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Crazy Seahorse "Crazy Seahorse" (Cambridge)
(VINE VOICE)   

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USN BCAA Amino Gro Supplement, Fruit Fusion - 300 g
USN BCAA Amino Gro Supplement, Fruit Fusion - 300 g
Price: £22.56

4.0 out of 5 stars Good but did not like the side effects., 25 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This product comes with a small scoop and you drink it in 200ml of water or so. It dissolves easily and tastes quite pleasant, sort of like a forest fruits squash. It is intended to give you a boost in endurance and help with recovery and contains all the amino acids etc that you need as well as some other vitamins. The packaging warns you that as it contains beta alanine it can cause a sensation like pins and needles, particularly if you are not well hydrated. It also recommends taking it 40 mins before a workout.

I tried this before I martial arts class. The class features several punch bag routines lasting between a minute and two minutes, and it appeared to me that this helped a great deal. I put in the usual effort and did not feel on my knees afterwards. This day it was hot and other people were wilting a bit. So it did appear to help even if only a placebo.

On the other hand I did experience the pins and needles, mainly in my head, it started about 30 minutes after I had taken it and lasted for about 10 minutes or so. It was quite unpleasant, and will make me think twice before using it again. I suspect I will give it another go before doing some weights and see what happens, if the reaction is worse then I will probably need to stop.


USN BCAA Power Punch Performance and Stamina Drink Powder, Tangerine - 400 g
USN BCAA Power Punch Performance and Stamina Drink Powder, Tangerine - 400 g
Price: £23.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Bitter orange taste that is quite nice., 14 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Those who are used primarily to taking protein powder will perhaps be surprised at how small this tub of powder is. Do not be discouraged because the scoop inside is really small and you only need 2 in your drink bottle. I have been training hard for a few weeks and was feeling generally quite fatigued, so I thought it was a good time to try this. I can't say if this works or not, but only that after a workout I have sipped down a bottle and I do feel energised, and actually quite quickly. USN say it is proven, I think you will just have to see if it works for you

These type of products are notoriously bitter as opposed to the rancid cheesiness of protein powder. Given the bitterness, I think the choice of tangerine as a flavouring is inspired as it results in a quite authentic bitter orange sort of taste that works. I wouldn't go as far as USN and call it delicious but it is pleasant enough to sip, which as it is an advertised use during training isn't bad.

All in all this is easy to mix, tastes quite nice, is easy to get down and makes you feel energised after exercise. Whether it helps you achieve your training goals is up to you, but it might help and therefore I can recommend it.


D'Addario PW-HTK-01 "Humiditrak" Instrument Humidity Tracker
D'Addario PW-HTK-01 "Humiditrak" Instrument Humidity Tracker
Price: £48.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Small and easy to use humidity meter., 4 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a little box, smaller that a match box that comes with a couple of velcro pads. You can place it in your guitar case or inside your guitar and it monitors the humidity as a function of time. I have put mine inside my Takemine, it is small and unobtrusive. The idea is that rapid change in humidity or temperature is bad for your guitar in that it will cause warping, or a nitrocellulose coating to crack, and so it will alert you to extreme changes, I guess so that you can locate it elsewhere. D'Addario say the best place for storing a guitar is in its case, but the best place for playing one is out, so I leave mine out of the case so that I can pick it up any time (i.e. most days) and play it.

Syncing with the phone is straight forwards, I have an iPhone 6S and after installing the app you place the device on your phone screen and fairly soon afterwards you are good to go.It streams a reading every hour and will alert you if all is not well. Everything has been pretty stable so far, but I wonder if the log burning stove will make too rapid a change in winter or make the rooms too dry. Time will tell. Also maybe the change from my house to where ever I am performing might be a problem. However, there is no alternative but to get on with it when you have arrived for set up and sound check.

Although D'Addario are keen for you to have one for every instrument, I think that's not necessary if you keep them all in the same place. I do like this little gadget but I'm left with the slight feeling that it might be a solution looking for a problem. Time will tell...


D'Addario NB1253 Nickel Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings, Light
D'Addario NB1253 Nickel Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings, Light
Price: £11.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Great tone, great strings, 4 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These are acoustic guitar strings and they give a very bright and resonant tone, which I like a lot. I normally play with bronze coloured phosphur bronze strings, whereas these are nickle bronze and silver coloured. They feel quite like electric guitar strings and feature a narrow wire lead in, to help feed the string through the bridge of the guitar. After a weekend of playing they have quickly got to the point where they hold their tuning well. The strings have come uncoated and I have added 'strings of strength' polymer resin and let them dry for 24 hours to increase their life.

All in all, I was surprised at how good the tone was from the strings and it is rare that I find that it really makes that much of a difference. They also seemed to be very resonant as if, just listening to the string you could tell if it was out of tune, because it was making the other strings on the guitar beat a bit with the harmonics. As such these are warmly recommended..


Mitre Primero Training Ball, White/Navy/Silver - Size - 5
Mitre Primero Training Ball, White/Navy/Silver - Size - 5
Price: £8.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent training ball, 4 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an attractively patterned ball. It has a good valve, and is easy to inflate. When inflated the ball is spherical and when kicked it runs quite true. It is styled as a training ball, and the synthetic leather feels quite robust. We have been kicking it around for a few days now and it does not seem to be marked at all. I have had a problem with balls in the past losing the coating quite quickly and then becoming rough.

Kicking it, it feels to me a bit on the heavy side compared to an expensive match ball, this is probably good for training and why it feels robust. I am expecting that this ball is going to last a decent amount of time.


Ultrasport 1380 Quarter Men's Socks Pack of 6 - 100 Black black Size:35-38
Ultrasport 1380 Quarter Men's Socks Pack of 6 - 100 Black black Size:35-38

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice fitting comfortable socks., 29 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am a size 39 in European, which equates to about size 6 in the UK, these are ranged from 35-38 but I expected them to fit. You might think they were moderately large if you were on the low side of 35 but that is what you might expect. These socks fit perfectly, with my heal in the right place in the sock and are really comfortable. The top of the sock comes just over the ankle bone and they hold in place well not slipping down. There is no compression around the foot like some of the higher end sports socks, they are just a pretty straight forward pack of well fitting socks.


Venum Contender Boxing Gloves - EU-VENUM-2053-12oz , Grey , 12 oz
Venum Contender Boxing Gloves - EU-VENUM-2053-12oz , Grey , 12 oz
Price: £33.70

4.0 out of 5 stars Good gloves., 23 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am using these gloves for defensive work in a martial arts class. They fit my hands, which I would describe as medium really well, and as they carry a bit of weight give me an extra work out. They have a bar of padding in the palm to grip over and they don't slide about. The cuff tightening attachment is a thick velcro strip and it is fairly easy to get on. Getting the gloves off is a bit more tricky, especially when your hands are sweaty from a work out. I also like the overlarge thumb which does give you a bit more dexterity than a normal boxing glove.

All in all these are pretty good gloves for training, my hands and wrists already feel a lot less sore from the MA classes, and this partly down to the gloves, and I also suspect my improvement as a student


UE ROLL 2 Ultraportable Bluetooth Speaker with Floatie, Waterproof and Shockproof - Blue/Red
UE ROLL 2 Ultraportable Bluetooth Speaker with Floatie, Waterproof and Shockproof - Blue/Red
Price: £79.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Versatile, robust, sounds OK., 21 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The publicity around this speaker is about how loud it is. It does not appear to be any louder than other bluetooth speakers I have reviewed. The sound quality is also not as good as to the speakers, but is adequate for where it is most likely to be used, which is outdoors. This speaker is claimed to be waterproof and in the limited testing I have done so far, this appears to be the case. It has the thick rubber seals around all the connections that are associated with devices with a high IP rating. It is also very robust and comes with a bungee cord so that you can fix it to things. The box also contains a little float, so that you can use it in the bath.

The bluetooth function links with my phone surprisingly easily, and the is a UE app available to allow you to adjust EQ and to connect more than one speaker at a time if that is your desire. All in all this speaker can be used around the garden, or whilst doing sports and other active pursuits with some confidence that it will survive. The sound quality isn't great, but it isn't really designed for listening to symphonies sitting in a armchair.

In summary versatile, but without the best sound quality.


Mitre Pursue Professional Match Netball - White/Magenta/Purple, Size 5
Mitre Pursue Professional Match Netball - White/Magenta/Purple, Size 5
Price: £29.82

4.0 out of 5 stars A little more grip., 21 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This netball is attractive and well made. We have another netball, which is termed a practice level one, whereas this is termed a professional match ball. I am not an experienced netball player but to me, and to my daughters who are netballers, there does not appear to be much difference between the two balls. This one has a lot more of the textured grip on the ball than the cheaper ball, but both are nice to handle and the grip appears equally helpful in the wet.

The markings on the ball do catch the eye and it is a nice thing to throw, catch and miss the hoop with. Nevertheless it is a good quality ball and we have had a lot of fun playing with it.


Mitre Balon Recreational Football - Yellow/Cyan, Size 5
Mitre Balon Recreational Football - Yellow/Cyan, Size 5
Price: £8.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Bang!, 15 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an attractive ball with a glossy finish. It has a great valve that means it probably won't go down if inflated correctly. I say probably because I miss read the inflation pressure on the ball and merrily had my kids pumping away as I held a needle valve in the end of our Shraeder pump. Just a little more I said, when bang! It burst with some force, wrapping open the leather and whipping perfect hexagons on my leg and chest - incidentally it was at around 2 bar a fairly good safety margin over the 0.6 it should have been had I been paying attention.

The wounds have subsided after a couple of days leaving me with some wounded pride and a wistful feeling of a missed game with the kids. The ball looked great, and I am sure would have given us a good game as it was light.


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