As the season begins to change, college teams need a way to stay warm yet mobile in colder weather. This article should help broaden your horizons so that you and your teammates know about all the clothes/gear/swag necessary to make it through the freezing January training sessions.
The items below can be a bit pricey for college students, but the good news is that you are in college and parents are generally interested in making sure their children don’t freeze to death. So Thanksgiving break and Christmas are a great time to ask mom and dad for help stocking up on winter Frisbee gear.
Most items can be found online or at a sporting goods store, and all of the items below have links to sites where you can read more about them. Several have even been reviewed by Skyd’s fabulous writers.
There are a variety of recommendations below for items in different price ranges. Any of these will ensure that you keep your body warm, enable your muscles to stay activated while working out to prevent injury, and make sure you look good doing it.
Wearing multiple layers, including both your light and dark, will help keep you insulated. Long sleeve t-shirts, hoodies, and jackets are your friends. It is essential to have something warm on the sidelines that you can throw on between points, but it doesn’t have to be functional for playing – if it has a wind breaking element, even better. Also, reversible tank tops are great to use as whites over top of a sweatshirt or jacket.
The Under Armour Men’s ColdGear Tight Compression Mock does a good job of keeping you warm and dry, regardless of the weather. I wear these to almost every winter practice, and they are a must have for early season tournaments to keep your upper body insulated from the cold. I recommend having at least two of these, so you have a fresh one to put on Sunday morning.
The Nike Pro Combat Hyperwarm Fitted 1.2 Mock Men’s Shirt works in the coldest conditions, boasting a close, lightweight fit for uninhibited speed and domination on the field. This is basically the same as their Under Armour counterpart, and I have some teammates who prefer the Nike version.
Champion offers something similar to the Under Armour and Nike compression top at a reduced price. Cost definitely factors into gear purchasing, so it is important to note that there are several less expensive brands with quality products that can keep you warm and protect you from the elements.
Bonus points: SAVAGEultimate Compression Short/Long Sleeves (~$65-75)
Compression is vital to staying warm, and looking fly is vital to playing hot. What’s unique about these compression tops is that SAVAGEultimate allows your team to design fully sublimated short sleeve and long sleeve compression tops with your team logo or numbers. These tops are equivalent to the ones mentioned above, but with some extra pizzazz.
Long-Sleeve Jerseys (~$30)
If your team already has an established set of jerseys, it is worth considering ordered a long sleeve alternative jersey this season. Boston College ordered black long sleeve jerseys made by Under Armour last year. They do a great job keeping our players warm at cold tournaments and practices and provide some sweet additional team gear to wear year round. Most ultimate apparel companies like Five Ultimate offer long sleeve jerseys.
Screen Printed Team Hoodies (~$40)
Every team should have sweatshirts to wear during warm ups and at practice. Georgetown got our hoodies from Breakmark last year, and they have done a great job keeping the team warm and looking united in our matching warm ups. For all winter gear, I recommend erring on the side of too heavy instead of too lightweight.
1/4 zip pullovers have become very popular. Click here for a full Skyd review of Spin’s Phoenix 1/4 Zip. I own two top notch ones from Under Armour that keep me so warm I often wear in place of a jacket during the winter. VC had some very nice ones at Club Nationals, but their material is much lighter and more suited for autumn or spring time in my opinion.
Bonus Points: Five Ultimate Sidezip [aka the Bryan Jones special] (~$55)
These water resistant jackets come with fleece lining and thumb holes, and they throw in a little extra flair by bringing the zipper down your left side.
Just like their compression tops, these fully sublimated fleece jackets allow you to fully customize your team gear however you see fit. These 100% made in the USA jackets do a great job keeping you cozy between points.
Patagonia Men’s R1® Pullover (~$120)
Click here for a full Skyd review. Some of the Ironside guys at Club Nationals were wearing custom made R1® Pullovers, and they told me the jackets were perfect for the cold Boston winters.
If you are a legs man like me, then there is plenty of great stuff available for you! There are a few compression items listed below, and there are all kinds of alternatives out there as well that you can find by searching online. Sweatpants and knee socks are also great for keeping your legs warm.
Compression shorts are designed to support the waist, groin, and thighs during physical activity. I find they provide enough elasticity to compress and separate the muscles, as well as wick away excess sweat to reduce chafing and overheating.
This pair of tights is one of my favorite possessions. I wear them year round, and they provide great support for my knees. My first pair was a size small, but I had problems with the circulation getting cutoff to my calves, which led to a lot of cramping. I fixed this by cutting a small triangle tear at the bottom on the inseam on both legs to relax the elasticity below my knee, and they have been great ever since. If you’re experiencing any soreness in your calves, I recommend wearing a pair of full length tights to provide compression to your entire legs.
I’ve experienced issues with basically every muscle in my legs over the past five years, and these tights have consistently helped accelerate my recover time from pulled/strained muscles. Wearing these tights and utilizing a foam roller to loosen any tight muscles between points offer a winning combination to keep you on the field despite fatigued legs. They are also great for wearing under your jeans/snow pants on cold days or when snowboarding.
Turn Your Swag On
Along with all the functional gear already covered, it is important to remember that 50% of this sport is all about looking good while you play. This section outlines a variety of items that can help to turn your swag on.
It can get pretty sunny at tournaments, even during the winter, so you should always be equipped with a pair of shades to protect against harmful not-cool rays. I work for a company called Waveborn that donates a new pair of eyeglasses to the needy for every pair of sunglasses sold. The shades are a high quality Italian design, and it’s always nice doing some good for others, especially around the holiday season. You can purchase our shades from SAVAGEultimate. For those on a tighter budget, you can sign up at stunnerofthemonth.com to get a spanking new pair of stunner shades shipped to you every month for just $9.
Sometimes you don’t need full body compression, but really want to make sure your throwing arm stays fresh all weekend. SAVAGEultimate created the fully sublimated arm sleeve. I highly recommend getting one with your state flag on it, or in the perfect shade of purple to match your throw back Alonzo Mourning jersey.
Some people like to wear a glove or two while playing to get a better grip on the disc when catching and throwing. Gaia designed an ultimate glove, and I’ve heard of some players who use gardening gloves. Winter gloves can also be used if you can still grip the disc. Sometimes it is nice to just have gloves in your pockets and use them to warm up your hands when you’re not on the field.
Hand warmers (~$1) are also popular for tournaments or extra cold practices. You can keep them in your pockets or on the sidelines to warm up your hands between points, and they last for several hours.
Last but not least, it is important that you take care of your gear to make sure it lasts. I wash all my Frisbee gear on permanent press, then hang it up to air dry. This prevents any shrinkage (hey, it was cold out) or wear and tear on the fabric from the drying machine. If you wash any hats or sweatbands, be careful about over-drying them and shrinking them. All of the compression items can also be washed in the bathtub or sink with soap and water since they will get worn multiple times per week.
There’s a lot of different items presented in this article, and I tried my best to mention everything I know about winter gear and staying fresh. Thanks a lot to Roger Chu for his help on some of the recommendations. It would be great to get some feedback from readers about other items that you use to stay warm and fit during winter ultimate – please post any suggestions (or general heckling) in the comments section below. Best of luck to everyone working hard over the next several months to prepare for the upcoming college season!