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The 13 Best Snorkel Masks for 2019

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Category : Outdoors , Snorkel

One of the most exhilarating vacations for couples, families, and marine life enthusiasts is snorkeling. It has been popular for years and is the motivation of tourism across the tropical world. Whether you are a local to the beach, or you are looking to hop on a plane and explore the world beyond, there are many variables that can determine the success and fun of your trip. The beauty of snorkeling is to be found in the views underneath the water. This is why it is very important to maximize the quality, and comfort of your views. Alas, you have the importance of the snorkeling mask guide! There are so many factors that make up snorkeling masks, and it is very important to understand what will best fit your needs.
Top Snorkel Mask Comparison Chart

PictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?

1. Seaview 180 degree GoPro Compatible Snorkel Mask
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

2. Dive IT Dry Snorkel Mask
$$Check Price on Amazon

3. YONGQI LJR Full Face Snorkel Mask
$$$Check Price on Amazon

4. Scubapro Frameless Mini Mask
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

5. Phantom Aquatics Velocity Scuba Snorkeling Mask Snorkel Set
$Check Price on Amazon

6. Cressi Scuba Diving Snorkeling Freediving Mask Snorkel Set
$Check Price on Amazon

7. Aqua Sphere Kayenne Swim Goggle, Made in Italy
$$Check Price on Amazon

8. PROMATE Snorkeling Scuba Dive DRY Snorkel PURGE Mask Gear Set
$Check Price on Amazon

9. North Scout Mask
$$Check Price on Amazon

10. Ocean Reef Aria Full Face Snorkel Mask
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

11. Atomic ARC Subframe
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

12. Cressi Panoramic Wide View Mask Dry Snorkel Set
$$Check Price on Amazon

13. LUOOV Full Face Snorkeling Mask $$Check Price on Amazon

Buying Guide
The first important consideration is going to be fit, a ubiquitous concern amongst many pieces of worn equipment. The sizing of a snorkeling mask is going to be determined by measuring your face form the bridge of your nose down to the chin. Once you get this measurement, you also need to keep in mind that everyone has a uniquely shaped face. The centerpiece of snorkel mask sizing is the difference in the “skirt”. For some snorkeling terminology 101, the skirt is the rubber portion of the mask that makes contact with your face. In general practice, the wider the skirt is, the more contact the mask will have with your face. The more contact with your skin, the more likely it will be to make a good seal. Of course, there are other factors that will adjust how tightly sealed the mask is to your face. At the top of the additional variable list is the materials the mask is made of. A mask made of plastic is likely to be inexpensive, however, they come with many undesireable consequences. A plastic skirt is less flexible and may form a poor seal on your face, also durability of the mask is definitely something to be worried about with a plastic mask. On the upper scale of the table, a mask made from silicone will be much more durable, fit better, and offer more stretch in the mask.
Once you have perfected your fit, there is also quite a collection of colors and styles to consider. The masks are generally separated into two categories, clear and colored, usually dark-colored. A dark-colored mask may look nice in design, but it might make you feel tunnel-visioned. A clear mask on the other hand, will allow for a wider view. In addition to the traditional styles, a whole new snorkel mask model is soaring in popularity and gaining momentum. The full face masks! These masks will definitely make you look like you just landed from planet Zebulon, but they do offer a unique fitting style that can be very interesting and advantageous. One of the most irritating issues with snorkeling masks is leaking and fogging with the masks. The most important measure you can take to assure you won’t have to deal with these annoyances is buying the right skirt and having a well-fitted snorkeling mask. Other masks have special features such as vision-enhancing coatings, tinting to deal with certain places that might deal with things like heavy sunlight.

Best Snorkel Mask Reviews
Seaview 180 degree GoPro Compatible Snorkel Mask
Panoramic Full Face Design and preventing Gag Reflex with Tubeless Design
One of the most interesting snorkeling masks to enter the market. First glance at this mask will leave you bewildered, is this even a snorkeling mask? Full-face masks are a growing trend. The full 180-degree design makes it much easier to not only breathe underwater but breathe comfortably. There is definitely an argument for the new face mask technology. Blowing in out of the same air vent can be very uncomfortable. This mask is priced a little higher than stereotypical snorkeling masks, however, it also offers great compatibility for GoPro camera integration. If you are looking to document your trip with little difficulty, this is a great choice for you. It has a nice modern look and comes in 5 different colorways, panoramic white paired with either teal, navy blue/grey, blue, plum/grey, and pink. This mask also has a very useful anti-fog design. The breathing chamber is engineered to be apart from the main viewing window. This will help diversify the channels and eliminate the crossover of airflow that creates dreaded fogging in snorkeling masks! It is recommended to have a clean-shaven face for this mask to increase contact between mask and skin. This may not be a good choice for you if you are rocking a big grizzly adams beard! Another major benefit to this mask and an attribute to all full-face masks is that you will not have to worry about holding your head at an awkward angle while taking in the underwater sights!
Pros

Full Face Mask
GoPro Adapted
Design
Breathing Chamber

Cons

Pricy
Full Face Mask might look a little ridiculous in a casual setting

Dive IT Dry Snorkel Mask
The Dive IT brand has gathered its engineers to fight against one of the biggest problems snorkeling masks frequently face, fogging. They have successfully trailed their mask to run for 90 hours straight without fogging! This is quite the feat and although we are all a little confused about how you would even go about testing a mask for 90 straight hours, the claim is certainly a testament to their confidence. This mask features a nice clear mask design, although it does have a black outline layer that may make you feel like you have restricted tunnel vision. It has a very sturdy and thick breathing tube. It is also a great mask for fitting purposes. It comes equipped with dual positioned buckles to adjust the helmet to your unique head shape. The Dive IT brand also offers a nice 2 years warranty over this mask. This is a definitely a great model if you are looking for a traditional mask that fights annoying fogging during use.
Pros

Combat Fogging
Price
Warranty

Cons

Tunnel vision
Breathing tube functionality

 
YONGQI LJR Full Face Snorkel Mask 
Another model featuring the revolutionary full-face design, the YONGQI LJR Full Face Snorkel Mask.  Honestly, I don’t even know how to pronounce that, but I can tell you it’s a replacement for the no longer available October Moon 2nd Generation mask.  October Moon Second Generation (AKA Yongqi LJR) separates themselves from the pack with a nice design, very thick breathing mask, adjustable tools, and a unique breathing system.  This mask a great for beginners who are just learning and figuring out how to snorkel. One of the most amazing features of this mask is the breathing system. It will actually block air and water from coming in the top of the tube if you choose to dive underwater. This feature is game-changing and it’s best for those looking to integrate more swimming fun into the experience. It can also be useful for divers with this additional functionality. The design itself does look a little bulky and this mask may be a little heavy on the face in comparison to some other models. Like the Seaview model, this mask also comes packaged with a GoPro mount that can allow you to easily create great videos and memories that last a lifetime. Some have complained that the plastic materials in this mask give off a troubling smell. This mask also comes with a carrying bag and extra washer as a treat from the October Moon company to you. In Conclusion, this mask is a great price for a full face mask and has a very awesome breathing tube.
Pros

Breathing Tube
GoPro Mount
Full Face Mask

Cons

Heavy
Pricy
Not great for free diving below 2-3 meters

Scubapro Frameless Mini Mask
This mask is specially designed for self-assembly. If you have vision difficulty and require prescription lenses, this is a great strategy for snorkel mask purchase. This mask is designed for small to medium face size and is prided on their exceptional field of vision. The skirt of this mask is made of high-quality silicone materials that will ensure durability and avoid the risk of odor from plastic materials. One drawback to this mask is the black surrounding color that may make you feel tunnel visioned or claustrophobic in the water. However, this mask is a great route for those looking to further customize their lens and add in a special lens. This does not come with a breathing tube.
Pros

Customizable for prescription lenses

Cons

Really not a lot of snorkeling purposed functionality

Phantom Aquatics Velocity Scuba Snorkeling Mask Snorkel Set
If you are looking for a traditional mask, this is probably going to be the pair for you. The Phantom Aquatics Velocity has a rare combination of low price and high durability potential. The mask is made of crystal silicon, the highest grade silicone available. This will not only create a comfortable and robust seal between your face and the mask, but premium materials like this are less likely to break or be deformed in any way. Another great feature of this mask is that the color system is extremely diverse and customizable. There are over 11 colorways to choose from. This mask is known for having a great fit. It has an ergonomic design that is specially made to accommodate flexibility matching unique head shapes.
Pros

Durability, material quality
Avoid leaking
Price

Cons

Antiquated breathing tube design

Cressi Scuba Diving Snorkeling Freediving Mask Snorkel Set
Competing with the Phantom Aquatics model, the Cressi traditional snorkel set has many exciting qualities as well. This mask is a little more expensive than the Phantom Aquatics model, but it comes with a really sleek design with shiny silicone coating the frame of the mask. The breathing tube also comes with technology to eliminate water entry when submerged. This can be a game-changing feature for many snorkelers. This mask is especially known for being lightweight and opting to avoid having a bulky snorkel mask that will weigh you down and harm your experience. This mask also comes highly customizable in 9 colors.
Pros

Brand Name
Design
Durability
Breathing tube, (rare amongst traditional masks)

Aqua Sphere Kayenne Swim Goggle, Made in Italy
Sometimes, the best snorkeling masks are those that are lightweight and reduce clunkiness. The Aqua Sphere Kayenne goggles are a great option for those who do not want to have to drag around a big mask on their face while swimming. These goggles are specially designed for snorkeling because they offer a wider viewing mask. They are also very customizable, offering 18 colorways. They offer a 180-degree viewing area and also have a great system on the sides of the mask for adjusting the fit. These are a great pair of goggles, however, they do not have any type of underwater breathing support. However, these can be a great option for those who aren’t comfortable with the traditional snorkeling experiences and would rather have a simple pair of goggles with a wider view. This wouldn’t make sense if the decision is purely motivated by pricing as this pair of goggles is only slightly less expensive on average than typical snorkel mask sets.
Pros

Lightweight
Great viewing space

Cons

Does not come with breathing tube
Pricy

PROMATE Snorkeling Scuba Dive DRY Snorkel PURGE Mask Gear Set
FIrst glance at this mask may instantly turn you away from this mask. However, despite a somewhat clunky looking design, this mask offers great features to enhance your snorkeling experience. The mask is centered around it’s silicone purge valve for easy draining. This feature has received nothing but praise for its unmatched ability to keep water out of the breathing valve as you diving really deep into the water, (even depths as massive as 20-30 feet). If you have been snorkeling before you are familiar with one of the most annoying things to happen to snorkelers, getting a disgusting mouth full of water when you were opting for air. This can be especially annoying if you are snorkeling in salt water. This mask comes at a great price and is made of high quality materials to ensure its durability. The PROMATE mask is also highly customizable with an amazing 13 colorways released.
Pros

Avoid Fogging
Breathing Tube Functionality
Customizable

Cons

Clunky design

North Scout Mask
If your name is James Bond and you are diving underneath enemy lines, this is definitely the hi-tech mask you are going to need to accomplish your mission. This mask is the ultimate creation of snorkel mask technology. The full-face design comes with an advanced silicone facial lining to secure the connection between face and mask and ensure that no leaking happens while using this mask. This mask also comes with the latest and greatest technology in the breathing tube, allowing for diving into the water without water getting into the tub or mask. This mask abandons the traditional concept of the mouthpiece altogether, trying to emulate almost an astronaut type of breathing apparatus. This mask is one of the top premium models in the snorkeling mask market. This mask is great for professional use or snorkeling/diving with a group of experienced veterans, but it might look a little over the top if you bring this bad boy out on a family snorkeling or swimming trip.
Pros

Full Face Mask
Breathing system

Cons

Price
Will definitely look over the top in a casual setting

Ocean Reef Aria Full Face Snorkel Mask
One of the priciest options for snorkeling mask, the ocean reef mask features a full face mask with a very sleek design and clear mask for optimal viewing area. The model is especially focused on easy and natural breathing within the space of the face mask. There are a lot of sizing options with this mask and it comes customizable in 10 colorways. It is very lightweight for a full face mask, only weighing about 2 pounds. This mask is also optimized to keep water from getting into the mask when you dive underneath the water. There is a plastic ball bearing that closes as you dive. When you reach the surface it will strategically clear and allow you to breathe again in the mask so you don’t have to necessarily come all the way out of the water to get another breath of air. This mask is known for being very comfortable as well. The design puts pressure on the right parts of your face to maximize the seal and keep water from leaking into the mask.
Pros

Lightweight
Full Face Mask
Comfortable
Viewing Area

Cons

Price

Atomic ARC Subframe
The ARC subframe mask not only looks incredible but features amazing lens technology that will dramatically enhance your snorkeling experience. The lens coating is designed to increase light transmission and reduce glare to make it easier to take in the amazing views underwater. It has a very wide frame to make sure that you do not feel tunnel visioned, even in the black frame model. It comes in two colorways and both feature a really bad-ass look integrating the signature lens. This mask is also very well known for its resistance to leaking. This mask is a little pricey, but it is one of the absolute best in terms of fitting, quality materials fortified for durability, and awesome lens technology.
Pros

Lens Coating, sun resistant
Wide frame

Cons

No breathing tube
Expensive

Cressi Panoramic Wide View Mask Dry Snorkel Set
Another Model from the Italian company, the panoramic wide view mask and dry snorkel set is the complete package for those looking for a traditional mask. Like many other traditional models, it comes highly customizable with 12 different color options. It also features a very wide masks to enhance visibility and reduce feeling tunnel visioned in the mask. This design makes it easier to choose a black frame that might help reduce glare from a particularly bright sun. The lenses are designed to be extremely durable with a polycarbonate frame. This mask has a unique feature that separates it from other traditional masks with quick adjust mask strap buckles. The mask has a very high quality squirt that should optimize fit between skirt and mask, eliminating dreaded leaking. The straps should also really help with this. The adjustable mask also alleviates difficulty fitting the breathing tube. This mask is a little pricier than some of its competitors, but it comes with great fitting and design.
Pros

Fitting
Full Face Mask
Color Options

Cons

Price
Polycarbonate vs. Silicone material

LUOOV Full Face Snorkeling Mask 
This full face mask model is one of the most affordable masks on the market. This mask is very unique because of its pricing and features. It does not sacrifice the dominant features of full face masks that would usually account for its lower price. It features a full face fitting, and breathing apparatus allows for actually diving under water. The breathing tube will prevent water from getting into your mouth and face when you dive underwater. This mask also comes in four colorways with a signature all black style, and then blue, green, and pink each with a white frame. It is a surface mask and is not suitable for freediving. In conclusion, this mask is a great price and offers all the bonafide features of full face snorkel masks.
Pros

Full face mask
Fitting
Lightweight

 
Final Thoughts & Recommendations
In Conclusion, few markets are changing as rapidly as snorkeling masks. The full face mask design has swapped search results for snorkeling masks. The full face mask is a great design that eliminates a lot of the problems faced by traditional snorkeling masks. The main benefit is to avoid the breathing apparatus that sometimes leaves you taking a big gulp of ocean water. The mask also future a full 180-degree view that will make you feel like an astronaut underwater. Finally, this mask is optimized to reduce leaking. The full face seal is very secure and will ensure that water does not leak into your mask, few things burn like salt water in your eyes. However, this mask does have some potential risks associated with it. For one, you will probably look like you are taking your snorkeling trip a little too seriously if you are wearing it for more casual use such as at the beach, pool, or family snorkeling trip. Additionally, if there is a defect in the face seal or breathing apparatus, you could risk having the entire mask being filled up with water. Many of these masks are also designed with the intention of using the camera phenomenon GoPro during trips. Document your trip and create amazing videos!
With the pros and cons of the full face mask reviewed, the traditional style mask certainly hasn’t been booted out of relevancy yet. The traditional mask features a more casual design that gets the job done advertised by snorkeling masks. These masks also allow for easy customization of the lens to be more accommodating to those who would prefer a prescription lens instead of trying to wear glasses or contact lenses underneath their masks. When looking for traditional masks, you will find immense variation. It is especially important to prioritize the quality of the materials. If you can find a silicone mask or even polypropylene, it will probably be much more durable than a plastic model. Additionally, you should look into the functionality of the breathing tube. Some models are adapted to allow you to dive underwater, and this is really so important it could easily be your top priority to look for. The coloring of the mask is also going to be very important. A clear mask will help you feel more at one with the underwater world, whereas a black framed mask may make you feel tunnel visioned. However, a black mask may be a more appealing visual design. In conclusion, which model you chose will really depend on your priorities. Are you a casual snorkeler? Are you aspiring for professional activity in the underwater world? No matter who you are, make sure you avoid water leaking into the mask/breathing tube, poor quality materials, as well as the unique features to each mask that makes them stand out. Good luck with your decision, I hope this guide helped you!
 

The post The 13 Best Snorkel Masks for 2019 appeared first on Sport Consumer.


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9 Best Running Socks for 2019 : Breathability & Blister Protection

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Category : Running , Socks

All runners and athlete have something in common whether they know it or not, the need for quality socks.  It’s important to find the best socks for your needs as they can prevent common running issues such as sweaty feet and blisters.
As a rule, blisters are created in an environment of heat, moisture, and friction.  Our goal (and yours) is to remove those factors as much as possible.  To that end, cotton is not our friend since it does not remove moisture from your feet or skin.  Synthetics are best since they wick moisture away from your skin.  It’s okay to have a bit of cotton if you like, but as long as the synthetic content is over 50% (preferably over 90%) then you’re good to go.
Seams/Thickness/Arch Support
The fewer the seams the better since a higher seam count also increases friction.  As far as thickness of your sock is concerned, that’s a bit of personal preference, but in general, a thinner sock increases ventilation which decreases moisture.  We suggest finding a sock with higher thread counts and cushioning around the heel of your foot and the ball (front).  We strongly encourage you to look for a sock with arch support as well.  Comfort is king in this game, and any sock that is not a great fit or doesn’t support as well as it should, is off our list!
Also, please take note that a good running sock will be left/right foot specific as well!
Top Running Socks Comparison Chart

PictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?

1. ASICS Kayano Classic Low Cut Socks$$$Check Price on Amazon

2. Drymax Sports Running hyper thin socks
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

3. Thorlo Thick Cushion Running Crew Socks
$$Check Price on Amazon

4. Saucony Performance Socks
$$Check Price on Amazon

5. Balega Hidden Comfort Tab Running Sock
$$Check Price on Amazon

6. Thirty48 Running Socks
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

7. Wrightsock Anti Blister Double Layer Stride Running Socks
$Check Price on Amazon

8. Falke Running Socks
$$$Check Price on Amazon

9. Feetures! High Performance Ultra Light Socks
$$Check Price on Amazon

Best Running Socks Reviews
 
ASICS Kayano Classic Low Cut Socks

These socks have great fabric technology to provide the optimal sock for running, whether it is long distances or short distance. They are mainly made of nylon, micron nylon, nanoglide nylon, and a little bit of spandex. These socks have a very unique design and in the middle of the foot they offer a lace pad cushioning that should reduce stress as the shoe bends and the runner plants his/her foot. Reviewers of the ASICS Kayano low cut socks are very happy about how the sock fits in respect to the size. This is very important for people who become irritated with socks not fitting true to their shoe size as advertised. The compression style of the socks is very unique and can really help people with flat feet with the aid of the unique cushioning in the middle of the sock. Strategically designed to integrate variable texture and padding, weaved throughout the sock is sure to make this sock one of the most comfortable running socks to own. Some have complained that these are a little pricey as each sale only sells a single pair. However, these are great performance socks and are very lightweight, with a great fit to shoe size.
 

 
Drymax Sports Running hyper thin socks

These socks put a major emphasis on breathability, with a side focus in comfort. The technology of the shoe predominantly features breathable mesh stripe vents ranging from just above the toe all the way up to the ankle. The enhanced breathability of these socks is sure to help keep your shoes fresh and avoid that dreaded foot odor that can come from running and exercising at such a high intensity. The Drymax socks also feature a unique vented arch band, this works to cool the foot as well as provide stability, holding the sock in place to prevent from annoyingly loose fitting socks that can cause problems while exercising. The heel is also designed to improve the fit of the sock in the shoe with the Drymax “Y Heel”. Reviewers rave about how light these socks feel and the thin texture of them. Most socks have extra cushioning to avoid flat feet, but these shoes sacrifice that in favor of breathability and lightweight. These socks may not be great for those who are suffering from shin splints or other various running restricting injuries. However, these are very lightweight and breathable. One detrimental side effect of the thin nature of these socks is that they can be ripped very easily. This means that these socks are not very durable and one especially hard workout or any workout that consists of heavy plant and turns could destroy these socks and render them completely useless. As all sock owners know nothing is more guaranteed to graveyard a sock than a big hole in them. All in all, these socks are very lightweight and are priced great, they have the same price as many other high performance running socks, however they usually come packaged with three socks, whereas most running socks only offer one sock.
 

 
Thorlo Thick Cushion Running Crew Socks

Widely viewed as the optimal winter sock, these socks are the leader in cushion with double thick soles that especially help runners that have to routinely face brutally harsh winters or other extreme circumstances of cold. Many women users rave about the fit of these shoes and that they avoid the dreaded “ear” corner deficiencies found in many unisex running socks. These socks are best for softness, fit, and feel. Some of the problems that people have with these socks is that after numerous washings they tend to loose their stretching and become very stiff socks. Many people have complained that they do not hold up well after the first time washing them. it might be best advised to seek alternative ways of washing these socks than the traditional washer and dryer combination. In Conclusion, Thorlo is a great brand known for providing thick cushion socks which can help cold feet during the winter or provide additional ankle support for those with weaker ankles or those who simply appreciate having the extra security.
 

 
Saucony Performance Socks

These socks have a very smooth aesthetic featuring a dominant black colorway with a unique neon glow branding. These socks are predominately made of polyester, which is a notably durable material, and it also uniquely features rubber and spandex. These socks are immensely popular and also come at a great value, you can usually get about 6 socks for the price of one of most performance socks. Users love the breathability of these socks, many people report that these socks help them avoid the dreaded foot sweat that can become so deterring and detrimental to workout passions. Many may worry that synthetic socks like this are slippery and have very little grip in the shoes, but most reviewers rave about the grip the sock has inside the shoe and their surprise to notice this feature. On the negative end of the wavelength, some people have complained about the sizing of the sock. The Saucony is known for having great padding, amazing affordability, although it does not have an upper echelon status in arch support.
 

 
Balega Hidden Comfort Tab Running Sock

The Balega Athletic Socks have a sleek design that is designed to optimize two very important factors in running socks, breathability and structure. The socks are not only supportive and comfortable, but they also are very durable. These socks will greatly reduce your chance of getting blisters, and the Balega Hidden Comfort Running socks will do exactly what they advertise in the name, comfort and breathability.
 

 
Thirty48 Running Socks

These socks feature a cushioned low cut style that will fit well with any running shoes. It has a very unique design with a septennial octagon pattern on the sides of the sock. It also features a divergent colorway aesthetic with the crew of the sock, base, and heel. These socks are not known for being thinner or lightweight, but they are very comfortable and it is thicker in the right areas such as the balls of the foot and heel. The thicker nature on the heel is likely to help prevent heavy users from aggregating blisters on their feet. There is thinner material used in the arch and top of the foot to diversify the portfolio of running sock characteristics and offer a more breathable and versatile running sock. Many people have positively reviewed the design of the sock. However, some feel that they have terrible durability. This can be very alarming as these running socks can be somewhat pricey. Many of these socks have displayed problems with washing machines, and this sock is no exception. Some report that after washing the materials rapidly deteriorate and the socks become fragile and the softness dissipates altogether. These socks also have had reported problems with the dreaded holes in socks. All in all, the fit and feel of the sock has been widely positively reviewed, however, these socks are unlikely to be on top of anybody’s list in respect to their durability.
 

 
Wrightsock Anti Blister Double Layer Stride Running Socks

These socks are best known for being very soft. They are made up two layers that meet at the toe and color. These socks are designed to give the comfort benefits of wearing two socks, packaged in one sock. These are some of the best socks to buy in order to avoid blisters and also have a comfortable pair of socks. If you are a runner who does many miles, avoiding blisters with a sock like the Wrightsock anti-blister double layer stride running socks will be very important for you. The material is made of cotton blend, unfortunately, they can be kind of pricey as each order usually only comes with one pair of socks. The design may feel somewhat bland, although the design of a performance sock may not matter to most as it is under the shoe and not visible anyways.
 

 
Falke Running Socks

The Falke Running socks come in many different varieties with different targets for running shoe performance. There is the Falke Ru3, Falke Ru4, Falke Ru4 short, lightweight, and Falke Ru stabilizing. The Falke Ru can be very pricey for a single pair of socks but they are amongst the best in terms of high-quality material that will establish comfort on the ankles and dramatically reduce the risk of getting an ankle sprain. It features a two-layer sole construction that will guarantee a perfect fit in running shoes. They are also great socks for the winter as they are thick and very well insulated. The stabilizers are arguably the best socks on the market in regards to the ankle stability they provide, however, they are at the top of the price list.
 

 
Feetures! High Performance Ultra Light Socks

These ankle length socks are very affordably and include a unique ventilating fabric design to other performance socks mentioned. The Feetures ultra light socks have two panels, on just under the collar and a symmetric alignment above the toe. These two strips are designed to add breathability to the sock. They also are designed to incorporate difference between right and left feet. They offer heel cushioning and arch support as well. These socks are affordable and great for runners who are just beginning to get into performance socks. They are the top of the line in price and breathability. The Feetures! socks will greatly help with friction and reduce blisters. This is a great sock if you are seeking a moisture wicking product. Some have complaints are thicker than advertised. The Ultra light headline tag may be somewhat misleading as these socks are a little thick in the places without ventilation strips.
 

 
Darn Tough Vermont Merino Wool Ultra-light Cushion Athletic Socks

If the name isn’t enough to sell you on the toughness of this sock, a quick glance at these socks will scream durability. The sock is thick in the right places, especially the toe, heel, and collar. These socks are a cross between ultra light and very supportive socks. They are made of Merino Wool and Nylon with a 6% spandex. This is more spandex than performance socks usually incorporate into their material. Although they are thick, they offer breathability in the middle of the sock. This strategic design maximizes comfort and breathability. These socks are pretty expensive, but most things that are expensive tend to be longer lasting and the Darn Tough athletic socks are no exception. These socks are tight around the ankle, and despite the Darn Tough branding, they are not invincible to all situations.
 

 
Running Sock Buying Guide
Performance Running Socks are one of the most competitive markets out there, which leaves us with plenty of options to chose from. Here are some of the most important traits of socks to review before making a purchase:
Blister Protection
Few things can deter the ambition of a runner more than acquiring blisters after hard workouts. If you are annoyed with blisters in your shoes, or simply want to get insurance that you never have to deal with this, you should consider buying socks that are specifically designed to be blister repellant and will keep your heels and feet as good as new.
Winter Weather
If you are a running junkie, odds are you can’t quite get the satisfaction of a good run on a treadmill or indoor facility. Running outside can be great, when the weather permits it. If you are faced with brutal winters and hate the cold, you should look at the cushioning of the socks and which pairs are specifically engineered to resist cold winters and keep you running!
Breathability, (Odor Beaters)
The breathability of a sock can cure many problems. For one, having proper ventilation will greatly help reduce fatigue you may face while running. By letting your foot breathe instead of trapping the heat inside, your body will better maintain homeostasis and avoid overheating that results in detrimental fatigue. Another consequences of a lack of breathability is the odor that will accumulate in the socks. Trapped in unbreathable fabric and whilst pushing yourself to the limit during exercise, your feet will sweat a lot. It is important to have breathability to avoid odorous socks.
Lightweight
If you are seeking performance socks, odds are you are looking to cut down on your times and feel, lighter in your shoes. Having a lightweight pair of socks can be very beneficial as you run miles and miles because you will not have to suffer the burden of carrying heavy feet with every stride. There are many lightweight models of performance socks as “lightweight” tends to be one of the most coveted keywords in sock seekers. However, keep in mind the more lightweight it is, the less durable it is likely to be as well.
Comfortable
Comfortability may come somewhat hand in hand with socks designed to endure winters. But comfortable socks can cover an eclectic range of meanings. Wether comfortable means lightweight to you or great insulation and cushioning. Visualize yourself using the socks when you are purchasing them and decide if you think they would be comfortable for you to wear. Uncomfortable socks will only hurt your chances of reaching your goals and completely obliterate your satisfaction with your performance sock decision.
Fit
Everybody hates wearing clothes that don’t fit them and your socks are no different. Socks that do not fit well can annoyingly wrap around the heel or foot. Some socks fit according to shoe size, whereas others are immensely different from their sizing. It is important to look at the reviews of previous customers to see how the sock fits and what sizing is best for you. These performance running socks are customized for optimal performance and the wrong sizing could greatly affect the quality of their design. It also may be important to make sure that the brand of socks has a mirror design for left and right editions of the sock.
Durability
Many pairs of high performance running socks can come packaged with a hefty price tag. It is important that your investment is not wasted and can last you a long time. Everybody who has ever owned a pair of socks in their lifetime, which I hope I hope is everyone, knows how detrimental getting a hole in your sock can be to the lifespan of that sock. It is important to find socks that are in it for the long haul and are not easily torn or damaged by extreme circumstance.
Affordability
At first glance the pricing of these socks may look very similar, however, many editions offer a 3 pack or more of their socks whereas others only offer 1 pair. It is important to not only look at the price when looking for performance running socks, but also consider the number of socks you are receiving in the purchase.
 

 
Conclusion & Recommendations

In Conclusion, there are many performance running socks on the market right now, and there are almost as many factors to look at when deciding which running sock is best for you. Wether you prioritize lightweight, comfort, anti-blisters, etc. it is important to understand the combinations that these socks have and the weakness they possess as well. The ASICS Kayano Classic low cut socks combine lightweight and great fit. The Drymax Sports Running Hyper thin socks are known for breathability and comfort. The Throlo Thick Cushion Running Crew Socks are currently the best socks for winter enduring, also providing double thick soles and great fitting to shoe size. Saucony Performance Socks have a smooth aesthetic with a unique neon glow branding as well as great padding in the sock. The Balega Hidden Comfort Tab Running socks also feature a sleek design, they protect against blisters, and they offer a great combination of comfort and breathability. Thirty48 Running socks are known for lightweight and great fit for shoe size. The Wrightsock Anti Blister Double Layer stride running socks are optimized for exactly what the title says, anti blisters and cold weather. The Falke Running socks feature a stabilizer edition which are the best socks for additional ankle stability. The Features! High Performance Ultra Light Socks add breathability, heel cushioning, and thickness to their already unique brand name. The Darn Tough Vermont Merino Wool provides exactly what you’d expect, ultimate durability and great comfort.
There are many different performance socks to choose from, and they each have a set of focused features that they are known for. Prioritize what you are looking for in your running socks and hopefully this guide has helped you make a better decision, good luck and thanks for reading!
 

 

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Best Instant Pop-Up Tents for Camping

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When it comes to tents, there’s no shortage of variety and quantity from which to choose.  There’s a dizzying array of pop-ups online for beach shelters, 1 or 2 person wilderness canoe excursions or family camping at a park.  If you’re not totally familiar with what a pop-up tent is, I’d be thrilled to fill you in.  Essentially, it is a tent which can be put up in (ready for it?) less than 2 seconds.  Actually, I’m sure my tent goes up in 1 second, but it’s tough to tell!  Oh well, who’s keeping time anyway right?!
I should mention that there are a couple different categories of “pop-up” tents.  I should probably call them “instant” tents.  Overall, there are your conventional tents which take 5-10 minutes to set up.  Then there is an “instant” pitch tent which usually takes about 1 minute to set up, and finally, the “pop-up” tent which takes about 1 second.  Please note, that when we refer to the “1-second” assembly time, that refers to the main structure being open and ready to crawl into.  However, that 1 second does not include the additional 60 seconds you’ll probably need to install the pegs around the exterior perimeter.
How Do They Work?
A pop-up tent is made with reinforcement rods which form the structure of the tent, and they get twisted and folded into a circular shape which is then put into a zipped round bag which acts as a backpack for easy carrying.  To open the tent, you merely throw it into the air (yes, it’s literally that simple) and the reinforcement rods which have a tension (ie. spring-loaded) are released to take the shape of the tent.  It’s a very cool concept and a real time/effort saving invention to be sure.  However, they are not without their limitations.
Pros
There’s no question that the extreme convenience of a pop-up tent is very tantalizing, and many campers fall prey to that allure each year!  (well that sounded bad – like we don’t like them, but we do!).  The price point is also another consideration.  Prices range from bargain basement prices (ie. can’t get a lower price in any tent) to the very high end (like $500 for a 2-person model).  Often they fall right in between the super-cheap tents and the higher-end mountaineering shelters.
Cons
As you may have guessed, for every good thing, there has to be something negative to balance the issue.  Well, you’d be right!  Some of the overall negative issues surrounding pop-up tents are;
1 – Their storage shape and size are usually bigger overall and less compact than a non-pop-up model.
2 – Their rain fly is short and does not cover the entire tent, so it would not be suitable or useful for very heavy or prolonged rainfall.  I haven’t seen any options for a rain fly that does cover the entire tent on all sides right to the ground.  That’s the big negative, and it’s the only reason I don’t use my pop-up on long, multi-day wilderness canoe outings.
With all this said, let’s look at some of the top options you can find online today – for a DECENT price!
What to Look For
It’s worth mentioning that most tents will have a UV coating on the fabric (which is typically polyester or nylon.  All the tents we reviewed have some form of waterproof coating and most have a UV coating.  There are lots of details beyond our reviews that you can find on Amazon, so feel free to follow our links to continue your research!  Look for features like portability, durability, weather-resistance, storage, price and warranties.
Top 5 Pop-Up Tent Reviews
 
#5 – Coleman Pop-Up (4 Person)
Coleman Pop Up Tent
Coleman is, of course, an iconic and classic name in outdoor gear so it would be hard for us to leave it out of our favorites.  We like the 4-person model since most 2-person models of the 1-second pop-up variety are notoriously small for 2 actual people with normal sleeping bags and some gear.  Let’s take a look at some specs for this tent.  It features taped floor seams for maximum protection from water, two storage pockets for gear and a multi-position rainfly.  The 4-person model is 9′ 2″ long, 6′ 6″ wide and 3′ 4″ tall in the center.  It’s made with inverted seams, which means the actual sewn seam is located INSIDE the tent to prevent water from sneaking into the need holes of the stitching.  It also has a zipper cuff made of weather-resistant fabric to add to the rain-resistant qualities.  Overall, buyers of this tent were quite happy, other than a few who came to realize that sizing was a bit tight for the advertised number of people!
Pros

Excellent Price
Performs well in the rain
Super fast setup
Great Brand

Cons

A tad bit small for the number of people listed (a 2-person tent is more suitable for 1 person)
No rainfly that extends to the ground on all sides
Does not fold into a compact shape like a small fire log – instead, it folds to a 2-1/2 foot circular disc which can be awkward for some

 

 
#4 – AYAMAYA 3-4 Person Pop-Up
AYAMAYA 3-4 Person Camping Tent
There’s no hiding the fact that this tent is made in China, but really, which ones are not?!  Even some of the higher end tents that appear to have no connection to China and are not even available on Amazon are made in China!  We care more about how well the tent is constructed and how long it will last.
We like the 1-second setup scenario as usual, and we also appreciated that there is some flexibility (and honesty) in the allowance for “3 to 4 people”.  I guess it depends how big your “people” are!  This tent has more ventilation than most (windows or screens on all 4 sides).    Once again we see a decent quality tent with waterproof, taped seams and durable zippers.  It has an integrated “Oxford groundsheet” (which is really a floor) but it’s made with 4000MM fabric and the 3000MM waterproof fabric roof.  The manufacturing process did not include any toxic chemicals which means there is NO SMELL!  That’s kind of different I’d say!
You can turn your window coverings (flaps) into a bit of a rainfly by using the included cords to pull them out to shed the rain.  Overall, this is a decent choice for the price.  Remember, we’re not giving you ABSOLUTE “best” options here.  We ARE giving you the best options for the price (ie. “VALUE”).  If you want the absolute best, you can snag a tent for $500 or more that has better features …. which you may not even need!  Maybe! 🙂
Pros

Great Price
Good looks
Good construction and weather “resistance”

Cons

Not for extreme weather
Made in China (we thought we’d throw that in just to make our Pros/Cons list look more balanced – in fact most tents of any brand are made in China)

 

 
#3 – Toogh Automatic Setup (4 Person)
Toogh 4 Person instant Camping Tent
Here’ another good offering from our Chinese friends!  Once again, we care less about where it’s made, and more about its quality, longevity and overall value.  This tent has a very good dose of all 3 of those qualities.  It’s made with 100% Polyester fabric and a rainfly.  It’s not a 1-second setup, but rather, a 60-second model.  However, the construction of the 60-second design (as opposed to the 1-second design) allows for a more portable storage shape/size.  Toogh claims 24-hour customer support, but we have to be honest and say we did not test that because we did not actually purchase this tent under our name (so we likely would not be given support).
Within the hexagonal shape is a useable rectangular (sleeping) space of 81 inches long and 71 inches wide and 50 inches tall.  The size is ideal for 2 adults and 2 children rather than 4 large adults!  However, it can hold 6 people comfortably as long as they are not actually lying down and sleeping.  Can you say board games!?   However, the whole package weighs 8lbs.
Pros

Great-looking design
Super tall for comfort (not quite adult standing height)
24-hour customer support
Fast setup

Cons

Rainfly is small and does not cover the entire tent
Heavy

 

 
#2 – Zumit Pop-Up (3-4 Person)
ZUMIT 3-4 Person Instant Tent
 
The Zumit is another pretty looking tent (in my opinion) with a great set of specs.  Like others on our list, it has a 190T Polyester PU coated fabric which is high-density for maximum waterproof resistance.  It has lots of ventilation and it’s the design we’re very familiar with since it’s the 1-second opening model.  The dimensions are 110 x 78 x 47 inches and the 3000 mm fabric is certainly adequate for protection from the elements in all but the harshest environments.  It even fits a queen-sized air mattress.  The weight is 8lbs.
The one thing we really liked about this tent is that it has something the others (lower on our list) did not have and we REALLY like this.  It comes with a front and back porch option!  You read that correctly!  It has integrated awnings that really make the tent feel substantial and offers you a whole new dimension in weather protection.  This is one feature I miss on my own pop-up tent and that’s why we ranked the Zumit pretty high!
I do have to say one thing here.  The ranking may change once we gain more experience with the Zumit, or we receive more feedback, but right now the jury is out on the rain-resistance level of the tent.  This tent does NOT come with a separate rainfly since the manufacturer claims its “high-density Waterproof Oxford fabric” will keep you dry in even the rainiest weather.  I’m not totally sure that’s accurate, but I can’t say for sure.  I’ll keep this file open for now and re-visit once I have more info.
Pros

Great looks
Front and back porch options
Very sturdy
Lots of Excellent reviews from satisfied owners

Cons

One user complained that it was not rainproof and should have a rainfly

 

 
#1 – Gazelle Pop Up Portable
Gazelle Pop Up Portable Camping Tent
Gazelle Pop Up Portable Camping TentWe LOVE this tent not only because of its looks but because the parent company has had years of experience building some of the best ice-fishing shelters on the planet.  This model is a 90-second setup version which is totally unique to all the designs in our review.  It is in my opinion, the most reliable of all the options we’ve outlined, and you can get a “4-8 person” size which includes a separate room that can be used to sleep people, or as a kitchen.  There’s also a 3-person model available.   It’s an incredible 71 inches tall and has 61 square feet of floor space.  It’s definitely not a hiker’s tent or even a canoe/kayak trip tent, but it’s one of the very best options on the market for a family camping tent in a state/national park or campground where your vehicle is nearby.  The uniquely-designed rainfly extends past the roof edges for good protection, however, because of the design, wind can catch under the edges making it flap.  It also has a removable floor, though some have complained about its design specifics.
The “bad” thing about this tent is its weight and size.  The 4-8 person model weighs a whopping 47 lbs!!  The stored dimensions are nearly 12″x12″x63″.  That’s 5 feet and 3 inches in length you’ll need just to store it, so be sure to have a substantial automobile!
Pros

Easy to set up
Sturdy
Really Weather Resistant
Very well constructed with high-quality materials

Cons

Big and heavy (storage, transportation and handling may be an issue)
Hard to take down and re-pack well
Rainfly flaps around
Expensive compared to the others

 

As you can see, there is no such thing as the “PERFECT” tent.  All of our options are quite good, but you’ll have to balance the various qualities against various price points.  Please let me know if you agree/disagree with my assessments and if you have had experiences with these tents.  I’d like my reviews to be as accurate as possible so the more input I have, the better!
 

 

The post Best Instant Pop-Up Tents for Camping appeared first on Sport Consumer.


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The 2019 Tour Championship: FedExCup Meets Silly Season

This season Brooks Koepka played 20 events. He won three and finished in the top ten on eight separate occasions. He won the PGA Championship, finished as runner up in the Masters and the US Open. The Open Championship was his worst major; he finished tied for fourth.

Justin Thomas played 19 events. He won once. Thomas did not finish in the top ten in a single major, was outside the top 30 at the Players Championship and skipped the PGA Championship due to injury.

Koepka ranks #1 on the 2019 PGA Tour money list. Thomas holds the eighth slot on the money list. Heading into the 2019 Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club, Justin Thomas currently holds a three-shot lead over Brooks Koepka. The tournament does not start until Thursday.

Seriously?

Seriously.

In an effort to build drama and make the scoreboard easier to read on Sunday afternoon, the PGA Tour complicated everything else related to the Tour Championship and the FedExCup.
The History
First awarded in 2007, the FedExCup was designed to increase attention for PGA Tour golf after the majors ended each season. Players accumulated points throughout the year, then played in four “playoff” events culminating with the top 30 point winners playing in the Tour Championship. The winner of the FedExCup enjoys an extremely large payday; Justin Rose won $10 million in 2018.

Since its inception, two winners were crowned at the Tour Championship, the winner of the tournament and the winner of the FedExCup. The tournament winner was based on strokes taken over 4 days. The Cup Champion decided based points won over the season, with an emphasis on the four playoff events. In eight of the 12 times that the FedExCup has been awarded, the winner of the Tour Championship also was the FedExCup.
Big Change
Disliking the “confusion” of following both a golf tournament and the winning of points to decide who wins the FedExCup, the PGA Tour brought changes format in 2019. In order to make it easy to see who is winning, the winner of the Tour Championship IS the winner of the FedExCup. 30 players tee off Thursday, August 22 hoping to claim first place and the staggering $15 million prize.
What about the Points?
Instead of having the year-long points leader becoming the FedExCup winner, the Tour Championship is now handicapped. Driving golf purists crazy, the player who has generated the most points is given 10 strokes BEFORE play begins.

That is right, Justin Thomas is already 10 strokes under par; the event hasn’t started yet. Naturally, his 10 strokes have a name, “FedExCup Starting Strokes”. There is a certain irony that this event is played at East Lake in Atlanta, the home of golf purist, the legendary Bobby Jones.
Koepka is in Third!
What isn’t Koepka the leader? Again, to drum up interest in post-major events, the PGA Tour greatly weighted points to winners of two playoff events. Seemingly a good guy, and obviously a great player, Thomas did not play nearly as well as Koepka this year, but he won the BMW Championship last weekend and collected 2000 FedEx Cup points. The BMW had a limited field of 70 players.

By contrast, Koepka won the PGA Championship, finished second at the US Open, T2 at The Masters, and T4 at the Open Championship. For these combined accomplishments, Koepka nabbed a combined 1295 points. Since Koepka ranks third in FedExCup points, he receives 7 starting strokes and begins the 2019 Tour Championship three shots BEHIND Thomas. Players ranked #26-30 do not receive any starter strokes. They enter the competition 10 shots off the lead.
TV or Sports, which comes first?
All major sports need to bend to the realities of TV and the bottom line. Sunday night baseball on ESPN, Thursday night NFL games, US Open tennis matches that end at 2 AM in New York, these are but a few examples. But, changing the scoring to give someone a lead before the start?

What’s next? The Dallas Cowboys start with a 10 point lead over the Falcons because they are more likely to draw viewers next week? Start the New York Yankees with a 4 game lead in the AL East?

That said, 30 of the world’s best golfers will tee it up Thursday at East Lake. While Bobby Jones may have refused golf prize money and remained an amateur, now the money is just too significant. Even at 10 shots back, players are eager to get in the competition for the $15 million first prize. For the player who finishes 30th of 30, there is still $395,000 in prize money. Of course, they accept the silliness of starter strokes and give it a go. Wouldn’t you?

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Top 5 Reasons the Jacksonville Sharks will Win the 2019 NAL Championship

Previously, we released our five reasons why the Cobras would win the 2019 NAL Championship game. With the big game getting closer and closer as each second passes, it is time to reveal our five reasons why the Jacksonville Sharks will win the 2019 NAL Championship game.
Top 5 Reasons the Jacksonville Sharks will Win the 2019 NAL Championship
5. Quarterback Toss-up
This one may sound a bit confusing when first seeing it. Like what in the world does a “Quarterback Toss-up” mean? Right now, there is no confirmed starter for the Jacksonville Sharks when it comes to the Quarterback position. In our 2019 NAL Championship Preview, we broke down the numbers for the two quarterbacks combined. Jonathan Bane this season is 160-of-290 (55.17%) for 1,844 yards, 39 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. Mike Fafaul is 123-of-183 (67.21%) for 1,319 yards, 35 touchdowns, and only five interceptions. With no confirmed starter, the Cobras don’t know who to primarily focus on. Last playoff game against the Lions, Fafaul was the starter and went down with an injury. Bane went in and lit up the Lions defense. It was almost as if the Lions didn’t prepare for Bane at all. If the Cobras focus on one quarterback more than the other, then there could be issues for the Cobras.
4. League-Leading Defensive Line
The Sharks have the best defensive line in the league, based off of the statistics. Together, their line has forced 31.5 sacks (average of 2.25 per game), nine pass breakups, six quarterback hurries, six forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, one blocked kick, and one safety. If the Sharks defensive line can force pressure on Cobras Quarterback Chalres McCullum, then McCullum will make mistakes to benefit the Sharks.
3. Best Receivers in the NAL
The Sharks starting three receivers are also statistically the best in the league. Combined, they have 231 receptions for 2,536 yards and 61 touchdowns. No team in the league this season has been able to shut down all three receivers on the field at the same time. There were some games where they shut down a receiver to slow down the Sharks offense, but there has not been a single occasion where all of the Sharks receivers were stopped.
2. Coaching Staff
This season is Head Coach Siaha Burley’s third season with the Jacksonville Sharks. He led the team to the championship in 2017, a game that he ultimately won. In 2018, his 10-6 record gave his team a trip to the playoffs. Finally, this season’s 13-1 regular season record and 1-0 post-season record sent him and his team to the 2019 NAL Championship game. Burley doesn’t do it all on his own. He also has a great group of coaches along-side of him. Defensive Coordinator James Fuller and Offensive/Defensive Line’s Coach Lee Johnson also help control this team. This coaching staff is a team of Head Coaches, meaning that all three coaches on this team have either been or will be great head coaches in arena football. Last season, Fuller was the Maine Mammoths HC and led his team to one of the largest win-streaks in NAL history. In their final seven games, they managed to win six of them.
1. Home Field Advantage
This one sounds very cliché, but it is very true for Jacksonville. In their 10 seasons, the Sharks have hosted nine playoff games and won seven of them (77.78%). The fanbase that averages over 9,000 per game in 10 years has been known to get rowdy, especially in the playoffs. The arena gets loud during regular season games, but it gets even louder in playoff games. With crazy fans like The Sideline Bullies, The Painted One, and many more, there is no running away from Shark fans, no matter where the players are on the field.

The Jacksonville Sharks host the Carolina Cobras this Saturday, August 17, 2019 in the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena at 7:00 pm for the third NAL Championship. The winner of this game will earn their second NAL title.
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The LWOS Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages is the best place to go for news on anything that happens in the NAL and other indoor and arena leagues. Our website is also a great place to go for more information.The post Top 5 Reasons the Jacksonville Sharks will Win the 2019 NAL Championship appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


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Life Post-Jeremiah Masoli for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have begun their journey without CFL all-star Jeremiah Masoli and the team has shown promise. Clearly, Dane Evans has a lot to prove but he is starting to settle in with the offence and offensive coordinator Tommy Condell. It takes time for players and coordinators to develop a relationship, but Evans and Condell are on their way.

Masoli and Condell developed a successful relationship, but after Masoli ‘s knee injury, Evans was projected into the spotlight. The Tiger-Cats have shown production through all phases. But, will they manage to continue their success as the CFL season continues?
Passing Game
Since losing Masoli to injury the Tiger-Cats have gone 1-1. Both games were competitive and gave the league a chance to see new starting quarterback Dane Evans. The B.C. Lions game allowed Evans to show what he is capable of.

Playing in front of an energetic fan base, he put up some reasonable numbers and threw for 260 yards and two touchdowns. Brandon Banks returned from injury and played another sensational game. Banks is currently leading the league in receiving yards and second in receiving touchdowns.

Banks is not the only playmaker amongst the wide receiving core. Bralon Addison has accumulated 412 yards receiving and Jaelon Acklin is a solid possession receiver. Luke Tasker has struggled as of late, but do not be surprised if he plays a bigger role deeper into the season and in the playoffs.
Running Game
Losing Maleek Irons for six games hurts the Cats. Cameron Marshall, Irons’ replacement, debuted against B.C. last week and had seven carries for 40 yards.

The offensive line held the Lions to zero sacks. Unfortunately, Darius Ciraco was placed on the one-game injured list and didn’t play against B.C. Ti-Cats fans hope to see him back within the next couple games as he is a vital component of the offensive line.

Hamilton needs consistency in their ground game in order to relieve the pressure off Dane Evans. As the season runs deeper, the Tiger-Cats offence could become much more dangerous as they already are. It will also be intriguing to see how Evans game develops.
Defence
Defensively, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats lineup with a high caliber defence, highlighted by their defensive line.

Ja’Gared Davis was a massive addition to there d-line this year. He is currently tied for second in the CFL in sacks with six and has recorded 37 tackles, which is eighth-most among the league. The seven above him are either linebackers or defensive backs. Leading Hamilton in tackles is middle linebacker Justin Tuggle with 40.
Secondary
The secondary has young players such as Frankie Williams and Tunde Adeleke. Delvin Breaux is a member the Tiger-Cats want back in there secondary as he was put on the one-game injured list and did not play last week against B.C. Overall, the Tiger-Cats have a highly skilled defence on paper, but last week’s outing showed weaknesses and this Saturday’s game against Ottawa will be important to gain some lost confidence.
Special Teams
Jeff Reinebold continues to show why he is in the conversation as the best special teams coordinator in the CFL. The Tiger-Cats special team units are never overlooked by there opponent.

Leding the league in punt return yards and fourth in kickoff return yards, Frankie Williams is becoming a respected returner in the CFL. It also doesn’t hurt when you can put Brandon Banks — who leads the league in field goal missed return yards with 235 — in the end zone when the opposing team is attempting a field goal.

But what makes all this work is the coaching of Jeff Reinebold. He puts together schemes and plays that virtually make these speedy returners untouchable. Great blocking and exceptional return play make for a dangerous return game.
Final Thoughts
If the offence can stay consistent, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will be in this year’s Grey Cup. Their defence has some of the top players in each positional group and their special teams groups are explosive.

Losing your starting quarterback and running back to season-ending injuries is often diminishing to any football team. But head coach Orlondo Steinauer has managed to create an environment that brings players together and ultimately leads to continuity among all. The Tiger-Cats play this Saturday in the Nation’s capital.

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Montreal Alouettes Have Another Shot at a West Division Foe

With 2:41 left in the third quarter, the Montreal Alouettes were down just 17-10 to the West Division Saskatchewan Roughriders. Then, nobody can quite wrap their heads around what happened next. Hostile weather consisting of lightning and heavy rain would sweep over McGill causing a delay that would inevitably end the match.

Yes, with still an entire quarter and then some to play, the Roughriders were awarded a victory and the Alouettes a loss for their efforts. Even Saskatchewan fans didn’t feel entirely great about how they acquired a W for the win column, well some did.

Montreal, on the other hand, is left to quickly regroup. They now head west to take on a perennial contender in the Calgary Stampeders. The Alouettes are 1-2 against western opponents in 2019 and with the narrative growing once again on how much stronger the West is than the East, the Als find themselves needing to make a statement game just one week removed from being robbed the chance to do so at home.
Offence
Perhaps Montreal’s biggest catalyst for their early string of contention has been quarterback, Vernon Adams Jr. Unfortunately, since their last game against Ottawa, Adams has been out with a concussion. They have sorely missed plays like this one:

Vernon Adams Jr. (@bigplay_va) spots @QuanBray WIDE OPEN for a 75-yard TOUCHDOWN give the @MTLAlouettes a 15-12 lead!#CFLGameDay pic.twitter.com/hIiK5ozTj9
— CFL on TSN (@CFLonTSN) July 13, 2019

Adams has a humble five touchdowns to three interceptions on the season. However, his five rushing touchdowns as a quarterback is second among quarterbacks and tied for third in the league overall with just William Powell and Cody Fajardo in front of him. The Alouettes will need Adams to have a monster performance with it being reported that William Stanback will miss Saturday’s contest.
DeVier Posey In, B.J. Cunningham Out
An unfortunate wrist injury sustained by B.J. Cunningham will likely sideline him for the remainder of the 2019 season. While still not ideal for Montreal, the impact of this injury is softened by the return of former Grey Cup MVP, DeVier Posey. He has appeared in just three games before going down with an injury. Still, it’s Posey’s past work that should have Montreal fans the most excited. His 2017 campaign saw him put up 744 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games played.
Protection Up Front
Before any of this can become reality, the Montreal Alouettes need to figure out their protection upfront.

Another scoop and score for the @sskroughriders defence! 😮#CFLGameday pic.twitter.com/kZuDPJs4jx
— CFL on TSN (@CFLonTSN) August 10, 2019

Through seven games this season, they’ve allowed 17 sacks which lands them sixth in the league. This offensive line hasn’t been horrible this season.
Defence
The prospects of the Stampeders having Bo Levi Mitchell back may not bode well for the Alouettes. Calgary’s offence has maintained pace under the control of Nick Arbuckle, however, let us not forget what Mitchell is capable of.

George Johnson’s article on stampeders.com beautifully outlines the impact of Bo Levi Mitchell. In Johnson’s article, Mitchell is compared to sugar in Kool-Aid, LeBron on the Lakers and a healthy Boobie Miles on Friday Night Lights. High praise and well deserved at that from many of his teammates.
Exceeding expectations
During the Montreal Alouettes three-game winning streak, they allowed 436 yards to the Tiger-Cats, 365 to the Redblacks and 320 to the Eskimos. They went as far as to keep the Eskimos offence from scoring. Their home loss to Ottawa consisted of allowing just one touchdown offensively and 241 yards.

Furthermore, Montreal’s defence did a tremendous job keeping Cody Fajardo and the Saskatchewan offence in check. However, Calgary presents a different challenge and they’ll need more from their front seven to have a chance on Saturday. With only seven sacks, the Alouettes are tied for dead-last in the league for sacks, though they were able to get to Fajardo twice last week.

Rookie defensive coordinator, Bob Slowik has worked hard to get up to speed with the Canadian game. If they are able to keep a potentially “rusty” Mitchell in check and perhaps break out some more special teams magic, this game may swing wide-open.
Why This Game is so Important
The common thought process in any league is that inter-divisional games trump outer-division games in terms of importance. This is mostly true across the board in terms of tie-breakers. However, in Montreal or Ottawa’s case, it’s almost pre-determined that they will be facing a Western Division team come playoffs with the crossover. With how tight the West Division is, anyone from Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Calgary or Edmonton are potential opponents. If there was any time to begin to gain traction and confidence against the “almighty” West Divison, it would be now.

Saturday’s forecast calls for cloudy with sunny breaks. It’s just the reigning Grey Cup MVP and the champions standing in the way of the Montreal Alouettes and a confidence-building victory. If they pull it off, it’ll be their first win against the Stampeders at McMahon Stadium since Week 1 of the 2009 season.

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Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’cZ_TB7AeSxltB3mf4xTHiA’,sig:’WexrZpOYFDdU2MJxVmPd6vV4-Rev9taOm6Ot5B5Nm6w=’,w:’594px’,h:’446px’,items:’1166039575′,caption: true ,tld:’ca’,is360: false })});The post Montreal Alouettes Have Another Shot at a West Division Foe appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


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Top 5 Reasons the Carolina Cobras will Win the 2019 NAL Championship

The National Arena League (NAL) championship game is just over 48 hours away. The players are doing everything they can possibly do to stay healthy and not injure themselves. The Jacksonville Sharks (14-1) host the Carolina Cobras (10-5) this Saturday night at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena at 7:00 pm in the third NAL Championship. The Carolina Cobras are just about ready for battle, which is why we are revealing five reasons why the Carolina Cobras will win the 2019 NAL Championship.
Top 5 Reasons the Carolina Cobras will Win the 2019 NAL Championship
5. Abscence of Cody Saul (Possibly)
Jacksonville Sharks Jack Linebacker Cody Saul is currently suspended by the NAL for running onto the field into an altercation after the Columbus Lions @ Jacksonville Sharks playoff game on August 6. It is unclear as to whether he will play this weekend or not. As of right now, he leads the league in the most tackles this season at 64. In the last four games, Saul has been able to intercept five passes and take three to the house for a touchdown. His efforts not only help the Sharks defense, as he also plays Wide Receiver on the offense. While that wasn’t his primary position this season, Saul still managed to catch 11 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns. His dual-threat ability will definitely help the Cobras figure out how they can take down the Sharks. This isn’t really anything that the Cobras can do to change the outcome of the game, but it’s definitely something that they can take advantage of.
4. Late Season Motivation
The Cobras won the championship last year and it seemed to carry over to this season as well since they dominated teams late in the season. They performed two complete shutout games. While it was against the Orlando Predators (2-12) both times, it is still almost impossible to completely shut out a team in football, let alone, arena football. Against the New York Streets, they put on a 46-0 shut out before they had to forfeit the game due to a security breach. This ball that they have rolling definitely transferred into the playoffs as they got by the Pirates with hardly any issues in the second half of the game.
3. Clicking Offense
Charles McCullum and Co. had a rough start to the season, losing their main receiving group. The only receiver to stay from last season is Jordan Jolly. This year, Jolly put up record-breaking numbers. He caught 104 passes for 1,210 yards and 31 touchdowns (all three of which are either tied or broken records). Thankfully for the Cobras, they were able to trade for a deadly receiver in Lavon Pearson with the Massachusetts Pirates. Pearson helped the Pirates go to the playoffs last season and did a great job with the Cobras this season. He caught 45 passes for 586 yards and 17 touchdowns. The Cobras lost one of their best Offensive Lineman earlier this season. Joe Harris was a key part in the Cobras success, but the Cobras were able to make the necessary changes to make everything work. It all went as planned since they made it to the championship game.
2. Last Year’s Dominance Transferring to This Year
The Cobras had the best team last season even though their record didn’t really show it. In the playoffs, they were a completely different team than they were in the post-season. They smacked the Jacksonville Sharks and won by almost 30 points and put a beating on the Columbus Lions with a 66-8 score, which is probably going to be the worst NAL championship game ever when it comes to point differential. Knowing that the players and coaches have the ability to do this, they are going to follow through with it. During the first playoff game this season, the Cobras had a slow start, but eventually held the Massachusetts Pirates to not a single touchdown in the second half. Obviously the Cobras won as they put up a 30-26 close game.
1. Defense Wins Championships
The Carolina Cobras have the best defense in the NAL at the moment. They beat the Sharks in just about every defensive category. They don’t have as many turnovers as the Sharks, they don’t allow as many yards, first downs, points, or even wins, but they sure do know how to stop their opponents. This top-defense will have their chance to hush the doubters this Saturday and prove that they can carry this Cobras team to their second consecutive title. This Cobras 2019 NAL Championship game could be one of the best games that the league has seen.
More Exciting News to Come!
Later today, we will reveal the Top Five Reasons why the Jacksonville Sharks will win the 2019 NAL Championship. Tomorrow, we will reveal the Official NAL awards shortly after they come out. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and our Indoor Football website to stay up to date on everything.The post Top 5 Reasons the Carolina Cobras will Win the 2019 NAL Championship appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


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San Diego Strike Force reveal Re-design

The San Diego Strike Force are moving from the blue-and-white.

It was announced a short time ago that the team would be re-designing it’s look after the end of their 1-13 initial season in the Indoor Football League.
San Diego Strike Force reveal Re-design
The jerseys were revealed a short time later and, on Wednesday afternoon, the full look was released to the public.

The team revealed new primary and secondary logos as well, that work amazingly with the jerseys and are themed around fighter pilots.

The full slate of logos can be found below, with the primary logo being on the left side.

The team also put out some new helmets that resemble the World War ll air crafts.

These were originally planned for the team’s first year in the IFL, however were never used on the field during the 2019 season.

The new look features three different helmets with the home and alternate lids resembling the planes and the away ones containing the team’s secondary ‘SD’ logo.

The jerseys that the team will be using can be seen below, with Flight Suit home uniform, the interceptor white road uniform, and the stealth look for the alternates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strike Force general manager Ryan Eucker also revealed that San Diego would be hosting the IFL’s annual league meetings as well.

The meetings are usually held in Las Vegas, and while it doesn’t really have much barring on what goes on there, a change is still being made.

The 2020 IFL season will kick off in February, but the schedule will likely not be out until November.

You can keep up with all of our indoor football coverage by following LWOS Indoor Football on social media. All of the links to our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be reached by clicking on the respective sites here.The post San Diego Strike Force reveal Re-design appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


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Cobras visit Jacksonville for 2019 NAL Championship

The third National Arena League (NAL) Championship is almost underway as the number one Jacksonville Sharks (14-1) host the number two Carolina Cobras (10-5). The winner of this game will win the 2019 NAL championship, The winner of this game will also win their second NAL Championship since the Sharks won in 2017 and the Cobras won last year in 2018. Last season, the first playoff game between the two was a blowout in the Cobras favor. They won 73-48 to advance to the 2018 NAL Championship. This year, the league and both teams hope for a closer game.
Cobras visit Jacksonville for 2019 NAL Championship
On paper, these two teams are very close to each other, which means that this game should go down to who has the ball last. Both offenses are top-notch in the league as well as the defenses. This 2019 Championship game could be the closest final game that the NAL will have in a very long time.
Offensive Matchup
While it is unclear as to who is the starting quarterback for the Sharks is, there is no doubt that both of their quarterbacks have great talent in arena football. Together, both Jonathan Bane and Mike Fafaul had a combined 283-of-473 (59.83%) for 3,163 yards, 74 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions in the regular season. Charles McCullum, on the other hand, is 232-of-394 (58.88%) for 2,883 yards, 66 touchdowns, and 15 touchdowns.

The Sharks top the Cobras in Scoring Offense (57.5-51.4), Total Offense (244.4-230.8 ypg), Total Offensive Touchdowns (99-89), Rushing Offense (21.3-17.9 ypg), Rushing Touchdowns (25-20), Pass Efficiency (104.2-103.3), Passing Offense (223.1-212.9 ypg), Passing Touchdowns (74-69), Interceptions Thrown (17-18), First Down Rushing (34-26), First Down Passing (169-167), Third Down Conversions (46%-40.3%). Fourth Down Conversions (38.2%-27.3%), Allowed Sacks (11-24).

The Cobras have the Sharks beat in the following Offensive Categories: Average Yards Per Play (6.2-5.8), Yards Per Completion (11.8-11), First Downs (239-237), and Red Zone Offense (84.3%-82%).
Defensive Matchup
The Sharks and Cobras have very similar defenses and are very close on the stats in just about every category. The Sharks defense has the Cobras beat in the number of interceptions (36-28), Interception Return Yards (288-173), Interceptions Returned for a Touchdown (6-3), fumble recoveries (14-13), Opponent Third Down Conversions (26.7%-27.7%), Opponent Fourth Down Conversions (32.7%-39.6%), and Sacks (40-36).

The Cobras defense has the Sharks beat in a lot of categories, which is very interesting because the Sharks have the Cobras beat in the majority of the offensive categories. The high-powered offense will go up against the high-powered defense, and the same thing goes for the Cobras offense versus the Sharks defense.

The Cobras have the Sharks beat in Scoring Defense (31.1-33.9 ppg), Total Defense (181.6-190.1 ypg), Rushing Defense (15.9-19.3 ypg), Defensive Pass Efficiency (95.4-95.9), Pass Defense (165.6-170.9), Fumble Return Average (20.2-4), and Fumbles Returned for a Touchdown (4-2).
Special Teams Matchup
If the game went down to the final kick of the game, whether it was a PAT or Deuce, it is looking like the Sharks would be able to win in that case. The Sharks have the Cobras topped in PAT percentage. Sharks Kicker Brandon Behr is 94-of-107 on PAT’s (87.85%). Cobras Kicker Brandon Rutherford is 39-of-46 on PAT’s (84.78%). Both numbers are really great and are the highest in the league.

Where the Cobras barely get the Sharks is the Field Goal percentages. Behr, this season, is 1-of-6 on Field Goals (16.67%) whereas Rutherford is 1-of-5 (20%). Both percentages are really low, but it is also uncommon to find a kicker in arena football to nail every field goal through the nine foot wide goalpost.

The deuces is where the Sharks change the game. Behr has made a total of 25 this season, counting post-season (23 in the regular season). Rutherford had a shorter season than Behr, but still managed to make six.

Behr averages almost two deuces a game and about seven PAT’s a game, which puts up an average of almost 11 points per game, which makes a major difference between a winner and a loser in arena football.
Final Conclusion
The Sharks offense has proven that they are the best in the league, as they are statistically better than the Cobras in just about every category. The Cobras defense, to counter that, is statistically the better defense between the two teams. Like mentioned earlier, the top offense going against the top defense will be one worth watching.

On the other side of things, the Cobras offense is still a great group. If they weren’t, then they wouldn’t play in this game. The only issue that the Cobras could have is turnovers. The Sharks defense may allow more yards and a higher percentage on third and fourth down, but the turnovers that the Sharks force is much more significant than the Cobras. Forcing eight more interceptions and receiving one more fumble than the Cobras all season could be the difference in the game between who wins this game.

Of course, we can’t forget about the kickers. Later in the season, the Sharks have been able to score more touchdowns, which means that Behr’s PAT percentage is boosted. If the game is back and fourth and could be determined by who misses the game-winning PAT, there is no telling who is going to miss that game-winner because both kickers have over an 80% PAT average.
More Exciting Pieces to Come
Since the championship game is getting closer, we are bringing more content to NAL fans and indoor football fans. Tomorrow, we will reveal our Top Five Reasons why the Cobras will win the Championship as well as the Top Five Reasons why the Jacksonville Sharks will win the Championship game.

After that, we will release the official 2019 NAL Awards as they are released to the public. Be sure to check out Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and our Indoor Football website to stay updated on what is to come.The post Cobras visit Jacksonville for 2019 NAL Championship appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


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