28 Oct 2010

Great British Rash Guard Review

I present a small roundup of rash guards produced by British fightwear companies.

Good old rash guards. Not just the preserve of surfer type water people, but now the athletic under-armour of choice for many a full contact sportsperson. For us grapplers, a good rash guard will prevent gi burn, keep you cool or keep you warm and most of all, make you look like and feel like a lycra clad superhero. But there are a dizzying array of choices, plus there's the decision of whether to opt for long sleeves or short sleeves.
So here are a bunch of rashies that have recently landed on the desk of Meerkatsu HQ, let's take slithery peek...

Scramble 'Be Water'

Website: http://www.scramblestuff.com/
Size: Medium
Material: 85% polyester and 15% elasthen (spandex)
Cost: £34.99
Thoughts: Damn this is one sexy rash guard! It is adorned top to tail with huge, bold, Japanese characters and fat slashes of red printed Hokusai waves. It is just so distinctly Scramble and right up my strasse. The sizing is a little small for a medium, so it’s very snug on me (and I’m a 58 kilo weakling) and the arms are a bit short. It’s also noticeably thinner than the other rash guards. But it’s just so damned cool, wearing this rashie instantly transports me to a different era where I fight off badass ninjas intent on ruining my awesome Samurai-ness.

Punchtown 'Rashtek'
Website: www.made4fighters.com
and http://www.punchtown.com/
Size: Medium
Material: 80% Polyester + 20% Lycra
Cost: £29.99 (either short or long sleeve)
Punchtown kindly sent both a long sleeve rashie and short sleeve version. Both mediums fitted me pretty nicely, a little snug, as you would expect, but not too small. The design is smart, but minimal and fuss-free and it feels comfortable to wear. A nice rashie, nothing more to add really.


Website: http://masarufightco.com/
Size: Medium
Material: 80% polyamide & 20% spandex
Cost: £29.99 (short), £34.99 (long)
New fightwear company Masaru, which is Japanese for 'victory', kindly sent me both long and short sleeve versions of their rash guard. I really liked the long sleeve rashie. In fact, I really loved these rashies full stop. The material is extraordinarily soft and comfortable, the printwork is very nicely executed (although I’m not a huge fan of the brand design) and the size is a touch bigger than snug - which I actually prefer. Overall, an outstanding rash guard.

Grab and Pull
Website: www.grabandpull.co.uk
Size: Medium
Material: Nylon/spandex blend
Cost: £24.50
This rashie differs from all the others in this review by using screen printed ink. The Grab and Pull logos sort of feel jelly like and sticky, which is a bit weird. Overall though, a decent enough rashie that fitted me well, nothing outstanding but it’s okay.

Faixa Rua 'Fight or Die'
Website: http://www.faixarua.co.uk/shop/
Size: Medium
Material: not specified
Cost: £29.99
I was actually sent this rash guard ages ago and have been using it a lot. It’s simply beautiful in every way. I like the perfectly printed design and I love the very excellent way the material handles. It is superbly comfortable, fits like a second skin and the bottom portion simply refuses to ride up (a common problem with many rash guards). It’s a shame they only do white, more colours would be really cool.

Back in the day, no gi training was literally just that...no gi...and no top either. Since then, modesty, skin infection awareness and perhaps the general desire to wear something cool has meant that pretty much everyone who trains no-gi these days wears a rash guard.

Rashies have come a long way since even when I first started BJJ. As you can see from the photo below, the printed logo on this Evolution rashie has cracked and peeled off badly. Plus the surface of the fabric is all bobbly and worn away. I love it though. It’s a little bit of my personal history and I will wear it even when there are holes and all the print has come off.

These days, rashies are either dye-printed so the ink soaks into the fabric and doesn’t peel or crack, or they are screen printed with more flexible, crack resistant ink, such as the Grab and Pull rashie. I think with the dye-printed rashies, the colours you can produce are limited, since you can really only print dark on light. In contrast, the rubbery print ink used on the Grab and Pull can be printed on any colour rash guard. The Masaru gets around this problem by dye printing the entire rashie but masks out the logos,hence the illusion of white ink on dark background. It’s neat and works beautifully.

Most rashies are around £25-£35 and I recommend every grappler owning at least a couple. They are useful not just for no gi training, but for working out in strength and conditioning classes and as a comfortable, and cooling, layer under the gi.

As for the question on whether to go long sleeve or short, that’s down to you I’m afraid. I personally like to have both - short for summer, long for winter.


About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


Caleb said...

Not many people have as much fun blogging as Seymour.

AndrewWrites said...

Stoked! Now I know what I'm reading during lunch today!!

Dev said...

Dude, I haven't even read the post yet, and I have to say - that is the coolest picture I have ever seen.

slideyfoot said...

I hardly ever use a rash guard, as I don't wear them under my gi and it's rare I train in a no-gi class, but I definitely prefer long sleeved. Otherwise, danger of mat burn on the elbows (then again, perhaps that would be a sign I'm basing on my elbows too much?).

@Caleb: Yeah, I'm liking the recent humour in the pictures. :)

Big Phil said...

No measurements :O

Liam H Wandi said...

Dude! As always, excellent post and review and as always I feel so sorry (and jealous) for the poor sod who has to stand behind the camera :o)

Meerkatsu said...

Thanks for comments guys!
Phil, I didnt see the point of measuring since they are all so stretchy.

Meerkatsu said...

All done on self timer Liam lol

Big Phil said...

but, you could be all like Measures this much, then stretches to....

See, you could have had a lot of fun :)

Georgette said...

I have so much fun oogling Seymour and reading his reviews, I almost don't want to write any of my own. They'll never compare! :-)

Meerkatsu said...

I did miss a trick didn't I Phil?
Bugger, I gave a couple of the rashies away now so I can't do it.
Oh well maybe next time.

Georgette - don't encourage me! LOL!

SkinnyD said...

You are totally inviting a ninja attack, just by your threatening stance in those pics :)

Meerkatsu said...

HAHA I'm a bit like one of those tropical lizards that hiss, mouth agape with a display of side flaps opened out menacingly...and yet run away very quickly if you come too close!


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