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Siponarius

Inexpensive Masks & Fits

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Hi goalie gurus. Question, so I’ll add some background.

So while normally I play out, my weekly hockey geoup of emergency service members has been struggling to keep goalies. They either move away or can’t make it out. Sometimes it’s one, or shooter tooters, which isn’t as fun. So I decided to dive in and pick up goal equipment. This once a week skate has all skill levels, and no slap shots or contact. At most I’d be strapping on the pads once a month.

Most of the stuff I’ve collected from SLS, friends, sales...I’m down to getting a mask now. I’ve gone to closest PHL and tried a few masks on, and everything seems too small I guess? The back plate sits very far back on all 4 fits of the Bauers I tried, leaving what I think is an desirable gap between the back plate and the mask. The store I was at didn’t have many CCM offerings. I’m also not trying to break the bank for occasional usage.

Inpicked up an NME 4 recently from an online sale, but it appears as best as near as I can tell, it’s a one size fits all. When I wear it, I feel that the chin cup jams everything closed too tight, can’t even move my mouth, almost feels like if anything goes slightly wrong, I’ll bite my tongue. I’m still able to return this mask  

Another online store is selling CCM 7000s. Does anyone know if the shape of the mask might fit a wider/rounder head better? I ask as well since it’s not exactly one I can go downtown and try out.

For reference, I wear both a Bauer Re-Akt 75 and IMS 7.0 for my fat head. 

One of the guys I play with has also offered me an older Hasek style helmet/mask, but I’m not so sure of it’s protection, even if I’m not taking clappers. 

 

Any my advice is appreciated!

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Don't go anywhere near the old style of mask. Some guys wear them because they're into vintage gear but some guys also don't wear throat protection of any sort. Just because some people do it doesn't mean it's smart.

As for your mask - the NME4 is not sufficient for anything beyond ball hockey. MAYBE roller hockey. Definitely not ice hockey. The NME3, NME4 (new version of NME3), and NME5 are all made of plastic. That's just not sufficient for ice hockey. In the Bauer world, the MINIMUM you should be looking at is the NME8 ($399 MSRP) as far as current retail models (the previous fiberglass mask was the NME7 and you may find those on SidelineSwap or something sometimes - they're fine too). With the NME series, at least NME8 and up, you have three fits - Fit 1, Fit 2 and Fit 3. I'm a Fit 1, which is the smallest. Make sure you try on all three in the store, even if they only have the higher end NME available you'll at least know what size you are and be able to order online. 

The Profile line is the more traditional mask with the traditional style foams, outside of the top end model. I personally don't like the foam in them so I don't use them. The 940 is also plastic. You'd need to go to at least the 950 ($599 MSRP) to get a safe mask. The Profile series is one size fits most IIRC.

In the CCM world... sorry, can't help you. I didn't like the feel of them so I have no experience there. But same problem - the lower end CCM masks are polycarbonate aka plastic. Stay away. 

Now of course there are lots of options from the smaller brands. I like the look of the Coveted masks personally, though I've never worn one. You can also get something like Protechsport (http://www.protechsport.com/en/masks) where they have you do a head mould and send it in and they build you something custom. At the low end they're actually surprisingly inexpensive ($335 CAD for the low end fiberglass) but they can have long wait times.

It seems most people are going to suggest you go to a company like that instead of a mid-range Bauer or CCM. I have a hard time disagreeing with that, I just happen to really like the fit (and the padding!) of the NME series so I've stuck with that. Right now it seems the NME8 is on clearance a lot of places for $319 USD, so I picked another one up. I also bought a couple from places like eBay or SidelineSwap. 

Oh, and one other thing to consider... if wherever you're playing requires HECC/CSA certification for goalie masks (most adult leagues don't) then you're pretty much stuck with a retail mask regardless. So probably irrelevant to you, but figured I'd mention it. 

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First things first, kudos to you for recognizing that the helmet was too small.  Seriously.  Wayyyyyy too many guys would have just gone with it and risked a severe head injury if they were knocked backwards.

I agree with IPv6.  Go to the local store again and try on the biggest retail brands they have, even if you can't afford them, just to get an idea of fit.  If nothing fits, see what size they are (Bauer Fit 1,2,3 / CCM S,M,L) so you can tell if the next size up might work.  Chris has already given you the details on Bauer mask.  On CCM, you want either a 9000 or a Pro, the difference primarily being weight.  I believe that CCM has come out with a new line with new numbering, so you may be able to pick one of the old models up cheaper.

Protechsport is a very good mask, and probably can't be beat for the price.  But wait times are long as every mask is custom.  I'm a Sportmask guy.  They fit me the best because I have a short forehead and they have the lowest crown.  They also run a little larger, so a medium may fit you.  Also keep in mind that there are two dimensions in play, you need not only to fit completely inside the helmet, but also not have too wide while doing so.  Other small brands like OTNY and Wall are reasonably priced and offer good products.

As a guideline, the retail price of any mask you get shouldn't be below $400.  Anything cheaper than that, and some more expensive, are likely made from polycarbonate.  You need a mask to be made from a minimum of fiberglass, with other things like Kevlar, Carbon Fiber, Inegra, etc, as optional reinforcement.

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11 hours ago, psulion22 said:

 

First things first, kudos to you for recognizing that the helmet was too small.  Seriously.  Wayyyyyy too many guys would have just gone with it and risked a severe head injury if they were knocked backwards.

 

Yeah, things definitely didn’t feel right. Even the back plate left a huge gap. 

12 hours ago, IPv6Freely said:

As for your mask - the NME4 is not sufficient for anything beyond ball hockey. MAYBE roller hockey. Definitely not ice hockey.

Even with the infrequency I would play, and the low impact? Or is it mainly investing the extra bucks to avoid any potential facial oopsie?

 

12 hours ago, IPv6Freely said:

Oh, and one other thing to consider... if wherever you're playing requires HECC/CSA certification for goalie masks (most adult leagues don't) then you're pretty much stuck with a retail mask regardless. So probably irrelevant to you, but figured I'd mention it. 

Yeah, literally only a bunch of cops and fire fighters trying not to get far, so no certification requirements.

 

Regardless, I appreciate you fellas responding. Helps with sorting things out. 

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18 minutes ago, Siponarius said:

 

Even with the infrequency I would play, and the low impact? Or is it mainly investing the extra bucks to avoid any potential facial oopsie?

Helmets protect not only from puck impacts, but also potential impacts with players and the ice in a collision.  Polycarbonate masks don't have any rigidity.  They can be flexed with the bare hands.  So they certainly don't dissipate the energy from a shot very well.  But more importantly, they don't protect from being crushed with enough force, like someone falling on you while you're down on the ice.  You need fiberglass to attain structural rigidity and adequate protection.

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13 minutes ago, IPv6Freely said:

Also even in a no-slap shot league, wrist shots still suck when they hit you in the head... 

And can cause damage to the mask.  My goalie just had his cage bent on a wrister in warm ups, and he's wearing a top of the line Bauer bucket with a cage in good condition.  

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7 minutes ago, psulion22 said:

And can cause damage to the mask.  My goalie just had his cage bent on a wrister in warm ups, and he's wearing a top of the line Bauer bucket with a cage in good condition.  

Well thats too, though cages are designed to bend. And hopefully immediately replaced. 

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fwiw, I have a rounder head and the CCMs fit me well. 

But also if this batch of first responder/EMS happens to be in the Boston area I could solve your goalie problem right out 😏

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6 hours ago, badger_14 said:

But also if this batch of first responder/EMS happens to be in the Boston area I could solve your goalie problem right out 😏

Negative. Very northern Canada. Might be too long of a drive lol

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13 hours ago, Siponarius said:

Negative. Very northern Canada. Might be too long of a drive lol

Welp there goes that plan.  Back to suggesting trying the largest of every model, and that CCM was a good fit for my roundish head.

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Thanks to your advice, I tracked down a large CCM 9000, for about the same cost as the NME4 I had purchased. I’m send that back immediately. The CCM fits great!

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Fantastic! Friends don’t let friends wear plastic masks! 

The only time I ever have was about a month I wore an NME3 while my NME8 was being painted. I know it was risky but at that time I didn’t have multiple masks. 

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Got the 9000, and tried it on, and immediately knew I made the right choice. Riddled with the straps, and the backplate has no gap, as compared to the NME4. Padding still hasn’t even been broken in yet. 

I do have a noob question though. What’s the second strap that’s paired with the chin cup actually for? I managed to adjust the cup but it’s still in the way. 

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14 hours ago, Siponarius said:

Got the 9000, and tried it on, and immediately knew I made the right choice. Riddled with the straps, and the backplate has no gap, as compared to the NME4. Padding still hasn’t even been broken in yet. 

I do have a noob question though. What’s the second strap that’s paired with the chin cup actually for? I managed to adjust the cup but it’s still in the way. 

It’s just a chin strap. Required for non-adult divisions in USA Hockey (and probably Hockey Canada but don’t quote me on that). I always remove it. I also remove the chin cup and put in a sling but that’s entirely a preference thing.

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On 4/28/2019 at 4:04 AM, Siponarius said:

Hi goalie gurus. Question, so I’ll add some background.

So while normally I play out, my weekly hockey geoup of emergency service members has been struggling to keep goalies. They either move away or can’t make it out. Sometimes it’s one, or shooter tooters, which isn’t as fun. So I decided to dive in and pick up goal equipment. This once a week skate has all skill levels, and no slap shots or contact. At most I’d be strapping on the pads once a month.

Most of the stuff I’ve collected from SLS, friends, sales...I’m down to getting a mask now. I’ve gone to closest PHL and tried a few masks on, and everything seems too small I guess? The back plate sits very far back on all 4 fits of the Bauers I tried, leaving what I think is an desirable gap between the back plate and the mask. The store I was at didn’t have many CCM offerings. I’m also not trying to break the bank for occasional usage.

Inpicked up an NME 4 recently from an online sale, but it appears as best as near as I can tell, it’s a one size fits all. When I wear it, I feel that the chin cup jams everything closed too tight, can’t even move my mouth, almost feels like if anything goes slightly wrong, I’ll bite my tongue. I’m still able to return this mask  

Another online store is selling CCM 7000s. Does anyone know if the shape of the mask might fit a wider/rounder head better? I ask as well since it’s not exactly one I can go downtown and try out.

For reference, I wear both a Bauer Re-Akt 75 and IMS 7.0 for my fat head. 

One of the guys I play with has also offered me an older Hasek style helmet/mask, but I’m not so sure of it’s protection, even if I’m not taking clappers. 

 

Any my advice is appreciated!

Have you checked out www.sidelineswap.com ?

Ignore that, I see you got a mask you like.

Edited by caveman27
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