Website Review: GiFreak


GiFreak (Tangled Triangle LLC) is a site that lets you search models of gis, reviews of them, and provides a bit of news in the community via a blog.

Design: 2/5
Function: 3/5
Impression: A great idea that’s yet in its infancy. There’s definitely a lot of room to grow in terms of the design, but the basis is awesome. I’d really like to see this set of tools get off the ground. If they can get all 150+ manufacturers to fill in their information and allow for end-user reviews it will truly become one of those sites that everyone in the grappling community knows and uses.

Full review after the cut.

Design

My first glance at the website left me with an awkward feeling. I’m not big on the green and black theme. The layout is actually pretty good, but those colors and the graphics just took me through a loop at first. The site is well laid out to find most things, but a bit of a face lift will be in order as it grows.

The home page was definitely well thought-out as its layout provides you with a good glimpse of the site’s content. Each individual page proceeds to go into one area of the following: gi search, gi reviews, a blog, an FAQ, an about page, and some information for contacting them.

Search

This is the bread and butter of the page. The gi search tool allows you to filter based on sets of criteria such as manufacturer, cost, or cut. There’s also a specialty search term on the bottom which didn’t work out when I tried searching for things, but is a nice basis if it ever gets implemented in a more natural way.

Alas, when I say the tool is in its infancy I mean it. For one it’s missing a lot of models that I know exist. My prime example is Fushida – the tool lists the CompLS, but fails to mention the CompGS or any of the judo cuts let alone the discontinued Mantis or Komodo. The real problem with that is that those are the models that pop-up right away when you search the reviews and quite frankly, since it lists IJF in the competition legality search criteria, one would hope the search would include judo gis. I’d also like to see it expanded to include at least one Sambo kurtka manufacturer like Hadjiev and maybe add some of the other organizations such as FILA into the legality search.

The search tool lists 171 different brands (plus or minus counting error) including the out of business Sirius, but the manufacturers page only lists 29. Some of this is overlap – for example we can see the search lists both BJJ Life and Combat Corner, but BJJ Life sells Combat Corner and Vulkan gear as opposed to being an actual brand.

As a final note, it would also be nice to see this tool eventually include shorts and rashies as I know pretty much all of us are looking for specific cuts and colors of those.

Review Search

Right away one notes the “Featured Blogs” which includes some of my favorites like Slideyfoot and Aesopian. Again, there’s a disparity between the listed options and the available reviews. JokerJitsu, which used to be my old stand-by for finding a gi review, is listed as a reviewer, but the site links to zero reviews by him. Here’s where I start running the tools based on experience and say that Meerkatsu did a review for the Fushida Komodo – low and behold it’s on there which leads me to question why the Komodo isn’t in the gi search.

The tool is nice, but since there are so many BJJ and judo bloggers these days it’s quite a task they’ve laid before them by cataloging some of the more popular blogs. They should allow for direct user input where we as site visitors can provide reviews. Likewise, it’d be nice to see it linked with Aesopian’s data from past years about gis. I’m sure that kind of data would go a long way since what we really want is the best bang for our buck. It would also be nice to have the reviews linked to the pages which hold content for each style of gi.

Blog

I didn’t read the whole blog. I did read some of the posts that seem most relevant and what I’ve come up with is this – they’ve set some big goals and it’s going to be exciting to see if they can deliver. It’s very apparent that whoever is behind this brain-child is a member of the blogging community or at least on r/bjj.

 FAQ

The FAQ ranges from pretty useful to a god-awful joke about gastroenterology. I’m sure it’ll grow with time.

About

It’s a pretty basic “Here’s what we’re about” page with one exception – the legal. You know how Blizzard and Apple pop-up in your face and make you accept the EULA before using their product? Well, if you’re not clicking every link to try to do a thorough review or to get the information to actually file a copyright complaint (the info for how to do that is in the legal by the way), chances are you’re not going to find it or know that you’re bound to it by using their site. It’s pretty straight forward, but it’s definitely silly. I’m pretty sure it’s aimed more at manufacturers based on what it discusses and that there’s no where for me to register an account.

Contact

What is there to say? It’s a basic contact page.

Manufacturer Registration

It’s good to see that the information in the data base will be filled by the people making the gi. This is really cool.

Extras

There are rotating quotes on the top of the page. They’re not sure original and there’s not that many. I’d like to see more BJJ ones (see my post about t-shirts for some examples) or for them to ditch it. It doesn’t really add anything to form or function.

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2 thoughts on “Website Review: GiFreak

  1. Great feedback dude. We love getting honest input and opinions on the site and are glad to see a really comprehensive look at what we’re trying to accomplish.

    Mission 1 right now is getting more companies involved and you can be sure we’ll have deeper end user involvement in the future. Thanks!

    P.S. You’d be surprised how much searches with the letters “GI” lead to digestive issues;)

    • I look forward to seeing it.

      P.S. I actually work in the medical field doing software development so I’m not that surprised to see GI being gastrointestinal, especially since “gi” is a Japanese word.

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