Shopping for dad can be difficult. There's only so many times you can phone it in with a new tie, and the "World's Bestest Dad" mug stopped being cute when you were around five. It probably seems like just yesterday that you were poring over the perfect father's day gift only to get him a $25 gift certificate to [insert local home improvement or electronics store here].
Well, this year you're in for a treat. Most dads love sports, and unlike ties and tools, sports are all about fun. This summer you not only have traditional U.S. summer sports like baseball, cycling, golf and camping to focus on, but you get a big bonus: World Cup 2010 (that's soccer for those who aren't following). So pick out dad's favorite sport on this list, follow the way to a great gift and make him forget all about the card that you forgot to buy.
World Cup Matchday Balls
It's as contemporary as you can get. It shows that you know your dad's passion inside and out (assuming that passion is soccer). It'll look great just about anywhere dad decides to put it. And best of all, you know no one got him this last year. World Cup Matchday Balls are replicas of the balls being used in the actual games with a logo of your match of choice. Find his favorite match-up and let him remember it forever. Just make sure that he understands it isn't a regular soccer ball meant
to be kicked around in the muddy backyard.
Make Your Own Multi-Tool
So fresh it's not even out yet, the Quirky Switch Modular Multi-Tool is basically a build-your-own-Swiss-Army-knife kit. If that phrase alone isn't enough to tell you dad will love it, here's a little bit more: the kit features 18 individual blades and implements along with the bars to attach them to and end pieces to hold them in. The kit allows for multi-tools in various sizes from two to 13 tools so dad can build just the right tool for just the right occasion. The Switch is in pre-production right now with launch scheduled for September, but this knife is so cool, dad shouldn't mind the wait.
Tunebug Shake Helmet Speaker
Cyclists can really get dragged down by headphone wires. Further, headphones stuck into the ears block outside noise, which can create hazardous situations when a cyclist can't hear what's going on around him. Keep your cycle-obsessed dad safe but jammin' this summer by turning his helmet into a speaker. The Tunebug Shake connects to digital music players via Bluetooth and uses vibration to create sound off of the helmet itself without earphones of any kind. You can find it for $120.
Jaegermeister Shot Cooler
Your dad's annual fishing trip officially got more fun. The Jaegermeister Shot Cooler looks like any other cooler until you realize the spout on the bottom isn't for pouring melted ice water--it's for shots! The cooler includes a slot designed to hold two bottles of Jaeger (though I'll bet you could fit other liquor in there too) in pour position. Hit the tap on bottom and buy his buddies a round of shots.
Camelbak Podium Ice Bottle
Whatever your dad's sport, he needs to stay hydrated. Even sitting on the couch and yelling at the TV takes a little effort. Too often, the sweltering heat of July results in a bottle full of water that would sooner cook a chicken than provide refreshment. Camelbak has launched a new bottle that it claims keeps water (or beverage of choice) cold for 4x longer than the average water bottle thanks to the Zero-Loft aerogel insulation it uses.
Brunton Flip N' Drip Coffee Maker
A simple, all-in-one coffeemaker for the simple pleasure of camping, the recently-launched Brunton Flip N' Drip allows dad to boil his water, throw coffee in the center filter unit and then just flip it over to brew directly into the integrated mug. This way he can get back to more important things--like retreating back to his sleeping bag for a few more minutes of sleep.
Brobdingnagian Sports Throne
Usually guys don't like to feel small, but when it comes to chairs, couches, beds and other furniture, guys will gladly trade a tad of emasculation for the rewarding comforts of a cushy to drop their backsides. Whether dad uses this Brobdingnagian Sports Chair for tailgating, camping or watching your brother's next Little League game, he'll feel like a king.
An inexpensive but totally practical gift, the Key Buoy is great for dads that like to boat, fish, waterski or do anything else on the water. The simple device attaches to a key chain like any other key FOB, but should dad's keys fall out of the slick nylon pocket of his swimsuit, the Buoy will send out a bright orange inflatable so that the keys float and he can locate them in no time. Find this one for just six bucks.
Need more ideas? Here's a list of gift ideas specifically for outdoor adventure and recreation sports.