Snorkeling 101: Everything You Need To Know

​If you’ve been on any beach vacation, you might’ve seen those funky snorkeling masks with tubes and wondered how they work. What exactly are they for, and how are they used? You might be doing some research into snorkeling while you plan your next vacation. Either way, we’re here to give you all the basic information you need to start snorkeling today. 

What is Snorkeling?

person swimming in body of water during daytime

Photo by Jeremy Bishop via Unsplash

Let’s start with the basics. Snorkeling is an activity where you swim over the surface of the water while wearing a special diving mask. This diving mask has a breathing apparatus called a snorkel; that’s how it got its name.

Snorkeling is as a way to explore sights under the water’s surface without too much effort. Usually, someone that’s snorkeling will also wear swim fins to make swimming easier. 

Using fins is important because snorkeling is most popular in warm waters where there is often a lot of tropical water life to discover, so the swim fins allow someone that’s snorkeling to spend less of their energy swimming through the waves and allows them to enjoy more time observing things under the water.

Snorkeling is a very popular recreational activity because it can be done by people of all ages. The relative lack of necessary equipment makes it much more accessible than scuba, which often requires a lot more complicated equipment, like air tanks and ballasts, and time spent training to acquire a scuba diving license. Because you generally stay in shallower waters and on the water’s surface, it’s also less dangerous than scuba diving

Despite these differences, scuba diving actually grew out of snorkeling, or rather it’s predecessor, known as freediving. Even though the snorkel only works at the surface of the water, you can combine it with breath holding techniques and dives under the water’s surface in what’s known as freediving, to get a better look at things below.

While this article will focus on the recreational activity, technically snorkeling is done any time someone uses a snorkel and is done by scuba divers when they are on the water’s surface and in some water-based sports.

Snorkeling is a great activity for those that want to:

  • ​Enjoy time outdoors

  • ​See a variety of undersea life

  • ​Do something active outdoors without being too strenuous

  • ​Do something special that everyone in the family can do

Snorkeling skills

​Even though it’s very accessible, there are still a variety of basic skills that can be developed to make the activity more fun and enjoyable, no matter your swimming level or comfort with water sports.

Preparation

finger of a person with sunscreen

​Image via Pixabay

Just because you’re not scuba diving doesn’t mean you won’t run into everyday dangers associated with the beach and water sports. Even though you’re in the water, your skin is susceptible to sunburn, so you’ll want to be sure to wear waterproof sunscreen of at least 30 SPF. 

It’s important to remember you’ll be face-down with your back to the sun, so you’ll have to be sure to cover areas of your skin you may not be used to like the backs of your knees, legs, and ears. It can also be helpful to wear a waterproof shirt to help keep the sun off of you.

You should always enjoy water activities in groups for safety. You want to make sure everyone in your group has the same plans and knows what to do in case of an emergency. If you’re snorkeling with children, you’ll want to go over water safety with them, and maybe practice going out into the water without the snorkeling equipment so they can get comfortable in the environment. 

It’s also helpful to have new snorkelers practice using the snorkel in shallow waters or even a pool so they can get comfortable with the different breathing rhythms it can cause and they can get used to the angle they need to swim at to prevent water from splashing into the snorkel, which can be very uncomfortable.

Swimming

two person swims on opposite direction

Photo by Jonny Clow via Unsplash

When you snorkel, it involves quite a bit of swimming, so everyone can benefit from improving their swimming skills. While a small child could be reasonably held and led along through calm waters, it’s still best to have them comfortable in the water. A good way to do this might be by having some lessons at a local pool before going out.

No matter your swimming level, you’ll want to work on your freestyle swimming technique, as the kick used for freestyle swimming is the same one that needs to be used to swim successfully and economically while wearing the swim fins most people wear while snorkeling.

Improving your swimming skills will also give you more freedom in the water. While most wear floatation vests while snorkeling to make observation easier and more relaxing, they aren’t necessary, and can sometimes even make swimming harder to swim in a wave or subtle current. If you’re comfortable enough to swim without a vest and have built the endurance to do so easily, you can even access snorkeling areas you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise, and can easily transition into freediving if you want to.

An important thing to remember is that you’ll likely be wearing swim fins while snorkeling, so you’ll want to practice swimming in those as well. Even if you’re a strong swimmer, if you aren’t used to wearing swim fins your muscles can get sore or may even cramp because the extra lengths of the swim fins put more strain in different parts of your leg. It can be helpful to practice using them in a pool or shallower waters before going on a snorkel excursion.

Conserving Energy

woman snorkeling

Photo by Maja Novak via Unsplash

In the previous section, we used the word excursion for a reason. Sometimes you have to travel out to special snorkel spots to be able to see the impressive sea life and reefs. That means snorkel trips can take all day. Think about how tired travel can make you, especially if you have to take a boat in the sun, and then consider snorkeling on top of that! That’s why learning how to conserve your energy while swimming and using a snorkel is important.

Going for a swim while wearing swim fins and a floatation vest might not sound like hard work, but if you do it for long periods in the sun, you can get tired. The most important thing to remember when snorkeling is to let the equipment do the work for you. 

Often, new snorkelers will fall back into freestyle swimming, but using your arms burns more energy than kicking alone, and usually isn’t necessary for a leisurely snorkel. 

Your technique plays a big role in the amount of energy you expend as well. New snorkelers often try to suck air through the snorkel, which can lead to stifled breathing. Remember to take long, slow, breaths through the snorkel and trust that it’ll work for you. 

Another factor in conserving energy is the thing that will be using the most of it, kicking. Because you’ll be wearing swim fins, you don’t need to kick very hard, and kicking too hard can cause splashing that disturbs the beautiful sea life you’re trying to see.

Snorkeling Equipment

We’ve mentioned some of the basic snorkel gear you’ll need to get started, but there are a few things to consider when looking to either purchase or rent snorkeling gear.


Masks

diving mask in the sea

Image via Pixabay

The mask is vital to being able to enjoy your snorkeling experience. You want to make sure your mask is appropriate for outdoor snorkeling. That means it’ll be made of tough material that doesn’t deteriorate in seawater and has a relatively low amount of volume in the mask portion. This design will prevent too much pressure from building around your eyes, and be easier to clear if water gets in. 

You also want to check to see if the straps on the mask are comfortable and if it can fit your head size, as you’ll be wearing it for long periods.

An important note: although full-faced snorkel masks have risen in popularity because of their full range of view, there have been a number of troubling reports about their risks, and we don’t recommend them.


Fins

snorkeling fins placed in a wooden char

Image via Pixabay

A key factor when choosing fins is knowing what the temperature will be for the water you’re swimming in. If you’re going to be in warm water, you’ll want the extra comfort and security provided by a full heel swim fin. If you’re going to be in cooler waters, you’ll want a half heel swim fin that can fit over a wetsuit.

If you’re going to be snorkeling in calmer waters, or casually, a shorter swim fin is more comfortable for most people to use, requires less exertion, and is easier to pack if you buy your own.


Snorkel

Like the swim fins, choosing the right snorkel will depend on the kind of snorkeling you want to do. Most people will be best suited to using a medium length snorkel. While it might be tempting to get an extra long snorkel to prevent splashing, proper snorkels will be equipped with a filter to prevent water from splashing in easily, plus, long snorkels make it harder for you to draw breath.


Final Thoughts

group of women snorkeling

via Giphy

​Now that you know the basics of snorkeling and snorkeling gear you have all the information you need to get started snorkeling for yourself and enjoy all the wonderful experiences snorkeling can offer. See you in the water!

​Featured Image: Photo by Carolina Garcia via Unsplash

Best Multi Game Table Review

Just about everyone in the world loves playing table games. Whether it’s pool, air hockey, or anything in between, everyone has a favorite game they love to play with their friends. Have you ever considered a multi game table?

No matter what your favorite game is, you can bring the fun and excitement of it to your home. Imagine being able to play football without all the quarters and without standing in a crowded arcade.

If that sounds appealing to you, then consider a multi game table. You can easily find the best multi game table by reading reviews online, shopping around, and just generally knowing a little bit about what to look for.

Decide What Games You Want to Have

Obviously, when it comes to buying a multi game table, the most important thing you have to think about and decide is what type of games you want in your multi game table.

close-up photo of figure player in Foosball Table

Every table is different. Some just feature two games, typically pool and air hockey though other varieties are available. Others have tons of games. Even including ones you don’t find that often like ping pong, shuffleboard, and more.

Obviously, you will want to first decide what type of games are a “must have” for your table and then choose accordingly.

Remember the Importance of Quality Construction

In addition to choosing the types of games you want your multi game table to have, do not overlook the importance of good, quality construction.

After all, no matter what games you are playing, you want your table to last you for many years to come. Plus, some games, such as air hockey, can be physically demanding on a table. So it needs to be able to stand up to a lot of wear and tear.

Make sure that the legs of the table are strong and sturdy. And assure that they are firmly attached to the top of the table. Also look for tables made of quality materials. The better the table is made, the longer it will last you and your family. So choose wisely, even if it means spending a little extra money.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Easy Assembly with a Multi Game Table

When you buy a multi game table, you are going to be excited. In fact, if you’re like most people, you’ll want to rip open the box and get the table set up as soon as you get home.

close-up photo of the side of the foosball

Unfortunately, though, most tables require assembly first. They don’t just come out of the box ready to go.

If you are someone who is handy with tools and who doesn’t mind putting the table together carefully, then getting a table that leaves all the construction up to you is fine.

On the other hand, if you don’t feel comfortable with this big job, look for a table that comes pre-assembled, that requires minimal assembly, or that features the option to have someone come out and put the table together for you and get it all set up in your home.

Keep Space Considerations in Mind with Your Multi Game Table

Above, we mentioned getting your multi game table set up in your home, and that- how the table fits in your home- is actually a major consideration.

photo of game room with billiard table, foosball and air hockey table

Often, people who buy these tables are surprised at how much space they take up. They’ll create a space in a playroom or other area, only to find that they need even more room for their table.

Being surprised by space or, even worse, unable to accommodate a table you’ve purchased is never a good thing. So, always carefully measure the room you have or the room you’re willing to “give up” to your multi game table.

Then, before you buy anything, make sure you get the dimensions for the table. This will help give you an accurate sizing idea so that you don’t end up being unpleasantly surprised after you get the table home.

Go for a Reasonably Lightweight Multi Game Table

As mentioned earlier, you definitely want a table that is strong, sturdy, and can stand up to just about anything. That includes the wear and tear you’re likely to put on it.

two ping pong paddles and ping pong ball on top of table tennis

With that said, though, you also don’t want a table that is too big, bulky, or heavy.

You’re going to have to move this table around at some point. Plus, it’s also going to be pushing into your floors with all its weight. And too much weight for too long of a time could cause damage or buckling of your floors.

As such, be careful to buy a table that, while durable, also doesn’t weight so much you’ll never be able to lift it.

With so much to think about, it’s time to start planning and researching now. The sooner you get done, the sooner you can buy and start enjoying your multi game table.

Ultimate List Of Dart Games

1860 – Year in which first dart games were played. Ever since then, the game is attracting fans by the droves. Perhaps you and your friends and family can give it a go with these 16 easy to play games.

Here’s The Ultimate List of Dart Games For 2018

The ’01 Dart Games

dart board with yellow, green and black colors on its pattern

Image from pxhere.com

Players are assigned scores at the beginning of the match – 301, 501 and 701.

The player wins by reducing their points to 0. Each part of the board carries a different score. To finish and win the game you must hit a double. For example, with a score of 16 remaining a player can win by hitting double 8.

Around the Clock

Players are expected to hit numbers around the clock (the board) in the order they appear in. Players change turns after making 3 throws each. Hit a double and you skip the next number, hit a treble and you skip the next 2 numbers. First one to reach and hit 20 wins.

180 Around the Clock

close-up photo of three dart arrows, all hitting the same double ring

Image from Pixabay.com

The maximum score you can get is 180. The aim is to hit each number three times. A single one each time on the spots equals a score of 60 and a triple hit each time will get you 180.

Chase the Dragon Dart Games

Chase the Dragon is one of the most loved dart games. The aim is to hit the designated numbers from 10 to 20 as well as the outer and eventually the inner bull. The points must be hit in sequence. To win the game, run all 12 scoring areas before your opponent.

American Cricket

Two players or teams race to close stated numbers (called innings) on the dart board. An inning is closed when a player scores three of the numbers. The first to close all innings is the winner.

English Cricket

One player is the batter while the other is the bowler. The batter goes first. 10 stripes (wickets) are entered on the dartboard. The bowler’s aim is to erase these wickets by hitting bull’s-eyes. Each bull’s-eye strikes down a wicket. The batter works to score as many points or runs while any wickets remain. Once all the wickets are crossed out, points are noted and roles reversed.

Hare and Hound

These dart games involve the hound chasing the hare. The first player (hare) starts at 20, while the hound starts from 5. The hound chases the hare with the aim of catching it before it returns to 20.

Killer

Can be played by up to 5 people. Players blindly pick numbers between 1 and 20. Players hit their number’s double 3 times in order to become a killer. The killer then plays the other player’s double 3 times, killing them. The remaining player wins.

Knockout

Players throw a single dart to start off the dart games. Player closest to the bulls-eye gets to play first. Following player has to hit a higher score. Failing to do so, their name is circled. A player that gets 3 circles is eliminated. Last man standing wins.

Mickey Mouse

In this dart games, you are required to close a number (20 through to 12, doubles, triples, and bulls-eye) by hitting it thrice. The first player is the one who hits closest to the bulls-eye.

Nine Lives

This is more of a race to hit numbers 1 – 20 sequentially. Players are given 3 lives, each life with 3 darts. If a player mishits with the 3 darts they lose a life. Failure to hit with 3 lives leads to elimination. Last player remaining wins.

Tic-Tac-Toe

close-up photo of dart board with dart arrows suggesting tic-tac-toe dart game

Image from Pixabay.com

Follows the same principle of the paper game. Players have to close out a square on a pre-drawn 12-square box with the target numbers written in the squares. 3 strikes of a number on the dartboard cross out the number on the 12-square “score sheet”.

Shanghai

close-up photo focused on dart arrows hitting single, double and triple rings or Shanghai

Image from: Pixabay.com

Players take turns throwing at the numbers 1 through to 7 in sequence. The aim is to score as many points as possible per turn using your three darts. Only aim for the number in play in that round, all other numbers don’t count. There are 2 ways of winning – having the highest score at the end of the game or by “shanghai-ing”. To Shanghai, you have to hit the single, double and triple of the number in play. A Shanghai is an automatic win.

Here’s A Relevant Video From YouTube:

51 by 5’s

The objective of this dart games is to accumulate a score divisible by 5 at the end of your 3 dart throws. Each divisible 5 is a point. To win, you have to be first to accumulate 51 points or more.

Tennis

Just like the game of tennis, the winner has to win the best of 6 sets. First to serve is the one who throws closest to bulls-eye in selection round.

The game starts with the “play area” on the left-hand side of the dartboard (5 to 19) and alternates to the right-hand side (1 to 17) for the next point. The “play area” alternates between the 2 during a service game. Hitting the bulls-eye with your first dart gets you an ace.

Mulligan

via GIPHY

The object of this dart games is to choose and close 6 random numbers and hit the bulls-eye before your opponent does the same. To close a number, you have to hit it 3 times. Players focus on a particular number until it is closed.

Today – The day you get a dart board and try out these games.

Golf Hacks And Tricks To Better Your Game

Golf can be a misleading game if you’re a newbie, or if you’re watching from the outside. Contrary to popular belief, golf is quite a hard game simple as it looks. From technique to rhythm to timing, everything needs to be a science and an art. That is why, without a few hacks and tricks up your sleeves, it can become a frustrating game. And that’s why we’re here – to give you a hand at improving your game. Here are 8 super simple hacks and tricks to help you better your game.

1. Improve Your Mental Game

photo showing Newton's Cradle

Golf is more a mental game than it is a physical one. The game always starts in the mind, is played more in the mind, and is won in the mind. If you are to improve your game and lower your score, you have to improve your mental game. From club selection to the final putt, the game of golf is all about making the right decisions and calculations.

This is why you should never allow your emotions to cloud your game.

The best way to up your mental game is to focus on the moment. Forget the topped driver that got you into your current mess and choose instead to focus on hitting the best shot you can to get you back in the game. Live and play in the moment.

2. Avoid Mistaken Identity

an about to be broken glass containing water and already broken plates

One common mistake that happens on the green is that of hitting the wrong ball. And that mistake is enough to give you nightmares for weeks. Besides, a two-stroke set back is often times very difficult to recover from. So what’s the solution? Mark your golf ball with a personal logo – a unique mark that can is visible no matter where the ball falls. If you’re not artistic, simply get a golf ball stencil and do away with mistaken identity.

3. Create a Pre-Shot Routine

a golfer hitting the golf ball into the hole

Routine may be monotonous and boring, but there is something about having a routine that can help you improve your golf game. Routine helps calm the nerves. No matter how tense the game may be, a simple routine will help you calm yourself down, thereby helping you hit the perfect (well, maybe not perfect, but good enough) shot.

4. Rain Gloves Are Not Just for a Rainy Day

a person wearing gloves and coat while holding an umbrella

Nothing disturbs a game like wet gloves. Whether it’s because of the rain, sweat, or a water hazard, water will ruin your grip – resulting in terrible shots. Rain gloves will help you avoid poor shots. The wetter they become, the more grip they have.

5. Warm Up Don’t Heat Up

a man playing golf on a green lawn

A good warm-up will always improve your stroke. Hit the green early and practice 10 -15 strokes. Make sure to take your time, don’t rush it. This is enough to build up a good rhythm without straining your muscles, or worse getting fatigued. Many golfers make the mistake of overdoing the warm-up routine and end up paying dearly in the heat of the game.

6. Tee Off – Safely

a golf ball on a lawn

More often than not, a game if golf is lost on the tee. This is why you need to work on winning your game straight from the tee – by developing a safety shot. A safety shot is a shot you know you can play in any situation and drive the ball a considerable distance while you’re at it. Take the time to practice a shot you can rely on, not only to kick off the game but to get you out of troubled waters if need be.

7. Develop a Solid Grip

a man with a golf club hitting the golf ball into the other side of the lawn

The accuracy of your shot is dependent on two major things – your grip and your stance.

A solid grip takes time as your hand has to get used to the sweet spot of your club. To make finding the sweet spot easier, place a golf club somewhere you can easily access it from any place in the house. Whenever you pass by it, pick it up for a minute or two, practicing your grip. Before long, you will find your sweet spot, helping you to be more comfortable (and confident) with your club on the green. A solid grip will help you shave points off your scorecard.

8. When the Chips Are Down, Stack ‘Em

a golf bag full of golf club of different sizes

Chipping is one of the most overlooked and underrated techniques in the game of golf. But it is a game-changing technique once mastered – helping you break par faster than a putt. To master your chip, make sure your left arm, the shaft, and your weight are all stacked over your left leg. This gives you better control of your shot – distance and direction.

With these hacks packed in your golf bag, you’re sure to improve your game dramatically. And that means a more enjoyable time on the golf course as you take the lead.

Best Racquetball Racquets

10 Best Racquetball Racquets

The year was 1950 when a young man stood between the walls of a YMCA in Connecticut, contemplating a new concept.

With a ping pong paddle in one hand, and a few strings in another, he put the two to good use.

Attaching the string to the paddle, he invented a racquet for a new game that would later be given the name of racquetball.

Not to be mistaken as tennis, the two games are not even to be compared, as there is not even a net involved in the game.

Racquetball can be played indoors or out as long as there is a space available that is 40 feet long, 20 feet wide and 20 feet in height. Red lines are used to illustrate the serve and service areas.

Teams can be played as singles or doubles, and the game is played by hitting the ball to the front wall making it bounce onto the floor beyond the short line, thus allowing the opposing player to take a shot at the ball next. The player or team with the best score of three games wins.

Whether you are new to the game or you are a pro, playing with the proper equipment is essential. The first and most important piece of equipment you will need is a proper racquet.

To help you make the proper choice, the following is a list of some of the best racquetball racquets on the market for you to choose from:

Head CPS Demon Racquetball Racquets

1This lightweight racquet offered by HEAD is a great choice for a beginner.

Built with a Crystal Power System (CPS) and designed with a Powerzone String Pattern, this racquet will be sure to have the ball kissing the wall with every swing.

The Progrip feature offers a tacky texture for easier grip and powerful hits.

HEAD put all the important features into this beginner’s racquet without including a big price.

If you are looking to become a star player, this is one of the best racquetball racquets that you can buy!

MacGregor Scholastic Racquet

2If you are interested in learning how to play the great game of racquetball, then this racquet is a great pick for you.

From MacGregor, this superb racquet can be used for intramural programs or recreation, and it is even a great pick for learning the sport.

The 18 1/4inch long racquet is designed with a powder coated aluminum finish and a tear drop head. The multi-filament string, built-in-bumper and soft 4 inch grip will allow you to hit the wall every time.

The lightweight and easy to handle grip makes it an excellent reason to choose this racquet for both, the novice and experienced players.

Head i.165 Racquetball Racquet

3If you are looking to play in collegiate tournaments, this racquet would be the right choice for you.

This 22 inch, extra-long racquet is made of titanium and graphite. Its ComforTac grip offers a vibration dampening that gives it a light, solid feel with every hit of the ball.

The durability and performance of this racquet definitely stands above the rest making it one of the best racquetball racquets with quality, and an affordable price.

With this racquet, you will be hitting the winning ball each and every time!

Ektelon PowerRing Freak SS Racquetball Racquet

4Great for the beginner is this Power Level 1000 racquet offered by Prince/Ektelon Sports.

Made with Aerolite Alloy, this great quality racquet would fit perfect in the hands of the front court player who needs to make all the quick, well played shots.

This racquet is equipped with a F3/Power Line that will be on your side with every hit.

Deluxe Racquetball Starter Kit Set

5Great for the beginner or intermediate player, this starter kit is equipped with everything you will need to get your game going.

Complete with an Ektelon Lightening 190 ESP racquet, two Ektelon Fireball racquetballs, a pair of Python Intro 2000 eye guards and a convenient carrying bag, this set delivers high quality performance at an incredible price.

The smaller handle allows an easy grip for smaller hands and would be great for young teenagers who want the power from a racquet that they can hold with ease.

The amazing price and high quality of this set makes it a great choice to get into this sport.

Wilson Striker Racquetball Racquet

6This racquet offered by Wilson is a big hit for the casual or recreational player.

Wilson designed this lightweight racquet with a T6 heat treated mil spec aluminum alloy, and you will be pleased with the extra power you will get with extra String bed movement that is brilliantly attached to the v-matrix frame.

Show off your strength and power when you are the one plunging the ball to the wall with every swing of this racquet.

E-Force Chaos Racquetball Racquet

7This racquet will deliver excellent performance to beginners and advanced players alike.

E-Force designed this racquet with excellence by attaching 22 inch long strings, 10.5 inch cross strings, a bypass stringing system and monster string holes.

With the vibration- dampening tubes that are hidden in the handle of this racquet, you will have more comfort with a great performance in every swing.

E-Force Chaos Racquetball Racquet

8This full sized strung racquet offered by Ektelon sits in an aerolite alloy frame that gives excellent performance.

The high quality kit includes one racquet, two premium select balls, a pair of safety approved goggles, a carrying case and completes the package with an instruction book.

Although designed with the beginner in mind, this set will also fit perfectly in the hands of the more experienced, or casual players.

Head Royal Flush Racquetball Racquet

9One of the best racquetball racquets on the list is this Royal Flush racquet offered by HEAD.

This well balanced racquet comes in the standard length of 22 inches long and has a hard hitting reputation.

With the strong grip and the channeled strings, you couldn’t ask for a better racquet for the money.

Get those balls tearing holes in the wall with this high quality, powerful racquetball racquet.

ProKennex Kinetic FCB 175 Racquetball Racquet

10While playing on the front or the back of the court, you will want to be using this great racquet from Pro Kennex.

This standard, 22 inch long racquet was designed with an additional three extra lateral strings on the bottom and is complete with a 22mm cross section.

With all these great features wrapped into one racquet, you will be sure to maintain consistency with a lot of power behind each swing.

With this list of excellent choices, you will be sure to choose the right racquet that is right for your game. So get out there and start slamming the walls!

Top 10 Best Sport Watches

While a Rolex seems like a cool and classy watch, it is not suitable for sporting activities like biking, swimming, and running. You need a special kind of watch that is equipped to endure outdoor excursions – the sport watch.

There’s a variety of sport watches to choose from and they vary in style and design while incorporating various features.

If you want to optimize your sporting experience, you’ll need to consider getting a specialized watch suitable for your particular sport. To help you make a decision, here is a list of the best sport watches currently on the market.

Best Sport Watches to Buy

close-up photo of a person looking at his sports watch he's wearing

Mio Alpha

product photo of Mio Alpha Sport Watch

Apart from its LED feature, the back of this watch is incorporated with an “electro-optical cell” technology that detects your heart rate in real time and reads the capacity of blood flow. With this, you won’t need to wear an uncomfortable chest strap during your workout sessions, and can easily and efficiently assess the intensity of your training.

Although it may not be as sophisticated as other sport watches, it is Bluetooth enabled allowing you to link it to applications like Stava on your phone and get your full workout report.

Garmin Swim Watch

product photo of Garmin Swim Sport Watch

The Garmin Swim was built with swimmers in mind. With features like drill logs and time sets, it can accurately record essential swimming data like pace, pool length, and stroke count.

During swimming, swiftness in motion is important, and this watch is built to enhance just that. It is slim enough to easily cut through water and achieve the much-desired speed. It is also easy to use and read by swimmers of all levels.

Samsung Gear Sport Smartwatch

Samsung Gear Sport Smartwatch (Bluetooth), Black, SM-R600NZKAXAR –...

This watch has the perfect balance between fitness-tracking features and prodigious functionality. It is tailor-made to guide you through a number of different workout sessions including swimming which is made possible with its waterproof body.

The Samsung Gear Sport runs on the patented Tizen platform which comes with a variety of apps for improved functionality. It also features a generous display size, decent resolution, 4GB of internal storage, and a reliable 1GHz dual-core processor.

Suunto Spartan Sport

product photo of Suunto Spartan Watch

This watch has a number of exciting features including a GPS system, a water-resistant body, a long-lasting battery of up to 12 hours, and a heart rate monitor. It is automated to recognize over 80 different sports and can be linked to your smartphone via Bluetooth where you can receive essential notifications about your workout.

Certainly, one of the best sport watches for tracking purposes.

The Nokia Steel

product photo of Nokia Steel watch

This watch has a classic stainless-steel design and comes with a built-in tracker that is very reliable. It is water-resistant for depths of up to 164 feet and can be used to keep track of your sleeping pattern. All the data is visualized in an application on your smartphone.

It also affordable, effective for tracking casual fitness, and has a long-lasting battery.

Polar V800 Sport Watch

product photo of Polar V800 sports watch

With a top-of-the-line tech and Gorilla glass lens, the Polar V800 is durable and offers a wide high-resolution display that helps you view your data easily without straining – even in darkness.

It is also equipped with an altitude GPS and a rechargeable 14-hour battery. Definitely, one of the best sport watches for running and biking.

Motorola Moto 360 Sport Watch

product photo of Motorola Moto 360 sports watch

This watch is compatible with both Android and iOS operating systems. It is waterproof, equipped with a GPS system for routing, and can measure heart rates, steps, and calories.

Even with these levels of sophistication, it is one of the most affordable sport watches on the list.

Casio Classic Sport Watch

product photo of Casio Classic Sport Watch

This is a classic watch with a reliable battery life and a waterproof feature. It also has a 1/100-second digital stopwatch, an LED screen with an afterglow, an auto calendar, and a digital time and date display.

It is simple for standard sporting functions and is designed to serve you for years.

Fanmis Military Multifunction Digital LED Watch

product photo of Fanmis Military Multifunction Sport Watch

The Fanmis Military Watch features a stopwatch, alarm, and has a durable battery life. It is also shock resistant making it suitable for vigorous sporting activities, and waterproof for swimming sessions.

Choosing the Best Sports Watch    

close-up photo of a person wearing sports suit and sports watch

When getting a new sport watch, the design and features of the watch are important factors to consider. Finding the best sport watch can be a difficult task. However, this guide should help you narrow down your choices and make that process easy.

 

10 Best Table Tennis Paddle Reviews and Ways to Choose The Best One

If you are continually trying to take your table tennis game to the next level without much improvement, your paddle could be the problem. This is something that many table tennis players tend to overlook, but it could be derailing your performance big time.

Choosing the right ping pong paddle could be the key to improving your aim, spinning, and avoiding unnecessary mistakes when you play. In this article, we’ll share a list of the 10 best table tennis paddles to improve your play.

How to Choose the Best Table Tennis Paddle For You

Before we dive into our extensive selection of tennis rackets for a variety of players, let’s take into consideration the main features to look out for during your search. Everyone has a different budget, style of play, and preferences, so we want to help you choose what’s best suited for you.

Grip

The grip on your ping pong paddle is essential to your overall performance, and there are different types of grips to choose from. Some players prefer a Shakehand grip while others like the feel of a Penhold grip. So, what’s the difference between the two and how can you choose the best option for you?

The Shakehand grip resembles a position of shaking hands with someone, with the thumb facing up. However, the Penhold grip requires you to hold the ping pong paddle at an angle similar to how you would with chopsticks. The main difference between these two grips is how the thumb is positioned, which can be more comfortable for players one way or another.

If you prefer a firm grip, Penhold might be a good option for you as these paddles feature a shorter handle so you can use more force when hitting the ball. On the other hand, Shakehand grip might feel more natural for some as you mimic this action in daily life anyway.

Blade

This is another of the most important parts of a ping pong paddle, and you should take great consideration when choosing a blade for your equipment. This is usually made of wood but can sometimes contain a fraction of other materials too, such as carbon fiber. These different materials are layered together to create a finalized blade.

Although a paddle must be made of at least 85 percent wood, it’s crucial that the remaining 15 percent of materials are best suited to your budget and style of play. Wood is a natural material that means each paddle will play slightly differently as not every two pieces of wood are the same. The disadvantage of this is that the shape of the blade can slightly change over time so you’ll have to regularly practice with the same paddle. It’s also worth noting that two wooden ping pong paddles will play differently, even if only slightly.

You can certainly adjust and get used to this wood paddle as you play ping pong more often. But, if you choose a carbon fiber in addition to wood, you’ll add more predictability to the paddle. A ping pong paddle made from carbon fiber elements will provide more speed, stability, and precision each time you hit the ball.

On the other hand, you can purchase a ping pong paddle that is made from 100 percent wood to provide better spin. You can decide on the blade materials purely based on the amount of speed and power you want to add to your play.

Get the Best Table Tennis Paddle for You

 

Choosing a suitable ping pong paddle should entirely depend on your skill level – and maybe the price. It may be tempting to buy a racket for advanced players when in fact you’re an intermediate player at your best.

 While you will still enjoy playing with it, such a paddle will only hurt your performance and progress. Therefore, stick to paddles in your skill level and level up according.

Here Are Our Full Reviews of the Top 10 Best Ping Pong Paddles for 2018


 

Butterfly Balsa X5-FL Carbo 

Butterfly Balsa Carbo X5-FL

This is the best table tennis paddle for speedy plays and heavy spins. Its carbon fiber guarantees a wider sweet spot for consistency and gives you a tremendous spin and easy looping. These two carbon layers work together for a balanced effect that is committed to attacking the ball when immense speed and power.

The balsa core and carbon plies facilitate forceful play and incredible placement. As well as offering high speeds, you can also softly touch the ball to heighten your performance. The racket is incredibly light, making it easier to control the ball in tight situations. However, an extra-light paddle isn’t ideal for beginners, as it requires more control to prevent overshooting the ball and it landing on the floor.

 

Pros

  •  

    Best addle

  •  

    Carbon fiber guarantees

  •  

    Easy looping

 

Cons

  •  

    Lighter paddle which is different for controlling


 

STIGA Apex

weighs about 5 ounces

If you’re a novice player, the Stiga Apex could be the best table tennis paddle for you. It weighs about 5 ounces, courtesy of the light plywood used to make it. With such a light paddle, you can play for hours without fatigue.

Moreover, Stiga’s WRB technology guarantees you fast and precise shots with insane spins. Being an easily controllable paddle, it will help you build killer precision and admirable stroke mechanics in no time.

This Stiga paddle also features a thick sponge in the blade to help absorb any power so you can have better control over the ball. The blade is also most out of 5-ply extra light blade to make it a great purchase for children or those who are put off heavier paddles.

A huge advantage of this Stiga product is the price. Compared to competitor brands, it’s extremely well-priced to make it even more appealing for beginners. In fact, it’s probably one of the cheapest beginner ping pong paddles you’ll find online.

 

Pros

  •  

    Best paddle for novice players

  •  

    Light paddle

  •  

    Easily controllable paddle

 

Cons

  •  

    Not suitable for serious players


 

Killerspin JET600

a unique combination of lightness, power, and balance

This one is suitable for both intermediate and advanced players. The Killerspin JET600 is a unique combination of lightness, power, and balance. This is all thanks to the light premium 5-ply wood used for the racket.

This material makes the ping pong paddle extremely high-quality and ideal for anyone who’s looking for durable equipment. The combination of multiple layers of wood within the blade creates a dense base with excellent precision and increased power for everyone that uses this paddle.

The Nitrx-4z rubber facilitates exceptional grip to help you quickly deal with heavy spinners as well as make precise spun shots yourself. Its thin sponge really comes in handy when playing against hard-hitting opponents.

 

Pros

  •  

    Both for intermediate and advanced players

  •  

     Light paddle

 

Cons

  •  

    Not for beginners


 

DHS Hurricane II

slightly bigger than most paddles in the market

The DHS Hurricane is designed for serious players and those who compete in tournaments. It’s slightly bigger than most paddles on the market, allowing a more significant surface area for hard-hitting return swings. It features rubber on both sides of the paddle for ultimate comfort, especially if you have a tight grip when competing for long periods.

Its surface is also dimpled to enhance the spin of your serves and returns. As a result, it’s aimed towards players with more power and control. Additionally, this paddle has a long handle to help defend against quick placements. Getting used to a long handle requires patience, practice, and control, so don’t jump straight to this piece of equipment without any prior experience.

 

Pros

  •  

    Excellent power and control

  •  

    Dimpled surface

  •  

    Long handle paddle

 

Cons

  •  

    Bigger paddle


 

STIGA Pure Color Advance Racket

more of an offensive paddle

As the name suggests, this is a paddle for advanced players. It’s more of an offensive paddle designed to bring the best out of a skilled player. This advanced racket has a hard rubber that might be low-grade compared to the rest of the brand’s selection, but this material helps to create excellent spins.

The thin layer of sponge also helps you spin the ball more efficiently. The sponge is also helpful when responding to volleys, although it might take some adjustment to get used to this material if you’ve been used to a hard handle.

Its ACS technology and concave handle facilitate easy control of the racket, enabling you to make powerful shots with so much ease. This handle provides a comfortable grip as if you’re shaking hands and feels balanced once in your hands. It’s also lightweight which is great if you intend on playing ping pong often and for longer sessions.

 

Pros

  •  

    For advanced players

  •  

    Made of hard rubber for excellent durability

  •  

    Concave handle

 

Cons

  •  

    Not ideal for beginners


 

Killerspin JET800

Killerspin JET800 best table tennis paddle

This is the ideal choice for professional players and a more advanced model of the JET600. It gives nothing short of a tournament-level performance which makes this ping pong paddle a great choice for advanced players.

It comes as a 7-ply blade covered in layers of carbon fiber for compelling returns and resilience. Combined, these materials offer enhanced accuracy and create an extra pop of aggression when required in the game. You’ll also love how this blade looks as the design is elegant and natural for a professional appearance.

The Killerspin JET800 is incredibly light for a wooden paddle and features a special rubber layer for a strong spin. A true offensive masterpiece! The handle is designed to offer an exceptional grip that is ideal for heavy spins when serving the ball. Bring out your competitive side with this piece of equipment.

 

Pros

  •  

    For professional players

  •  

    Covered in carbon fiber layers

  •  

    Light wooden paddle

 

Cons

  •  

    Not ideal for beginners


 

STIGA Supreme

STIGA Supreme best table tennis paddle

Another great paddle choice for newbies is the STIGA supreme. This racket is designed to bring the best out of defending players. It also boasts impressive control and a light weight of about 5 ounces. This reduced weight mIGHT take some getting used to, but once you’re confident with this piece of equipment, you’ll never want to switch to another ping pong handle.

The paddle is comprised of 6 layers of premium wood, sponge, and rubber. And while it doesn’t necessarily have the best rubber in the market, it is still efficient for good spins. The combination of these three materials helps to offer good control and make the paddle idea for chopping and back spinning the ball for a competitive game.

However, the STIGA Supreme does not respond very well to incoming spins, nor is it as fast as other advanced paddles on this list. Nevertheless, it is a good option for beginners who don’t want to spend so much on equipment.

 

Pros

  •  

    Boasts impressive control

  •  

    Great for beginners

  •  

    Good spins

 

Cons

  •  

    Doesn’t have the most high-quality rubber


 

Killerspin Kido 7P Premium

Killerspin Kido best table tennis paddle

The Killerspin Kido is the best table tennis paddle for professional players. It offers the toughest spins and strongest returns you can get on the market today. Its tough spins are courtesy of the ITTF approved Fortissimo rubber used to make the paddle, and the wooden blade enhances the power of your shots.

There’s something about the design of this paddle that makes it stand out from the rest of the equipment on this list. It’s sophisticated, professional, and a product that will definitely earn you some compliments.

The Killerspin Kido also delivers when it comes to easy control and speed. This piece of equipment is designed to offer a great balance of speed and control for players with a competitive nature.

 

Pros

  •  

    For professional players

  •  

    Delivers great control and speed

  •  

    Wooden blade

 

Cons

  •  

    Not ideal for beginners


 

Palio Expert 2

Palio Expert best table tennis paddle

This is the ideal paddle choice for beginners. It generates a strong spin, thanks to the premium Chinese rubber used to make the blade. However, it’s not a fast racket that will send the ball flying and give you little control.

It also offers a well-balanced mix of control, speed, and power, making it the perfect paddle for beginners who want to take their game to the next level. We’re impressed by the handle that feels comfortable to hold throughout an entire game with no discomfort. Palio really went above and beyond with high-quality wood on the handle to ensure the player has maximum control over the spin, angle, and speed.

 

Pros

  •  

    Ideal for advanced beginners

  •  

    Chinese rubber blade

  •  

    Well-balanced control, speed, and power

 

Cons

  •  

    Spins can sometimes be too strong


 

Killerspin JET200

Killerspin JET200 best table tennis paddle

The Killerspin JET200 is perfect for intermediate players. It features a 5-ply wooden blade and high-quality rubber for a substantial spin. This piece of equipment offers an equal-weight distribution and expert quality construction to provide all ping pong players with the focus they need for precise shots.

Compared to other brands in its category, this paddle slightly lags when it comes to speed and power. However, it makes up for this inadequacy by having better control, making it the perfect choice for players seeking to work on ball control. This speed reduction isn’t necessarily a bad factor as you can precisely hit the ball with this paddle.

 

Pros

  •  

    Perfect for intermediate players

  •  

    Features 5-ply wooden blade

  •  

    High-quality rubber

 

Cons

  •  

    Speed and power slightly lags

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you hold a table tennis paddle?

There’s a lot of ways to grip the handle of the pallet blade. The Penhold grip, which used to be the most popular, has you holding the paddle like a pencil (as the name suggests).

Then there’s the Shakehand grip, which makes it so that your index finger is over the rubber of the pallet. This particular grip offers a lot of power for forehand and backhand shots and is frequently seen being used by European and American professionals.

Are there multiple tennis paddle handle types?

The handle of a ping pong paddle is the part you grip with your hand. There are roughly about 4 types of paddle handles.

There’s the Penhold handle, which has been designed to be used by those who make use of the, well, Penhold grip. Probably the most popular handle type in most of Asia. The downside to using this handle is that it’s difficult to attempt a backhand move.

Flared handles are self-explanatory. They’re primarily favored by new players and most likely the most common handle type throughout the world, being featured on most average paddles. Flared handles don’t favor players that make use of many different grips, but they’re not meant to.

Next are straight handles, which are perfect for more experienced players. If you frequently change your grip, then this type of handle is exactly what you’re looking for, as its simplicity makes it superb for versatile playstyles. They’re not very common, though, so you might struggle finding some.

Anatomical handles are quite unique. Their primary design intent is to be comfortable and to allow your hand to mold onto it during play. They’re even harder to find than straight handles but a pleasure to use.

Which Is Your Favorite Ping Pong Paddle?

Once you’ve selected the best ping pong paddle for your play, it’s time to get practicing the sport. Practice is the key to improving your skills but also to get used to your new piece of equipment.

Make sure that you properly look after your ping pong paddle by wiping the surface with warm water using a soft cloth. Store in the original packaging and keep away from hot or cold surfaces to maintain the quality.

Which of the above ping pong paddles caught your eye? Share your thoughts or any other recommendations in the comments.


The Best Hikes In Utah Every Family Needs To Experience

The state of Utah is the perfect location for long family hiking trips. In the northern part of the country you have the beautiful trails filled with tall mountains and aspen trees — think Colorado in terms of natural brilliance.

But, if you travel further south, then you will experience a dramatic shift in scenery. Gone are the snow-covered mountains, which become replaced by red rocks and deserts. In this part of the state, the landscape more closely resembles the American southwest.

As you can guess, Utah offers a lot for hiking enthusiasts — far more than you can squeeze into a small hiking trip. But how safe are the trails in Utah? If you have kids, then is it safe taking them on the hiking paths? Or will they get overwhelmed by tough terrain and weather?

While there is no shortage of advanced trails in Utah, there are also plenty of family-friendly ones you can choose from too. In this article, we provide you with some of the best hikes in Utah — ones that will appeal to the whole family and not just the hiking enthusiast. But first, let us look at how we rank the locations.

How We Choose The Hiking Locations on This List

man standing on a rock overlooking the green highlands

Photo by Mike Tanase from Pexels

We select the best hikes in Utah on this list by looking at trails that appeal specifically to families and children. This criterion means that the trails are not too difficult to navigate and you can enjoy them all within a day or two. When ranking the locations, we look at three distinct factors.

Specifically, we look at factors like the difficulty of the trail, activities available, and the overall beauty of the location. For each of these factors, we ask a series of questions that help us determine the strengths and weaknesses of each trail.

We then assign the location a score out of five stars, so you can have a quick reference when checking out the sites. Here are some of the questions we ask:

  • The difficulty of the Trail — How hard is the trail to hike? Can you complete the path within a day? Can a small child enjoy the trail? Is the trail dangerous in any way?

  • Activities Available — Are there any activities available besides hiking? Can you go fishing? Or are there areas to picnic, grill or eat?

  • Overall Beauty — How scenic is the Utah hiking trail? How does it compare to the other locations found of the list? How unique is the scenery to Utah?

The Six Best Hiking Trips in Utah for Families

Keep in mind that we believe all the locations on this list offer great hiking and views for whoever decides to explore them. However, we do think that some of the places might appeal more to families than season hikers. Still, you probably cannot go wrong choosing any locations on this list.

1) Silver Lake – American Fork Canyon

Silver Lake in American Fork Canyon lies on a well-marked trail that ranges between three and four miles. The crystal clear lake surrounds itself with breathtaking rocky mountains covered in trees, bushes, and wildflowers. The result is a location that remains almost stunningly beautiful.

The trail starts at Silver Flat Lake, where you will find a parking lot for leaving your vehicle. The first part of the path takes you through a well-marked trail that weaves between beautiful aspen trees and fresh mountain streams. In total, the trail takes about two in half hours to hike.

Once you get to the lake, you can go swimming or fishing if you possess a license for doing so. There are also camping locations located around the lake itself. Generally, we think kids will be found on the trail in terms of energy as long as they do not care incredibly heavy packs. Otherwise, they should be fine.

2) Grotto Trail – Payson Canyon Utah

Since this trail is not very long and contains little elevation, it is ideals for families of all shapes and sizes. You also get rewarded with a sight of the beautiful Grotto falls at the end of the trail. The trail follows a variety of small streams, some of which you must cross using wooden beams placed by rangers.

As we mentioned, this is a quick trial, so you should not expect to spend all day on it. The trail is roughly half a mile long and takes about forty-five minutes to get through it (not counting any time you spend enjoying the waterfall afterward).

However, if you visit during the spring make sure you are careful while you hike the trail. Sometimes running water from melting snow can flood certain parts of the path. We recommend visiting in mid-summer since the trees provide a nice bit of shade and the waterfall is crisp and refreshing.

3) Devils Kitchen Payson Canyon

If you want a great trail of some of the beautiful red rock formations found throughout Utah, then the Devils Kitchen trail in Payson Canyon is the perfect trail for you and your family. This trail is an excellent way to get in and out of the area quickly since the path is only a quarter of a mile long.

At the end of the trail, it will reward you with a mountain platform that offers a beautiful scenic view of southern Utah. You can complete the path in roughly thirty minutes. The park also provides toilets and picnic tables, which makes the area an excellent location for your family to stop and have lunch during a road trip.

However, keep in mind that the trail is aptly named. During the summer when the weather heats up, the paths can become unbearable for certain sun-sensitive individuals Since there is little natural shade from the trees we recommend that you bring a good hat and some sunscreen.

4) Silver Lake – Big Cottonwood Canyon

The beautiful Silver Lake offers a lot for family hikers: lakeside trails, picnic areas, and some dock fishing locations. With any luck, you will see a moose near the trail since the city is an excellent breeding ground for the animal. We recommend visiting anytime during the Spring, Summer or Fall.

The boardwalk hike itself is less than a mile long, so no one should get too tired during the trip. In terms of fish, Silver Lake offers mainly trout populations. Just make sure you have a fishing license before you bring along your rod and tackle box!

One cool thing about the location is that it included boardwalks for reaching the lake area. As such, it is ideal for families that want to bring along an elderly or disabled family member since the lake is handicap accessible.

5) Lower Bells Reservoir – Little Cottonwood Canyon

Like many of the trails on this list, Lower Bells Reservoir found in Little Cottonwood Canyon offers a quick hike with a reward scenic payoff. The path itself is less than a quarter mile long, and you can navigate in around twenty minutes. The trail takes you up a small ridge, and then circles you around the reservoir.

Generally, many people consider this trail as secure which makes it ideal for children and elderly hikers. If you are a fan of bright green mountainsides and plenty of blossoming wildflowers, then we recommend you visit the trail in spring or early summer.

You can get parking at the trailhead found at the 9800 South intersections. You will also find bathrooms and picnic table at the park head.

6) Red Reef Trail – Red Cliffs Recreation Area

At six miles long, the Red Reef Trail, found in the Red Cliffs recreation area, is one of the long hikes on this list. However, the beautiful canyons, gorges and water crevices will be sure to entertain your family during the long trek. If you do not want to hike the entire trail, then alternatively you can take a quick half mile loop that offers a lot of the same views.

Along the trail, you find many memorable sights — from the thick elephant trunk tree to the pools of water you can swim in along the path. While the scenic views and geographical formations offered on the trail is undeniably beautiful, we do provide a word of caution if you want to hike the trail with your family.

During the summer the heat can become unbearable for children or the elderly. Also, during the spring flash flooding can occur in the valleys at the drop of a hat, which makes certain sections of the trail potentially dangerous. As such, we recommend it for families with older children or more experienced hikers.

Hiker’s Guide for Navigating Utah Trails

man in blue jacket and brown backpack

Photo by Oziel Gómez from Pexels

If you never hiked a trail before, then there are some essential things you should know before bringing your family to one of Utah’s many national parks. Luckily we included some important take waypoint in this hiker’s guide section. Here are some vital tips you should keep in mind before hiking.

Pack and Dress Accordingly

Without the proper trail gear, an otherwise fun hiking experience can turn uncomfortable at best and downright dangerous at best. As such, it is vital that you bring such essential equipment. First and foremost you should bring water, at least two quarts per person and a comfortable pair of shoes.

Similarly, so areas of Utah experience random or erratic rainfall. As such, some ziplocked plastic bag can help keep your phone and wallet dry in case of an emergency. Similarly, so areas can experience sweltering heat in the summer, so bring sunscreen, even if you find you do not usually need it.

Do Not Overestimate Yourself

If you are a beginner or hiking with family and friends, then do not plan too ambitious of a hiking trip. A lot of the harder trails in Utah offer little shade from the sun and steep mountainous climbs. Discuss how long you would like to hike with your family, then pick a path that corresponds roughly in difficulties.

There are also plenty of trails that offer easy-to-reach, family friendly views. So visit the park center when you reach a national park and ask the staff which paths they recommend. Do not be nervous; it is their job to help you navigate the park.

Be Aware that There Might Be Crowds

Hiking is becoming a much more popular activity, and as a result, there might be more crowds on the trails then you are used to dealing with while hiking. If you do not mind sharing then the path, then this issue is not a big deal. But if you want to avoid some crowds, then there are some tips you can follow that will help you.

First, try and come during non-peak hours when the parks just open. Noon is usually the most popular time for people to visit. So, try coming either early in the morning or after two PM. If you want to catch a sunrise or a sunset on the trail, then you can probably expect some company too.

We hope this guide helped you find some of the best hikes in Utah for your family. Whether you camp or walk the trail for the day, make sure you leave the environment the same as when you found it. Set a good example for your family and others and pick up your trash and belongs. Have fun on the trail!

5 Best BBCOR Bats

Best BBCOR Bats

There are many factors that go into designing a great baseball bat. Size is important, price is important, weight is important, even material is important. These can come down to player preference in many cases, but knowing what you want and what has the performance you need is important. And then there’s another thing that is important. You need to know whether a bat holds the BBCOR designation before you buy it.

BBCOR stands for “Bat Ball Coefficient of Restitution” and is the standard when measuring baseball bats. It measures something called a trampoline effect and has various measurements involved in testing. This ensures that all bats are going to give the same performance, whether wooden or otherwise. As such, having a BBCOR bat is important for anyone in high school or college baseball teams, among others. Bats with this designation will have a stamp that proclaims it right on the bat. Make sure you always look for that when buying a new bat.

Because BBCOR is so popular and required in many instances, there is a huge amount bats out there with the stamp. Finding one that fits you and your needs can be daunting. That’s why we’re here, though. We researched dozens of BBCOR bats, so you don’t have to. We’ve found the best and brightest of the equipment. We’ll break down the warranties, feel of the bat, design, special features, and more. Details that affect usage will be mentioned in order to give you a good basis for comparison. So let’s get the ball rolling!

Easton 2014 S500 BB14S500 BBCOR Baseball Bat (-3) Mizuno MZE243 Bamboo Elite Wood Baseball Bat – Navy/Red – BBCOR Certified Marucci Cat 6 BBCOR Baseball Bat Louisville Slugger 2016 Omaha 516 Bbcor (-3) Baseball Bat Rawlings Adult 2016 Velo Balanced Bbcor -3 Baseball Bat
7050 aircraft alloy composition Bamboo and glass fiber composition One-piece alloy composition 7U1 alloy composition 5150 alloy composition
31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available 31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available 31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available 31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available 31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available
Balanced swing weight Slight end load swing weight Balanced swing weight Balanced swing weight Balanced swing weight
One year warranty 120 day warranty One year warranty 30 day performance promise & one year warranty One year warranty
Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price
  • Easton 2014 S500 BB14S500 BBCOR Baseball Bat (-3)
  • 7050 aircraft alloy composition
  • 31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available
  • Balanced swing weight
  • One year warranty
  • Price: $
  • Mizuno MZE243 Bamboo Elite Wood Baseball Bat – Navy/Red – BBCOR Certified
  • Bamboo and glass fiber composition
  • 31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available
  • Slight end load swing weight
  • 120 day warranty
  • Price: $
  • Marucci Cat 6 BBCOR Baseball Bat
  • One-piece alloy composition
  • 31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available
  • Balanced swing weight
  • One year warranty
  • Price: $$
  • Louisville Slugger 2016 Omaha 516 Bbcor (-3) Baseball Bat
  • 7U1 alloy composition
  • 31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available
  • Balanced swing weight
  • 30 day performance promise & one year warranty
  • Price: $$
  • Rawlings Adult 2016 Velo Balanced Bbcor -3 Baseball Bat
  • 5150 alloy composition
  • 31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available
  • Balanced swing weight
  • One year warranty
  • Price: $$$

Easton S500 3 BBCOR Adult Baseball Bat

41vN1MRCsFL._SL250_Easton is a brand that is well-known and represented on nearly all baseball fields across the nation. The S500-3 is one of the best BBCOR bats out there, while not being overly flashy or showy. It simply gets the job done. Those who want an impressive look to their bat may not be impressed but if you just want to smash balls all day long, check out this Easton. It has all the trimmings that are needed without all the fat, which is something that many really love.

Like all BBCOR bats out there, the drop weight for the S500-3 is a -3. It has a standard barrel diameter of 2 5/8”, as well. The Easton 5500-3 comes in various sizes including 31”, 32”, 33”, and 34”. These are pretty standard but it’s always nice to know you have options.  It is constructed of 7050 aircraft alloy, something that gives a great swing speed and makes it stand out against the pack. As far as the handle goes, it is thin and tapered with an all sports grip that people love. It seems to be a good fit for nearly everyone who has used it.

This bat has an understated design that is mostly blacks and greys, but uses yellow for highlights. It’s classy and not very overwhelming if that’s something you enjoy in your choice of bat. It’s a solid bat for the first time player or someone who has experience but not as much cash. You aren’t going to have complaints, either way.

Pros:

  • Constructed of 7050 aircraft alloy for quick swing
  • All sports grip to keep it steady
  • Balanced swing weight
  • Cheapest bat on the list
  • One-year warranty

Cons:

  • Older style bat, might turn some off

Mizuno Bamboo Elite MZE243

2This bat is billed as “the ultimate training bat” and it’s not hard to see why. Made by Mizuno, a company with years of experience engineering bamboo bats. This bat in particular is a combination of bamboo and glass fiber, which makes it super durable and able to stand up to anything. It also offers a sanded handle to give a better grip than a typical bamboo bat would. These things make it a bit new and different, which some really enjoy and some don’t.

The drop weight is the standard -3 of a BBCOR certified bat. It comes in a 31”, 32”, 33” and 34”. It comes with a standard diameter for a BBCOR and is approved for collegiate play. This is definitely the right option for someone looking for a BBCOR but wanting to hold onto some wood. It’s a really nice design and stands up to the competitors around it. It has the needed facets and bumps them up a notch with the wooden style.

The colors on this one are red for the handle and blue for the rest of the bat. It’s pretty subtle and unassuming to me, not flashy at all, just a typical look for a bat. But it doesn’t need to look like a flashy bat. The bamboo and glass fiber makes it interesting from the get-go. For those who like something a bit more unique than the typical, this bat is going to make you joyous. Check it out and see what I mean. You’ll love it, if you’re like me.

Pros:

  • 120-day warranty and one-time replacement
  • Unique bamboo and glass fiber composition
  • Sanded handle for better grip
  • Decent price

Cons:

  • May require batting tape for grip rather than pine tar
  • Marks up pretty easily

Marucci Cat 6

21xCHLcJD8L._SL250_The Marucci Cat 6 is a great bat with some astounding features. It has a 2 5/8” barrel which is extended for a bigger sweet spot and maximum performance. It has a typical drop weight of -3. This bat is similar to the ones above in that it comes in sizes from 31” up to 34”. It is made of an alloy and is one piece to give a feel that reminds you of the good old days. It’s known for being both durable and having amazing performance ability. Another perk in this one is that it incorporates a patented anti-vibration knob to eliminate sting. It also has optimized thickness of the barrel-end wall to give up some fast and furious swings.

The look of the bat is extremely understated. It’s white with a gray handle and the name of the company and style is emblazoned on it in red. Other than that, no big graphics or anything of that nature. The bat is what it is and doesn’t need extra help from graphics. That said, it does look nice. I think if you prefer something a bit minimalistic, this bat could take you there. The colors look nice together and everything comes together as it should. Definitely a fan of this one for that.

Pros:

  • Patented anti-vibration technology
  • One-piece alloy construction
  • Extended barrel profile
  • 12-month manufacturer’s warranty

Cons:

  • White finish gets dirty easily
  • Higher price

Louisville Slugger Omaha 516

31EXvbrmWCL._SL250_I’m sure nobody is surprised to see an offering from Louisville Slugger on the list as it is one of the most well-known bat makers there is. It comes with a -3 drop weight and has a 2 5/8” barrel, as do the rest of the 5 best BBCOR bats. In addition to this, the bat has a tapered handle and features Lizards Skins grip which gives more softness than the typical bat you might be. Also of note is the 7U1 Alloy which makes it the lightest of Omaha’s bats, ever. It has a huge sweet spot and thinner walls due to the flex band inside the barrel.

This bat is very graphically influenced with everything from black and white to red and yellow making an appearance. It is flashy and would be great for someone who enjoys that sort of equipment. It’s going to stand out and stand out well. That can be great for some but maybe not all. In either case, you’re never going to lose it with all that color going on! I can see these being popular in some crowds and for good reason, even if it’s not my personal taste.

Pros:

  • Lightest Omaha BBCOR to date
  • Flex band technology
  • 12-month warranty
  • Lizard Skins grip
  • Large sweet spot

Cons:

  • Price is a bit higher than others

Rawlings Velo

5121onTcnWL._SL1001_Last on the list is from Rawlings and it packs a hefty amount of features that make it special. This bat comes in the typical bat lengths from 31” up to 34”. It has a -3 length to weight ratio, as expected. It also has a standard barrel diameter of 2 5/8”. The Velo is one of the best BBCOR bats out there and offers an alloy handle that gives a grounded feel at the plate This bat is known for being balanced and that partially comes from the composite end cap used in the design of the bat. It also features precision optimized performance than gives more flex in the barrel and expands the size of the sweet stop. This leads to a bat that will not let you down when you’re out there swinging.

The Velo is mainly silver and blue but there is a bit of yellow in spots. It’s a nice looking but not overly flashy bat. Anyone who likes blue is bound to like it as the largest surface area is a navy blue color. There’s nothing really special about the looks, otherwise. It’s another of those bats that puts its features where they should be, in the actual bat performance. In this case, the look isn’t bad and won’t dissuade people from buying this particular bat.

Pros:

  • Huge sweet spot
  • Weight is well distributed
  • Very lightweight feel
  • Maximum strength and ping
  • 12-month warranty

Cons:

  • This is the most expensive bat on our list

There you have it, The 5 Best BBCOR Bats on the market. You are now informed to make an educated purchasing decision.