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Thread: Headgear Review of TopTen's Avantgarde

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    wallace is offline
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    Default Headgear Review of TopTen's Avantgarde

    I value my head a lot and I believe a good headgear can avoid head injuries from cuts to concussions. My choice for a new headgear was influenced by two reasons: Former experience and fit of gear. I have owned a Top Ten headgear before. It has performed very well in training an competition for almost 10 years. If I still had it I would still use the old one. I got it 25 years ago when I was fighting on an international amateur boxing competition in Moscow and used it for the remainder of my career. The other reason for picking Top Ten Avantgarde is the fact that it is small and doesn't increase the size or shape of the head like so many other head guards. Sparring with the Avantgarde is almost like wearing no headgear as I can slip punches easily. I can't do that with bulky protectors like facesavers, etc.

    Top Ten headgear is made from a synthetic material moulded in one piece. It barely gives in when hit lightly, but cushions medium to hard hitting punches well. I remember back in my days as a fighter it used to be the only non-leather headgear on the market for amateur boxing. A lot of my friends prefer leather, but their gear always smells bad and they have issues with sweat. When they sweat a lot and then get hit hard on their temple or forehead they complain about all the sweat from their hair being pressed into their faces and into their eyes. That's exactly the reason why I prefer the TopTen. It has channels inside the gear to push liquid away from the face and down the side of the face. The guy who invented this piece must have been a genius to have thought of this detail. I wear a headband under the helmet in addition to absorb sweat better since I sweat a lot. I know, I am a boar.

    The plastic material is very robust, I guess a truck can run over it and it would still be fine. When I squeeze it hard, it goes right back into shape. They say you can do that over 100k times with that headgear and it will still function like new. I believe that from what I have experienced myself and what my partners tell me. Some of my mates struggle with the fit, but I have no problems, luckily. It takes a bit fiddle to adjust the velcros at the back of the head for the first time. After that fits all I do is to close the chin velcro to open and fasten. The velcros on the Avantgarde are thinner than on the older Olympia Model. That's good as they are less likely to add pressure to the soft skin right under the chin bone.

    When I first got the piece I used it during heavy bag work outs and partner exercises to get used to the feel of the headgear again. This way it feels more familiar when using it in sparring. A lot of people never do that. They just use it when they step in the ring for sparring and the first time they spar with it they have problems because getting hit gives them an unusual sensation. It would be my small piece of advise: Use the headgear before you spar to get used to the feel. No matter what brand and model. My former trainer gave me that advise and it's been a good idea just like most of the other things he tought me. May he rest in peace. As for the feeling when getting hit hard I would say the Top Ten gives you a louder impression, but the head is rattled less. In comparison: I have a traditional Cleto Reyes headguard with cheekbone protection. The Reyes gives me the impression of a less louder impact, but the rotation of the head and the leverage against the neck feels much stronger. Together with the impairment of sight, I do not like the Reyes that much, but it has that epic feel and style to it.

    Since I also do kickboxing the Avantgarde was a better choice for me than regular headgears because it also protects from hits to the top and the back of the head. When getting hit with a roundhouse kick to the side of the head it is possible that the front of the opponent's foot will hit at the back of the head. It happens frequently as I observe. Getting cought with an axekick on the top of the forehead isn't fun either. It almost never happens but smaller people sparring with bigger guys might have that problem more often.

    On the bottom line I admit to being a Top Ten fan. The headgear is good for sparring and competition. I would have preferred their full protection headgear with cheek bone wings and chin buffer, but it was just available in medium size. My size is large. At my age, protection is very important. I can still sparr with 20 year olds and match their speed and power for 3 or 4 rounds with my experince. But I do have to avoid injuries as healing at almost 50 years of age takes a lot longer than for an athlete under 30. That's why I'd never spar without a good head guard. I do hope my review and the images will give you some value. Feel free to ask me questions.

    I purchased the headgear from Fighters Inc. in Florida. Here is the link to their boxing headgear section. I got the white Avantgarde Model in size L.
    After 4 months of use it still looks like new. It doesn't need any maintenance. I just wipe it clean with a cloth after spraying some window or bathroom cleaner on it.

    Here are some images of my headguard:

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    jdinca (08-01-2018)

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