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The Nerf Rival Review to Fuel Your Backyard Firefights

Nerf Rival Review

A Nerf Rival review takes a good look at the best way to do battle with the people you love the most. Video games have long been a popular way to get your blood racing.

Since the days of Doom, people have been picking up controllers to blast away their friends and family.

But the problem is, this may get your heart rate up, but it doesn’t get your muscles moving.

It’s hard to find the right replacement to digital combat that gets you outside and exercising. Paintball is expensive, and it hurts to get hit! Plus, unless you want to paint the side of your house, you’ll have to plan a trip to a paintball course.

Nerf blasters have always been the realm of childhood duels, hardly offering the same excitement as a paintball fight. Until the Nerf Rival, that is.

Our Epic Nerf Rival Review

Nothing gets your adrenaline going quite like a shootout — running for cover, returning fire, doing your best not to get shot. Of course, it’s a lot more fun when the only risk is the sting of a foam ball.

This sort of action movie recreation is what Nerf is bringing with its Rival series of blasters. Meant to target the paintball crowd with a more intense, high-velocity game, the Rival blasters maintain an air of playfulness while opening up options for competitive play.

What makes the Nerf Rival the right blaster to go John Wick on your friends? Our Nerf Rival review will break it all down for you.

Outgun your friends with the Nerf Rival

When you think of dart guns, what’s the first thing that comes to your head? Chances are, it’s a Nerf foam dart gun. For the first two decades of Nerf’s history, it was a foam ball company. Its safe sports equipment is still popular in backyards across America.

But in 1991, after 22 years, Nerf introduced their first blasters. One used the foam balls for which Nerf was already famous. Then, the next model added the familiar rubber-tipped foam darts.

With the Rival, Nerf has gone back to the foam ball days of old, although seriously upgraded. The new projectiles, high-impact, golf ball-sized foam balls, are more accurate and faster than the floaty darts you’re familiar with.

It’s apparent that Nerf has aimed these at older crowds because they recommend the Rival series for ages 14 and up.

The Nerf Rival Apollo XV-700 was one of the first Rival blasters introduced, and the most standard. It comes with an easy-load magazine that holds 12 rounds. Its firing mechanism can launch the balls as fast as 70 miles per hour.

Rival rounds may not hurt like paintball and Airsoft, but at those speeds, it’s no wonder that Nerf recommends a mask as well.

Nerf Rival guns, such as the Apollo, are customizable as well. The easy-load magazine locks onto the tactical rail of the blaster. This Nerf Rival blaster, in particular, is one of the most basic introductory blasters.

Alongside the Zeus, it is one of the first Rival blasters Nerf made. This Nerf Rival review will focus on the Apollo, along with some alternative options.

Setting Sights on the Nerf Rival

We could hardly call our Nerf Rival review a review if we were just going to tell you what the website said. That’s why we took some time to see what professional reviewers and customers said about the line of blasters.

We broke down reviews from gadget news sites such as Gizmodo, plus aggregate reviews from customers on websites including Amazon. That way, our Nerf Rival review gives you a broader idea of what these blasters are like beyond our own opinion.

The experts weigh in

With a hobby like Nerf, it’s hard to call anyone a real expert. But there are sites dedicated to reviewing nerdy things, like Nerf guns, and have the resources and know-how to do it. The reviewer on Gizmodo’s Nerf Rival review is even part of a Nerf club, so you know he has an authoritative opinion.

That’s the real thing that separates a professional Nerf Rival review from an amateur one — resources. While the Nerf Rival blasters aren’t all that expensive, most people don’t have the resources (or want to spend them) to buy multiples just for testing purposes.

According to Gizmodo’s Nerf Rival review, one of the main draws is that the high-impact rounds fly straighter for longer. They don’t necessarily fly farther than Nerf’s foam darts, but they do hit more accurately.

Fortunately, if you’re worried about safety, these balls only hurt at point-blank, and even then only a little. It’s still probably a good idea to wear eye protection, though.

The Spruce also took a look at the Nerf Rival series. One place they noted that the Apollo might be challenging to use was in its cocking mechanism. This handle is likely too difficult for children under the projected age range to operate, although some adults may also find issues with it.

As far as firing, the Apollo can launch Rival rounds as far as 90 feet, if they are arced rather than fired flat.

Battle-tested feedback

Of course, Nerf guns wouldn’t have the reputation they did if they couldn’t stand up to a whole lot of punishment. A professional Nerf Rival review is excellent for finding out how the gun actually works, but nothing can compare to the abuse a Nerf blaster gets after just one day in the backyard.

On Amazon, the Nerf Rival Apollo XV-700 earned 4.0 stars out of 5.0 from 559 customers. One reviewer liked the high-impact balls because they were easier to shoot and easier to retrieve, but they thought they made the handle bulky even for an adult man. They also said that it was loud to fire, and the cocking mechanism was awkward to use.

However, all of these were minor caveats when taken as a whole. The Apollo was ultimately fun and easy to use and never jammed when fired correctly according to one user.

Wal-Mart reviews were even more positive, as 148 customers gave this blaster a rating of 4.3 stars out of 5.0.

One customer appreciated how inexpensive it was and the fact that the rounds were high velocity and more powerful than standard darts. However, they did suggest purchasing more rounds because the seven included were not enough.

Expanding Your Arsenal

Of course, Nerf has since expanded the Rival line to include several different types of blasters. Our Nerf Rival review includes more than just the basic Apollo. There are a few other options available to you.

All Nerf blasters that we reviewed here had to be rated at least 4.0 stars out of 5.0. That way we know for sure that they can stand up to whatever backyard battle you put them through.

NERF Rival Phantom Corps Hera MXVII-1200

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If you’re looking for something a little more rapid-fire than the standard Apollo XV-700, but don’t want to go all out, the NERF Rival Phantom Corps Hera MXVII-1200 may be the choice for you.

In terms of size, this model is about the same as the Apollo. It holds the same 12-round magazine and comes with 12 high-impact rounds out of the box.

Where it differs is how it fires. Rather than requiring you to cock the spring-loaded firing mechanism every time, the Hera gives you a better option.

It’s a motorized blaster, so you can fire off all 12 rounds in seconds just by holding the trigger. You’ll be able to outgun anyone using a spring blaster with the Hera. It requires six C batteries, which is a big ask, but you can also use the Nerf Rival rechargeable battery pack.

Since it has a much smaller ammo capacity than other Rival blasters, it’ll go through those 12 rounds pretty quickly. If you’re not careful, you may find yourself in a tight spot against a more conservative opponent.

As for price, the Hera is pretty close to the Apollo. Considering the already low starting price of the Apollo, that’s not bad for a motorized upgrade from the basic model.

On Amazon, the Nerf Rival Phantom Corps Hera MXVII-1200 earned 4.5 stars out of 5.0 from 27 customer reviews.

One review found it to be quieter even than other Rival models. They also recommended getting the battery pack, which is much less expensive than batteries and lasts longer, as well as being more powerful. Another customer noted that the blaster was fun but quite large and bulky by any standards.

NERF Rival Prometheus MXVIII-20K

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Okay so, maybe the Apollo isn’t for you. Having to load each time is too slow. The Hera is nice, but 12 rounds go by so quickly!

Well, there’s another option: the Nerf Rival Prometheus MXVIII-20K. Like the Titan that brought fire to humanity in Greek myth, this titanic gun is bringing you serious firepower.

If you want to live out your power fantasies on a Nerf battlefield, bring the Prometheus to stop your opponents in their tracks. It brings an 8-round-per-second fire rate and holds 200 rounds.

Another significant benefit of the Prometheus is that you don’t have to buy all of those extra rounds to fill up the hopper. It comes with 200 rounds, ready to go.

You may be wondering, what about powering this thing? The good news is, you don’t have to worry about buying a bunch of batteries. It comes with its own beefy, 9.6-volt battery to keep the battle going.

The Prometheus takes two handles to operate, like some sort of family-friendly chaingun. Plus, it has a carrying strap so you can focus your fire wherever your team needs it. Good luck reloading it under fire, though.

On Amazon, the Nerf Rival Prometheus MXVIII-20K earned 4.7 stars out of 5.0 from 134 customers. One customer said that this blaster rivaled Nerf blasters that had been modified by users.

Not only does it have an unmatched rate of fire, but it also actually holds more than 200 rounds, if you have them.

Keep in mind that it’s both inaccurate and launches its rounds far. You’ll spend several minutes cleaning up ammo afterward.

Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm

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For those of you who want something a little tamer than even the Nerf Rival Apollo, there are plenty of options that use other ammunition and less firepower.

The popular Elite darts are compatible with many Nerf blasters, and if you already have an arsenal of those, you may not want to go for something else.

For you, the Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm is a reliable option. This six-round revolver fires Elite darts, rubber-tipped foam that offers good firepower and accuracy without actually hurting anyone.

It has a spring-loaded mechanism, so it’s not too overpowering. This option is an excellent pick for office warfare or younger kids who may not be the most responsible with the power of a Nerf Rival.

If you’re not trying to get too athletic with your Nerf games, or want an easy entry point that’s compatible with nearly every other Nerf blaster out there, don’t shy away from the Strongarm.

Its six darts can be slam-fired by repeatedly moving the slide back and forth while holding the trigger, giving it some versatility. You could even outgun an Apollo at close range.

The Strongarm also has multiple color options to make your weapon stand out among the others.

The Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm was incredibly popular on Amazon, earning 4.5 stars out of 5.0 from 3,402 customer reviews. Reviewers appreciated this blaster’s speed, accuracy, and velocity. These guns were inexpensive and good for the price, making them useful for the whole family.

Targeting the Nerf Rival

If this Nerf Rival review has done anything, I hope it’s convinced you to give the Nerf Rival a try. Whether it’s to spend some time with your kids (or your parents), a low-cost way to have fun with friends, or just for giving a sibling a few good stings, Nerf Rival is a great option.

While the Nerf Rival Apollo is not the fastest or most powerful Rival blaster on the market (see the Prometheus), it’s a good balance between firepower, cost, and capacity. Teens could grab one each with the cash they get from their part-time jobs. Adults can get one for their kids, or themselves, without feeling like they’ll have to do without more essential purchases.

Nerf is about having fun with your friends and family in the backyard. The Nerf Rival Apollo gives you a great way to do that.

Do you use Nerf Rival blasters? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.

Ugly Stik Elite Review: A Fishing Rod Worth Purchasing?

Ugly Stik Elite Review

One of my favorite stories growing up was about my dad catching half of a tuna. And I can only imagine the type of rod he was using. There are tons of fishing rods available, and for an Ugly Stik Elite review, there should be a few choices.

Catching half of a tuna was quite the feat since it seemed like a shark or other fish ate the other half. If you want to catch a fish of any kind, you need the right equipment. So, can an Ugly Stik Elite rod withstand the push and pull of a fishing trip?

Our Initial Ugly Stik Elite Review

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Fishing is a pastime for many people, and it’s an excellent outdoor activity for almost anyone. You can take the whole family out for a day or weekend of fishing. But before you do, you need the right gear.

You need bait, hooks, fishing line, and you can’t forget a fishing rod. You’ll find tons of fishing rods on the market, and no two of them are exactly the same.

If you want to make your next fishing trip a memorable one, you need a fishing rod that works for you and the fish you plan to catch. So we made sure to consider different rods for our Ugly Stik Elite review.

That way, you have a few options to choose from, and you can decide which is best for your next round of fishing.

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod

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This first rod in our Ugly Stik Elite review is the standard Spinning Rod. The rod has a line rating of 8 to 17 pounds A rod’s line rating notes the breaking strength of line that you can use with the rod.

So you can pair this rod with a line that has a breaking strength of 8 to 17 pounds.

The Spinning Rod has added graphite for a lighter weight and more sensitivity. This rod’s one-piece stainless steel guide makes it very durable.

The rod’s cork handles make it more comfortable to hold, even when fishing for a long time. It’s a suitable fishing rod for beginners and experienced fishers.

You can use the rod with various types of fishing line, and the tip is sensitive to light nibbles. Cushioned stainless steel hoods keep your reel in place.

This rod comes in different lengths from 4.5 feet to 7.5 feet. Certain sizes come in one piece, while others come in two-piece models.

Ugly Stik Elite Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Rod 

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If you want a fishing rod to use to catch salmon or steelhead, you might prefer the Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Rod. This rod is a bit longer than the standard spinning rod.

The rod also has the perfect action you need to catch salmon and steelhead. Like the other rod, this one has added graphite to make it lighter, and it has more sensitivity.

One-piece stainless steel guides are durable, and they keep insert pop-outs at bay. The rod has conventional style reel seats along with cushioned stainless steel hoods.

This rod also has cork handles to make it more comfortable to hold while you fish. It offers a lot of flexibility with the lures you can use. However, the weight can tire your arm after a long day.

You can choose between the weights medium, heavy, and extra-heavy at both 8.5 and 9 feet long. At 9 feet, you can also get a medium-light rod. Regardless of weight and size, the rod comes in two pieces.

Ugly Stik Elite Casting Rod 

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So far in our Ugly Stik Elite review, we’ve looked at spinning rods. However, you might prefer to fish with a casting rod. Spinning rods are typically better for beginners because casting rods have a high learning curve.

If you’re more advanced and ready to challenge yourself, consider the Ugly Stik Elite Casting Rod. This rod has a clear tip for extra strength while fishing.

Like the other rods in our Ugly Stik Elite review, the casting rod has added graphite to make it lighter. The graphite also helps with sensitivity.

This rod has one-piece stainless steel guides to keep inserts from popping out, and they make the rod more durable. The exposed blank style reel seats have cushioned stainless steel hoods.

Cork handles make the rod comfortable to hold. This rod has a line rating of 10 to 20, so you have some flexibility in your choice of fishing line.

The rod comes in different weights, including ultra-light, medium, and medium-heavy. Depending on the weight you choose, you can select a rod that’s 6.5 or 7 feet long.

What customers have to say?

The average Ugly Stik Elite review from customers is pretty positive. Of course, each rod has different ratings and reviews.

First, the average Ugly Stik Elite review for the Spinning Rod results in an average of 4.4 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. One customer said they’d used the rod to catch fish from 1 pound to over 100 pounds and that the rod is durable. Another customer said their Ugly Stik is their go-to fishing rod.

However, some customers aren’t happy. One customer said they lost many fish and lures before the rod snapped. Someone else complained that the rod doesn’t work with braided line.

Also on Amazon, the average Ugly Stik Elite review for the Salmon/Steelhead rod is an average of 4.4 out of 5.0 stars. One customer loves the quality and durability as well as the bend.

But, two other customers mentioned that their rods snapped in half, both with fish at 10 pounds or less.

Finally, the average Ugly Stik Elite review for the Casting Rod is also an average of 4.4 out of 5.0 stars. One customer praised the action, power, and sensitivity of the rod. However, a second customer said after exchanging their rod twice, and each one had different problems than the last.

Reeling It In

Reeling It In

The Ugly Stik Elite is more than one fishing rod, but even so, it’s far from the only line of rods. If you’re looking for the perfect fishing rod, there are few things to consider.

Of course, we can’t cover everything on fishing rods. But here are some common questions you might have about choosing a fishing rod.

How do you choose the best fishing rod?

The answer to this question depends on a lot of factors. It depends on where and when you plan to fish, your fishing experience, and what fish you want to catch.

Heavier rods can probably handle heavier fish than lighter rods. And you might want a specific rod for fishing salmon or steelhead.

You might also have to decide between spinning rods and casting rods.

What is a spinning rod?

A spinning rod is one of the easiest types of fishing rods to use. They’re versatile, and you can use them with a variety of baits and lures.

Spinning rods used to be for catching smaller fish, but these days, some models allow you to catch larger fish. You can use the rod for freshwater and saltwater fishing.

What is a casting rod?

According to Take Me Fishing, casting rods are difficult to learn, but they offer a few benefits. First, they’re more accurate than spinning rods.

They’re also a better choice for casting heavy lures, and they’re more sensitive. You can also use them for sight-fishing.

What do you use them for?

Both spinning and casting rods have their own pros and cons. If you’re new to fishing, you should stick to spinning rods. And advanced fishers can also use spinning rods because of their versatility.

However, if you want a more accurate rod, you should switch to a casting rod. They can be hard to learn at first, but you’ll reap many rewards once you learn.

Which is better?

No type of rod is better than the other. Each has its purpose, and there are tons of other factors that affect fishing rods.

However, consider how you plan to use the rod. Check out the specs and features that we noted in this Ugly Stik Elite review.

If you’re looking for a light rod that’s easy to use, go with a spinning rod. But if you prefer a heavy rod and more control, then you should opt for a casting rod.

Spinning and Spinning

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Whether you go fishing regularly or want to try it out, you need the proper gear. It can be too easy to pick up the first fishing rod you see, but it may not be the best for you.

For our Ugly Stik Elite review, we looked at a few fishing rods from the Elite line. Two of them were spinning rods, and the third was a casting rod.

We also wanted to see what other fishing rods are available. So we compared the Ugly Stik Elite rods to the competition.

When looking at each rod, we considered the size, features, and customer ratings of each.

Choose your bait

For our Ugly Stik Elite review, we compared three Elite rods to each other and some of the competition. To find similar rods from other companies, we looked for rods with similar sizes and specs to the Ugly Stik Elite rods.

From there, we were able to get a better comparison.

And once we looked at the features and customer ratings of the rods, we were able to make our final Ugly Stik Elite review.

Cadence Spinning Rod

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The Cadence Spinning Rod is very similar to the one from Ugly Stik. This rod uses graphite, which makes it light yet durable, and it’s also sensitive so you can feel when you’ve caught something.

It has a carbon fiber blank, and it’s suitable for catching bass, walleye, and trout. The rod has durable stainless steel frames and a reel seat.

You can choose from two handle configurations, including a carbon split grip and a full grip with premium cork. Stainless steel guides keep the line from sticking to them, and it transfers vibrations down to your hands, which helps with sensitivity.

The stainless steel also makes the rod durable. You can collapse the rod into two pieces, which is helpful if you don’t have much storage space. When you use it, it still feels like a one-piece rod.

Amazon customers give this rod an average rating of 4.6 out of 5.0 stars.

OKUMA Celilo Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Rod

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Similar to the Ugly Stik Elite Salmon/Steelhead rod, this one from OKUMA is longer than your traditional spinning rod. This rod is 9.5 feet long, and it has a line rating of 6 to 12 pounds. If 9.5 feet is too long, it also comes in 8.5 feet, but the shorter rod might have different specs.

It has graphite to help with sensitivity, and it has a medium light action. The rod has aluminum oxide guide inserts and stainless steel hooded reel seats.

This rod has well-made cork grips, which make it comfortable for your hands. The rod is reliable, and good quality, and many professionals use it.

As with the title, this rod is perfect for catching salmon and steelhead.

The average customer rating is 4.4 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon.

Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Rod

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The Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Rod is basically a casting rod, except the name is slightly different. It’s light and sensitive, and the guides help improve the rod’s performance.

This rod has special wrapping at three different angles, and the placement of the guides work with the wrapping to keep power smooth and consistent throughout the rod.

That power helps you maintain better control of the rod when dealing with big fish.

The rod also has a sanded smooth carbon blank. It has high-density grips, an ergonomic reel seat, and a hook keeper.

With an average customer rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars, it’s a popular choice on Amazon.

Gone Fishing

Gone Fishing

Fishing is a fantastic outdoor activity for adults and children alike. It’s even something you can do as a family. But like other activities, you need some equipment before you head to your local lake.

In this Ugly Stik Elite review, we looked at a few Elite fishing rods. We looked at their sizes and features, and we also looked at some similar rods from the competition.

If you’re a beginner, we think the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod is an excellent first rod. And if you’re looking to challenge yourself, then the Casting Rod is perfect for you. The Salmon/Steelhead rod is excellent if you want to fish for salmon or steelhead.

Have you tried any of these rods? Leave your personal Ugly Stik Elite review in the comments!

Canoe Vs. Kayak: Which One Will Work Better For You?

Canoe Vs. Kayak

Have you ever looked longingly at a river and wondered what it’s like to travel down it? If so, you need to know the differences between a canoe vs. kayak. They’re not the same, and they’re not suited for all the same things.

They do have a few overlaps, of course. However, beyond knowing those few, you may have found that you don’t know much about them.

If you want to get into either of these water sports, we can help you understand the differences between canoes and kayaks. That way, you’ll be armed with the knowledge you need before you go out.

Canoe vs. Kayak: Which Is Which?

Kayak vs Canoe

If you don’t know much about these two types of watercraft, figuring out what’s a canoe and what’s a kayak might seem confusing. Indeed, they don’t look very much alike, and they’ve got some significant differences between them other than appearance.

Canoes resemble boats, in part because their sides come up out of the water. They’re also open on top, as well as bigger and heavier than kayaks.

Kayaks, on the other hand, are smaller and flatter than canoes, and they’re mostly, or entirely, closed on top. They’re also smaller and lighter than canoes, making them easy to transport.

That might make a kayak seem like a better choice, right? Not necessarily. Knowing whether you want a canoe vs. kayak depends on where you’re going and what you want to do.

A Brief History of Canoes and Kayaks

A Brief History of Canoes and Kayaks

Canoes go back at least 10,000 years, whereas kayaks go back about 4,000 years.

The oldest watercraft ever discovered in Europe is 10,000 years old, and the earliest boats in both China and Africa are about 8,000 years old. All three are wooden “dugout” canoes.

Those who made these canoes hollowed out tree trunks and logs with axes to create the inside of the craft. In other words, they dug the wood out from the centers of these trees and logs. That’s where the word “dugout” comes from when referring to these canoes.

As for kayaks, historians believe that Native peoples in the Arctic regions of North America and Greenland invented kayaks.

They carved this watercraft from driftwood and whalebone with seal skin stretched over the entire structure. They waterproofed that skin with caribou and whale fat, making them fit to use on the water.

Ancient peoples used both canoes and kayaks for transporting people, food, and other goods.

Differences in Canoes vs. Kayaks

Obviously, you can’t decide on a canoe vs. kayak if you don’t know the differences between them. You can have one or two-person canoes and kayaks, so that’s not a difference. So, what are some of those differences?

Design differences

The first difference you’ll notice between canoes and kayaks are their designs. You can use both in certain bodies of water, and you paddle both, but their similarities pretty much end there.

Canoes

Canoes

We already mentioned that canoes are open on top and have sides that come up out of the water. And that’s why they resemble boats, particularly rowboats.

However, they also have seats inside. In a two-person canoe, one seat is in the front, near the bow, and the other is in the back, near the stern. In a single-person (solo) canoe, the seat is situated just behind the center.

Canoes also have several struts that help them maintain their shape. The most popular style of canoe — the “Canadian” style — is 13 to 17 feet long.

To board a canoe, you only have to step into it. You can do that at a dock or on a beach (assuming you can push off from there). You can even do it from shallow water. You’re also less likely to get wet in a canoe because of its design.

Furthermore, a canoe’s design allows you to carry a lot of gear depending on how much weight you can handle.

Kayaks

Kayaks

Kayaks, on the other hand, either have cockpits or have an entirely closed top. You either sit on top of a kayak, or you have to slide your legs into the cockpit in order to board. Some might say that you ride a canoe, but you wear a kayak.

There are kayaks out there where your legs don’t actually slide inside it. And there are times you don’t want that style kayak.

When you board a kayak, you have to be careful to maintain its balance. That makes getting into one a little trickier than getting into a canoe. However, this design gives you more control over it when you’re in the water.

Also, since kayaks are smaller and closed, you can’t always carry as much gear as you can in a canoe. That’s something you’ll have to keep in mind when comparing a canoe vs. kayak.

Differences in paddling techniques

Design isn’t the only major difference between canoes and kayaks. You paddle them differently, too. Canoe paddles have one blade, and you hold it with one hand on the end for control and the other in the middle for power.

You also alternate which side you paddle on in order to go straight.

If you’re riding with someone, the two of you paddle on opposite sides and should switch sides at the same time (which is easier said than done, so if you want to canoe with someone, you should find a way to practice paddling together). Otherwise, you start turning just as you would if you were alone and only paddling on one side.

However, you don’t necessarily have to alternate strokes. You can paddle a few strokes on one side and then switch to the other.

By contrast, you paddle a kayak with a double-bladed paddle. You hold this paddle with both hands at a comfortable distance apart, and you move your hands in alternating circles just like the way bike pedals move for your strokes.

You can use a double-bladed paddle with a canoe, but because the sides of a canoe come up out of the water, doing so is a little more difficult than in a kayak.

Activities and lifestyles for which each one is designed

As you compare a canoe vs. kayak, think about the activities you like and your overall lifestyle. If you’re a thrill-seeker, you might quickly get bored with canoeing. By the same token, if you prefer calm, quiet, and even lazy trips, you can do this in a kayak, but you’ll be better off in a canoe.

Canoes are better suited to calm waters like lakes and wide, flat, slow-moving rivers. Inland rivers through flatlands attract canoers more than kayakers because of that. Also, since you can carry more gear, you can make your entire trip more comfortable than you can in a kayak.

However, if you have a thrill-seeking adventurer lurking inside you, then you may want to consider a kayak. Kayaks make seeking those thrills on the water much easier and safer.

Canoe vs. Kayak: Where you want to go matters, too

Think about what you want to do with a canoe vs. kayak. Do you want to float around a lake or down a lazy, slow-moving river? Are you more interested in paddling in the ocean? Do you want to experience the thrill of whitewater rapids?

Kayaks are easier to paddle than canoes because they have less friction in the water. Because of that, they’re more prevalent on most waterways than canoes these days. You can achieve higher speeds more easily in a kayak than in a canoe.

That doesn’t make them better, though. When you need to carry a lot of gear, or you’ll have to be loading and unloading your gear frequently due to things like portages, you’ll probably want a canoe.

Canoes, because you can stretch your legs out a little bit inside them, are often more comfortable than kayaks. Some kayaks do have a more open design, and your legs aren’t actually inside them, so you can find ways to stretch them out in those too.

However, you don’t want this kind of a design if you plan on going through large, fast rapids or anywhere else where you might get thrown. You also want a sea kayak if you want to go out in the ocean.

Canoe vs. Kayak: The Point Is to Have Fun

There’s no rule against having both and enjoying their differences. It all depends on what you want and enjoy doing.

Ultimately, the whole point of having either one of these is to have fun, which is why knowing the differences between canoes and kayaks is so essential. When you have the proper knowledge, you can maximize your enjoyment and minimize your problems. So decide, go out, and enjoy!

Have you ever ridden in a kayak or a canoe? Which one do you prefer? Let us know in the comments!

How to Ride a Ripstik: Full Guide to Mastering Your Board

How to Ride a Ripstik

I first tried riding a skateboard as a kid, rather than learning how to ride a Ripstik. Let’s just say things went downhill quickly.

That’s our first lesson for the day. As a beginner, stay away from hills no matter what wheeled board you’re on.

After I learned that lesson, I tried following my parents as they went for a walk. It sounds simple enough until you realize you don’t know how to turn a skateboard.

Always having to stop your skateboard to pick it up and turn it isn’t very fun. Eventually, I decided I’d rather ride a Ripstik, and the whole learning process was much more pleasant and intuitive.

Not Your Average Board

a caster board

A Ripstik, also known as a caster board, is a two-wheeled board that’s propelled by twisting it left and right. As you make this “wiggling” motion, the board’s propelled forward.

Ripstik can turn on a dime and navigate tight spaces, making them a one of a kind board to ride on.

They’re a truly unique way to skate that has many advantages over traditional skateboards and longboards. You can find Ripstiks on Amazon for a reasonable price.

No More “Kick-Push”

Ride a Ripstik

What’s great about learning how to ride a Ripstik compared to a skateboard is that you never really move once you’re on it.

Skateboards require you to pivot forward by kicking the board forward, and then you have to turn sideways to turn the board.

This process is complicated and makes it hard to balance on the thing.

Ripstiks don’t require you to take your foot off once you get moving. You keep your feet planted, and instead, lean them forward and back to move and turn.

This saves the time and energy that skateboards make you use by kicking at the ground.

Furthermore, Ripstiks can make far sharper turns than skateboards and longboards, giving you more mobility.

The biggest downside to Ripstiks is that they get tiring to ride. They don’t coast as far or go as fast as longboards and skateboards, so you have to put a bit more energy into them.

Tips on How to Ride a Ripstik

It takes a little practice to learn how to ride a Ripstik, but if you’re dedicated and have a buddy, you can learn within an afternoon.

Once you learn how to ride a Ripstik, a whole new way to skate is opened up to you for life.

Getting started

Before mastering any art, you need to learn the basics. When learning how to ride a Ripstik, the same applies.

The athletic stance

First, you must learn the athletic stance. That’s how you’ll stay on your Ripstik rather than continually falling off.

To practice this, pretend you’re a sumo wrestler. Stand on flat ground, with your feet shoulder-width apart.

Point your feet straight ahead, then rotate them slightly away from each other. Now bend your knees a little, and keep your chest straight up.

That’s the stance you’ll want to keep when you’re on your Ripstik.

It might feel strange at first, but it’s the best way to stay balanced!

Getting moving

Once you learn the athletic stance, you’re a step closer to learning how to ride a Ripstik.

So, now it’s time to grab your Ripstik and try it out.

Before hopping on, make sure to put on a helmetknee pads, and elbow pads. Skating gloves are nice too so that if you fall you don’t scratch your hands or hurt your wrists.

Grabbing a friend will help out too.

Once you’re ready, lay your Ripstik on a flat, hard surface.

To get on your Ripstik, you want to first put your non-dominant foot on the front section of the board. You’ll want to get it positioned right in the middle.

Next, you’ll use your dominant foot to push yourself and your board forward. After pushing, place your dominant foot on the middle of the back section of the board.

You’ll glide forward for a bit, then once the board slows down, hop off.

If you have a friend with you, you can rest your hand on their shoulder for balance. You don’t even need to push forward if you have a friend, because they can move you forward by walking alongside you.

Doing this will teach you how to balance on your Ripstik, which is the most essential part of learning how to ride a Ripstik.

Wiggle wiggle wiggle

Now that you know how to stand up on your Ripstik, it’s time to learn how to ride a Ripstik farther than you can coast.

That’s where many people get hung up. It’s relatively simple but takes a bit of practice to get comfortable.

For beginners, a simple way to make your Ripstik move forward is to wiggle your foot that’s on the back-end of your Ripstik.

You don’t have to move your front foot very much. Just focus on making the back platform of your Ripstik sway a little bit. You may need to lean your foot a bit forward and backward for it to work.

When learning this step, it’s especially helpful to have a friend that you can rest your hand on for support.

After a little bit of practice, you’ll eventually feel comfortable jiggling your foot to make your Ripstik move. However, this get’s exhausting, and if you try riding like this for a while, your calves will burn like crazy.

The next step to learning how to ride a Ripstik farther than three feet is the “sway.”

To sway, keep your front foot steady, then move your rear foot side to side by rotating your hips. As you turn your hips left and right, your rear foot will naturally swing back and forth.

This motion propels your Ripstik forward naturally and keeps you from tiring out your calves so quickly.

Figuring out how to turn

Congratulations! You’ve got the tricky part out of the way.

The next thing you need to know to learn how to ride a Ripstik is how to turn the thing. Riding a Ripstik isn’t too fun if you can only go straight forward.

Turning your Ripstik is simple. You either lean your front foot forward, or you lean it backward.

The hardest part of turning is figuring out how to shift your weight. As you turn each way, you’ll have to lean back a little or forward a little depending on which way you’re turning.

It’s best to start off practicing wide, and arching turns while using a buddy for support. Eventually, you can start practicing figure eights and trying to make sharp turns.

Thinking like a skier

For your final step in learning how to ride a Ripstik, you need to learn how to slow down. It’s kind of important to be able to stop your Ripstik.

One way to slow down your Ripstik is to pretend you’re a skier. On ski slopes, skier’s make wide, arching turns left and right to slow down. You can do the same on your Ripstik.

If you’re riding on a wide enough surface, you can make broad turns left and right to slow down.

When you don’t have this kind of space to slow down, your options for slowing are limited.

Honestly, you just have to wait for it to slow down enough that you can step off or safely ride your Ripstik into a patch of grass.

When riding, you need to keep in mind that your options for stopping are limited. Never go fast when you know there’s a road or obstacle up ahead.

Mastering Your Craft

Once you learn the basics of how to ride a Ripstik, the opportunities are endless. You can learn how to do tricks, make turns on a dime, and feel the air rushing past your face.

It’ll take a bit of riding to get completely comfortable, but you’ll get there. Practicing in your driveway or garage is a great way to learn how to turn in tight spaces.

Eventually, you’ll get a feel for things while cruising around town. And once you become a pro on your Ripstik, all your friends will want one. That’s just the way it goes.

They realize how great Ripstiks are after riding on yours, then buy their own. Before you know it, you’ll have a whole Ripstik posse at your side.

Have you found any tips that helped you learn how to ride your Ripstik? Share them in the comments to help out a fellow beginner!

What Is Badminton? 4 Things You Need to Know

What Is Badminton

Competitive badminton isn’t a huge thing in America, so many people wonder, “What is badminton?”

Simply put, it’s a fast-paced racket game with a twist. Instead of a ball, there’s a special implement with feathery parts sticking out of it.

What is ​it good for? Well, it’s a popular backyard game in many parts of the world for a few reasons.

What Is Badminton?

Badminton is a sport and a popular backyard game where players use rackets to hit a small object known as a shuttle or shuttlecock. A proper game involves two or four people, but a casual game can accommodate greater or uneven numbers. It’s quite similar to tennis, but some elements have more in common with volleyball.

So, what is badminton’s distinguishing feature? That would be the shuttle, which fills the role that a ball would play in most racket games. Traditionally, they feature feathers, but modern ones usually have plastic mesh frames instead. One end has a small, rounded, bouncy hitting surface.

Badminton

Then, what is badminton – a game or a sport? While it began as a recreational game, it’s a now proper sport and an Olympic discipline for decades.

What makes ​it such a great outdoor activity is mainly the simplicity. Practically any backyard can accommodate the game, and it’s very quick to set up and simple to play. Plus, it’s an inexpensive way to activate a whole family or group of kids.

If you need a fun activity for family get-togethers, neighborhood BBQs, or children’s parties – badminton is a great choice. Also, it’s a good way to make sure your kids get enough exercise.

The History of Badminton

What is badminton’s origin story? Well, the official rumor has it that it developed among British soldiers in India during the colonial era. They called it Poona, like the city where it originated. Similar games have existed in Europe and Asia for ages, dating back to ancient Greece and Egypt as well as Imperial China.

The English name for this older game is “Battledore and shuttlecock,” and badminton was originally “Badminton Shuttlecock.” This name derives from the Badminton House in Gloucestershire, England.

The people at the Duke of Beaufort’s residence had developed an advanced set of rules for the game. A London toy merchant named Isaac Spratt published a rule booklet in 1860 called “Badminton battledore – a new game.”

So, to answer the “what is badminton” question, we can summarize it as a compilation of new rules for an old and widespread battledore game. And “battledore” is an older word for “racket.”

The first official English tournament took place in 1899, after which it gained traction in Canada and the United States. It’s gained worldwide popularity since, and it’s part of the summer Olympics since 1992. Rules have changed slightly since then, but it’s the same general game.

What is badminton’s distinct quality? Well, it’s among the fastest racket sports, and it’s one of the first major sports with mixed-gender teams. Singles competitions are always either male or female, but there are mixed doubles competitions as well as men’s and women’s ones.

What Equipment Do You Need to Play Badminton?

Equipment  For  Play Badminton

What is badminton without the right equipment? It’s impossible to play.

But what is badminton equipment, more specifically? You’ll need at least two rackets, a net, and some shuttles. That’s all you need for a casual game, but you may also want something to mark the edges of the badminton field.

If you’re wondering whether you can play badminton with other rackets, the answer is no. For example, tennis rackets are too bulky for this light and agile game.

Plus, a badminton racket requires specific levels of tension and elasticity. Otherwise, the kinetic energy won’t be suitable for the shuttle, which is vastly different from a ball. It’s a matter of badminton physics.

Materials differ, but household badminton rackets usually consist of aluminum or carbon fiber with nylon strings. You may also find wooden ones, but we don’t recommend them due to their lower performance.

Shuttle materials also differ, but ones for backyard use usually consist of a rubber “ball” with plastic “pens” that mimic the dynamics of feathers. Proper ones have a cork ball covered in leather, and some cheap ones use compressed paper.

We recommend this complete set of badminton stuff. However, for those who want a cheaper option, there’s also this one.

What’s a badminton field?

The field is the area where you play badminton. It consists of a track, a net, and a set of poles. The official measurement for the track is 13.30 by 5.18 meters.

Converted to freedom units, that’s approximately 43 feet 8 inches long and 17 feet wide. Of course, you can adjust the size to better fit your lawn or the size of the participants when you play at home. Doubles use a slightly wider field, officially 6.1 meters.

An easy way to outline your field is to use string. You can also mark the corners with cones.

Next, the net should be as wide as the field. To get it at the right height, you’ll want the poles at the height of 1.5 meters, or 4 feet 11. However, smaller children may benefit from a lower net.

How to Play Badminton?

Once you have everything set up, it’s time to play. Grab your rackets and take your spots on opposite sides of the net.

Next, you serve the ball. You’ll want to hit it with an upward motion to get it to the other side of the net. There’s no bouncing in badminton. When the shuttle touches the ground on one side of the net, the team on the other side gains a point.

When the shuttle comes your way, you send it back and try to make it impossible for your opponent to hit. If you land it outside the field or hit the net, your opponent gains a point. You can strike the shuttle in any direction you like, although you’ll want to stick with backhands when you’re in the rear of the field. Also, no player or team can hit the shuttle twice in a row; it must go back and forth.

Now you may be wondering: What is badminton all about?

The goal is to get 21 points, at which point you win the set. Win two sets, and you win the game.

There’s one caveat. If both sides have 20 points, you need to land two points in a row to win.

While this may sound like a lot to take in at first, it’s really simple. It’s also pretty easy, although it does take some speed and mobility. This makes it suitable for mixed groups, and it’s a game that grandparents can play with their grandchildren.

Badminton ​Rules

Badminton ​Rules

What is badminton if you don’t follow the basic rules? That would be a different game.

The International Badminton Federation has altered the official rules slightly in 2006 and 2016, so older badminton players may argue with you on the rules. However, the changes are very small.

Unlike tennis, badminton gives a point each round regardless of which side served the ball. This makes the game simpler and less drawn-out.

Games go up to three sets. If a team wins two in a row, there’s no third set.

What if both teams reach 20, and then the points just go back and forth so that nobody gains an advantage of 2 points? In this case, the first to reach 30 is the winner.

At the start of each round, every participant should return to the starting point. In a singles game, opponents must stand diagonally across from each other.

Another important rule concerns how to serve properly. You can’t hit it like a tennis player. In badminton, you must perform an underhand serve below your waist.

Is Badminton Good Exercise?

Badminton can definitely be a great form of exercise if you do it right. It’s a full-body exercise that requires a fair amount of aerobic endurance if you play an intense game. On the other hand, you can take it easy as well, and there aren’t many heavy movements. Therefore, the risk of injury is low.

Since you move in all directions, swinging your arms and sometimes jumping, you’ll tone and balance every part of your body. And the challenge increases gently as you and your playing partners develop.

Due to the fast nature of the game, it requires more movement than tennis. Therefore, it’s an efficient way to burn fat or release excess energy and stress. Since movement isn’t constant, you get some rest periods, which let you increase your overall endurance throughout the game.

So, another answer to “what is badminton” is that it’s a type of full-body interval training.

​Ready to Play?

Let’s have a quick recap. What is badminton?

It’s a fast-paced racket game with a rich history that’s popular both in backyards and Olympic stadiums. What is badminton all about? Landing the shuttle in the opponent’s field until you win to sets.

Now that you’ve read the whole thing, you know all the essentials of badminton. If someone asks you, “What is badminton?” you’ll have all the answers they need.

We hope that you’ll enjoy many games of badminton. It’s a game that almost anyone can play, and it doesn’t take much. Have fun!