Saltwater Fishing Tackle

A saltwater fishing tackle is the equipment used to catch fish at sea. The gear is essential to fishermen who operate on a commercial level and also by ‘sport’ fisherman. The term enjoys the etymology that implies ‘apparatus for fishing’. It is also recorded as the ‘act of tackling’, more in the sport sense. In a broader sense, a saltwater fishing tackle is almost any equipment or gear used by a fisherman to catch fish. It is attached to the end of the fishing line, and includes hooks, leaders, and swivels. It also includes lures or bait, leaders, rods, trawls, traps and floats, and even harpoons.

Fishing Hook
The fish hook basically impales the fish in the mouth or snags the body of the fish. This tackle has been employed for centuries to catch saltwater fish, and in fact, it features as ‘one of the top twenty tools in the history of man’! Fish hooks are attached to the line, and there are a variety of fish hooks in the world. They differ according to size, shape, design, and material. Although the intended purpose of the hook is obvious, these fishing tackles are also designed to hold various types of artificial and dead or live baits, or to be integrated into other devices.

Fishing Plummet or Sinker
This is a weight! It is an attachment used to sink a bait more rapidly. This is done with the intent to increase the distance at which it is cast. The plummet is made of lead. It is shaped like a pipe-stem, swelling at the center. The design includes loops of wire on either end, to attach to the rod or line. The weight or this saltwater fishing plummet or sinker is around a couple of pounds or more for sea bass, and much lesser in the case of trout. However, the use of lead based sinkers are now being banned due to the fear of toxic lead poisoning observed among waterbirds and other aquatic organisms.

Swivel Sinker
The swivel sinker has loops instead of loops on each end. This feature prevents twisting and tangling, and the device is a must in trolling. A variant is the slide sinker that is used for ‘bottom fishing’. The slide sinker allows the line to slip through the tube when the fish bites. This sinker works very well, since the fisherman can feel even the smallest bite. Split shots are also used, especially in the case of trout fishing, instead of a sinker, and independent swivels do well to prevent entanglement of the fishing line.

Fishing Reel
A fishing reel is probably the most traditional fishing equipment or device. It is basically employed for retrieval of the line and catch, via the design that includes a spool and axle. The optimized use of the saltwater fishing reel is seen in angling, a purely recreational sport. The reel is an attachment to the fishing rod. It is usually used in conjunction, but there are special varieties that are mounted directly to the gunwales. This is most observed in Chinese paintings and records that date back to approximately 1195 A.D! George Snyder of Kentucky is credited with the invention of the popular bait casting design.

The downrigger is used by trolling. This device is designed to place a lure at a desired and predetermined depth. A downrigger design comprises a large weight suspended from a rod-like device. A stainless steel cable is used for suspending the weight. The operation involves the bait being attached to the downrigger wire. The reel holds the bait and the wire together.

Saltwater fishing tackles serve different purposes and are personal preferences of fishermen. They allow the optimized use of the bait and vessel, with the help of the designs that fit in different situations.

Unique Fundraising Events

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” ~ Winston Churchill

Fundraising is exercised when you want to collect a sum of money (funds), by organizing certain events, for the purpose of donating to a cause. This fundraising has to represent the necessity of the action, in some way or the other, and make it look important. Fundraising is usually done for a group of people who need financial help; having suffered from crisis. This crisis can be a natural calamity, a disease, or a malicious public treatment. Fundraising is indeed a noble act. In today’s world, very few take it up sincerely. Here are some unique events for you to choose from, for when you want to help someone. You can also use these if you’re looking for unique fundraising ideas for non-profit organizations.

List of Unique Fundraising Events


Plays, drama circles, and other such performances, are indeed the best fundraising events. People are usually skeptical about donating direct money to a cause. They are in two minds, thinking about the fundraising’s authenticity. However, if you invite them to an event; specially an entertaining one, chances of them attending are higher. If you create enough awareness before the activity, you can raise enough money with just the ticket collections. If you want, you can prepare the performance in a way that it depicts the cause you’re supporting. Plays have always topped the charts when it comes to charity fundraising ideas and programs.Marathons

Marathons are getting a lot more attention today than they did before. Earlier, they were just considered events pertaining to sports, and to people associated these sports. Today, they hold an important place in fundraising activities. We don’t only see local marathons, but marathons across cities, and cross-country marathons too. In these marathons, people have to pay a nominal fee to enter, and to take part. Since the trend shows increase in attendance every time, this nominal entry fee is enough as a fundraising amount.Auctions

Auctions are another way by which you can collect some good amount of money. Mostly, costly and/or relic artifacts are sold at auctions, for large amounts of money. You can advertise about these auctions in your local newspaper, to let people know more about the event. Highlighting the cause in these advertisements always helps. You can also auction secondhand clothes, accessories and artifacts, to make more money. If auctions seem too optimistic an idea, try hosting a secondhand market.Donation Campaigns

A donation campaign is the oldest, and most common method used, to fundraise for not only a cause, but just about anything. These really are unique events, as they give you the liberty to donate not only money, but also clothes, medical help and some other things that can be of great help. As I’ve mentioned before, people are really skeptical while donating money. Donation campaigns thus give people an alternative to participate in fundraising. After all, any kind of help is still help.Sport Events

Sport events are also useful platforms that help raise a lot of money. You can get a few teams together, and request them to participate for free in this event. You will have to find at least two teams that play the same sport. Then, you can advertise about this event, so people can come see it. Since you have to only pay rent for the stadium, rest of the money is collected as a fund. You can involve a famous sports person; more publicity will only increase attendance. With a celebrity involved, this event would truly be a hit. Nowadays, matches like these are trending as fundraising events for charity.Conferences

A lot of business conferences take place now and then. What you can do is, seek permission and host a fundraising booth nearby, or in the venue itself. This way, you will be targeting the more financially sound lot. This won’t only be a practical approach, but truly a unique fundraising event. Check out newspapers, and business editorials for information on these conferences. You better remind them that they aren’t being taxed for these donations. You want to increase the funds, don’t you?Car Wash et al

To add to the fundraising, you can hold a few events on weekends, such as car wash, domestic help and/or repairs. You can do all these at cheaper rates so that more people come to you for these services. Donate everything you earn, to the cause. If a lot of people take part in this activity, a lot of money can be collected. There are many such charity fundraising ideas for kids, that are considered unique. Unique because they show us the efforts small children take to help causes they don’t even entirely understand.Form Support Groups

Support groups take time to form; making it difficult to get immediate funds. However, in the long run, these are the most stable form of fundraising for any cause. Approach a few artists/businessmen for fundraising. Request them to donate a particular amount of their income to your cause. A lot of concerts are held globally for charity. You can do the same, on a smaller scale. Ask small-scale businessmen to set up donation boxes at their offices. People who have turned their hobby into a business (pottery, catering, arts and crafts, homemade goodies etc.) will be more than ready to help.
These were some unique fundraising events and activities that you can choose from. These will help you support any cause you are passionate about. I’m sure these events can do wonders if they are held properly. Take all the necessary efforts and remember; your main aim should be to attract maximum number of people. The number of people will always be directly proportional to the number of funds. Good luck!

Ice Hockey Positions

Ice hockey is a team sport, wherein two teams compete on the floor made of ice with the objective of scoring goals by directing the puck (a vulcanized rubber disk which is used like a ball) into the opponents goal. Ice hockey is simply referred to as hockey at times, due to which it is often confused with a similar sport known as field hockey, which is played outdoors on grass field. Being aware of various player positions is useful in any sport, as it helps in making strategies; ice hockey is no exception.

Player Positions in Ice Hockey

Basically, there are six players in play at any given point of time: one goaltender (same as goalkeeper in field hockey), two defense-men, and three forwards.

Forward Positions
Like in any other team sport, the forwards in ice hockey are mainly responsible for offense, i.e., to attack the opposition and score goals. Usually, these three players play in a straight line trying various formations while facing the opponents. There are three forward positions: the center forward, right wing, and the left wing. The center forward has to position himself in the middle of the rink in front of the opposition’s goal. The player chosen to play at this position has to be quick, as this position involves covering maximum rink surface. On the other hand, the right winger and left winger play on either sides of the center forward. These are specialist attacking positions and hence, the coordination between all three players is of immense importance when it comes to scoring.

Defense Positions
The primary responsibility of the defense-men is to counter the opposition’s attack and keep the puck away from the goal. Generally, the two defense-men are divided into stay-at-home defense-man and offensive defense-man. The stay-at-home defense-man is expected to hang around the goal to assist the goaltender and thus, is seldom seen taking any risks. On the other hand, the offensive defense-man takes risk by actively participating in the team’s attack. There are cases wherein both defense-men alternate their positions depending on who has the control of the puck, however, this requires a great deal of coordination between these two and the goaltender.

The goaltender, simply referred to as the goalie at times, is the player who guards the goal by staying put into it. Most of the time, the goaltender stays in the area just in front of the goal, referred to as the goal crease or crease. As the goalie has to stop powerful shots hit at the goal, he wears protective gear. This is one of the most important ice hockey positions owing to the various privileges associated with it. These privileges include handling the puck, playing with a broken stick, etc. The position of a goaltender is a specialist position, so no ordinary player plays in this position.

While these were the basic positions, different teams may come up with different variations in player positions to suit their strategies. For instance, the wingers can be divided into out-and-out goal scorers and checkers, as per the game plan of the team. For a beginner, at least the basic understanding of these positions is essential, especially when you practice different formations in ice hockey.

List of Equipment Used For Canyoneering

Canyoneer AbseilingCanyoning, or canyoneering, is the activity of traveling in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling, and swimming. Regardless of the duration or complexity of a canyoneering trip, carrying a good selection of gear is absolutely essential, including clothing and abseiling equipment.Did You Know?Canyoneers HikingContrary to popular belief, canyoneering was not invented by alpine mountain climbers. The original canyoneers were Australian bushwalkers who started this activity in their quest to safely navigate through the rugged wilderness of the Australian outback.Canyoneering Equipment (Clothing/Apparel)Raincoat, Wetsuit, Backpack, Thick Gloves, Specialist Canyoneering ShoesCanyoneering ShoesCanyoneering ShoesDue to the wet and slippery environment in most canyons, a good pair of shoes is essential. While some canyoneers use soft-soled sneakers, you can also opt for specialist canyoneering shoes if you are serious about the sport. They provide exceptional grip and keep the feet largely dry.Alternatives for Canyoneering ShoesAlternatives for Canyoneering ShoesYou can also use dive shoes/wetsuit booties for canyoneering. Since this is a rough sport, never use shoes which can spoil easily or those which use Velcro straps, as fine sand tends to make them ineffective. Also, never use sandals as they prove ineffective in wet conditions.Canyoneering SocksCanyoneering SocksA good pair of socks are almost as important as canyoneering shoes. They keep you warm, prevent blisters, and protect your feet from the sand. Wool, neoprene, or thermal socks are ideal for canyoneering, but you should avoid cotton ones as they take away body heat when wet.Wetsuit TopWetsuitIf a canyon route is very wet and filled with pools of water, wetsuits can provide thermal insulation, abrasion resistance, and buoyancy. Drysuits, on the other hand, will keep you completely dry and require less space to store. However, the major problem with drysuits is that they wear out very fast. If the canyon is dry, thermal clothing will suffice. Alternatively, you can try a combination of the three, experimenting to find out what works best for you.Canyoneering ClothesCanyoneer ClothingCanyons are very harsh on clothing, so tough synthetic clothes are the best option (avoid cotton). Always make it a point to carry an extra pair of dry clothes along, in case you have to swim or abseil down a waterfall. This is especially important on a multiple-day trip. In cold weather, a fleece jacket can be a great addition to your kit.BackpackCanyoneering BackpackWith the large amount of gear that is needed for canyoneering, a good backpack is a must to carry it all. If you are serious about the sport, invest in a specialist canyoning pack made from vinyl or Cordura, with good drainage. Ensure that your bag has chest and hip straps along with haul loops, which will make it easy for you to move around the rough wilderness.RaincoatLight RaincoatCarrying a lightweight raincoat is not only useful to tackle rainy weather but is also an effective method of keeping oneself warm in wet or windy canyons. Make sure that the raincoat is made of a durable material that can withstand the rough conditions of canyoning.Abseiling GearHelmet, Rope, Carabiners, Descenders, HarnessClimbing HarnessClimbing HarnessHarnesses are indispensable in technical canyons, as they keep you secured to the ropes while abseiling, and hold a number of tools that you may need. Any kind of climbing harness will work well for basic canyoneering. However, while harnesses with padding provide comfort, those without padding don’t absorb water, and are cheaper, sturdier, and easier to maintain.In-Line DescenderIn-Line DescenderMany canyoneers consider descenders to be the most important part of their kit. These equipment come in many varieties, but in-line devices are highly recommended as you can release yourself from the rope without removing the device from the carabiner.CarabinersCarabinersOne can use the old-fashioned, heavy steel carabiners, or opt for lighter, aluminum or alloy carabiners, which are usually just as strong. It is important to check for appropriately rated carabiners before purchase, and check regularly for wear and tear.Static RopeClimbing RopesAlthough dynamic climbing ropes are suitable for canyoneering, static ropes are preferred, because the limited stretch reduces wear and tear, and makes rope retrieval easier. Always prefer those which are water repellent, having a sheath thickness between 8.5 and 10mm. Extra coils of rope are always useful, especially in case of an emergency.Climbing GlovesClimbing GlovesWhile gloves are not mandatory, they make abseiling much more comfortable, especially if the ropes are dry or sandy. Leather or specialist abseiling gloves will protect your hands from the rough canyon terrain effectively.Climbing HelmetClimbing HelmetThis is a very essential piece of safety equipment as it can prevent head injuries from falling rocks or other accidents in the wet, slippery canyon environment. Make sure that your helmet is rated properly, and it is equipped with drainage holes. Although not recommended, bike helmets can be used occasionally.Army KnifeArmy KnifeWhile abseiling, one may have to cut through new or worn slings, for which a knife will be handy. It can also be useful in situations where your hair or apparel gets stuck in a descender, or you have to cut yourself free from a rope in case of an emergency. (Be careful while using knives near loaded ropes, as they are surprisingly easy to cut.)Safety SlingsSafety SlingsIt is important to have at least a 1-meter long safety line, along with a carabiner, which will help in clipping yourself to an anchor while waiting in an exposed area or while rigging ropes. Nylon safety slings are highly recommended as they have multiple uses.Safety WhistleSafety WhistleVery useful for communication when canyoning in a group, especially in places where loud waterfalls or drops can obscure voices. Ideally, use a whistle which has no moving parts as the balls inside the whistles tend to expand/contract on contact with moisture, thus affecting their efficiency.MaillonMaillonsSimilar to carabiners in appearance, these rated steel links can be used while building an anchor. As they provide less friction and last long, they are ideal for canyoneers who abseil on single ropes, by providing carabiner blocks a fixed point to rest against.Tape SlingTape SlingsTape slings are commonly used by canyoneers to build anchors, and replace old, worn slings from existing anchors. Since they are largely inexpensive, they are often bought and used in bulk.Ascenders & Prusik LoopIt is important for all canyoneers to know how to make and use prusik loops, as they allow ropes to be used for a safe ascent, and are also used as part of a self-belay system. Canyoneers may also use specialist ascenders, but they are usually more costly, heavy, and bulky.Miscellaneous Canyoneering GearMicrofiber TowelsMicrofiber TowelsThese small, lightweight towels are great for drying off after a wet day, or to keep your equipment dry. They also come in handy in case of injuries, to stanch blood from a flowing wound.Swimming goggles, although not essential, can come in handy to retrieve any unsecured, non-floating item that you might mistakenly drop in a deep pool.Dry bag/Canyoneering KegIn a sport like canyoneering, getting yourself and your gear wet is nearly unavoidable, which is bad for things like the first-aid kit. Therefore, waterproof dry bags are commonly used to keep items dry. But since these bags are not completely fail-proof, plastic kegs are also available, which are costlier and bulkier, but much more reliable.Bivouac BagCamping EquipmentNeeded especially for multiple-day canyoneering trips, camping equipment including mats, ground sheets, sleeping bags, and fly tents are essential. In warm weather, merely a sleeping bag should be enough. Make sure to store all this equipment in a dry bag.First Aid KitA basic first-aid kit including assorted bandages, thermal blanket, water-purifying tablets, painkillers, anti-inflammatory tablets, Imodium, matches/lighter, disposable gloves, sunscreen, chapstick, insect repellent, etc., is ideal for canyoneering trips. This can help in case of cuts, fractures, sprains, hypothermia, snakebites, etc. Adding a personal locator beacon to the kit is not a bad idea so that rescues during emergencies are performed quickly.Camp CookingCooking EquipmentIf you want warm food, or if you are on a multiple-day canyoneering trip, carrying items such as a gas cylinder, stove, matches, cooking pot, pot holder, and cutlery is a good idea. Do not use open fires on the ground as canyons are naturally sensitive and scar easily.Head TorchHead TorchMake sure that you carry a good waterproof head-torch with an extra set of batteries. This will not only help you to move through dark tunnel sections in a canyon, but also help around the campsite after dark.Carrying an appropriate amount of food and water is absolutely essential on any canyoneering trip as reliable sources may not be available in the wild. Food and water will not only provide energy, but will also help in keeping hypothermia and dehydration at bay.Map And CompassNavigation ToolsYou must always carry a compass and an updated map of the area you are canyoning in, along with track notes and guide books. All members should learn how to use these tools, and a group should carry at least two sets of maps, which will be useful in case one gets lost or damaged.

Facts and Objectives of Gymnastics

As the lithe body moves in perfect coordination with the others, the eyes of spectators feel mesmerized by this beautiful form. Gymnastics is something that always makes people wonder with great admiration and sometimes even with little envy about the flexibility of these talented gymnasts! This form is not just a sport or an activity, it is like an art form where skilled gymnasts communicate more than spoken words through their balanced movements. If gymnastics has always drawn your attention, read all about the facts and objectives of gymnastics.

Facts about Gymnastics
? The term is derived from a Greek word, which means ‘to exercise’. In the olden days, in Greece, the presence of a gymnasium signified the importance of physical fitness to the Greeks. There were strict fitness routines developed particularly for the Greeks. The soldiers were taught how to mount a horse and many other techniques that involved a lot of performance skills. This formed the base of gymnastics which evolved with time. This was also the time when gymnast methods were introduced even in the Greek educational system. With the Roman Empire, it took a different form.

? The year 1896 saw the inclusion of men’s gymnastics in the Olympic games. The first competition for women in the Olympics was held during the 1920s.

? Gymnasts from the Soviet impressed everybody with their performances in the early years. This was the time when television helped to popularize it amongst viewers.

? Gymnastics is also known as one of the most oldest kinds of physical exercise!

? Some of the early examples of gymnastics can be found on Egyptian artifacts. Here, the drawings give an indication about the existence of this sport in the olden days. These drawings depict people performing techniques used in gymnastics. Females also performed in those days.

? Artistic gymnastics is another form of gymnastics which is very popular amongst people. This stylized and rhythmic form for women found a place in Olympics in 1928.

Objectives of Gymnastics
? Gymnastics benefit a person in many ways. This is not just a form of physical exercise, it makes a person develop a positive attitude towards life. These are some of the basic objectives of gymnastics.

? Professional training in gymnastics will help a person develop the strength of the body. The eye and foot coordination improves with this form of sport. Gymnastics also help a person to develop a good posture. This is very important from the health perspective.

? A person can also develop his/her sense of rhythm and coordination. This is through various musical pieces played during a performance. The musical compositions can be of varying beats. A gymnast also develops a sense of balance and grace with time.

? Yet another objective of gymnastics is to develop a person’s memory. The new concepts and techniques being introduced helps a person retain thoughts and also exercise one’s thinking capabilities.

? Gymnastics helps a person to hone social skills. Due to this sport, gymnasts are introduced to people from different age groups and they also learn to interact with their teachers. This makes them earn an experience of group interaction from an early age. These skills help them in their personal life as well.

These facts and objectives of gymnastics give an idea about the popularity and beauty of this graceful sport! Today, both men and women gymnasts have plenty of fan following across the globe.

Sports Hernia Surgery

Sports hernias are extremely common amongst athletes and sportsmen around the world, and in some cases, a surgery is the only option to get rid of the ailment completely. Sports hernias are typically caused when the athlete twists muscles in his groin and adductor area, so the damage that is sustained can be pretty serious and long-lasting. As a result of this, the athlete may suffer from a relapse a few months later when he resumes full intensity physical activities, and this can permanently weaken these very muscles in his body.

Surgery for people suffering from this condition is usually considered to be the last resort in order to prevent further damage from occurring. Doctors usually advise the injured individual to rest for a few weeks and refrain from any physical activity, and they also suggest some suitable rehabilitation exercises and cures. In most cases, these solutions work effectively and the injured individual gets rid of his problem. But when the damage is too severe, or the individual resumes strenuous physical activities too soon, then the pain will reappear and in all likelihood it will be worse. This is when a surgery will be necessary.

Types of Surgeries

The success rate of this surgery is very high, but doctors still prefer to give the patient some time to undergo physical rehabilitation instead. If that option has been exhausted, then the doctor has to choose between two different types of surgeries, and this will depend on the symptoms that the patient shows. The first method is known as the direct incisional surgery, or the open operation, and this method is generally preferred by doctors and surgeons. In this kind of surgery, the surgeon simply sews the inguinal tear together, and the patient is only given a local anesthetic for the same. This process is less complicated and less risky than the other operation.

The second method involves the placement of a tension-free mesh inside the tear with the help of laparoscopic surgery. The mesh is made of light plastic and it needs to be placed over and under the tear and then stapled down. The procedure can be risky in the future because it cannot be predicted how the body and the neighboring tissues would react to this external agent. In severe cases, the mesh can get shaken inside when the patient resumes physical activities, and this could cause some seriously dangerous circumstances. Moreover, the patient may even feel the mesh inside when he climbs stairs or performs certain tasks, and this is not a very pleasant sensation.

Risks Involved

Both these surgical methods do have their downsides though, and this is what makes this operation the last resort for doctors. When the inguinal hernia tear is sewn together, the thread stays stationary under tension. But some changes in the body, or other factors, could cause these stitches to tear at any point in the future. On the other hand, if there is a mesh inside, it could get entwined with certain nerves and tissues and cause complications. Both the methods are not entirely fool proof, and this is why physical rehabilitation is necessary.

In some cases, sexual dysfunction has been a common complaint after surgery. This is something that cannot be predicted, so one should be wary of any pain that arises in the area after the surgery, and visit the doctor immediately. There are several other neurological reasons why pain and numbness can also be present in the area, and the only way to fix this is to be alert and revisit the doctor as often as possible. Chronic pain is a very real danger, and no patient should be forced to live with this issue.

A certain rest period will be necessary after the surgery has been completed, and certain exercises and movements will also be recommended by the doctor. These should be adhered to if the patient does not want a relapse or some other complication. At the end of the day, if adequate care is taken, the patient will make a full recovery and be able to carry out all the physical activities that he could earlier.

Safety Tips for Skydiving

Extreme sports are called extreme for a reason: they push you to your physical and mental limits in terms of exertion and strength. They are also often more dangerous than your average game of football. But the thrill and the uniqueness of such sports is like no other. That being said, one such extreme sport that challenges an individual’s sense of fear, at the same time fulfills an elemental dream of man (to fly), is skydiving.

Skydiving isn’t just falling out of a plane with a parachute on. It’s more like “falling with style” where an exact science and technique goes into the jumping, deployment of the parachute and landing. Agreed it is not the safest of sports but the occurrence of fatalities while skydiving has been greatly exaggerated, with a fatality rate of 0.0001% or approximately 1 death in every 100,000 jumps. However, it is better to be safe than to be sorry, so below are some safety tips for skydiving, to make each jump a safe experience.

Safety Tips and Advice for Skydiving
Safety is not just the technique or method of jumping but rather is made up of a number of factors listed below.


  • Jumpsuits are meant to keep your body warm and protected against the frigid, cold air at high altitudes. They are also durable enough to prevent scratches and bumps on landing. However, depending on what form of skydiving and your expertise level, the material of the jumpsuit differs. So consult with your trainer or an experienced jumper as to what jumpsuit best suits your skydiving style. Do not experiment on your own.
  • Check your jumpsuit for holes or tears. Make sure it fits properly and there is no way for air to enter it. Always try on the suit prior to jumping well in advance, to ensure it is in good condition.
  • Wear a helmet when skydiving. No jump is 100% risk-free and a helmet can go a long way in minimizing injury. Make sure your helmet is open faced but protective and sturdy. Check its shock absorption factor. It should fit your head and not feel heavy or very large or too small and tight. Do not take it off at any time during the jump.
  • Goggles are not mandatory but are an extra safety measure to protect one’s eyes during the descent. Gloves should only be worn if you are comfortable using your equipment with them on. Wear durable shoes with firm soles and grip, such that during the descent, you can touch the ground without causing any harm to your feet. Make sure all such attire is comfortable and will not hinder you during your jump.


  • The altimeter is a specialized piece of equipment that measures your height above the level of the ground and can also predict your speed of falling. You can opt for a visual one, which should be worn on the wrist or the front of the torso. Check the visibility of the display, its durability, analog or digital display and ability to measure pressure. You could go in for an audio altimeter that is worn inside your helmet and will inform you of the decrease in altitude as you fall. These altimeters have pre-set alarms that indicate when you should deploy your parachute.
  • An Automatic Activation Device (AAD) is a must have and any proper school, training institute and instructor will advise you of the importance of this piece of equipment. This device is a small computer that keeps an eye on your height above the ground and how fast you are descending. It calculates the optimum height when the parachute should be deployed for a safe landing and if you, the jumper, fail to do so at the right time and height, the AAD will open the chute for you. The AAD is a lifesaver and calibrating it on the ground, checking its functioning prior to a jump and buying a good model is your way of ensuring a safe jump.
  • Your parachute is connected to you by a harness. Make sure your harness fits you properly and is sturdy and tough, without any wear and tear. Have a supervisor or instructor check your harness prior to a jump. Keep a hook knife on you, any time that you skyjump. In case of an emergency, where the main part of the parachute (canopy) will not open, use the hook knife to cut it away.
  • Do not compromise on the quality of your skydiving equipment and making any changes or tweaks in them should only be done if sanctioned by an instructor or recognized expert in your skydiving team or class. Maintain such equipment in good condition.


  • Be informed about the skydiving process. Ask a lot of questions and do not choose the first skydiving school or institute you see. Instead, visit different schools or go for a demo class on the ground, talk to instructors and ex-students on your own. Check the licensing of the school, what safety programs and measures are implemented and check the school’s skydiving history, with respect to fatalities.
  • Do not be too enthusiastic or overexcited to jump. Choose the right skydiving style based on your experience. For new jumpers, it is best to opt for the tandem style of skydiving where the instructor and you have the same chute and he/she controls the diving experience. Until you have experience or until your trainer feels you are ready, do not jump on your own.
  • Prior to a jump, whether for the first time or the umpteenth time, eat a light meal. Check your equipment and pack your parachute under the watchful eye of your instructor.

For first time sky jumpers, along with ensuring physical safety prior and during your sky jump, your mental attitude should be strengthened and prepared for the experience. However, as your skydiving experience builds up, you can ignore safety procedures and become careless and this can turn dangerous, not only for you but for your fellow jumpers as well. Keep safety first and jump with ease, by making sure all safety checks and procedures have been carried out well in advance.

Taekwondo Techniques: Forms and Patterns

Taekwondo is the national sport of South Korea and one of the most popular martial arts in the world. The words ‘tae’, ‘kwon’ and ‘do’ meaning foot, fist and way respectively gave birth to the word ‘Tae-kwon-do’. Taekwondo is one of the means of self-defense and is used by the military of South Korea as a part of hand-to-hand combat training. It is a combination of exercise, sport and meditation. Taekwondo forms comprise self-defense techniques and nurture traditional martial art forms.

Taekwondo Forms
Taekwondo exists in two different forms. One has been derived from Kukkiwon, the World Taekwondo Headquarters that serves as an issuing body for the taekwondo black belt degree. Kukkiwon has served as the source of the sparring system that is now one of the events at the Summer Olympic Games. The other taekwondo style has originated from the International Taekwondo Federation, which promotes martial art in Korea by organizing training seminars and tournaments. There are certain differences in the two taekwondo techniques but in general, the training for taekwondo includes kicks, punches and open-handed strikes. The art emphasizes on the leg’s reach and power, which are comparatively greater than those of the hand.

Taekwondo Techniques
The kicking techniques, which are a part of taekwondo, are its true differentiators from other martial arts like karate and kung fu. Typically, a taekwondo student receives training in the techniques and curriculum of taekwondo. Taekwondo students are trained in taekwondo patterns, sparring, throwing and falling techniques and also the breaking techniques. Emphasis on mental health through relaxation and meditation exercises, inculcation of discipline, confidence and strong ethical values are a part of the taekwondo training.

There are 3200 techniques in taekwondo. They comprise stances, hand attacks and kicks. Depending on the relative positions of the shoulders and the legs, the stances have been named as sitting stance, walking stance, parallel stance, rear foot stance, L stance, closed stance and attention stance. Apart from these basic stances, there is a fighting stance that is used in sparring and combat. The hand attacks are in the form of punches or open hand techniques. Punches, as most of us know are thrusting blows given with one’s fists. Open hand techniques include strikes, which are attacks with a weapon or a part of the human body. Kicks are an essential component of taekwondo. They are executed as jump kicks; spin kicks or multirotational spin kicks.

Taekwondo ranks are categorized as junior and senior ranks. The junior section consists of ten ranks known as geups. They are identified by belts of specific colors. Students commence their taekwondo training from the tenth rank and advance towards the first one. Each color bears significance with respect to the proficiency levels of the trainees. The ranking starts with a white belt symbolizing innocence. The yellow belt that comes next signifies the foundation of taekwondo being laid. Next is the green belt that stands for the development of taekwondo skills in the students. The blue belt indicates the towering of a student’s skills in taekwondo. The red belt indicates a caution to the students or a warning about the opponents. The first ranked black belt signifies the proficiency of the student and is representative of the student’s mastery over taekwondo.

It is officially stated that taekwondo originated from the Korean martial arts of the earlier days. Some believe that the neighboring countries have influenced the taekwondo forms to a certain extent. It is also said that taekwondo evolved from karate. When Japan occupied Korea, the Japanese impacted the Korean culture and their way of living. The Korean art forms were banned and many of the Korean customs were prohibited. Those in Japan during that time were exposed to the Japanese martial arts. After the long years of Japanese occupation, there was a desire to create a national sport that was entirely Korean. This gave rise to a uniquely Korean sport called taekwondo. Eventually it gained popularity worldwide and came to be included in the Olympic Games.

Today, taekwondo is popular with both genders of different age groups. It is one of the most popular Asian martial arts. It is a sport and exercise that develops strength, flexibility and stamina. It develops the ability to concentrate and focus on one’s strengths to achieve the desired goals. Thus, taekwondo is a sport that contributes to the overall development of an individual. This ‘way of fist and foot’, as it is loosely translated, remains to be one of the most appreciated martial arts in the world.

Speed Drills

Almost every outdoor sport that you play will require a high level of speed and acceleration, and speed drills are mandatory in this regard. Be it a game of soccer, basketball, hockey or any other physical game, the advantages of a tremendous burst of acceleration and the ability to maintain high levels of speed are essential.

All the sports that are played across the world today are witnessing a major change in the physicality of the players, all attributed to the introduction to new forms of drills. Gone are the days of having an overweight but highly skillful player in the team. Today, all the players are highly trained athletes. The reason for this transformation can be traced to the exorbitant amounts of money that they earn, and the level of competitiveness around them. Speed drills have become an integral part of their training regimes today, and the results of this are plain to see.

The aim of these sprinting drills is not to make the players run large distances at high speeds, it is more about developing a strong explosive start. It is the first few seconds of the sprint that makes all the difference, and this explosiveness is achieved by building strong leg muscles, upper body strength, and amazing lung power. Speed drills in soccer, for instance, are useful because a race between two players barely lasts a few seconds, but whoever has a better start will ultimately win possession.

General Tips for Speed Drills
The idea here is to accelerate as fast as possible in the first 2-3 seconds, and this should be enough to gain the upper hand. While practicing these drills, players must sprint for short distances and get a few minutes rest between each set. That explosive quality can only be developed over a period of time, and it does not matter if the particular individual cannot maintain that speed over a distance of more than 50 meters.

  • Always ensure that the players are adequately warmed up before they begin their drills. The strain on the muscles is fairly large, and an improper warmup can lead to serious injuries.
  • These should be performed at the beginning and at the end of a training regime.
  • Complement the drills for football and other sports with a planned weight training program, as building strength in certain muscles will enable a player to sprint faster.
  • A speed drill session should be repeated 5 to 10 times (each sprint being one repetition), and the sprint to rest ratio should be 1:5. This means that if a player sprints for 10 seconds, he should rest for 50 seconds after that.
  • Drills should be adjusted to suit the needs of a particular sport. Speed drills for track events will be very different from those for basketball.

Basic Speed Drills
The most elemental drill is to keep 2 cones a few meters apart, and sprint between them with some amount of rest in between. The movements during the sprint can be determined by the nature of the sport. An alternative is to jog for a few meters, and then suddenly break into a full-fledged sprint.

Some trainers use an inclined slope to practice running drills. Running uphill will increase the power and acceleration in the legs, and running downhill will improve the coordination and leg speed of the players. Another popular drill is to set a leader for a small group of players, and have this leader randomly walk, jog or sprint. The other players in the group have to follow the leader and mirror every single action.

Speed drills are also used to improve the agility of an individual. In this context, agility refers to the ability of a player to suddenly stop while sprinting, change direction, and then pick up speed again. Agility drills are very important for soccer and basketball players.

There are a variety of drills that can be implemented to improve a player’s stamina, speed, agility, and explosiveness. The trainer must make the players feel comfortable and then pull them out of their comfort zone on a regular basis. The importance of effective speed drills cannot be stressed enough, and athletes of all outdoor sports should realize this.

The Skateboarder’s Way of Clothing

“I consider skateboarding an art form, a lifestyle and a sport.” – Tony Hawk

Very few sports have their own fashion sense, style and trends but no sport has as rocking, unique and alternative a culture as the sport of skateboarding. Skaters are the epitome of cool from their custom designed boards, skateboarding tricks and catching air with the ramps, to their way of dressing up. Amongst the surfer dudes, muscle bound jocks and math nerds, the skateboarder is one sportsman, whose clothing style and sporting style define each other. The question “how to dress like a real skater dude” cannot be expressed or answered clearly, since with skaters, attitude is a way of life and a skater’s clothes reflects this motto to the T.

How to Dress Like a Skater

Skater Duds
Three main points to skating apparel: comfort, comfort and … comfort. Whether you ride the streets, stunt it up or rule the ramp, end of the day you need comfortable, easy clothing while skating. Loose, comfy tees or shirts, round or v-necked, whatever your fancy. Stick to flannel or cotton clothes, especially for summer days. Summertime is also tank or sleeveless shirt time. Winter and fall wear includes hoodies and zipped jackets or sleeveless jacket vests.

With legwear, experiment sensibly. Flexibility is the key here, so avoid tight pants. Denims are the most durable, flexible and reduce bruising in case of falls or spills. A nice, well worn out pair of jeans offers comfort and flexing ability. Opt for slim-fit or narrow fit as they stretch out with use and if you have a skinny build. Boardshorts are a skater’s dream pants, no skater’s wardrobe is complete without one pair. Their fit, cut, length and style – all designed with skating in mind. Corduroy or cotton knee-length shorts make good skating pants too.

Clothes are also meant as a means of self expression, skating wear is no exception. For the gangsta or rapper look, go baggy with loose low-riding jeans or pants and sleeveless shirts or hoodies. Goth or rock skaters sport black or dark somber colors, pentagram or satanic shirts, with ripped or torn denims or shorts. Reggae fans wear psychedelic colors and weed t-shirts, with a faded look to them and boardshorts.

The urban skater dude is the most versatile of them all, ribbed tank tops, flannel checked shirts, boardshorts, denims, all to provide that cool, in-the-zone skater look. Funky designs or motifs or sarcastic punk messages on tees, holes and rips in jeans, faded shorts.. to each his own, so go with the flow and wear what you think is right. Brands like Billabong, Vans and Quiksilver have a dedicated clothing line for skateboarding enthusiasts but it’s really a matter of personal inner style.

Feet Fashion
Let’s face it at some point with the handstands and the ollie’s, people will be checking out your board. At that time, they will also look at your shoes. Own sense style and fashion sense is one thing but wearing beach shoes or Crocs?, while skateboarding, is asking for a ribbing. Skate shoes should actually be considered skating gear, as the shoes come in direct contact with the board and can make or break your skating style. Your shoes should be slip-free and have a flat sole, so you get the best and maximum grip on your board. A sturdy shoe material that won’t tear or fold but not too heavily insulated because your feet shouldn’t cook in the shoe. Support should be provided around the ankle and the heel, to prevent bruising. At the same time, your feet should be flexible, so you can easily manipulate the board. It is best to wear skate shoes from companies catering solely to skating gear. Such shoes include perks like lace loops, extra grip soles and air pockets. All to enhance your skating experience.

Enough about specs, what about style? The puffy skate shoe is one style, the high lace region, yet low toe region is ideal for small-in-size feet. The best example of this is the Osiris D3 2001 shoe. Then there’s the lowrider flat shoe style, simple but cool or you could go in for the classy, signature, high top style. If laces are not your thing, opt for slip-ons instead. Time to talk brands. Vans Off The Wall? and Cons? lead the range. Slip-ons, puffy, high tops are all there in the hippest colors and styles, designed for whatever your style, be it punk or reggae. Vans shoes with their Waffle soles and very hardy shoe material, are meant to last. Equally impressive is Fallen Footwear, their shoe designs are unique and very-in-your face, especially the Chief model. Nike has its own line of skateboarding shoes as well (personal favorite the Dunk Mid Pro).

Headgear for the skater dude includes wide brimmed caps like trucker or baseball caps. Knit beanies are another favorite. Unique headgear includes the cabbie cap or a smart military styled cap. For a very snazzy look, how about a fedora, with a pin on the hatband? Alternate your hats with smart shades, for a different look. Style cannot be taught or explained, it comes from oneself, so reflect your skating attitude in your clothing.