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Lemieux posted a topic in Goal Equipment2013 Brian’s SubZero Blocker SubZero blocker (front). SubZero blocker (side). The thing about a blocker is that you never really want to think about it. It should just, well, block. As soon as you notice it, then something is off. The stock SubZero blocker is good just as it is: it does the job. I can slip it on and slip it off without any issues. It’s balanced. It’s uncomplicated. And it’s noticeably light. There’s not much more that I could ask from it! The other blocker that I’d consider for its general uncomplicated, good-to-go design is the Vaughn Velocity. (I liked the V4 the best.) As for the G-NETik blocker, for some reason I couldn’t get the same “slip on, slip off” ease as I did with the SubZero. That’s the first thing I noticed. Next, it felt weird on my hand. It was light but felt...off. I later learned that the stock hand position was moved up higher on the board. The reason is to reduce the “double coverage” of the blocker and the forearm and to extend the blocker downward to cover more area beneath the blocker side. Good idea in theory, but I just did not like the balance of the blocker at all. The more I fiddled around with the G-NETik blocker, the more I noticed it. (That’s a bad thing.) I chose the SubZero because I just put it on and was ready to play! I didn’t have to force myself to adjust to anything. STOCK SUBZERO BLOCKER FEATURES I LIKE Palm. My favorite feature is that the palm is tight across the hand and there’s supple backhand padding to secure the blocker to the hand. The design makes the glove easy to slip on and off. I don’t need to depend on wrist straps or additional padding to keep the blocker on. Wide cuff. Slip on, slip off. That’s all I ask. SubZero palm and cuff. Side wall. It’s nice and big and provides great inside coverage! My only annoyance is that the side wall near the nose of the blocker tends to curl outwards rather than staying flush along the entire board. It’s definitely just a cosmetic thing, but that’s an area that could be polished. SubZero's side wall is noticeable from the front. MY SUBZERO BLOCKER MODS Reinforced binding. There’s a lot of wear on the binding along the thumb where the stick meets the blocker. I just wanted to keep things intact as long as possible because it’s very difficult to replace binding. I first saw this feature on Pete Smith’s blockers and subsequently on Vaughn Velocity blockers. Added Jenpro strips along the binding. X-Static airknit finger gussets. Silver has been shown to inhibit bacterial growth. X-Static weaves silver ions into its textile fibers, so bacteria have a harder time growing on its products. With less bacteria in the blocker, there is less hockey smell. Yay for science! No more smelly hockey hands! Screen printing. I copied this feature from Craig Anderson’s gloves, which say #BEASTMODE. “LET’S DO THIS!” is my personal pump-up slogan, and it’s a touch that makes this glove a custom product. We’ve also seen this mod recently on Corey Schneider’s blocker, so I’m not the only one who adds little quotes to my gear! I feel ready to hit the ice! Rice man embroidery. It looks good on the sidewall. I considered placing it on the thumb like Lundqvist, but it would’ve been too hidden to notice. Rice man on the SubZero side wall. Name embroidery. This is the standard position on the cuff. I like the pro italic font! I considered doing my name using screen printing, but I like the look of embroidered text. I would think about putting the name on the middle Jenpro cuff so the embroidery doesn’t look so squished. CHRISLE9 on the blocker’s cuff. 2013 Brian’s G-NETik Catcher G-NETik catcher (front). G-NETik catcher (back). A lot of hype surrounded the release of the G-NETik catcher. (Word on the street was that pros who demoed the glove wouldn’t give it back!) And judging by how quickly people have made the switch to this glove, I think that it’s been a hit with goalies. Brian’s did such a good job on it that I pretty much ordered a stock glove. If I were to identify its strongest features, I’d highlight the closure and the catching/trapping ability. At the same time, I was pleasantly surprised by the SubZero catcher, too. The break felt like a C-shape: you cupped your fingers as you closed the glove. It felt natural too, but in a different way compared to the G-NETik. I also really liked the tee: it was shaped to extend the glove’s reach and the tee was heavily reinforced. I found that I caught pucks that I thought were beyond my reach. The glove has a lot of pocket too, so pucks were trapped very well in this glove. I would’ve been happy to go with the SubZero catcher if the G-NETik didn’t exist. STOCK G-NETIK CATCHER FEATURES I LIKE 35 degree break. The G-NETik’s closure is comfortable and natural. It feels like a U shape - think of folding over a taco. It breaks over the palmar crease. I’d compare it to the Reebok 60 degree break. Scalloped thumb. Otherwise known as the “Finnish thumb” first introduced by the Vaughn Velocity V1 catcher and popularized among Finnish goalies, this feature channels pucks into the pocket. As a result, this glove sucks up pucks like a vacuum! The catcher’s overall shape is like a basket, so there are few flat spots, which results in fewer pop-outs. Double tee. The additional lace between the two tees lets the pocket have more “give”, which helps to cushion pucks and keep them in the catcher. External pro palm. This feature is genius: they added a pro palm (i.e. extra padding) on the outside of the glove. First, this allows the glove to have added protection yet break in a bit more easily: the additional padding doesn’t spread across the hinge at the closure. As a result, there’s a great “game ready” feel. Second, the pro palm is such a common upgrade that Brian’s decided to include it as a stock feature. It’s also covered with nash, which helps to reduce puck spin (and plains looks awesome when there are puck marks!). In my opinion, the external pro palm already makes the glove a great value-packed product off the shelf! G-NETik catcher 35 degree break, scalloped thumb, double tee, and external pro palm. X-Static airknit finger gussets. As I described for the blocker, silver inhibits bacterial growth. Less bacteria means less hockey smell. No more smelly hockey hands! Internal elastic finger strap. I like my gloves to feel snug, and there is an elastic strap that spreads across the fingers and attaches by Velcro at the other end. I like the elastic over the usual two-piece Velcro strap because it reduces redundant materials. This elastic is wide too, so it covers the fingers well and makes for tighter finger channels (if that’s how you like to strap it). MY G-NETIK CATCHER MODS Skate lace. It has more give, which helps trap pucks in the pocket. Some people think skate lace is too soft and reduces “feel”; however, I’m happy that when the puck hits the pocket, it stays there. G-NETik catcher skate lace pocket. Cuff screen printing. I copied this feature from Craig Anderson’s gloves, which say #BEASTMODE. “LET’S DO THIS!” is my personal pump-up slogan, and it’s a touch that makes this glove a custom product. If I was going to do this on my blocker, then I might as well do it on the catcher, too! I wish that the “Made in Canada” cutout wasn’t there, but I otherwise like the look. Another spot to get a pump-up message. Rice man embroidery. It looks good on the backhand. Rice man on the G-NETik backhand. Name embroidery. This is the standard position on the cuff. I still dig the pro italic font! I considered using screen printing, but I like the look of embroidered text. CHRISLE9 on the catcher’s cuff. CONCLUSION I’m very happy with how my custom gear turned out. United Cycle was very helpful in advising me about the products and handling my order. Brian’s not only offers quality products off the shelf, but they also excel in customizing their gear to their customers’ specifications. They did a fantastic job in turning my custom graphic to reality and nailing every modification that I requested. I’d happily recommend United Cycle and Brian’s to anyone who’s looking for goalie equipment. My dream gear is here. This set is a keeper. I understand that the SubZero line will be updated later this year, but that doesn’t bother me. Everything I have works well for me and I’m content. Now, it’s a matter of playing to a level that matches the flashiness of my gear! RELATED LINKS Reviews on the GSBB: ”Official Brian’s Thread” (a running thread about Brian's equipment)Brians Subzero on Ice review (by Chamber33)Another Brians Sub Zero Review (by goalienate)Brian’s SubZero Review (by Big Daddy D)Brian’s G-NETik catcher (a running thread with multiple reviews)Another Brians Gnetik glove review (by khabibissell)Chris Joswiak is Brian’s pro team manager and is an active member of the Goalie Store (Wheelin33). He’s posted his thoughts about... ...the SubZero line....the SubZero pads, blocker, and catch. (video)...the Smart Strap....the Brian's SubZero Smart Strap System. (video)...the G-NETik line....the G-NETik glove....SubZero vs. G-NETik.Several retailers and publications have produced notable reviews: SubZero Pads by Goalie PlusSubZero Pads by Total HockeyBrian's SubZero Goalie Leg Pads Review by Hockey World BlogBrian's SubZero Goalie Leg Pads - Extended Review by Total Hockey (video)First Look: Brian's SubZero Goalie Pads, Blocker & Glove by Pure Hockey (video)Brian's G-NETik by InGoal Magazine (in-depth feature in the October 2012 edition)Brian’s G-NETik Goalie Catch Glove by Total Goalie (video with Chris Joswiak)