Goalie Pads: Too loose, too tight or just right?

Bauer Supreme One90 Sr. Goalie Pads

Bauer Supreme One90 Sr. Goalie Pads

Compared to the equipment that goaltenders had at their disposal 15 years ago, the position has changed drastically. Not only has the technical side of the game changed, but the effect equipment has on the position has changed as well.

With the evolution of the position, pads have evolved to complement the pro-fly style that is seen used by a majority of goaltenders at all levels. Not only has the design and technology of pads changed, the way goaltenders wear them has changed as well.

The way goaltenders wear their pads is one major difference from the way things were done just 15 short years ago.

Back when it was more important to have the goaltender and his pads move as one, the rule of thumb was to keep your pads farily tight from the bottom straps right up to the top. But as the butterfly style has become the predominant approach to goaltending, wearing a loose pad has become the norm.

The science behind this trend is fairly straightforward. The outer straps on a pad are designed to hold that pad against a goaltender’s leg and move as the goaltender dictates. The tighter the straps, the closer the pads mimic a goaltender’s movement. With the strapping system kept, the pads have more freedom to move around a goalie’s leg to provide the maximum amount of blocking surface.

While the traditional approach was to keep your pads tight to your legs so that a goaltender could move freely and react to the puck, the current methodology reflects the changes in both the technique and equipment used for the position. A fairly basic set up would be to have your bottom straps kept relatively tight and loosen as you go up the pad. Yet many goalies are keeping all of their straps quite loose with the hope of covering more ice and putting their equipment in a position to cover more net.

There are benefits to both styles, although modern pad technology can be negated if a pad is worn too tight. Pads like the new Vaughn Ventus and Warrior Ritual are designed with a flat blocking surface that is meant to lay flush against the ice. When a goalie drops into a butterfly with their straps loosened, the pad with rotate around his or her leg as the inner portion of the pad hits the ice. If the pad is too tight the face of the pad will end up laying on the ice rather than facing the shooter.

Many NHL goaltenders wear their pads very loose. A great example of this is Marc-Andre Fleury who wears his Reebok Premier Series 4 pads very loose. This not only ensures that the full face of the pad will be facing the shooter, but it also allows him to cheat the play in some ways. Of course this isn’t cheating in the traditional sense.

By wearing a very loose pad, Fleury’s pads almost hang on his legs as opposed to being strapped right against them. This strategy will allow the pad to hang closer to the ice surface when Fleury’s legs are pointed in a downward angle, thus limiting the distance they need to travel to cover the bottom of the net. This is a useful strategy and has become popular at all levels of hockey, but in order to be effective in utilizing a very loose pad, be sure your pads have interior support along the leg channel – typically Velcro to hold your knee and calf in place. If your pads don’t have these supports and you outer straps are kept loose there is a good chance your pads will flop around and it will be very difficult to move and make saves.

Not all goalies practice this, however. Those goaltenders who rely more on athleticism than simply blocking area use a slightly tighter set up to ensure the pad will not hinder their movement in the crease. Ryan Miller is a great example of a goalie who keeps his pads a bit tighter. Even Miller does keep his pads loose enough to rotate around his legs properly of course.

The key for any goaltender is to find a strapping set up that makes you feel comfortable, keeps you safe and utilizes all the technology your pads have to offer. All pads are designed to rotate around your legs and goalies of all ages should ensure there is some room for this to occur. Finding the most comfortable and effective way to strap your pads is important and you should practice with a few different variations to find what works best for you.

Not only will you be able to try out different ways to strap your pads in Great Skate’s goalie specific section, but you should also make sure the strap set-up you choose works on the ice.

Don’t just go into a game thinking that you want to wear your pads like Marc-Andre Fleury before you know if a very loose pad is right for you. Take a practice or two to try out a few different methods of strapping your pads so you know what will be comfortable and what makes you the best goalie you can be.

Hockey Training Equipment for Goalies

Bauer Supreme ONE80 Senior Goalie Skates

Bauer Supreme ONE80 Sr. Goalie Skates

Hockey is one of the most popular sports in North America, and every year more and more kids want to get involved. Luckily, there is a lot of hockey training equipment that will not only help you with your game, but will protect you as you learn. At Great Skate Hockey Supply Company, we have everything you need to start training like a hockey pro. In fact, we sell equipment from all the major brand names in the industry, like Bauer, Reebok, CCM and Easton.

Hockey skates are different from ice skates you may have used in the past because they are designed for speed, durability, and flexibility. When searching for hockey training equipment, look for skates that are made from lightweight material that conforms to your foot. Beginning players may want a skate that is slightly heavier with a thicker toe stop for better control.

Anyone playing goalie is going to need a few different pieces of specialized training equipment. The goalie must stop the puck from entering his net at any cost, including by blocking it with his body. We carry affordable but reliable and protective goalie gear such as helmets, face guards, gloves, and chest plates. Most of the goalie training equipment we stock is available in adult and junior sizes.

You also have to find a stick that you’re comfortable with in order to learn the game. For hockey training, you may want a Kevlar-enhanced stick such as the Easton Stealth RS Grip. These sticks have slip-free grips and are more durable than the average stick.

If you need assistance buying or choosing hockey training equipment, call toll free at 1.800.828.7496, or visit us at www.greatskate.com.

Wide Selection of Goalie Pads Available

Reebok Larceny L9 Sr. Goalie Pads

Reebok Larceny L9 Sr. Goalie Pads

While goalies don’t have to move a considerable distance across the ice, they do need to be nimble between the posts. With lightweight goalie pads, goalies can block a larger fraction of the net. In addition, goalie pads provide players with necessary protection from the ice and from incoming pucks.

Reebok P4 Goalie Series from Reebok are among the best goalie pads available. These lightweight pads are designed to offer increased flexibility and reduced fatigue. With these pads, goalies can easily go down to their knees to block a shot and get back up without missing a beat.

For added comfort, Reebok Larceny L9 Sr. Goalie Pads are made with memory foam so the pads conform to the contours of a goalie’s legs. At Great Skate Hockey Supply Company, we have a wide selection of goalie pads in many different styles. Many of the goalie pads we carry, like Vaughn Vision GP9450 and Reebok P4 Sr. Goalie Pads, include a boot channel for increased protection.

In addition to having a large selection of goalie pads, we also have the hockey bags necessary for you to carry your equipment. Our goalie bags, like the ReFlex 9 goalie bag from Bauer, can help you organize your accessories, skates, and pads.

For help deciding which goalie pads are right for your size and level of play, call toll free at 1.800.828.7496, or visit us at www.greatskate.com.

Bauer Goalie Hockey Helmets

 

Bauer NME 7 Pro Goalie Mask

Bauer NME 7 Pro Goalie Mask

Goalie hockey helmets have to protect goalies from incoming shots, many of which send the puck flying toward the goalie at extremely high velocities. The design of goalie helmets has been adopted by baseball catchers who find themselves in similar predicaments. While goalie helmets serve a very practical purpose, you’ll find a wide range of artwork adorning them.

Unlike the hockey helmets worn by other players, goalie hockey helmets always include a face mask and additional protection for the throat. The one-piece design ensures that goalies are always protected from sticks and pucks. At Great Skate Hockey Supply Company, we sell high quality goalie hockey helmets from Itech.

The Bauer goalie hockey masks that we carry include chrome cages that protect players’ faces. The design also provides the largest field of vision possible. These fiberglass helmets include vinyl liners for maximum comfort throughout the game. The Bauer goalie hockey helmets that we stock are available in sizes for youths, juniors, and adults, and they’re also available in a variety of styles.

In addition to goalie hockey helmets, you can purchase additional defensive gear from us such as throat protectors. Furthermore, we have a large inventory of goalie pads and sticks, so you can pick up all the equipment you need at once–while benefiting from our incredible prices.

To discuss which goalie equipment is right for you, call toll free at 1.800.828.7496, or visit us at www.greatskate.com.