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Please, put a side by side picture of the SSK. The thing is that this one will get delivered not like Samurai Gears that will take ages to get what you paid for ship and delivered. Still haven't rec

He no longer operates samurai gears. Plus, it’s super difficult to get anything from Japan these days with all the shipping limitations 

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What is this?  Smitty looks like it’s replicated the SSK mask now.
76F45039-D837-4581-B472-04293CEA81EA.thumb.jpeg.e3e43436cbc3925bde05bbd2018dd980.jpeg
Please, put a side by side picture of the SSK.

The thing is that this one will get delivered not like Samurai Gears that will take ages to get what you paid for ship and delivered. Still haven't received my order from So of Samurai Gears for those of you that praised the guy.


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37 minutes ago, gnhbua93 said:

Please, put a side by side picture of the SSK.

The thing is that this one will get delivered not like Samurai Gears that will take ages to get what you paid for ship and delivered. Still haven't received my order from So of Samurai Gears for those of you that praised the guy.


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He no longer operates samurai gears. Plus, it’s super difficult to get anything from Japan these days with all the shipping limitations 

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So they (Smitty) grabbed an SSK planform, commissioned a factory in China (until proof otherwise) to run off a quantity of them, and silkscreened their name on a bunch of lackluster pads? Eh, so what? It's just a hollow-steel mask with a cheap dip-paint job. Sure, it's got an extended crown guard and a somewhat unique "rounded square" extended chin guard, but otherwise, how this really moving the needle on the "gotta purchase it!" meter? 

What's buggin' me is that, yet again, a mid-level sports equipment company just throws something out there to "get in on the action". Don't worry, I'm not singling out Smitty on this – my beloved Schutt is equally guilty of this (what irritates me most about Schutt is that they're an industry leader in welded metallic facemasks... for football. Could they be bothered to make some unique designs for baseball? Nope. Just copied Diamond's planform). Why doesn't Smitty go all-in and actually design, develop, and produce a mask that may uniquely stand out among the rest, not only in style / looks, but more importantly, in terms of protective features? How about an aluminum-alloy, or molded magnesium mask that won't bend or break on ya? How about an e-x-t-e-n-d-e-d chin guard, styled in a way that you don't really need a dangling throat guard? How about a different bar layout that allows for excellent view and is strategically strong? Hey! How about pads that aren't using upholstery foam and aren't inherently dangerous? 

That word "lightweight" is a cheat. Of course, you don't actually say what the mask is made from, but at $45?? It ain't good. 

Then there's the whole "partnering up" thing... it leads to this blasphemy: 
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https://www.gearef.com/products/smitty-by-douglas-umpire-mask?variant=1409066041364

That mask ain't made by Douglas! It's made for Douglas, by way of Force3. It's not even their current model (this is the 4-spring V1), the patent was applied for by Force3, not Douglas nor Smitty. Douglas is one of the leading equipment providers for the NFL and NCAA football. How does that matter for baseball??

Those of us in-the-know know that Douglas really can't, or doesn't have the incentive, to make significant advances in baseball gear. But this is what they resort to?? And Smitty is onboard and complicit in it? Smitty's been doing this up and down the board, from plate shoes (New Balance 460v1 planforms), to CPs (Douglas and Champro re-labels) to now masks. How 'bout it Smitty? How about actually stepping up and putting the attention and effort in, hmm??

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At least we can say they have an original on their part when they made their leg guards then.

And about So. Until we put new name and face to the business, his name will be used when referring to Samurai Gears.

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6 hours ago, gnhbua93 said:

And about So. Until we put new name and face to the business, his name will be used when referring to Samurai Gears.

And unfortunately, until the new management finally starts filling orders, his name will be drug through the mud when discussing the company. 

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16 hours ago, tpatience said:

He no longer operates samurai gears. Plus, it’s super difficult to get anything from Japan these days with all the shipping limitations 

Did he sell it or just stop doing it?  I ask because the site is still up and running.

The last order I placed, I finally got a response from someone after a couple of weeks. Then So himself got in touch with me and said shipping to the US was very expensive and he could no longer offer the free shipping deal, but that if I bought 2 of the throat guards, then he'd ship them for free (he couldn't do just one though). 

I understood that the shipping has increased due to the tariffs war, but my biggest problem is why not just add that to the website and continue to provide good service.  Most people would understand, but when you don't respond - or take weeks to respond, then it's time to close the business before you go all +POS on someone.

Thanks!

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15 hours ago, MadMax said:

So they (Smitty) grabbed an SSK planform, commissioned a factory in China (until proof otherwise) to run off a quantity of them, and silkscreened their name on a bunch of lackluster pads? Eh, so what? It's just a hollow-steel mask with a cheap dip-paint job. Sure, it's got an extended crown guard and a somewhat unique "rounded square" extended chin guard, but otherwise, how this really moving the needle on the "gotta purchase it!" meter? 

 

I didn't say I gotta have it.  I was just curious how they got this platform.  Getting anything from overseas right now is very expensive, so some may want to try this over a $200 Japanese mask. 

 

15 hours ago, MadMax said:

That word "lightweight" is a cheat. Of course, you don't actually say what the mask is made from, but at $45?? It ain't good. 

I remember us being really happy with $40 mask frames from Honig's and +POS just a short time back.  At $45 we all expect this to be hollow steel and understand it won't be bulletproof. One of the perks at this price point is a game fee replaces it with another one.  If your $225 MAG or $350+ Nike Ti gets bent, good luck replacing it with a single game fee!  As one plus, it looks like Smitty has removed the vinyl dip that so many Japanese frames seem to have for some reason.

While I'd like to see some of these companies come up with something unique, we all know that isn't going to happen.  There simply isn't enough demand from the small market of umpires to make it worth their time when they're making most of their money from football or other sports.  I'm glad Smitty at least is making things more affordable for us.  We'll have to settle on F3 and All Star making new toys for umpires until one of us strikes the lottery and begins a "for umpires" company!

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