Category: PRODUCT BUYING TIPS

Gift Ideas for Sporty People

Do you have a family member or friend who you are struggling to find a Christmas gift for?

Firstly, do they love sport? Secondly, Do they love a particular sport?

We’ve put together a list of different sports and gift ideas that anyone who plays these sports or wants to start playing would love!

Ps. No harm treating yourself either 😉

Gifts for the Netballer

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  • Netball Stand: At Sportsmart we stock a range of different Netball stands in varying prices, so there is something to suit everyone.
  • Netballs: We stock Mitre and Gilbert Netballs in both size 4 & 5 in a range of different colours and patterns.
  • Netball shoes: Why not treat yourself and purchase from our wide range of Netball shoes, or buy a voucher and let them choose their own.

Gifts for the Soccer Player

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  • Supporter wear: We have a wide range of team supporter wear including: AC Milan, Arsenal FC, Socceroos, Borussia Dortmund, Celtic, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, FC Bayern Munich, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Melbourne Victory, PSG, Real Madrid and Tottenham.
  • Soccer Accessories: We have a wide range of training items available, from: Soccer goals, practice inflatable defence man and markers.
  • Protective wear: Does your child need new shinguard’s or gloves? We’ve got you covered!
  • Soccer balls:  Everyone loves a new ball for Christmas. We stock a range of brands (Mitre, adidas and Nike), colours patterns and all sizes (3, 4 and 5).

Gifts for the Tennis Player

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  • Tennis Balls: Somehow these always end up lost or missing so you can never have enough If you play. Also if you’re heading to the Australian Open, save some time and money and pick yourself up a giant novelty tennis ball for all your signatures!
  • Tennis Racquets: For kids we have Junior racquets for UNDER $50 so these make an awesome gift if your child wants to start playing. We also have a variety of different priced senior racquets as well for the more advanced player.
  • Bags: If you have a few tennis players in the family these bags can be great for storage, or if you have a little pro on your hands then these will make life easier when rushing them off to practice (a gift for the kids or for you? 😉)

Gifts for the Basketballer

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  • BBall Systems:  These make amazing family gifts. We stock a massive range from entry level to top of the range, so we really do have something for everyone. Will your child be the next LeBron James?
  • Basketball Shoes: We have a wide range of junior and senior shoes (and1 and Nike). Spoil yourself or give them a gift card to get your own.
  • Basketballs: We stock a variety of different basketballs suited to both indoor and outdoor playing. Different sizes are available to suit all ages.

 Gifts for the Cricketer

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  • Outdoor Cricket sets: Heading into summer means a lot of time spent at the beach…who doesn’t love beach cricket? Perfect for kids of all ages and even for dads of all ages.
  • Cricket packages: we have some incredible junior cricket packages available that covers just about everything the little cricketer will need for the season.
  • BBL gear: With BBL starting soon grab your supporter wear and even get playing yourself with our awesome light up stumps and balls.
  • Playing Gear: We have everything from bats, padding, bags, clothing and balls. No matter what age or size we’ve got your cricketer covered this Christmas.

How to choose a table tennis table

As Christmas approaches many of you may be wondering what activity the whole family can enjoy over Christmas and the holiday period. A table tennis table is the perfect gift, it’s active, fun, and the whole family can play it regardless of skill level.

This blog hopes to answer any questions you may have before purchasing your very own table. If we’ve missed anything feel free to give our online team a call: (03) 9091 5024.

Indoor or Outdoor table?

The first thing you need to consider is whether you will be using your table tennis table indoors or outdoors, as these are two different types of tables.

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Indoor or Outdoor?

Indoor tables are obviously for indoor use only, this is because they are not made to handle outdoor elements. Moisture and sunlight can cause damage to your table tennis table.

If the table is to be used outdoors and subjected to moisture and sunlight then we highly recommend getting an outdoor table tennis table.

At Sportsmart we stock a variety of options in both so once you’ve decided where it will be used we can help you choose the rest.

 What do the different table thicknesses mean?

We have a variety of different thicknesses available at Sportsmart. The different thickness in the top and frame give a truer and more consistent bounce. ITTF approved tables are 22mm or greater.

Indoor Table thickness available: 12mm, 15mm, 18mm, 22mm and 25mm.

Outdoor table thickness available: 4mm to 9mm

Frame thickness’ will vary according to the Table top.

Can you use an indoor table outside?

It is best to use indoor table tennis tables indoors and vice versa. Indoor tables are made from Medium density fiberboard (MDF) and does not survive well when exposed to moisture and sunlight. Whereas outdoor tables are usually made from a mixture of plastic, resin or fiberglass.

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Cornilleau Outdoor Table

Do they come in a variety of colors? 

Standard competition colour in Victoria is a dark blue top. There are no rules or regulations on colors of the tops for leisure use. We stock tables with blue and black tops.

Will my table fold and store easily.

Most tables available from Sportsmart come in 2 pieces and can be folded for compact and easy storage. This also allows the table to

be used in the playback position for solo practice. Cornilleau outdoor tables come as one piece, however fold away very easily.

 If I purchase a table from Sportsmart will it come with accessories?

The majority of tables don’t come with accessories as there are so many different nets and racquets available and everyone has different needs. However, any table tennis purchase at Sportsmart entitles you to 25% off all table tennis accessories. We have a large range of bats, balls and nets to help you get started and our staff would be more than willing to discuss the best accessories for you based on your needs and table purchase (excludes online purchases).

 What is regulation sizes?

Sportsmart table tennis tables are all of regulation size.

SIZE (IN MM) Length: 2740 mm Width: 1525 mm Height: 760 mm Net Height: 152.5 mm

SIZE (IN FEET) Length: 9.0 ft. Width: 5.0 ft. Height: 2.5 ft.

Net Height: 0.5 ft.

SIZES (IN INCHES) Length: 107.87 inches Width: 60.0 inches Height: 29.92 inches Net Height: 6.0 inches

Will the Table Tennis Table fit in my car?

The table will not fit into a car. It will need to be transported in a Trailer, Ute, or large van.

It can be placed on roof racks of a car providing there is adequate tie downs available.

We have more than 10 table tennis models to choose from, to suit a variety of needs and preferences. Brands that we stock include Stiga, Alliance, Summit and Cornilleau table tennis tables.

Still have more questions about choosing a table tennis table? Feel free to visit us in store at our 3 store locations Sportsmart Moorabbin, Sportsmart Northcote & Sportsmart Kilsyth and one of our friendly and enthusiastic staff members they will be able to assist you with your needs.

Click here to view our range of Table Tennis Tables.

How to choose a tennis racquet.

With so many different tennis racquets out there, all of which at first glance look the same. How do you know which to choose? Unless you play competitive tennis, you probably have no idea. This guide is here to help._MG_1900-1

As with almost anything, do not simply pick a tennis racquet based on the colour or because your favourite player uses that tennis racquet. This may have detrimental effects on your performance.

If you are new to the game, then we recommend a lightweight racquet with a larger head. The larger head provides more power and is more forgiving (allowing for mistakes, if the ball doesn’t connect with the center or, ‘sweet spot’).

More experienced players however, may want to invest in a heavier tennis racquet with a smaller, mid size head, as this allows more power & control.

Other important things to consider when choosing a tennis racquet include:

Balance: This is the weight distribution of a tennis racquet. A light-headed racquet, or one that is evenly balanced, enables beginners to have more control without the risk of fatigue or getting tennis elbow.

Weight: The weight of a tennis racquet determines how quickly your arm will become fatigued. Lightweight (or approx. 250-300g) is easier to swing but lacks fast, hard power shots. Determining which weight tennis racquet to get depends on your physical ability as well as your training/ability.

Grip: Choosing the wrong grip size is the fastest way to end up with wrist, elbow or shoulder injuries. The best way to determine which size grip you need is to test a tennis racquet out (which you can do at Sportsmart).

Frame: Tennis racquets are rated for stiffness from 10-100. A flexible tennis racquet frame (rated under 69), results in less power. However, a stiff frame (rated over 69) can result in greater arm strain. Frame stiffness comes down to a matter of preference.

Strings: A racquet with a string configuration of 16×19 (open string pattern) allows for more give and spin, but 232608_Radical PRO_Detail 2also tend to snap more. A racquet with an 18×20 (closed string pattern) is a lot denser, therefore less prone to snapping. This configuration is more suitable for a player who has great ball control and power.

These are the main features to look out for. However, it is worth also considering if the tennis racquet comes with interchangeable grommets. Which are designed for advanced players who want to mix up their game. Lastly, Graphene XT technology, is a special frame material that makes a racquet lighter, without losing stiffness or power.

Shop our range here

New HEAD Tennis Racquets in time for Christmas!

Introducing the new Graphene Touch Radical Tennis Racquets, now available at Sportsmart.

The new Head RADICAL series contains the ground-breaking Graphene Touch technology which aids in shock absorption and creates an incredible feel. Making it one of the most versatile tennis racquets you can buy

 

RADICAL PRO

Recommended by none other than Andy Murray, the RADICAL PRO tennis racquet comes with a brand-new design, the innovative Graphene Touch technology, a heavier frame and increased power.

BEAM:  20/23/21mm
HEAD SIZE: 630cm2 / 98 in2
WEIGHT (Unstrung):  310g / 10.9oz

 

RADICAL MP

The RADICAL MP comes with the innovative Graphene Touch technology, this racquet would be perfect for the all-court advanced player who needs the perfect combination of power and handling.

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BEAM: 20/23/21mm
HEAD SIZE: 630cm2 / 98 in2
WEIGHT (unstrung): 295g / 10.4oz

 

RADICAL S

The RADICAL S comes with a much bigger head size compared to the previous 2 models, making this racquet perfect for ambitious recreational players.

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BEAM: 22/25/23mm
HEAD SIZE: 660cm2 / 102 in2
WEIGHT (unstrung): 280g / 9.9oz

 

RADICAL LITE

Are you transitioning from junior to adult? Then the RADICAL LITE would be a perfect first racquet. This racquet provides increased maneuverability and easy playability to those intermediate – beginner club players.

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BEAM: 22/25/23mm
HEAD SIZE: 660cm2 / 102 in2
WEIGHT (unstrung): 260g / 9.2oz

Still not convinced? Why not try before you buy on our demo wall?

 

 

How to prepare your cricket bat

At Sportsmart, we offer bat preparation for you:

New natural-faced cricket bats need to be oiled and knocked in before play. The deluxe cricket bat preparation will eliminate hours of manual preparation. Please allow 4-5 business days for this service to be completed.*

If you prefer to do your own bat prep, follow the steps below:

Cricket bats are made primarily from two different types of wood. English Willow or Kashmir Willow. Both are very soft types of wood, and require preparation before they can be used to hit a cricket ball.83154_500

There are four stages involved in preparing your cricket bat:

1. Pressing, 2. Oiling, 3. Knocking In, 4. Playing In.

Stage 1: Pressing

Pressing the bat is important for two reasons. 1) It strengthens the fibers in the bat, and 2) Saves hours off the knocking in process. Some brands already do this stage for you, i.e. Kookaburra (KPP), but it doesn’t hurt to do a little bit more yourself.

Most bat prepping is done using a machine. Or using a mallet to knock it in, however this takes twice as long.

Stage 2: Oiling

Oiling helps reduce the chance that your cricket bat will crack or split. Oiling your bat helps to maintain moisture levels within the bat.

How:

  • Using Linseed Oil, apply a light coat to the face, edge, toe and back of the blade – avoid the stickers and splice area. Allow to dry for 24 hours. Then, using a very fine sand paper (+180), give your cricket bat a light sanding. Reapply a light coat to the face.
  • 2-3 coats should be sufficient. Allow each coat to dry fully (it’s best to dry your cricket bat in a slightly elevated horizontal position).

Stage 3: Knocking In

Knocking-in is probably the most vital stage in the preparation process. This process compresses the fibers in the wood, protecting the bat against ball impact. If done correctly, this can increase a cricket bat’s performance and lifespan.

How:

  • Using a special bat mallet or an old quality cricket ball, carefully and repeatedly strike the bat (increasing the force gradually) in any area where one may hit the ball. The edges and toe should not be struck directly at right-angles to the blade as this can cause damage.
  • This stage should take a minimum of 6 hours (every bat varies).
  • Finally, using an old quality cricket ball, hit some short catches. If the seam, on the ball, leaves a mark, go back and continue knocking in. Allow at least another hour for this stage.

Stage 4: Playing In

This stage is important to determine if you have knocked-in the bat well enough.

How:

  • At this stage, the cricket bat can be used in nets with a soft ball. If the ball contact leaves a mark on the bat, go back and repeat the knocking in process for another hour until no marks are left on the bat.

*Our services should not be considered as full preparation – you still need to work your bat in against an old ball prior to use against new hard balls.

Shop our range of Cricket bats in store and online here.

How to choose basketball shoes

Basketball can be played on many different surfaces; from synthetic indoor flooring to outdoor, concrete and asphalt. It is important that whatever basketball shoes you pick can withstand the surface that you typically play on. If you play basketball indoors, it is also worth checking if there are any rules about the type of shoe you can use on an indoor court.

In addition to the basketball court surface, the level you are playing at is another big factor to consider when purchasing basketball shoes. A casual player may opt for a better value option than a highly competitive player who plays multiple times a week. Other important aspects to consider when purchasing your new basketball sbball shoeshoes include:

  1. Cushioning and stability

Basketball requires many start­–stop movements along with quick direction changes, running and jumping. A basketball shoe that hasn’t got enough cushioning can result in strong jolts in your legs. For the sake of your joints, it is important to ensure you have a correct fitting shoe, as well as shoes with enough cushioning, stability and grip to ensure you don’t hurt yourself or jar your joints. A good quality shoe with a strong grip is perfect for basketbaIMG_20170908_155507_005ll, to ensure you don’t slip over with any sudden direction changes.

  1. Fitting

It is important to ensure the fitting of basketball shoes is perfect. Again, with the amount of movement involved in basketball it is easy to roll an ankle. One way to help prevent this is to ensure your feet are snug in your shoes, to prevent any extra movement within the shoes. This also helps to prevent blisters due to rubbing. A better fitting basketball shoe will also provide more comfort and overall support.

  1. Breathability

It is inevitable that your feet will get hot and sweat, no matter what sport you play. To reduce this effect, choose good-quality, breathable basketball sbball wallhoes. They will be more comfortable and better fitting, with less pressure on your feet.

Sportsmart stocks a range of basketball shoes from Adidas, AND1 and Nike. Visit us in store for expert advice and fitting. We offer free shipping on footwear purchases over $50 when buying online.

How to choose a basketball

So, we’ve helped you pick a basketball system…now how to pick the perfect ball. After all, you can’t play basketball without a basketball!

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When looking for a basketball, be aware that there are different sizes available for different age groups. The following is a standard basketball size guide:

  • For ages 3+ (Male & Female): Size 3
  • For ages 5-8 (Male & Female): Size 5
  • For ages 9–12 (Male Only): Size 6
  • Women aged 9+: Size 6
  • Men aged 13+: Size 7

These sizes fit consistently and comfortably across the different age groups.

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Additionally, depending on whether you are playing indoor or outdoor basketball, you may want a ball with a different texture. Outdoor balls will need to be tougher than indoor to last well on the concrete courts. Some people simply prefer the feel of one type of ball over the other, in which case it is always best to pick what feels most comfortable to you.

Sportsmart stocks a variety of basketballs from Molten, Spalding and Wilson. Visit us in store or look online to see our range.