Zeko enjoys writing about gift ideas and creative ways to celebrate holidays and special occasions.
Gifts for Athletic Teenage Guys
Teenage boys are considered by many to be challenging to shop for when gift-giving time comes around. Finding a cool birthday or Christmas gift they will genuinely like can be challenging, especially for parents and relatives, because their standards of “cool” usually differ from those of teenage boys.
In this case, the best approach is usually to ask them directly if there is something specific that they want and get it for them. Unfortunately, sometimes it seems as if they already have everything, and it is difficult for them to tell you what they want. And sometimes you cannot ask them directly because you are planning a surprise.
If you are searching for gift ideas for energetic teenage boys who are into sports, adventures, and fun, read on.
1. Cool Action Camera
An action camera is a fantastic gift for those teenagers who are into motocross, dirt biking, cycling, skateboarding, BMX, ATVs, and pretty much anything that has wheels on it. These days more and more guys are filming their rides and sharing the videos with friends on social media, which makes riding even more thrilling. It is also a lot of fun to watch later all that action with all the sounds, excitement, and facial expressions surrounding it.
When it comes to adventure cameras, everyone has heard of GoPro. They make awesome cameras, but while they are great and all, they are a little pricey. If you want to be the cool parent or girlfriend and don't mind splurging a little, a GoPro will make a sweet gift. But there are cheaper alternatives if you don’t like the idea of attaching a $300+ camera to a dirt bike.
One cheaper but very excellent alternative is the Polaroid Cube Plus. It is a tiny, cube-shaped camera that can literally be stored in a pocket and taken everywhere.
Despite its small size, it has many of the features of more expensive cameras, like:
- Wide-angle lens
- Can shoot full HD videos
- Built-in Wi-Fi (this means that you can control the camera remotely with free iOS and Android apps and use your smartphone as a viewfinder)
- Micro SD card that is expandable up to 128 GB
- Rechargeable battery that can last for up to an hour and a half of recording
The Polaroid Cube Plus also has one very useful feature that only very few manufacturers add to their action cams—image stabilization. The stabilization helps smoothen shaky videos, which is very handy on an action camera. GoPro, for example, still to this day has yet to implement image stabilization of any sort on any of their cameras.
Another thing that makes the Cube a nice gift for guys who are into all kinds of bikes and ATVs is its magnetic base. Most of these rides have metal surfaces that the camera can easily stick to without a special mount.
Something to keep in mind, though—the Cube is weatherproof, not water-resistant. You definitely don’t want to submerge it in water without first putting it in a waterproof case.
2. Action Camera Accessories
For those guys who already own an action camera, consider getting action camera accessories as gifts. Think about what activities and sports the guy does and pick an accessory that matches them the best.
For example, if he is into skateboarding, biking, dirt biking, or anything that requires a helmet, you can choose a helmet mount. If he likes hitting the motocross course or mountain biking, you can choose a chest harness because it allows the viewer to see hands controlling handlebars and leaves the bike frame also in the shot.
If you are unsure which particular accessory, he may use, or if you think he can use more than one, then it is better to get an accessory kit. Kits like the CCbetter 50-in-1, for instance, are fully loaded with just about everything he may need to set up his camera in just about any surface and position. The other nice thing about this accessory kit is that it works with GoPro cameras and other brands.
3. Non-Bulky Drop Protection for His Phone
Phones break easily even if they are dropped from a short height and are very expensive to repair and replace. We all have seen people around us using phones with cracked screens and damaged corners. For an active guy who likes all kind of sports, it is probably only a matter of time before he drops his precious phone on the concrete and ends up with an expensive brick. This makes rugged phone cases very good gifts for guys. One company that makes tough cases that look cool and kind of military-ish is Urban Armor Gear.
According to the company, these cases are tested to a certain military standard for drop shock, which gauges how well a device holds up to impacts while falling from a height of 4 feet. This means that a phone will survive a drop of about 4 feet onto a concrete floor.
The screen of the phone is protected by the slightly raised frame around it and by an additional screen protector. There is also a very nice balance between protection and added bulk, which everyone will appreciate. The Urban Armor Gear cases come in several cool colors that will match different tastes.
4. Eye-Catching Protective Gear
Eye-catching face masks also make good gifts for those who are crazy about motorsports because they are practical and, at the same time, an awesome way for a guy to stand out from the crowd.
They are available in dozens of patterns, but since you are looking for a gift for a teen boy, choose something that looks cool and has a hint of creepiness to it—skulls, crash-test dummies, zombies, etc.
5. Other Motorcycle Equipment
Other things that make great gifts for guys who love riding anything that has wheels on it are stuff he uses on a daily basis and stuff that wears out.
Here are some ideas:
- Fusion moto socks
- Racing impact gloves
- Tear-offs for goggles
- Tool kit
- Leatherman multi-tool to go in his toolbox
- L.E.D. shop light
- Camel pack (this is one of those things that those who are into trail riding would like to have but never get it for themselves)
- Sports video games (these are perfect for the winter months when he is not able to ride for weeks)
6. Waterproof Speakers
Portable wireless speakers have exploded in popularity over the past several years. Many people have realized that their outdoor activities can be even more fun with some music in the background. Nearly every major consumer electronics brand has some sort of wireless speaker, but one that will make an excellent gift for guys who love water sports, hiking, climbing, biking, and just being active is the UE ROLL 360 (UE stands for Ultimate Ears).
The main thing about this portable speaker that will appeal to any active guy is the fact that it is waterproof and stain-resistant. If he accidentally drops the UE Roll in the mud, he can just spray it down with water, and it will still work and look like new. There is an International Protection (IP) rating code for consumer devices that measures up the provided degree of protection against water.
The water protection levels range from 0 through 8, and the UE Roll was assigned a level of 7. This means that you can submerge it entirely in up to 3 feet of deep water for about 30 min, and it will still be fine. Most waterproof speakers on the market have a protection level of 5 or 6, which means that something like a shower or rain is not going to damage them, but you can’t completely submerge them.
Another clever feature that active guys would appreciate is the round, UFO-like shape of the speaker. It was designed this way in order to broadcast sound in every direction, so you will never have trouble hearing it outdoors.
While most speakers can reliably sync up to a phone within about 30 feet, the ROLL can do it from up to 65 feet away, which is also a plus when using it outdoors. There is also an elastic bungee cord at the back, which allows you to strap it to anything – the bike’s handlebars, backpack strap, snorkel, etc.
The UE Roll can be paired with another speaker via an EU app to create a stereo sound. The app also allows you to control a 5-band equalizer, volume, and power. And the sound quality, of course, is amazing!
7. Waterproof Changing Mat/Bag
For anyone who loves surfing, paddling, diving, kitesurfing, and doing all kinds of things that involve water, a trip to the beach usually means a trip home in a sandy, wet car and a dirty wetsuit.
We all have seen guys sitting on the edge of their car, trying to “peel” off their wetsuits without turning them into a wet, sandy, dirty ball of neoprene. And after the struggle is over, the same sandy and dirty ball of neoprene needs to be put somewhere in the car. If you are looking for a birthday or Christmas gift for a guy like that, consider getting him a changing mat.
It is a simple but clever waterproof changing mat that also doubles as a wetsuit bag. The mat is big enough for a person to stand on it and change comfortably. After you are done changing, you simply pull the drawstrings on the sides of the mat and cinch it up tight and turn it into a waterproof bag. There is enough room in the bag for a wetsuit, towel, dirty socks, etc.
8. Beach Changing Poncho
Trying to peel a wetsuit off of your body while wrapped in a towel is another uncomfortable thing that guys who love the waves have to deal with. Fumbling under a towel that will inevitably drop off at the crucial moment revealing his bum to everyone can be quite amusing for others, but not the best part of his time at the beach. This means that a beach-changing poncho would make another thoughtful gift for a guy who loves the water.
This type of ponchos makes changing into and out of a wetsuit on the beach faster, warmer, and—most importantly—more comfortable. They are usually “one size fits all”, quick-drying and have a loose fit, so he can easily maneuver underneath. They also come with an oversized hood that really comes in handy on a windy day, because it will dry his hair and face and it will also keep that icy cold wind off of his head.
9. Portable Safe Box
Here is another gift idea that a guy engaged in water sports would appreciate: a portable safe box. If you know a surfer, diver, or water-skier, you would know about their dilemma of where to stash their car keys when they are out in the water. Some tie them to a shoelace around their neck and tuck them in their wetsuits, but many (especially those who have cars with electronic keys) leave their keys on top of the tire or under the bumper or tailgate. As you can tell, these are not the best hiding spots for that.
There is a key storage box called Hitch Safe which will turn his car’s hitch into a small safe. It only unlocks with a 4-digit security code that he can program himself. The installation is also super easy and doesn’t even require any tools. The housing of the safe box slides into the car’s hitch receiver and bolts into place with two lock pins. Then the safe drawer slides into the housing and secures the lock pins. The pins can only be removed when the combination drawer is removed. The drawer has enough space for keys, a couple of credit cards, and some cash. It even comes with a plastic cover that actually hides the key safe, so no one will even notice that is there.
One of the things about the Hitch Safe that a guy who likes the waves would appreciate a lot is that he can share the code combo with his buddies. If one of them gets cold and wants to get out of the water early, he doesn’t have to follow him to the car to unlock it.
There are also gift options for those who don’t have a hitch on their car, or one they have is being used. Master Lock, for example, makes key storage boxes that are similar to those that realtors use. They look like large padlocks and can be attached to the frame of the car. They are made out of metal and are weatherproof.
You can also consider getting him an “under the car seat” lockbox that can hold larger items like his phone, MP3 player, documents, etc. Boxes like the Sentry Safe P005C, for instance, come with a steel security cable that can be anchored under the seat or in the trunk.
Other Gift Ideas for Guys Who Love Water Sports
- Waterproof phone case: A must-have for all water sports enthusiasts.
- Heavy-duty waterproof dry bag: For keeping a set of dry clothes, a towel, and some survival supplies when kayaking, rafting or canoeing.
- Surfing multi-tool: It is like a Swiss Army knife, but with all the hardware a surfer needs for changing a fin or for small repairs.
- EasyBreath snorkeling mask: A full face mask that allows you to breathe normally through your nose or mouth.
- Shark repellent band: It is a plastic bracelet called Sharkbanz that sends out magnetic waves that disrupt the shark’s neuroreceptors, thus forcing it to turn away.
10. Boot and Glove Dryer
One excellent gift idea is a boot and glove dryer. Any guy who has ever spent a fair bit of time skiing or snowboarding in wet boots and gloves will really appreciate it. Without a dryer, these can take days to dry out and not to mention the stench that they will start to develop.
Dryers like MaxxDry can dry a pair of boots and a pair of gloves (at the same time) in a little over an hour. If they are extremely wet, then it will take a bit more time. This relatively quick drying process prevents the build-up of bacteria that creates the stench. The device also has a timer that can be set for up to 3 hours, so you don’t need to worry about forgetting it running.
A dryer would also be e nice gift for guys who play soccer, surfers, hunters, those who like fishing, and just about anyone who has problems with sweaty or wet shoes.
11. Boot Insulation to Keep Toes Warm
The boot glove is a very simple but extremely functional gift that skiers and snowboarders will wonder why they didn’t get it sooner. Anyone who has spent time on the slopes knows how hard it is to keep your feet warm when the wind is blowing, and the temperature is below zero. When you ski, the shells of your boots get super cold very quickly, and after an hour, you can barely feel your toes. This is when the boot gloves can help.
They are basically neoprene shells that you pull over your boot, just like gloves. The shells act as insulation layers that keep your own heat in the boot and, more importantly, block the wind from freezing the boot shell. Each one has two straps that go underneath and behind the boot to hold it in place. They work well not only on ski boots but also on snowboard, climbing, and Nordic boots.
The neoprene shells are not intended to make your already frozen feet warm and toasty, though. They will only prevent the temperature of the boot shell from dropping quickly, which makes a big difference. If you use them with some disposable toe warmers, you will feel comfortable even on the coldest of days.
12. Comfy Slip-On Shoes
Walking in ski boots from the car to the lifts while lugging a pair of skis is no fun, and no one enjoys it. The only fun part is that instant swag you get while walking in them. The walk on the way back to the car is even worse because your feet are already tired and cold.
One gift that will make that walk feel a little less like climbing Mount Everest is a pair of Traction Mules (from The North Face). They are made from water-resistant, ripstop fabric and have a very warm lining, foam footbed, and traction-boosting rubber soles, which is just what a skier needs for navigating the parking lot.
Another gift you can get him is accessories for getting around in ski boots. Cat Tracks, for example, are pocket-sized boot protectors that slip over the bottoms of ski boots. They make walking on ice and snow more comfortable.
Other Gift Ideas for Guys Who Love Winter Sports
- Free Foot Massage: After a long day of skiing or snowshoeing, what could be better than a foot massage? A compact foot massager like the Moji Foot PRO is something that won’t take much space in his bag when traveling and will make his feet feel like new.
- Special Bag for His Boots and Gear: Boot bags are specially designed for carrying ski boots, helmets, ski pants, etc. The nice thing about them is that there are separate, ventilated compartments for the boots. A good brand for this type of bag is Athalon.
- Waxing Iron: A waxing iron would be a nice gift for guys who like to ski or snowboard every year. The iron will save them a lot of money because taking their boards or pair of skis to the ski shop to get them professionally waxed can be expensive.
- Ski/Snowboard Socks: A good pair of ski or snowboard socks can make all the difference for a guy who spends days or weeks out in the snowy backcountry. They are designed to provide the appropriate padding and support and to keep feet as dry as possible.
- Avalanche Beacon: This is a gift that will show a guy you are really looking out for him. Avalanche beacons are pricey gadgets, but they make it easier for “search and rescue” teams to find victims should something terrible happen.
- S'well Bottle: S'well bottles are very popular right now because they not only look good but also keep drinks hot for 12 hours and cold for 24. Their Wood pattern collection would be perfect for guys.
13. Team Logo Wallets
If you can’t buy a sports fan tickets to see his favorite team, the next best thing to get is cool stuff with his favorite team's logo on it. You can get him a jersey, scarf, or cap, but why do the obvious? The ever-changing world of sports merchandise is not limited to that. There are plenty of other things.
One suggestion is an embossed logo wallet from Rico Industries. These are good quality wallets that are made from genuine leather and with great stitching. They even come in nice collectible tins, which are perfect for gift giving. The Rico wallets cover all major sports leagues—NFL, NHL, MLB, and NBA—so there is something for everyone.
Don’t forget to put a couple of gift cards to the guy’s favorite sports store in the wallet to make the gift even more exciting.
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