When getting into a sport, there may come a point when you need to buy your own equipment. But just which equipment should you buy? Below are 5 factors to help you choose the right gear:
First, you need to set yourself a budget. The price of equipment can vary a lot – brand new professional-level equipment will usually cost the most, while used entry-level equipment will cost the least.
Some sports are likely to be more expensive than others. For example, you can get into yoga with nothing more than a yoga mat. A sport like sailing, meanwhile, requires buying an entire boat. Most people end up hiring or sharing a boat until they get to a professional level as there’s often no point investing in one until then.
Equipment needs to be the right size and weight to match your body. This is important for performance and safety (it’s imperative that items like helmets are the right size – if they’re too loose, they won’t protect you). If you’re buying equipment for a child, it’s worth finding equipment targeted at their age. As they grow, you may need to invest in new equipment. This is something to keep an eye on.
In many sports, you can buy different types of equipment aimed at different performance levels. There’s no need to splurge on professional equipment if you’re a beginner. Unless you’re playing at a professional level, you won’t notice the difference between a basic tennis racket and professional tennis racket. Equipment aimed at beginners may even be easier and safer to use in some cases. For example, a pro-level bicycle may be more tricky to handle than an entry-level bike.
Some official sports bodies may require you to buy a specific brand. If you’re not taking part in a sport that demands this, you have the freedom to choose from various different brands – but which should you choose?
It’s worth looking into the reputation of different brands to find something that is recommended by other users. For example, when choosing a ping pong table, it’s worth spending time looking at table tennis reviews. Don’t just focus on the most well-known brands as there are many lesser known brands out there selling top quality gear and it’s generally a lot cheaper than top brands.
If you’re thinking of buying used equipment, you’ll need to consider the condition. If equipment is heavily used and worn, there may be a greater chance of it breaking in the near future. Certain old or worn equipment may even be unsafe to use and is worth steering clear of.
Try to always buy used equipment in person. When buying online, stick to local selling sites so that you can pick up equipment in person and carefully inspect the condition. It’s possible to find a lot of used equipment online being sold cheaply that is still in practically new condition, which is the type of equipment you should be aiming for.
Like many other hobbies, playing sports involves some monetary investment. Shop smart with the tips above as you pick out your gear!
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