STX G-FORCE GLOVE IS A LUXURY RIDE


The first thing we noted when opening the G-Force box and removing the gloves was the size. "These are too small!" was proclaimed by every person BEFORE trying them on and in each case they actually fit just right once on the hand. Second was the screamingly obvious appearance and feel of quality. The finish on the G-Force glove and entire line remind us of the look and feel of a Mercedes or Lexus interior. These gloves are slick, soft and plush, like luxury appointments in finer automobiles and without doubt the class of the glove market today. And, we have beaten the crap out of them. They protect very well and don't scuff up like similar quality leather either. Everyone who tried the glove on asked "Is this leather"? Even the logo on the cuff looks almost branded on. I love the leather LOOK and FEEL but hate actual leather. I cannot imagine spending twice as much for a leather glove that performs poorly over time, will last half as long and smell bad almost immediately. We all used to wear leather gloves years ago and we smelled like it. Real leather is no improvement or great advance, believe me. Besides, this version of "pleather" actually looks better too, especially after a few games.


Did I say box earlier? Yes, I did. Forget those little worthless but re-useable looking Velcro-close mesh bags unmercifully stapled and glued to oversized cardboard hang-tags. The G-Force line of lacrosse equipment comes in nice shiny department store quality boxes, like any 150 dollar pair of nice leather shoes would. A great retail box is a sign of respect for the customer and of the quality put into the product the box holds. And the G-Force glove lives up to the fancy box it comes in.


STX covered most of the glove with that plush state-of-the-art resilient synthetic leather. The material can withstand high impact checks like strong leather, is far lighter and actually looks better. The palm is primarily a suede-like version of the synth leather irrigated with mesh ventilation. It is very comfortable right out of the box. The palm and figer surfaces are accented rather practically with a big grippy surfaced logo.


A large portion of the glove is armored with reduced thermo-plastic dual density foam while a few areas utilize a sheet of graphite weave which is very light, extremely protective and has a stylish look. A few of the surface pads are fully reticulated or connected only at a seam under the pad which really increases flexibility. The glove is shorter than most, designed to go with the longer G-Force arm pad, but also suiting the player that likes a glove with a very ergonomic profile. And the G-Force glove is extremely low profile. Squeeze this glove together and it will fit in a jeans pocket.

We talked to Gary Gait at the Lax Convention about the gloves and the black theme "Black is the classic color, looks great with any uniforms and fits the stylistics of this glove." STX Director of Sales and Marketing, Geoff Broderick agrees, pointing out that while the all black line is their high-end over-the-counter offering, fans will see many teams with custom versions of the gloves in team colors. Maryland, UMBC, Johns Hopkins, BYU and Georgetown are just a few at the college level.

"The cuff design is thin and protective. They are almost form-fitting and still very flexible" says Gait. Geoff Broderick adds, "The gloves provide unparalleled wrist protection and flexibility challenging even earlier much copied versions of Dale Kohler designed cuffs. Dale has really been the cuff innovator over the last decade". Kohler, who was a star at Johns Hopkins as a player, directs all of the the product design and production for the Baltimore manufacturer. The G-Force gloves represent the simple reduction of many of his technological glove-related advancements into a solid little glove that looks great.


The small touches on the G-Force are very impressive and again make us think of luxury appointments in a very expensive car. The liner is a smooth and comfortable moisture wicking AbsorTek material that is embossed with the repeated G-Force logo for a classy look, even inside the glove. The strap, which is almost entirely cosmetic but never gets in the way, is detailed very nicely with silver synth leather and a fat raised rubber STX logo. The G-Force's cuff is appointed with a rubberized sandpaper-like synthetic that is very cool and looks great. All of the workmanship and stitching is first class and the material is used generously around the stitching points to prevent busted seams. This is NOT a given in the glove industry. The cuff has a large branded look logo that is appealing and very visible, even on the dark glove. A little know fact is that the G-Force logo on the cuff is actually a rendition of Gary Gait's face by an abstract artist.


The G-Force costs about $150.00 for the 13 inch version and $144.00 for the 12. In comparison, the Brine Supercrosse is 20 bucks less and the Warrior Mac Daddy about 15-20 more or a whopping 160 dollars more for the leather version. When spending so much money on a lacrosse glove, value should be a huge consideration and the G-Force is easily the best buy in this price range.


The next price point downward is at about 100 bucks and STX has a great glove at that level in the EXO line's I2. But, how much more protective is the G-Force then the I2? Broderick explains "A player begins needing a glove at the protection and price level of the G-Force basically when the competition begins lifting weights and laying man-sized checks whether they are in high school or college".

The glove should do well in the market, with a big advertising push including a product specific web site www.gforcenation.com, point of purchase displays in retail stores and a strong print ad campaign. The players we spoke to on teams using the glove were happy with them and had no complaints and that is rare. The G-Force did come to market a bit later than the competition so while team sales are brisk, retail sales are just picking up as kids have a chance to touch and feel them in stores. It was noted by a few we talked to that the pictures in the catalogs and ads, even in this article, don't do justice to the plush quality of the product. If you're in an area without a retail store, take our word for it that purchasing the G-Force gloves via online store or catalog is a safe move. It's the prudent move if you're already going to spend in the 150 range on gloves. After all, most of the folks I know that drive luxury vehicles are smart with their money.



CONTEST CLOSED! THE WINNERS ARE:

Week 1 - Dan Freshman of Newton, MA

Week 2 - David Choi of Ann Arbor, MI

Week 3 - Kevin Jeter II of Hempstead, NY

Week 4 - Ryan Weninger of La Grange Park, IL

Week 5 - Kyle Kasper from Centennial, Colorado

Week 6 - Mike Schiesel of Buffalo, NY

Week 7 - Chris Keenan of North Sutton, NH

Week 8 - Jimmy Doheny of Hinsdale, IL

Week 9 - Alex Burckle of Sandy, UT











3/15/05


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