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Gator Skin Dodgeball Review

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gator skin dodgeballs
gator skin dodgeballs

If you’ve got an indoor shed or gym, one great thing to add is dodgeball.  When I put Versacourt in my shed, the first thing I ordered after it was a set of 6 gator skin dodgeballs.  When I was a kid, we didn’t even have official dodgeballs, we just used old volleyballs in our gym.  Nowadays, they have much better options, I’ll go over the ones I bought below.

Gator Skin Dodgeball Review

When I first got the balls, I couldn’t believe how light they felt compared to the volleyballs I’d used in the past.  They promised that they were safe to use as well and I agree, they were very soft when you got hit and didn’t leave marks or hurt either.

Can you throw them hard?  Absolutely.  I really couldn’t believe you could throw them so hard without them hurting, but they’ve accomplished that goal really well.  My kids really liked them as well, they ask to play dodgeball all the time.  It’s really a hit when when their friends come over, most kids aren’t used to playing dodgeball outside of school.

I put a picture below to show their relative size to a women’s basketball.  As you can see, they’re quite a bit smaller, easy for young kids to grab.  Kids of all ages can have fun with them.

gator skin dodgeball size comparison
gator skin dodgeball size comparison

Originally when I bought them they were kind of expensive, but I see now that the price has gotten very affordable.  I think it’s due to increased competition.  The ones I bought were from S&S Worldwide.  You can buy the through my Amazon affiliate link below:

S&S Worldwide Gator Skin Dodgeballs (set of 6)

There are other brands you can buy but some of their reviews aren’t the best or they may not be as soft.  The #1 thing with younger kids is you want something that isn’t going to hurt.

 

Shuffleboard on the ground

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When most people think shuffleboard, they think of those long shuffleboard tables that are often in bars or basements.  The other kind of shuffleboard though has been around forever is the kind you play on a shuffleboard court.  Shuffleboard on the ground has been around for a long time, being noted in England in 1532.

How to play Shuffleboard on the Ground

Floor shuffleboard (or deck shuffleboard) is another name for playing shuffleboard on the ground.  I think the deck comes from cruise ships where it’s a mainstay.  On floor shuffleboard, players use cues and discs rather than their hands and a table.  Instead of trying to get past point lines of 1, 2, and 3, floor shuffleboard involves a triangle with values of 10, 10-off, 8, 8, 7, and 7.

What is similar is that you use 4 discs in alternating fashion where you try and knock off, block, and score till you get to the desired final score (usually 50, 75, or 100).  I remember my brother and I playing it at a hotel when we were kids, it was a blast.  Of course back then we really didn’t know what we were doing, just that we needed to get on the triangle values.

Which set to get?

There are few options, the best low priced option appears to be from Champion Sports.  Although there are some complaints about the quality of the pucks (and not being the right shape completely) it’s still the best rated of the lower cost options.  It’s available through my Amazon affiliate link here:

Champion Sports Classic Group Games Shuffleboard Set Indoor Outdoor

I’m actually looking to buy a set for my outdoor shed, probably going to go with this set.  Mine won’t be sliding on concrete though, it will be on Versacourt flooring (which probably will work better than concrete).  I’ll probably have to use some colored tape to make the scoring zone correctly.

 

 

Can you bust in shuffleboard?

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This a frequent question I get asked and honestly there’s not much info on it so I thought that I go over that today.  The short answer is, no you can’t bust go bust in shuffleboard.  Because of the way the game is scored, there’s no reason ever to go for less points unless you’re playing some variation of standard scoring.

How many points is a standard shuffleboard game?

You’re going to see all kinds of various answers like 11, 15, 21, etc.  Unless you’re playing for a championship, I think it’s basically whatever you agree to play to.  Most of the time my family and I play to 11 or 15.  We’re a lot less skilled though than a lot of players though, so if we went any higher the games would take forever.  🙂  This only applies to table shuffleboard.

In outdoor shuffleboard, you typically play to 50 or 100 because the scoring values are a lot higher.  The concept is the same though, and just like table shuffleboard you can’t go bust.

 

 

 

 

 

Working out while playing video games

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Overwatch on elliptical machine
Overwatch on elliptical machine

I’m sure everyone has seen the stereotypical video gamer in the movies, the guys who live in their mom’s basement and don’t ever come out.  Well those may still exist, but these days video games have become more and more popular with Fortnite becoming a huge phenomenon.

My problem as a father of two boys is that I love video games but I also need to keep in shape, and there just isn’t enough time for me to do both on a daily basis.  That is, until I came up with a way to combine the two.  Note, there are some affiliate links to Amazon below, full disclosure.  I include them to help pay for the costs of the website with no cost to you.  Thanks for your support.

Video game workout on a Recumbent Bike

The first time I tried this like 5 years, I played games on a recumbent Schwinn bike we had.  It worked pretty well although I don’t think I was getting the best workout, it made my legs really tired but I never got super sweaty or worn out.  I remember playing X-Com on the Xbox 360 forever on that bike.

The problem was though, I wasn’t burning enough calories.  After I went through P90x, I realized that while the bike was better than nothing, I really needed to do more on daily basis in order to lose more weight.  That when the elliptical machine came into play.

Video game workout on an Elliptical Machine

Now I know you’re saying, how can you play video games on an elliptical machine, won’t you fall off?  Well, if you have bad balance or a machine that throws you off balance, then you might be right.  Luckily the machine we have is perfect, the Octane Q35 Elliptical machine.  We bought it used for $500 off craigslist for those who are looking for a decent used elliptical machine.  They come up for sale quite a bit.

Video games on my elliptical machine
Video games on my elliptical machine

In any case, I started playing games on it.  The hardest part by far is when the games get intense I have a tendency to lean forward too much, lol.  But other than that, it’s a fantastic way to make working out time fly by in no time.  Right now I’ve been playing a ton of Overwatch on it, try to master that.  How successful can you be?  Well I was able to make platinum basically only playing on the elliptical machine.  I don’t know how many others are playing Overwatch on an elliptical machine but there can’t be many.

One minor trouble spot with the elliptical is voice communication via the headset.  When you’re working out, unfortunately all the heavy breathing comes through the microphone, so it actually sounds like you’re exhausted from playing video games.  It makes it a little difficult to play with your friends, which is honestly the only drawback I’ve come across.  I usually have to tilt my mic up higher so it only pics up sound when I talk loud.

Can you game on a treadmill?

We have a treadmill, but I haven’t tried that.  Honestly, I don’t think I would.  It looks like it would be kind of dangerous if you tripped because your hands are on a controller and not able to catch you, so you’d fly off the back and onto the floor or into the wall.  I don’t think I’d recommend it unless you’ve got some sort of safety mechanism to keep you safe.

I do think there was a guy on a sports gaming podcast that was playing games on a treadmill, so obviously it is possible if you have the right safety mechs in place.  Tripping on a treadmill is not fun, I remember laughing at someone else when it happened to them until it happened to me too, lol.  In my case, my shoelace loop went perfectly around the toe of my other shoe, tying my shoes together effectively and making me fall onto the control panel until it threw me out the back.  Pretty graceful.  🙂

If you have any other ways to get a video game workout, let me know.  I’d like to hear about other ideas.

The Best Pinball News Sources

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It used to be that pinball news was very slow and uneventful.  In fact there basically was no news.  In 2005 when I got into the hobby, there was only one news source, Pinball News, and their biggest claim to fame were their in depth reviews of new Stern machines.  When Sterns started having unfinished code all the time on release, then Pinball News started to lose some of their draw (at least for me anyways).  I’m going to run down the top news sources for pinball right now.

#1  This Week In Pinball

If you haven’t been paying attention, a new news source for pinball has burst onto the seen this past year.  Called “This Week In Pinball”, the site goes through every major news story of the week and even does their own investigations and interviews.  The site has seen a massive rise in popularity in just a short time due to the great content it features.

I think it started out as a website that basically summarized the forum happenings on Pinside.  But as its popularity grew, he started branching out into interviews and more in depth reporting.  He’s even started his own podcast, I recommend checking it out.

This Week In Pinball can be found here:

thisweekinpinball.com

Every Monday he comes out with new news, so set a reminder.  Also, if you like his cause, don’t forget to donate, he would really appreciate it as he does a ton of work.

This Week In Pinball is also host of the TWIPY awards which caused a major stir last year when Kaneda’s Pinball Podcast end up winning.  It will be interesting this year to see who wins the awards and if there are any more controversial winners.

#2 Pinball News

The original online news source for pinball.  For a long time they only posted intermittent articles along with game reviews for newer Sterns (at least until they had the unfinished code issue, which caused them to be unable to fully review the games).  Today though they have fully written articles with the latest in pinball news.

The place where Pinball News shines above everyone else is original content.  They have a huge library of written articles and are generating new content weekly.  I highly recommend you check them out.  You can find them here:

pinballnews.com

#3  Fun With Bonus

If you’re a tournament player, this is the site to go to.  Steve Bowden, one of the world’s best players run it, and keeps it up to date with all kinds of tournament talk and other happenings in the pinball world.  A lot of people know Steve from pinball podcasts as he’s a frequent guest on a bunch of them.  His commentary on things is great.

Most of the content is links to other content from other sites for the most part.  But you’d never find it without him organizing it all for you, there are so many things going on that it’s impossible to keep track of them all.

The site is found here:

funwithbonus.com

Conclusion

Hopefully this has clued you into the best pinball news sources right now.  I’ll probably update this with new ones as they come along.  It will take someone a lot of work though to dethrone This Week In Pinball.