31 Jan 2012
Very comfy and easy to fit ear guards offering good protection during sparring. Slight worry over chin strap 'gagging' effect, but this was lessened by loosening the chin strap.
Details: UK customers can purchase the Venum Wind earguard from Osaka Fightgear for £29.99
Disclosure: I am not sponsored nor have any other connection with Osaka Fightgear or Venum. This review represents my own opinions.
Regular readers will know that I produced a large earguard review a while back looking at three Cliff Keen earguard models versus my battered old Brute model. I had been using the Brute but only reluctantly, however once I tried on the Cliff Keen Twisters, I found a product I genuinely enjoyed wearing. Could the Venum Wind match the awesomeness of the Twisters? Or even go one better and, dare I say it, replace the Twisters as my go to earguard of choice?
The product details on the Osaka and Venum webpages are not very helpful. Check this for smooth sales patter:
"Very efficient headgear for wrestling and /or Brazilian JiuJitsu. Mandatory if you want to keep your ears safe."
So I'm basing my judgement on the materials used in the construction on what other earguards seem to be made of.
The Venums are made from a tough polymer outer shell (generously vented) and a very large but soft and comfortable dipped foam padding.
It is a four-strap system, very similar to the Cliff Keen Tornado earguards. This I presume is supposed to ensure a more accurate fit, however I found that the three-strap Cliff Keen Twisters work just as well with less fiddly strapping. Each strap can be loosened or tightened by adjusting the velcro straps. Overall, it was a matter of a few seconds of adjusting for the first wear, and then leaving it as it is.
The polymer shells are decorated with the Venum logos. These started to peel off after just one session.
I wore the Venums every session for a period of 2 months. I really enjoyed wearing these earguards. The foam padding seemed a lot softer than any of my previous earguards, and the generously vented outer shells meant I could hear everything perfectly well. They did not get too hot but they did get very sweaty.
One slight drawback to the copious surface area of the dipped foam padding is that on occasion, the bulk of the earguards got in the way during a very tight sparring situation. I found that in cases where maybe I could escape a guillotine or triangle, the earguards blocked my progress. Although this happens with all the earguards (compared to wearing none at all) I felt this was slightly more the case with the Venums due to their slightly bulkier construction than, say, the Brutes or the Twisters. It was only an occasional occurrence however.
I did notice that the chin strap seemed to be set back a wee fraction more than my Cliff Keens. It meant that the strap created slightly more pressure on my larynx and led to a slight gagging effect. To negate this, I had to loosen the chin strap. This resulted in a bit more earguard slippage during rolling.
One final criticism of the chinstrap I found was that is was very fiddly to unstrap. Once on my head, I found it difficult to locate where the end of the strapping was in order to peel it off.
I wore earguards to every training session. It's important therefore that the pair I use must be both comfortable and practical. Some people are very sensitive to the gagging effect induced by the chin strap others have no problem with it. I must say with all my previous earguard models, this was the only model that gave me this sensation - only slightly however. The Venums are still very very comfortable to wear and I can live with loosening the chin strap. As a result I would say these are my go to earguards when I cannot find or am drying out my #1 choice, the Cliff Keen Twisters.