When I went down to So Cal in March for the Pan Am's and got on the mat with my coach Tim Cartmell over at Ace Jiu Jitsu who had recently received a gift in the form of Lucky Gi's latest in top shelf kimono's; the Lucky Bamboo Gi. Asking simply if it was comfortable Tim went into a 10 minute diatribe on how much her loved not only the feel and lightness of the gi, but also how well it breathed and how the bamboo kills germs and bacteria. I immediately got ahold of Scotty over at Lucky, and knowing the quality of past reviews I have done here, and here promptly sent me one of these gems. I must admit I have fallen in love!
OTM has produced three version's of their bamboo gi coming in with the Rafael Lovato Jr. Signature gi, white Fleur De Lis variation, and then you have the Rude Boy gi which was coincidentally the version sent here to The Ground Never Misses for review. All three versions are the same production and design, just different "themes" with the Rude Boy obviously paying homage to the laid back surf / beach lifestyle that is often associated with the BJJ lifestyle stemming from Brazil and of course reaching to the shores of Jamaica.
"Rude Boy is more of an attitude or a lifestyle. Originally coined in Jamaica during the 1960's, it was a common term for juvenile delinquents and criminals. It has since been used in a lighter context, describing a young, tough, style conscious individual with plenty of attitude. This attitude and lifestyle has spread worldwide and flows well with the Jiu Jitsu lifestyle that we all live. The Rude Boy Lucky Gi was designed on the world famous North Shore of Hawaii by local famed artist from the Da Hui crew, Scott le Roc. Thee colors represent a rise from nothing."
I am not going to lie, the 100% bamboo material is not cheap and as I stated previously is a top shelf gi. But put all that aside and get your hands on one and you will see what I speak of... a softness beyond description, a comfort and fit like no other, and the durability that OTM and Lucky Gi has become known for. This is one of the most comfortable gi's I have ever seen in over 20 years in the martial arts, and regardless of what you think of the various models the bamboo gi is not simply about comfort.
Bamboo is the next wave of alternative material being used largely because of its eco-friendly sustainability, and the fact that it is much stronger then hemp or cotton. Bamboo fibers also expand when they warm (contracting when cold) that allows the skin to breathe. So far this has not factored into washing and drying as the gi has shrunk minimally and I dry my kimono's at least 60% of the way in the dryer. But I can attest to the cool heat wicking capabilities especially up here in Seattle where humidity levels can climb quite high and everyone is sweating like a pig!
|Close up of bamboo weave|
Bamboo is one of the world’s fastest growing plants, growing up to a meter in a day. Bamboo is a grass, so once cut it can regenerate quickly without the need for replanting. It grows very densely and so the yield per acre is high in comparison to cotton. Bamboo absorbs 35% more carbon dioxide than equivalent sized stands of trees.
Design & Functionality:
The A-4 weighs in just a scootch over 4 pounds total and is what I would classify as a "lightweight" gi for sure that is perfect for competition! I have owned two Lucky Gi's in the past, and neither wore out and are both still going strong. That same durability and strength is found in the latest bamboo model's but at about a 1 - 1.5 pounds less.
A thick but comfortable collar that is made from UV True Temperature Foam is strong as shit as I have been working my gi chokes lately and the collar and lapel are perfect for chokes. It takes about two tugs to get the lapel out of your belt to use for choking. Triple and double stitching highlight the entire kimono reinforcing the crotch, armpits, and side seams.
The pants are made from solid cotton canvas that is approx. 10 ounces in weight, but thankfully with the new models Scotty updated the pants adding an inch to the bottom of them (the pants were guilty of hiking up a bit with previous versions). The knees are still super reinforced with a thick pad for rolling on those rough as puzzle mats (sorry to those of you that still train on those barbaric tiles!), and the Lucky Gi's drawstring waist. The right bottom cuff is highlighted by a beautiful embroidered Lion of Judah which represents Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia (on the continent of Africa) in the Rastafarian religious movement. This same Lion can be found on the left hip of the jacket, with an outline print of the Lion found on the lining of the jacket.
Triple and double stitched seams flow through the kimono like rivers flowing down from Ganja Mountain, reinforcing all grip points. Stitching is top notch with only one or two loose threads found throughout the gi and after over two months of wear and tear no loose seems nor torn stitching have risen up. Even on the embroidered "Lucky Gi" flashes on the shoulders and back the stitching is solid and sharp and holding up strongly, yet still enough room for you to rep your academy or sponsor with patches (such as Ron's 'I "heart" Sensi').
Overall the top shelf Lucky Rude Boy Kimono retails for $289.99 and is hands down the most expensive, AND comfortable gi's I have ever worn! Now some of you may be tempted to jump onto the net and see if you can bargain hunt and find a Lucky Gi at a killer savings. BE WARNED that Lucky Gi's are the most ripped off design on the market and yet again Scotty has addressed this issue with one silver (True Platinum Weave) thread sewn into every 18 inches of the fabric.
Worth is relative but I promise you will not be disappointed with this kimono and quite frankly Scotty and his crew at both Lucky Gi and On The Mat offer the BEST customer service in the BJJ/MMA retail world so put down the bong, turn up the Slightly Stoopid, get online by clicking here to order your gi today! And please tell them you read the review here at the Ground Never Misses!