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Product Advice

Q         What size football should my son use?

A         Size 3 Under 8’s and mini soccer

            Size4 Age group 9 – 14

            Size 5 Regulation size age 14+ A specialist such as Mitre would produce a comprehensive range from Futsal through to Ultimax and beyond.


Q         What size tennis racquet should I use?

A         Size and strength of children varies enormously but as a rule of thumb the following will help, this guide has been given by HEAD (Andy Murray’s choice of manufacturer Age 2-4   19”     Age 4 – 6   21”     Age 6 – 8   23”   Age 8 – 10 25”

Age 10 – 12 26” or maybe a small grip full size racquet such as the Babolat Drive Z lite would be a good choice.


Q         I am putting up my new dartboard – what height should it be?

A         From the floor to the centre of the bullseye should measure 5’8 (172cm) as suggested by specialists UNICORN. Always buy the best bristle dartboard it will last you many years.


Q         My son’s tennis coach mentioned “traffic light system” what does this mean?

A         It means the low-bounce tennis ball system for mini tennis. Starting with the Red/yellowUnder 8’s progressing to the Orange/yellow 8 –9 yrs then onto the green/yellow 10 yrs before playing with the normal yellow tennis ball. This enables children to play the ball correctly and produce the full swing at the height they need rather than the ball bouncing over their heads. WILSON, HEAD, BABOLAT, YONEX, PRINCE all produce the junior racquets from 19” – 26”.


Q         What is the difference between a single and a double yellow dot Squash ball?

A         Very little both are used in club and tournament play.   The single dot allows a little more ‘hang-time’ in the air and also is better for boasting off the walls. In summer conditions the double yellow would be our first choice.   There is now a beginners ball and a progress ball which are slightly larger. Always buy good shoes try PRINCE top selling shoes for comfort and longevity.


Q         I am going to start running for the new year – what do I need to know before buying shoes?

A         Basically there are three types of running style: Supinator, Neutral, and Overpronator. A specialist running store will identify this for you. You will be looking for lightness, support and stability. Only consider good technical shoes such as ASICS, ADIDAS, NIKE.


Q         What is the difference between a composite and a wooden hockey stick?

A         GRAYS, TK, GRYPHON, DITA, KOOKABURA, ADIDAS being the big brands in hockey all have vast ranges in composite sticks. The lightness and stiffness creates superb power and manoeuvrability that could only be produced in wood by making the stick heavy and thick. Also, weight is more consistent.


Q         I have seen cricket bats in Kashmir willow that are very reasonably priced compared to English willow – what’s the difference.

A         Kashmir willow is harder and therefore more resilient usually aimed at the starter and/or junior market. For greater ball striking/handling and good balance an English Willow bat is the best, it is soft, fibreous,it has a honeycomb type cell structure together with the natural moisture which enables the manufacturer to press the wood giving an excellent ball striking well balanced feel.   All bats are graded in quality of the timber. Often hand-finished, particularly, by SALIX, MILLICHAMP & HALL, BRADBURY, NEWBURY.


Q         How do I avoid damaged “cauliflower” ears?

A         KOOGA, GILBERT, CANTERBURY, SAMURAI, OPTIMUM all produce excellent headguards which is a protective garment highly recommended by coaches.


Q        Can someone explain why my cheaper goalkeeper gloves seem to last longer that those I pay a lot for?

A         The more you pay for your glove the better the latex foam on the palms perform – they hold the ball extremely well. The harder rubber of the cheaper gloves gives long life and little adhesion to the ball. SELLS, SELSPORT, ADIDAS, UHLSPORT, REUSCH are brand leaders.


Q         Why are some badminton shuttles yellow?

A         It was discovered that in some venues where badminton is played the walls are often high and white, therefore, the yellow is more visible. YONEX shuttles are the choice of champions.


Q         My son says he wants a compression base layer, what is it?

A         SKINS BioAcceleration Technology creates marked improvements in lessening the build-up of lactic acid after periods of high exertion. You experience less fatigue, minimize soreness and recover faster. Other companies like UNDER ARMOUR, CANTERBURY, NIKE, KOOGA, GILBERT produce baselayers in slightly less technical material to keep the body warm or cool depending on the sport/conditions, and are more affordable.


Q         My Doctor tells me I have tennis elbow, what is it?

A         Tennis elbow is a repetitive strain injury which can be caused by tennis, javelin, gardening, home improvement work, in fact anything that strains the tendons, even picking up heavy pans in a kitchen can cause this. The solution is to REST, however, an elbow is hard to rest. The answer is an AIRCAST ELBOW SUPPORT. Tried and trusted over 25 years, this really does prevent the shock of action to carry into the elbow.     

  1. My daughter wants a hockey stick what size does she need?

Height below 4ft     22, 24, 26, 28, 30”

4ft   to 4’ 7”             32”

4’ 7” to 5ft                34”

5 ft to 6’ 2”               36.5”


Q         I notice that tennis racquets vary in price, I have been told that graphite is better, but it is also, more expensive – what is the difference?

A          For beginners or juniors Aluminium provides a racquet that is fairly durable for honing skills. A graphite racquet is far superior; it is light, stiff for power and very manoeuvrable at the net. All the professionals choose 100% graphite racquets such as BABOLAT DRIVE Z LIGHT, WILSON K BLADE, and HEAD EXTREME.


Q         What are the best tennis balls for winter tennis?

A         Tennis Balls hate the wet, as do tennis players! However, we have found that the Tretorn Micro X tennis ball performs the best. A pressureless ball with 7 million air filled micro cells encased in a rubber and felt outer, providing a greater playability and minor power loss over time.


Q         What is a bristle dartboard?

A         Made from sisal fibres which are naturally lubricated and its self healing bristles leads to immediate shape recovery. More durable than paper boards lasting at least 8 times longer. UNICORN BRISTLE DARTBOARDS the choice of professionals providing more accurate scoring.


Q         Can you explain the difference between a rugby boot and a football boot?

A         Rugby Boots come in three styles, low cut, mid cut and high cut. Most boots have 8 studs allowing more traction particularly for the scrummaging, rucks and mauls. Some have 6 studs for lightness and speed. The leather and other materials are thicker for protection. Top brand names are MIZUNO, ADIDAS “Predator”, KOOGA, GILBERT.   A football boot is designed to be light as football is a quicker game and always 6 studs or blades. The upper is thinner allowing the player to “feel the ball”.

Brand leaders are, ADIDAS and NIKE, but why not try PUMA, MIZUNO, KELME, JOMA for superb quality and style.


Q         I am taking up Squash at my local club I have been wearing the trainers I use for running – I know this is not correct can you advise me.

A         A squash shoe has to be lightweight and supportive to cope with the twist, turns and short sprints involved in the game. The sole needs to be natural gum rubber to give maximum grip on the wooden floor. An excellent example of this would be the PRINCE NFS range of squash shoes.


Q         I have read about “over-grips” for tennis racquet handles, what are they?

A          An over-grip such as the ones Federer uses from WILSON and Nadal from BABOLAT are fine non sticky-backed grips that you place over the pu grip that comes with the racquet. This provides extra absorbency, comfort and feel.


Q         What size cricket bat should I choose?


bat size

approx age

height of batsman

bat length

bat width



to 4’3”

25 1/4””

3 1/2”



4’3 -4’6”

27 3/4”

3 1/2”




28 3/4”

3 3/4”




29 3/4”

3 3/4”




30 3/4”

4 “




31 3/4”





32 3/4”

4 1/6”

Full SH



33 1/2”

4 1/4”

Full LH


over 6’2”

34 3/8”

4 1/4”