Robb Report Australia

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Five gifts to take your fitness to the next level

COMPILED BY CAROLYN MEERS

If you find fun in building strength and pushing your physical limits, these five gifts and trips will definitely get your heart racing.

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Custom Made Canoe

Some people say that when you build a canoe, you're planning your escape," says Trent Preszler, the owner of Preszler Woodshop in Long Island, NY. "But for me, it's a process of making order out of chaos."

For this gift, Preszler is inviting one Robb Report reader to participate in that process, collaborating with him on a custom canoe at his woodshop, which is housed in a converted 1820s barn.

Preszler, who is also the CEO of Long Island's Bedell Cellars winery, founded Preszler Woodshop 2 years ago after discovering his late father's tool collection. He typically builds just two canoes a year, as the process that he uses to construct each hull takes about six months alone.

This custom canoe, $US100,000 (about $A135,000) will take approximately a year from start to finish. It could incorporate a variety of local and exotic woods — including zebrawood, Siberian larch, and Alaskan yellow cedar — and be outfitted with leather-wrapped seats.

Preszler often models his canoes after a centuries-old design that was used to transport cargo on Maine's Penobscot River, making his creations well suited to comfortable cruising on calm waters.

Delivering the means for such an escape is, for Preszler, an escape unto itself. "You buckle down on a task and make something beautiful and useful," he says. "Then, when you're done, it provides freedom." (preszlerwoodshop, trent@preszlerwoodshop.com) - Shaun Tolson

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S1 Water Bike

Perfect for a smooth cruise out on the lake, the S1 Water Bike, $US4500 (about $A6080) by Northern California-based brand Schiller is a high-performance biking catamaran, with speed and stability.

Mounted on two 1100-denier PVC pontoons with almost 455 kilograms of buoyancy, the frame comes in a choice of marine-grade, anodised T6 aluminium or carbon fibre, and all components are made from anodised stainless steel.

The S1's proprietary gearbox — with Gates Carbon Drive belt system — offers a 1:7.5 gear ratio for efficient energy transfer from pedal to propeller. Its upright ride allows you to keep your natural cadence, and transfers your road miles into nautical knots.

The S1 assembles and dissembles in 10 minutes flat and fits in the trunk of your car or on a roof rack. (schiller) - John Capone

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Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo FSR Mountain Bike

There's a conflict in the mountain-biking community. Purists are not happy with the e-bikes that are showing up on the trail. But pedal-assist mountain bikes like the Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo FSR 6Fattie, $US9500 (about $A12,800), from the noted bike builder demonstrate that these bikes are here to stay.

Most cyclists pride themselves on their endurance, speed, and agility, and some feel that the electric bikes are taking the challenge out of the sport. But some riders are starting to recognise the value in giving some the little extra help they need to either stay in the sport when perhaps their bodies aren't what they used to be, or are spreading the love of the sport through an entry point facilitated by pedal assist.

Love 'em or hate 'em, they appear to be here to stay, especially with larger manufacturers such as Specialised jumping into the game.

Specialized's entrée into electric bikes comes in the form of the Turbo line of mountain bikes, with a model to appeal to every rider, from beginner to expert, man and woman. The S-Works Turbo Levo FSR 6Fattie is first and foremost a trail bike.

Like Specialized's other bikes, this model sports a roomy top tube, ultra-short chainstays for excellent handling, and a low bottom bracket to keep the bike tight on the trail. Straying from the regular bikes is the Turbo element, with a battery and ultra-quiet motor, which gives riders 530 watts of pedal power to make climbing a breeze.

Riders can adjust how much power is used, allowing for a better workout or energy conservation on the part of the rider or the bike. The battery is easily swapped out, but is made to go the distance for a long ride. It fully recharges in 3.5 hours.

The S-Works Turbo Levo FSR 6 Fattie comes with carbon Roval Traverse SL 38 650b wheels, a 140mm RockShox Pike RCT3 fork, SRAM Guide RS Carbon brakes, and a SRAM XX1 groupset for shifting and drivetrain.

It also features Specialized's new 6Fattie wheel system, which increases traction and flotation on the trail. The bike also comes with the Mission Control app to tweak and monitor the Turbo part of the bike. And it features a Trail Display with all of your ride stats.

Specialized's line of pedal-assist mountain bikes will give the e-bike an air of legitimacy for purists and casual enthusiasts alike. (robbgear.robbreport.com, specialized.com) - Danielle Cutler

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Dave Scott Triathlon Camp, Four Seasons Hualalai

Dave "The Man" Scott is the consummate iron man. The 62-year-old athlete is a six-time Ironman World Championship winner, the first Ironman Hall of Fame inductee, and now, for one ambitious Robb Report reader, a personal coach.

For 5 days at Hawaii's Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Scott will prepare this gift's recipient for the triathlon of his or her choice. Drawing from his own success at Kona's legendary Ironman World Championship, he will guide his new protégé on daily training experiences that may include cycling amid lava fields, swimming in Kailua Bay, and running segments of the official Ironman course.

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The package, priced at $US61,900 (about $A83,600) also includes detailed video analysis of the recipient's swim stroke, running gait, and cycling form, as well as such downtime perks as daily sports massages at the Four Seasons spa and a helicopter tour over the island's Ironman course.

After five days of training, Scott will bid the recipient farewell with an assemblage of athletic equipment including a lightweight Plasma Premium triathlon bike by Scott Sports, an aero helmet, and a swim skin.

A customised 12-week training program will also ensure future wellness and success. "I don't just teach how to train," Scott says. "I teach how to optimise your health, [and] that transcends across the board — not just to triathletes." (four seasons, reservations.hualalai@fourseasons.com) - Carolyn Meers

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Power Personal Technogym Weight Rack and Bench

This Power Personal Weight Rack and Bench, starting at $US8000 (about $A10,800), is the latest addition to Technogym's high-performance home gym equipment line designed by Italian architect Antonio Citterio, who has created furniture for firms such as B&B Italia.

The weight rack includes a precision glide-and-lock system for safety and ease of use. Adjustable arms work as a spotter for doing squats. A built-in pull-up bar crowns the minimalist structure.

The bench is made from a supportive, dense, memory foam-like material and is wrapped in a high-grip, sweat-resistant upholstery. Its lever makes height adjustments seamless, and wheels make it a snap to align in place with the rack. A chrome version (shown here) is also available. (technogym.com) - Janice O'Leary

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