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History of the Stealth & X2 – Why we have them in our line-up
Prior to coming out with the Stealth the only material we carried was leather. Leather is a great material for grips, but it is not perfect and not for everyone. We were getting a many requests from vegan athletes for grips made from non-animal based materials. Additionally, leather has inconsistencies because it is a natural material; it’s cow skin. The inconsistencies of leather include variations in thickness, texture and stretch. These inconsistencies can be experienced within the same hide. The need for a synthetic material option was apparent. After much research and testing we discovered the material that is now the Stealth and X2. These materials are the same, but different versions. It is a high-performance microfiber that is engineered to have the same internal structure as leather. Therefore, there are similarities in feel and performance, but without the inconsistencies of natural leather. The Stealth was the first to be released, and X2 was its predecessor two years later.
The differences of Stealth and X2 – Feel and Performance
The Stealth was our first synthetic material to be released. Stealth is thinner than leather and has a barehanded feel on the bar. This was key at the time as we were getting request from athletes, especially women, for a thinner material so they feel they could get a natural dexterity with their grip.
The X2 was subsequently released because there was a need for synthetic material that provided the same thickness and protection as leather. The X2 is thicker and softer version of the Stealth material. Both leather and X2 are 2.2mm and the Stealth is 1.85mm thick. The X2 is soft from the start with virtually no break-in period.
The Stealth, along with its barehanded feel on the bar has a natural slide on the bar. What I mean by this is that you will be able to rotate your hand around that bar naturally as you do a skill such as bar muscle ups. A lot of former gymnasts like this because this is a technique inherent in bar skills. The X2 has more cushion on the hands and provides a grip closure to natural leather. It has a higher coefficient of friction compared to the Stealth so your hand does not slide as easily around the bar. You may think of this as “grippyness”. People have varying preferences when it comes to grippyness which is why we have options.
Both the Stealth and X2 are vegan friendly and washable. To wash the Stealth and X2 simply use a delicate machine cycle (do not use fabric softener), or hand-wash, then air dry. It is a good idea to secure the Velcro straps when washing to help maintain the integrity of the Velcro.
Visit our Grip Matrix for a quick overview of the characteristics of our different grip materials and styles. You can also learn more about the reasons Victory Grips designs different grip styles and utilizes different grip materials at our post An Arsenal of Grips: Being Prepared for Everything.