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richard: #67 of 5334
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Mesh Gear Bag

Somehow the dimensions don't seem to convey the size well: this bag is extremely big, able to hold two normal-sized duffels. The zipper feels very solid and the mesh material is likewise sturdy. Would like to see a bag with somewhat smaller dimensions--this is just too big for my needs--and would like to see zippered pockets for small items on either end.  
6/11/2011 6:53:31 PM
Helpful?   1 Yes | 0 No

Jute Wrapped Escrima

Understand that these aren't *bad*. They're extraordinarily lightweight and don't give the impression of much durability. The jute grip is nice, but the ends of the jute are poorly secured. The shafts have been roughly mechanically smoothed, meaning that there's a series of wide bands of extremely crude forced rounding on each staff. These regions aren't even sanded--there are splinters sticking out, and the finish is awful in those regions.

I had purchased these as a gift, but the quality is far too low for that. I'll probably let my children play with them, as they're not good for much else.  
6/11/2011 6:49:32 PM
Helpful?   0 Yes | 0 No
Superb staff

Youth White Wax Tapered Bo

I teach the weapons class at our dojang, and recommend waxwood staffs to my students. They're not as durable as non-tapered hardwood, but they're an excellent compromise of strength, flexibility and weight.

You'll find it very hard to break a waxwood staff with anything less than full strength strikes against metal. Students--who should be learning to control their strikes anyway--won't be breaking them even in staff-vs-staff drills. Waxwood flexes a little when struck, so it's able to absorb a lot of impact. In the unlikely event that the staff does break, it will break cleanly--unlike hardwood, which often shears off into sharp splinters.

Waxwood is very light, especially these youth tapered bos. They're comparable to a basswood-filled graphite staff--that is, far lighter than hardwood, a good bit heavier than a basswood-and-laminate show staff.

I have yet to receive a waxwood staff that is perfectly straight, though they're all very close. One can counter-bend a waxwood staff to help make it straighter, and proper storage is important to keep it as straight as possible.

The wood crushes slightly when struck very hard, resulting in slightly yellowish blemishes and a slightly uneven texture in the striking areas. The wood will fade from white to slightly yellow over the course of a few months as moisture and oil are absorbed by the wood. The appearance can easily be refreshed by sanding, but a newly sanded staff will be a little slippery for a while.

In short, these inexpensive staffs are a great choice for general training. You'll only need something lighter if you're doing flashy modern patterns in a tournament, or something heavier if you're stressing hard contact drills.  
6/6/2011 9:50:22 PM
Helpful?   2 Yes | 0 No

Graphite Toothpick Bo

Lovely pretty black 6' graphite staff, with a core of lightweight wood--which I found all about when the staff snapped in half ten minutes after I unboxed it. The staff is made of two graphite pieces welded together at the center, and the weld was ridiculously inadequate (as can be determined both by evidence of the break, and by examination of the remains).

Further, the staff tapered very strongly from the edges to the exact center, leaving the middle of the staff with a distinctly triangular feel; there normally is at least a region in the middle where the taper is gradual, but on these staffs it's very pronounced at the center. Having an expensive staff break in half in my hands might've saved me from having to work with a badly shaped staff in the first place.  
5/19/2009 6:25:56 PM
Helpful?   0 Yes | 0 No