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Opinions regarding air based (e.g. Flashed Ronin) bouldering pads
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By BruceH
From Salt Lake City,UT
May 14, 2013
New Religion
There is scant information regarding the (only?) two available "air based" bouldering pads, the Flashed Ronin and the Trangoworld. The following review is all I have been able to find that includes any sort of comparison between the two: info.rockrun.com/reviews/trang...

Does it make sense to buy these pads for problems less than 15-17 ft. high? What if one is without spotters and is concerned about a head shot? The Flashed website includes an interesting video of g-force testing - a head-form is dropped from 8' and an accelerometer allows (axial but not rotational) post-impact forces on the form to be measured. According to the written information on the Flashed website, the Ronin registers 45g's compared to 60g's for a Flashed conventional pad (the Shogun). This is obviously a large difference in % terms, but I don't have a sense as to whether the absolute difference is significant. (The video mentions that nasty things will likely happen at 200g's.)

Does any one have any experience with these pads and/or thoughts concerning their merits?

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By Brad Caldwell
From Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
May 14, 2013
I have the Samurai air pad Flashed put out a few years ago and rarely use it. Its MUCH heavier than an average pad and covers a smaller surface area too. Its not too convenient for longer approaches and unlike the claims, it is not convenient for flying either (one of the reasons i bought it). The best use IMO is on top of another pad in the prime landing spot in highball situations...that way the smaller size isn't an issue, but its still being used for its primary intended purpose. I took a chance on the Samurai because it was deeply discounted and it was the 8th pad in my quiver and wasnt intended on being an everyday/primary pad...its good to have in some situations, but overall its not as useful as my Organic Big Pad or Simple Pad.

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By Greg Kimble
From Colorado
May 14, 2013
+1 for that. I'd rather have a full organic pad with the half pad and pay about half as much to cover 6 sq ft more. A setup is also lighter. Air pads are comfortable but not worth the money in my opinion. Speaking strictly towards safety, I don't think they add much of an added protection factor unless you are highballing. Like Brad said though, having a landing zone of traditional pads then an air pad on top is unbeatable for highballs. I took about an 18 footer onto that set up and it felt like landing in clouds compared to similar falls on stacked traditional pads.

Just curious, why are you worried about head injuries? They are not very common while bouldering. When they do happen, it seems like the potential would be 1.) while pulling awkward roofs and 2.) after landing awkwardly then falling back and hitting a rock. A single pad probably won't help #2 and just don't go balls out on roofs when you are alone and you should be safe from #1. Don't get me wrong, I got a concussion several years ago while bouldering alone after a rock broke and I hit a rock. No pad would have helped me though.

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By BruceH
From Salt Lake City,UT
May 15, 2013
New Religion
Thanks Brad and Greg - absent more evidence that the air based pads would substantially ameliorate the type of injuries I'm worried about, I'm inclined to buy a conventional pad at this point.

(Regarding head injuries, I'm concerned about the roof/mantle scenario. I'm typically cautious when I'm out by myself, but there's always a small chance that topout fever combined with a mistake in judgment will result in a back-first fall. Granted that there's not a lot left in my skull to protect at this point.)

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By Brad Caldwell
From Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
May 15, 2013
Go with an Organic Big Pad...you won't be disappointed. I solo boulder 90% of the time and primarily use the Big Pad and feel comfortably protected all the time no matter what the route.

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