After reading the results of the gi survey from last year, a reader sent me an interesting series of emails about running an analysis of the data. Here’s what he had to show and tell:
I stumbled across your gi survey a while back and came back to it this weekend as I was looking for a new gi to buy. I decided to have a quick crack at analysing your dataset (actually just the question about favourite gis).
I cleaned up the data by using only responses from people who owned at least 2 gis, and who had listed one of those as their favourite. After that, for each pair of the 21 gi brands that were owned more than 10 times in the dataset, I counted the number of time the 2 brands were owned together and one of them was listed as the favourite, and which one was the favourite. I then ran a quick statistical test on the pairwise comparisons. I also summed up the numbers for each brand, to get an overall value of a brand versus all the others and ran a statistical test on that too.
According to the study:
1) Shoyoroll seems to be the best brand overall by quite a margin, so if you want the best gi no matter the price, this is your best bet.
2) Sirius and Padilla & Sons really stand out as the best deals by far given their high ranking and low price compared to every other brand analyzed. They both have very comparable rankings and prices so it’s hard to recommend one over the other.
3) If you want to try something different, go for Isami (but consider Shoyoroll, Sirius or Padilla & Sons first).
4) Of the 6 major brands identified in the survey (Atama, Koral, Gameness, HCK, Keiko Raca and Vulkan), Vulkan seems to be the best, followed in order by Koral, Keiko Raca, Atama, HCK and finally Gameness. So if you want a gi from one of the big brands, go for a Vulkan (or perhaps a Koral if you really don’t want a Vulkan).
5) At the other end of the spectrum, Krugans, Adidas and Kikskin seem especially bad.
This is a quick and dirty analysis but I hope you’ll find the results as interesting as I did. It actually made me buy a Padilla and Sons straight away, given the overall results above versus the price of the gi (plotting proportion against price would be an interesting graph too).
I personally own 3 Padilla and Sons gis. I am addicted to them.
A gi that has been overlooked is the Kuzuri Gi.
About half the guys that roll with me have at least one and they look and feel great.
A little patch heavy for me, with the 3 flags going across the shoulders but a lot of people like them.
This is really great. I have a Fuji gi, which I can’t stand, but it was cheap and is durable. And then I got a lightweight Vulkan gi for tournament and I love it. It’s not perfect and the pants fit a little weird, but I love how durable it is for its weight (not nearly as bad as I’d expected for a lightweight gi, it takes a lot of abuse).
The funny part is that I bought the thing so I wouldn’t have to cut weight before competing, and then the scales told me I was 5 lbs. lighter than I am anyway! Good thing I fell in love with the gi; otherwise I’d be pissed at being out that much cash for no real reason.
This is a neat idea for ranking gis. It gets really subjective after a while so looking at which brands people consitently prefer is a pretty good indicator of overall satisfaction of a particular brand. Great post, thanks for sharing!
This report a bit off. I have an atama, koral, vulkan, lucky, kikskin, and 5 shoyorolls. My Shoyorolls hold up the least to the beating these gi’s go through. Shoyoroll makes the coolest looking gi’s but they will not outlast the others minus the lucky. I know 3 others with lucky and all of the pants have ripped. The two best gi’s u can buy for the quality are Koral and Kikskin imo. The kikskin is the best made gi for the money. I like my vulkan too but for the $185 u will spend on a vulkan, drop $130 and get a better gi in the Kikskin. either way all of the above will last longer than the Shoyoroll, I have gone though 3 in a year and a half. They are the best looking tho.