Archive for the ‘Buyers Guide’ Category
It is baseball season, so why not talk about the differences between baseball bats and what to look for when buying one. I want to start off by discussing the differences between the materials in bats:
Aluminum is typically lighter in weight than other metals. Baseballs & Softballs travel faster off of aluminum bats than wood and other metals. Some aluminum bats feature a double layer wall. The inner layer acts as a spring to allow the ball to fly off of the bat with more speed and distance.
Graphite and titanium are two higher end materials which offer more power and durability in both baseball & softball bats. Graphite and titanium also help reduce vibration, which in turns makes the bat more comfortable and enhanced feel.
Wood maple bats are prized for their density and strength. The problem with Maple is the density of the wood which increases weight. Maple is less prone to crack and will last longer than Ash. Maple bats typically cost between $55.00 and $90.00.
Wood ash is not as hard as maple. An ash bat will split or crack after a couple of hard days use. Low quality ash is made from low quality maple. High quality ash is made from high quality maple. Ash bats are less expensive than maple bats. These bats have far less hitting power than metal bats. Typical price for an Ash bat is about $30.00.
Here are some other things to keep in mind when buying a baseball bat.
- The barrel size of a bat includes both the length of the barrel–top part of the bat–and its diameter.
- The drop or length to weight ratio of the bat is the difference between the length and the weight of the bat. Leagues have different drop ratings because of safety ratings.
- Make sure you check with the league that you are in which drop rating you need.
- Standard bats are tapered 31/32 of an inch but can be slightly larger or smaller depending on whether you want a lighter or heavier bat.
- High School bats typically have a length to weight ratio of -3, meaning the bat can be 33 length, 30 ounces or 32 length, 29 ounces.
- Bat performance depends on the type of alloy, barrel dynamics, and thickness of the bat barrel walls. Aluminum bats, especially higher performance models with thinner walls, should not be used in temperatures below 50 degrees.
- Two piece bats, which allow a trampoline like affect when the ball comes off of it have become more popular because of the extra power and distance. These bats tend to be sold at a higher price point.
Baseball bats usually cost from $29 all the way to $399. The lower end bats are made of basic aluminum that makes the absorption sensitive and doesn’t have much power or pop. The higher end bats have the higher end materials like graphite and titanium which deliver the power or pop, durability and optimum performance players are looking for. You can buy a nice baseball bat for around $149.
Some of the top models are the Easton Stealth Speed, Easton Surge, Demarini Vendetta, Demarini Voodoo, Rawlings H2, Rawlings Exogrid and the Miken MV3 to name a few. A few of the top retailers that offer some of these baseball bats are Sports Authority, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Modell’s, Academy Sports and Sport Chalet. You can find additional stores that sell baseball bats at Sportrabbit.com.
Here are the different types of bowling balls:
Polyester and Plastic Bowling Balls
• Great ball for beginners and entry-level players.
• Least expensive.
• Most durable.
• Usually more forgiving than other bowling balls.
• Not a good ball for using spin, typically a better ball if you throw it straight.
Urethane Bowling Balls
• Great ball for higher end or skilled players.
• Ball provides great feel and control for hooks.
• Has a sanded finish
• Great overall ball for performance, control and price.
Reactive Resin Bowling Balls
• Another great ball for higher end or skill players.
• Offer most versatility and pin placement.
• Less durable than polyester and Urethane balls.
• Offer the most hook potential.
• Offer greatest strike potential of all kinds of balls.
Particle Bowling Balls
• Same type of ball as Resin, however used on oil or heavily oiled lanes.
• Offer maximum friction and reaction.
The typical pricing for Bowling balls is from $39.99 all the way up to almost $200. Pre drilled balls typically cost from $39.99. Usually higher end balls are better suited for very good players. You can usually get a nice ball for around $60.
Other things to consider when buying a bowling ball:
• Average adult male usually bowls with a: 14-16 lb. ball.
• Average adult female usually bowls with a: 10-14 lb. ball.
• Juniors: 1lb. of weight per year of child’s age, i.e. 8 yrs old = 8-lb. ball.
• Generally, heavy balls have larger holes and lighter balls have smaller holes.
• It is better to have a ball that’s too light than too heavy.
• Make sure the holes fit your hands comfortably.
There are many out there who’s new years resolutions are to work out and maintain a healthier lifestyle. We figured a few may go out and purchase some fitness equipment so an article about how to buy a treadmill would be helpful. Here are some things to think about when looking at treadmills:
What is the difference between Continuous Duty and Peak Performance?
- Continuous horsepower is how powerful a treadmill can continually operate without dropping off.
- The amount of continuous motor power that is consistently delivered during heavy usage over an extended period of time.
- Continuous duty works better for runners and for multiple users.
- All health clubs have commercial rated treadmills that feature heavy duty continuous horse power motors. These motors allow the treadmill to be used continuous hours throughout the day, every day.
- Peak performance is the amount of power output at which the motor is rated. These motors are specifically designed for treadmill usage.
- Peak horsepower is the maximum horsepower a treadmill can generate for a short period of time.
- Peak performance treadmills are better for a single person for walking.
- What is the importance of the deck?
- The thicker the deck, the more cushioning and comfort it provides.
- Belt widths range from 16 inches to 22 inches. You typically know how wide you have to have it for your particular running style.
- Treadmill lengths start as short as 45 inches to as long as 60 inches.
- Most Peak performance treadmills sell from $299 to $799. Again, these treadmills are better served for a single user who will be walking. Peak treadmills do come with an assortment of programs, a solid belt and deck and a decent warranty.
- Most continuous treadmills range from $799 to several thousands of dollars. The higher the continuous duty horsepower, the higher the price. Usually, the horsepower, deck, belt and warranty get better as the price goes up.
Other things to consider when buying a treadmill:
- Most treadmills feature an incline that can raise the deck to a typical incline of 10 degrees. Some commercial treadmills can go up to a 25% incline.
- Most treadmills come with a heart rate sensor; however, these sensors are usually only about 75% accurate.
- Many treadmills have an emergency switch that stops the machine should you fall off of it or get too tires to continue.
- Several models will fold up for easy storage.
- Most treadmills offer speeds from 0 to 10mph. There are some treadmills that can go higher than 10mph, usually they are more expensive as well.
- Computer controls can provide feedback such as speed, distance, heart rate, pace, calories burned, laps taken, time elapsed, incline and more.
I recently wrote a guide on football pads and protection and now plan on covering football shoulder pads. Here is the characteristics of shoulder pads by position:
- Look for lightweight pads that won’t ride up high to limit your head movement or field of vision.
- If your team uses the option and you are part of the running game, you should consider a shoulder pad made for running backs or defensive backs.
Running Back, Wide Receiver and Defensive Back
- If you play on of these positions you want a pad that’s lightweight and won’t slow you down, while still absorbing the hits that you will take.
- These pads also are designed to provide flexibility and unrestricted movement.
Fullbacks, Tight-Ends and Linebackers
- If you play these positions you should consider pads that use a plated front rather than laces.
- Plated fronts do not require as much adjustment after each hit.
- Some pads also come with vinyl buckles instead of elasticized straps to more securely fasten the pad under the arm.
- If you play in the trenches, you need a streamlined pad that uses fewer flaps and epaulets (the flaps that extend over the shoulder area) to prevent other players from grabbing and pulling on your pads.
- Linemen pads often use vinyl buckles to keep them more securely fastened.
- Elastic buckles needs to be adjusted and replaced after heavy usage. However, elastic may be preferred since it expands and contracts more easily than vinyl buckles when you breathe.
Punters & Place kickers
- Most players in this group use quarterback pads since they are lighter and offer the best freedom of movement.
- Youth Shoulder Pads usually price from $59.99 to $149.99. Adult Shoulder Pads range from $69.99 to $379.99.
How should I size Shoulder Pads?
- To determine the proper size shoulder pads stand up straight with your arms at your sides.
- Using a soft cloth tape, have someone measure across your back from shoulder blade to shoulder blade and round up this measurement by one half an inch.
- When determining the proper size youth pads you will also need to know the players chest circumference by measuring (with a soft cloth tape) around the nipple line additionally you will need to know the players weight.
We are coming up on hockey season here in mid October and we would like to talk about some of the equipment needed for hockey including Shoulder Pads, Elbow Pads, Shin Pads, Breezers and Hockey Gloves:
- Hockey shoulder pads they protect your collarbone, upper chest, back, upper arms, and shoulders.
- There are lighter and heavier shoulder pads depending on how much protection the player wants versus how maneuverable they are. Most shoulder pads will work for both forward and defensive positions, but players do have their own preference.
- To measure, wrap a tape measure around your chest just below your arm pits.
- Most sales associates can help fit shoulder pads. A good indicator is determine how the pads fit is looking at the elbow and see if there is room between the end of the shoulder pad on the arm and the elbow pad. If the shoulder pad is on top of the elbow pad, they are too big. There should be some room between the end of the shoulder pad on the arm and the elbow pad. Also, the shoulder pads should fit snug around the players’ body, not loosely.
- Youth shoulder pads typically run from $19 to $99. Adult pads sell from $39 to $129. Typically the bigger, bulkier, more padding there is the higher the price.
- Elbow pads do what they say, they are pads for the elbows, to help protect the elbow area in hockey.
- There are elbow pads that protect more of the forearm up to the glove and there are pads that just protect the elbow itself. It is the players personal preference on what they are looking for.
- Most elbow pads adjust to size with straps. The elbow pad should fit snug around the arm and elbow. Make sure you move your arm back and forth to tell whether they might be too tight or too loose. They should fit comfortably.
- Elbow pads sell from $9 to $79. You can buy a nice pair of elbow pads for around $29.
- Shin pads protect the knees, shins and ankles from sticks, pucks and falls.
- Shin pads range from 6 to 18 inches in length and are designed to fit over the kneecap to just above the skate.
- Again, like shoulder pads the lighter weight the pads, the easier it is to skate and maneuver. Generally, larger shin pads are better for defensive players and smaller pads are better for forwards or offensive players.
- The shin pad should fit snug to your leg, just above the knee cap and just above the skate.
- Shin pads cost from $19 to $79. You can buy a good pair of shin pads for $39.
- Breezers protect your upper leg and waist from pucks and sticks.
- These go over your supporter, garter belt and socks around your waist. They usually come up to around the belly button and go down to just above the top of the shin pad.
- Breezers usually have an elastic band or strap that extends to secure the breezers around your waist. Breezers have padding above and below the waist strap.
- Breezers can get bulky, so players have their own preference on how much padding they want their breezers to have.
- Breezers usually sell from $29 to $89.