Fila Algot Hoodie
Whether lounging around the house or needing some warmth to and from the courts on a cool day, nothing beats a cozy hoodie. Made with brushed back Union fleece fabric (80% cotton/ 20% polyester) this Fila pullover is so comfortable it’s sure to become a mainstay in your wardrobe. Pictured here in electric blue, it also comes in gardenia, electric purple and yellow. There’s little guarantee the hoodie will make you a better player, but it will make you a more stylish one.
The History of Tennis: Legendary Champions, Magical Moments
With a subject as sprawling as the entire history of tennis, it takes an author that has truly been there and done that. Richard Evans has been covering the sport since well before Stan Smith was a shoe. He has reported on and broadcasted from more than 200 Grand Slams, rubbing shoulders with players who have stadiums named after them. An author of twenty books, including Open Tennis, Evans has now chronicled the sport from Henry VIII to playing in a quarantined bubble.
Set to be released in April 2021, the book breaks down the history by decade, with special chapters devoted to such subjects as the birth of WTA and the Williams sisters. The rich text is only matched by the 500 color and black-and-white photographs that illustrate the 375 pages. It’s a worthy addition to any tennis fan’s bookshelf.
Quantum Energy Squares
Price: $28/Variety 8-pack
Finding peri-match nutrition can be tricky. You want something that will effectively fuel the workout without causing any digestive stress. A pleasing taste wouldn’t hurt either. Created for performance by a sports nutritionist and food scientist with flavor input from a pastry chef, Quantum Energy Squares mixes plant-based protein, healthy fats and complex carbs to do just that. The energy comes via the 100mg of organic caffeine—basically the same as a cup of coffee—in each square. However, unlike the spike and crash from a shot of espresso or sugary drink, by combining the caffeine with a blend of clean macronutrients the energy is a longer-lasting slow burn.
Recently invested in by Grand Slam champ, Sloane Stephens, they’re the official energy bar of the U.S. Ironman Series. The squares currently come in four flavors: Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate (my favorite), Caffe Mocha Almond Chip, Dark Chocolate Pink Himalayan Sea Salt and Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip. They’re available at Whole Foods, Sprouts Market and the company website.
When it comes to battling sore muscles and achy joints, CBD oil has become a popular natural alternative to conventional painkillers and drugs. The healing formula in SMPLSTC’s full spectrum CBD roll-on contains 500 mg of the hemp extract. The lotion is quickly absorbed through the skin in the localized area of discomfort, rather than systemically through the bloodstream like an oral medication. In addition to the CBD, it contains cooling menthol and camphor for temporary pain relief and eucalyptus essential oil for its anti-inflammatory properties. The lotion has a mild, minty smell upon first application that fades quickly. If other traditional remedies have fallen short of easing your pain, or you prefer more homeopathic options, CBD could be an answer.
Price: $35/4-pack of strips; $40/grip
The vibration emitted from a frame during contact not only impacts the body, it can also affect the quality of a shot. VT Advantec has engineered two products that affix to a racquet—strips and replacement grips—that lessens vibration's influence in a swing. Each possesses a proprietary polymer that absorb and dissipate shock to help cushion impact for increased stability, comfort and control. After experimenting with both options—separately and in tandem—they live up to their billing by offering a warmer, friendlier response at contact.
The strips are placed on the racquet face as you would with lead tape, but they are not intended to add mass. Each strip weighs less than a gram and do little to alter the balance of the frame. The replacement grip is made of premium 100% (super soft) calfskin leather, weighs 22g—so it could add weight to the handle—and installs without the use of adhesive. It’s on the thin side and really promotes a connected feel to the bevels. A cushion grip option will be available soon that provides the same technology but is a bit thicker. They’re not cheap, but well worth it if you’re looking to minimize vibration and increase the comfort in your game.
When you’ve got chronic pain in a joint or muscle you can treat the symptoms, or you can go straight to the source. Scraping the soft tissue around an injury has been found to be an effective way to alleviate discomfort and speed up the healing process. The process can break up scar tissue, muscle tension and trigger points and promote increased blood flow to the area. From personal experience, it has done wonders to help my chronic elbow pain.
The Wave Tool was developed by physical therapists—and avid mountain climbers—to be an ergonomic myofascial release and edge instrument. The three-dimensional, durable fiberglass/nylon composite has nine different massage (pressure points) and edge (scraping) features that are fashioned to treat the largest muscles down to the smallest joints. Players suffering from tennis elbow, knee pain or plantar fasciitis would be wise to add the Wave Tool to their treatment arsenal.