Posts Tagged ‘How to Buy’
Spring has sprung, and undoubtely, little Jimmy will soon be off to baseball practice. Or, perhaps, big Jim is off to softball games already. The common thread there from an equipment perspective is baseball only requires a few things, most importantly, along with the bat and ball, is the mitt, or baseball glove. Purchasing a mitt for any kind of ball is an adventure and really, in my opinion, something to be treasured. From the smell of real leather to the beauty of a pristine pocket, shopping for a ball glove can be exciting, fun, and rewarding. But that’s for those with an incredible passion for baseball such as myself. For those with limited mitt knowledge, it can be confusing, lengthy and frustrating. So, for the benefit of those leatherly challenged-
There are many, many brands of gloves nowadays, starting with classic staples Rawlings and Wilson going on for miles. There are too many to list and discuss, and more importantly, I’m not getting paid by any of them, so go with your gut. Most of the time, a company will have several different models at several different price points, so asking ‘who makes the best glove’ is like asking ‘who makes the best car’, an argument that can go on forever and likely wind up with fisticuffs. Your safest bet is worrying more about price and feel than brand, and if you have a favorite brand, that’s half the battle.
The Brand matters, but the model is where the difference really lies, as a lower end glove from a great glove company most likely isn’t nearly as good as a high end glove from a company you’ve never heard of. The main rub here is your price range, as everyone would like an A200 or Pro Preferred, but it’s not necessarily in your price range. I recommend at least getting something made from real leather, which you should be able to find for as low as $50. Sure, a cheap mitt is nice, but the synthetic leather used is likely going to start disappearing quicker each season, so pony up and get something authentic. A real leather glove, no matter what price, can last you forever if properly cared for. The more expensive the glove, the better the leather, more often than not. The range of leather is expansive, so there definitely is a difference between a $50 glove and a $300 glove. Most of the time when it comes to leather quality, you get what you pay for.
Here’s where the confusion really sets in. Working in the industry, I constantly here questions about sizing. Here’s are some rough guidelines-
- 8, 9 & 10 inch- This is primarily for your tee ball players, with varying sizes not meaning a whole lot at that age, as not much slick fielding goes on anyhow. But that doesn’t mean you should nab the biggest mitt you can find, as you need to make sure your son/daughter can control the mitt with ease, pick up a ball with it, and open and shut it. From there, it’s all pretty colors, player’s signatures and cool features that butter the bread.
- 11 to 12 inch- These are the toughest ones to gauge, as there are many gloves in this spectrum that are either meant for kids or adult but not necessarily both. Adults playing middle infield and sometimes third base want a glove somewhere in the 11’s, with an open and shallow pocket for web gem playability, while the kids gloves at this size will likely have closed webs and deep pockets to help them in catching the ball. If your child playing baseball or softball is an infielder by trade, go with something smaller in size, and if they are an outfielder, go bigger. Kids who play both positions, I would err on the bigger side, because having a bigger glove infielding isn’t as bad as having a small glove in the outfield.
- 12 to 13 inch- This is the bonafide outfielder range for baseball players, and even some softballers, with most of these glove having big, deep pockets for shagging fly balls, and even some featuring outfield inspired features such as Rawling’s Trapeze pocket, made for fly balls. Some softball players will also use gloves this size for infield, especially those using a 12″ ball, needing those extra inches to trap the ball.
- 14 inches+ These gloves are softball outfield specific and made for those who are, shall I say, less than confident in their outfield abilities. You may also see some softball first basemen using a gigantic mitt this size, which leads me smoothly to my next topic.
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.
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.
We have detailed some of the most essential pads and protection for football players. We will talk about shoulder pads and helmets in future blog posts.
Collar Pads/Neck Rolls
These pads protect the collarbone, which attach to the shoulder pads on the back. Collar Pads and Neck Rolls usually price from $9.99 to $59.99. Cowboy Collars which attach to the shoulder pads are typically more expensive, while the round white neck collars start at $9.99.
Rib vests are recommended for players with sore ribs or who often get tackled. Rib pads can be attached to shoulder pads or worn separately with suspenders. Rib Vests cost between $12.99 and $69.99. The rib pads with the shirt and combo with side protection sell for a higher price. The more the protection and padding the higher the price.
Forearm pads are preferred for offensive and defensive linemen who use their arms to block and tackle. These pads can come with combinations of forearm and hand pads as well as forearm, hand and elbow pads. Forearm pads typically sell in a range of $5.99 to $29.99. The higher priced pads typically fit better and add better protection.
Different positions require different types of gloves. Lineman should look for gloves that are heavily padded on the top of the hand. Lineman gloves should also be designed to prevent a player from hyper-extending his fingers, usually have an extra heavy palm and an oversized wrist wrap for added wrist strength and protection. Receivers, Running Backs, Linebackers and Defensive Backs should have flexible gloves that have stickiness (tackiness) to them. Receiver Glove, Defensive Back, Linebacker and Running Back Gloves range from $14.99 to $69.99. Typically the more expensive gloves feature stronger material which prevents less ripping. The higher end gloves also feature more stickiness (tackiness) and are typically lighter. Lineman Gloves range from $24.99 to $79.99 and are more expensive because of the extra padding and some feature wrist wraps.