AirPads review by David Parkinson:
There was a lot of talk and excitement in the boxing world prior to the release of Ultimatum Boxing’s Airpads earlier this month…
The Airpads are the result of hard work, research and collaboration between Ultimatum Boxing, in my opinion, the best Boxing brand on the market right now working alongside Coach Bupas; one of the Worlds top coaches who’s molding some of the top boxers around today from his gym in Moscow. Two industry leaders aiming to create something that would hopefully revolutionize what a set of pads can do.
After receiving my set last week I’ve had some time to break them in and make up my own mind. I can tell you that the talk and excitement about these pads were well deserved!
The Airpads are described as an everyday use pad that will protect the hands well against the impact of punches but also with a compactness and weightlessness that allows them to be used for speedwork.
For a coach it’s a dream come true;
One set of mitts for everything; no more playing around.
If this product was coming from another Company I probably wouldn’t be so optimistic, but Ultimatum Boxing’s reputation for innovation and quality has been earned.
This is actually a brand I have been using for some time now, as many of my athletes and clients can attest to. As I stated above, I do rate them as the best Boxing Company around right now and the key reason for that is they have never let me down.
The market has been flooded by sub-par equipment and even well-established brands (I’m sure you can guess) have seen a dip in standards due to the locations of their producers where quality control is lower on the agenda. Nothing worse than spending your money on something, only for it to fall apart after a few months.
Ultimatum showcases the craftsmanship, care, quality and high standards you would expect from Russia and they ensure that I can put my full concentration on my athletes and their goals. Some Ultimatum pads I’ve had for a few years now and used extensively with my athletes; heavy hitters included and they’re just as effective as the day I bought them!
Back to the Airpads though…I wanted to break down what really stood out to me and what I thought was really useful to the Coach and Athlete.
When you first put them on you’ll immediately notice the beautiful tight fit. Personally, this is what I’m after as there is nothing worse than having your hand slide around when you’re trying to catch punches.
The bottom of your hand and wrist is really well supported also and there are no hard edges or materials that need breaking in.
For the fingers, I found there to be a good amount of space and grip and of course the finger cover ensures that added safety.
Something I really liked which I’ve not seen in any other high level pad, was the mesh air vents on the finger lid. With me coaching full time in Asia at this moment, the humidity and moisture in the air is a killer for a lot of training equipment…these vents really help the pads dry quickly and stay smelling right.
These pads are extremely light and during a coaching session that lightness really becomes apparent. For the protection they give; to weigh less than 10oz is ridiculous…they’re noticeably lighter than the Winning CM-50 which is a pad that offers similar padding and comfort…
only the Airpads are available for considerably less money.
With this lighter weight I was wondering if the durability or structure would be compromised but I’m confident that’s not the case.
You’ll notice as soon as you open the box that Ultimatum have moved away from genuine leather for this product.
A few of the new high end brands you’ll see on the hands of a few of Europe’s top boxing coaches take pride in using exotic leathers, grains and finishes. Now, I’m a fan of luxury and there’s nothing better than the smell of fresh leather gloves or mitts out of the box…but You know a few months down the line you’re dealing with a completely different beast.
The Airpads top level engineered materials actually ensure they will keep their shape, protect from tears and stretching and also will guard against moisture. That’s exactly what you would want from a set of daily use pads.
The Airpads use a combination of hard and soft foam layering which is great for absorbing the impact of punches and big forces being caught.
I’ve personally used these with some heavy hitters and I can tell you that my hands and joints are thankful for it.
You’ll also notice a catch hole in the front to ensure a good connection and precise shot.
With many of the big pillow style pads you find that the insides tend to go flat and uneven after some fair use…that’s natural with wear and tear but does of course change the potency and effectiveness of the pad. What I’ve never seen before but I really like is that Ultimatum Boxing actually offer a replacement padding for the Airpads if and when the padding does start to bottom out.
This is available for a fraction of the price of a new set of pads and thus ensures a second life for your trusted training tool.
Water repellant barrier
Ultimatum have included a barrier in between the hand area and the inside padding to ensure the padding stays dry no matter what. As I said before, if you’re coaching in a hot and humid Country the sweat, moisture and humidity can be a death sentence for a lot of equipment…this barrier is another tick in the box for me as to why Airpads are the best in the market.
Palm and Inner material
Sliding your hand into these pads and you’ll notice they feel completely different to other pads. That material you feel is actually Alcantara…the same material used in luxury sports car interiors from Lamborghini to BMW and Mercedes.
It’s soft, durable and sweat resistant while also offering a slip resistant surface for your hand and wrist.
For a pad that uses the most innovative materials and with a design that has been so well thought out. A product that has actually been designed from a coaches perspective rather than just what might sound good on paper…you’d expect a pretty premium price.
I mean, with the Winning CM50 pads retailing at around $350 on a good day, you’d expect something similar.
You’ll be surprised to know that these Airpads are available for $199 and with Worldwide shipping it’s an easy choice to make if you’re serious about your coaching.
Like Coach Bupas stated: “everyday use working pads that will protect my hands best and at the same time will be lightweight and compact for speed work”
The Airpads deliver this 100% and they will be my pad of choice going forward for my coaching work. Ultimatum Boxing have delivered again an industry-leading product and I have no doubt that this will continue to be the case going forward.
David Parkinson is Tactical Strength and Conditioning Coach, Award Winning Combat Sports Trainer, Former Royal Marines Commando, Technical Coach specializing in the realms of Combat sports and Tactical/Operational performance. David has held high-level coaching positions on 3 different continents and has successfully competed at the highest level in places including China, Brazil, USA and the UK.