When you discover a sport you love, the feeling is like no other. Athletes often speak about getting ‘the bug’, meaning that addicting sensation when you are introduced to a sport which just ‘clicks’ with you and your personality. Perhaps you’ve been watching this sport for years, but have never tried it yourself – and now you have, you’re totally hooked. If that sounds like a familiar experience, you’ve come to the right place.
Taking up a new sport is super exciting, and it’s easy to get ahead of yourself. If you are working towards a goal, such as running a certain number of miles before the end of the year, or lifting a certain weight, tunnel vision can set in. You might get so caught up in the thrill that you begin to throw money at the sport, left, right and centre – this is a very common mistake many people fall into. The problem is, especially with sports which require specialist equipment, that you might end up with the wrong kind of gear for your needs. Here are seven things you absolutely MUST do before you invest in new sports equipment.
Research Price Comparison
Everyone knows to do this when they’re buying a car, a house or health insurance. But not many people research price matches when it comes to buying sports equipment. Due to the sheer volume of retailers in today’s environment, it is very easy to see the product you want online, buy, then realize later that you could’ve had a sweet deal somewhere else. Researching price comparisons on your equipment using the internet will allow you to find the best deal for your budget.
One common problem to watch out for is disreputable sellers who are looking to make easy money. If the product you’re looking for averages around $200, and you see it advertised for $70 brand new, always check out the security and reputation of the seller before you take the plunge!
Read Reviews. A Lot Of Them.
This stage of research is time consuming, and you’ll find yourself down a lot of internet rabbit holes – but the outcome is totally worth it. If you are investing in biking equipment, for example, you can find a gtech sport electric hybrid bike review which weighs up the pros and cons of the product, along with high quality photographs. Reviews from people who have already bought and used the product will give you the chance to get an honest read, before you buy.
Reading reviews on the product websites is great, but it’s useful to go further to get an idea of the range of opinions out there. Check out other review sites, and reviews on other retailers who stock the product, to get a range of views.
YouTube Is The Tool For You
Free video footage of your product with honest reviews? Sign us up! YouTube is an incredible tool that many sportspeople use to get a better idea of how their desired equipment works. It’s free, and you get to experience the product as closely as you can get before you actually buy it. Many of these reviewers are highly experienced athletes who have high quality cameras which take incredible footage of the product you are looking at.
Beware – some YouTube creators are sponsored to endorse certain products. These reviews aren’t honest, as they’re being paid to say it’s great! Make sure the video you watch is not sponsored by the company they’re reviewing!
Stay On Budget
When you enter the world of bespoke sports equipment, your eyes might grow bigger than your stomach. It’s super easy to become caught up with state of the art, bank-account-busting products that you just can’t say ‘No!’ to. However, blowing an extortionate amount of cash on your shiny new equipment isn’t necessary, and it also can be detrimental to your improvement in the long run. If you do too much too fast, you might burn yourself, and your finances, out. Start slowly and stay on budget – you’ll thank yourself later!
Shop Within Your Skill Level
Similarly to staying on budget, you should also keep in mind the level of sport you are working at. If you are new to the sport and buying your first pieces of equipment, splashing out on professional level products isn’t necessary and might harm your ability! Think about driving a car: you wouldn’t let a first-time driver get behind the wheel of a Ferrari, would you? Apply this principle to your chosen sport.
Shopping within your skill level doesn’t mean buying the cheapest thing, either. Often, the medium-range products are the best thing for first-timers. They are well made, trustworthy, but aren’t priced as highly as the professional level equipment.
Talk To The Experts
The chances are, if you’re hooked on a new sport, that you’re in a larger community of those who love that sport just as much as you. Some of them may have been doing it for years and years, and will have great insights into the kind of equipment you need to start out. They will most likely be able to recommend to you what they used to start out, and the dos and don’ts of shopping for your new gear!
Shop In Person
Most of us prefer online shopping because, well, you don’t have to move off your couch; when it comes to sports equipment, however, online shopping is a risky business. Until you know exactly what you’re looking for, shopping in person is the only way to go. Not only can you see the product up close, touch it and even try it out in some cases, but you can also ask the advice of store assistants who are trained in their knowledge of the equipment. This means that you can assess multiple products and weigh up the best product for you, and see it for yourself first hand.