Benefits of Training Basketballs

If you want to be a better basketball player, there is only one way to do it. Arriving early and staying late. Countless hours in the gym putting up an endless number of shots. Relentlessly working on the fundamentals of the game, with an uncompromising will to improve. Yes, we are talking about practice… not a game, but practice. If you ask around the NBA who the hardest working players were, one name rises to the top.

In his decorated 20 year career, Kobe Bryant never once stopped working to get better. Everyone has their favorite Kobe workout story, but they all share a common theme. He was up before anyone else, worked out harder than anyone else, and showed an unrivaled determination every single day. Most teammates of Kobe will agree, he was a rare breed. Even those with similar abilities couldn’t match his work ethic. And as the next generation of basketball talent begins to develop its game, they’d be wise to learn a thing or two from one of the best to ever do it.

While you may not be to the point of matching Kobe’s 800 shots a day in your workout routine, there are ways to work more efficiently with your time on the court. Maker of the official NBA game ball, Spalding has also developed a series training basketballs that are designed to improve all facets of your game. Offering both weighted and oversized basketballs that feel and bounce just like regular balls. These tools can be the difference between a good player, and a great one.

Weighted basketballs have been around for years, and their effectiveness is backed by the testimonials of players everywhere. Many think a weighted ball is just for improving shooting range, which it does. But using a weighted ball to improve dribbling, passing, catching, and rebounding is just as impactful. The weighted basketball builds up the muscles in the arms, as well as strengthens the fingers and wrists. This leads to better grip on the ball and more control. Spalding makes balls weighing both 3 lbs and 6 lbs, allowing you to choose the appropriate size for your abilities. So whether you’re unleashing a lethal crossover or sliding a pass to a back door cutter, your command of the ball will provide confidence you need to take over the game.

Similar to the weighted balls, oversized balls can be a useful basketball training aid, as they too promote arm strength and enhanced ball control. But what these 33” sized balls do best is improve accuracy. The increased size is 12% larger than a standard ball, forcing players to be more precise with their shots. These balls can be particular effective for shots that require extra touch. Low post hook shots and in-the-lane floaters are both challenging, and demand additional practice. The inclusion of an oversized ball to the training regimen can play a vital part in the improvement with these specific skills.

You may not show up for practice 7 hours early like Mr. Bryant would. But you can take your training to the next level, and see your game elevate to its potential. Add a training basketball to your routine and take a step towards greatness.

Written by Dylan Hamilton, Sports Unlimited

 

Best Baseball Backpacks – Top 5

With baseball season upon us, players everywhere will be grabbing their gloves, bats, and cleats to head over to the nearest diamond. Keeping track of all your equipment can sometimes be a trying task, particularly if you’re in a rush out the door. Today’s top Baseball and Softball brands have addressed this issue, taking the convenience of a backpack and combining it with the effectiveness of a traditional equipment bag. The Batpacks, as they are often referred to, have become a staple for most players who need to transport their gear from place to place. With space for bats, gloves, cleats, and helmets, these bags keep everything together in an organized fashion.

But deciding which Bat Backpack is going to suit your needs best can be as complicated as hitting a curve-ball. To make this process as easy as possible, we’ve put together our Top 5 Baseball Backpacks from the leading manufacturers. Broken down by their different design features and value, choosing your next bag is simpler than ever.

  1. Mizuno Organizer G4 Batpack

The Mizuno Organizer G4 is the perfect bag to start our Top 5 because it is
the perfect bag for a baseball beginner. Complete with all the standard features like dual bat holders, felted valuables pocket, and J Hook fence clip, this backpack has space for the essentials. This bag is ideal for newcomers in part because of its simplistic design. It gets what you need, where you need it, without complication. It is also at a price point that allows you to confidently purchase, knowing you’ve got a great value from a brand like Mizuno.

  1. Louisville Slugger Series 7 Stick Pack

The Series 7 Stick Pack from Louisville Slugger is an excellent option for any ball player. With plenty of room for all your gear in the main compartment, an additional cargo pocket in the front is great for those who require extra space when headed to the ball park. Two Neoprene bat sleeves offer additional protection to your bats during transport, and the padded back straps make this Backpack comfortable to carry. Easy to load from the top and available in 8 different colors to match your team colors.

  1. Under Armour Undeniable Batpack

Under Armour has quickly become one of the most popular brands in baseball. What’s noticeable in the Undeniable Bag, as with their other products, is that performance driven technology is featured in all of their designs. Using the same water resistant STORM treatment found on their rain gear, this backpack was developed to keep your equipment safe and dry. Space for 4 bats and a helmet/cleat specific compartment lets you store everything you’ll need.

 

  1. DeMarini Voodoo Rebirth Backpack

The DeMarini Voodoo Rebirth is an exceptional combination of performance and value. Loaded with features that are found on more expensive bags, the DeMarini is unsurprisingly one of the most popular bags on the market. A generously large main compartment, neoprene bat sleeves, and vented cleat compartment are all wrapped in a waterproof shell. Spacious, durable, and easy to transport, the DeMarini Voodoo Rebirth is a standout amongst others.

  1. Easton Walk-Off Backpack

It’s no coincidence that Easton named their most popular bag the Walk-Off, as it’s undeniably a winner. Two stand out features make this our top pick in a very competitive market. Firstly, Easton has designed an external helmet holder that has freed up valuable space for you to store more equipment inside the bag. Secondly, an additional external padded compartment in the back is ideal for large valuables like a laptop, or extra clothes. The addition of these two space increasing designs, paired with today’s baseball backpack standard features, make the Easton Walk-Off our first choice in getting your gear to field.

Written by Dylan Hamilton, Sports Unlimited

Hugo Lloris and his Goalie Gloves

There are no secrets about the importance of a keeper in Soccer. While strikers attract the headlines and record transfer fees, the back bone to a successful club begins with the player between the sticks. With a sport that is simplistic in its equipment demands, the most significant piece for the most important position, are the gloves. Designed to provide protection, grip, and confidence; a good set of goalie gloves are worth their weight in gold. Most keepers will test out several types of gloves in their pursuit of the right ones. And once they find a brand they like, they become incredibly loyal for years to come.

This exact tale transpired for goalie Hugo Lloris. As the Captain of his club team Tottenham Hotspurs and national team France, he knows a thing or two about stop the ball. During his academy days, he had experimented with various styles and brands of gloves. He soon fell in love with a particular pair, and has since then stuck with them through thick and thin. With a combined 459 appearances for his club and country, it’s safe to say he has depended on his gloves on more than a few occasions.

goalkeeper Hugo Lloris of France during the UEFA EURO 2016 final match between Portugal and France on July 10, 2016 at the Stade de France in Paris, France.(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)

Regarded as one of the top goalkeepers in the world, it’s no wonder Uhlsport has made him the face of their brand. Hugo began to wear Uhlsport gloves in the early 2000’s during his time spent in the OGC Nice academy. Over a decade later, he still depends on them to provide him the confidence he needs to perform on the biggest stages. During the 2016 UEFA EURO Cup final with France, Hugo debuted the Uhlsport Eliminator SuperGrip in his signature Black, Blue, and Green. He has since continued to wear them for his matches with the Tottenham Hotspurs, where he has accounted for 10 clean sheets and allowed the least amount of goals among regular starters.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 22: Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Tottenham Hotspur at Vitality Stadium on October 22, 2016 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images)

What makes these goalie gloves so special is the SuperGrip foam used in the construction of the palm. It’s designed specifically to provide remarkable grip in any condition, which has been beneficial for the rainy conditions of the U.K. They also feature a silicon and high frequency latex backing with a 3D-embossed SCHOCKZONE. This allows the high rebound foam on the back of the hand to enhance the punching performance and provide additional protection. Complete with Uhlsport’s Easy Entry System and 360 wrap, a secure fit is effortlessly achieved with this glove.

While a great pair of goalie gloves isn’t the only thing that makes Hugo Lloris such a formidable present in goal, it’s certainly doesn’t hurt. Gear up with all your goalkeeper needs at Sports Unlimited.

 

 

Written by Dylan Hamilton, Sports Unlimited

Breaking Down the Wilson A2000 Game Model Gloves

There is no arguing Wilson’s place among the leaders when it comes to producing high end baseball gloves. Countless Major Leaguers turn to Wilson for their glove needs, speaking volumes to the quality and performance of their products. When you think of Wilson baseball gloves, the first thing that comes to mind is the A2000. Since it was first released in 1957, the Wilson A2000 has become the benchmark for professional gloves. It was the first of its kind with a large web and broad pocket, and would be the foundation for every glove developed by any manufactures from that point on.

Fast forward to today, and you’ll see the likes of Dustin Pedroia, Miguel Cabrera, and Robinson Canó all wearing A2000’s as they compete with the world’s best. As you would expect, every pro has a particular fit and feel that they prefer. Wilson have always been persistent in acquiring feedback from professionals, allowing them to develop an improved product. Some of the headliners on their roster of MLB players have even been giving their own Game Models, which are produced for the masses. It should come as no surprise that these particular gloves have become some of the most popular on the market. If it’s good enough for these guys, surely it’s good enough for me?

So as you prepare to purchase your very own Wilson glove, perhaps you want to know a bit more about what makes these Game Models different from the standard A2000. One thing you can expect from any of these gloves are a few of the cornerstones that come with any A2000. This includes the premium pro stock leather, selected for its durability and feel. Dual Welting, which adds two strips of leather to back of each finger to provide structure and stability as the glove breaks in. And finally, the Dri-Lex wrist lining keeps the hand dry and free of moisture.

What sets the Game Models and standard gloves apart can usually be broken down into a few categories. Colors, web styles, and fit are the three ways most pro’s make these gloves their own. Color being the simplest to understand, most choose a colorway that matches their team or gives a traditional look. Jose Altuve features navy and orange leather to match his Houston Astros uniform, while Clayton Kershaw has opted for the traditional all-black.

With today’s gloves, there are endless ways to lace up your web. When it comes to the Game Models on the Wilson A2000, each player has chosen their own particular web that suits them and their style of play. Miguel Cabrera has gone with a signature V-Laced pattern on a wider single post web, allowing him to lock the ball in the pocket. Clayton Kershaw has selected a deep and closed 2-piece web that allows him to conceal the ball and any grip changes, granting him the element of surprise.

The final way professional ball players have personalized their game model gloves is with the fit. No one is more particular with this category than Golden Glove Second Baseman Dustin Pedroia. Wilson developed the “Pedroia Fit” specifically for him, as his smaller hands required some custom features. This included a lower finger divider, narrower opening, thin heel pad, and longer laces. The Pedroia Fit is available on three A2000 gloves, one of which features Wilson’s SuperSkin, designed to lighten the glove without sacrificing durability.

While you may not be fielding ground balls at Fenway Park anytime soon, that doesn’t mean your glove is any less important. Described by Jose Altuve as his “tool”, he carries his glove with him on the plane any time he travels. We know you feel the same way about your glove. Check out Sports Unlimited large selection of premium gloves from Wilson, Mizuno, Rawlings, and More, to find the perfect glove for you.

Written By Dylan Hamilton, Sports Unlimited

Best Youth Catchers Sets – Top 5

One of the toughest decisions made gearing up for the 2017 baseball season is which equipment is best for those behind the plate? As kids continue to grow, sizing always becomes important, not to mention the significance of safety. Today’s top baseball brands all manufacturer youth catchers gear sets to simplify the shopping process. These catchers sets all include a helmet, chest protector, and leg guards. One question that still needs to be answered, what is the best youth catchers set for me?

With such a wide variety of manufacturers and different lines, it can be a bit overwhelming deciding which set of pads to purchase. You can visit our Catchers Gear Buyers Guide to see exactly was size you’ll be looking for. Once you have that, you can review our selection of Top 5 youth catchers sets, to see which best matches your needs.

5. Louisville Slugger Series 5 Youth Catchers Set

The Series 5 youth from Louisville Slugger is everything you need from a youth catchers set. Featuring a hockey style mask that offers excellent protection and a moisture-wicking chin pad that keeps your little leaguer comfortable. The Chest protector is made with a high density foam and quick release over-the-shoulder harness make for east on and off. Complete with the double knee design shin guards for extra protection. The Series 5 youth is perfect for a team set, or someone just learning the position. With a variety of color options and a friendly price point, the Louisville Slugger youth catchers gear set is an excellent value at number 5.

4. Easton M5 Qwikfit Youth Catchers Set

The M5 Qwikfit youth set offered by Easton certainly had parents and coaches in mind during its design process. The greatest feature to this set of helmet, chest protector, and leg guards is undoubtedly the Qwikfit strap system. Developed specifically to make for easy adjustments by the player, no longer are coaches or parents forced to help players get ready to go onto the field. This is particularly important if the set is being shared by a team with kids coming in different shapes and sizes. Offered with a range of other features that you would find on a higher level set, including steel wire cage for improved visibility, multi layer perforations to keep you cool, and a TruBlock anti-roll designed leg guard that increase stability and protection. All of this, plus a reasonable price, make the Easton M5 Qwikfit youth gear our recommendation for the ideal team set.

3. All Star System Seven Youth Camo Pro Catchers Set

The All Star System Seven Youth Camo Pro Catchers Set is everything is sounds like and more. This set offered by All Star is essentially their professional level pads scaled down to fit a youth player. Everything from removable liners and an I-Bar vision cage on the helmet. To moldable protective plates in the chest protector and a Patella Plus gel knee pad in the shin guards. This catcher set has all the bells and whistles, and will outperform most sets like it. It finds itself at number 3 for one simple reasons. This set was designed for serious players, and the pricing reflects that. For most players at the youth level, this is probably more than they need. But if your a serious player on a travel ball club, than the All Star System Seven catchers set is the one for you.

2. Under Armour Junior Pro Youth Catchers Set

Under Armour has quickly become one of the most popular brands when it comes to baseball equipment. The reason for this is their dedication to designing cutting edge products that perform and protect. The Junior Pro catchers set follows in that tradition and provides an excellent option for all youth players. The helmet comes with the I-Bar vision from professional helmets with a sleekly designed ABS plastic shell. The chest protector has plastic inserts for extra protection and a customizable strap and harness system for optimal fit. Triple knee designed leg guards are extremely comfortable with 38 ventilation ports. Carefully designed from head to toe, the Under Armour Junior Pro could easily have been number, but still remains an excellent choice for any youth ball player.

1. Mizuno Samurai Youth Catchers Set 

As our top choice for youth catchers gear, the Mizuno Samurai is easily the most popular set offered by Sports Unlimited. A perfect combination of protection, performance, personalization, and price; it’s no surprise the Samurai is king. All the features you’d expect from a top pick; including 3-Layer EVA foam padding in the helmet, patented detachable wings for a customizable fitting chest protector, and flexible lightweight leg guards. What sets the Mizuno Samurai apart is the wide range of color options. No other set comes with a variety like the 17 colors offered by Mizuno. This allows you to match your team, or stand out. At a price that is competitive with the other top catchers sets, the Mizuno Samurai is our top pick for youth catchers gear set.

Check out all of Sports Unlimited Youth Catchers Gear

Written By Dylan Hamilton, Sports Unlimited

Why don’t more Pros use Nokona gloves?

As you turn on the television to watch your favorite ball club battle it out for 9 innings, one thing there’s no shortage of is brand logos. From outfield walls to athlete cleats, a wide range of sporting good companies pay top dollar to catch your eye. Many house hold names like Nike, Under Armour, Wilson, and Rawlings are easy to spot, as the game’s best put them on every day. But one brand many baseball enthusiast may see missing, is that of the historic Nokona.

Now if you didn’t grow up playing baseball or softball, you may not know who Nokona is. Specializing in premium gloves, you certainly wouldn’t find these gloves on a clearance rack at your local sporting goods store. But if you have grown up around the sport, than the name Nokona will more often than not be associated with quality and craftsmanship.

This small company based out of Nocona, TX has been making baseball gloves for over 80 years. Since 1934, gloves have been handcrafted in the United States, emphasizing quality above all. Ask great Nolan Ryan about Nokona, and he’ll tell you the story of buying his first Nokona glove as a kid. What has separated this company over the years, from other larger brands, is their commitment to only make and produce gloves in the United States. The founder Robert Storey once said the day the he had to import gloves was the day he’d quit and go fishing. Gloves from Mizuno, Wilson, and Rawlings are all produced throughout Asia, and brought in to the US market. While this is no knock on their quality or performance, many put value on where their glove is made.

Being a small company, Nokona has always fought for a place in the spotlight. In the early 2000’s, investors came to the manufacturer with hopes of growing the brand to a much larger stage. Efforts were made, and money was spent on endorsement deals with team and players. Things were looking up and the name began to circulate outside just those most enthralled with the sport. But then came the economic down turn, and with it went the cash flow. Struggling to stay operating, Nokona was forced to scale back all their marketing efforts.

Nokona is now owned by parent company Cutters Sports. They specialize in gloves of a different kind, and can be seen on the hands NFL players every Sunday. But this new ownership has not changed the product, or where and how it’s made. They continue to make a premium glove for all ages, using only American materials and labor. You will see a handful of up and coming MLB and Minor league players using Nokona gloves, headlined by Chicago White Sox second baseman Tyler Saladino and Philadelphia Phillies Pitcher Jerad Eickhoff. But it is unlikely you will see headliners donning the iconic Nokona Indian logo anytime soon, as endorsement deals continue reach astronomical figures. Instead, Nokona will stick to what they do best. Making great gloves in America, for America’s pastime.

While you may not see many Major Leaguers wearing Nokona gloves, that doesn’t speak to their quality or performance. Ask anyone who has owned a Nokona glove, and they will likely speak of it as if it were a long lost love, rather than a piece of sporting equipment. Scroll through today’s forums, and you will hear the overwhelming praise sung by Nokona owners as they describe the quality felt every time you put on the glove. Making both softball and baseball gloves, the Nokona brand has won the hearts of many ball players over the years, and looks to continue to do so in the future.

 Written by Dylan Hamilton, Sports Unlimited

Schutt releases new Air XP Pro Q10 Football Helmet

For the past several years, Schutt has followed a similar pattern when it comes to releasing new football helmets: take a recognizable helmet shell and tweak the padding inside.

While this strategy hasn’t exactly changed the face (or head) of football, it has strengthened Schutt’s position when it comes to helmet safety. The Litchfield, Illinois-based manufacturer now owns five of the top six ranked helmets in the Virginia Tech Helmet Study and has six styles that have earned five star rankings. Those numbers figure to increase in the 2017 study with the recent release of the Schutt Air XP Pro Q10 Adult Football Helmet.

Following on the heels of 2016’s new offering, the Vengeance Z10, Schutt has taken its Helmet Stabilization System and applied it to the classic Air XP shell in the Q10. The system uses both internal and external stabilizers around the jaw area to give players a more locked in feel. Special jaw pads, also used in the Z10, work in unison with newly designed facemasks to provide addition protection to the side of players’ faces by extending above the helmet shell.

Other than the shell design, the biggest difference between the new Q10 and last year’s Z10 is in the front padding. The Z10 uses traditional foam wrapped in a faux leather comfort pad, while the Q10 has shifted away from that and put TPU throughout the entire helmet, including underneath the newly designed front pad. The lighter padding brings he helmet’s weight down to 2.95 pounds without a facemask. That weight doesn’t increase much when you add an included titanium facemask in your choice of style and color.

While the Q10 has yet to be rated by the Virginia Tech study, Schutt’s track record shows that if they’re releasing a new helmet, it’s sure to be given a 5-star rating. Look for the Q10 to start popping up on NFL and college fields during this spring’s mini camps or get your own on SportsUnlimited.com today.

Football Gift Guide: What to get a football player for Christmas

There’s no better place to find a Christmas gift for that special football player in your life than here at Sports Unlimited. We offer the largest in-stock selection of football gear anywhere online and we’re ready to ship it to you with plenty of time to get it under the tree by Christmas day. Here are some of our top picks this holiday season.

A Riddell SpeedFlex under the tree will make any football player's Christmas.
A Riddell SpeedFlex under the tree will make any football player’s Christmas.

1. Riddell SpeedFlex Adult Football Helmet with Facemask

If you’ve been watching football in the last two years – and we know you have – you’re probably familiar with the SpeedFlex. It’s the football helmet with the unique cutout panel in the front of the shell that’s recognizable from the youth field all the way up to the NFL. Aside from its stunning aesthetic, the SpeedFlex is one of the most protective helmets on the market with a specially designed facemask and chinstrap working in unison with the helmet’s shell to keep you safe.

The Schutt XV HD Shoulder Pads could make a nice surprise gift.
The Schutt XV HD Shoulder Pads could make a nice surprise gift.

2. Schutt XV HD Shoulder Pads

Choosing the proper football shoulder pad can be a complex task, but it’s tough to go wrong with the Schutt XV HD Shoulder Pads. Lightweight and protective, the XV HD line is one of the most popular we offer with removable clavicle channel to allow you to customize the fit. Whether you’re shopping for quarterback shoulder pads, lineman shoulder pads, pads for skill players or all-purpose shoulder pads, the XV HD line has a version that’s right for you.

3. Lineman facemask

Schutt ROPO-DW Pro Facemask
Riddell S2BDC-TX-LW Facemask

The past year or so has been tough on linemen. With the NFL, NCAA and some states banning the popular Big Grill facemask, the big guys have had a tough time choosing their look. But the facemask companies have adapted to the new rules and came up with facemasks built to intimidate. Riddell now offer the Riddell S2BDC-TX-LW facemask that has a similar look to the ultra-popular Big Grill 2.0. Schutt also took note, adding a Schutt ROPO-DW Pro facemask style to fit their Vengeance models. The titanium construction keeps the weight down, making it easier to keep your head up during play.

4. Oakley Visor

Oakley’s clear eyeshield makes any helmet look good

Nothing completes the look of a football helmet like a visor and while there are plenty of options on the market, few compare to the Oakley Eyeshield. The most popular football visor, Oakley has tweaked the optics to perfection giving you a clear view of the field and keeping opponents fingers out of your face. With a variety of sticker colors, you can customize the visor to your own team specifications. The clear version is legal in all leagues, making it the safest gift option, but a dark version like the 20 percent grey visor could also do the trick.

5. Douglas Back Plate

A custom colored Douglas Back Plate protects players and looks great
A custom colored Douglas Back Plate protects players.

Extra protection is always a good thing, making the Douglas Back Plate an easy choice for anyone looking for a last-minute gift. Made in the USA by one of the most trusted names in the football business, this back plate is one of the top accessories in the game. It’s available in a wide range of colors to ensure you can match your team’s colorway and attaches to almost any brand of shoulder pad. You can also opt for a four-inch version of the back plate for smaller or youth players.

Top 5 Best Christmas Toy Gifts for Boys 8 to 10

I remember waking up Christmas morning so excited to see what Santa brought me. What kind of new gadget or toy would be my favorite? Crossing my fingers that it wouldn’t be clothes! You know, when you’re 8, 9 or 10 years old the last thing you want is a new pair of PJs.
So parents and grandparents here is your guide to ensure you are the cool parent that gets something your boys will love.

The Space Scooter X580 will bring smiles on Christmas morning and provide hours of fun throughout the year.

#1 Space Scooter X580 Scooter
The Space Scooter X580 Scooter is the hottest gift this year. No more pushing off with your back foot to propel yourself forward. Just hop on the X580 and use a teeter-totter motion to ride. Ride faster and further than a traditional scooter! It’s rated for kids and adults up to 200lbs and it folds for easy storage. Price: $149.95

#2 Stiga Stanley Cup Table Hockey Game
I used to love playing table hockey back in the mid-80s. The problem with the hockey games then was the puck always used to get stuck behind the net where you’re player couldn’t get it. That’s no longer the case with the Stiga Stanley Cup Table Hockey Game. This game is well built. The players all move back and forth and spin in circles smoothly.

stiga-table
The Stiga Stanley Cup Table Hockey game updates a classic favorite.

The puck doesn’t get stuck and on hard slap shots it doesn’t leave the rink. The extended plexi shields behind the goal keep the puck in play. It’s just a great game to play with your son or for him to play with his friends. Price: $109.95

#3 Wham-O SnowBoogie Fantom-X Winter Snow Sled

Fantom-X
The Fantom-X Snow Sled makes snow days great again.

Remember the days sledding with the Flexible Flyer steel runner sled? Well, check out the 21st century edition. The Wham-O SnowBoogie Fantom-X Winter Snow Sled will make all the other kids in the neighborhood jealous. The Fantom has so much going for it. It’s great for both single and two-person riding. The driver gets the fun of using the handlebar style control to easily maneuver down the hill. The frame is constructed of metal alloy to endure many seasons of sledding. And no more riding on a wood platform. The lightweight nylon mesh seat is much more comfortable. Come on Mom, hop on with your boy and take a ride! Price: $99.95

#4 Park & Sun Portable Tetherball Set

Tetherball
The Park & Sun Tetherball set allows you take a fun game with you wherever you go.

Here’s another classic game that is sure to take you back to your childhood. The Park & Sun Portable Tetherball Set is very well made and it’s portable so you can take in anywhere. This set features a tripod base and center pole anchor which is best set up in and area with firm grass/soil. There is no need to dig a hole and pour cement! It comes complete with the nylon cord and tetherball. The galvanized steel pole is made to last! Price: $69.95

#5 Under Armour 395 Junior Football

UA Football
The Under Armour 395 Junior football is soft and easy to grip.

This is a simple gift but it’s one that is enjoyed by many dads and sons for generations. This Under Armour 395 Junior Football is a great choice. I prefer this over the Wilson version because the softness and grip. The junior size and grip make it easy for kids to throw and catch. It also won’t break the bank. Price: $24.95

Any of these gifts are ones that will bring a smile to a little boys’ face on Christman morning. They are also toys that are best played with two people. And isn’t the fun of Christmas playing with your kids and grandkids?!?!

The best ice hockey equipment bag comes from Grit

If you’ve been to an ice hockey rink lately, odds are good you’ve seen a Grit HTSE Hockey Tower Bag.

You know the one. Well made and durable, rolling wheels, stick holders on the side and plenty of space for all the gear.

Much more than a regular hockey bag, the Grit Tower Bag is truly a locker room on the go.
Much more than a regular hockey bag, the Grit Tower Bag is truly a locker room on the go.

It’s the best ice hockey bag on the market and it’s almost unfair to compare it to conventional hockey bags. What Grit has done has built a portable hockey locker that you can take anywhere.

The Grit hockey bag is at is best when it’s standing straight up – a break from tradition with normal bags. It essentially contains shelving inside that gives you space to put all your gear. It’s great for when you get to the ice, but it may be even better when you’re leaving the house and making sure you have everything with you. The top shelf contains compartments for your skates and helmet. The second level has plenty of space for your elbow pad and gloves, while your shin guards, shoulder pads and hockey pants can easily fit below. Everything is clearly in view to leave little doubt that you’ve got all the equipment you need for a game or practice. No more showing up with one skate or elbow pad because you assumed the other was stuffed beneath your pants. The simple organizational elements will make sure you’re prepared every time you leave the house.

Ventilation holes in the plastic and a mesh back keep your Grit bag from smelling like a locker room.
Ventilation holes in the plastic and a mesh back keep your Grit bag from smelling like a locker room.

Another great feature of a Grit hockey bag is its air flow, essential for keeping your portable locker from smelling like, well, a locker. The reinforced plastic that makes up the back of the bag has holes punched in it and a mesh covering to promote air flow. It also features several removable mesh compartment and two mesh compartments on the side that are great for holding a pair of slides, socks or any other items that need to be aired out before or after play.

A zippered front pocket increases storage space and includes straps for two water bottles with enough room left for tape and other small personal items. Another extra feature is a carpeted pull out piece for standing on while you’re changing. It beats standing on a wet, slippery floor.

Two stick holders on the sides of the Grit hockey bag allow you to transport your main stick and a backup very easily. There’s even an attachable shoulder strap if you prefer to go old school and not take advantage of the wheels.

Available in a wide array of colors mirroring the schemes of the NHL’s top franchises, the Grit Hockey Tower Bag is a great choice for anyone looking to find a better way to get their gear to the ice. The bag comes in both a 33″ version and a 36″ size, with additional options for large goalie bags and medium goalie bags. There’s even a Grit Youth Hockey Tower Bag available.

Check out ice hockey equipment bags from Grit and other brands at Sports Unlimited today!