RTOM Moongel Workout Pad - Drum Review
Looking to improve your chops? Many drummers rely on the use of a practice pad to work on rudiments and hand speed when they are away from the kit. Unfortunately, most practice pads only emulate the feel of a snare drum, giving too much bounce to emulate a rack or floor tom. RTOM has developed a product that solves this problem. Their "Workout Pad" offers very little bounce, and feels much more like a floor tom than a snare drum.
About RTOM Moongel Workout Pad
RTOM's Workout Pad delivers a low-bounce portable practicing solution. Currently there are two versions available: a small 7" pad that is stand mountable or a larger 14" pad that you can set on a snare drum. Both pads feel much more like a floor tom than a snare drum. Stick strikes come back with very little bounce, and almost sink into the soft gel-like pad.
Workout Routines For The Workout Pad
The Workout Pad is a great way to work out wrist strength using "Lock Grip Technique", finger strength with strike-pull technique, or just simple rudiments (singles, doubles, paradidles...). Burn through a couple minutes of going flat out with any given technique, wait 30 seconds, and go at it again. This pad makes it easy to push your muscles harder and further, but obviously you still have to have a commitment to putting in the time.
I highly recommend using the Workout Pad in conjunction with a standard snare-like pad. You can work out the tough stuff on the RTOM product, and then practice sticking that requires snare-like bounce on your other pad. In other words, this product does not replace the standard practicing pad. Instead, it makes an excellent addition to it.
I currently have a 14" RealFeel practice pad on a snare stand with a 7" Workout pad mounted on a cymbal stand. It lines up right above my RealFeel pad as to emulate the position of a rack tom. Sometimes I separate the two pads for focused workouts, but it's nice to be able to set them up in this way for pattern practices between the snare and first rack tom.
Wear and Tear On The RTOM Moongel Workout Pad
When I first saw the Workout Pad at my local drum store, I honestly believed the product wouldn't last more than a few weeks. The gel-like surface, which I have been told is made of silicon; looks like it could break after a few thousand hard hits. The store assured me it had a 1 year warranty (at least through them, perhaps through RTOM), so I went ahead with the purchase. I can honestly say, after 6 months and well over a hundred hours of hard-hitting use, the product looks like I bought it yesterday. There isn't a mark on it anywhere. The pad works like new, and looks better than my newer RealFeel practice pad. It seems the gel-like surface takes the beating very well!
Availability Of The RTOM Moongel Workout Pad
As with any great product in such a tight niche market, availability isn't as good it could be. You aren't likely to find the RTOM Workout pad in a local drum shop, but fortunately most any music store should be able to order one in for you. You can be assured of getting one if you have the patience to wait a few weeks.
The RTOM Workout Pad
In my opinion, the RTOM Moongel Workout Pad is a must-have product for any serious drummer. Working out wrist and finger strength on a low-bounce product like this is essential to improving speed and stamina on the kit. There may be other solutions out there, but after trying this one I am quite content with it. At around $35 USD it is slightly more expensive than I would have initially expected, but it was definitely worth the price in my eyes.
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