This thing is crazy...in a good way. Imaginative doesn't even begin to describe it. Who thought, “Let's create a radical, highly modular, multi-use, home and garden apparatus that will revolutionize the way you play, relax, even sleep? PlayBase, that's who.
The product is still in the final stages of development, so all we know is what's on the website, (which we highly recommend you visit to have your mind blown). The idea is that the base can become dozens of cool accessories that are used for fun and exercise and much more. PlayBase appeals to all age groups and will keep pace with your children’s needs as they grow.
What can it do? What can't it do? Start it off as a gyroscope, which is becoming an increasingly popular piece of gym exercise equipment. Then, turn it into a trampoline. The kids will love converting it to a sunken castle to play in outside or indoors. How about making it a play deck, or a sport kit basket? Younger children will love climbing around on the play net, which provides a safe elevated play area. Older children might use it as an improvised goal for frisbee or football. It would make great ball basket.
When it is time to relax, quickly convert it to a floating sun deck or floating bed base where you can experience the sensation of lying on water without getting wet! The deck “floats” thanks to elasticated safety straps that allow limited movement between all three rings. Use it outside for sunbathing or inside as the base for a floating bed. You can turn it into a hammock as well.
When it is time to get active again, it morphs into a climbing net, sports wall to practice on or tennis trainer for solo work. And this is just a taste. There is almost nothing you can't do with the PlayBase, and every transformation transforms your back yard into a magic kingdom.
In baseball nomenclature, Cordskinz was facing an 0-2 count with us. When they first approached us with their product, we weren't sure what to make of it. A rubberized “skin” to apply over the cord of earbuds to keep them tangle-free? Initially, we questioned whether this was a sports product, until we thought of all the joggers and walkers and gym-goers who wear earbuds. Of course, they tangle. That's just what they do. Take them out of a gym bag and it is a requirement to spend 5 minutes untangling them. OK, we said, we'll take a look.
They sent them over and, quickly it was strike two. But not because of anything they did wrong. What comes in the package are two very thin rubber tubes and a plastic device called a “skinner.” It is simple, the instructions say, to pull the tubing through the skinner and over and around the earbud wires. Well, I couldn't get it to work and nearly gave up. But as I've been doing a lot lately, I asked my teenage daughter to have a look. My eyes recently have begun refusing to properly view very small things. Sure enough, in no time, she was able to thread the tube through the small hole and it somehow, magically, engulfed the tiny wire going to the earphones. Here is a video to show you how it should be done. I tried the next one and, while I still didn't do it quite as quickly as on the video, it wasn't difficult. I'm sure with a few more tries I'd have it down.
So, to extend the metaphor, after having two strikes, Cordskinz hit it out of the park. I've always despised tangled cords, can't understand how they can just be laying in a drawer or on a desk, and knot themselves up with no one around. And now, this pair will never have that problem. The first thing I did after the installation was try to tangle them. I flopped them around, swung them in the air, dropped them on the floor, bunched them up in my hand...every time they spring back without the slightest intertwining. And, with all of the color choices available, giving your buds a Cordskinz makes them look cool to boot.
So it turns out that you don't have to have a ton of moving parts, batteries, complicated assembly or costly materials to make a great product that will positively influence millions of people. All it takes is a problem that needs to be solved, a great idea and a little ingenuity. Sometimes a home run comes when you least expect it.
We call ourselves Sports Product Review, but we often wonder if the moniker, "Sports Company Review" might not also be appropriate. Because, while we seek out and find cool innovative products, often that few have heard of, frequently these products come from companies that we learn to admire and respect greatly. One such company is JUGS Sports.
We've reviewed several of their products from pitching machines to pop-up nets to batting tees and they are all industry-leading in quality, ease of use and innovation. If you are a parent with an aspiring baseball or softball player, a youth league coach, or run a high school baseball or softball program a product you should know about is the JUGS Lite-Flite Machine.
The Lite-Flite throws soft polyballs, the advantages of which are many. Because they are soft, younger players will be more prone to swing without fear of getting hit by a hard ball. This increased confidence and helps them improve mechanics since they're not bailing out on every pitch.
Like everything JUGS, you can count on quick setup. They know how busy you are and that you don't have time for tools and sixteen pages of instructions. After assembly it will stand in grass, on dirt, or any hard surface. It's“select-a-pitch” feature allows you to change quickly from curve balls, fastballs and sliders in seconds, throwing consistent strikes all the while. And you can simulate either a right or left-handed thrower.
It is versatile, quickly changing from baseball to softball, making it perfect for the family with boys and girls who all play on the diamond, or high school programs wanting to maximize their budget with a machine both teams can share. Maybe best of all, it can even be used indoors, in a gymnasium so that schools in cold-weather states can hit year-round.
As a former Little League coach, I wish I'd had this all the way back in the T-ball days. It works for practicing fly balls and defensive drills - again, without the fear of a bloody nose. And when you think about running a practice on the small field, it's always tough to get in enough BP, especially with hard balls that could be hit errantly and cause a safety issue. But with the Lite-Flight, you can add another hitting station without worrying about injury. Because it simulates speeds up to 85 mph, it can be used from age 6 all the way through high school, on a real field, the gym, or just in the backyard.
The folks at JUGS have been in your shoes and now they design products to make your life easier and your players better. Now that spring is finally here, JUGS Sports should be the first, and possibly last, stop on your shopping list.
Source: JUGS Sports
We've done several reviews over the years of the XProTex line of protective batting gloves. Their mission is to create a high-quality, durable glove that adds the extra feature of protection to wearers. Because you get what you pay for, their most protective, fully padded gloves are a little bit on the pricey side. But why wouldn't they be? They are constructed to last longer and they provide an element of safety you can't put a price on. No one wants to lose half their season because a fastball got them on the wrist.
But now, XProTex has a glove that should take the market by storm. While those wanting to be fully protected will still want to go with their elite models, they've introduced the DINGR, which provides the basics in protection along with a price that can't be beat.
They sent a pair to my son who plays pro ball. After the second day in the cage I asked him how he liked them and he said they were, as of that moment, his favorite pair he's ever had. They fit like they were made for him and the tacky palm stayed intact, making his grip firm and secure even after lots of hacks. And if you're into the way your gloves look, these things will have you drooling. With colors like Electric Blue and Flo Orange, the minute you stand in the box, you'll stand out.
We know the folks at XProTex and they will never make a cheap product. Everything of theirs we've tried is top-of-the-line. But now, with their new DINGRs, you may want to order quickly before you'll have to wait in line.
Earlier, we reviewed the Three Piece Tee, an innovative batting training tool that helps encourage balance in a baseball or softball swing. The Three Piece Tee is an excellent way to help young and intermediate players alike increase power and consistency in their swings. All we had to show you the first time was a photo, which probably doesn't do the device justice. Take a look at this video, featuring UCLA National Champion and former Olympian, Andrea Duran to get a better idea of why this is something your team or player should have.
Source: Three Piece Tee