Best Field Hockey Sticks by Position and Skill Level

 

Which field hockey stick is best for my position and/or skill level?

With the vast amount of options these days, it can be difficult to choose which field hockey stick to purchase based on your position and skills.  Here we break down which sticks are best for each position or skill level and why, and we’ve included our stick recommendations for you to check out.

Beginners

It is recommended that a beginner player use a stick with a standard bow shape and no larger than 20 millimeters in size.

Beginner field hockey players should choose a stick with a wood or fiberglass composition.  Wood sticks will provide the most forgiving feel and the best touch on the ball, while fiberglass sticks also provide an excellent first touch with a lightweight feel.  Having a flexible stick will help them learn the fundamentals, so they can get accustomed to trapping the ball without too much rebound off the stick.  It should feature a larger hitting surface to help players get a touch on the ball.  A maxi toe or hook head shape will offer you the largest surface area, ensuring you make great contact with the ball when trapping it or driving it down the field.

Beginner Field Hockey STRYK Field Hockey Stick - Burst

When choosing a stick, you must also consider the bow size and shape.  It is recommended that a beginner player use a stick with a standard bow shape and no larger than 20 millimeters in size.  This will help him or her learn the basics while maintaining excellent control over the ball.  A larger size or later shape will more easily cause the ball to pop up in the air and earn yourself a dangerous play whistle.  A standard bow is very versatile and can be used on offense or defense, making it the ideal stick shape for beginners who have yet to discover which will be the best position for them.
Our recommendations:
and

Defenders

We recommend buying a stick that has a higher fiberglass content since carbon can be more brittle in a compound stress way.

When searching for the perfect stick, defenders will often choose heavier sticks with the weight concentrated in the head of the stick.  This allows them to make stronger block tackles, and the extra weight will help generate more momentum when hitting the ball down the field.  Also, often times, defenders will buy slightly longer sticks than their player height recommends to give them a little extra reach when tackling and jabbing at the ball.
TK 1.1 INNOVATE DEFENSE FIELD HOCKEY STICKSince defenders see a lot of stick-on-stick contact when tackling their opponent, they require a stick with a lot of durability.  We recommend buying a stick that has a higher fiberglass content since carbon can be more brittle in a compound stress way.  Including aramid in the composition can also help improve the strength and durability of the stick, and it dampens the vibrations felt in the handle of the stick for less sting in your hands.  In addition, we recommend choosing a stick with a maxi toe as it provides the largest sweet spot, allowing you to make better contact with the ball when hitting or trapping it.
Our recommendations:
STX Apex 901 Field Hockey Stick or other sticks in the STX Apex line
and

Midfielders 

The attribute we find most important in a midfielder’s stick is control.  Midfielders are responsible for controlling the ball and delivering it safely to the attackers to put it in the back of the net.  They are also sometimes trying to score themselves, or they are trying to stop their opponent from advancing down the field.  Therefore, a lightweight and well-balanced stick with a lot of versatility is a must.
The presence of aramid in a stick’s composition can make all the difference.  Aramid dampens vibrations to keep the ball from rebounding too far off the stick, allowing you to have great control when trapping the ball and dribbling.  It also adds durability to the stick, helping to prolong its life even with all the stick-on-stick contact it sees when making defensive blocks and tackles.
GRYPHON TOUR PRO STICK FIELD HOCKEYSince midfielders play with the defense and the offense, they need a lightweight stick that can keep up with the speed of their game and offer the necessary precision for ball handling and passing skills.  A midi toe provides a well-balanced feel that’s great for all around stick skills, especially reverse stick work, and it provides a decent sized sweet spot for quickly trapping the ball and passing to your teammate.  A standard or mid bow size (19 – 23mm) is recommended for midfielders because of its versatility, but any shape you are most comfortable with can be used.
Our recommendations:
and

Forwards

Offensive players, or forwards, prefer to use lightweight sticks that are well-balanced, giving them the necessary agility to move the ball around their opponent.  A lightweight stick is not only more effective when dribbling, but it allows you to swing your stick faster and quickly get a shot off before the defender can intercept it.  A midi toe also helps to enhance a forward’s abilities.  The toe is smaller in size and lighter in weight, and it increases maneuverability and offers more precise ball control.  It allows you to quickly and easily move the ball from side to side to dodge your opponent and dribble towards the goal.
OSAKA PRO tour gold pro bow field hockey stick for forwardsA forward demands power from his or her stick.  They must be able to generate extreme power when shooting and when passing to an open teammate across the field, which is why they need sticks with a high carbon content.  The higher the carbon content the more powerful the stick will be and the harder it will be for your opponent to stop you.  This added power will also improve your drag flicks and aerial skills to enhance your 3D game.  The attacking position is defined by speed, accuracy, and precision, so their sticks should be too.
Our recommendation:

Aerial players

The most important element of a stick that the aerial player should consider is the shape and size of the bow.  A stick that bends closer to the head will allow you to get under the ball more to perform aerials and lifts.  A low bow or late bow is most recommended since their point of maximum bow is the closest to the head the FIH will allow (200mm).  Also, the more the stick bends the easier it will be to execute 3D skills with precision and accuracy.  A large bow, such as a 24 or 25 millimeter, will help generate high velocities when drag flicking.
Another feature that has recently become more popular is incorporating a slight concave channel onto the face and shaft of the stick.  This helps to channel the ball where you want it and keep the ball on your stick as you lift it up for aerials.
Our recommendations:
If you’re uncertain which position you will be playing when purchasing your stick, it would be best to buy a medium-weight stick that’s versatile and can be used in any position.

New Team Travel Bags for Summer – 30% Off All Mojo Brand Luggage

Summer is just around the corner, which means you’re probably making travel plans, if you haven’t already. Whether you’re flying across the country, visiting the beach, or making a weekend getaway, you’ll need a travel bag to carry your luggage. If you’re a sports fan, then you have to check out our selection of sports luggage from Mojo! With College, NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL bags, there is something for every fan. And these aren’t some cheap bags that have a logo slapped on them. Mojo takes pride in making premium travel gear, and applies high definition logos on every bag. If you’re a frequent traveler, then I’m sure you’ve noticed many similar looking bags at the airport. With a team logo suitcase or carry-on, you’ll be able to locate your bag in a sea of black travel bags!

Philadelphia Eagles NFL Carry-On Luggage

Mojo has a number of different travel bags for each team. From carry-ons, to duffles, backpacks, business luggage, and checked-in bags, they have a bag to fit your needs. One of our best selling pieces is the 21″ carry-on. This bag maximizes your storage space, while still meeting the requirements for a TSA approved carry-on. It features a two inch expandable main compartment for extra storage, telescoping handle, and smooth rolling in-line wheels. The interior is fully lined, and has garment straps to keep your gear secure and organized. A zippered mesh interior pocket can store shoes or toiletries, while two exterior pockets are perfect for quick access to magazines, a phone charger, or anything you need handy on your travels. The padded top provides added protection, while side and bottom grab handles make it easy to load in your car, and overhead storage on the plane. And finally, it’s finished with a high quality embroidered team logo, so you can represent your favorite team no matter where you’re headed!

Rather than going into detail on every piece of luggage we have to offer, I’ll let you browse our selection of Mojo travel bags. Just visit the bags and backpacks section for your favorite team on the Fan Gear section of Sports Unlimited, and find your new travel bag for this summer! See the links below for each league and then use the filtering system on the site to choose your favorite team!

NFL Travel Bags
NCAA Travel Bags
MLB Travel Bags
NBA Travel Bags
NHL Travel Bags

To kick the summer off, we’re offering customers a 30% discount on Mojo luggage. From 6/8-6/29, all Mojo bags and luggage will be discounted, no promo code necessary. At Sports Unlimited, we like sports and travel just like you, and want to provide you with the best sports luggage available. Enjoy your summer!

2017 Best Gifts – For Her

Black Friday has past, and so has Cyber Monday. But we know most guys won’t start their holiday shopping until the last minute leaving them desperately searching for the right gift. Sure jewelry is always a great choice, but we know what you like and what she likes aren’t always the same thing. In an effort to avoid the inevitable scenario where you get her something you think she’ll like, only to find it stashed away a few months later, we’re here to help. We’ve had the female staff select a few gifts we’re sure any lady in your life will enjoy receiving this holiday season. So for all the procrastinators out there, here is a guide to some gifts she’ll love, whenever you get around to it.

Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T Fleece

One thing everyone loves is to be comfortable and cozy during the winter. What could be better than to gift that feeling in a piece of clothing every time they put it on? Look no further that the Re-Tool Snap-T Fleece pullover from Patagonia. Even just from the look of it, you know that it’s going to have you feeling like you back in bed under the covers. Its Deep-pile fleece of 51% recycled polyester keeps the warmth in with its extra-long fibers. The stand-up collar features double fleece, keeping your torso warm from the neck down. Complete with yoke and princess seams (we know you don’t know what that means) that add contour the fit. So if you are looking for a smart and easy decision, the Re-Tool Snap Fleece from Patagonia is lay-up when it comes to gift giving this holiday season.

Sorel Joan of Arctic Snow Boots

Now getting any women a pair of shoes is territory most men will steer clear of, and for good reason. But these Sorel Joan of Arctic Snow Boots are totally different story. When the deep of winter is here, and the snow is piling up, there are few boots that will stand up to the elements like pair of Sorels. Waterproof from top to bottom with seam-sealed construction keeps you dry and a removable felt lined inside keeps you warm. Faux fur cuffs keeps them fashionable and the vulcanized rubber outsole makes them functionable in wintery conditions. These are the perfect choice to get that, “Wow, I actually like these!” reaction.

The North Face Aconcagua Vest

Keeping with the “Warm and Comfortable” theme, the Aconcagua Vest from The North Face comes in as another sure fire gift for her this holiday season. Soft to the touch and insulated with 550 fill goose down, this vest is perfect for those who want to keep their core warm on the go. The active fit means there are no restrictions, giving her mobility and a generous range of motion. This insulated down vest is ideal as a layer in the coldest winter months, or as an in-between as warmer weather approaches. This again is a great option for the guy who has left himself little time to decide.

Spyder BRRR Berry Hat

 

It may be smaller in size, but that won’t diminish its ability to make her happy on the morning of the 25th.  The Spyder BRRR Berry hat is just the right size to make it a great stocking stuffer. With a hand knit construction and popcorn style stitch, you may be able to convince her you knitted it yourself! But a warm fleece liner and logo charm on the side will let her know that it was made by the trusted people at Spyder. Keep their ears warm and the smile large with the BRRR Berry hat this Christmas.

Nathan Chroma Steel Ombre Water Bottle

Our final pick for our suggested gifts for her is simple in concept. The Nathan’s Chroma Steel water bottle is exactly as it sounds. A steel water bottle that keeps your hot drinks warm and cold drinks cool. Perfect for the office, home, or on the go. But the Ombre color styling on the outside lets her know you picked it out just for her. Great for that last gift for the stocking, or even an additional gift if you aren’t sure the first one is good enough. Whatever the situation may be, the Nathan’s Chroma Steel Water Bottle is never a bad solution.

Written By Dylan Hamilton, Sports Unlimited

 

2017 Best Gifts – For Guys

This time of year, you are probably already being hit with a wave of holiday decorations, Christmas music, and seasonal sales. And while the last of the Halloween candy may not be eaten, many of us are already shopping for the perfect gift. We aren’t sure what this year’s hottest gift will be, but we’ve got a pretty good idea what will make any guy smile on the morning of the 25th.

We’ve gathered some of this year’s coolest gear, in an effort to help you sift through endless advertisements and keep you out of the crowds on the morning of Black Friday. With a wide range of sporting goods and apparel, there’s little doubt that there is something for every guy here.

Hyperice Vyper 2.0 Foam Roller

Anyone who’s active these days seems to have roller laying around the house or gym. But what you’ll quickly discover is that this isn’t your typical piece of cylindrical foam. The Hyperice Vyper 2.0 is the next generation in muscle recovery, which is why it’s trusted by professional athletes across the globe. The Vyper 2.0 provides three speeds of high intensity vibration which make it twice as effective at helping you warm up, activate, and recover.  You can use this new piece of fitness technology to improve your flexibility and circulation, while also reducing soreness and stiffness. Complete with a rechargeable battery that lasts over two hours, you can be sure any active guy would love this addition to their workout routine.

Timbuk2 Command Messenger Bag

Sleek and chalked full of thoughtful features, the Command Messenger Bag from Timbuk2 is a must have for any guy on the go. With seemingly an endless number of pockets, organized storage is at a premium. Quick entry storage is obtained through it Napoleon side-entry pockets (think of any portrait painting of Napoleon) allowing you to get to things on the move without the hassle of undoing the flap. You’ve also got a zipper secured lap top and tablet pocket on the back, which keeps your most valuable items safe and close by. The list of features seems to go on and on, but what you can know for sure is that this bag was meticulously designed to meet the demands of any situation.

Patagonia Better Sweater ¼ Zip

You may be hesitant to pick up any gift with the word “sweater” in it. But if you haven’t owned a Better Sweater from Patagonia, you truly are missing out on one of life’s joys. This is not a new product for 2017, but there is a reason it continues to be a best seller. The outside is sweater-knit polyester, which feels as good as it looks. The inside is lined with a soft fleece that keeps you warmer than you could have imagined. The ¼ zip version of the Better Sweater is notably popular for its versatility. Fashionable enough to be worn on a night out and durable enough to survive a relentless winter. “Man, I’m really disappointed with this Better Sweater” – No Guy Ever.

Mobile Warming Vinson Touch Button Heated Vest

 

Many will spend the holidays dealing with cold conditions, and what could be better than the gift of warmth. Not quite a trip to the Caribbean, but the Vinson Heated Vest from Mobile Warming will certainly keep any guy a lot warmer this winter. Originally designed for the outdoor enthusiast, its water resistant outer shell is ideal for hiking, skiing, and hunting. This heated vest can be worn under a jacket for extra warmth, or all on its own. Its simple push button operation allows you to easily change the temperature settings, and has the power to reach up to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. The 7.4V lithium-ion battery last up to six hours, meaning you can carry comfort around with you. Perhaps not the flashiest gift this Christmas, but a few hours into some cold weather exposure, and there surely isn’t anything they would be more thankful for.

The North Face Thermoball Mitts

Coming from The North Face, you know these Thermoball Mitts are all business when it comes to keeping you warm. Using the same features from their popular Thermoball Jackets, The North Face has repurposed this versatile warmth to cover the first thing that seems to get cold, your hands. Using clustered PrimaLoft synthetic insulation, you get the warmth of down but the improved performance in wet conditions. The synthetic material dries out quickly, meaning you’re back on the go in no time. Packs easily into a stowpocket (or stocking), making it a great little gift for any guy, big or small.

Written By Dylan Hamilton, Sports Unlimited

 

 

A Universal Sports Training Aid Changing the Game

 

Athletes everywhere are always looking for a way to gain that extra inch, half second, or mile per hour that will change their game. Across all forms of athletics, sports training aids have been a way for competitors to increase strength and improve form through repetition. One of the more common types of training aids is a resistance device using weights or weighted equipment.  We have all seen the baseball bat weighted ring, a weighted basketball, or one of the countless golf training tools. But what these all have in common is that they are sport specific. Younger athletes are often involved in a multitude of activities, playing different sports every season of the year. This has meant you were buying different training aids for different sports, filling your garage up with gadgets that were going to get your son or daughter a full ride. One company addressed this issue and designed a weighted training aid that work for a variety of sports like never before.

This company was LaceUp, and their idea was the Training Lace. This bendable, weighted “Lace” allows you to add weight to your bat, stick, wrist, racket, and more! Available in several different weights, the Training Lace is making an impact across the sports spectrum. Originally designed as a weight for a lacrosse stick, the Training Lace has become more dynamic than was originally thought. Now it is being worn by  basketball players and swimmers on their wrists, tennis players on their rackets, baseball  and softball players on their bats, as well as ice and field hockey players on their sticks. The list seems to be continuously growing, and new ways to use this little device are being developed every day.

What makes the Training Lace so valuable beyond its versatility  is its adjustability. Specifically looking at it as a baseball training aid, this bat weight is different than your traditional ring. Unlike other baseball bat weights, the Training Lace does not move on contact, thus keeping the swing smooth which allows you to maintain form. The other unique feature is that you can move the weighted lace to different areas of the bat to focus on specific parts of the swing. Put the Lace on the middle of the bat to target bat path and plane. Move it down towards the handle to work on getting the “knob to the ball” and preventing you from letting your hands lag or drag. Using the Training Lace in batting practice or the cages can lead you to see an immediate improvement in your swing.

LaceUp has designed a product that truly can benefit athletes everywhere. From youth sports to the professional level, the Training Lace develops strength that will enhance performance. Lace up your training regime with the Training Lace today.

Written By Dylan Hamilton, Sports Unlimited

 

Introducing the Schutt F7 Football Helmet

The football community has been anxiously awaiting the newest unveiling from helmet manufacturer Schutt. It’s been years of research, development, and prototypes, but the time has come. Worn by the best professional and collegiate players, and now available for purchase, is the innovative Schutt F7 football helmet. Using the most advanced impact absorption system on the football field, the F7 is a revolutionary new level of protection.

When first seeing the new F7, the most apparent and important new design feature is the Schutt Tektonic Plates. These separated panels of poly-carbonate, with TPU cushion below, are specifically placed in the areas of the helmet most susceptible to big collisions. Adding these independently moving external layers allows the helmet to better absorb the impacts experience on the field, and improves the helmets performance against rotational forces.

One staple in the Schutt football helmets is their use of TPU Cushioning. Proven as an elite absorption material in any climate, the new F7 football helmet is loaded with. Featuring TPU in the Tektonic plates, the lining of the inside, and a newly design front pad. Developed to provide the same level of protection hit after hit, throughout a long season.

A feature found in several of the new football helmets from Schutt is their Helmet Stabilization System (HSS). A large jaw pad configuration that frames the face delivers a more secure fit. Constructed from impact foam wrapped in fireman leather, the helmet is more comfortable than ever. Also part of the HSS design are the stabilizers on the inside and outside of the helmet, which provide strength and durability.

Just like a luxury car, the features on this seem to be endless. Titanium facemask make it 60% lighter and extremely durable. Rapid Release quarter turn hardware let you take the facemask on and off quickly. The SUREFIT Air Liner allows you to easily adjust the helmets fit with the addition or subtraction of air. All of this is found on the most advance helmet shell ever produced by Schutt.  Engineered Flexural Resistance in the back shelf and temporal wings allow the TPU Cushioning below the surface to perform at its best.

While the impacts on the football field are still momentous, and the repercussions significant, the Schutt F7 is an step in the right direction in making the game we love safer. It will take more creative thinking, like that which went into the designs of the F7, that will continue to push the advancement of protection for football players everywhere.

Written By Dylan Hamilton, Sports Unlimited

What you need to know about the new Youth Baseball Bat changes for 2018

Most of those involved in youth baseball have had the date of September 1st, 2017 circled on their calendar for some time now. That is because this will be the first day you can buy a new USA Baseball certified bat, which will be the requirement for a large majority of the youth leagues come January 1st, 2018. This is part of a campaign that was designed to create “wood-like” performance standard in hopes of preserving long term integrity of the sport. Bat manufacturers have spent the last two years redesigning their bats to meet the new certification standards, and will begin selling them this coming Friday.

So who is that affecting? These standards will now be enforced on players under the age of 14 player in the leagues sanctioned by the following organizations:

  • American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC)
  • Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)
  • Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball
  • Dixie Youth Baseball
  • Little League Baseball
  • PONY Baseball

This does not affect those participation in leagues or travel clubs under USSSA (United States Specialty Sports Association). Tee ball play will be impacted as well, but will allow more leniency as a certification sticker program that lets players to continue to use their current bats will be available.

So what is changing? With these new certifications comes a new standard of performance. Currently, the required Bat Performance Factor (BPF) was at 1.15. The new standard will be lower to replicate that of wooden bat. In a separate but comparable rating system, the performance testing used on NCAA/NFHS bats sets a limit at .500 BBCOR. The new USABats will be at .530 on that same BBCOR scale. Other changes will be that players in these leagues are now able to use the larger 2-5/8” barrels, and no drop weight limit means younger players can still use bats made from lightweight materials.

Some of that may seem a bit technical, but the gist is that the new standards will translate to a similar performance of a natural wooden bat. The good part of this process is that the bat manufacturers have done all the hard work. Companies like Easton and Rawlings have been tirelessly working to deliver the same reliability in the batter’s box that many players call on. As of Friday, you will get a look at their latest lab creations and see what they’ve cooked up for 2018. All you’ll have to be sure of is that the bats have the USABat certification stamp seen below.

You can also be sure that Sports Unlimited will have the best youth baseball bats for 2018 in stock and ready for same-day shipping. Check them out for all your baseball equipment needs for next season.

Written By Dylan Hamilton, Sports Unlimited

Sports Unlimited Unveils Custom Football Helmet Builder

Since last October, SportsUnlimited.com has been operating on a brand new platform. After years of designing and developing their new website, the ecommerce sporting goods retailer has looked to provide its customers with an unrivaled shopping experience. As part of this process, new features have been added in throughout the last year, all aimed ti and give consumers more options. Their latest unveiling has been well received, and allows Sports Unlimited to do what they do best (football) in a whole new way.

If you were searching for some new football equipment, then Sports Unlimited was probably already on your radar. As the largest online football store, they stock more helmets, shoulder pads, and training equipment than any other football retailer. What that has meant for football players, coaches, and parents alike, is that they can get the gear the need shipped out same day. With more and more players and parents wanting control of the gear they wear on the field, having quick and easy access to the safest helmets and pads on the market has been essential.

This August, Sports Unlimited took that quick football service a step further, rolling out their Custom Football Helmet builder. Now you not only have the ability to choose from Riddell and Schutt’s latest helmets, but you can also select the facemask, chinstrap, and colors of each. This new customizable football helmet experience is made possible by two contributing factors. Sports Unlimited’s extensive stocks of helmets and accessories, and a step by step selection process.

To take advantage of this new feature offered by Sports Unlimited, simply visit the website (www.SportsUnlimited.com) and select your favorite Riddell or Schutt Helmet. On the right hand side of the page, you’ll find all your customizable options. Firstly, you’ll want to select this and color of your helmet. The large picture of the helmet will reflect the change in colors, as you select from an assortment of options.

Next you’ll get to decide which facemask style you want, along with its color. This process used to be complicated and time consuming, as certain helmets require specific facemasks. But Sports Unlimited has done the hard work here and separated the options that will work for your helmet. Choosing a facemask is also important, as different positions prefer different styles. Wide Receivers and Quarterbacks want more open masks so they can see the field. Linemen on both sides of the ball want larger more protective mask to prevent injuries when they are battling in the trenches. Simply select the style and the colors available will populate.

Choosing your Football chinstrap is done the same way as the helmet and face. Choose from the traditional soft shell or select hard cup protection in a range of colors and sizes.

The final step in the custom football helmet construction is a facemask attachment option. This allow you decide if you would like one of the professionals at Sports Unlimited to attach your new facemask to the helmet.

Sports Unlimited won’t be the first retailer to offer helmets and facemasks in different colors, but their large selection and fast same-day shipping make it tough to beat. Whether you shopping on a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone, this process is simple and easy to understand. As parents and players gear up for this upcoming football season, be sure to check out the new custom football helmet designer at Sports Unlimited.

2017 Football Equipment Reviews – Adult Pt. II

Preseason football is back, college camps are grinding it out, and football season is so close we can almost taste it. As we approach the final few weeks of summer and the imminent first games, we take one last look at some of the 2017 football equipment being used this fall. Our concluding football equipment review looks at some of the gear the senior level players will be wearing to elevate their performance. The ability to run faster, catch better, and recover quicker are features that elite level players are looking for. Any edge that can be obtained could be the difference between a win and a loss, a playoff spot, or a championship season.

Cleats – Under Armour Spotlight

The Under Armour Spotlight football cleat can be described in two words, speed and style. This lightweight, low cut football cleat is a serious show stopper. When you are competing at this level, the most important characteristics are fit and feel. Under Armour has delivered on these fronts with several design features like the SpeedForm construction, a Pedax external heel counter, and a seamless molded heel cup all help lock this cleat to your foot. This allows you to cut and pivot with confidence, and change direction on a dime. On the outside, and Icy Diamond synthetic upper puts you in the “spotlight”, while the chrome TPU cleat plate lets the opposition see their reflection as you speed past them. As Under Armour brand ambassador Deion Sanders once said, “look good, feel good. Feel good, play good. Play good, they pay good.” The Spotlight football cleats from Under Armour will have them adding zeros to the conversation.

Padded Shirt – Sports Unlimited 5 Pad Protective Shirt

While looking good on the football field maybe important, protection is essential. The higher the level of play, that hard the hits you’ll take. That is why any extra padding can keep players on the field and off the IR. The newly designed 5-Pad Protective Shirt from Sports Unlimited is just what you’ll need to handle the rigors of a long season. Perforated foam padding helps shield the ribs, spine, and shoulders from big impacts. Flexible and covered in a breathable mesh, the pads won’t restrict player mobility. The compression fit shirt works great underneath the shoulder pads, and keeps the extra padding in its place. Available in both black and white, the Sports Unlimited 5 Pad Protective Shirt is worth adding to your game day collision defense.

Compression Leggings – SKINS DNAmic Men’s Compression Tights

Athletes in all sports have begun to discover the importance of compression apparel. From increased performance to improved recovery, compression gear can really be the difference maker for an elite athlete. Australian based company SKINS have been focusing on the impact of compression gear on athlete’s performance since 1996. Now developing over 160 products sold in 31 countries, their importance can no longer be ignored. The DNAmic Men’s Compression Tights is a staple product of the SKINS brand, offering several crucial benefits to players performance. The Dynamic Gradient Compression provides the support and stability muscles need for proper oxygenation which helps reduce the buildup of lactate acid. Wearing the compression gear post workout or competition also helps improve recovery speeds by increasing blood flow. Complete with moisture wicking fabrics to keep you cool under pressure, the SKINS DNAmic Men’s Compression Tights can become a real asset to a serious athlete’s performance.

Wrist Coach – Nike Pro Combat Dri-Fit Playcoach

Sticking with the importance of compression, we look at what Nike has delivered with their Pro Combat Dri-Fit Playcoach. Wrist coaches have become so important as the game continues to speed up. Offenses are now snapping the ball at an accelerated rate to keep the pace up and tire out the defense. Players on both sides of the ball rely on the wrist coach to quickly get the play call, so they can begin to interpret what’s in front of them. The Nike wrist coach allows players to clearly read plays with it larger windows, and stays in place when the need it to. Using the compression Dri-fit fabric, the playcoach doesn’t slide on the arm like other knit based products, allowing players to focus on what’s important. It also features a built in belt loop for those who prefer it on their waist. Step to the line of scrimmage with confidence with the Pro Combat Dri-Fit Playcoach.

Gloves – Cutters S651 Gamer 2.0

Every player on the field wants to have the confidence in themselves that they’ll make the big play when the opportunity arises. One way to build that confidence is to give your hands some added grip to make that catch, intercept that pass, or scoop up that fumble. The S651 Gamer 2.0 from Cutters is just what your hands have been looking for. Recently redesigned, these perfect all-around option providing the grip of a receiver glove, with some added flexible padding for protection. Featuring Cutters patented C-Tack, these gloves perform well in any weather you might see. Lightweight, yet durable, these versatile gloves are a real game changer.

Written By Dylan Hamilton, Sports Unlimited

2017 Football Equipment Reviews – Youth Pt. II

August is just a few days and away, and football season is even that much closer. Final preparations are being made before camp, as teams and players look to be ready to hit the ground running at the sound of the first whistle. Part two of our 2017 Youth Football Equipment Review takes a look at some of the other gear you might decide to upgrade before the season starts. We covered the essential protection in part one with the helmet, shoulder pads, back plate, and rib protector. But we’ll turn our attention to base layers protection, footwear, and other accessories for this installment. While some of these items may not be as important when it comes to protecting a players, they can be the difference maker when it comes to performance.

Girdle – Sports Unlimited 5-Pad Integrated Girdle 2.0

As one of the most popular items in the Sports Unlimited football apparel line, the integrated football girdle has been redesigned and taken to a new level for 2017. The use of an integrated girdle has become a staple in most football player’s equipment bags.  A newly added lightweight foam with zig-zag pattern has improved the range of motion without sacrificing any protection. Complete coverage is offered with its 5-Pad system, shielding the hips, thighs, and tailbones from heavy impacts.  Its compression fit keeps the pads in place, making sure they are in the right place at the right time. The SU girdle also comes with a pocket for a cup if you wanted to add some extra protection. Works great for youth football, including flag football players that want some addition protection on the field.

Padded Shirt – McDavid Rival Pro 5-Pad Integrated Shirt

Known for making gear that protects better than the rest, the Rival Pro 5-Pad Integrated Shirt from McDavid follows their long tradition. This protective under shirt allows players at any position to give themselves some additional protection, without limiting their mobility. Its 5-Pads cover the area most susceptible to hits, including the shoulders, spine, and ribs. Made from EVA foam, the Flex Air padding was designed with multi-directional vented flex channels for increase air flow to keep you cool. The bio-shape design and compression fit keep the pads in place underneath the shoulder pads. The McDavid Rival Pro Padded Shirt makes for a reliable inclusion to any players game day gear.

Cleats – Under Armour C1N MC JR

Few players in the game can perform as well as Cam Newton does in the spotlight. But thanks to Under Armour, you can get off on the right foot by lacing up his signature cleats, the C1N MC Jr. These youth football cleats let every player feel like they can take on anything that comes at them on the football field. A mold cleat base provides great traction when making turns and cuts. A compression fit sleeve makes these feel light on your feet, and the reinforced upper offers support and breathability. Have your future star stand out with the new Under Armour Cam Newton youth football cleats.

Receiver Gloves – Adidas Adifast 2.0

Build catching confidence from the first practice with the Adidas Adifast 2.0 youth receiver gloves. Designed to make bringing in the ball easier than ever, the scaled down version of the professional gloves give every youth football player an advantage. The palm features the exclusive Adidas GRIPTACK design that help you make the tough catches in any weather. A compression fit is achieved with the a Honeycomb thumb and molded rubber tab, keeping the glove secure and in place. Stand out on the field with both style and performance with the Adidas Adifast 2.0 football gloves.

Visor – Nike Gridiron Youth Eyeshield

No piece of equipment has seen its popularity grow over the years more than the football visor. It seems more players have visors every year, and youth football is no exception. While the style can be appreciated by most, the additional protection cannot be denied. The Nike Gridiron Eyeshield provides players an extra layer of defense from the perils of tackle football. The Nike Max Optics design features a wrapped lens that reduces distortion, giving you a clear view in every direction. The curved shape allows it to fit most helmets, and its polycarbonate construction is scratch and shatter resistant. See the game better than ever with the Nike Gridiron football visor.

Written By Dylan Hamilton, Sports Unlimited