Revgear Curved Thai Pads Review
Founded in 1996 by Paul Reavlin, Revgear strives to be an industry leader offering innovative equipment for hard working fighters. Paul was training for his black belt when he grew frustrated with the false claims of quality from the brands available at the time and so decided to launch his own brand. Tested and developed by martial artists, Revgear aim to provide equipment that’s going to keep up with any punishment you can throw at it during a training session.
About the Pads
Revgear offer a wide range of focus mitts, flat Thai pads and curved Thai pads, and we got to review their standard curved Thai pads. There’s a theme to Revgear’s range of products that’s best summed up as red and black, and these pads are included in that – they’re available in just the one choice of colours. Unlike most Thai pads, they only have one strap around the wrist.
In my opinion, these pads look amazing. They may only be available in matte black with red and white detailing but that’s no bad thing – they just look so crisp. The main body of the pads are black, with the big stylised ‘R’ from the revgear logo and ‘Revgear’ printed on the front making for a clear target, a red grip bar on the back and a single black strap, bordered with the same vivid red, with another ‘R’ and ‘Revgear’ printed on the left side of the strap.
Revgear proudly proclaim that they’ve made these pads with 100% leather, and it shows. The material feels great, has stood up to some serious punishment (the pads we use have been used routinely in a gym since they were brought and take a regular battering) and most importantly for a set of gym pads can easily be wiped down to get rid of the sweat that’ll make them stink if they aren’t cared for.
I’d say that these are up there with some of the best made pads I’ve come across, everything is well crafted and there aren’t any flaws that we can find at all. On their website Revgear mention the reinforced whip stitching and the industrial riveted handle, both of which have stood up to the punishment of regular training sessions. The joint between the handles and the body of the pads on some other brands is often the first thing to show wear after prolonged use, and Revgear appear to have made steps to solve this issue by beefing up the rivets that connect the handle to the pad – these rivets wouldn’t look out of place on a car! Their whip stitching also seems to be standing the test of time, the pads we tested haven’t got a stitch out of place despite all their use.
Use – When Holding
For me this is the drawback to the pads – I really struggle to get a tight grip round my forearm, and find that they slip on my arm quite badly. In fact I believe this could be related to an issue for the striker with kicks not feeling perfect, I feel I often need to concentrate more on having to brace the pads than I do on catching the kick right. This is a big drawback obviously, but I acknowledge that this could be different for a different pad holder. Other than this issue the pads are comfortable on the wrist, mostly due to the extra cushioning between the back of the pad and wrist, which does lessen the impact of kicks on the wrist. Because the pads are smaller and thinner than traditional Thai pads, they’re pretty light, and are a lot quicker to use. The curve also makes catching punches working nicely, and makes the pads feel like a great midpoint between a full-sized Thai pad and a pair of boxing focus mitts.
Use – When Striking
The pads feel great to hit. Unlike some pads, they don’t feel rock solid when you first get them, so you can smash away without it being too hard. While regular fighters probably wouldn’t have minded the conditioning, it’s a life saver for people new to martial arts, saving them from countless bruising to the shins when breaking the pads in. When punching these, it’s easy to get a crisp, satisfying connection, and as mentioned previously, the lightweight nature of them makes them great for getting boxing combos in. When kicking these pads, I find them a bit hit and miss. Because the pads are shorter than most pads, I find that people tend to hold them as they would a regular pad, but not be able to dig the pads in like they usually would. Unfortunately when this is the case, it becomes difficult to kick as hard as you would like. The other problem I have with these pads is knees. When throwing knees I like to be able to dig them in hard, as I would in a fight. Because these pads are small and light, I find it a bit more difficult to get them in when your partner isn’t wearing a belly pad, and it doesn’t really have the same resistance as a heavier set of pads.
These Thai pads are great for a number of different style fighters; MMA fighters who rely heavily on boxing, K-1 style kickboxers who rely on strong boxing combos with the occasional kick, or even those training martial arts with lighter, snappier kicks such as karate or taekwondo. I just don’t think these pads are too well suited to fighters who rely heavily on powerful kicks, such as Muay Thai fighters, as this style of pads just doesn’t provide enough resistance.
Below is a video by Revgear which shows a bit of these curved Thai pads in action.
These pads sell for £90, making them a fairly competitive price compared to other brands. In terms of craftsmanship, aesthetics and material quality these pads are well worth it, however I just can’t help but feel like they’re slightly let down by the fit on the straps.
+ Look amazing
+ Great craftsmanship
+ Good wrist protection
– Loose fitting round the forearm
– Quite expensive
– Only one colour option (though it does look good!)