17 Jun 2015

Gi Review - Fuji 'Suparaito'


Summary
Excellent fitting, super light gi with stylish touches and barely any shrinkage. I noted a few areas where the material started to fray, but did not worsen over time. Overall, a fantastic gi.

Information
This Suparaito was sent to me from the US Fuji store - it is priced at $134.00
Thanks also to Alfredo in Peru, who runs the El Jiujitero store

Disclosures
I have no business or personal connection with Fuji. All views expressed in this report are my own.






Introduction
Fuji sports have been selling value for money good quality fightwear for many many years. The company was started by Frank Hatashita over 50 years ago and was based in Canada. (He helped Japan get Judo in the '64 olympics in Tokyo.) In the 80's they started selling into the States and started making jiu-jitsu gi's in 2006.

Check out my review of their hugely popular All Around gi. The Suparaito is more expensive than the sub $100 All Around gi and more attention has been paid to the style touches. Is it as good as the All Around? Does it match up to other lightweight premium gis out there? Let's find out...


Size, Weight and Shrink data
I wore a size A1 gi for approximately 8 weeks. The gi was washed at 40 degrees and air dried each time. My own dimensions are 167cm height and 58-60Kg weight with long arms for someone who wears size A1.

Size data for an A1 gi in centimetres brand new versus x3 washes at 40 degrees:

A: 159 / 158
B: 72 / 71
C: 51 / 51
D: 16 / 16
E: 52 / 51
F: 97 / 95
G: 21.5 / 21
Jacket: 0.9Kg
Trousers: 0.4Kg

Discussion - the immediate stat that impresses the most is the lack of shrinkage. Along the key vulnerable areas such as the wingspan and the trouser length, there was barely a centimetre between the pre and post wash sizes. This is impressive and unusual even among the most expensive of pearlweave kimonos. With a wingspan of 158cm, the A1 size Fuji fits my long arms just right. The combined weight of 1.3Kg puts this gi into the ultra light category.

Jacket
The jacket is made from pearl weave cotton. I can't find a gsm figure but I'd guess it is around the 420gsm mark - similar to the Kingz and Hypnotik Base gi. So lightweight but still sturdy. There are of course even lighter weight kimonos - notably the 93 Brand gis - Zodiac and Charlie, or the Arte Suave super light gi.


The jacket features dark blue contrast coloured stitching and branded trim. Suparaito translates to 'super light' in Japanese, according to the Fuji website. Embroidered patches are placed in discrete locations, all the comply with IBJJF gi rules. Overall the aesthetic is still eye-catching.


Collar covering is ripstop cotton. The lapel itself is moderately thick, pretty much same thickness as most other mid-priced gis.


The interior of the jacket is lined with branded tape. It doesn't serve any reinforcing function that I can tell, probably decorative at most. It is still an attractive touch however.


The embroidery is sharp and clean.


Here within the sleeve cuffs, the branded tape does serve a reinforcing function, helping the add strength to the high stress region.


The side vents are impressively reinforced with tape and ripstop material.



Trousers
The pants are made from ripstop cotton. They are very light but I also found them a little baggy - which is a good thing as it didn't stick to my skin during a hot sweaty training session. The rope drawstring and four belt loops seemed to function perfectly well. Reinforced knee layers extend all the way down to the ankle.


Inside the gi pants, the crotch panel is reinforced with a triangular patch.


Rolling performance
I must admit I really loved rolling in this gi. It was light, without being too paper thin, and it was well fitting - roomy in the right places (under the armpits, around the groin section) but snug where it mattered: torso, waist and sleeves. Being a skinny short but long-limbed person, this gi seemed to offer all the sizing variables suited to my frame.

But it's not perfect. There were a number of areas where I noticed considerable fraying. It's a symptom I have observed with many super light gis - they tend to look a bit tatty and out of shape after barely a dozen washes. The photo below shows the trouser ankle openings.


The photo below shows worse fraying, this time along the inner leg seam of the trousers.


There were other regions I did not photograph that displayed fraying to a lesser degree. None of the frayed regions detereorated during my testing period. They could all be thread over-runs and excess fabric - rather than inferior material itself. Hopefully they won't get any worse because I really love rolling in this gi, especially now that the weather is warmer.



Conclusion
The Suparaito is a superb, stylish gi that is especially aimed at the tournament player looking for a super light, IBJJF compliant uniform when making weight. For general use, it's a great uniform for hot sweaty conditions, although watch out for fraying regions of the gi that may or may not get worse with wear and tear. At $134 I would say this is reasonable to pay, although I wouldn't ignore the superb value for money Fuji that is the All Around gi at $94 (or even cheaper if you stalk BJJHQ)



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About the Author

Meerkatsu

Author & Artist

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

12 comments:

Gary Lee said...

Excellent review as usual. Very helpful. I actually just ordered this GI in blue. It is currently in the mail. I have had positive experiences with Fuji's fit, price and quality. Can't wait to try it myself. Thanx.

Adrian said...

dude, what the heck?? how come you met the guy from PerĂº (btw I am from PerĂº hahaha), cool blog thanks!

vancouverite said...

How is the Suparaito holding up? Has the fraying worsened? I'm thinking about ordering one this week....

Meerkatsu said...

No further deterioration. I love wearing mine, it is a regular rotation gi now.

Streetwalkingcheetah said...

Which do you prefer - the Suparaito or the Tatami Zero G v3?

Meerkatsu said...

Suparaito, but only by a small margin. The Tatami Estilo beats the Fuji though.

Streetwalkingcheetah said...

Thanks - the Suparaito would be the first choice for me, but I'm at 5'8" and 170lbs, so right on the border on the Fuji size chart and concerned about either shrinkage in an A2 or swimming in A3. Going by their size chart, the Tatami A2 looks like a safer bet for me.

Does the Zero G feel much heavier/hotter than the Suparaito?

Meerkatsu said...

I wouldn't say huge amount hotter but it is a thicker gi in both jacket and pants so it is noticeably a different 'feel'. It has been warm over summer in our academy so I prefered the Fuji but as the weather naturally cools down over autmn and winter, I'll gravitate towards the Estilo and my other rotation gis and less on the super light gis.

t said...

if the cost difference was not an issue, would there be any good reasons to opt for fuji all around instead of suparaito in your opinion?

Meerkatsu said...

Fuji All Around is a great gi and excellent value for money. It feels very different in cut and cloth to the Suparaito. IT also is prone to shrinkage a lot more than the Suparaito. Hope this helps.

t said...

thanks for your reply. i am trying to decide whether to get myself suparaito or all around for a second practice gi. since i am at the high limit of A3 at fuji's size chart by height, shrinkage is a concern. i do realize that all around is great value, and this is certainly something to keep in mind. however what i meant with my original question is this: assume for a moment that both suparaito and all around cost $100. would there be in that case good reasons to pick all around, rather than suparaito?

Anonymous said...

Hi! You mentioned that Charlie GI is lighter, but, per your review, they are exactly the same weight...

 

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