Sports Equipment

Sports Equipment


Sports Equipment

  • Aerobic steps: Look for a step that is stable, solid and has good traction on top. Steps that are designed to be stacked also need to be very stable when stacked. Aerobic steps can be used for cardiorespiratory or resistance training. Make sure that when you step on and off of the step it does not slide or rock. If it does it can be very dangerous and may result in an ankle or leg injury. Many steps now come with video tapes for you to exercise along with at home. A good step will cost from $60-140.
  • Badminton racquets: Normally constructed of light metal, wood, or carbon fiber, a regulation racquet can be up to 27 inches long and can have a head no wider than 9 inches and no longer than 11 inches. Racquets normally cost $8-50.
  • Baseball bats: Baseball bats are made from hard wood, aluminum, or other light metals. They must have a smooth finish on the hitting area. The maximum length is 3 feet 6 inches and the maximum width is 2.75 inches. The grip portion may be covered with tape, pine tar, foam, or other coverings to improve a player's grip. Bats range in price from $15-100.
  • Baseball gloves: Made from top quality leather, baseball mitts come in many different styles but the three major types of gloves are infield, outfield, and catcher's. Infield mitts have much smaller baskets than outfield gloves. Catcher's mitts are heavily padded to protect the catcher's hand from hard pitches. Mitts come in both right and left handed models. Players normally wear their baseball mitt on their non-dominant hand. A good baseball mitt will cost anywhere from $40-150.
  • Batting gloves: Most gloves are made of leather or synthetic materials and have velcro® closures. Batting gloves improve a player's grip on the bat. They range in price from $7-25.
  • Bicycles: If you really want to get into cycling, go to a bicycle shop to purchase your new bike. The selection should be wider, the quality higher, and the sales staff more knowledgeable than in a store which does not specialize in bicycles. There are three basic types of bicycles: touring, racing, and bmx. Touring bicycles are the most common type. They have heavy frames and durable tires. Touring bikes offer a nice, smooth ride. Racing bikes have light-weight frames and tires which are built for speed. Racing frames and tires are not as durable as those found on touring bikes and the ride is much rougher. Bmx bikes are designed for off-road use and stunts. They have heavy-duty tires, wheels, and frames. Most bmx bikes have a rough ride on the road because of their heavy-duty tires. Recently, "mountain bikes" have become popular. These bikes offer a mixture of the comfort of a touring bike and the durability and ruggedness of a bmx bike. Many of these bikes are suitable for both on and off-road use. When selecting a bicycle, make sure that it fits you properly. When standing on the ground and straddling the bicycle, the top tube on the frame should be one inch below your crotch. The saddle, or seat, should be well-padded and fit your bottom properly. Women, because of a naturally larger pelvis, and larger men may need wider seats. When purchasing tires for any bike other than a racing bike, look for durable, puncture-resistant tires. Any cyclist who wishes to perform his best should use toe clips to fasten his feet to the pedals. Toe clips allow you to transmit the power from your feet to the pedals more efficiently. All cyclists should wear a high-quality cycling helmet for safety. Cyclists should also wear brightly colored or reflective clothing so they can be seen more easily by motorists, other cyclists, and pedestrians. Quality bicycles cost $130 and up.
  • Chin-up/pull-up bar: These can either be incorporated on weight machines (they are often found on multi-units) or can be separate wall or door mounted units. When purchasing the latter type, make sure that it is designed to hold the amount of weight you will be putting on it. When installing a pull-up bar in your home make certain that all of the fastenings are secure and that the unit is firmly anchored in the wall or fixed in the doorway. This type of pull-up bar can be purchased for $20-200.
  • Cross-country skis: Narrow and lightweight compared to downhill skis, cross-country skis have a binding which fastens a skier's toe to the ski, but allows the heel to be raised. It is very important to wax cross-country skis regularly for optimum performance. Make sure that you get skis that are the proper length. A good ski shop will be able to help you with proper sizing.
  • Cycling helmets: Cycling helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head injury by 85%, so always wear a helmet while cycling. Look for a high quality cycling model that is approved by the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) or the Snell Memorial Foundation. Fit is very important. A properly fitting helmet should touch the head on the front, back, sides, and crown or top. It should also have a chin strap that holds it securely in place. A good cycling helmet will cost $30-200.
  • Downhill skis: Most skis are now made from synthetic materials, which have largely replaced wood and metal. Many downhill, or alpine, skis have metal edges though. Ski length varies according to the height, weight, skill level, and personal preferences of a skier. A good ski shop should be able to help you select a pair of skis that will be suitable for you. Downhill skis range in price from $180-600.
  • Field hockey sticks: These rounded wooden sticks are shaped like an L. The head has one flat side which is used to strike the ball. These sticks weigh between 12-28 ounces. At no point can the diameter of a stick be wider than 2 inches. Sticks range in price from $15-80.
  • Golf clubs: When selecting a set of golf clubs it is important to get a set that fits your body and suits your swing. In order to play your best golf, club length, clubhead angle, clubhead style, grip size, and shaft type are all variables that may need to be adjusted. In general, unless you play frequently, you should probably buy perimeter weighted irons, woods, and putters. These clubs are much more forgiving on off-center hits. Golf club shafts are normally made of steel. However, today there are many new shafts on the market made from materials like graphite, boron, and titanium. These shafts are usually very expensive and can be extremely flexible or stiff. Whenever possible, try out a set of demonstration clubs before buying a new set of golf clubs. Demos are available at many golf pro shops and discount golf stores. It is always a good idea to consult a golf professional about which clubs would be best for you. A decent set of irons will cost $270 and up and a decent set of woods will cost $180 and up. A good putter will cost $30 and up.
  • Golf gloves: Made from top grade leather, most golf gloves have adjustable velcro® closures on the back of the hand for optimum fit. These gloves improve a golfer's grip on the golf club and help prevent blisters. They are normally worn on a golfer's non-dominant hand (a right handed golfer will wear a glove on his left hand and vice-versa). After use, it is important to spread the glove out flat and allow it to dry in this manner. This will prolong the life of your glove and keep it softer longer. A good golf glove will cost $10-20.
  • Handball gloves: Handball gloves are extremely important pieces of equipment which cushion and protect the hands during play. Most gloves are made of leather or other soft materials and are a light color. Additional padding such as gauze or athletic tape can be worn beneath the gloves for comfort and protection.
  • Ice hockey sticks: These are made from wood or hard plastics. They are normally up to 4.5 feet in length and the face of the stick is up to 1 foot long, 2.5 inches wide and 3 inches high. For recreational play it is a good idea to pick hockey sticks made from shatter-resistant materials such as hard plastic or rubber for safety and durability.
  • Ice skates: High quality skates that fit well should not hurt your ankles. Pick skates which have boots made from top grade leather and that have rigid soles to hold screws. The upper should have a full lining and a padded tongue. Many people require skates that are one-half to one full size smaller than their shoe size. Skates will be more comfortable and durable if you waterproof all of the leather surfaces. It is a good idea to use skate guards to protect your blades and to prevent injuries.
  • In-line skates: Originally developed to help train hockey players in the off-season, in-line skates (commonly known as "Rollerblades®") are sort of a cross between ski boots and ice skate boots with three to five rubber wheels fastened on the bottoms one behind the other or "in-line." When selecting a pair of in-line skates, make sure they fit your foot properly and have sides that are rigid enough to provide ample ankle support. Knee pads, elbow pads, gloves, wrist supports, and helmets are all recommended pieces of equipment because of the high speeds which can be achieved by these skates, sometimes exceeding 30 mph. In-line skates cost $80-300.
  • Jump ropes: Rope jumping is great cardiorespiratory exercise and can also improve foot speed. Ropes with swivel or ball-bearing handles are best because they keep the rope from getting twisted as it turns. The "rope" portion can be made from leather, plastic, rubber, or rope. Thin rubber, leather, or plastic ropes are best for speed work. It is important to get an adjustable jump rope or one that fits you. A rope that is too short or too long can be very difficult and frustrating to use. New "heavy" ropes are available that weigh a lot more than conventional jump ropes. They give the upper body and arm muscles a better workout, though it may be difficult to use one of these weighted jump ropes for very long. A good jump rope will cost $8-70.
  • Knee boards: A knee board is a wedge shaped piece of water sports equipment upon which a rider kneels. When it is pulled behind a boat it will plane on the surface of the water. Knee boards have a piece of foam rubber on top to cushion the rider's knees and a velcro® strap that goes over the legs to secure the rider to the board. Some knee boards have fins on the bottom to provide better stability and tracking. When selecting a knee board, make sure the board has plenty of good padding for the knees, feet, and legs. Also, make sure the knee strap has enough velcro® on it to keep it securely fastened. These products are not recommended for persons with knee problems. Knee boards range in price from $80-250.
  • Lacrosse sticks: Lacrosse sticks are composed of a long, thin handle with a "basket" on one end in which to catch, hold, and throw a ball. The handles of these sticks are made from metal, hard plastic, or other synthetic materials. Sticks range from 36-72 inches in length and their baskets can be from 4-10 inches wide. The goaltender's basket may be up to 15 inches wide. Sticks range in price from $20-100.
  • Racquetball racquets: Racquetball racquets are constructed of aluminum, graphite, fiberglass, and a variety of other materials. Make sure the grip fits your hand properly and that it has a wrist strap or cord on the end of it to fasten it to your wrist. Racquets with larger heads are now available. They have a larger "sweet spot" and allow you to reach the ball more easily. A good racquetball racquet can be purchased for $20 and up.
  • Softball bats: Softball bats are made of hard wood, aluminum, or other metals. They normally are 34 inches in length. Softball bats have grips made from foam, tape, or other materials to improve a hitter's grip and to reduce the likelihood of a bat accidentally leaving a player's hands. A good softball bat will cost $20-80.
  • Stretching mats: These products provide a cushioned surface on which to stretch or exercise. Mats that are washable, lightweight, and durable are best. A good quality personal stretching mat will cost $20-80.
  • Squash racquets: Squash racquets are similar to racquetball racquets but they have longer, thinner necks and a smaller hitting area. A normal squash racquet is 27 inches in length and 8.33 inches wide at the widest point on the face of the racquet. Squash racquets cost $50-125.
  • Table tennis paddles: Table tennis paddles are almost always made of wood. Most paddles are constructed of several thin layers of wood. On a regulation table tennis paddle, the blade must be flat, rigid, and of even thickness. Both sides of the paddle must also be of a uniform dark color, although the two sides may be different colors. The hitting area on a paddle can be covered with a piece of pimpled rubber not to exceed 2 mm in thickness or a sandwich of smooth and pimpled rubber not to exceed 4 mm in thickness. Some players use sand paper coverings. All of these materials allow a player to generate spin on the ball. Choosing a paddle is largely a matter of personal preference, so try out a variety of paddles to see which one you like best. Table tennis paddles can be purchased for $4 and up.
  • Tennis racquets: Most modern racquets are made from a combination of materials including fiberglass, graphite, boron, ceramics, plastic, and aluminum. The hitting surface is covered with interwoven strings which are made of cat gut or a synthetic material. Make sure to get the proper grip size. Employees at a tennis shop will be able to help you determine which size you need. There are basically three different sizes of racquet headsregular, mid-size, and oversized. An oversized racquet has a larger hitting area and is probably better for people who do not play very much tennis or who play a lot of doubles. One of the newest innovations in tennis racquets is the "widebody." A widebody racquet has a thicker frame and can generate considerably more power than conventional width racquets. One drawback of the widebody is that it may not be as accurate or as consistent as a conventional racquet. Before purchasing a new racquet, it is recommended that you try it out a couple of times first. Many sporting goods stores and tennis pro shops offer demonstration racquets at no charge or for a minimal fee. Good quality tennis racquets range in price from $25-300.
  • Trampolines: Trampolines can be a fun way to keep fit. However, they can be quite dangerous and often require a fairly large amount of space. Make sure that any metal frames are well-padded, and that there are no sharp hooks, springs, or other fasteners which are exposed.
  • Water skis: Water skis were made of wood originally, but most now are made from a combination of light-weight, space age materials. The two most common types of water skis are combination skis and slalom skis. Combination skis are sold in sets of two. They normally have adjustable foot bindings on both skis; while one ski also has a toe slip for slalom skiing. Combination skis are good to start out with. They can accommodate a lot of different sizes of people and are usually fairly easy to get up on and to control when skiing. The second most common type of water ski is the slalom ski. A slalom ski is a single ski with a boot and a toe slip or another boot right behind it. These skis allow faster cutting and better performance. However, they are harder to get up on and to control. Slalom skiing also causes the arms to tire much more quickly than skiing with combination skis. When purchasing a water ski for yourself, it is important to select one that is designed for your skill level, weight, and shoe size. If you are a beginner, don't buy a ski designed for a professional or advanced skier because it will be extremely hard to control and will probably be a lot less fun for you than one designed for a beginning or intermediate level skier. A quality set of combination skis will range from $130-350 and a good slalom ski will cost anywhere from $200-600.

Types of Athletic Balls

  • Baseballs: A baseball has a cork core which is wound with yarn and encased in two pieces of white leather which are stitched together. Baseballs are 3 inches in diameter and weigh from 5-5.5 ounces. The best balls are made with leather covers, but synthetic leather and rubber is also used. These materials are more durable, especially in wet playing conditions. A good baseball will cost $3-7.
  • Basketballs: Basketballs are inflated rubber bladders covered by leather cases. They measure 9.5 inches in diameter and 20-22 ounces in weight. Most basketballs are a brown, tan or orange color. The best quality balls have leather covers. However, these balls are for indoor use only. They are not water-proof and they will be torn up by outdoor court surfaces. Synthetic leather, rubber, and other man-made materials are also used for ball coverings. These materials are much more durable for both indoor and outdoor play. A good basketball can be purchased for $15-70.
  • Bowling balls: Bowling balls can weigh no more than 16 pounds. Most balls have a thumb hole and two finger holes drilled in them. Bowling balls are 8.5 inches in diameter. They are normally made from hard rubber composites, urethane, or plastic. When selecting a bowling ball, be sure to get the finger holes drilled in the proper location. A bowling shop will be able to help you with the proper sizing. Also, make sure that you don't select a ball that is too heavy for you. Older persons and women may need to use a lighter ball in order to achieve maximum control and the highest scores.
  • Field hockey balls: These balls may be solid or hollow. They are normally white in color. Solid balls often have cores made from rubber or cork. They are then wrapped in twine and covered with stitched leather or rubber. Field hockey balls are 3 inches in diameter and weigh 5.5-5.75 ounces. They cost $4-10 each.
  • Footballs: Footballs are composed of an inflated rubber bladder which is covered with reversed seam, pebble grain leather. A football is shaped like an oblong sphere with two pointed ends. A football has a set of laces on it that can improve a player's grip and make it easier to throw a spiral. A regulation professional football is 11-11.25 inches long and weighs 14-15 ounces. Some less expensive footballs are covered by synthetic leather or other man-made materials. A good football will cost $20-80.
  • Golf balls: A golf ball is a small, hard sphere with a dimpled cover to improve distance and accuracy. The maximum weight of a ball is 1.62 oz. and the minimum diameter is 1.68 inches. They come in different compressions, 90 and 100. The lower compression ball may give the player a softer feel, but a little less distance than the higher compression ball. There are two main types of golf ball covers, balata and surlyn®. Balata gives a softer feel and more spin, but cuts more easily and yields less roll than a surlyn® covered ball. Surlyn® is a harder, cut-proof material that offers more roll, but less spin and a harder feel than a balata covered ball. There are three basic types of ball construction. The first type, the most common, has a hard, solid core surrounded by a cut-proof surlyn® cover. The second type, contains a liquid filled core surrounded by rubber wrappings and encased in a soft, balata cover. The third type of ball contains a hard core surrounded by rubber windings and encased in a surlyn® cover. Some balls are designed to follow a higher trajectory and have more spin, while others are designed to follow a lower trajectory and have extra roll. Choose a ball that suits your game. Most amateurs should probably choose a ball with a solid core and a surlyn® cover. The standard golf ball is white, although they are available in a wide variety of colors including yellow and orange. A dozen golf balls cost from $12-35.
  • Handballs: A standard handball is made of blue rubber and weighs 2.3 ounces. They measure 1.875 inches in diameter.
  • Hockey pucks: Hockey pucks are normally made from black, vulcanized rubber. They are shaped like disks which measure 3 inches wide and 1 inch high. They weigh 156-170 grams.
  • Lacrosse balls: These are made from solid rubber colored yellow, white, orange, or black. They weigh between 5-5.25 ounces and are 2.5 inches in diameter. Lacrosse balls cost $2-4 each.
  • Racquet balls: Racquet balls are made of hollow rubber. They are 2.25 inches in diameter and weigh 1.4 ounces. Normally, they are blue or black so they can be seen easily against the white walls of a racquetball court. A can of two racquet balls costs between $3-6.
  • Shuttlecocks : The best shuttlecocks, also known as badminton "birdies", are made with 16 real feathers fixed in a cork base. There are also shuttlecocks made from a combination of rubber, plastic, and other synthetic materials. Weight varies from 4.74-5.50 grams. A high-quality shuttlecock will cost $1-4.
  • Soccer balls: Soccer balls are composed of an inflated rubber bladder which is covered by a leather, synthetic leather, or rubber cover with reversed seams. The cover has a series of interlocking hexagon and pentagon patterns. Regulation soccer balls are 8.875 inches in diameter and weigh 14-16 ounces. When choosing a soccer ball for outdoor play, it is smart to buy a waterproof or water-resistant ball. A quality soccer ball will cost $25-80.
  • Softballs: The core is made of kapok, polyurethane, or cork and rubber. It is covered by two pieces of white leather, synthetic leather, or rubber which are stitched together using waxed thread. A softball weighs 6.25-7 ounces and is 3.875 inches in diameter. The cover on the best balls is leather, but rubber and synthetic leather balls are more durable, especially in wet conditions.

Fitness Facts home

© 1992-2017, Fitness-Facts.com. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any medium without written permission.