“Equipment for your body” is the new mantra for Adidas Golf. They have taken that to a whole new level with their TechFit PowerWeb base layer.
Adidas has had a successful line of compression products already used by players like Sergio Garcia, Natalie Gulbis, and Justin Rose. PowerWeb is the next step in the evolution of compression products. I’ll admit it right away, I usually hate wearing long sleeves to play golf. I’ve always found them restrictive and binding. Living in Texas doesn’t afford me the opportunity to get used to long sleeves either. The idea of testing a compression product left me a little worried about how my own biases would affect the outcome. However, after a few rounds wearing the PowerWeb my mind has changed.
It seems odd devoting a technology section to an undershirt. However, TechFit PowerWeb products are designed with quite a bit of technology in mind. There some research supporting the idea that compression products keep muscles warm, supported, and lead to better performance. The PowerWeb garments are golf specific versions of products which have already been successfully used in professional track and field, soccer, football, and tennis. According to Tiss Dahan, Adidas Golf’s Global Director of Apparel, “Our parent company found that with PowerWeb athletes are jumping higher, running quicker, and are much more confident. How much is psychological and how much is physiological is difficult to measure but we believe it is a combination of the two.”
The base of the product is ClimaCool – a polyester base which wicks away moisture. A large mesh panel located in the mid back helps promote ventilation. However, the key to the PowerWeb are the strategically placed thermoplastic bands which help enhance compression in key areas such as the core, and back. The bands in the midsection help promote core stability and take pressure of the lower back. Upper bands are used to promote posture without restricting shoulder movement.
One of the best words to describe the TechFit PowerWeb is “experiential.” You simply have to try it on to see the benefits. The first time I put it on, I felt my back straighten, shoulders roll back, and navel draw in. It is a feeling I haven’t experienced in any other compression shirt I’ve tried before. On the flip side, other compression shirts I’ve worn in the past have been a nightmare when it comes time to take them off. The PowerWeb is a snap to remove with the fabric stretching just enough to make getting it off a breeze.
Out on the golf course the support the PowerWeb provides is very beneficial. The core reinforcement it provides for the core is noticeable especially towards the end of the round. Although it won’t prevent you from getting out of good posture, it served as a good reminder to maintain proper golf posture.
As I mentioned earlier, warm Texas winters and year round golf have ingrained a phobia of long sleeves that I have not been able to break. I’ve found most long sleeve garments to be restrictive. However, what struck me about the PowerWeb was the large range of motion it allows. In fact, once you put the PowerWeb on, it’s easy to forget you’re wearing it – other than the core and posture support.
The best part of this product is how comfortable it is. The ClimaCool fabric kept me dry in warm conditions. I’ve worn my long sleeve shirt on days which started windy in the mid forties and warmed up into the seventies. Not once did I have any inclination to take it off because it was too warm. Small details like flat seams and light weight make it really easy to layer under clothes. A little extra length in the tail was a welcome addition so I wouldn’t have to worry about my shirt tails coming un-tucked.
Although the Power Bands perform as claimed their silver color leads to a bit of a dilemma when it comes to wardrobe choices. Every white polo I wore over the PowerWeb allowed the bands to show through. Although switching to a dark shirt is an easy fix, it would be great to see this product with the same performance attributes which blend under clothes more subtly.
Will the TechFit PowerWeb transform you from a 12 handicap to a 5? Probably not. However, it is an incredibly comfortable base layer which provides more support than similar products on the market. However it does not sacrifice flexibility to achieve support. The potential for this product will be realized further when the thermal versions made for cold weather are introduced later this year.
Currently available as a warm weather shirt in short and long sleeves as well as a compression short, there is a product available for the summer conditions you’ll face. While it may be a bit more expensive than some of the other options on the market, my only advice is to try it on before making up your mind. The difference between the PowerWeb and every other product on the market will be apparent the second you put it on.