SEA MMA Gear Guide

Shoyoroll Batch #8 White Mamba Review

Introduction

If there's such thing as a collectible gi brand, it's Shoyoroll. Into their 8th batch now, with the 10th batch coming up for preorders soon, this is one of the rare brands that increase in value after purchase, even with a used gi. To time it with their upcoming Batch #10 preorder, we're reviewing both Batch #8 gis so you can have an idea of what you might be getting yourself into.

For those of you eBayers reading this, please don't use my photos and crop off my watermark to pass it off as your own. Unless of course, you have a Golden State or Batch #6 to send me in return, heh heh.

Anyway, first up is the White Mamba. Although it was announce a month or so later than the Yank, it arrived at the doorsteps of eager buyers earlier than the Yank.

Official Specs:

  • Lightweight 450g pearl weave fabric
  • One piece jacket with no back seam
  • Custom IPOD/ID pocket
  • EVA Foam Collar
  • 12oz Ripstop cotton Pants w/Gold Weave Gusset
  • Stretchy Rope Drawstring
  • 6 Point loop system
  • Contrasting color stitch
  • Heavy Reinforced Seams
  • Tailored Fit
  • Custom art woven inner taping
  • Comes with a limited edition gi bag

Aesthetics

The White Mamba is part of Shoyoroll's East vs West theme for Batch #8 and comes in a white and purple contrast stitching. Might seem gaudy at first, but once you have a look at the actual gi, you'll be a definite convert. The purple stitching stands out as a strong and attractive contrast to the white gi, making it look cool and attention grabbing. If you wanna be a gi fashionista, this is one step in the right direction.

The gi comes with a gi bag made of ripstop material and the purple mamba screen printed on it. You could possibly use it as a back patch, or simply carry it around to stuff things in. Thanks to new IBJJF rules banning pockets inside the gi jacket, the gi now comes with a detached ID pocket for those who are not competing to stitch it on themselves. As an added touch, the snake is also printed on the ID pocket.

In similar styling to recent Shoyorolls, there is no chest patch and the front is devoid of any design except for a Shoyoroll logo patch on the bottom left. The back is also empty for you to customise with your own patches.

The shoulders feature the customary Shoyoroll embroidery that says  Jiu-jitsu on the right and Kimonos on the left.

Part of the stand out design in the White Mamba is the inside taping, featuring a cool snake motif. The artwork is done by artist John Smalls. You can check out an interview with him by Meerkatsu here. As an added improvement from Batch #7, the Shoyoroll taping on the inside of the collar now has the words worked into the stitching instead of being just printed on.

The pants continues with the same contrast stitching, and features a longer Shoyoroll word patch on the top left of the pants, as well as a small Shoyoroll logo on the bottom left below the knee pads. I was kind of expecting a little more in this regard, like maybe a snake embroidery or something similar, since the 7th son had this feature on the pant leg.

For more photos of the White Mamba, click here.

Form & Fit

Shoyoroll's size chart spans from A00 to A5, with special A2H and A3s sizes. They apparently run larger than other gis, but I find these to be great for the Asian frames due to the longer and slimmer cut.

Using my previous experience with the 7th Son, A1 was again the preferred choice. With Shoyoroll, I fall right smack in the middle of the height range but borderline weight for A1, with is usually the other way round for many other sizing charts. This usually means the gi will be of good length but fit a little baggy. Fortunately, Shoyorolls do shrink.

Right out of the bag, the A1 was a little large, but after a few washes it shrank just right. While the fit could be more snug around the chest, the pant and sleeve length are great for an A1.

Here's the pre and post wash measurements, all done in cold wash and hung dry.

Gi Top
Sleeve to Sleeve
163cm
159cm
Chest width
65cm
62cm
Gi length (collar to skirt)
80cm
78cm
Arm width (at armpits)
27cm
26cm
Cuff width (at sleeves)
17cm
16cm
Gi Pants
Pant width
65cm
53cm
Pant length
93cm
88cm
Cuff width (at leg)
27cm
22cm

Functionality

Similar to my 7th Son experience, the 450gsm pearl weave is noticeably lighter and thinner compared to other heavier 500-550gsm counterparts. It feels great to train in something so light and thin that you barely feel it there. The gi does stiffen up a little after washing and drying, but softens up again during training after rolling around in sweat.

This time round, the ripstop pants is a little heavier at 12oz compared to the Batch #7's 10oz. However, I'm not really able to feel the difference, and the pants is still as light and thin as ever. While it hasn't happened, I wonder if it'll tear at some point. They've also changed the gusset and it's now just ripstop material, instead of the gold weave material they had on the 7th Son. Does it really make a difference? Haven't really noticed it so it's not much of an issue for me.

Featuring a 6 point loop system, Shoyoroll is generous when it comes to drawstring loops. It also has stretchy rope drawstring, making it easy to tighten and adjust. The rope's a little long for me and tends to come undone during rough rolls, although that's easily remedied by cutting and burning the ends. Better longer than shorter.

Collar thickness is compared to the 7th Son and the Yank here, and you'll notice that the White Mamba is the thickest, although not by much compared to the Yank. That said, I have a feeling that not all Shoyorolls are created equal, and there will be slight variations across the batch, so I'm just going to make guess that the White Mamba and the Yank were intended to be just as thick.

Most of the reinforcements in the gi are where you expect them, although oddly, there's nothing at the armpits. I haven't run into any problems in that area yet, so I'm not sure how big a difference it makes.

The only concern is whether the taping will come loose with time, and I suspect that's a matter of rescue stitching on a regular basis. If you want to maintain the gi, you'll have to check for damages every now and then. The taping on my 7th Son's leg cuff came off at one point and I had to sew it back myself.

Affordability

Shoyoroll gis are not easy to come by. While the White Mamba already retailed on the pricier side of things at USD $160 (SGD $199) during the preorder period, it goes for roughly USD $300 (SGD $372) on the eBay market. There's also the long wait. Preorder was in end December 2010, but the gi only arrived in end March 2011. That's a 3-4 month gap.

Moreover, Shoyoroll has very limited retailers, although Budovideos does ship to this side of the ocean. Not much choice in the shipping options, but they are very fast, usually taking about 3-5 days to get my parcel over by FedEx.

Factoring all these in, Shoyoroll might not be worth the trouble if you just want a gi for regular use. Fortunately, Shoyoroll is changing its sales policy slightly, and they no longer release a limited by numbers edition. It used to be once 200 or whatever magic number of gis sold out, that was it. Now you have a 2 hour window to grab the gi you want, and as long as you log on during that preorder time slot, it'll be sitting there waiting to eat up your hard earned cash.

Conclusion

The Shoyoroll White Mamba is a unique looking gi with its white and purple contrast stitching and snake taping. Not only does it look good, but it is a joy to train in as well! However, the availability might just turn the regular guys off. If you're a collector or a fashionista, or simply love the waiting craze, then this is a must-have.

Check out the new Shoyoroll preorders coming up on Friday 20th May, 12-2pm Pacific Time (Saturday 21st May 3am-5am Singapore Time). Do note that these are gold weaves and not pearl weaves.

Disclaimer

All comments in the review are my own personal opinion. Prices provided in brackets are merely for reference and are based on exchange rates at the time of writing.

If you like this review and found it helpful, please post a comment or let the company or retailer know too. Should you decide to purchase them online, you might want to consult the online buying guide for advice.

Comments (9) Trackbacks (1)
  1. Great review! It makes me even more stoked about tomorrow’s pre-orders! I would have loved to have gotten myself the white mamba (only heard of SYR at the start of the year) but i’m very excited about getting myself the ComPadre. My only source of comparison would be a blue Koral MKM, so let’s see if the product lives up to the YR hype!

  2. @seammagear

    How big are you? height/weight?

    Cheers

  3. Hi, I know this is an old post but I was searching around for SYR gi review and bump into this.
    Fellow singaporean here too.
    I am 169cm about 70+kg.
    Do you think A1 size will fit me?
    Thinking of getting Batch#11


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