Lonsdale PU Hook and Jab Pad
Having just kind of got back into MA after a long time away from it...
I realized that just doing a bit of pad work once a week in class isn't going to get me 'back in the saddle' quick enough... so I started looking around for some practice pads.
And I found these little beauties in a local sports shop going for peanuts.
Anyhow, enough of me telling you all that I get drawn in when it comes to equipment bargains... what are they like?
First thing to note - these are not soft and squishy type things... they have a good balance between absorbing and letting know that something is going to stop your fist travelling further forward.... however, as these are are still fairly new (2 months and counting hence no points for durability yet) they may soften over time, will update if needed on this factor.
They also come with a heavy vinyl bag, which is tough enough to cope with trips to and from the Dojo...
Size-wise, they are a reasonable 11.5 inches by 7 inches and 2.5 inches thick padding lies between fist and mitt. They are also ver lightweight (approx 15oz combined).
The one issue that I've seen with other pads is their tendancy to end up getting mis-hit and go flying off... especially with people who are still getting to grips with striking properly.
Lonsdale have given this some thought...
Instead of having a single base ball glove-like holder at the back of the pad to fit your hands into, they have 2 pockets which go over each other.
The inner pocket has partitions for the fingers and is ideal if you have smaller hands as the outer pocket is quite tight and keeps fingers where they should be.
The outer pocket is for those amongst you who have larger hands or prefer to hold pads with more open fingers to distribute the impact a bit more - the PU materal stretches nicely to form a good solid hold.
As well as this, there is the sensible addition to the above holding methods - a hook and loop strap to fasten around the wrist... which also ensures that the pad doesn't slap against the holder's wrist when a strike isn't as central as it should be.
The strap can also simply be folded onto itself and doesn't cause any problems...
I also mention the strap device as it can be a great aid in practising more obscure strike combos, because the pads can be worn with the pad on the back of the hand without the issue of them not staying put... it means your pad partner can have the pads facing the same way at different heights etc...
So should you wish to try something a little strange like a reversing elbow strike & following through with a hook - it is possible (if not 100% ideal for your pad partner).
OK - now I know what you're thinking...
So what's the bad news?Well... As Lonsdale are a London based company, you may find hard to find a supplier outside of England that isn't going to have import overheads thus pushing the actual cost to the customer up... so the estimate of $50 might be a bit optimsitic.
Also, as mentioned in the description - they are PU. Which of course is a non-breathing non-permiable synthetic alternative to leather. Prolonged wearing is likely to create very hot sticky and uncomfortable hands... something to consider for long classes/practise sessions and warm summer days...
Again - the PU factor could also put people off in another way. For some PU has the reputation of being a 'cheap n' cheerful' materal with the disadvantage of not being as hard wearing as leather (again another reason why the durability is left blank)....
So to conclude:
- Nice sized pads
- very secure in use
- comes with own bag to keep them together in storage
- strap enables reverse wearing - allowing more varied strikes to be practiced
So, if you haven't got the space for a full-sized punch bag but know of a willing pad holder who won't mind getting very warm hands - then these may be just what you're looking for.
- PU material can get become uncomfortable when worn for a long duration.
- PU cannot have scratches and scuff marks polished out like leather.
- Production company is UK based - an outlet elsewhere could prove expensive due to costs of importing.
*UPDATE* Well, after this review - and many pad smacking sessions later they are still in pretty good shape a few scuffs, scrapes and a little bit of pulling on some of the stitching.
They have softened a little, but still retain a good resistance to them.
With this in mind, their durability So far out of 10: they get about a 6... a good adequate level for the price.
Also, the protection level has dropped a little as they are a little short for more demanding strike combos and don't cover as much of the forearms as some would like.