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jds

Skate Fenders

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After two shots to the foot-one resulting in a broken toe and the other resulting in a nasty bruised ankle bone- I decided to ignore the accusations of overkill and purchase a pair of Skate Fender polycarbonate skate covers. (http://www.skatefenders.com/). These are the same ones use by numerous NHL players last year(however, there are a variety of models out there. This review will deal only with these models). I was worried about the price but at $80 Can it seemed reasonable as a means of protecting my foot consdering I spend equal or more on other pieces of protective equipment.

I have only skated on them once after which I realized the ankle was still not ready for skating so further input will come as I progress back into skating over the next few weeks.

My initial reaction was positive. They were simple to put on after putting on a skate. Two velcro straps, one at the back and one underneath the boot, keep them secure.For those less flashy players out there, they are almost invisible once on the boot because they are clear. You have to really look to notice them. It was only until I was taking a face off against a friend of mine on the other team that he noticed that I had them on.

Once I had them on, I really didn't notice them as I skated. However, this could be because about all I did notice was my throbbing ankle. I also notice my foot speed was much slower and attributed this to my ankle and not any added weight. Seriously, you forget these things are on once they are attached. This opinion was also shared with me by a member of the Hamilton Bulldogs AHL team which had been using the identical product for the latter part of last season and he said they didn't affect his skating any way and seemed to take a lot of abuse.

Due to the nature of protective equipment, I will have to wait for a shot to the foot to see how they perform in that regard which is the entire point of this product. Stay tuned.

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jds sustained an injury at the MSH Summer Jam and decided to buy this product.

This product was NOT seeded by the manufacturer - however, we have to make it a Long-Term Review because it is one of those products in which you don't know the true function of it until you take a shot on the ankle.

So, I've asked him to test out the intangibles, and hope for his sake that IF he gets hit on the ankle, it does as advertised.

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I have now played around 10 games with the skate fenders in place. I never notice they are on as they are super light. They go on easy and I have had little issue with the velcro tabs coming loose though the ones on the bottom could be a bit longer to ensure that there is enough contact between the male and female velcro. As they are, I really have to pull the strap tight to get about half and inch of velcro contact. The strap around the back is more than long enough and I could even trim it so I'm not sure why they didn't offer the same option on the bottom strap.Reviewing this product for its protective value has been difficult as the only way to test them is to get hit in the foot. For a while it was like taking your car to the mechanic and it doesn't make that noise. I was convinced that since I had bought these I would never ever get hit in the foot again-not that that mattered since the point of the purchase was to avoid the discomfort of taking one off the foot. I have taken some stick hacks to the foot and felt nothing but the true test is a nice hard shot off the skate. Well it finally happened tonight. I took one on the outside of my right foot. It was a decent slapshot but not what I would call blistering. I didn't feel a thing-literally. Nothing. The only reason I knew it hit my foot was the trajectory of the shot and the fact that I didn't feel the impact anywhere else. I broke my toe earlier in the summer when I got hit with a wrist shot on the boot and this was a slapshot and ...nothing. I'm assuming the space between the fender and the skate boot absorbs the impact before it contacts the boot kind of like a crumple zone in a car. Up until tonight I was a bit leery of blocking shots because in the back of my mind I had no idea if these things would work. Now I know they do. I'll keep reviewing them for fit and finish and how well they hold up and hopefully I'll take a few more of the foot in various spots to add further data. I'm just a bit worried that with my luck I'll get hit in some gap in my shoulder pads or something :)

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Still going strong. Taken a few more shots with absolutely no pain. In fact, when asked, I demonstrate their protection to teammates by whacking my foot as hard as I can with my skate over and over.

The only issue I have been noticing is that the straps that go under the boot could be a bit longer because if you don't get them just so, they tend to come undone and get covered with snow making the velcro difficult to re-attach. A bit more length with give some more contact area for the male and female velcro pieces to bind better.

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Noticed an issue with the fenders interfering with my ankle when turning tightly, especially on one skate. Trimmed both of them down with a dremel to allow more flex in the boot and no issues since. Still protecting my feet, one shot at at time.

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Wore them at Winterfest. Figured the MSHers would have some spicy shots. Not disappointed. Took exactly three off the foot during the game. Didn't feel a thing. Got so I was playing goalie and deliberately putting my foot in front of shots. I did notice that one of the fenders is sporting a crack along the TOP which is curious since I don't recall getting hit there. I have a feeling that the crack could have occurred when I threw my bag down the stairs one night after a particularly frustrating game. Seems odd that that would cause a crack but I guess that having them loose in the bag as opposed to flush on a skate boot might allow for the extra flex that could cause a crack. OR, perhaps I took a shot off the top of the foot and didn't realize it. I will continue to wear the cracked fender to see how long it lasts before it finally cracks in two. I'm hoping it keeps its integrity on the sides since that is where I end up getting hit most of the time. I would be a bit pissed if a tantrum caused the crack after all the nasty shots it has taken. Stay tuned.

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