One of the things I want to include on my blog are product reviews. I love Taekwondo gear! Let me know if there are any specific products you would like to see reviewed.
Lets get Started with Hogus - Chest Pads. We are going to talk about 3 different brands of Hogu today, I will try to add some others at another time.
Adidas - Multiple Vendors Carry Adidas Hogus
Retail Cost: $45 - $60
Pros: This is likely the most common Hogu on the market. Its has huge name brand recognition, is good quality, fits well and gives good protection.
Cons: Expensive! The wholesale cost on these chest pads are double that of many other decent hogus. Also, as of late, the Adidas Hogus have been cut a little bigger. I have ordered form 2 different vendors and received larger then normal size 4s.
Retail Price: $50, likely cheaper from your instructor
Macho has 2 wrap around Hogus. last year, they released the "Deluxe Tournament Hogu" . It has a very large cut, and is not practical for Olympic Style sparring.
This year, they are offering a much better chest pad, called the "Competition Hogu".
Pros: Good design, High hip cut, light weight. The Retail price is not that much different then the Adidas, but the wholesale cost is about 1/2. This allows instructors to sell it to students for less then the Adidas and still make a little profit.
Cons: runs small. I typically wear a size 4. The equivalent for the Macho Hogu is a Large, and I felt like it was small on me. I only see this as a "con" because the largest size is XL. There is not as much protection (a little softer) then the Adidas, but I would still consider it a "hard" hogu.
You can see the size different here between an Adidas 4, and Macho Large.
Retail Price: $50 (approx)
Pros: This is a very nice Hogo. Good quality, and has a comfortable cut. It is about the same weight as the Adidas, and similar hardness. Wholesale cost is cheaper then Adidas by about $10.
Size Comparison with the Adidas Size 4
Cons: poor availability in the states. The only place I have found you can purchase these are from MDSS Canada which is a great company to deal with, but ordering large quantities from Canada to the US can be a hassle.
Final Thoughts: The most important thing is that the hogu fit you well, and does its job protecting you. For the me, I can wear any of these hogus and accomplish this. I think its worth shopping around before you buy. Take a look at what people are using at your gym, and give them a closer look. Also, ask your instructor before purchasing, they may have further insight for you and might be able to get a better price then if you order it yourself.
Other Hogu Options:
5 Rings From Dynamics World
Competition Hogu ($45) from Kwon
Elite Hogu(~$30) from Xplosive TKD
Vision Platinum Chest Guard ($45) from Vision Martial Arts
Hi! My name is Gordon White, I run the Blue Wave Taekwondo branch in Burlington Vermont. If you are interested in The Blue Wave Taekwondo Schools, please visit our Web site: The Blue Wave Taekwondo Association