You can already pick up a pair of sneakers to help you monitor your performance on the court, but if you want a full picture of your game, you need feedback from your ball, as well. The 94Fifty Bluetooth Basketball ($200) is designed to fill that void, giving you instant feedback on every dribble and shot while keeping its size, weight, and spin within regulations. An internal battery offers up to 8 hours of connectivity, and recharges wirelessly via Qi technology, while a dedicated app keeps track of workout and competition history for up to 4 players, and also offers built-in workouts, QuickTrain shot and ball-handling analyzers, and 50 different competition modes. Shipping in October.
We like products that solve problems — and the Soccket Energy-Harnessing Soccer Ball ($100 and up) solves more than just one. Made from a custom, durable, deflation-proof, and waterproof EVA foam, this plaything actually houses an internal mechanism that takes the kinetic energy from movement and stores it in a battery, which can be used to drive an included single-bulb LED lamp for over three days. In addition to giving you a new gadget and possibly encouraging you to go outside and move about to use it — both good things — purchasing one will also help the company to hire more people, purchase more tools and equipment, automate parts of the assembly process, and expand our manufacturing facility so they can deliver more of the balls to people without light. [Scouted by Alex]
And here you thought the Pump was only good for basketball shoes. Reebok Pump 20K Ice Hockey Skates ($800) uses this classic tech to lock in your ankles and heels, while also offering the Dynamic Support System for optimum flexibility and stiffness, a Skate Lock feature with dual lacing zones, internal, heat-moldable memory foams, a carbon composite outsole, and a felt tongue with a lace bite protector. All of which is designed to maximize power transmission and enhance your stride, which hopefully translates in to more points.
Some athletic gizmos measure steps. Others measure your leaping ability, or speed, or heart rate. But only the Under Armour Armour39 ($150) promises to measure your willpower. Or rather, it measures the effort you put forth during an activity by using an algorithm that takes into account your activity's duration, body position, heart rate, intensity, and calories burned, then considers it in light of your individual profile. How does it get all this info? From a sensor that straps to your chest and transmits the data to your smartphone — and you can expect to start checking out your own stats when it ships in March.
Tired of needing a lift to get you back up the hill each time you want to ride down, or worse yet, having to start only where the lift will take you? Take a look at Splitsticks (€1,350; roughly $1,800). This splitboarding system lets you snowboard down the hill and then split the board in half to hike back up it. In addition to the multiple hike modes, the 'sticks also offers a ski mode that lets you skate on flat sections, and a traditionally cambered tail, floaty nose, and good flex pattern when you're ready to ride.
To be any closer to the ground, you'd need to be barefoot. Weighing in at just 10.6 ounces, the new Adidas Adizero Tour Golf Shoes ($180) are incredibly light, and thanks to the anatomical Sprintframe outsole that measures just 1.2mm, they put you as close to the ground as possible. They also feature a Sprintweb internal TPU layer to give added support during lateral movements and a new microfiber leather Sprintskin offering water resistance and durability. Available later this month in four colorways.
If 2013 is turning out to be the year of 4K for TVs, perhaps it's the year of adjustable lofts for drivers. The Nike VR S Covert Driver ($300-$400) is the latest big stick we've seen offering it, alongside features like NexCOR face technology for a hot spot that's 45 percent larger and high-speed cavity back technology — used in drivers for the first time — that puts more weight at the heel and toe of the club for enhanced forgiveness and greater distance. Available as a standard (460cc) or tour (430cc) model.
Used to be, you had to make a lot of choices when ordering your golf clubs, selecting things like loft and face angle sometimes before you even got a chance to hit the club. With the TaylorMade R1 Driver ($400), all you really need to worry about is the flex of the shaft. Thanks to an adjustable loft sleeve, the R1 gives you twelve options between 8º and 12º to find the one that's right for you, as well as two shot shape weights, and a face angle sole plate that give you the ability to select between seven options of neutral/square, open, or closed. Once all that's dialed in, the new graphic on the crown will help you get the face squared up and aligned correctly, so all you need to worry about is smacking the ball down the fairway. Arriving February 1.
How do you make a super-popular snow sport and cycling helmet even better? Add headphones, of course. The POC Receptor Bug Communication Helmet (2,200 SEK; roughly $330) doesn't just sport any old cans — it has Beats by Dr. Dre drivers built into the neck roll. Other features include an in-line remote and mic, ventilated double-shell construction, and an EPS liner. Unlike the headphones, though, it's only available in black or white.
You don't have to be a pro athlete to end up with aching joints — just one wrong step during a pickup basketball game can mean days of knee aggravation. When that happens, it's time for Hyperice ($80-$130). This recovery device uses ice compression to treat pain, soreness, and speed up recovery time. Specific packs are available for the back, knee, and shoulder, but if you're anything like us, you'll be ordering up a utility model for use on your ankles, elbows, feet, hands, and — most importantly — those achy wrists.
If the colors on your TV look a little bold during the NBA's Christmas Day schedule, don't be alarmed — it's just these Adidas Big Color NBA Jerseys ($90). Slated to be worn by all ten teams playing on Dec. 25, these special unis feature a monochromatic color scheme with solid color logos, names, and numbers framed minimally with an accent color. The shimmer-finished top for your favorite baller will be available November 15.
Who needs touch-friendly gloves when you can wear the Oakley Airwave Goggle (£500; roughly $800). Apart from sporting Oakley's best goggle technologies, the Airwave also features GPS and Bluetooth to let you record and view speed, jump analytics, and other stats, and connects to you iPhone via an app to control your music, view text messages, and manage incoming calls. All of which lets you keep your phone where it belongs: in your pocket.