Best Summer Games – A Top Five List

What better allows you to be a friend, teammate, competitor, host, and inspirer of happiness than summer lawn games?  Well, there probably are other things that lend better to those roles, but heck, summer games are fun and can bring together a family and friends!  I remember, in my younger summers, sitting in a low, striped polyester beach chair in the back yard, holding a glass of iced lemonade to my nape and watching my cousins blow bubbles in the sun.  That child, hot and bored, wished for something a bit more exciting and fifteen years later, I happily present to you, the top five backyard games for this summer.

5. Badminton

An Odd Garden Variant of TennisCarlton Shuttlecock

If you haven’t seen the game of badminton before, you’re missing something extraordinary.  Reminiscent of 19th century England, the game consists of lightweight racquets, a net, and the illustrious shuttlecock.  The (usually nylon) feathers of the shuttlecock provide drag so that it decelerates much quicker than a ball, which means, no out-of-the-park home runs for any over-excited players.  Hit the shuttlecock in the air over the net until it hits the ground!  Easy to set up in the back yard or in a park, lightweight, and affordable, badminton is a great way to involve anyone and everyone.  Cheerio!

Try the Franklin Elite Series 4 Player Badminton Set

4. Volleyball

Sick Dig Bro! Wilson Softplay Outdoor Volleyball

Another net game, volleyball is an incredibly fun way to get some exercise.  Setting and spiking competitively or leisurely tossing the ball back and forth, this game works for everyone.  Learning this game also can have advantages when you come across a game of indoor volleyball, beach volleyball, or even water volleyball.  Make some memories this summer with family games of backyard ball in the sun.

Recommended volley ball set – Park & Sun Spectrum Classic

3. Toss Games

Did You Say Cornhole?Bean Bag Toss - Cornhole Game

At my desk, there isn’t much in this world more enticing than being outside with some buddies, baseball game on the radio, and tossing a bean bag with a cold beverage in my free hand.  I don’t know about you, but I’m a fan of relaxing and taking advantage of the warmer months.  Sometimes referred to as tailgate games, toss games are simple and require little set up.  Usually in the form of a bean bag, players toss the object underhanded at a target.  Rules depend on the game being played, but the simplicity and the game-day feel of toss games definitely put them on the top five summer games list.

Fun bean bag game for the family – Corn Toss by Sport Design

2. Croquet

Through the Wickets and into the Stake, Old Sport!North Meadow Scottsdale Croquet Set

With origins dating back 400 years, croquet can transport you through time.  Well, no.  But it is exciting, classic, and perfect for some backyard Saturday fun.  Whether you’re sporting knickers and argyle socks or some under armour shorts, any day with reasonable weather is a perfect day for croquet.  I had fun playing this ball and mallet game as a kid at my grandparents’ house in Maine and this summer I will be definitely getting into some croquet mischief, putting on an English accent, creating new rules, and competing feverishly with my young nephews.  Undoubtedly a winner, croquet is perfect for backyard hangouts.

Best seller –  North Meadow Scottsdale 6-Player Croquet Set

1. Horseshoes

Summer Just Got a Bit LuckierWD Horseshoe

Albeit strange, pitching oversized shoes of a horse is cool.  Ancient Grecians tossed them when they couldn’t afford a discus.  Soldiers threw mule shoes in Union Camps during the Civil War.  Abounded in history, horseshoes is a game everyone knows and playing it is easier than ever today.  All you need is two stakes and some horseshoes to pitch.  The skillful pitch of the shoe is not something that demands tremendous physical ability, which makes it perfect for players of all ages.  Backyard or in the sand, horseshoes defines the summer as the epitome of relaxing, fun, and memorable!

One of the best horseshoe sets around – WD Horseshoe Co. Glory Set

Now, where’s my lemonade?

By Isaac Clark

Isaac is a Lemonade Lover at Sports Unlimited.

How do you Find the Best Volleyball Set?

How to find the best volleyball set for you and your family. Look for a set that’s easy to assemble and breakdown, features a regulation sized net, and is appropriate for your budget.

The summer’s here, and it’s time to get outside with the family and friends! Now, you know as well as I do that nothing screams “summer” more than a little beach volleyball. But whether you’re hitting the sand or just looking for a friendly game in the backyard, you’re going to need a volleyball system to play!

Starting to look for a new volleyball set can get pretty confusing, with all of the selection out there and massive differences in price. You need to know that you’re getting exactly what you want, within your budget, and not going overboard or getting ripped off. With all of the variables and different volleyball systems to choose from, it can easily overwhelm you. So to help out, I’ve jotted down a few things to consider that can help make your buying decision easier.

1. Ease of Assembly and Breakdown

Park & Sun Volleyball SystemIf you ‘re like me, there ‘s been a time in your life where you ‘ve been the one in charge of setting up the volleyball net for the party. You go to set it up and the thing is just a mess. There are so many miscellaneous parts, strings and stakes tangled together that you ‘re not sure where to start.

Fortunately, most manufactures have smartened up and simplified the assembly process. No one does this better then Park & Sun Sports. From their top-of-the-line Pro Series Spectrum Classic Volleyball Set at $248.99, to their more affordable Sport Series Spiker Sport Volleyball Net at $72.99, every Park & Sun system comes with a heavy duty store bag with full zipper to make organization and storage a breeze.

Another great set that’s easy to set up, is the Cobra Volleyball Net System at $409.99. The Cobra does not require any guy wires to install.  This makes setup quicker and allows for safer play. The net easily adjusts to get firm tension on the net.

2. Size and Height of Net

Although there are different sizes to choose from, I always recommend going with a regulation size net. A regulation net is 39 inches tall and about 31 feet 2 inches in length. A good guide is to make sure the net is 3 feet tall and longer then 31 feet long.

volleyball4

The height of the net for men’s regulation play should be from the ground to top of the net, 7 feet 11 5/8 inch. For women it should be at least 7 feet 4 1/8 inches high. Some sets are manufactured with telescopic poles so you can easily raise and lower the net for men ‘s, coed and women ‘s play.

3. What do I get when I shell out more for an expensive Volleyball Set?

The more expensive sets have stronger, thicker poles to increase the rigidity (aka firmness) of the net. The posts are also made with better materials. Some used aluminum instead of plastic. This allows for better “ball out of net play”. I higher sticker price also typically gets you a better net. You get thicker tape on the top and bottom of the net and also the actual netting is more durable and of better quality. This again leads to better overall play.

I hope with these simple tips make your buying decision a little easier. If you have any questions, please click here for more information.

By Mike Neff.

Mike is the Director of E-commerce at Sports Unlimited.

Rise Above The Bleachers With a Patented Stadium Chair

Check out our brand new product videos for one of our favorite items, the Patented Stadium Chair stadium seat! This durable, comfortable, portable stadium seat attaches to any bleacher, for instant back support and soft comfort. Perfect for parents and grandparents who love watching their kids shine on the field, but can’t stand sitting on those hard, cold bleachers all season long!

Admit it; you love seeing your kids play their favorite sports, but it’s a real pain in the…lower back…to have to sit on those hard, cold bleachers all game long! And if you have back problems like a lot of us do, you probably find yourself standing on the sidelines, or missing their games all together…all because of some uncomfortable old bleachers!

Someone ought to build a bleacher that’s actually comfortable!

Someone did.

Patented Stadium Chair

Enter the Patented Stadium Chair, a foldable, portable, and most importantly, comfortable stadium seat that easily attaches to any bleacher, new or old! Its steel frame gives you instant back support, while a cushioned bungee system and durable Cordova canvas bottom raise you off the cold, hard, and wet bleachers, to a new level of comfort that lasts all season long!

Relatively lightweight and easy to carry, with a built-in handle and simple hook attachment, the Patented Stadium Chair makes it comfortable and easy for everyone to go see the kids play. Finally, grandparents and great grandparents can watch their loved ones shine on the field! And with an almost limitless myriad of color combinations and customization options, you can really make these Stadium Chairs your own.

Check out our latest product videos and learn more about our favorite Stadium Chairs from SU’s very own Doug. See how they’ll change how you watch your kids’ games forever!

 

The Patented Stadium Chair

 

Deluxe Wide Patented Stadium Chair

 

Customized and Personalized Stadium Chair

 

By Brandon Porter.

Brandon is a product specialist at Sports Unlimited.

Think Pink: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

TNF Breast Cancer Awareness Denali
The North Face Women's Breast Cancer Awareness Denali Fleece Jacket

Sports Unlimited has always been devoted to bringing you the highest quality, most advanced, stylish, and high-performing sporting goods and active wear on the market today. And as many of you know, we’ve also been passionate about improving the lives of those fighting cancer, by donating to Livestrong, giving to local charities, and helping friends and family out around the Philadelphia area (our home town). This October, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Sports Unlimited is able to combine our two passions in our brand new “Think Pink” section, chock full of amazing outerwear and gear from brands like The North Face, Cutters, Reebok, and Oakley, touched with the classic pink ribbon and color that shows your support for breast cancer awareness. In fact, for every purchase you make from this section, these manufacturers donate a portion of the sale price to help spread the word, raise awareness, and fund research for breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cures.

NFL Players Think Pink
NFL Players Think Pink

If you’ve been watching the NFL recently (and we hope you have), you’ve seen almost every player sporting something pink on the gridiron. Whether it’s with a pair of Cutters Pink Breast Cancer Football Gloves or a Pink Breast Cancer Wrist Coach, these gargantuan warriors are showing their support for their friends, loved ones, and total strangers all over the world battling cancer every day. How about joining in their fight and taking your next snap with a new pair of pink football gloves or a pink chin strap? The only question is, are you tough enough to rock pink?

But Think Pink doesn’t just stop at the end zone. All month, across the country, the Susan G. Komen Foundation is holding Races for the Cure to raise money for breast cancer research. Find the Race for the Cure near you, sign up, and then check out our selection of Pink Ribbon water bottles, runner’s reflective vests, and socks, to stay comfortable and pink during the race!Race For the Cure

However you support, however you participate, and however you spread the word, when you Think Pink this month, and throughout the year, you add your voice to the swell of love that helps people fight and drives others towards a cure. You become a spokesperson for loved ones, and a source of information for others. You become part of a community of women and men that grows by the day, and will see the end of breast cancer in our future.

Thanks for your continued support, and a happy fall to everyone!

Ski Gear and Snowboard Gear

Winterize thyself

Depending on where you live, you may have felt the effects of this year’s winter.  Here in the Greater Philadelphia area…we have.  But there’s no reason to have the winter blues.  Instead, be a half-glass-full kind of person and embrace this winter gold.  Go skiing or snowboarding.  Try snowshoeing.  Me, personally?  I’m going skiing tomorrow at Jack Frost in Pennsylvania.  It’s much more fun playing in the snow than it is sitting inside miserably.

So if you’re near the mountains and are planning a ski trip, make sure to get geared up, because there is nothing worse than being unprepared for the snow.

Ski and Snowboard gear can be confusing, but that’s why we’re here.  That means layer up with thermals and baselayers, such as the popular Under Armour ColdGear Action Leggings. Wear a fleece jacket for warmth, such as The North Face El Cap Trek 1/4 Zip.  Then top it off with a waterproof ski jacket.

Equipment wise, winter gloves are essential (See: Harry, Dumb and Dumber).  And make sure to have waterproof gloves, because the only thing worse than being unprepared is cold, wet fingers while skiing or snowboarding.  Gerbing’s Men’s S-2 Heated Gloves, (yes, heated gloves) are a gift to mankind, as they can heat up to 135 degrees Fahrenheit!  A more economically wise choice would be the Gordini Men’s Gore-Tex Challenge XII Gloves which offer plenty of high quality Gore-Tex warmth and dry protection to fulfill your needs.

Neck warmers are a very underrated but important piece to the snow sport ensemble.  They provide warmth at a critical area of the body, the neck and mouth.

Lastly, a ski helmet and ski goggles are imperative to anyone who thinks their brain is a somewhat important bodily organ.  Back in the day, wearing a helmet while skiing or snowboarding might have been a big fashion no-no, but nowadays, its commonplace.  The negative stigma of wearing a helmet is gone; people have finally wised up.  Buying a helmet seems like a small price to pay to protect your BRAIN.

Ski goggles not only enhance your vision and protect your eyes from the wind, but they also look pretty sweet. 

Take a look at the Oakley Splice Ski Goggles – Black Grey Shattered / Black Iridium, and just tell me those don’t look B.A.

So get out of the house, gear up, and embrace the winter wonderland that mother nature has offered us.  And when you do go skiing or snowboarding, don’t try and act all macho by not getting the proper equipment to battle the elements.  Prepare yourself and get all the necessary equipment.

Or, you could just wing it, and end up like this guy:

Fail.

Winter Sale – FINAL DAY!

Today is the Final Day of the mega-popular Winter Sale!   Find major discounts on anything from Mens Outerwear, Womens Outerwear, to Winter Gear (including Ski Helmets and Ski Goggles)! 

Make sure to check out the The North Face Mens Apex Bionic Jacket, this year’s most popular men’s jacket from The North Face, on sale in select sizes and styles.

Still not convinced?  How’s an extra 5% off your order sound?  That’s exactly what today’s email newsletter included!  Don’t miss out on future deals by signing up for our email list at the bottom of our home page.

Winter Hats and Winter Gloves Sale – Buy One, Get One 25% Off

May I have your attention, please.  Now through Friday only, we’re running a special winter hat and winter glove promotion.  Buy one winter hat or one pair of winter gloves, get another 25% off.  Now, I know what you’re thinking – what an amazing deal; I needed to stock up for winter anyway, this is perfect timing; I love Sports Unlimited.  But before you go and tell all your friends about this spectacular winter accessories coup, let me give you a few reasons why you should take advantage of this special savings promotion.

Exhibit A: Quality

What if I were to tell you that Sports Unlimited has an assortment of highly technical winter gloves and winter hats; would that be something you would be interested in?  I’m talking big-words technical: GORE-TEX (nice), Pittards Armortan leather (that sounds good), DuoCinch gauntlet closure (awesome), Radiametric Articulation (you lost me), Removable Idiot Cord (what?)…et cetera, et cetera.

This year, we’re stocked with some great new winter gloves and winter hats with numerous advanced features that are designed to keep you warm and comfortable.  Period.  A quick note: Are you tired of taking off your winter gloves to properly use your touch screen electronics?  So are we.  Apparently, we (that’s us and you) aren’t alone, as several winter gloves now offer touch screen friendly capabilities, such as The North Face Etip glove and the Timberland Mens Polartec Eco Powerstretch Touchscreen Gloves, which use silicone grip patterns that allow you to use your touch screen smartphone while keeping your gloves on.  Genius.

Exhibit B: Quantity Continue reading “Winter Hats and Winter Gloves Sale – Buy One, Get One 25% Off”

New Products – Outdoor Research

Preparation is the key to success.  That being said, prepare yourself for the cold days ahead with all new products from Outdoor Research!  New gear includes jackets, winter gloves and winter hats, balaclavas (including the awesomely named Ninjaclava), gaiters, and the mega-popular, aptly named, Seattle Sombrero Rain Hat.  Gear up now and prepare yourself for the frigid temps, whether you’re going to be hitting the slopes, shoveling the driveway, or taking part in a simple Arctic expedition.

This is some of the best winter gear on the market, with highly technical features to keep you warm and comfortable no matter how cold it gets.

Outdoor Research Gear

End of Summer 2010 Clearance Sale

Well, it was fun while it lasted, right?  Summer is coming to an end, and so as a bon voyage to those good ol’ dog days, we’ve decided to throw an end of season clearance sale, aptly named, the “End of Summer Clearance Sale”  (creative genius…we know!).

So check out our “End of Summer Clearance Sale” (there’s that creativity again), and see if there’s anything you’d like to grab before it’s too late.  Save up to 70% off summer games, sports equipment, outdoor gear, volleyball equipment, and apparel.

My personal pick?  These Native Eyewear Hardtop XP Interchangeable Polarized Sunglasses – Gunmetal / Silver REFLEX on sale for $109.96 from $149.  But who cares what I think.  Go find something that YOU want.