Slapstrap Review

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by JimmyM, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Up until the last couple years, I used the cheapest 2 inch seat-belt guitar straps I could find. They always worked great, looked good (well, looked black anyway), and I'll never spend $50 where I can spend $5. But over the last two years, I developed shoulder pains with those straps that give me long-lasting soreness and headaches. I have tried several straps to alleviate the soreness, and none have worked. The best one I had tried was the Planet Waves bass strap, and though it helped a lot, I still was sore after the gig, and the height adjustment buckles slipped to where I had to tape it together to keep my bass from being at my knees at the end of a set.

    Which led me to the Slapstrap. I never spent $50 on a strap, but at this point I would try anything short of $120 Moody straps. I bought the really wide 3.9 inch strap. I got to wind it out at a gig tonight and I'm extremely impressed. I had absolutely no shoulder pain after 3 sets of playing. The way it sits on your shoulder seems to force the weight of the bass more toward the bone instead of directly on the shoulder blade. And the padding felt really nice, too. A little stiff right now, but that'll probably work itself out once it breaks in. If you wear your bass ultra high, though, you won't get the padding crossing over your shoulder. It'll hit your shoulder, but it will be more over the back of your shoulder instead of in front and back, but even up high it still felt like it directed the weight toward the bone.

    But not only is it easy on the shoulder, but the height adjustment is pretty ingenious, and considering how dirt simple it is, I'm surprised nobody thought of it sooner. The adjustment end of the strap opens up into two separate flaps to reveal opposing pieces of heavy duty velcro sewn onto both flaps. The thinner piece that attaches to the butt end of the bass has velcro sewn on both sides. You just lay the thinner piece into the flaps and press the flaps together. The height didn't move so much as a quarter inch, and I did everything I could to make it move. It felt every bit as secure as a traditional looped leather strap adjustment, and much more secure than the buckles on the seat-belt straps.

    The only things I didn't like about the strap were the button holes and not having a good way to trim the thinner piece to make it look right. The thin piece has 3 different button holes, which allow you to have it up under your neck or down to your knees. The way the button holes are cut, though, you either have to cut a slice into them to get them over your strap buttons or you have to use a straplock system. I think they should pre-cut the slice into them, as straplocks will work regardless and it makes it easier for people who don't like straplocks to use the strap. Also, if you like a high-to-medium height, you're going to have to trim the thin piece, or else it will stick out ridiculously far from the body. The way it's sewn together, though, if you cut from the bare leather end, you run the risk of the seams unraveling. I would have liked to have seen cross-seams under each different button hole so if you need to trim it, you still have a crossing seam to keep it from unraveling. I ended up trimming about half the velcro end off instead, which leaves me with plenty of velcro to hold it firmly, but I'd have rather trimmed off the bare leather end because the extra velcro makes it that much more secure.

    But other than that, I think I've finally found a strap that I can wear for 4 hour soundchecks and 3 hour shows and I won't leave the stage in pain. Plus it looks cool and is extremely well-built. It'll hold the heaviest of basses without fear of slippage even after I cut half the velcro off, and it'll probably last longer than I do. if you're interested.
  2. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Nice review, Jimmy - glad to hear you've got one you're comfortable with.