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7 Equipment Breakthroughs That Shook Up Sports


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They also think that these seven should be banned.

Aluminum Baseball Bats

Oversize Tennis Rackets

The Belly Putter

Winged Race Cars

Aero Time-Trial Bikes

Shaped Skis

Next-Gen Swim Suit


popular Mechanics on Equipment

Thoughts on what they may have missed?

As someone who grew up skiing every weekend skiing and who started on straight skis, I can tell you that the best and probably safest thing to happen to skis is when they began shaping them. I can't imagine how bad it would be if the people who came up from the bay area to ski had even less control on those planks they had before now.

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As a golfer, I've tried a belly putter, and I don't get it. It claims to give you more control over your swing, giving you straighter, more accurate putts...I saw the exact opposite. Having the butt end wedged in my gut made me putt worse, far worse! Very few professional golfers actually use them, so they're obviously not that big of an advantage for those who use them.

Winged race cars need to be banned? Winged racecars allowed the sport of racing to progress further than ever before. Wings add downforce, but while the added downforce adds speed, it also adds stability and added grip when cornering. Wings on cars could be seen as a safety feature as much as they can be a speed aid.

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Soccer boots and balls have changed a lot in recent years.

The boots are far more lightweight, and often have golf club style grooves around them. The balls are far lighter and the stitching has been minimised to allow the ball to spin more. This is particularly an advantage for free kicks.

Golf drivers have developed out of this world it seems to me, so that a decent amateur can hit a fairly straight 300 yard drive.

I don't think that any of these are bad things at the amateur level, but I think they all have had a negative impact on the watchability of there sports.

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Goalie mask?

Agreed, the mask (and improvements to it) allowed goaltenders to play more of a drop down style taking away the lower part of the net increasing the chances of making a save. Not only that but in doing that lead a change to bigger leg and shoulder pads for a goalie to take up more net.

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Can we add HGH to that list? :P

can we also add those multi-color WNBA balls to the list? obviously, something in those balls prevent women from dunking, and change the way people think about women's basketball.

You know the "That's Racist" gif? Can somebody make a "That's Sexist" variant?

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I don't play golf, but what about metal drivers? It seems they are always lengthening courses because the guys are using these larger metal "woods" to drive further and further. I think pro golf should outlaw them like MLB does aluminum bats.

"U" or "V" grooves have been an bigger issue to the R and A, USGA and the PGA Tour for nearly three decades. I think the magazine forgot about that.

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  • 4 years later...

In regard to race cars, I'd like to see all forms of traction control banned. Let the driver control the traction manually with the throttle!

Stop bumping dead topics.

Seems as if that's all he does

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