backcountry. Without a fire to base evening debauchery around, what’s an outdoor enthusiast to do? Luckily, Nite Ize has plenty of products to help keep you entertained. Check out some fun post-sunset products perfect for both humans and furry friends alike.

Fun for Humans

SPOKELIT® LED WHEEL LIGHT – DISC-O SELECT™

 

Nothing says “I’m keeping myself safe, but I’m here to party” quite like the SpokeLit LED Wheel Light from Nite Ize. The SpokeLit is an LED lighting accessory for all occasions. And we mean ALL OCCASIONS. You can select between six colors or leave it on the color changing Disc-O mode to keep you seen and safe with perfect side visibility while riding your bike. Biking home from work? SpokeLit. Biking to the bar on a Saturday night? SpokeLit. Biking across the desert at Burning Man? Definitely SpokeLit. This shock and weather-resistant light is super efficient and has a battery life of 20 hours (roughly the length of one REALLY GOOD party). In all honesty, it just makes riding your bike more fun. We’ve even used ours along with a headlamp while mountain biking at night. We usually select our color based on our mood… Which is almost always Disc-O mode.

FLASHFLIGHT® LED LIGHT-UP FLYING DISC

When we’re backpacking we choose food with a high nutrition-to-weight ratio. When we’re in the van, we choose our toys with a high fun-to-size ratio. The Flashflight LED LightUp Flying Disc always makes the cut. The Flashflight is a LED Light Up flying disc designed by an Ultimate player to perform as beautifully as it looks. Weighing in at 185 grams, the Flashflight is our go-to for fun, whether we’re in the van or spending a night in the backcountry. The Flashflight is not only water-resistant but it floats, too! Nite Ize incorporated fiber optics as well as long-life LED lights into the Flashflight to make sure you can see it from every angle.  Obviously, it’s great at night, but it was designed to fly like a high-quality flying disc and you’ll be reaching for it even during the day.

Fun for Dogs

HUCK ‘N TUCK™ GLOWSTREAK® COLLAPSIBLE THROWER + LED BALL

We often play fetch with our van pooch after dark, and before the Huck ‘N Tuck Glowstreak Collapsible Thrower and LED Ball, we lost count of all of the tennis balls that were lost to the night. With the LED ball, and easy to store thrower, we can tire our puppy out every night after finding camp. The Huck ‘N Tuck thrower extends to two-feet long for long arching throws, and collapses down to 12 inches so it’s easy to store in the van. The motion-activated LED ball comes to life with a bounce against the ground or the first throw, and keeps glowing until it’s stationary for five minutes. You get five more minutes of the LED’s blinking before it turns off. This ensures you can find the ball even when your pup is done running. That strong little LED has 35 hours of glow time so you can play throughout the entire summer. The LED ball is molded, shockproof AND waterproof (and it floats!). This means if you have a pup that likes to swim, you can keep the water games going all night. The ball has ridges so it won’t slip as he makes his way back for another throw. It is also the same size as a tennis ball so it’s compatible with all throwers! Our dog has put this ball to the test, and it’s stood up to his slobber, chewing and his incredible ability to hide the ball from us when we’re done playing.

NITEHOWL® LED SAFETY NECKLACE

We have an adventure dog. He sprints along as we bike down singletrack, secures the perimeter every time we arrive at a new campsite, and scrambles up rock fields as we make our way to summits. This dog knows freedom and yearns to roam like the rest of us. When we arrive at camp, we instantly reach for the NiteHowl LED Safety Necklace. The collar is made up of flexible polymer which you trim down to fit your pup’s neck exactly. It comes in three different colors so you can easily distinguish between other dogs wearing the same collar. The button on the weather-resistant battery pack cycles you through solid lights, flashing and off. We use the flashing mode when walking through crowds at festivals to make sure our pup is seen, and so everyone else knows he’s ready to party. At campsites, we use the solid option so we can always spot him (and he’s still ready to party). Sometimes it’s catching glimpses of him sprinting through the trees around us, or as a glow reminder he’s curled up next to our camp chair snoozing once he’s partied out.

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Topics: Adventure, Organization, DIY, "travel"

Emergency Preparedness with the Nite Ize INOVA X2

Posted by Dave Taylor

Jul 5, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Whether you’re a renter or homeowner, you’ve already figured out that it’s a smart idea to have some emergency preparedness gear handy in case of bad weather or power outages. A few gallons of water, a first aid kit, some candles and matches and, of course, a good flashlight. Homeland Security recommends that you add a few things too, including a three day supply of food, a whistle to signal for help, a can opener, local map and some way to charge your cellphone as necessary.

inova-x2-1Most of these make no sense to tote around in your car. All cars should have a basic first aid kit, though, and a good flashlight. Problem is, a flashlight left in a vehicle is a classic challenge for most people because you have to remember to check and ensure it still works before the emergency situation arises. There are also lots of vehicular emergencies that can require a bright flashlight too, from dropped keys to a flat tire.

That’s why when I was equipping my daughter’s car with some emergency basics, I opted for the super bright Nite Ize® INOVA® X2 LED flashlight. Powered by two AA batteries, it can put out 280 lumens for almost two hours, plenty enough to flag down a passing vehicle. In its lower illumination mode, it’s still offers plenty of light to check a potential flat or work on the car as needed.

Since I know my daughter won’t check her flashlight on a monthly basis, the INOVA X2 retains its battery charge for a long time. Nite Ize assures me that even untouched for an entire year the flashlight will still work for hours in an emergency situation.

Since I want to instill good habits in my daughter with safety and preparedness, I am going to have her get into the habit of checking her flashlight and first aid kit every three months. This is easily implemented by checking on the first day of each season, which has a secondary advantage of reminding her to add some cold weather additions too.inova-x2-2

If you also drive into snow and other potential bad weather, you too should remember that in addition to a reliable flashlight and first aid kit you should be packing jumper cables, a few flares and an ice scraper, at a minimum. 

There are few things more scary than having car troubles when it’s dark out and you’re far away from assistance. Having a Nite Ize flashlight as the cornerstone of her preparedness kit helps me feel better, knowing she’ll be able to handle most any emergency situation.

 

 

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Quick Facts | Nite Ize INOVA X2 LED Flashlight

Built from aerospace grade aluminum
Crushproof, shockproof and waterproof
Energy efficient LED bulb rated for 36,300 hours
280 lumens on high, 25 lumens on low


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Topics: DIY, Home, Visibility and Safety, Emergency Preparedness

Nite Ize Triumphs After Two-Year Battle Against International Knockoffs

Posted by Kelly Wakefield

Apr 24, 2018 9:50:34 AM

ITC awards protection for popular Steelie product line with general exclusion order that prevents infringing products from entering U.S.

After a two-year battle before the International Trade Commission (ITC), our popular Steelie® product line is now protected against foreign companies infringing upon our intellectual property rights. Effective immediately, the ITC-issued general exclusion order directs the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency to bar infringing products from entry into the United States.

ITC SteelieThe patented, award-winning Nite Ize Steelie ecosystem includes a variety of products that feature a unique ball-and-socket magnetic connection that creates a convenient hands-free mobile device mounting solution. Since its launch in 2013, the innovative Steelie system has grown significantly in popularity and is widely recognized as the leader for hands-free device mounting. As a result, we’ve experienced an influx of knockoff products replicating the Steelie products’ designs being sold online at undercutting price points.

“Nite Ize has been working for years to find an effective way to protect our patents against unfair foreign trade,” Nite Ize Founder and CEO Rick Case said. “I am grateful to finally find justice supported by our United States International Trade Commission.”

The Nite Ize legal team plans to work with U.S. customs agents on what to look for in potential knockoff products shipping from foreign countries and is planning to visit ports where high numbers of knockoffs have arrived. We’ll also work closely with the National Association of Manufacturers, lobbying to prevent foreign manufacturers from shipping knockoff products at greatly reduced costs via China Post.

Read the entire story in our Media Center here.

 

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Thoughts on Innovation, the Nite Ize way.

We have over 400 innovative problem/solution based products that appeal to anyone who has ever faced a daily frustration and found that perfect product to solve their problem. Whether you are into the latest tech products, love to walk your dog, enjoy hunting & fishing, biking with your family, or just love a helpful gadget, we hope that you will find a Nite Ize product that makes your life easier, safer and more fun – night and day! We love to share stories & ideas with our friends and customers. Enjoy!

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