Gaia is not dead. We promise. They’re on hiatus over in Europe, living large in Deutschland as part of Jump+Reach. They’ve just relaunched back in North America. And, they’re importing the latest Ulti glove from Japan. How could you go wrong with a glove worn by the Buzz Bullets whose tag line is: “Club Ultimate, Sport is the best way of Communication”?
I’ll start with the bottom line. I played with these gloves through the brutal month of January and not once did feel like I dropped a disc because of these gloves. I could even go on to say they weren’t just a source of warmth to keep my fingers operating, but legitimately added to the clamp factor of my hands in cold weather.
Like any material, the grip lessens when they get a bit wet, but I mostly noticed this during my throws, not my catches. Even then, the slip is no worse than throwing with wet hands. It just takes some getting used to.
My pulls were excellent. I even felt that the glove helped me get more ‘grip ‘n rip’ factor.
Most people will be able to put on these gloves and be game ready, with all your throws feeling good within fifteen minutes putting them on. Basic throwing mechanics take only some slight tweaks. The one down side I noticed is a slight tendency towards blades on my flick hucks. I’m not an exceptional flick hucker to begin with, but putting I/O on long bombs is still taking some getting used to. I’ve been contemplating snipping off the first two fingers on the right glove to see if that will help my huck game.
The base glove is produced by a Japanese company called Penguinace, who makes all sorts of crazy ass hand warmers. So, while not specifically created by Ultimate players, or an Ultimate company, the glove fits phenomenally well and won’t disrupt any of the necessary throwing and catching motions. You could say it fits like a glove… you could say that, but then you’d be an idiot. Even though they do fit just like gloves.
Is it a hat? Nope, no hat here. Let’s check out that chicken coop to see if there’s a hat in there.
>look chicken coop ... ...
Welp, no hat in here. Looks like King Graham needs to find headgear elsewhere.
The most apparent feature about these gloves is that they are warm. I mean really warm. I was out playing in 40 degree windy weather and I had some balmy fingers roasting in these bad boys. It was like paying with Little Smokies on the ends of my palms. My hands not only worked with acceptable movement, but with great dexterity.
In the summer, I could see how palms might get pretty sweaty in the gloves, but the material is meshy enough that using them in the heat wouldn’t be too uncomfortable. During the summer heat of 2008 Worlds in Vancouver BC and 2010 WUCC in Prague CZ, I saw plenty of players wearing these gloves and their hands didn’t seem to be molten lumps of sweat.
With regards to the quality of material used to manufacture the gloves, they’re made with some of the best liner out there. Even in sloppy conditions my hands stayed dry and warm. The gloves shed water, breathe well, and insulate like the hide of a majestic buffalo.
Though the gloves have a simple design, you can’t go wrong with the Bunk Shutter Buzz Bullets and this guy from Team Canada.
My success as a cutter in the rainy northwest has only been helped by my use of gloves. Screw what people think you look like. Besides, people need a hero to choose on the Ultimate field when playing fantasy. Why not the guy with gloves? Here’s how it would go:
Heckler One: Oive got da one in glovies
Hecker Two: Loike ‘ell you do! Ee’s moine. I sawr him first.
Heckler One: We’ll settle this proper. The game is Fantasy Ultimate: foist one to pick a player who gets to five points gets the one in gloveis. Oive
got the one in glovies.
Hecker Two: Deal. I’ve got this Bear Kitteridger fello’
Heckler One: blearaghg *pukes on the sideline*
Adam Restad, wearing gloves, grabs the pull and backhands it 75 yards for the win.
Both Hecklers: Hooray!
*In my fantasy all hecklers are working class Englishmen.
These gloves will put you back 25,81 Euro total. (16,81€ for the gloves and 9€ for shipping from Germany.) That’s about $34 for all you home grown Americans. Shipping is the same for up to 5 gloves, but costs *including shipping* go down to – 21,31€ if you order with 1 of your team mates and 18,61€ if you order with 4 of your team mates. The Nike Vapor Jet gloves will put you back about the same price. Still, the Gaia model is not the cheapest glove you can buy out there, but it’s certainly warmer than the competition. And they beat the crap off of those silly blue gardening gloves.
The Gaia Ultimate glove is definitely the warmest glove marketed to Ultimate players. You might sacrifice some throwing precision by wearing them, but if there are elite players out there at the World Championship level rocking chumps with these gloves on, they can’t be that bad. If you’re a receiver with grip problems, hit the weights. Then go buy yourself a pair of these gloves. If you don’t do as I say, you’re no better than a mindless hypnodrone.
Gaia Ultimate Gloves – ~$34.00 (Black)