5/03/2012

Kenka - Grappling tights


About this review: I am 180cm and wheigh 91kg (thats propably about 4,8flandrums and -29,4 tipch'p for you Yanks ;) )
I have no experience in this kind of apparel, so I will not comapre it to an existing product.

First impressions:

Straight out of the package i was surprised by a VERY strong plastic/industrial odour. This smell did linger on after the first wash, even though much weaker. -I contacted Kenka, asking about this, and the odour is from the packaging, not the tights. Kenka knew about this, and is looking for alternatives as we speak

The first time I pulled these on, was like trying to force a wild monkey into a scuba-suit. The tights were all bundled up here and there, and I felt uncomfortable. But when I got the tights on properly (and the right way around, that helped a LOT), the these tights felt like a second skin. And an persistant thought eneterd my mind: THIS is how the superheroes costumes feel like!!
 (New Mutants)
 (Like a Super-Sir)
(Subconcious Superhero-association)

Overall the benefits of these thights are clear. The most prominent ones being the encreased hygiene, because of the minimized skin-contact. Much less mat-burns. The cooling effect of the wicking fabric, and that my bodyhair does not ”hang up” increasing comfort by multiples.
The less self-evident pros are some encrease in friction, and the compressonal effect of the tight fit. And the most important pro: The subconcious super-hero- associations, that get you trough that final sparr of the evening.

The printing is subliminated, so not subject to wear or peeling. The printings are very minimalistic, as I have gotten used to with Kenka. The minimalistic prints are appreciated if these are used for running or other ”public” sport...


I will most definately use these regularly from now on, both in NoGi and BJJ. The immediate effect of not having several matburns on my knees after an intense training sealed the deal for me.

The rubberisation on the inside of the cuffs was not noticeable, or too tight as I first feared.
The cuffs were made of interweaved rubberbands for friction, and not a similar material as used in stay-ups.
The tights felt as if painted on. The waistband and cuffs are sturdy, and did not roll up, even though I have a bit of a belly.



The seams are flatlock stitched, and of superb quality without frays or loose ends (I am very anal about stitching). There is nothing new or special about the stitching, but I felt comfortable abou tthe fact that they used something proven to work.

Yesterday I got to test these during BJJ-class, and I noticed something part funny/irritating. The tights were like lubricant against my gi pants. I dropped my pants a couple of times during intense rolling, even though they were secured properly... I do have a pair of very low-cut pants though, and the tights go much higher than the pants, which is one of the main reasons for this...

After training I washed the tights and they hang dried in about 30 minutes.

I have not had the chance to test these with a cup (Ive borrowed them to someone- dont ask), but even though the tights are tight and compressing my ”package” didnt even notice them (I wore 100% cotton boxers under them), and stayed practically dry, through the training.


Pros:
Increased hygiene
Minimized amount of matburn
High comfort level
Unnoticeable yet sturdy cuffs
The Super-hero Boost

Cons:

Honestly I found no cons in these (as the odour-matter is taken care of) tights.
The only matters worth pointing out is the lubricant-effect, and me being caught several times with my pants down, but I see that more as a individual problem because of the cut of my gi pants.
Also the tights look very purple in the pictures in-shop, but as the description clearly says: ”Item is BLACK.”

Go visit Kenkas homepage and check out their gear here:

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