Fast Fantom X Sled Puts a Modern Spin on Classic Winter Ride

The Wham-O Fantom X is the best sled on the market, updating the design of your classic wooden flyer with the latest metal alloy construction. Pivoting skis and a turning handle make it easy to maneuver, and make it the fastest thing on the hill this year!

The snow is on its way! And if you’re looking to really slice up the sled run this year, it’s time to toss old “Rosebud” in the furnace and get with the times. The Fantom X sled from Wham-O is now the standard in winter sledding! Whether you’re bringing the kids out to the freshly fallen powder of your backyard, or taking on the packed-down slickness of the local sledding hill, the advanced design and sleek style of the Fantom X absolutely dominates.Wham-O Fantom-X Sled

Similar in design, but technologically superior in every way to your classic wooden flyer, the Fantom X is seriously the fastest thing on the hill, and gives you plenty of control and comfort, well over anything else you’ve sledded on before.

I give it such high marks, not to try and push the sled on you, but because it truly is one of the coolest winter snow toys I’ve ever used! Not only does it ride faster and further than most other sleds, is durable and well-made, but it also looks like the sled of the future. Probably why it’s easily one the best-selling sleds for the passed few years running!

Fantom-X Overhead ViewMade with a cool metal alloy frame and lightweight nylon mesh seat, the Fantom X holds up to regular use and abuse, and even stands up to humps and jumps along your run. Designed with a bike-style handle bar and two pivoting skis, the sled is easy to maneuver as you fly down the incline.

Pivoting Skis For Great Maneuvering!
Pivoting Skis For Great Maneuvering!

Now, to be honest, you’re not going to be slaloming Olympic-style, down any neighborhood hill. But it’s got more than enough turning power to get around obstacles like trees, dirt mounds, or other sledders that might be in your way. And thanks to its wide ski design, you get that kind of maneuverability on any type of snow, in any weather condition!

Sized right, for kids 8 and up, the Wham-O Fantom X even fits me comfortably, at 6′ 2″, 190 lbs, making it a perfect sled for everyone in the family. Kids can ride two at a time, but parents, you’ll probably feel better sledding solo. Easy to use sitting up or lying down, so everyone’s comfortable, no matter how long they’ve been sledding.

Riding the Wham-O Fantom X SledI honestly can’t say enough about this killer winter sled. It’s easily the fastest sled I’ve ever tried…almost too fast at times, and still gives you the feel of that classic wooden flyer. The lightweight alloy makes it easy to pick up and just carry back up the hill, so you really don’t have to exert a ton of energy hauling it back to the top. And with such a durable design, you’ll get seasons of fun times out of it.

But please, no matter which sled you choose this winter season, be safe out there! Keep your eyes open for other sledders, and only sled in safe areas, away from traffic and thin ice. Have a great winter and enjoy sledding season!

By Brandon Porter.

Brandon is a product specialist at Sports Unlimited.

Top 5 Sports Toys for the Holiday Season

The Top 5 Kids Sports Toys for the Holiday Season are sure to keep the little ones on your list active, happy, and social, all year long! From the latest indoor basketball games to the coolest snowball shooters on the block, this list of our favorite new toys this year will definitely give you some great gift ideas.

The 2012 holiday season is upon us, and kids everywhere are clamoring for the latest video games, Smartphones, tablets, and digital devices to keep themselves technologically superior to every other kid in their grade. But do we really want to keep them plugged in and stuck inside all winter long?

How about going with a different gift…something that will challenge them, get them moving, and let them unplug from the digital universe?

Our favorite gift ideas this holiday season are fun and engaging for any age, and are sure to keep them busy, active, and social, long after they’ve beaten and tossed away that new video game!

1. Franklin Bounce-A-Bucket Basketball Game

This in-home arcade game, and its little brother the Bounce-A-Bucket Junior, is one of our all-time favorite games to play around the office, and it’s sure to become your little ones’ new fave too! Simple to play but difficult to master, like all great games, this arcade challenges you to bounce the mini basketballs off the trampoline target and into the tiers of nets, racking up as many points as possible before time runs out. With real arcade LED electronic scoring and announcer sounds, the action never slows down for a second!

The Bounce-A-Bucket is easy to set up in a game room or on any table in the house, and quickly folds back down again for storage or travel. We recommend it for kids age 6 and up, but watch out, because it’s a ton of fun for adults too…trust me.

2. Franklin Youth MMA Standing Speed Bag

Easily one of the coolest new kids’ sports toys on the market this holiday season, the Franklin MMA Standing Speed Bag lets your little guy or gal channel their inner Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, or Randy Couture, to practice combinations and get active in a safe, fun environment! Bringing the Octagon home, this inflatable speed bag attaches to an adjustable and flexible rod, with a water-filled, spring-loaded base, so they can keep striking consistently, without moving the base or tipping it over.

Easy to adjust from 36″ to 46″ high, so it grows with them, the speed bag comes complete with padded MMA gloves and an inflation pump. We think it’s the perfect gift for really active kids, and since it’s simple to set-up almost anywhere and keeps them focused and moving, it’s just as good for parents too!

3. Stiga Table Hockey Games

A timeless favorite that has only gotten better with age, the latest table top hockey games from Stiga are as fun for kids as they are for parents! Just like their big brothers in the arcades, these bar-controlled ice hockey games put you right in the heart of the action, dribbling, passing, and shooting with incredible precision, as the competition on the other side of the table tries to stop you in your tracks.

The classically designed Stiga Stanley Cup Table Hockey Game is the officially licensed NHL table hockey game, durably built with realistic plexi shields and score-keeping. There are even puck ejectors that keep the action moving.

But for even faster hockey action, check out the Stiga High Speed Table Hockey Game, featuring new “ice sheet” technology that turns the speed up a notch. Perfect for slightly older kids, this advanced table hockey set really challenges you to see who has the fastest hands.

4. Wham-O Arctic Force Snow Crossbow

Your kids will be the dominate power in every neighborhood snowball fight this winter, with the advanced weaponry of the Wham-O Arctic Force Snow Crossbow! While their friends are packing snowballs, winding up, and throwing them the old fashioned, slow-go way, your kids will quickly load up this crossbow with a perfectly crafted snowball, lean back on the easy-pull handle, and launch it up to 60 feet, hitting their targets from anywhere in the yard!

We’ve had some fun with these guys around the office, after the most recent snow fall, and they’re even better in action then we thought. Fun and safe, these advanced snow toys are great for older kids, around 8 and up, and get them outside, enjoying the snow and making lifelong childhood memories with their friends.

5. Franklin Shoot Again Indoor Basketball Hoop

This ingenious new door-hanging basketball hoop has absolutely everything you’d ever need in an indoor basketball set! First of all, it attaches to almost any door in the house, turning their bedroom or game room into a full basketball court, for intense tournaments whenever they want. Second, it easily and securely adjusts up and down, making it perfect for kids of any age, and also letting it grow with them as their skills advance. Finally, and probably most obviously, it’s got a unique automatic ball return system built in, which sends every shot right back to them for non-stop action! The ball return even rotates, so they can keep shooting from different angles around the room, changing up the game and honing their shot accuracy with repetitive practice.

Durably made, with an authentic backboard, net, and rim, and enhanced with realistic announcer sounds and LED electronic scoring in the backboard, this indoor basketball hoop makes them feel like their favorite NBA pros, all in comfort of their own home. Honestly, I just wish Franklin had come out with this when I was a kid!

By Brandon Porter.

Brandon is a product specialist at Sports Unlimited.

Colorful Kinesio Tape Stands Out at 2012 Summer Olympics

Kinesio tape is the colorful, bright, neon athletic tape seen on tons of Olympic athletes in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Designed to promote blood flow, support muscles, reduce fatigue, enhance performance, and lessen injury, this advanced, evolved, and stylish athletic tape has taken hold among the world’s top athletes.

Beach Volleyball Olympian Kerri Walsh Kinesio TapeThe 2012 Summer Olympics captured the hearts and attentions of spectators and fellow athletes across the entire planet. The pageantry, athleticism, and determination of this year’s athletes have left the world in a state of wonderment. But mostly, I’ve found people just wondering, “What’s with all the colorful neon tape the Olympic athletes were wearing?”

 

Olympic Javelin Wears Kinesio TapeI saw them too, on Olympic divers, sprinters, javelin throwers, and even draped across the shoulders of U.S. Women’s Beach Volleyball Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh. This bright neon athletic tape called Kinesio tape, or Kinesiology tape, made Olympic headlines this year, on athletes from almost every country, across almost every discipline! Their interesting colors and unique styles gave the athletes an extra bit of flair that couldn’t be ignored. The funny thing is, this innovative and stylish athletic tape has actually been around for decades!

Kinesio TapeDeveloped in the mid-1970s by Japanese chiropractor and acupuncturist Kenzo Kase, Kinesio tape is athletic tape evolved! Designed to mimic the thickness, weight, and elasticity of human skin, Kinesio tape, like those produced by SpiderTech, works with the body’s sensory system to promote blood flow, lessen muscle fatigue, improve rehabilitation, and reduce injuries. With their pre-cut and muscle-specific construction, you can target areas and muscle groups much more easily with SpiderTech Kinesiology Tape, than with any other type of athletic tape, zeroing in on the problem, and keeping specific muscles loose and in working order. Perfect for training or competition even at the highest levels, as our Olympic athletes aptly proved.

For years, Sports Unlimited has offered Kinesio tape by SpiderTech, for almost every area of the body, in all of the coolest neon colors available.

  • Elbow Kinesio Athletic TapeAnkle Kinesiology Tape helps to prevent shin splints, ankle sprains, and arthritis, and is perfect for runners, sprinters, jumpers, and team-sport athletes.
  • Lower Back Kinesiology Tape stretches up and across the lower back, preventing joint strain, disc injuries, muscle pulls, and painful spasms that can come from overuse in almost every sport out there.
  • Elbow Kinesiology Tape gives you relief from tennis or golf elbow, and muscle strain without restricting your movement in some of your favorite sports or activities.
  • Knee Support Kinesiology TapeGroin Kinesiology Tape extends down the muscle group, helping with groin pulls, weak or torn adductors, and muscle imbalance, perfect for runners or cyclists.
  • Hamstring Kinesiology Tape can be placed directly on the back of the leg for instant muscle support for strained or weak hamstrings, improving feedback and muscle timing.
  • Total Kinesiology Knee Tape is the ultimate leg and knee support system, designed to surround the knee cap with the supporting tape, to reduce arthritis, patellar tendinopathies, patello-femoral joint instability, ligament strains, and meniscal degeneration.

By Brandon Porter.

Brandon is a product specialist at Sports Unlimited.

How Do I Find The Best Basketball Hoop for the Money?

Learn how to find the best basketball system for your life, while staying within your budget. Narrow down your search by answering a few simple questions.

Basketball HoopWhen I was a kid, there was nothing better than walking with my older brother over to the old local elementary school playground for a game of basketball. The hoops were bent, the backboards killed the rebound, and the old metal nets rained down rust if you were lucky enough to even get the ball through. But at the time, the game and the company were all that really mattered. That was, until the day my parents surprised us with a brand new basketball hoop in our driveway. After that, life was never the same! We’d play every day on that amazing basketball hoop, and the neighborhood kids would all come to our house to shoot around. All growing up, our driveway was THE place to be.

That’s the amazing thing about basketball. It’s one of those universal sports that almost anyone can play, whether you’re a serious baller, or just a bunch of kids playing a fun game of HORSE. And a great basketball net can really make all the difference!

But for the one’s buying the new hoop (parents, I’m talking to you here), it can be a serious investment, and also a confusing venture. Typically, parents looking for a residential basketball hoop don’t even know where to begin!

To help you narrow down your decision, and have a place to start from, try answering a few questions that should give you a better idea of what to look for:

Spalding 3-Point Basketball Wall Mount - 24" through 40"
Spalding 3-Point Wall Mount
1. Are you looking for a basketball hoop for your house, playground or gymnasium?

At SU, we offer a full assortment of residential, playground, and gymnasium basketball hoops, from the most basic fixed hoops to the most advanced ceiling-mounted basketball nets on the market. We even have some great systems for your pool! Once you know where the net will be going, it makes it easier to narrow down what general type of net you’ll need.

2. Would you like to permanently install your basketball hoop in a backyard or driveway, attach it to a roof or wall, or have the ability to store and move it around?

In-Ground Basketball Hoop InstallationIn ground basketball hoops are incredibly popular, and easier to install than ever before! The best in ground basketball hoop can be bolted down, buried in the ground, or anchored using a ground sleeve. Where once this was an arduous process with cement and tools, installing modern in ground basketball hoops, with advanced installation tools is easier and faster than ever.

Spalding Portable Basketball Hoop
Spalding 68454 Portable Adjustable Basketball Hoop

Roof- or wall-mounted residential basketball hoops are great and more affordable options when play space is limited. Typically, they bolt right onto a wall or roof, and extend out over the driveway or backyard. Most can even retract back right against the wall, to stay out of the way when not in use.

Portable basketball hoops are perfect for seasonal use in backyards, driveways, and side streets. They usually feature a weighted base, which you can fill with water or sand, and wheels to make transportation a breeze. Most feature an adjustable hoop, which you can lower to make storage simple when it gets cold out.

3. Would you like to be able to adjust the height of the hoop, or keep it at a fixed height?
First Team Adjustable Basketball Hoop
First Team Powerhouse 560

Adjustable basketball hoops are great for households or neighborhoods with kids of all ages. Hand cranks, advanced internal compression systems, or traditional broom handle systems let you raise or lower the height of the hoop to fit the size or skill-level of everyone playing. If you have little ones, they can start playing with a lower hoop, and then simply raise it higher as they grow and improve! Typically adjusting from 5 or 6’ high, up to 10’ (regulation height), adjustable nets are great options to meet almost any need.Fixed height basketball hoops are good options for serious and usually older players. They are also typically more affordable than adjustable height nets.

Fixed height hoops are more simply designed, with a central pole and backboard system. They come in a variety of pole heights and gauges, and some can even be adjusted by loosening the bolts on the backboard pole, and re-attaching it at any height on the central pole.

4. What is your basketball hoop budget?

Residential basketball hoops range greatly in price, from about $200 all the way up to $2500. A huge variable in the price of a hoop is the type of pole it uses. The metal of the pole, and its width directly influence its durability and performance, whether it’s fixed or adjustable. The width of the pole can range from 3” up to 8” and should be something you definitely consider when looking for a new net. Generally, if it’s a net you’re going to use regularly, all year round, it is worth it to spend a little more for a better, and more durable pole, about 5” or 6” in width.

Once you have an idea of what type of basketball net you’d like, where it will go, and how much you have to spend on it, check out our brand new basketball system comparison chart, or take a look at our huge selection of residential basketball hoops, to find the one that fits all of your needs. And as always, if you have any more questions or need further assistance, simply call our customer service associates at 800-693-6368, or leave a comment here.

By Brandon Porter.

Brandon is a product specialist 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.

Which Bocce Ball Set is Right For You?

How to find the right bocce ball set for you, based on your budget, needs, and skill level.

Grass Bocce BallBocce ball is a classic backyard or beach game. Easy enough for the little guys to learn, but challenging enough for even the most competitive of dad’s out there, bocce has been a favorite family game for generations!

But as simple as the game may be, finding the right bocce set for your next picnic can be anything but! So to help ease the process a bit, here are few
recommendations on how to choose the best bocce ball set:

What’s your budget?

A very well made bocce set will run you anywhere from $75 to $140. However, if this blows your budget, there are some great economical sets that range in price from $40 to $60.

What’s are the differences in bocce sets, and what am I getting for the money?

Summer Bocce Ball

The weight, construction, and materials of a set will dramatically affect the price and the play, so keep these in mind when on the lookout for a new one.  The higher-end sets all feature solid, one-piece construction, precision roundness and balance. They’re also typically made of high-quality composite resins, so they won’t warp or deteriorate over time, or due to weather conditions. More affordable bocce ball sets are typically made from plastic or wood. Generally, the weight of the balls shouldn’t determine the quality of the set, but keep in mind, that if it is very light (less than 920g / 107mm in diameter), you’re probably looking at a cheaper set.

Should I pay more for a good bocce ball set?

If you are purchasing a set for backyard play or for family fun, it’s okay to go with a lighter set between 100mm and 107mm. People usually buy the heavier sets is to get a truer roll and better feel of the ball. But when you’re in the backyard on uneven surfaces and bumpy terrain, the precision roll is not as important.  At $58.99 the Park & Sun 100mm Bocce Set is a great set for the beach or backyard. We also recommend the St Pierre Sport 100mm Bocce Set with Nylon Bag at $56.99 which offers a little more weight, for improved performance.

You may also want to think about getting a second set just for the kids! After all, when you have your favorite adult beverage in one hand and a bocce ball in the other, there’s no room for any kids. At your next backyard BBQ, the little ones will want to play too, so it might be a good idea to consider purchasing a lighter weight, inexpensive bocce set for them. Sports Unlimited has some great kids bocce sets on sale right now!

Is this party going to feature a bracket style, tournament level competition?

If you’re looking to show off your sick bocce skills to your old college buddies, than maybe you want to step up to a tournament set. Most tournament sets are played with balls 110mm to 114mm in diameter.  EPCO manufacturers some of the highest quality sets that are made in the USA. The EPCO 110mm Bocce Set is our number one selling Tournament Set at $119.99.

Most sets come with a carrying/storage case for easy transporting and protection.

We hope this helps you find the perfect bocce ball set for you. But if you have any questions about bocce, or any backyard game, feel free to give us a call at 800-693-6368!

Enjoy the party!

Mike Neff
By Mike Neff.

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

Best Horseshoe Sets for Your Game

Find the perfect horseshoe set for you and your family this picnic and summer season!

Picnic HorseshoesWhen shopping at most retail outlets you’ll find mostly “picnic” style horseshoe sets, as opposed to professional. Those picnic type horseshoes are also known as “recreational” sets, and it’s what you typically see at your backyard picnics or on the beach. Depending on your level of play, where you’re playing, and how competitive your spirit, we at SU will help guide you to selecting the best horseshoes for your game.

Some things to consider before purchasing your shoes:
American Professional Series Horseshoes
American Professional Series Horseshoe Set
$39.99

Who’s primarily playing?  Adults, Kids or a Mix of both? If you’re planning a picnic for teenagers or adults, it’s fun to go with a recreational, steel set. You get the real feel of horseshoes and the classic clang when hitting the stake. We recommend the American Professional Series Horseshoe Set by St. Pierre for $39.99. It’s a quality set that’s made in the USA and was designed by a former world champion.

Kids Rubber Horseshoes
Rubber Horseshoe Set
$19.99

If your kids are primarily playing with the set, or if you’re looking for something light and easy to carry down to the beach, then you might want to go with a well-made, rubber horseshoe set. Trust me, I know from experience that you want your kids playing with a rubber or plastic set. When they inevitably drop a horseshoe on your toes, you’re going to be thankful it’s not steel! For only $19.99 this Rubber Horseshoe Set is a great, pain-free choice, and can be used for both indoor and outdoor play.

 

Are you looking for horseshoes that are approved for NHPA, professional play?

If you’re considering entering a certified NHPA sanction tournament, or training for one, it’s important to understand that your horseshoes need to be approved by the NHPA. We offer a number of tournament horseshoe sets and horseshoes in various weights, colors, shapes, and prices. These shoes are manufactured by WD Horseshoe Company in Erie, PA so they’re all made in the USA and are of superior quality. All the horseshoes on our site are clearly marked if they are approved by the NHPA for tournament play. Our top picks for tournament approved sets are the Mustang at $66.99, the Bandit for $89.99 and the Glory for $119.99.

Happy Pitching!

 

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

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siEq27IiVHY?rel=0]

 

Deluxe Wide Patented Stadium Chair

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaolfXmwbBA?rel=0]

 

Customized and Personalized Stadium Chair

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40FY9FvPZys?rel=0]

 

By Brandon Porter.

Brandon is a product specialist at Sports Unlimited.

Kobe Bryant’s Mask Keeps Him on the Court

Kobe Nose Guard DunkAlways one step ahead of the trends, Kobe Bryant is sporting a new look these days! Donning a “Richard Hamilton-style” clear plastic mask over his face and nose, the LA Lakers star admittedly looked a bit funny on the court Wednesday night. His dominating performance against the Minnesota Timberwolves, though, quickly quieted any lingering laughter in the crowd or at home. With 31 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists, all while wearing a new and custom-fit nose and face guard, Kobe showed what it means to play hurt.

Kobe Nose Guard

During Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game, an awkward foul from Miami Heat guard and buddy Dwyane Wade left Kobe with a broken nose, headaches, and dizziness, sending him back to Los Angeles worse for the wear and in the hands of physical trainers and doctors. After a battery of tests and concussion-reviews this week, Bryant was cleared to play Wednesday night’s game, with the custom nose guard, of course.

“It happens,” Bryant said. “You just have to deal with it and try to heal up as quickly as you possibly can, and get back on the court.”

Bangerz Nose GuardKobe’s sentiments are echoed by athletes across the country who refuse to let injuries keep them sidelined. From wrestlers to soccer stars, basketball players to martial artists, competitors young and old trust nose guards and face protectors to keep their injured noses safe and healing, so they can stay active and useful to the team. Although they may look awkward and funny to some, masks like the Bangerz HS-1500 Nose and Face Guard are safe and effective. They also feel comfortable and don’t hold you back. Just ask Kobe. A concussion and broken nose won’t keep him off the court. You think looking a little strange is going to stop him? I’ll let Wednesday night’s scoreboard answer your question there; 104 – 85, Lakers.

By Brandon Porter.

Brandon is a product specialist at Sports Unlimited.

Best Basketball Hoops – Driveway In-ground Adjustable Hoops

The sun is out and here to stay in much of the great USA.  Going outside and shooting hoops is a popular way to spend time out in the spring and summer months, which is why we fully loaded our basketball hoop lineup for you this season.  If you are looking for a driveway basketball hoop, SportsUnlimited.com is your home to find the perfect basketball system for your needs.  And it’s never been easier with our fully updated Basketball Hoop Comparison Chart, where you can find the systems organized by type and size in a straightforward manner.

We’ve compiled a ranking of the top residential adjustable basketball hoops for the current season.  The rankings are completely subjective, and are compiled incorporating price, quality, and value of the basketball hoop.  Without further ado, the top driveway basketball hoops are:

1. Spalding Arena View 88724AGP In-Ground Adjustable Basketball Hoop – $2499 + Free Shipping

   The Spalding Arena View 88724AGP is the baddest of the bunch.  It has an absolutely massive 8″ square steel pole made of 3/16″ steel, giving it supreme rigidity, or stability, which is the truest measure in quality for basketball systems.  The Arena View has a 42″ x 72″ heavy-duty tempered glass backboard that measures 1/2″ thick, providing superior reboundability (new word) that trumps any other backboard material on the market.  A 180 degree flex action breakaway rim and stadium style pole pad finish the touch on this beast, while an official four-foot regulation offset allows you to play under-the basket and reduces the risk of injury from running into the pole.  Adjusting the behemoth has never been easier, as an ergonomically designed U-Turn Pro system allows you to easily adjust the system from 7′ to regulation 10′ heights.  It’s supported by a bolt down anchor system, rather than a concrete in-ground bury, meaning if you end up moving, you can remove the system and take it with you.  If you’re looking for the best basketball hoop for your driveway, this Spalding Arena View Basketball Hoop is the end-all be-all system for you.

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