football cleats

How to Break in Football Cleats for a Comfortable Game

It’s common for new players to wonder how to break in football cleats before a game. Cleats are an essential piece of equipment for football players and having them as comfortable as possible affects performance. As a result, learning how to break in football cleats before you play your first game is essential.

After all, football players need a lot of traction to get up to top speed quickly. They also need their cleats to be comfortable so that they don’t have any issues when they start to sprint.

But before you can learn how to break in football cleats, you need to understand what they are in the first place.

What Are Football Cleats?

kicking football

Image via Unsplash

Cleats are a type of shoe worn in many different sports around the world. Soccer, football, baseball, and lacrosse players all wear cleats. There are even variations of cleats for cyclists and track athletes.

Although there are differences between cleats in every sport, they all have similarities. Cleats are shoes with protrusions on the sole of the shoe. These protrusions from the cleats provide extra traction for athletes that would otherwise struggle to push off on soft and slippery surfaces.

Without cleats, football couldn’t be played on turf as easily, at least not at the speed it’s played at right now. Instead, it would need to be played on grass, and even then, athletes wouldn’t get the type of traction they get from cleats.

How Are Football Cleats Different from Soccer Cleats?

As we mentioned above, athletes wear cleats in many different sports. One of those sports is soccer, and cleats worn by soccer players are very similar to football cleats. However, some distinct differences make it necessary to get different cleats for soccer and football.

Different cleat types

gold cleats

Image via Unsplash

Firstly, not every football player wears the same kind of cleats. That's because there are so many positions in football, and players are doing vastly different things depending on their position. The quarterback, linesman, and wide receiver have different skill sets.

There are three different types of football cleats, whereas there is only one type of soccer cleat. Soccer cleats all have a low-cut style that gives players the ability to maneuver and change direction with greater ease.

Conversely, football players have low-cut, mid-cut, and high-tops. High-top cleats provide extra support for the ankle and are preferred by linesman. They provide support for lateral movements needed for the position.

Mid-cut cleats only surround a small portion of the ankle. These cleats provide a little support, but they give the athlete a lot more maneuverability. Defensive backs, running backs, wide receivers, and quarterbacks prefer mid-cut.

Low-cut shoes are the last common cleats worn by football players, but defensive backs sometimes prefer them. This is because they are very light and enable them to reach their top speed quicker.

Weight

You might have picked up on it when we were describing the different cleat types, but soccer cleats are generally a lot lighter than football cleats.

They need to be lighter because soccer players are constantly running throughout the game. As a result, they need cleats that will help conserve their energy.

Toe stud

The last significant difference between football and soccer cleats is the toe stud. Football cleats usually feature a stud near the big toe that is absent in soccer cleats.

This stud gives players a little more grip when pushing off from a hunched position. Since soccer players are usually standing up, the toe stud wouldn’t provide any extra traction.

What Should You Look for in a Pair of Football Cleats?

white yellow color cleats

Image via Pexels

Before you learn how to break in football cleats, you need to buy a pair first. When purchasing a pair of cleats for your kids or yourself, remember that comfort is more important than cost.

We know that not everyone can afford the most high-end cleats, and you don’t need to buy them. However, you should consider investing a little more in a comfortable pair of cleats. Comfortable cleats will fit better and last longer than unfitted cleats, and as a result, they’ll last longer.

Furthermore, you need to know what position you or your child will play.

If you’re more of a skilled player, lightweight cleats will be best for you so that you can show off your fancy footwork. If you’re a linesman, you’ll need cleats that provide a lot of support.

Finally, you need to remember that cleats are not sneakers. Sneakers are meant to be comfortable and flexible. They are good shoes for going to school and running around with friends.

With that in mind, although cleats should be comfortable, they should not be nearly as flexible as regular sneakers. They should keep your feet in place, and they should fit more like a pair of dress shoes rather than sneakers.

Why Do You Need to Break in Your Cleats?

woman tying her cleats

Image via Unsplash

Although you may be ready for us to explain how to break in football cleats, you also might be wondering why you need to in the first place.

When you purchase a pair of football cleats, they’re going to be moderately stiff, which can be dangerous. That’s because when you’re playing football, your foot will be flexing and bending in ways it doesn’t in everyday life.

If your feet are stuck in position, you’ll be more likely to roll an ankle or hurt your foot. So, learning how to break in football cleats before you step out onto the field is essential.

How to Break in Football Cleats

Now it’s time for us to teach you how to break in football cleats. We’ll take you through several methods that are proven to be effective. Follow our instructions carefully, and you’ll be ready for a game in no time.

Walking

Flexing

Soaking

Steaming

Start Playing After Learning How to Break in Football Cleats

After reading, we hope you have a better understanding of how to break in football cleats. All four of the methods we discussed above should be effective, so you can choose whichever you prefer. As long as you follow our instructions carefully, you shouldn’t have a problem.

Are you a new or experienced football player? Do you understand how to break in football cleats? Let us know in the comments!



Featured image source: Pexels

Cooler full of drinks in the shore

K2 Coolers Review

If you’re looking for a K2 Coolers review, it’s probably because you’re looking for a quality cooler without spending a lot of money. Having a good cooler with you is a great idea for when you go on your outdoor adventures, and it makes an excellent companion for when you go bow hunting.

K2 is mentioned sometimes as a potential alternative to more popular brands like Yeti or Pelican. But can it really hold its own against these other brands? Or does it fall short of expectations?

Before you take the plunge with one of these coolers, there are a few things you should be aware of. How long does it retain ice? Is it made with quality materials? And of course, how does it compare to the competition? These are a few of the things you should know in a K2 Coolers review.

Comparison Table

What Are K2 Coolers?

K2 Coolers Summit 20 Cooler, Duck Boat Green
  • One piece roto-molded polyethylene construction for extreme durability
  • Extra thick insulation for maximum ice retention
  • Premium features such as padded shoulder strap, ICE vault lid gasket, POSITRAC lid latches, ENDURA integrated hinge...

K2 is a Louisiana-based brand that started in 2011. As you might have guessed, they specialize in outdoor coolers. Virtually all of their coolers feature rotomolding. This technology is a popular trend among coolers today as it allows manufacturers to make coolers that are both more efficient and more affordable.

Even though K2 is a US-based company, they actually manufacture their products in Thailand. This allows them to keep costs down when they’re creating their coolers. As a result, they’re able to make some of the most affordable coolers on the market without sacrificing quality.

Additionally, K2 offers a seven-year warranty on all of their products. So if you do happen to have a problem, you have plenty of time to get your money back.

What Else Do You Need to Know in a K2 Coolers Review?

There’s obviously much more to learn in a K2 Coolers review. There are some additional features to examine that might help you decide if these coolers are right for you.

What are its main features?


K2 doesn’t slouch when it comes to its main features. One of these features is pull-up latches that keep the lid tight. This is a unique feature as most coolers use pull-down latches. The lid also has a commercial-grade rubber gasket that keeps the cold air in and the warm air out.

Furthermore, this cooler uses a single stainless steel pin hinge to connect the lid to the base. This is a smart design choice since the hinge is usually the first thing to break on most coolers. The drain plug on these coolers allows you to drain the cooler with only a partial turn, or you can pull it all the way out to make it drain faster.

These coolers feature both nylon rope handles and integrated handles that are molded into the cooler’s body. This gives you a couple of different options when it comes to carrying the cooler. Lastly, K2 coolers have non-slip rubber feet on the bottom that prevent them from sliding around while you're driving.

How well does it retain ice?


Of course, this is the main thing you want to know in a K2 Coolers review. Ice retention is the single most important aspect you need to consider when you’re shopping for a cooler. So how well does K2 perform in this regard?

All of our research shows that K2 performs very admirably. Reviewers noted that this cooler will retain ice anywhere from 5 to 14 days, depending on the weather. Needless to say, this is pretty impressive.

Numerous ice tests also showed that it holds its own against many of the more popular brands on the market. All in all, you shouldn’t have to worry about ice retention if you buy a K2 Cooler.

Is it durable?


Almost every K2 Coolers review agrees that these products are incredibly solid and are made with high-quality materials. Testers put them through absurd levels of abuse, and they still will not break.

This is partially because of their rotomolding technology. As we mentioned before, almost every high-end cooler uses this technology today, and for a good reason. It creates extremely durable products.

On top of that, these coolers also feature three layers of insulation. That’s in addition to the extremely durable plastic that constitutes the body itself. And once again, you don’t have to worry about the hinge breaking as you might with other coolers.

What does everyone else think?


So far, we’ve been looking at professional opinions of these products. But what do the actual customers think?

Overall, almost every K2 Coolers review from customers was positive. Most people felt it was a great value when compared to some of the more popular brands. They also loved how durable it is along with its extra features. Additionally, many customers appreciated its ice retention. Several people said it retained ice for at least five days at a time.

However, not everyone was impressed with its ice retention. Some people felt it didn’t last as long as it should’ve and said that more expensive coolers retain ice longer. This was especially true for customers living in desert climates.

Some people suggested pre-chilling your items, which would help avoid this problem. Aside from this one issue, most people were perfectly happy with this product.

How We Formed Our Opinion

For these reviews, we used customer reviews, professional reviews, and the products’ official websites as our main sources of information. Some of the professional resources we consulted include Open Air Life, and Wide Open Eats.

When reviewing these products, we focused on a few key areas. These include durability, ice retention, and extra features. Price was also a major factor in these reviews.

Our opinions were largely informed by a combination of product research and reviews.

Checking out the Competition

Of course, any useful K2 Coolers review should mention the competition as well. There are several other excellent coolers on the market today. Let’s see how K2 measures up.

YETI Tundra 45

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler White
  • The YETI Tundra 45 combines versatility with durability with a capacity of up to 26 cans with a recommended 2:1...
  • Will keep your ice… well ice thanks to up to 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and an extra thick FatWall design is...
  • The Rotomolded Construction makes the Tundra armored to the core and virtually indestructible so wherever you decide to...

YETI is the brand that all other cooler brands must be compared to, and the YETI Tundra 45 is one of their best products. Like K2 Coolers, this cooler has rotomolded construction that makes it almost indestructible.

It also features T-Rex lid latches that are made of heavy-duty rubber. Likewise, its rope handles are made of military-grade polyester rope. Furthermore, this cooler has three inches of permafrost insulation and an extra thick FatWall design.

Most reviewers said that this cooler is incredibly durable, and it retains ice for a shockingly long amount of time. Customers tend to agree with these opinions. Many people were pleasantly surprised at just how long their items stay cold in this cooler.

On the downside, some customers complained about how heavy it is. This can make it difficult to carry. Also, several people felt that it’s simply overpriced.

On that note, the YETI Tundra 45 costs virtually the same as K2 Coolers. At the end of the day, K2 compares very favorably to this mega-popular brand. Both have very similar properties, and it’s difficult to say that one outperforms the other in any significant way. Which one you decide to buy will largely come down to personal taste.

Pros

  • Extremely durable
  • Incredible ice retention
  • Excellent features

Cons

  • It’s heavy
  • It’s expensive

Pelican 70QT Elite Cooler

Pelican Elite 70 Quart Cooler (White/Gray)
  • VOLUME: True 70 quart internal volume
  • EXTREME ICE RETENTION: 2 inches of polyurethane insulation with a 360 degree freezer-grade gasket delivers extreme ice...
  • FEATURES: Overmolded carry handle, 3 inch locking latches, reinforced lockable hasp, stainless steel bottle opener,...

The Pelican 70QT Elite Cooler is another excellent cooler from one of the most popular brands on the market. It features two inches of polyurethane insulation and a 360-degree freezer-grade gasket. This allows it to retain ice for an incredibly long time.

This cooler also has a few unique features, such as integrated cup holders and a built-in bottle opener. Other features include three-inch locking latches, non-skid rubber feet, an anti-shear hinge system, and an over-molded carry handle.

Reviewers were very impressed by how long this cooler retains ice. They also loved the cup holders and the built-in bottle opener. Customers also loved its ice retention, and they felt its snap latches make it very easy to transport.

Once again, several people simply felt that this cooler is too heavy. Also, many customers had issues with it leaking at the drain plug. Unfortunately, this was a very common problem for most people.

Again, the Pelican 70QT Elite Cooler costs basically the same as K2 Coolers. In this case, we have to recommend K2. The Pelican 70QT Elite is a very good cooler, but the leaky drain plug is a very obvious design flaw. You won’t have this problem with K2 Coolers.

Pros

  • Lots of great features
  • Very durable
  • Excellent ice retention

Cons

  • Drain plug tends to leak
  • It’s very heavy

RovR RollR 60

RovR Wheeled Camping Rolling Cooler with Wheels (60 qt.) (Powder)
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE, PUNCTURE-RESISTANT TIRES! Our coolers ride on 9-inch all-terrain tires mounted on five-spoke aluminum...
  • UP TO 10 DAYS OF ICE! That's what you get when you combine a rotomolded, elevated body with an airtight gasket and thick...
  • LARGE CAPACITY: Without Deepfreeze dry bin installed: 60 cans and 20lbs. of ice. With Deepfreeze dry bin installed: 40...

Finally, we have the RovR RollR 60. This cooler is unique because you’re able to roll it on nine-inch, all-terrain tires. This makes it extremely easy to transport. It also claims to retain ice for up to ten days thanks to its airtight gasket and thick, foam insulation.

Additionally, this cooler also comes with a dry storage bin. The dry bin features two separate compartments. Without the dry bin, this cooler can hold up to 60 cans and up to 20 pounds of ice.

Reviewers loved this cooler for its numerous extra features, especially its all-terrain tires. This obviously makes it very easy to take wherever you want. Customers felt the same way. They loved the extra attachments you can use with it, and they also felt it was a very strong, heavy-duty cooler.

Despite the tires, some customers still felt this cooler was too heavy for their liking. Also, some people felt it didn’t retain ice as long as some other coolers.

The RovR RollR 60 is somewhat more expensive than K2 Coolers. Your decision will largely come down to transportation versus ice retention. The RovR RollR 60 is easier to transport thanks to its tires. However, K2 Coolers retain ice for longer periods. You’ll have to decide for yourself which of these is more important to you.

Pros

  • Tires make it easy to transport
  • Lots of extra features
  • Very durable

Cons

  • Ice retention isn’t too impressive
  • It’s heavy

K2 Coolers Pros and Cons

As you can see from this K2 Coolers review, there’s a lot to love about these coolers. They’re ridiculously durable, and they retain ice incredibly well. They also come with loads of extra features that make them more convenient to use. And of course, they’re very reasonably priced as well.

The only real issue is that some customers weren’t as impressed with the ice retention. This mostly seems to be the case for people who live in very warm climates. Once again, we suggest pre-chilling your items to avoid this issue.

Pros

  • Great ice retention
  • Extremely durable
  • Lots of great features
  • Seven-year warranty

Cons

  • Ice retention is shorter in warm climates

Is This the Cooler You’ve Been Looking For?

two guys drinking beer from k2 cooler

Image Source: Pexels

Now that you’ve read this K2 Coolers review, you should have a good idea of whether or not these coolers are right for you. In truth, these coolers can be a great choice for almost anyone. They retain ice well, they last a very long time, and they have a great range of features. And of course, they have an excellent warranty on the off-chance that something does go wrong.

The only reason you might choose not to get one of these coolers is if you live in a warmer climate. The ice retention isn’t quite as impressive in desert climates. In this case, you might want to look elsewhere. Otherwise, these coolers are a great choice for almost anyone.

But what do you think? Do you have any experience with one of these coolers? Let us know in the comments!

Featured Image Source: Unsplash

pool with pool cues and ball

The 7 Best Pool Cues For Sinking Every Shot In The Game

Do you really need the best pool cues?

Up until recently, I didn't think so. As a casual pool player, I use what's available at the local billiards hall.

A buddy of mine, however, says that using the best pool cues can make a difference in your game. So, like you, I started reading up on the best pool cues, hoping that it would improve the way I play.

​table of comparison

What Is a Pool Cue?

best pool cues on a pool table

Image Via Pixabay

​If badminton has its racquets, then pool has its cues. These pool cues are sticks used to strike the cue ball.

You cannot play a game of pool without one. It's a simple piece of sports equipment, yet you have to consider several things when choosing the best pool cues for you.

​What to Look for When Choosing the Best Pool Cues

close up photo of pool cue and ball

Image Via Pixabay

​When selecting a pool cue, your first consideration should be your budget. You can pay a premium for an excellent pool cue, or you can choose from the best pool cues that fall within your budget.

If you're going to use it at home, opt for a one-piece cue. These pool sticks do not come apart, so they're not something that you can bring anywhere.

One-piece cues are more affordable, but they may easily warp over time. Conversely, if you are using the pool cue for competitive play or if you take it with you when you travel, then get a two-piece one, which often comes in a carrying case.

​Consider your height

​Weight matters

​Wrap

​Cue tip

​How We Chose the Best Pool Cues

To come up with our list of the best pool cues, we took into consideration the many factors that you need to look for in the best pool cues.

We then researched various products and narrowed down the list of recommended products, so you don't have to sift through them.

We chose only the highest rated products with excellent customer reviews.

The Best Pool Cues You Can Buy Right Now

​If you're looking for the best pool cues, then you don't have to wade through the avalanche of products. You can limit your search to our recommended products and save time.

AB Earth 2-Piece 58 Inches Pool Cue/Pool Stick Ergonomic Design...
  • 4 cues weight include 18oz, 19oz, 20oz and 21oz
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN WRAP: Canadian hard maple butt which hand polished into a wavy shape. Compared with linen butt, our...
  • HANDMADE PAINTING BUTT: Manual painting with trendy colours make each cue looks special.

The AB Earth Pool Cue Stick Billiard is 58 inches long and weighs anywhere from 18 to 21 ounces. One set comes with six two-piece pool cues with a decal maple butt and skidproof linen wrap.

If you are concerned about the tip, then rest easy because it's easy to replace it. You can choose between screw-on or glue-on tips. The pool cues also have a solid brass ferrule that makes them more durable than similar products with fiber ferrule.

This product is affordable, and it serves the purpose for casual pool players. More than doing the job, this pool cue also excels in the looks department, so much so that it makes a great gift.

However, sometimes the packages come with some of the tips damaged. This might be a problem because there are no extra tips included so you would need to buy them elsewhere.

​PROS

  • ​Pool cues look great
  • ​Suitable for casual players and as house cues

​cons

  • ​May be prone to warping over time
  • ​Poor quality material used for the shaft
  • ​No replacement tips included in the package
Viper Signature 57" 2-Piece Billiard/Pool Cue, Hot Pink
  • Constructed from quality hard Canadian Maple wood on the shaft
  • Designed with a 2-piece billiard cue, allowing for easy transportation and storage
  • Features lightweight ABS joints which help provide consistent feedback during play

Billiards and pool are no longer a man's sport. According to the College Foundation of North Carolina, one in every three billiard or pool player is a woman.

The Viper Signature might be an excellent choice for women who love playing pool and who love feminine colors rather than the drab and boring blue, black, and green that most pool cues have.

This Viper pool cue has a hot pink color and weighs 19 or 20 ounces. It comes with a hard tip.

The manufacturer used top-quality Canadian maple wood for the shaft. Plus, it features a leather tip and a nylon wrap.

This product delivers top performance that can rival that of more expensive pool cues. You will also like the vibrant colors and the quality of the materials used for these cues.

​PROS

  • ​Vibrant colors and material
  • ​Works as well as more expensive cues

​cons

  • ​The hard tips are not easy to replace
  • ​There are complaints that this product warps easily
ASKA Set of 5 Wrapless L3 Billiard Pool Cues, 58" Hard Rock Canadian...
  • Wrapless 5(Five) 2-Piece Pool Cue Sticks Set, One of Each - Black 21-Ounce, Blue 20-Ounce, Brown 19-Ounce, Green...
  • Canadian Hardrock Maple 29" Shaft. Cue Length is 58" (standard pool cue length)
  • Stainless Steel 5/16x18 Joint, Black Rubber Bumper

If you want to spruce up your game room, you can buy this set of five pool cues from Aska. Each cue in the set comes in a different color: blue, brown, black, green, and red.

Each one of these cues also has a different weight from 18 to 21 ounces. These Canadian hard rock maple cues measure 58 inches long with a 29-inch shaft.

Even serious players who bought this set are amazed at how good these cues are. These cues are very well-made and have the perfect finish.

The quality of these cues exceeded their expectations. It may not be something that a professional will use, but they are great house cues.

​PROS

  • ​Well-made

​cons

  • ​Not professional quality but good enough for casual players
PureX HXT-65 Antique Birds-Eye Maple with Black and White Daggers and...
  • 12.75mm HXT Low Deflection Technology Shaft topped with a 10-layer laminated leather Kamui Black soft tip
  • Implex joint collar with 5/16 x 18 pin for a firm hit
  • Sleek wrapless handle for a smooth feel

There are two things that you should know about this product from Purex. First is that it comes with a Kamui Black soft tip.

The Kamui Black tip has high elasticity, which gives the ball more spin with less force. It allows you to control the cue ball with more precision.

Second, it has a low deflection technology shaft. This shaft is designed to be lightweight and thus gives you better accuracy and feedback.

What's more, the product is covered by a lifetime warranty. The manufacturer even replaces your cue if it warps.

You will like the technology, craftsmanship, and performance of this cue. It's a great starter cue.

​PROS

  • ​Uses a Kamui Black tip
  • ​Looks great, works well
  • ​Has good craftsmanship and playability

​cons

  • ​Finish may have a ripple
CUESOUL 58 Inch 19oz 1/2 Maple Billiard Stick Pool Cue Set 11.5mm/13mm...
  • Including:1*Pool Cue Stick; ;1 Hard Billiard Stick Carrying Case;1*Joint Protector; 1*cue cleaning towel
  • Wrap: linen thread;13mm Glue on tip?length:58 Inch ; weight about:19 Oz
  • Canadian Maple Wood with union design decal butt

CUESOUL uses maple for its two-piece pool cues. This particular product measures 58 inches long and weighs 19 ounces.

The manufacturer also offers the same quality pool cues in different colors, including red, blue, and orange-brown.

You can use this as a breaking cue. It works as advertised and the quality is excellent.

At the very least, these cues are straight and well-balanced.

​PROS

  • ​Well-balanced and well-made
  • ​Comes with a carrying case, joint protector, and cleaning towel

​cons

  • ​Not perfectly straight, but it can do the job well
Viper Junior 48" 2-Piece Billiard/Pool Cue, Realtree Hardwoods HD...
  • Constructed from quality hard Canadian Maple wood and features edgy tattoo style graphics down the length of the cue
  • Designed with a 2-piece billiard cue, allowing for easy transportation and storage
  • Features lightweight ABS joints help provide consistent feedback during play

The Viper Junior is lighter than standard cue sticks, weighing in at 16 ounces. This makes it perfect for kids or those who like a lighter pool cue.

If you want to impress with edgy designs on your cue stick, then get the Viper Junior. This product has high-definition camo visuals.

As a two-piece cue, you can take this everywhere you want. It's easy to store as well.

It uses lightweight ABS joints, a Le Pro leather tip, and a nylon wrap. The product also features a rubber bumper.

You will like how straight and lightweight this pool cue is. Because of its shorter length, you can use this cue stick for tighter spaces.

​PROS

  • ​Good looking cues
  • ​You can use this for shooting in tight spaces
  • ​Great for kids

​cons

  • ​The design might be different from the product description
Players Technology Series HXT15 Two-Piece Pool Cue Style: 19 oz.
  • 19-Ounce, 12.75mm Tip, Lifetime Guarantee even against warpage, HXT Low Deflection shaft drastically reduces cue ball...
  • Kamui Black Soft Tip for superior grip, spin and durability, 1” HXT High-tech low deflection ferrule with special...
  • Solid black double-pressed Irish linen wrap

The Players Technology Series HXT15 Two-Piece Pool Cue has a mix of modern and traditional looks. This product also has the latest enhancements, including the Kamui Black tip and the super low-deflection ferrule.

This walnut stained maple cue has an Irish linen wrap. The manufacturer also covers this product with a lifetime warranty for non-wearable parts.

Even serious billiard players are impressed with this product. It's probably one of the best pool cues you will use.

​PROS

  • ​It can exceed your expectations as it performs better than more expensive cue sticks
  • ​Balanced and straight

​cons

  • ​Warps after a short time of use
  • ​May not be as durable as you would like

​​Buy the Best Pool Cues to Help Improve Your Game

person holding pool cue

Image Via Pixabay

Not even the best pool cues can magically turn a terrible player into a world champion. But it can certainly help you advance your skills.

Try any of these best pool cues on our list, and you'll be certain to play in style.

Have you decided on the best product for you? Tell us all about it in the comments!

​Featured Image Via Pixabay

Best Swing Set - HAPPY PIE PLAY&ADVENTURE Nostalgic Children to Adult Wooden Hanging Swings Seat

Best Swing Set for Those Priceless Backyard Moments

It’s easy to determine the world’s best swing set when you’re a kid. It’s always the one you’re playing on, no matter the location — your backyard, the school playground, a friend’s house, or someplace else.

Parents don’t have it as easy. Shopping for the best swing set requires striking the right balance between several variables, starting with the size of your budget.

Plastic or metal? Swings only or slide too?

How big should it be? Which part of the lawn is best?

HAPPY PIE PLAY&ADVENTURE Adult Super Big Wood Tree Hanging Swings SeatImage from Amazon

Sifting through the choices to find the world’s best swing set is one of those milestone decisions in the life of a family. Get it right, and it will provide unforgettable moments of fun, laughter, and love. Do your homework, and you’ll be sure to deliver priceless backyard memories.

What’s the best swing set? You’ll know it the first time you hear your little ones gleefully cry: “give us an UNDERDOG!” Some things never change. Other things, like swing sets themselves, do.

On This Day in Swing Set History

Backyard Discovery Skyfort IIImage from Amazon

The backyard swing set is a relatively recent phenomenon. But the urge to swing — to experience flying, without wings — definitely is not.

Archeological discoveries including drawings in caves and other artifacts suggest a deep fascination with swinging, perhaps as long ago as 1450 B.C.

The first examples of swings “may have been fashioned from plant fiber and woody vines of tropical jungles,” according to the National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York,

The first swing sets in the United States date to the early 1800s, but were anchored in nature, the Toy Hall of Fame indicates. If you had a tree, you could establish a swing for your children.

The concept of public playgrounds began spreading toward the end of the 19th Century and into the beginning of the 20th Century. A key milestone was the formation of the Playground Association of America, which advocated for play spaces to help with the physical and emotional development of youth.

Skyfort IIImage from Amazon

The popularity of backyard swing sets came into its own in post-World War II America, according to Backyard Discovery, a maker of playsets.

In the decades since, home swing sets and playsets have evolved to feature different materials and different configurations to capture youthful imaginations.

The sets provide more option and are safer than ever, but there’s still plenty of think about before you buy.

How to Pick Out the Best Swing Set

Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure Swing SetImage from Amazon

The first and most important factor in selecting the best swing set: Know your child.

Today’s swing sets will clearly state the age ranges they support. But even then, consider your child’s unique personality before you decide. What activities will he or she most enjoy? Do you just want swings, or would you like to add on a slide or a rope climb or a jungle gym?

You’re also going to have to know your yard. You want to place the set on flat ground with enough clearance at the front and the back — sometimes this is required. Children are known to appreciate the flying forward dismount, after all.

Consider what materials fit your style and budget. Plastic and metal sets tend to be lower on the price range but are geared toward younger and lighter children. Wood sets tend to be more expensive but will usually last longer.

The material you choose will impact the challenges of installation. If you’re someone who wants to do it yourself, and you choose a wood set, you’ll need skills with a measuring tape, a hammer, a saw, and other tools. Or you’ll need some extra budget to hire professional installers. Metal sets tend to be a little easier to construct.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, you should take time to think through issues of safety. Swingsets have their hazards, so you’re going want to make sure you read reviews and consider the safety recommendations and record from the manufacturer you choose.

Follow the directions to the letter — for instance, one company stresses that you should use only commercial-grade hardware. You don’t want protruding bolts or screws to create scratches, or worse!

Safety Rules!

Backyard Discovery Big Brutus Heavy Duty Metal Swing SetImage from Amazon

Safety is essential even after building the best swing set for our family.

You’re going to want to teach your kids and their friends to follow some basic safety rules. This may well impact which set you choose as the best swing set.

Backyard Discovery Big BrutusImage from Amazon

Even with a buffer zone, make sure your children know to avoid walking near friends and family who are swinging, either in front or back.

As well, kids shouldn’t stand on swings (though they will try to — didn’t we do that when we were young too?) The swings are made to be operated from a seated, balanced position.

One element you can control as the adult owner of the playset is ongoing maintenance. Make sure you regularly examine all the nuts and bolts on a swing — perhaps as often as twice a month during peak months, according to PlayNation.com. You want to spot any situations early-on where bolts have come loose.

Also, as the years go on, look at swings and other parts of the set for cracks or other signs of wear. Sometimes aging from the weather can catch up on you.

All that said, don’t go into the world of swinging with fear. Follow a few basic rules, such as these from Good Housekeeping, and the best swing set will give you memories to last a lifetime.

How We Selected the Best Swing Set

Ironkids Challenge 100 Metal Swing SetImage from Amazon

Americans love their playthings. And so do publications and media organizations established to keep parents informed of the smartest choices. To build our list of best swing sets, we consulted reviews and recommendations from publications both in the lifestyle category as well as those focused on parenting and the family.

Our list of resources included Family Living Today, Good Housekeeping, The Spruce.com, Gardener’s Path, and Heavy.com. We also looked at reviews in mass-market publications such as the Chicago Tribune and others, as well as Amazon.com — with a particular emphasis on customer feedback.

From our analysis, we selected swing sets that will appeal to various age groups. And we’re confident you’re going to find one that fits your definition of the best swing set.

The Best Swing Set for Priceless Backyard Moments

Plastic. Wood. Metal. Surprisingly enough, the best swing set could come from any of these materials.

Notably, some might just offer positions for swinging. Others provide an all-around experience involving slides, and climbs and clubhouses. For older kids, there may even be an opportunity to go back to nature and use a tree branch as you anchor.

The best swing set will always be the one you have in your backyard. Follow our advice, and you’ll be a backyard hero in no time.

swing icon

Backyard Discovery Skyfort II Wooden Swing Set

Backyard Discovery Skyfort II All Cedar Wood Swing Set
  • Elevated play: Backyard Discovery offers a large, raised Clubhouse on the sky fort II featuring a wooden roof, trimmed...
  • Crow’s nest: the elevated crow’s nest with telescope provide a rare Feature that will bring out imagination and...
  • Lower fort: a lower deck packs in ground level fun by including a snack stand picnic table as well as a sandbox area,...

Why settle for swings when you can build a fort in the sky? That’s the question behind the Backyard Discovery Skyfort II Wooden Swing Set. This set will allow your kids to move their play to another level.

The Skyfort II offers three swinging positions – two for belt swings, one for a two-person glider swing. But that’s just the start of the fun.

As the name suggests, the centerpiece of the Skyfort II is a raised clubhouse, complete with a wooden roof, bay windows, a covered entryway, and – get this – a porch! It provides a place for kids to escape the sun or enjoy a snack.

The set also comes with a crow’s nest with a telescope to encourage imagination and a rock wall for climbing skills.

Pros

  • Multiple play options
  • Three swing positions
  • Clubhouse for shaded rest

Cons

  • Footprice – set requires a big lot
  • Assembly – not a one-person job
  • Cost, this is not a budget item

swing icon

Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure Swing Set

Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure Swing Set, Primary Colors
  • Featuring 3 Belt Swings 9-ft. Wavy Slide All-Weather Resistant – Will Not Crack, Warp, Rot, or Splinter
  • Fireman's Pole, Free-Standing – No Need for Cement, Gym Rings
  • Hard Edges are Rounded or Covered with Plastic Caps

Perhaps your brood isn’t the sky fort type. Don’t fret. Many swing sets offer other pathways to activity, such as the Monkey Bar Adventure Swing Set made by Lifetime, in a more streamlined fashion.

The Monkey Bar Adventure features three swing positions, all of them for belt swings. But it also offers a set of other activities –- primarily a 9-foot wavy slide that the company promises will not “crack, rot, warp, or splinter.”

While there is no clubhouse in this set, your kids can also climb across a set of monkey bars, use the fireman’s pole, or get acrobatic on a trapeze bar with a set of rings.

Pros

  • Three swing positions
  • 9-foot wavy slide
  • UV resistant

Cons

  • Pretty pricey
  • Lower-quality hardware
  • Slide too high for young children

swing icon

Gorilla Playsets Nantucket Swing Set

Gorilla Playsets 01-0021 Nantucket Wood Swing Set with Wood Roof, Two...
  • Tongue and Groove wood roof protects from the elements
  • Recommended for ages 3 to 11 years old
  • 3-stations provide space for the belt swings and trapeze bar

It’s probably OK to assume that a swing set/playset made by Gorilla is built to take a beating that even a gorilla could dish out. Interestingly, the Gorilla Playsets Nantucket Swing occupies a smaller footprint than others on this list but is still full of fun and possibility. It’s worth a look as your best swing set.

The Nantucket offers three swing positions, one of which can be used for a trapeze bar. It also comes with a smaller wave slide, as well as a free-form open clubhouse –- definitely a place where the kids can take a breather or wait out a rainstorm.

Additional features in the Nantucket Swing Set include a rock wall with climbing rope as well as a separate safe entry ladder to the clubhouse.

Pros

  • 10 separate activities
  • Three swing positions
  • Sturdiness

Cons

  • Cost, not a budget item
  • Assembly – took one customer eight hours to build
  • Inconsistent customer support

swing icon

Step2 Naturally Playful Playhouse Climber & Swing Set Extension

Step2 Naturally Playful Playhouse Climber & Swing Set Extension
  • Climber has roomy deck with balcony railing
  • 5 1/2 foot slide; Adult assembly required
  • Secret playhouse with door and crawl-through portals

Not every parent is up for a neighborhood-sized construction project. That’s not to say they couldn’t do it, but sometimes either the budget or the age of the kids won’t allow them to go big. If you’re in this category, consider the Step2 Naturally Playful Playhouse Climber and Swing Set Extension.

The Naturally Playful Playhouse combination set is made of plastic, allowing it to come together (or apart for moving) reasonably easily. The Playhouse includes two belt-swing positions and a more manageable 5.5-foot slide. This alone makes it a contender for best swing set.

Your kids will enjoy the mystery of a secret below-deck playhouse as well as a ladder that leads to a deck (with a safety balcony railing.) The playhouse offers portals and windows for fun escapes to work out your kids’ fine motor skills.

Pros

  • Easy-to-assemble
  • Lightweight for relocation
  • Appeals to younger children

Cons

  • Assembly directions hard to follow
  • Tight space for kids to maneuver
  • Inconsistent service

swing icon

Backyard Discovery Big Brutus

Backyard Discovery Big Brutus Heavy Duty Metal Swing Set, White &...
  • Easy assembly – Supported by the step-by-step interactive Bilt app
  • Free standing – molded feet with anchors included. No additional purchase necessary for anchoring.
  • Heavy-duty powder coated steel, a-frame construction

Sometimes kids just want to swing. For that, we recommend you consider the Backyard Discovery Big Brutus. (With a name like that, how could you not?)

Big Brutus offers three swing positions with two belt swings, and a trapeze bar included. Additionally, it’s free-standing with molded feet and built-in anchors.

We liked the super durable swing chains. Some kids just want to go high, and these will give you the durability you can trust. The swings themselves are manufactured to be low-maintenance, resisting even some of the harshest conditions.

Big Brutus is rated for kids 36 months to 10 years of age.

Pros

  • Affordability
  • Safe – heavy-duty construction
  • Easy assembly, directions available on the app

Cons

  • Assembly – more than a one-person job
  • Only a swing set

swing icon

Ironkids Challenge 100 Metal Swing Set with Ladder Climber

Ironkids Challenge 100 Metal Swing Set with Ladder Climber and UV...
  • Swinging burns calories and engages muscle groups, particularly hamstrings and quadriceps
  • Monkey Bar -Builds arm strength and helps keep off excess weight through exercise; Also the arms, shoulders and chest...
  • Ladder Climb -Helps grow a kid's sense of balance and co-ordination; Climbing on bars strengthens both arm and leg...

It could be that Big Brutus strips things down too far for you and your family. If so, then consider the Ironkids Challenge 100 Metal Swing Set with Ladder Climber as a candidate for best swing set.

The Ironkids Challenge is mostly focused on swinging but includes a couple of additional features. For example, the set consists of a ladder for climbing, a glider for two-person swinging, and two swing positions.

The set builds in a UV protective sunshade. While it’s not a clubhouse, it’s still a way for the kids to continue enjoying their swing time without melting in the heat.

In addition to the glider and belt swing, the set also comes with a position for a monkey bar.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Sunshade design provides UV protection
  • Multiple activities in a small footprint

Cons

  • Tricky assembly — screws connect inside pipes
  • Inconsistent customer support
  • Unsturdy feel

swing icon

Lifetime 90188 Playset

Lifetime 90188 Playset, Children’s Picnic Table and Bucket Swing...
  • Bundle includes: 1 a-frame playset, 1 children Picnic Table and 1 bucket swing
  • Clubhouse with hardtop roof, 9-Ft. Wavy slide, 1 trapeze bar and 2 belt swings
  • All-weather resistant – will not crack, warp, rot, or splinter

Our last candidate for best swing set is one that offers additional value outside the A-frame that makes your swing set. In addition to swings, the Lifetime 90188 Playset comes with a children’s picnic table and a bucket safety swing. Significantly, for parents on the go, the four-seat picnic table is easily folded for transit to the park or grandma’s house.

The set itself has plenty to keep your children happy. In addition to the two belt swings, there is room for a trapeze bar. Your kids can also escape beneath a clubhouse with a hardtop roof and take a ride down the 9-foot wavy slide.

Lifetime promises that the set will last through all kinds of weather, resisting rot, or warping.

Pros

  • Very sturdy
  • Multiple activities, including a picnic table
  • Accessories available

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Assembly – confusing instructions
  • Requires ladder to install roof

(Bonus) Who needs a swing set to swing?

swing icon

You don’t necessarily need to invest in a full-fledged swing set to give your little ones the thrill of swinging. That’s because sometimes the best moments are made from spur of the moment inspiration — particularly for children at the younger end of the spectrum.

For those little ones, we offer the Little Tikes 2-in-1 Snug ‘n Secure Grow With Me Swing. This is a safety swing with a T-bar that can be made portable — attaching to a sturdy tree branch, for example, or taken to grandma’s for the afternoon.

Notably, one of the nice things about the swing is it can adapt according to the needs of your child. If necessary, you can secure him or her with a T-bar and straps, but you can also remove these as the child gets older.

For less than a family trip to McDonald’s and some ingenuity, you can have instant swing fun.

Swinging and Singing

As we’ve said, the mind of a child, the best swing set is the one you can get to the fastest. But the designs of modern playsets have grown to be highly sophisticated, offering children multiple enjoyable play options.

Determining the best swing set will be a very personal decision because it involves understanding what your child can do and wants to do. It also means having insights into how your child will grow and the ability to envision where your set will fit!

When you come right down to it, the swing set represents a snapshot in the life of your child growing up. Choose for fun, choose for safety, but most of all, choose for the memories it will bring.

ping pong table inside a clean game room

Best Ping Pong Table Reviews

There are all kinds of game tables that you can have in your home. One of the best options, though, is to go with the best ping pong table.

Ping pong tables are fun and cause you to get active. Sure, playing ping pong may not burn as many calories as a full-blown tennis game, but it does work your arms and get you moving.

If you think a ping pong table could be a good addition to your home, then take the time to learn about the best tables available. Read reviews and do your research so that you end up with the best table for your home and your wants.

Consider Your Goals and Your Playing Level

two pairs playing table tennis

Image Source: Unsplash.com

First things first, when choosing the best table for your home, you need to think about your playing level and what your “ping pong goals” are in the future.

If you just want to play ping pong with your family and friends and have fun, then a basic table at an affordable price is all you need. If you’re more serious about table tennis and maybe even want to get into competitive table tennis (yes, that’s a real thing), you’ll probably want a more professional table.

Typically, the more professional a ping pong table is, the more it is going to cost, so also consider your budget as you choose which table is right for you

Ask for Table Dimensions so You Can Plan Accordingly

table tennis paddle and ball on the corner of a ping pong table

Image Source: Pixabay.com

In addition to thinking about the quality and the price of your ping pong table, you should also consider the size of the table.

Obviously, you need a table that you can accommodate size-wise, also bearing in mind that you’ll want plenty of room to move around the table as well since table tennis can get quite active.

Instead of guessing about whether or not a particular table will work for you, always measure exactly how much room space you have for your ping pong table.

Then, keep these measurements with you as you shop. Ask for dimensions of specific tables, and use those figures to determine how well a particular table will fit into your home.

Remember, it’s a lot better to be safe than sorry when it comes to sizing your ping pong table

Look for a Tabletop that is Thick and Strong

game room for table tennis

Image Source: Unsplash.com

One of the easiest ways to determine the quality of your ping pong table and to ensure that you get a good table is to pay careful attention to the thickness of the tabletop.

With ping pong tables, tabletop thickness is one of the simplest but most effective measures of quality.

The very best, most well-made ping pong tables can have tabletop thicknesses of 25mm but as long as your table isn’t thinner than 12mm, it’s not completely flimsy.

Just remember that thickness does matter when ensuring you get a high quality ping pong table.

Think About Portability and Whether it Matters to You

portable table tennis on a patio

Image Source: Unsplash.com

Something else you will want to consider as you shop for a ping pong table is how important portability of the table is to you.

If you plan to leave the table set up in a specific area of your home for as long as you have it, portability probably won’t be that big of a deal for you.

If, on the other hand, you’d like to move the table from one room to the next or you’d like to be able to take it with you when you go visit friends, an easily portable model is probably a better option.

There are fold up options, as well as more lightweight options out there, so you definitely can find something portable. Just remember that, if you’re not careful, portable can often translate to “flimsy” or “low quality,” so make sure, if you need a portable table, that it is also still a good, quality table.

Does the Brand Name Matter When It Comes to the Best Ping Pong Table?

portable ping pong table

Image Source: Wikimedia.org

One final thing that people often want to know when choosing a ping pong table is whether or not the brand name of the table matters.

The short answer to that question is no, not really. Good, quality tables can be made and are made from all kinds of manufacturers of varying popularity.

With that said, though, there are some brands that have developed a name for quality. These include brands such as Butterfly, Joola, Donic, and Stiga.

Your table doesn’t necessarily have to be made by one of those brands to be a great table, but you can’t go wrong with those tables either.

Obviously, you have a lot to think about, but, with some thinking and some effort, you can sort it all out and find the best table to meet your needs.

Featured Image Source: Unsplash.com

Man holding the best inflatable paddling board while his teammates are paddling it on the ocean

Best Inflatable Paddle Board Brands to Be Aware Of

Paddleboards are becoming increasingly popular, likely due to the sudden influx of Instagram influencers enjoying a morning paddle and yoga session in remote destinations. But whether you’re in Bali, Indonesia or North Carolina, there’s nothing better than paddle boarding.

Not only is it a fantastic method for exercising, but it can also help to reduce stress and facilitate relaxation, meditation, and yoga. When combined with a friendly face or a furry pal, paddle boarding quickly becomes the best way to start your mornings. The great thing about this sport it how affordable it is, given that access to most water comes free of charge.

A quality board will last you for years, even if it’s inflatable. The key is to take good care of it, particularly when you’re inflating it or packing it back into your vehicle. Very little damage can occur in the water, but on land, punctures are a real risk that you need to avoid to save yourself money in the long run.

There is an ongoing debate over whether inflatables can match with hard boards. However, for many of us, the convenience, weight, and portability of rubber rather than a hard epoxy material is a huge benefit. For this reason, inflatables are the fastest growing sector in the community.

But what board should you buy? There are a bunch of products to choose from, with an ever increasing number of brands. In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most recognizable companies, what they offer and why you should pick a product from these brands.

How We Chose Our Rankings


Kid standing at the surf board while paddling the best inflatable paddle board

Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay

When we’re comparing brands, it’s important that we consider a wide variety of the different products they offer. To do so, we assess using the following criteria:

  • Size of inventory
  • Quality of products
  • Level of customer support
  • Affordability of products
  • Variety of skill levels

To begin, we look at the reviews that people are leaving online. By doing so, we can get a much wider understanding of what customers think. From there, we begin to narrow down our selection and rank the remaining brands based on the score they receive in each of the categories listed above.

The Best Inflatable Paddle Board Brands


Atoll paddle board

Atoll is thought of by many as one of the leaders in the industry, especially when it comes to inflatables. They aren’t cheap, not by a long shot, but they offer a level of quality and customer service that is nearly unparalleled in this market. For us, Atoll is a company that can be trusted, regardless of which of the products you choose. The same isn’t true for other brands.


Even some of the more recognizable national businesses don’t consistently release top tier products. One model might be exceptional, and the next is disappointing. Atoll is head and shoulders above many competitors, with an intense focus on customer satisfaction, which is what has allowed Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft to excel.


The Atoll 11’ ISUP is the most well-known product that they have released. In our opinion, it’s the best inflatable paddle board. Not only is it durable and stable, but it also offers excellent value for money, despite having a higher price tag than many alternatives.


Being 6-inches deep and 32-inches wide, it’s the ideal size for the vast majority of riders, even those up to 350lbs. It’s hard to know precisely where the sweet spot lies, but it seems that this size would be adequate for a vast array of users.


Typically, the reason why people dislike the size of the board is that it’s either not buoyant enough or too heavy. But being large and yet incredibly light, the Atoll is an all-rounder. It’s made using PVC, and a lightweight aluminum alloy, which makes it 40 percent lighter than similarly sized boards. Therefore, it’s buoyant enough for all, while still being lightweight.


The Atoll comes with everything that you need to get onto the water, including a pump, carry bag, fins, leash, and a paddle. Unlike most boards which require screws to install the fins, it simply clicks into place and screws in tightly with no tools or installation necessary. It should also fit the vast majority of aftermarket fins for greater customization.


Atoll is so confident in their products that they offer a 2-year money-back manufacturer's warranty on their boards. Therefore, if there is a fault in the design, you can send it back and expect a full refund or replacement. Atoll is known for its excellent service, which should give you confidence.

SereneLife paddle board

While Atoll sits at the top of the market, SereneLife is for a different customer base. Rather than focusing entirely on quality, they try to strike the right balance, to sell an affordable product to the middle and low market. At half the price of Atoll products, they aren’t half the quality, making SereneLife excellent value for money, particularly for beginners.


If you’re looking to enter into the sport and aren’t quite sure whether it’s for you, a SereneLife board is a great option. Without a huge financial risk, you can enjoy a quality product that with proper care can last you for years to come. Primarily, the difference between SereneLife and Atoll is in the build. The latter uses more expensive components.


Rather than fabrics and cloth, Atoll uses PVC and lightweight aluminum which is rather expensive. However, it would give you greater rigidity and durability, more like a traditional paddleboard than an inflatable. Whereas SereneLife is more focused on keeping costs down so that they can sell an affordable product to consumers.

Regardless, it’s important to recognize that SereneLife strikes the perfect balance for those on a budget and is one of the best inflatable paddle board brands in the industry. If you can’t afford an Atoll product, SereneLife could be a great fit for you. ISLE and Tower are other alternatives but are once again more expensive and not as good value for money.


Another great thing about SereneLife is that their boards tend to come with a full package of goodies. Just like Atoll, you’ll find that you can get a carry bag, pump, leash, fin, and paddle for a fraction of the price of other brands. When you consider these extra items, the value proposition is even higher and gives you incredible bang for your buck.

iRocker paddle board

Arguably one of the most underappreciated brands in the space, iRocker offers exceptional customer service as well as an undeniably great product. Cheaper than Atoll and more expensive than SereneLife, they offer a middle-tier price point with a premium level of product. While the boards might not be anything special, the accessories are.


Most companies offer terrible pumps and carry bags, whereas iRocker recognizes that these are arguably just as important as the board itself. If customers are frustrated with getting to the water and inflating the board, they won’t use the product. Hence it’s awesome that iRocker prioritizes these smaller features and items.


According to many of the customer reviews we read, iRocker products are amazing. Most customers felt that the boards were great value for money, particularly the 10’6” board and the 11” big daddy, both of which come with a bag of goodies. To us, these are great options for anyone in this price bracket which is serious about enjoying this activity.

ROC paddle board

Similar to SereneLife, ROC is a middle-tier brand that tries to give you value for your money. Their products are consistently priced within a few bucks of SereneLife, making them somewhat interchangeable depending on your preferences. Very broadly, SereneLife tends to have a younger feel to the brand, which ROC is closer to a mountaineering brand image.


In our opinion, ROC is a good brand and can be trusted to sell reliable, durable and decent quality items which will fulfill their promises. According to many of the reviews that we read, customers feel like ROC offers good value, especially given how expensive many paddle boards can be.


ROC doesn’t offer a vast variety of different models, which might be frustrating for some. While higher-end brands tend to have multiple sizes to choose from, particularly for those of varying weights, ROC does not have the same flexibility. But, the generic size they offer is ideal for those up to 275 lbs, although probably not great for those over this weight limit.


On the flip side, they do give you multiple color options of much of their gear. The boards tend to be in blue, black, green and pink, which is a nice twist given that most brands only offer a single color and very occasionally an alternative. However, it would be nice if ROC prioritized their accessories more.


For example, the pump they provide alongside the board is poor. SereneLife uses a double-valve pump system which means that you can inflate with half the work at double the speed. Therefore, it’s a huge advantage. Likewise, a more comfortable and stylish travel bag would be appreciated by those who are hiking to the lake or ocean.

ISLE paddle board

ISLE fits into a weird place in the market. They don’t sell cheap products, but in the mind of many consumers, they struggle to compete with the quality and service of Atoll. The product that they offer isn’t dissimilar to many cheaper alternatives, which might make some less likely to stretch their budget when they could save money with SereneLife.


However, where ISLE sets themselves apart is with their accessories. Unlike ROC which has dull accessories which could be private label, ISLE has branded versions of everything, with unique twists to improve on basic designs. Their leash, for example, uses long coils to make it retractable, rather than a long wire which you can trip over and injure yourself.


Perhaps one of the less tangible downsides to ISLE is the designs that they offer. The products that they retail aren’t particularly beautiful or attractive. They tend to be basic, with large splashes of color rather than unique or exciting designs. For this reason, they seem to have an older customer base when compared to SereneLife and even ROC.


On the flip side, ISLE is a real surf company who prioritizes board quality. If you step onto a ROC board and then an ISLE board, you’ll instantly notice a difference in stability, durability, and rigidity. It’s much closer to an epoxy fiberboard, giving you a solid surface which doesn’t flex or feel soft under your feet. For advanced riders or those in waves, this is a huge plus.

Tower paddle board

Tower is a similar brand to Atoll, with the only obvious difference to customer lying in the designs which each company offers. However, our experience and research lead us to believe that the vast majority of customers would find Atoll to be the premium company. The reason for this is because of their exceptional customer service and dedication to satisfaction.


Tower is known for offering what we call a ‘hard’ experience, which is that the inflatable boards feel like the real thing. You’re never going to create an ISUP that is identical to an epoxy alternative, but Tower might be as close as you’ll get. With tough inner linings, it can inflate to a high PSI and therefore offer greater rigidity than the competition.


Where Tower lets itself down is with the durability of the accessories they combine with the board. Many customers have complained about broken pumps, particularly on the 10’4” ISUP. Given that the pump is critical to the use of an inflatable product, you would imagine that companies would invest more in stocking reliable and durable items.

Buyers Guide: How to Choose a Paddle Board


Man standing at the best inflatable paddling board while holding a paddle

Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

When you’re deciding on a paddleboard, you need to consider the amount you’re willing to spend, your size and the skill level that you possess. More advanced surfers can opt for boards that are much smaller than usual, whereas most people will need a larger board as their body weight increases to stay buoyant.

Arguably, the price is the most significant component. As you increase your budget, the quality of brands also improves. While not always the case, you tend to get the value for what you pay. For those who weight more, it’s particularly important that you invest in a sturdy and thick board that will give you enough balance and buoyancy to enjoy the sport without discomfort.

Featured Image: Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay

a close-up photo of a person checking the sports watch he is wearing

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
1​

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.

2

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.

3

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.

4

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.

5

Nike Plus Sport Watch

product photo of Nika Sport Smart Watch

With features like pace, split time, distance, route and calorie tracking, this watch is specially designed for runners. Its display screen can be personalized to show your desired stats and easily synced to a computer.

It is a great motivation watch with a sleek design.

6

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.

7

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.

8

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.

9

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.

10

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.

 

hockey player about to steal the hockey puck from the other team during a game

Top 8 Hockey Skates List & Comparison

To be a good player on the ice and be at your best performance, having high-quality hockey skates is always the first step.

But finding the best hockey skates for you is quite daunting. Your foot width and size, weight, level of expertise, playing style, budget, and many more important variables come to play. Hockey skates also come in different designs and colors, and this can be really confusing.

Comparison Table

Best Hockey Skates to Buy

close-up photo focused on ice hockey skates during a game

With so many factors to consider, you’ll need some guidance to get the best possible skates. Here are the best hockey skates to consider:

1. Bauer Vaper X400

Bauer Senior Vapor X400 Ice Hockey Skates (Black, 6)
  • Bauer Unisex S17 VAPOR X400 SKATE-SR, Black, 6R

These hockey skates bring with them performance and comfort that justify their high-end price tag. If you’re a professional skater, they’ll boost your maneuverability and speed. And they also come with a TUUK Lightspeed Pro blade holder and Super Stainless steel runner for better acceleration and flexibility. The Bauer Vaper X400s are durable skates with reliable performance.

2. CCM Super Tracks

CCM Unisex SK360J JS SR Player Skates, 11D
  • CCM Unisex SK360J JS SR PLAYER SKATES, , 11D

These skates are stiff through the ankles and skate tops giving you lots of forwarding flex. They come with a mono-frame technology to prevent energy loss. The CCM Super Tracks are very comfortable. And they have an anatomical heel design that makes them asymmetrical and easy to fit any feet size. They also use a memory foam for extra comfort. If you are looking for best hockey skates with explosive power, comfort, and fit, consider the CCM super Track. It will never let you down!

3. Bauer Vapor 1X Skates

These skates guarantee you strength and reliability. And they come with a suede sole to offer extra cushioning for smooth gliding on ice. Its authentic synthetic material makes them lightweight to offer greater flexibility. They are durable and reliable, so you don’t have to worry about regular repairs, maintenance or replacement costs. If you are a regular ice hockey player, consider getting yourself these affordable Bauer skates.

4. Bauer Supreme 1S

These skates provide the ultimate comfort and impeccable fit. From its heel, four-part ankles, instep and forefoot soles, they have a unique design that will seamlessly fit your feet. They also offer plenty of support for your feet with their forefoot wrap. Made of lightweight materials, they guarantee you a long, swift, and hard skating. And they are also incorporated with composite and titanium for durability and strength. Its outsole is made from a perforated composite material that is well-vented for efficient breathability and energy transmission. Its blades and holder construction have extra 3mm height to give you a better offensive angle and tighter turns. And they’re designed with memory foam ankle pads and thermo-formable speed plate footbed for better comfort, durability, control, and balance.

5. Ribcore Pump Skate

These are the lightest skates on the list. They incorporate a pointed design with a narrow forefoot that is suitable for acceleration and implausible motion. And they enhance agility and comfort with their modified quarter package. For stiffness and stability, they have firm carbon fittings on their malleable composite body. Their dual zone liners for great heel locking, moisture management, and durability. Its pump tech ensures your heel and foot is safely secured in place.

6. American Athletic Ice Force

American Ice Force 2.0 Hockey Skate, 7, Black
  • Perfect skates for beginner skaters to intermediate skaters
  • Indoor and Outdoor skates, good for pond hockey
  • Light weight sidewall injection mold giving the skate a custom fit right out of the box

Affordable and simple in design, these skates are made for beginners. However, you can still pull some impressive skills with them. With their wide base and narrow upper, they provide efficient stability. So you don’t have to worry about skidding or falling. It comes with a Cambrelle interior padding making it moisture-resilient and guarantees you the much-needed comfort. And they come in all sizes.

7. Graf PeakSpeed 300

Zerust Hockey Skate Blade Covers Rust Protection and Rust Prevention...
  • Uses a soft absorbent material to keep moisture off of the blades, keeping them rust-free
  • Will also protect your blades from becoming dull and chipped
  • Protect from rust and corrosion for up to 5 years

The Graf PeakSpeed will offer you the ultimate comfort and fit. They are light weight and come with a stay-dry liner (anti-moisture) in their interiors. And they are designed with a replaceable runner Graf Attack and have a symmetrical tongue for extra comfort, control, explosive speed, and acceleration. They are a great bargain for reliability and performance.

8. American Athletic Senior Soft Boot Skates

Men's Cougar Soft Boot Hockey Skate
  • Grey and Black camouflage pattern
  • Soft boot hockey skate for non-competitive ice hockey and recreation
  • Thick foam padding for warmth and comfort

If you are skating for fitness or working on getting back into shape for the next season, get yourself these American Athletic skates. They have a multi-layered construction to support your ankles and Velcro straps to keep your feet in place. And the thick padding construction helps to keep your feet warm and comfortable while on the ice and the steel runner blades provide the much-needed breakaway speed and acceleration for a top-notch performance.

Get a New Pair of Hockey Skates Today!

an ice hockey player wearing a comfortable hockey skates and is about to hit the hockey puck during a game

Whether you are an amateur or professional, these 8 choices are great picks to consider. Remember, your hockey skates will determine your gameplay.

Happy skating!