One of the hottest products on the goalie market today is PadWrap. The self-applied product allows goalies to change the color of their gear almost on the fly. It’s a perfect product for goalies who have switched teams but don’t want to buy a brand new set of gear. To learn a little more about the product, we chatted with Brian Anderson, owner of Philly Sports Customs and the creator of PadWrap.
Brian’s answers to Great Skate’s questions are in bold.
For those who aren’t familiar with Pad Wrap and what it is, give us a quick breakdown of the product.
Brian: Essentially Pad Wrap is synthetic leather (like the material used to make goalie equipment) with a strong yet forgiving adhesive on the back that allows you to change the color of your goalie equipment simply by peeling and sticking.
What was your inspiration for developing the product? Was there a “lightbulb” moment where you realized there would be a market for this?
Brian: I had spent years trying to change the color of my gear to match my team at the time. I tried vinyl dyes, duct tape, you name it. Finally stumbled across an adhesive that allowed me to add some color without it being a permanent solution (for resale value).
Have you made many upgrades or changes to the product since you started selling it? Or has that not been necessary?
Brian: Most definitely. We have altered the formula for our adhesive over the years to allow the product to be more pliable than ever. This was needed to allow it to make some hard bends around corners and such. We’ve also expanded on the original Pad Wrap product by adding the family with a self-sticking nylon (for the nylon portions of equipment) as well as allowing full customization for team logos, and our palm-protecting “Pro Palm” which sticks right into the palm of the glove. Most recently we templated hundreds of pads so that we can offer Pad Wrap pre-cut based on pad model, size, and zone.
Of the different sizes you sell and the various features of Pad Wrap, what’s the most popular version that you sell? Is it pretty much dominated by goalies looking to swap the colors or their pads or are you seeing a lot of other uses?
Brian: Yes, goalies are really our core customer. The original Pad Wrap synthetic leather is still our biggest selling product and the bulk of sales happen across 6 colors, but we offer 30 for those who want to push the boundaries a bit further.
In your opinion what areas of goalie (or player) gear are best suited for Pad Wrap? What are the worse areas, or areas you’d recommend avoiding?
Brian: Pad Wrap is really intended for accents to the graphic on the face of the pad. We don’t recommend putting it inside the legs where it takes high friction. We have to keep the product thin enough to be pliable and if we made it thick enough to withstand inner leg friction it wouldn’t be as easy to work with where it’s intended…the front face of the pad.
Do you find that it’s best used on trim areas like specific pieces of a pad’s graphic as opposed to the full face of a pad?
Brian: We don’t really recommend using it to cover the entire face of the pad although we have seen it done. The problem with that is it’s a lot of surface area to cover and durability can become an issue.
What is the best usage of Pad Wrap that you’ve come across? (Best looking/best application in this case)
Brian: We always find that “less is more”. The simplest accent pieces to align the equipment to a team’s colors can really make for a sharp look.
The process to cut and apply pad wrap is pretty straightforward but it’s also easy to lose focus when you’re tracing and cutting the pattern on your pads. What advice do you have for those out there wanting to put some new color onto their pads?
Brian: A few quick tips: First you really want to clean the pad well of any grime or oils before applying. Simple soap and water works well and then you want to be sure it’s fully dry. A lot of people tend to like blue painters tape as opposed to tracing paper. You can stick several strips together to make a small “sheet” and then apply to the pad. Lightly cut around the graphic and then peel and stick that painters tape “template” that you’ve made onto the pad wrap and trace it. The tracing paper can be tough to keep in place without it moving so this is a good solution. After applying the Pad Wrap we suggest you heat it lightly with a hair dryer or heat gun to reactivate the adhesive and get some good pressure on it. It will cure fully in 48 hours. We have several tutorial videos at wrapmypads.com on how to wrap each individual part of the pad.
You’ve had quite a few NHL teams use the product over the past couple years, what has it been like seeing the product on an international stage like the NHL?
Brian: It’s been very exciting. It really doesn’t get old. Seeing some of my heroes (after all I’m a hockey fan first) wear something I created has been a huge thrill and has been validation that the product has a place in the game.
Do you have plans to do products that would apply directly to NHL uses? Or is the current product already ideal for that?
Brian: We sell a lot of the standard leather Pad Wrap but have also seen a boost in our nylon products for non-goalies on player gloves, pants, etc. We also have some pro goalies using our “Pro Palm” now for practice situations where they are taking shot after shot to the palm and need a little boost in protection.