|The Black Latex from Slingshot Place. Test frame was the Axiom Ocularis from Simpleshot.|
For quite some time now, Theraband Gold remains the standard elastic for slingshot shooters and enthusiasts. I’ve personally been using TG since 2015 and I have been quite happy with the its performance but as slingshot technology evolves, so too do its components.
Recently, Team Riverbanks (TRB-Philippines) through one of its founders, Jorge Manlapaz introduced to the team a new type of elastic from Jan Nowak of SLINGSHOT PLACE, Czechoslovakia. Several samples were sent for review including a black, yellow and combination orange/white bands.
For the purposes of this article, I will concentrate on the black elastic which seems to be the most ideal for slingshooters of all skill levels.
|Doc Tim Santos is one of TRB's long-draw shooters. He found that|
even with short-cut black latex, he could still use his personal style
like he does with Theraband Gold.
To simplify this review, we will do away with the technical terms and concentrate on the feel and performance of the bands. The Black elastic is similar in characteristic with black and amber medical latex bands. It can take up to five times elongation and is very light.
|Sampler bands sets which were sent to Manila Sentinel for|
Test and Evaluation. More on the Yellow and Orange bands
in future articles.
The Yellow bands are similar to Theraband Gold. It is quite stout and heavier than the Black while the Orange/White bands are the heaviest among the three samples sent by SLINGSHOT PLACE.
The Black latex bands from SLINGSHOT PLACE are very light in weight and are very stretchy in comparison with TG. Combined with a synthetic pouch, the bandset does flap around on a windy day as an indication of its lightness. But don’t be deceived by weight alone, the black bands do perform well in terms of speed and accuracy.
Using the Simpleshot Axiom Ocularis as test frame—so I could switch between bandsets quickly—and 9.5mm steel bearings at a standard distance of 10-meters, the Black Slingshot Place bands allowed for a fast and flat trajectory of the projectiles.
Members of the Team Riverbanks noticed an improvement in accuracy and at the same time, since the bands were easy on the draw, it allowed shooters to practice even after the regular 3-hour sessions were over.
|Atoy Cruz of TRB found that Black Latex did not require a "break-in"|
or warm up as with Theraband Gold.
One very important thing to note about the Slingshot Place Black Latex is that unlike TG which requires a long break-in period for a fresh bandset, the Black Latex bands were good to go as soon as they were tied on a frame and shot consistency was very high for the entire practice session.
Those who are used to TG will notice a certain unevenness in its stretch characteristics. With the Slingshot Place Black Latex, a shooter can immediately feel a smooth and easy pull and a really clean release.
Longevity of a bandset is always a concern for slingshot shooters and since bands are unfortunately consumable or disposable, shooters always want their value for money.
Personally, due to my “short draw-style”, I can only shoot a little over 200-rounds with TG. Those with a longer draw will expect a longer life but not more than 500-800 shots. This is because the shorter the draw length, the more the elastic is pushed beyond its 400-500 percent elongation, resulting in shorter band life.
|Raymond Arco says he can achieve flat trajectories with TTF or|
Over the 2-day endurance testing of the Slingshot Place Black Latex, members of Team Riverbanks have clocked in over 1,000 rounds of 9.5mm steel bearings before the first breakage was recorded. This by far, is the most number of shots recorded for a single bandset in the team’s history.
While Team Riverbanks only had a chance to torture test the Slingshot Place Black Elastic, each member agrees that these new bands may be the way to go in as far as training and even competition purposes.
In my own experience, I haven’t enjoyed slingshot shooting as much as I did when I put the Slingshot Place Black Latex on my favourite Axiom Ocularis frame—which admittedly is the hardest to shoot among my modest collection.
|Willie has shot over 1,000 rounds (and counting) without any|
visible damage to the Black Latex.
The Slingshot Place Black Latex allowed me almost 70-percent improvement in accuracy, hitting the 4cm target at a regulation distance of 10-meters almost shot after shot. This was not the case when I was still using TG.
Is the Slingshot Place Black Latex the newest, hottest bands on the market? Personally, I highly recommend it.
|Because of his shot consistency, Rygel Macaspac now banded his|
custom frame with Slingshot Place Black Latex.
Manila Sentinel would like to thank Jan Nowak of SLINGSHOT PLACE, Jorge Manlapaz, Raymond Arco, Tim Santos, Atoy Cruz, Willie, Rygel and members of Team Riverbanks (Marikina) for their contributions to this article.
For availability of Slingshot Place products, please contact Jorge Manlapaz of Team Riverbanks on Facebook.