Unless you're playing the same course over, and over, and over — and where's the fun in that? — odds are you could use some help making sure you've got just the right club for your next shot. The Bushnell Tour V3 Rangefinder ($300) can certainly provide some. Featuring a one-hand-friendly design and 5x magnification, it uses the company's Pin Seeker and Jolt technologies to can find targets as close as 10 yards or as far away as 1,000, and can give you flag positions up to 300 yards away within a single yard of accuracy. It's also legal for tournament play, so you won't have to worry about having to give it up when you need it the most.
Go straight from the board to the greens in the Nike Koston 2 IT ($TBA). Designed in collaboration with pro skateboarder Eric Koston, it feautres an black leather upper adapted from his signature shoe, Integrated Traction technology for stable footing, a Swingtip outsole, Lunarlon inserts for the utmost comfort, and flexible spikes that react to the pressure your foot puts on the Lunarlon, moving accordingly to provide traction. Available in very limited numbers at select Nike SB and Nike Golf retailers.
Boxing and MMA training is one of the best workouts you can get — but not everyone has the time and/or fortitude to head to the local gym. The Nexersys Boxing System ($3,000-$7,000) lets you get all the benefits of a personal trainer without the face-to-face interaction, thanks to a integrated monitor and seven strike pads with accelerometers to measure your performance. The home unit offers a 19" screen and a base that should be stable for most normal folk, while the Pro version features a 21" monitor and a base that's built for more extreme — think Anderson Silva — use.
They're not the most traditional-looking shoes around, but when you're confidently making your way along the trail, you're not going to mind. These Under Armour FTHR Shield TRC Storm Trail Running Shoes ($120) are designed to give you complete stability even when you're running your hardest, thanks to features like mountain bike-inspired micro-lugs, CompFit ankle construction for a lock-down fit, MicroG cushioning to help keep you comfortable over rough terrain, and P2i technology in the upper that works to keep your feet dry while allowing them to breathe.
Recapture that feeling of playing catch in the backyard with these Leather Head Baseball Gloves ($225). Available in four styles — including a catcher's mitt — these classic gloves are the result of a collaboration of some long-time sports writers and players, and, like Leather Head's original football that put the company on the map, is made by veteran craftsmen using the highest-quality materials available. Pre-order now for delivery in about four weeks, or just in time for the start of your amateur league.
Anyone who's ever played football, baseball, soccer, golf, rugby, or any other sport where your shoes have spikes knows the annoyance of the clickety-clack sound your cleats make when you leave the field. Cleatskins ($20-$25) aim to eliminate that. These ingenious add-ons are made from a flexible compression-molded rubber and are designed to slip over your existing cleats, providing safety for you and protection for carpets, floors, and nearby eardrums.
One of the biggest problems amateur golfers have when trying to improve is a lack of accurate performance data. Game Golf ($190) aims to fix that. This Yves Behar-designed set includes a device that you clip to your waist that offers GPS, NFC, compass, accelerometer, and a gyrometer, and a set of club tags, one for each club in your bag. When you hit the course, simply tap the club tag against the device and go — the system will do the rest, recording every club used, swing made, yard covered, scoring, number of putts, greens in regulation, driving accuracy, and more, all of which gets loaded onto your smartphone or computer and into a social app that lets you analyze your own performance and compare it against both your friends and some of the best golfers in the world.
Skateboards don't need outlandish graphics or big logos to be cool. Take District Skateboards ($120-$215) for example. Handmade in downtown L.A., each of their boards features a custom shape that's been tested and honed by the craftsmen themselves, is made using the most eco-friendly processes available, and boasts a handmade reclaimed barn wood veneer and maple core. Just don't order one to act as a cool display piece for your living space — as the company founders say, they're made for riding.
Protect your board and the environment at the same time with Rareform Surfboard Bags ($120-$175). Crafted from upcycled vinyl, each bag is unique, with features like UV-, heat-, water-, and mildew-resistant tarpaulin, a handy top zipper, a quarter inch of foam padding, a mesh interior pocket for small gear, and a 600D polyester nose protector. It also offers a removable shoulder strap, so whether you'd riding, walking, or driving, it's easy to transport to and from the shore.
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.