Cool Stuff: Secrets of HK 7's Coverage
Coolio historians know that most of what you read here is because it is tested and used to regularly produce successful news coverage for the Samoa News (and occasionally CNN, CBS, Honolulu Star Advertiser, the History Channel, etc). The real fact is, nobody wants to license my images unless it's something that they find hard to get, or ultra techie or expensive equipment is required to do the job.
So prepping for my work I really have to carry what I need, and prepare for the elements or lack of resources. The USA and Hong Kong 7's venues have plenty of resources around, but there are other real concerns I have to deal with to honor our Manu Samoa with quality imagery for which you and the Samoa News are proud.
Most of us who have shot a few Hong Kong 7's know that you will always have a major chance of rain. In the old days you could bring an umbrella and attach it to your monopod to protect you and the equipment. But these days, TV coverage rules the landscape, so the fear of umbrellas interfering with the view has eliminated that option. 511 Tactical to the rescue. The absolute bestest most versatile raincoat jacket in the universe is the 511 Tactical Aggressor Parka. At the USA 7's in Las Vegas we had drops of rain, bright sun, and chilling desert breezes....sometimes within an hour of each other. If you bring a light raincoat you will be cold at night, and overheated in the daytime. If you bring the 511Aggressor you have a built in removable warm and cozy fleece liner for the cold or not for the sun. The advantage of the Aggressor over normal raincoats is that it features a breathable parka shell so even if its sunny you are self adjusting to the elements. The cost of the Aggressor is a fair $259.99 (www.511tactical.com) Yup it is absolutely fair if you consider that you are getting what can be a jacket for all seasons and elements (Samoa mega rains, New Zealand chills, Mainland USA snows)...and don't forget the big secret!
Secret? You thought the heading to this episode of Cool Stuff was just a cheap ploy to manipulate you to stop doing something constructive and wander into my bizarre world? Usually thats the tongafiti, but not today.
Other than rain in Hong Kong, the other guaranteed drama is the presence of pick pockets. Signs on the Star Ferry from Kowloon (where us mativa guys always stay) to Hong Kong Island prominently declare, "Beware of Pick Pockets" Not a great image for promoting tourism, but it least it shows concern for us visitors. Since the handover of Hong Kong back to its rightful owner, China, I thought that pickpockets, drug dealers, and counterfeit iPhone retailers would be simply shot on sight. Nope, we are still on our own...which brings us back to almost everything 511Tactical makes. Huh?
Almost every 511 Tactical product I own has concealed pockets for my passport, my iPhone, maxed out credit cards, my point and shoot camera, photo flash cards, and the two tala the Samoa News allocates for my daily expenses. I cannot afford to have stuff stolen. Every bit of equipment I own is dear to me. I also cannot afford to get in a confrontation with a petty thief since I am old, slow to run away, and a wimp (did my wife just say "pala ai" in the background?).
My 511 Tactical Moab 10 sling bag (which @ $99 allows me to swing it to a safer position in front of my body), my Aggressor jacket, my 5-in-1 jacket (@ $259, a shorter length version of the Aggressor), and my 511 Covert Dress Shirts (quality style for church or formal dinners @ $49...casual versions only $19) all have multiple concealed pockets. It is my personal responsibility to proactively discourage crimes against me, especially in a foriegn country. I will use all legal products to achieve this goal. 511 Tactical made their products with law enforcement and the military in mind. What they didn't realize is that they created the greatest line of travel gear and clothing ever made. Maybe they need to hire me to market it as such.
Another reason 511 Tactical is terrific is that they honor their warranties. I also really, really like my double thick seat 511 Tactical Shorts @ $49.99. Several years ago my 511 shorts had a minor defect issue, which after 30 seconds on the phone, they took care of with brand new replacements. You put your hard earned dollar into a high integrity company like 511 Tactical and you will always be happy. Buy cheap stuff, you will keep buying replacement cheap stuff...with the end result being you will spend more in even the short run.
Another very important 511 product critical to my USA and Hong Kong 7's rugby coverage is the ATAC L2 Flashlight. Besides being a hard use dependable product with hi/lo and strobe capabilities, I have found that its rotary lock on the end cap keeps me from pulling out a flashlight with dead batteries. The other quality flashlight products I have studied don't have this feature. In a severe weather drama, or at night in the Hong Kong Stadium when I have to change camera settings, the ATAC L2 @$84.99 will always be ready. Another great pocket version of this is the ATAC L1 which uses just one instead of two CR123A batteries. I will go for both since failure is not an option for my Manu Samoa coverage, or my next CNN disaster coverage.
Within the rigid airline carry on size restrictions, the 511 Rush 72 Backpack is my go to bag. You can fill it up, then reduce it with its inherent compression straps, or you can just go light and it acts like a smaller bag. All 511 Tactical bags of the Rush and previously mentioned Moab line include Molle compatible webbing. Our Toa Samoa has extensive experience with Molle, as it is an integral military oriented strap system that will allow you to clip on accessories, or in my case my Moab 10 bag to the back of my Rush 72 bag.
One of my other most favorite companies in the universe, Think Tank, will balance the other side of the weather/travel equation in Cool Stuff: Secrets of USA & HK 7's Coverage Pt 2....coming to next weeks Samoa News or a Coolio embraced computer near you...from Hong Kong! Go 511 Tactical, Go Manu Samoa! And may our second favorites, the NZ 7's meet us in the finals so we can do it again....yeah Coolio's!