If you’re anything like me, when you were growing up and playing sports—be it hockey, basketball, or baseball—you always wanted the best gear. I still remember when the Air Jordan II came out in 1986. The sneaker was made in Italy with a premium leather that I was absolutely certain would enable my 10-year-old self to dunk. Sadly, I didn’t get the IIs and that is probably the reason that my NBA career never materialized. (It certainly wasn’t my lack of height and reliable jumper.)
When the Air Jordan II first dropped, its $100 price tag was considered astronomical. But it pales in comparison to some of the other luxury sports equipment that followed. Forget three figures, today there are sporting goods that can go for six figures. We rounded up some of the most luxurious sports gear ever made because, as Deion Sanders was fond of saying, “If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good.”
1. CHANEL RUGBY BALL
With the Rugby World Cup in full swing this year, Chanel created these limited edition rugby balls, using the same Chanel quilted leather that is found in its iconic handbags. You only find out the price after applying to purchase it, placing the ball squarely in the “If you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it” category.
2. LOUIS VUITTON BOXING SET
You can be like Rocky and punch slabs of meat, or you can practice the sweet science on this. To celebrate its 118th anniversary, Louis Vuitton comissioned Karl Lagerfeld to create a product that showcased the LV monogram. Lagerfeld went with this $175,000 boxing set that included a punching bag and stand that fit inside a custom trunk. A separate suitcase with boxing gloves and a training mat went for a mere $5,900.
3. LEATHER HEAD BISON LEATHER FOOTBALL
Sorry baseball, but football has become America’s pastime. And since there isn’t an animal that symbolizes America more than the buffalo, Leather Head crafted this football out of authentic bison hide. The $150 football is made by hand and is the size of a youth ball, ideal for throwing around at a tailgate. You don’t have to be precious with it because the leather ages beautifully over time.
4. MERCEDES-BENZ SURFBOARD
Big wave surfer Garrett McNamara has made a career riding the mountains of water that rear up off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal. Surfing waves that approach heights of 100 feet requires special equipment, so McNamara enlisted the help of Mercedes-Benz, which knows a thing or two about propulsion. The board that Mercedes created for McNamara uses cork, which Portugal produces in abundance, for a board that is strong but flexible.
5. PARABELLUM MEDICINE BALLS
The result of a collaboration between Parabellum and Blackman Cruz, this $2,295 medicine ball will — at the very least — whip your wallet into shape. The ball is wrapped in leather from the shoulder of free range bison so delicate, you’ll want to caress the supple hide as you do wall balls and sit ups.
6. COACH BASEBALL GLOVE
Before the brand expanded into a variety of different categories, Coach was known primarily as a maker of luxury leather goods. In 2013, Coach took that leather knowledge and applied it to baseball gloves. The $348 mitts used glove-tanned leather and featured unique color blocking to make them stand out from the typical tan.
7. SPECIALIZED S-WORKS x MCLAREN TARMAC
The Specialized S-Works Tarmac was already one of the finest road bikes on the market. But when the bike maker teamed up with supercar manufacturer McLaren, the results were stupendous. The S-Works McLaren Tarmac featured a special carbon fiber process that McLaren uses in its automobiles, and each of the 250 bikes produced were hand-painted by the automaker in an orange that gearheads will instantly recognize from the McLaren P1. It also came with a ridiculously steep price tag at $20,000 — although that didn’t stop them from selling out.
8. HONMA FIVE STAR GOLF CLUBS
Golf is an expensive game to begin with, and if you really want to drop some serious coin, you should try this $75,000 set of clubs from Honma. The Japanese clubmaker has been around more than 50 years and makes each of these clubs to order. Honma pulls out all the stops, using only the purest forms of titanium, wrapping the shafts with carbon fiber by hand and including details like 24-carat gold plating. All that money does earn you a free golf bag, so you could use that as a way to justify the expense.
9. CHANEL SKIS
Chanel has a thing for sporting goods. Not only did they make the rugby ball above, they’ve also made tennis racquets, inline skates, and these skis. Released in 2007, the dimensions on these $2,535 skis didn’t really make sense for, you know, skiing. But with quilted leather top sheets, they sure looked good while enjoying a hot toddy at aprés ski.