Preview: Black Eagle Raptor BJJ Kimono

"Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."

And it landed indeed. Part of Black Eagle's ongoing move to separate their BJJ product line from their other martial arts lines, Black Eagle did a bold move proposing a limited run of their Raptor gi - a pre-order only edition limited to 500 units. There's a Black model with red stitching/embroidery, a White model with black stitching/embroidery and my favorite, a White model with purple stitching/embroidery.

Please note that this is a pre-production model and there are several differences to the final product which you may now pre-order at Black Eagle's website!

( versão Portuguesa aqui. )

As this is a preview based on a pre-production gi I'll refrain from going in depth on things such as numbers. That information can ans should be accessed on Black Eagle's product page.

. Highlighted features:
- Rashguard lining on the jacket (logo is sublimated so no peeling) and this includes the sleeves.
- Ripstop cotton on collar and seam tapes.
- Canvas pants (my guess is that they'll survive WWIII).
- Six perfectly placed cord loops.
- Lightweight despite all these features (BE claims 1.7Kg for the A1 size!).
- Buyers may mix and match jacket/trouser size.

. Differences from this pre-production sample to what you can now pre-order:
- Jackets will all be in pearl weave (this is gold weave).
- Embroidery design for the purple model was improved (see photos below).
- Embroidery in the back is optional.
- There will only be "Special Edition Kimono" on the back of the skirt and translated to Portuguese.

Solid, premium, deluxe and exclusive are all words that spring to mind while wearing and admiring this gi. Taking into account the changes made to the final product I am hard pressed to imagine a more complete gi in this class. Some may prefer a different weave or material for a given piece and some may prefer a different kind of design for another given detail, but this is without a doubt a top of the line gi no matter what you compare it to. Rash guard lining? Check. Contrasting stitching? Check. Exclusive design? Check. Kick ass durable 'till kingdom come canvas trousers? Check. Fair weight? Check.
I also love the fact that one can choose to have the back embroidered or not, kudos to Black Eagle for that. I myself prefer the cleaner look but many others will prefer the blinger side. This way neither side will have to compromise.

. Gallery
On the left, the embroidery on the pre-prod model. On the right, the redesigned and final version which punters may include on their gi (copyright Black Eagle).

Shoulder and arm embroidery plus also visible is the ripstop taped reinforced seam and the sleeve rashguard lining!

A way to live, a desire to win. Sublimated design on rashguard lining.

Special Edition Kimono embroidery which will only be present in the back and in Portuguese.

Gold weave detail (final product is pearl weave!), ripstop collar. Good reinforcements and stylish finishing touches.

Very durable canvas trousers, six cord loops and more purple on white action.

Shin embroidery and more canvas awesomeness.

. Conclusion:

This is an awesome gi and I believe fans of elaborate gis such as this will love any of the colour options. I will stress again that what you see here is not the final version up for pre-order and you definitely should go to Black Eagle's website and see and read for yourself.
£99 is a pretty fair price for all you'll get, especially compared to other household names on the market which at this price point can't hold a candle to the Raptor special edition.

I hope in the future Black Eagle adds a regular (non-limited) version of this gi to their line-up. I think that removing the embroidery option, going for just one White model (black or gray would probably be the most consensual) and adding a blue version (I say gray or orange contrast ;)) and this could be the flagship, top of the line model with great success.

. Notes:

A special thanks goes to Mr. Steve of Black Eagle. He is one of the nicest and most professional people I've met in the business and his interaction and willingness to hear the community's advices and decide on features based on them is nothing short of commendable - and this gi reflects it.

As always, I am not endorsed by Black Eagle and these opinions are my own, unbiased, uncensored and they apply only to the product I wrote about.

Versão Portuguesa aqui!


slideyfoot said...

I was trying to remember why I didn't have your blog in my Google Reader, as there's plenty of good stuff in here, then got reminded when I added the RSS and only got titles.

Any chance you could change your settings so that the full article comes through, rather than just the title? I always end up just scrolling past feeds that only give me snippets and/or a link to the full thing, especially as I'm often reading it on my phone. :)

André said...

Sorry slidey, didn't notice that setting before. How about now?

slideyfoot said...

Cool - looks like that is coming through in full now. Thanks! :D

Post a Comment

Copyright © Portuguese White Belt