In the last few years, Raja has remained less prominent than its competitors as it has chosen to focus on its made-to-order service. Gyms, event promotions and overseas brands are Raja’s core customers which include Thai Fight and All Star Fight. Raja gear and apparel continues to retain a traditionally classic “Thai” style but this year, the brand came up with a hit product that caught everyone by surprise.
Raja Boxing was founded in 1998 by Maturos Hutasevi who is a former stock exchange broker. When she heeded her inner calling to start her own business, she turned to the country’s national sport of Muay Thai. The brand name was shortened from the Rajadamnern Stadium where she found her inspiration. Raja also means “King” in Thai.
The Songkran shorts were originally conceived as a one-off piece for Maturos herself for the occasion of the Songkran festival this year. Floral-printed shirts are synonymous with the annual water festival for the last few decades. When she posted it on Instagram, she received an astounding response with inquiries pouring in asking to purchase the shorts. And the modern hit was thus born.
The shorts received wider success when they were brought to the States by bay area stockist Authentic Muay Thai Supply. When Wiz Khalifa was spotted with a custom pair of the Songkran shorts, fans went wild and they are now a bestselling product for Raja and Authentic.
Here is my review of the Songkran Shorts. First and foremost, they look great. If you love crazy prints as much as I do, you will love these shorts. There’s nothing like these Songkran shorts out there and I think the idea is really ingenious. The fit is similar to most Thai brands so I recommend ordering one size up from your US sizing.
The thing to take note of is the fabric. There is a wild range of designs and so the quality of fabric used can differ. Broadly speaking, it’s all made using 100% cotton but the weaving makes a difference. That’s to say that the thickness and smoothness varies slightly from design to design. Compared to the usual satin, Songkran shorts feel rougher and stiffer which makes them less ideal as Muay Thai shorts.
In terms of durability, I’m not in the position to comment as I’ve only had mine for a week (as I write) but the fact that you can machine wash them is a good thing. Overall, Songkran shorts are a novelty, look absolutely smashing but in all honesty, are really not the most ideal apparel for peak sports performance. Nevertheless, Raja Songkran shorts look too freaking cool that one would be inclined to overlook their functional qualities.
Speaking of functional, the follow-up models will feature side pockets which are impractical for Muay Thai, but makes them ideal as day-to-day casual wear, beach wear or running shorts.
Raja Songkran Shorts retail for 399 Baht (~12USD) in Thailand. Kids-size Songkran shorts are also available at 200 Baht (~6USD). They can be purchased directly at the official store located behind Rajadamnern Stadium (click here for store info) or via the Raja Boxing social media accounts (IG and Facebook). Custom work goes for 450 Baht and up, which -again- can be arranged at the shop or via social media. This can take anything from a few days to 2 weeks, depending on the factory’s schedule and availability. They do ship to overseas so check with them directly for shipping costs. Alternatively, for customers in US, Authentic Muay Thai Supply is also a viable option.
I have a pair of these that I bought in the official Raja store in Bangkok and I would not hesitate to recommend Raja Songkran shorts to anyone. These are just great to wear for Songkran festival. For my day-to-day training, I would still go with the regular stuff like satin, nylon or dry-fit material. On days when I’m feeling it, it’s nice to know I have a pair of these sitting in my wardrobe ready for action. Verdict: these are absolute must-haves for all Muay Thai fans.
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