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08-16-2005, 09:42 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Cambridge, MA
Goalie pads are a very personal thing, largely dictated by one's style of play and personal preferences.
For a strictly-butterflying goalie, the RBK Premiers are pretty much king of the hill right now, having a nice pre-curved shape and empty, open Lefevre style leg channel. The downside is that they're on the heavy side and their thick thigh rises hurt mobility somewhat.
For a hybrid goalie, the Vaughn Velocity 2 is probably the top box-style pad out there. The leg channel is much busier than in the case of something like the RBK and the pad will not give quite the same butterfly coverage, but is much more flexible and lighter and will allow for better mobility.
In terms of a flat-faced but traditional-styled (with lateral flex as opposed to box) pad, take a look at both the Eagle Infinity and CCM Gatekeeper. The Gatekeeper is a great pad and much lighter than most others, however its main caveat is that it is more prone to not rotating fully in the butterfly.
Pads such as the CCM Blockade have largely fallen out of favour due to their complete lack of flex in the knee, which makes it extremely difficult to close the 5-hole properly unless one has a high degree of natural hip flexibility.
If you want a straight-up, traditional styled pad with lots of flexibility in both directions, take a look at the Eagle PMW1. The downside here is that the pad does not translate to the blocking, butterfly style of play well. They're great for hybrid-to-standup goalies however.
Also, consider a smaller manufacturer who can make you a set of pads exactly to your specs, usually for considerably less than a big-brand. Three with excellent reputations are Battram (
), Miller (
) and Smith (
). Don Simmons is also prevalent in the non-name-brand goalie equipment market, however their gear is generally not built to the same level of quality nor do they do any custom work beyond changing colours.
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