Equipment review section?

Discussion in 'Suggestions, Problems and Tests' started by Unreal Combat, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    One thing I've found when it comes to martial arts gear is that trying to find reliable reviews for some stuff is testing at the best of times. Maybe MAP could have a dedicated section for reviewing equipment that it's users may have purchased, etc (we do something similar for films in a thread so I see no reason why we cannot go a bit further for equipment). Some guidelines and criteria for posting in such section as well so that the information is reliable and to obviously reduce spam.

    If we have one already I'm certainly not aware of it.
     
  2. Aegis

    Aegis River Guardian Admin Supporter

    This is a good idea, one I'm happy to take a look at. In particular, this would work quite well with some of the advertising software the site uses, as MAP can potantially make a little money out of a referral to a retailer which supplies the product in question.

    Did you have any further ideas as to how you envisaged this looking, or would you be happy for me to think about it and get back with a new section of the site?
     
  3. Rhythmkiller

    Rhythmkiller Animo Non Astutia

    Very good idea, would certainly help beginners like myself.

    Baza
     
  4. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Make it like the Ninja forum where you need a certain amount of posts elsewhere to gain access?
    So the reviews come from dedicated mappers with a vested interest in the site rather than one post spammers looking to promote their products.
     
  5. Rhythmkiller

    Rhythmkiller Animo Non Astutia

    Makes sense

    Baza
     
  6. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    Sorry for my late reply, this didn't seem to come up in latest posts.

    Maybe do something similar to the articles area, perhaps split up a forum into several categories, or sub forums if you want to save external space cosmetically, covering the multiple types of equipment. Like...

    Gloves (Boxing Gloves, MMA Gloves, Muay Thai Gloves)
    Pads (Focus Pads, Kick Shields, Thai Kick Pads, Wall Pads)
    Protection (Hand Wraps, Shin Guards, Kicking Boots, Headguards, Gum Shields, Groin Protection, Body Armour)
    Bags & Balls (Floor to Ceiling, Freestanding, Heavy Bags, Speed Balls)
    Clothing (Gis, Belts, Shorts, Trousers, Rash Guards)
    Gym (Weights, Skipping Ropes, Ring Equipment)

    As well as other items, that's just a few examples. Set out like how most online stores seem to be, to help people look for something specific, especially when shopping online also.

    Perhaps have a review (when posted) generate a link to the portal page also if it would help you generate money from referrals.

    Also I am in agreement about making it limited to users with a set amount of posts so that it doesn't get spammed by advertisers. I would make it something like 50 posts or higher to really deter any types of spam bots and so that you have reviews from reliable members as well who would stick around for the benefit of the site.

    I think setting up a format to post a review so that information is informative and direct is also a good idea though I am not sure as of this moment what would be the best way forward for that. I think noting who supplied the item is important along with information about service and price for that item specifcally might be important so that other people know whether the supplier is trustworthy or not. I do think most importantly though is the product review, so other people know about the quality of the product. Perhaps encourage follow up notes from the reviewer also to let others know how the product has faired over time training (including the type of training and extent of use it has been put through).

    Maybe perhaps I could write one up at some point and see if the way I do it could be used as a good example to go by?

    Of course any final word is totally yours. However it is set out will no doubt benefit our members at some point or another.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
  7. Aegis

    Aegis River Guardian Admin Supporter

    This would be very helpful, as it's difficult to start a new section with no content.
     
  8. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    Add a time constraint on membership too, it's one thing to join, write 100 short posts and start writing shill reviews and another to have to stick around for a year as well.
     
  9. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    I think a year is a bit much and discriminates newer members from contributing also. 100 spammy posts would be quickly caught up with by our competent mod team (I would like to think so anyway), as they are in general quick to clamp down on issues on site. Could always increase that post count requirement though to 200. I wouldn't put requirements too high though otherwise it restricts it to an elite few.

    I do understand the concern though, just want to give another angle to consider also.

    Ok, I will write one up. Give me a few days to get it done though. I will post it in this thread to let everyone critique it and offer ideas.
     
  10. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Personally I wouldn't put too many restrictions on access to this section, certainly no more than 20 posts.

    Spammers are quick to be evicted and new members are often beginners looking for ideas on equipment. It seems unfair to exlude them from the very forum they'll be visitng.
     
  11. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    As with anything regarding restriction that is entirely at the staffs discretion. I think that if something becomes a problem in the future it can be dealt with by staff when we come to the problem so I'm in agreement that too much restriction is a bad thing.
     
  12. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    What if an honest review isn't good? Wouldn't potential links to advertising mean people might feel compelled to not speak up if the product isn't great?

    If there is a link to potentially make money, would people be able to say they didn't like the product, or they liked it but it was overpriced? etc?

    Don't mean to be a disruptive cog in a fresh idea (especially since I am a newbie here) but I am just wondering about this.....
     
  13. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    The people writing the reviews wouldn't be financially incentivised, so there's no conflict of interest. Also, it is a failing strategy long term to write false reviews in the hope of drawing a small affiliate commission because people will simply stop trusting your reviews
     
  14. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    Just add a disclaimer that user reviews do not reflect the views of MAP but those of the author.

    I will add an example in my concept review.

    A review should be honest, no matter who the manufacturer is. But in the same respect I think it should also be constructive rather than just ridiculing or insulting the product. If you think X product is better than Y product despite being £30 cheaper and from an unknown manufacturer, you should say so, but state why in a constructive and informative manner that is beneficial to both the reader and the manufacturer should they read it.

    It may be a user review but we should also strive to be as professional about our reviews as we possibly can be. Although our views are not those of MAP's we're still members here and if we're going to put ourselves into the public eye a bit more then we should be sure to conduct ourselves properly too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  15. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    To extend this idea, MAP has a number of very experienced practitioners in pretty much every widely practiced MA. The MOD team could form committees of these practitioners who could discuss among themselves what equipment they as a group recommend (maybe partitioned by price where appropriate), and it could then be given the official MAP seal of approval.

    Going beyond ad revenues for the site, this will hopefully provide a key resource for beginners to each art who don't know what equipment to buy.
     
  16. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    Fairtex Pride Limited Edition Muay Thai Boxing Gloves Review

    [​IMG]

    Introduction
    Today I bring you a review of these fantastic looking gloves from Fairtex, suitable for Muay Thai and Full Contact Kickboxing. Handmade in Thailand, the home of top quality Muay Thai equipment, the Fairtex Pride limited Edition gloves are constructed from genuine top grain leather and feature a shell 3-layer high-density foam core, an extra long cuff (with full velcro wrist wrap hook and loop closure) and are designed for a better fit, tighter wrist support and ease of use.

    Ordering
    I ordered a 16oz pair from Bulldog Fight Store at £74.99, as they seemed to offer the best price at the time. Although there was some issue with the tracking number (which was put down to Fedex systems being down at the time, so it had to be sorted manually by the retailer) the gloves were sent out and recieved quickly, and with relatively no fuss. I also found communication from the retailer to be fantastic.

    [​IMG]

    Design
    Sporting a design based on the Thailand Flag on the knuckle of the glove, a complete white palm, and the first line of the Thai national anthem printed on the wrist strap, the Fairtex Pride gloves look absolutely stunning. Photos simply do not do them justice and you really don't appreciate just how good they look until they're on your hands. My only gripe with the design is the fabric logo on the wrist strap being mostly white as dirt shows up on it very easily once you start training and quickly makes the glove look worn. I feel printing a logo here instead would have been much better. Despite this one gripe however I do find the gloves fairly easy to keep clean (and they've had blood on them) overall, despite them being mostly white in colour.

    Build Quality
    My first impression of the build quality with the Fairtex Pride gloves is that they are extremely well made with top quality stitching, and feel very durable. When I first tried them on I found them to be quite stiff, and tight fitting, but after a few sessions they do soften up a little and are quite comfortable despite me having large hands.

    The thumb compartment is attached to the body of the glove for safety and there is little chance of this coming unattached as the link is made of leather unlike cheaper alternatives.

    [​IMG]

    Usage
    I've been using a 16oz pair of Fairtex Pride Limited Edition Muay Thai Gloves in Full Contact K-1 Rules Kickboxing for four sessions a week, over a month, on punchbags, heavy bags, uppercut bags, hook and jab pads, and humans. Compared to other gloves I have used (ranging from Everlast to other brands of Fairtex) these feel great on my hands.

    They're tight fitting, yet comfortable, and protect my wrists and knuckles well regardless of what I'm are hitting. The padding around the knuckles is a lot harder than the padding in gloves from other brands like Twins or Sandee offering my hands better protection and also protecting my sparring partner from feeling the knuckle from strikes that the softer padding on other gloves might let through as they wear in (especially as a light cruiser weight), though the downside to this is that it feels a little harder hitting for my sparring partner. Though it isn't a drastic difference, it is a noticeable one for the reciever that takes a few sessions to get used to, especially for those who are less conditioned.

    The weight is well distributed and the gloves feel light on my hands. I actually had to weigh them to make sure they were the correct weight I had ordered because they felt so light (for the record they were the correct weight I ordered). I have not come across any issues with stitching on the inside or outside of the glove as of yet.

    You can view a video of me using them on my heavy bag below (don't let it's size fool you, it's as heavy and as hard as a rock).

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEG-1VeEY2U"]Fairtex Pride Muay Thai Gloves[/ame]

    Conclusion
    So overall what's my concluding thoughts about these gloves? I don't think I can echo enough how well built they are and how good the protection they offer is. They also look and feel fantastic to wear. They will take your sparring partner a little time to get used to due to the harder padded knuckle but overall I feel the protection they will offer you, and your partner, over softer padded gloves is worth the trade off. I'm not sure if they are worth the price some stores are asking of them, I certainly do not feel like I have walked away short changed though. I think they're a fantastic pair of gloves and I'm happy with what I got for the price I paid.

    Score: 9/10

    Pros:
    • Excellent build quality.
    • Look and feel fantastic.
    • Good protection for user and sparring partner.

    Cons:
    • High price from some retailers.
    • Hits feel harder for less conditioned sparring partners.
    • Fabric logo gets dirty easily.

    Disclaimer: This review offers the thoughts and opinions of the author and in no way reflects the views and opinions of M.A.P. Videos and photos are supplied to M.A.P by the author and may not be used without permission.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  17. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    That is how I would present a review personally. Feedback is very much welcome.

    I added a disclaimer line at the end. If anyone feels it could be worded better feel free to offer up a suggestion. I think it is important that in all reviews our own material is used regarding photos and videos (well full stop really) to avoid copyright and plagiarism issues.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  18. Aegis

    Aegis River Guardian Admin Supporter

    This will clearly need to be very carefully managed, but I'm of the opinion as the site owner that no honest review is a bad review, and as long as someone puts the effort into writing a proper summary as to why they dislike a product or supplier, I have literally no problem with that.

    My view is, if the business wouldn't be there without good reviews, it's not going to make any difference if there are bad reviews.
     
  19. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    So what's the verdict then Aegis? How do you feel about the way the review was written? Anything you would change? If you're happy with everything so far when do you think we can expect everything to be set up? Are there any concerns of your own you would like to express? :)
     
  20. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    Bumping for staff to review.
     

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