If you check my previous review of the Thokk Gloves, I have quite a few problems with their design in regard to safety. Primarily, the wrist. The wrist only has 1 piece of foam, which an also slip and leave a gap with literally 0 protection. I took some soft hits on the wrist, and I knew immediately that these wouldn't be suitable for higher intensity sparring. So I set off to do some mods.
You can find my accompanying video for this here - youtu.be/Y_bW3wSyoR0
I'll go over a bit what I did. My initial idea was to just make a plate that would go over the foam protection, so that the force is spread over a wider area, then the foam would soften the impact. However when I tried this, with varying levels of thicknesses for the plates, it feel like it did nothing. Which, did surprise me since this is...how armour is supposed to work, right?
Well as it turns out, this foam is soft when compressed slowly, and very rigid when impacted with force. I believe this makes it non-Newtonian? This is kinda cool, but the problem now is, if the foam hardens from the impact of being struck, there's very little to cushion that force to your wrist.
So the first step which I found helped a lot already, was to insert some softer foam underneath the harder foam in the underglove. This helped a noticeable amount already. However, this foam can't be too thick, otherwise getting the underglove into the overglove is a nightmare. I forgot to take a photo of this, and don't feel like taking my gloves apart just to do so. Check the video I linked above to see what this looked like at 1:50.
However, this didn't particularly solve the problem of the materials shifting causing a gap to open, but it also still wasn't really enough to dampen the impact enough in my opinion. So I got back to work with the plate design. Adding a plate on top of the foam helped a bit, but not enough for it to be worth the trouble, imo. The solution that my friend and I figured out was to have an insert that would go into where the regular back of hand protection would go.
The overall tab is very thin, only 0.48mm so it can easily wedge itself underneath the other plastic shell. Then the cuff portion swells up to roughly 4mm thick. The problem now is that it's flat, so it needs to be shaped
So I took a heatgun to it, and formed it to the shape of the wrist section.
I then taped more foam underneath this plate. The duct-tape will also help a bit to keep the plastic rigid and keep it from cracking.
I slipped the cover over it, added the tab for the longsword addon, and now it's done. It does stick out a little bit, but this helps make it so wrist mobility is still fine. And as you can see, the gap is completely covered, and now there's multiple layers of hard protection, with cushioning underneath.
While the strikes with my...very professional implement still weren't the most pleasant feeling I've experienced, it is a world apart from just the 1 layer of foam that the gloves include. As you could see it didn't impact my mobility of the wrist at all, so there's pretty much no downside.
The other modification I did was print little inserts for the fingers to help spread impact just a little bit better. Just like before, I didn't take any photos of this, and I don't feel like taking my gloves apart again just to do that, so go check the video I posted at the beginning for details at 3:15.
I feel significantly safer using these gloves now than I did before. Would I still be comfortable using these at a high intensity longsword tournament? Probably not, but I definitely wouldn't be as terrified if I had to. (Note, nor do I guarantee that you will be 100% safe once installing these. I find they help a lot, but aren't infallible obviously).
So where can you find these files? Right here - and I'm giving them to you for free (That's right. Consider it a present, from me to you). Please read the description for things like layer height, materials, etc.
However, if you did want to send a tip my way for the amount of pain my wrists/hands endured while doing all this testing, and my time modeling, printing, testing, etc, then I wouldn't say no and it would be greatly appreciated. - https://paypal.me/MishraPrintFactory
Note these files are designed around my L sized gloves. I included multiple sizes for the plates if you have a smaller size, however I have not been able to test them. If you do test these on smaller sized gloves and encounter an issue, then let me know - I'll look to see if I can update files and whatnot.
If you do not have an FDM 3d printer, or know someone who does, and want these mods yourself, shoot me a message on my Instagram @HEMAsimian and I can send you a quote.
Well thanks for reading, hopefully you'll find all this useful!
We acknowledge that The Historical Combat Collective operates on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Kwikwetlem, Sto:lo and Songhees First Nations Peoples. We are grateful to have the opportunity to gather, work, and train on this land.