Shoyoroll Batch #8 White Mamba Review
The Gi – Picking One Up
The White Mamba is the second in Shoyoroll’s batch #8 East vs. West coast series. It was released for pre-sale in December of 2010 and landed the week of the Pans, the last week of March. As with all of Shoyoroll’s gis, these are limited edition gis and will not be reproduced. Again, once they are gone, they are gone. The White Mamba was released for pre-sale a few weeks after the East coast model, The Yank, yet because of production issues, landed before. The White Mamba represents the West coast edition of the batch #8 series. With most of my Shoyorolls, I purchased this gi during the pre-sale and then began the long wait until it landed. The gi retailed at $159.95 and again was only sold by BudoVideos.com and NHB Gear. However, as with any Shoyoroll, once it has landed the only way to pick one up is off of an auction website such as eBay. Being as the gi just landed about two weeks ago, eBay is flooded with them and can be acquired in almost any size. That being said, don’t be surprised if the price reaches in the $250+ range. The only plus side to this is because it is the most recent batch, nearly all of the gis on eBay are still brand new in the package and therefore you will not be paying top dollar for a used gi. Picking one up is still very easy as long as you are willing to spend the money to get it.
The Gi – Jacket
The specs released on the jacket from Shoyoroll are:
- Lightweight 450g pearl weave fabric
- One piece jacket with no back seam
- Custom iPod/ID pocket ( came separately)
- EVA foam collar
- Contrasting color stitch
- Heavy reinforced seams
- Tailored fit
- Custom woven inner taping
First of all, the most noticeable characteristic upon putting this gi on is it is extremely light. This is probably one of if not the lightest gi that Shoyoroll has released. The jacket is also extremely durable as well. It is one piece and has no back seam – a must for a strong gi top. Also, all of the stitch work is reinforced and triple stitched. I will admit, at first I was skeptical at the purple contrasting color, but after getting my hands on the gi, it is one of the sharpest color combinations Shoyoroll has done. The purple and gold really stand out on the gi and it adds a great aesthetic appeal to the white gi. Again, Shoyoroll also has done a perfect job of patch placement by just having the covenant Shoyoroll logos embroidered on the arms and then the small Shoyoroll logo on the bottom corner of the front of the skirt.
The collar again is an EVA foam collar – something to be expected from Shoyoroll. It is very sturdy and yet light weight. It also dries very quickly due to the foam insert. With all Shoyorolls, the jacket also comes with the iPod/ID pocket. However, since the change in the rules from the IBJJF banning the pockets, Shoyoroll simply through the pocket in with the gi as a side item. This was a nice surprise as they have given you the option of putting it in your self for training purposes or leaving it out so that the officials at the IBJJF do not have to cut it out. I have seen some people have taken the pocket and used it as a patch on the gi itself which is another great and creative idea as it comes with the unique purple mamba graphic on it. Keeping with the trend set by the previous batch, Shoyoroll has also added a custom woven inner taping to the skirt as well as the cuffs of the sleeves. The taping graphic on the White Mamba is excellent. It is a long purple snake graphic, resembling the iPod/ID pocket graphic. After training in the gi a handful of times and washing it after each use, the taping is still holding firm and intact. It seems that the problem arising from the taping on the batch #7 7th Son has been fixed and there should be no issue with the taping on the Mamba. I have great respect for Shoyoroll in fixing this issue after it became such a problem with the previous gi.
One more thing I would like to comment on is the gi sleeves. Because the gi is so light, you would expect that after some pulling and tugging from training that the sleeves would stretch some. However, this is not the case. The gi sleeves surprisingly do not stretch hardly at all after becoming sweaty and pulled on continuously. There is some extension, but not nearly enough to warrant concern which is a major surprise seeing how the gi is so light. Also, there is a small inner taping along the edge of the collar the simply reads “Shoyoroll Fine Cut Kimonos”. It is not that big of a deal, but a nice touch to the gi. Most of their gis have this inner taping, but this one is embroidered and therefore sticks out on the white gi. Bellow are some more pictures of the gi jacket looking at it in more detail.
Overall, I would give this gi jacket a 4.9 out of 5 stars. It is just shy of being perfect. It is super lightweight and extra strong. Shoyoroll has really outdone themselves once again with this gi jacket. The second you put it on you will know that it is both sharp-looking and of the best quality that is available.
The Gi – Pants
The specs released from Shoyoroll on the pants are:
- 12 oz ripstop cotton pants
- Stretchy rope drawstring
- 6 point loop system
- Contrasting color stitch
- Heavy reinforced seams
- Tailored fit
- Custom inner woven taping
The pants are where the gi takes a turn for the worse, depending on your point of view. First of all, they are extremely light. They are completely constructed of light weight ripstop cotton. The common characteristics that have come to be expected from Shoyoroll are not present in the White Mamba pants. The gusset is not gold weave – it is also ripstop cotton. Also, the knee pads are not reinforced with gold weave – they also are completely ripstop cotton. As a matter of fact, the knee pads are not reinforced at all, other than being stitched over as if knee pads are present. The stitching is the only reinforcement. This is a major disappointment as these two characteristics are what have come to be what set Shoyoroll pants apart from all the rest. Now, they are simply super light pants that don’t have anything special about them.
Even though two of the main Shoyoroll qualities are not present in these pants, the rest are. The pants do still have the 6 point loop system. For good pants, this is becoming the standard thanks to Shoyoroll. Also, all of the seams are triple stitched and reinforced. The pants also are tailored fit and therefore fit extremely well. Again, like the previous batch as well as the gi jacket, the custom inner woven taping is also prevalent in the cuffs of the pants. It is a nice touch and like the jacket, the taping has not started to come apart as of yet. Also, the pants do have the stretchy rope drawstring. This has also become a standard for high quality pants. The drawstring does not come undone during training and the pants stay up.
As for the aesthetics of the pants, they are very nice. The contrasting purple stitching, drawstring, and belt loops all make the gi “pop”. Shoyoroll has done it again in this aspect. As for patches, again the only patch that is on the gi is the Shoyoroll old English logo on the upper left thigh. It just adds that little bit to make the pants aesthetically at the top of the heap. Another great little addition is that the slits on the sides of the pants at the waist are reinforced with both material and stitching. This makes the pants extra strong. Bellow are a few more pictures showing the pants in greater detail.
Overall I give these pants a 3.9 out of 5 stars. Though they are still great pants, some of the qualities that have come to be expected by Shoyoroll are not present. The reason for that is simple: this gi was clearly designed to be a competition gi. It is extremely light and Shoyoroll apparently took out as much excess weight as possible. Though the pants are still very comfortable to wear during training, they do not have that above and beyond feel that Shoyoroll is known for. If it means adding less than half a pound, I for one would much rather have the gold weave knee pads and gusset. It’s what makes Shoyoroll pants a step above the competition.
The Gi – Overall Fit and Sum Up
Being that the gi is tailored fit, it is a great snug fit all around. I am 5’8″ about 170 and am just barely too big for an A1 and wear an A2. I was lucky to have access to an A1 as well as my A2 to try on with this gi. The A2 after a wash and dry is just a bit long for my liking in the sleeves but other than that it fits perfectly. It is a bit bigger than the Golden State , the 7th Son, and especially the Black Star. So I believe it is safe to say that these gis run bigger than usual. I also want to comment on the fact that this is a competitor designed gi. I know it is the reason for the pants being the way that they are, but all around the gi is one of if not the lightest that Shoyoroll has produced. I weighed the A2 and it tipped the scale at 3.3-3.4 pounds – almost a full pound lighter than my Golden State with all my patches on it.
Though I have not mentioned this before, the gi does also come in its own limited edition gi bag. The bags are a nice touch that Shoyoroll started doing with the batch #7 gis. They are rather small and are just right for one gi to fit in. The gi bag that came with the White Mamba also has an awesome graphic on it of a purple and gold snake. I have seen people cut the bag up and use it as a patch as well much like the ID pocket which is always an option. However, it can always be used to carry your gi to and from class.
Overall I give this gi a 4.4 out of 5 stars. The gi is still one of the best on the market. However, out of all the other Shoyorolls that I have owned and wear, it is my least favorite simply because of the pants. The pants bring the gi down in overall appeal. I know that the gi was designed to be light as for competition, but that still does not change my opinion on them. Even though it was made to be light, I still wish that Shoyoroll would not have sacrificed taking out two of the best qualities that made their pants above and beyond any other. I for one would rather have slightly heavier pants in order to have the extra comfort and strength that comes with having the gold weave gusset and knee pads. It is also bad because Shoyoroll took out what made their pants unique and above all else. Now, the gi top is amazing and overall the gi is still one of the best ones that I have owned. If you truly love the ripstop cotton, then you will fall in love with these pants. Even though I was disappointed with their decision in taking out the gold weave gusset and knee pads, Shoyoroll has still done it yet again by proving that they have the best gis on the market with another great product.