As stable and well built as you will find for a stand up punching bag. 1/2 point was deducted for the minor issue of the shell wrinkling, and occasional base unscrewing from the core. The XXL is a lot of fun to train on, and is durable enough to withstand many training sessions, making it a go to option for martial arts and boxing studios.
Century Martial Arts are well known for making quality martial arts gear, as well as some of the best free standing heavy bags around. The Wavemaster XXL has been their top model for many years, and has been a mainstay in martial arts studios around the world.
In this review you will learn why the XXL training bag is so highly regarded, as well as what some of the common issues are and how to fix them. I think you will find this stand up training bag to be well worth the money.
Size and Specs
The Wavemaster XXL is a full length punching bag, mounted to a small plastic base. The bag stands 5 feet 9 inches tall, with an 18 inch outer diameter. The base is 28 inches around and 14 inches tall.
The system weighs approximately 35-40 pounds when shipped, and 260-270 pounds when filled with water.
The outer cover is made of a tough vinyl material and comes in black, red, or blue. Under the cover is high density foam padding, wrapped tightly around the plastic core.
If you have shopped around for this bag, you may notice different logos on the bag shell. Regardless it’s it’s the circular logo, or the vertical text logo, they are the same punching bag.
The unit will ship in 2 separate boxes, one for the base and one for the bag and core. To set it up, you simply screw the core onto the base, and then fill the base with water or sand. Start with water because it is much easier to drain out if you need to move the whole thing later on.
The XXL is a training bag meant for practicing all variety of punches and kicks. It’s great for working on low to high dead leg kicks, all punches, as well as knee and elbow striking.
Focusing too much on any specific area will cause premature wear on the bag. It’s best when used for practicing a variety of moves and striking combinations.
The Wavemaster XXL is very stable, but it can slide a little bit when kicked high. It should never kick all the way over except in the most extreme cases like a jumping kick, or more powerful peoples. If this is a concern, just use sand instead of water for increased base weight.
Because the XXL is so durable and can so easily be moved around a room, it is a very popular piece of equipment in martial arts studios and training centers. For those same reasons it is a great training bag to have in your home where you don’t want a permanently mounted heavy bag.
The Wavemaster XXL is also a good choice for general fitness training. Since it’s a full length bag you can get in a complete lower and upper body workout. The excellent stability means you can hit it fast for cardio work without having to worry about it moving.
It’s even a good free standing punching bag for kids. Since the padding runs the fill length of the unit, and the base is low profile, kids are able to practice punching and kicking. You can’t do that on the traditional free standing punching bags.
Things to Note
The internal foam is high quality, but as the punches and kicks accumulate, you may start to see some degradation. Spread your work around to all sides of the bag and it should be years before you’d need to worry about that. You can buy a replacement top, or buy rolls of foam and wrap it around the plastic core, then slide the cover over that.
Some people have found that water wants to leak out the cap when rolled off the floor for storage. An easy fix is to wrap a little pipe tape around the cap threads for a tight seal.
If you don’t fill the base with enough counterweight material, the whole thing can slide when hit hard enough. If the Wavemaster still slides around a bit, try using sand. As a last resort you can pipe in some water with a dash of bleach to prevent algae growth. That combo is very dense and is the highest counterweight fill.
Another trick is to use a square of carpet or black rubber gym flooring you find in the weight room. It is soft enough with just enough grip to keep the base from sliding, and also helps absorb some of the blows.
You may notice the bag feels like it wiggles inside the outer base when you strike. This is how the unit absorbs some of the shock relieving stress on the plastic core. This is by design and totally normal.
Wavemaster XXL vs 2XL Pro: How are they Different?
You may have noticed a very similar looking bag called the Wavemaster 2XL Pro. The difference is the 2XL Pro has a lock nut at the top of the inner core to keep it from loosening on the base during use.
The base is also tapered compared to the XXL. The 2XL Pro can only be purchased on Century’s website, where the XXL can be bought on Amazon.
If you ask around, many boxing and MMA purists will tell you they prefer a heavy bag. Their reasons may vary, but I suspect they prefer the more substantial pop and lower center of gravity you feel when striking a heavy bag.
That being said, the Century Wavemaster XXL is likely the very best alternative to a traditional heavy bag. If you are not able to hang a bag from a ceiling, or need the flexibility a standing bag provides, the Wavemaster XXL is one of the best money can buy.