Product Review: KD Elite XL Curved Body Shield
Back in February, I got an email from the folks over at MMAOpinion.com asking if I would be interested in reviewing the KD Elite XL Curved Body Shield. Despite the fact that I havent had a lot of time to get new posts/reviews up lately, I felt I would be remiss if I passed them up. I’ve had the shield in my possession for about a month now, and I think I’m ready to share my findings with all of you.
First of all, the KD Elite XL Curved Body Shield is exactly what the name implies. It is a body shield. It is curved. And it is fairly large. This thing was meant to take your more powerful strikes – primarily kicks and knees but punches are just fine as well. Having a straightforward purpose, however, is not enough to make a good product. We need to really get down to the nitty gritty.
This shield is made of impact-absorbing foam and covered in vinyl, with nylon and rubber used for the handles. Right now, the folks at MMA Opinion are selling it for $69.99, which seems to be a fairly reasonable. The shield appears to be be pretty solidly made: my students and I wailed on it pretty thoroughly and it showed no signs of distress. I continue to be impressed with the build quality that the KD Elite folks deliver with their products at such good price points.
The shield features three different handles on the back (one horizontal and two vertical). The handles were my main concern with the last KD Elite product I reviewed, and honestly are my only issue with the shield. The horizontal nylon strap you hold on to still has the same cheap-looking piece of rubber on it that looks like it came from a garden hose. Also, there is only one of them. On several occasions I found myself really looking for another horizontal strap to hold onto. The vertical straps got rid of the rubber, which I like, and are adjustable via velcro. I like this a lot, and think they should have gone the same way for the horizontal strap. That said, the straps definitely work. My complaints here are fairly minor, all in all.
The impact absorbing foam they use in the shield really shines through as the star here. I’m a fairly small guy, and even when using it with my much larger students I found it did a very good job of softening the blows. Striking it feels pretty good as well, which is also fairly important. It provides enough resistance to let you know that you’re doing it right (or not), but not so much resistance that new folks are likely to hurt themselves.
So, is the KD Elite XL Curved Body Shield any good? Is it worth the $70 pricetag? Yes. The shield is reasonably priced but also surprisingly high quality. If you run a school, then you will need a shield at some point, and these are a great bargain. I’d even be tempted to call them a no-brainer. If you are just practicing/training yourself, then unless you wall mount it somehow, this is probably a pass. It *does* require two people. Having said that, if you have a regular training partner then it may be a good call.
Interested in buying one? Head over to MMAOpinion.com.
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