Wrestling is a great sport, because it’s just you and your opponent in the ring. There’s nothing else to worry about -- just how you’re going to use your body to defeat your opponent. No matter which level or weight class you're wrestling at, it's all about outsmarting and overpowering the wrestler opposite you. You still need some equipment, however, and making your own ensures you get the custom fit you want. It also gives you the opportunity to decorate your equipment in an intimidating manner. Here’s what you should think about when making custom wrestling equipment.
Decide which pieces of custom equipment you are going to make. Don't limit your ambitions. You’ll need head gear, knee pads, elbow pads, singlets, socks and more. You could make your own wrestling shoes, but those are a little bit harder to build unless you’ve had a lot of experience.
Consider the materials you will use for your equipment. Wrestlers sweat a lot, so you may want a custom singlet that will make you slippery on the mat. This would allow you to squirm out of your opponent’s grip. Knee and elbow pads should allow you to move the joints, but also be hard enough to protect them.
Make your own kneepads. Start by putting a piece of paper over your knee and tracing the size of your kneecap. Use this as a template to cut a large piece of firm foam (it can be any thickness you like; try half-inch foam to start). Measure the top of your calf and bottom of your thigh to find out how big the body of your pad should be. Transfer these measurements to Lycra or another tough, flexible fabric. Sandwich the foam between two layers of fabric and sew it together.
A custom singlet gives you a tight, comfortable second skin that keeps your mind on your opponent. You can make your own with some Lycra or nylon and a sewing machine. You’ll need a pattern. Either get one off the Internet or simply trace the shape of your favourite singlet onto the fabric with some chalk. Cut the pieces, making sure you leave yourself a little extra. Sew the shape together, turn it inside out and try it on. Practice a few moves and see if it’s tight enough. If it’s not, take it in a little.
Remember, there’s a huge psychological factor to wrestling. Decorate your custom equipment in a way that lets everyone know you are the wrestler to beat. Use liquid-rubber paint to add horns to the sides of your helmet. If you have a cool nickname, emblazon it on the front of your helmet.
Things you need
- Utility knife
- Sewing machine