Balanced. If I had to sum up Century's Wavemaster in one word, "balanced" is what I would choose. Aside from its obvious freestanding ability, it is balanced in the sense of its well-rounded usability. There are pros and cons, both of which I will detail in this review.
The Wavemaster is Century's most basic model of the freestanding training bag – however, basic isn't a bad thing when paired with refined quality like this.
A Well Rounded Training Tool
Comprised of a hard plastic base and core, and a detachable polyurethane bag wrapped in vinyl, the entire Wavemaster is very durable and easy to assemble and transport. You can fill it with water or sand and expect a decently steady target weighing roughly 270lb.
This is enough weight for most punches and kicks; however do be aware that a hard enough strike from a powerful martial artist can still knock it down. If you are planning on throwing a lot of power shots, especially if you're a larger, stronger person, one of Century's other Wavemaster products, like the 2XL, might be a better fit.
This not-heavy-yet-not-light weight does have some unique benefits. Even when fully filled, the Wavemaster is easy to move around the house or dojo—simply tilt and roll it. This makes it a great choice for students of the martial arts who have constructed a "garage dojo." You can roll it out whenever you need it and quickly put it away when it is time to use the space for something else.
I know schools that have had their Wavemaster for years (some of them have had theirs for over a decade!) and the only show of noticeable wear on it would be a mild water leak in the base if it gets fully knocked over. Not bad for ten or so years of abuse from furious fists and feet.
The foam cushion that makes up the bag itself is something else to take note of. The high-density foam cushions your blows adequately and doesn't wear down easily. A vast majority of martial artists will be able to hit the bag as hard as they can and still not worry about injury. If you aren't used to hitting a bag or you have sensitive hands or wrists, simply putting on a pair of gloves will be more than sufficient in alleviate any concerns or possible problems.
The top (bag portion) of the Wavemaster locks into the base in one of seven notches, each adjusting the Wavemaster's height. It can stand anywhere from 47" to 68" tall. Beyond that, do you remember how I said the top, the striking portion, is detachable? Taking the bag off of the base gives you an even smaller target that can be utilized for itty bitty children, challenging them to kick it hard enough to knock it over. I've used this method with much success in classes with 3- to 4-year-olds and even used it as a creative tool in classes for the older kids and adults.
This might not be the use it was designed for, but it is still very fun and interesting to implement in classes. As evidenced by the Water Bottle Challenge from way back when (I mean this—the OG challenge that Jason Statham made famous), you can use the training bag in more ways than expected if you get creative in your classes and workouts.
Wavemaster Through the Years - The Original Freestanding Bag
Every martial artist experiences growth and development along their martial arts journey: from the first awkward kick to mastery (or as close as it gets!).
With all of that being said, the Original Wavemaster is a well-rounded piece of equipment, not a perfect one. If you are a heavy hitter, the bag can be knocked down.
The taller you've adjusted your bag to be, the easier knocking it down gets. At max height, a solid punch might not put it on the floor, but a powerful roundhouse very well might.
Side note to keep in mind: When fully extended, the Wavemaster stands only slightly taller than a 5'6" person. This is something to keep in mind if you are a 6'2" martial artist who really wants to work his head level kicks.
Another factor to note of is the amount of noise the Wavemaster will make if you are training on a hard floor (e.g. wooden flooring or a concrete basement). This is mitigated if you are using it on a mat or other type of cushioned flooring, however, it does remain something to consider if you are using it with neighbors or family who are close enough to your training space to complain.
If you are looking into getting a Wavemaster, I would definitely encourage it. Whether for home training sessions or for dojo use, you can expect a quality product that you can assemble and move with ease. Though there are some concerns to be had if you are a tall martial artist or need to use it on a hard floor in a quiet area, the positives easily outweigh the negatives.
- Hard plastic base wrapped with polyurethane foam and covered with durable vinyl
- Adjustable height (seven levels—changes from 47" to 68")
- Easy to move
- Not made for heavy power hits
- Not ideal for tall martial artists — can still work however
- Makes a fair amount of noise when on hard floor (something to consider if you live in an apartment or place where that could be a problem)
Overall Rating: 8.5/10
Century first came out with the Wavemaster line back in 1995—over twenty years ago! Since then, they have made many innovations to their design. You can check out more of their product line here!