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4 Differences Between AK Athletics and Imported eBay Gymnastic Mats

Posted on September 26, 2016 by Frances Katz

Curious about how AK Athletics gymnastic mats compare to the popular eBay listings for gymnastic mats? So were we. That’s why we ordered one and did a side-by-side comparison.

Here are the top 4 differences between our mats and the one we ordered on eBay:

  1. Chemical smell. When the mat from eBay arrived, there was a very obvious difference that wouldn’t be apparent in pictures--the mat ordered from eBay had a very distinct chemical smell. AK Athletics mats are made with no materials that are off-gassing and VOC (volatile organic compound) free.

  1. Mat cover quality. All AK Athletics gymnastics mats have double-stitched seams and high-quality, heavy 18 oz vinyl produced in the United States. This ensures our mats are durable and that the covers fit snuggly on the mats. In comparison, the eBay ordered mat had a very loosely fitted cover and some of the mat’s threads were already coming loose--before it’d even been used! We called the company to ask about the type and weight of the vinyl used for the cover. We were quickly told that “they would email once they contacted the manufacturer.” 2 months later, we’re still waiting to hear back.  

  1. Foam quality. Our gymnastics mats are made with 2’’ thick 100 ILD open cell high-density polyurethane foam, which is specifically recommended by the International Federation of Gymnastics. In contrast, the mat ordered on eBay was made with 2’’ thick high-density EPE foam. EPE foam is typically used for packaging of electronics and does not meet the International Federation of Gymnastics recommendations.

  1. Safety. The mat ordered from eBay included two handles. And while handles might seem like a convenient way to transport a folded mat, they are extremely unsafe. When the mat is in the unfolded position, the user can easily get tangled or caught in the handle straps. That’s why all AK Athletics gymnastics mats do not include handles.

Put simply, you get what you pay for. The AK Athletics gymnastic mat retails for $169.00 with free shipping. The eBay mat retails for $69.95. If you’re looking for a safe, durable and high-quality gymnastics mat, we recommend you do not invest in mats sold on eBay.

What Sets AK Athletics Roll-Up Wrestling Mats Apart from Our Competition?

Posted on April 13, 2015 by Frances Katz

Our Foam:  While most of our competitors get their roll-up wrestling mat foam from China,  our foam is made right here in the USA.  We use a highly shock absorbent cross-linked polyethylene foam that is ultra cushioning and has a firmness that is substantial enough for the toughest training and competition in both wrestling and martial arts.  

Our Vinyl: Our 22 oz vinyl is made in Canada and was handpicked for its superior safety and quality features. This vinyl  is tear and abrasion resistant, free of lead and phthalates, and never shrinks.  it is antifungal, antimicrobial, and will not support mildew.

Our Process:  Each light weight roll-up wrestling or martial arts mat is carefully made to order and is designated by customer requested size and color.  Every part of our manufacturing process is performed in our facility, allowing us to maintain factory direct pricing and customization.  Logos can be added using state of the art inks that withstand heavy traffic areas and can be designed with the help of our in house graphic experts.

How To Install Wood Backed Wall Pads

Posted on April 02, 2015 by Frances Katz

How To Hang Wall Pad Panels

What you will need:



Liquid Nails adhesive


electric screw driver

wood backed wall pads 

Step 1:  Create a guide line on the wall

The whole installation process is easiest if you can indicate where the top of all the wall pads will be.  Using a level or laser guide, create a straight, even line that is parallel to the floor.  The height of this guide line will depend on how far up the wall you will be hanging the wall pads, and the height of your specific wall pads.

Step 2: Find the Studs (ignore this step if you are installing the wall pads on a cement, stone, or brick wall)

Each wall pad should be anchored into at least one stud, use a stud finder to find where your studs are located and make a small make above your guide line for reference.

Step 3.  Install the Wood Backed Wall Pads

Before attaching wall pad squeeze a small amount of Liquid Nails adhesive (found at most hardware stores) on the back middle portion of each wall pad to ensure that the wall pads will stay firmly and evenly pressed against the wall.  Next, place the wall pad on the wall making sure that the top of the wall pads follows the guide line you have created previously.  Now drill the screws through the 1 inch nailing margin on the top and bottom of the wood backed wall pads starting with the places that line up with the studs in the wall.  Each wall pad should have two or three screws on both the top and bottom nailing margins.  Repeat this installation process until all wood backed wall pads are nicely lined up, leaving as little space as possible between wall pads.

*if you wall pads have a printed logo please line the wall pads up on the wall to make sure the image is ordered correctly before installing.

side note: the kind of screws that you will use ultimately depends on the type of wall you have.  If you do not know what type of hardware works best you can call or visit your local Lowes or Home Depot where they will be able to direct you to the appropriate hardware.  

To purchase wall pads click here to visit our store.