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12-08-2009, 05:18 PM
densetsu's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Edmonton, AB
Country: Canada
Posts: 338
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If you have a narrow butterfly, look for pads that have one, preferably two breaks in the outer roll. Goalies with a narrow butterfly typically have trouble closing the five-hole with pads that have a solid outer roll. For example, look at the Vaughn V3 and the RBK PIII. The V3 has two breaks in the outer roll, which lets the pad bend much easier at those spots. The RBKs don't, and it takes more force to bend it there.

Now look at Giguere in butterfly. He has a very narrow butterfly, which means his pads go almost straight back. This means that, to close his five-hole, the knee area will have to bend almost 90 degrees. However, in the RBK PII's he's wearing, there isn't a break in the outer roll. It's one solid piece of foam, which is difficult to bend to close his five-hole. This is known as the Giggy-fly, in which case he relies on stick positioning and the bulk of his knee pads to cover the five-hole instead.

Another thing to consider is to get pads with a thigh rise, which means your pad will extend longer at the top than others. Assuming they're the same make/model, a 34" pad and a 34 + 2" pad will both fit the same, EXCEPT that the 34 + 2" pad has more height above the knee. Two inches, to be precise. At the knee and below, it's exactly the same pad. This extra height lends a hand in closing the five hole... a 34 +2" pad will have a total of 4" extra between the five-hole over a stock 34" pad.

As far as head protection is concerned, I'd recommend a mask over a helmet/cage anyday. Masks are specifically designed to protect against shots, helmets are designed to protect against head impacts (like hitting your head against the ice). Unless you know exactly what helmet and cage to look for, it's a crapshoot. There are many inexpensive masks to be had out there, I recommend Hackva, Eddy, or Sportmask. Like has been said, low-level Itech masks are to be avoided like the plague.

I highly recommend you buy a dangler for your mask and/or invest in a gel neckguard made by Maltese or Battram. You never want to take a puck to an exposed throat. If you get a dangler, this post by spidergoalie shows the way I also tie it, to virtually eliminate any negatives that come with danglers (noise, obscured vision when looking down).

You do get bruises as a goalie, but typically they are far and few between. When you start out you'll inevitably get your share of bruises, but as your skills improve (in particular, awareness and staying square to the puck) they get less and less common. And -- at least in my experiences -- you're so pumped full of adrenaline in net, you barely feel the bruises anyways.

For a beginning goalie, you probably won't notice the difference between senior and pro gear... except for quality. Senior gear can last for years and years, or it can break down in six months. Used pro-level gear is a much wiser investment.

Last edited by densetsu: 12-08-2009 at 05:24 PM.
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