Review: Shoyoroll Batch #6 Blue Superlight Gi

After 3 months of waiting, I finally got my new Shoyoroll gi in the mail. I've never owned this brand before, but I knew that all of their batches end up looking amazing. However, does Shoyoroll fall into the "style over substance" trap that many kimono manufactures have fallen into lately? After a week of rolling in this bad boy,  I believe that I have made my decision.

Hit the jump for details.

First of all, let me just say that SYR isn't kidding when they call this gi a "superlite".  As an owner of multiple kimonos, this thing feels more like a karate gi than anything used for BJJ. That doesn't mean that the structural integrity is compromised though. This thing is rugged for how light it is.

The top is a one piece back that is cut, and it features a nifty pocket on the inside of the skirt. They say it is an "ipod" pocket, but I'll most likely be using it for my ID when I'm competing. The pants are the greatest gi pants I own by far. The six-loop drawstring system keeps your pants up effectively, and the ripstock enforced kneepads and crotch lining are awesome.

Shoyoroll has been very good about taking constructive criticism to heart, and improving upon their gis with every batch. Some of the most frequent complaints with the older batches were the thin lapels and the fraying drawstrings. Both issues have been addressed with this batch, and I'm loving how thick these lapels are. They are really hard for my teammates to catch a good grip with them.

Most kimonos aren't perfect though, and this one is no exception. I really only have two major complaints with the batch 6:

1) The Cut
The cut on this gi is pretty odd. The cut feels like it is cut for someone with broad shoulders, but the pants feel like they are cut for a skinny-short guy. The first thing that I thought when I put the gi on was "Man they cut this thing for a gorilla!" After a few washings, however, it has fit (mostly) to my liking. It sucks that I really had to abuse this thing in the washing machine to get it to fit though. It really took some of the structural integrity out of the gi.

2) The "Fashion"
Shoyoroll has always stood out in a crowd by making fantastic looking products. However, it seems like a lot of additions really detract from the comfort and usability of their product. They use custom taping EVERYWHERE on this thing. It looks great, but the taping behind the neck is just too scratchy. It feels like a piece of plastic sewed on with dental floss. You absolutely have to wear a rashguard while rolling in this thing, or take a blade to the taping to get it off of sensitive areas. They also put taping along the inside of the sleeve cup. I can't help but think that it would help people with their sleeve grips when they get a hold of it. With that being said, I will be taking all of the inside taping out for comfort purposes.

Despite a few areas that need to be addressed, I believe that the new Shoyoroll batch 6's are some of the greatest gis on the market today. They are comfortable (despite the taping), and extremely light. This would make for a great comp gi or just a "summer-weave' type practice gi. For the price, I would certainly choose it over a comparable Keiko or Atama. I would even say that it is about on par with the Koral if it had the comfort level straight out of the box. Overall, these things look and feel great. I get tons of compliments at the gym, and it definitely lets me stand out in a crowd.

B+ ("A" without the taping)

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