Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Hayabusa “Thai” Shinguards £54.99

Not looking so good without the lovely marketing shot

To say this is a bad product is not really fair, for the price the Hayabusa Thai shin guards are an absolutely awful product!
These turned up in the gym and were actually left by someone and never reclaimed. They have obviously been worn a few times but don’t look especially old in fact I would doubt they were more than a month old looking at them.  These shinguards would be fine if they were priced below £20 and aimed at the semi contact market but they are neither priced well or aimed at low contact sparring indeed the name implies they will withstand a full blooded Thai workout so low and behold that’s how we tested them.
Hayabusa refer to these as “technologically superior.” What this claim is based on they don’t go on to tell us but I cannot find a single good thing to say. However I will try my best to explain.
These shinguards are very light, I suspect this is seen somehow as a selling point however the point of a thai shinguard is to protect the shin and frankly three rounds later I was wishing I’d adorned my unbranded £20 shinguards and was suggesting we dropped the kicking power down.  They are frankly flimsy, lightweight maybe they are but protective they are not.

The material they are made of is a light PU with a raised area over the shin which is seen on the Fairtex Double Padded shins and also on the Revgear Gel Shinguards (See next review) this is a good idea in many ways however the shinguards would have to be stiff enough in the first place for this to be truly effective and these simply are not.  One thing that hits you straight away on these shinguards is their shape; they are kind of flat and you need to use the straps (more later) the pull the guard around your leg, most good Thai shin pads are moulded to a distinct curve. 

side view
The straps are really lousy; if you don’t believe me here just take a look at the photos, they have a thin metal loop and are Velcro straps on a thin piece of PU.  This is a traditional weak spot on many Thai Shins but companies such as Top King and Fairtex have now gone for putting the straps through the shinguard itself and reinforcing the area around it; I would say that is a technological innovation whereas these are showing themselves to be well behind.
No doubt the strength of the Hayabusa brand will withstand this terrible product but when you can buy many good quality well tested and sturdy shinguards for around this price then its impossible to see why you would take this set of shins above say the Fairtex double padded, Twins SGL2 or 3, Top King Pro’s or basically any of the good Thai brands. But wait till you see the Revgear Gel Shins at £44!!!

We are giving this product a zero, drop the price to £30 and we'd say it would be ok for beginners needing a cheap set of shins and give it a 1 but they market this product as a top of the line premium product and in our opinion it is very far from this relying on slick marketing and a strong brand name built with endorsements and TV exposure.  the product looks like its been manufactured as cheaply as possible and I can't imagine any serious muay thai fighter training using these.


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