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03-25-2012, 02:24 PM
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Jarick's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St Paul, MN
Country: United States
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And a few years ago manufacturers started slimming down the bulk and softening up the caps.

High end shoulder pads for instance aren't just bigger and bulkier than mid range; they have more protection in more areas with higher quality foams and inserts.

Look at those four pads, from Total One to Classic. The amount of "bulk" and weight is not very much, especially under a big sweater.

Really what it comes down to is this: high end equipment minimizes risk of injury. You're paying money now to avoid the chance of injury in the future.

That's not to say you will avoid any injury with high end equipment; but most certainly they provide more protection in more areas than cheap equipment:
- shoulder pads add more padding around the ribs, stomach, and back, while adding denser foams and hard inserts to the chest and spine
- gloves add denser foams and plastic inserts to the backroll and fingers, add locked thumbs, and incorporate slash protection
- elbow pads add more slash protection in the forearm and coverage of the bicep as well as cushion for the elbow
- shin pads add more slash protection in the calves and cushion for the knee and shin
- etc, etc, etc

What someone chooses to spend on their protective gear should be none of your damn business and it shouldn't trigger any kind of judgment.

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