Lastly- should I just use a good ole standard puck, or do the training pucks work better on the shooting pads?
I'll tackle this one, because I don't have any experience with the rest. I'd recommend making your own... it probably won't be quite as good as that expensive one (or the real thing... ice!) but it'll still be good and it's ridiculously easy. Here's a tutorial for one that includes the bounceback thing too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28c7-...eature=related
hey i just made one this summer and heres what i would do differently if i could. dont buy the shooting pad, rather go to home depot and buy one of those big-thin melamime boards. its like 15 bucks for a 4x8 feet and i find they slide better than the real ones too. make sure to grab some silicone spray, it makes it almost like ice. if you want the backstop net, costco has it for 99bucks (atleast in canada)
For the melamine boards- I haven't heard of that. Is it just a sheet, or is it an actual board- when I searched on home depots website it looks like its sold attached to press wood, sort of like those cheap shelves.
As far as the backstop- I won't have any luck finding anything local down here in Louisiana, unless I rig something up myself