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tburns517

Need Advice: Mod Current Gear or Buy New?

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Hello All,
Last year I was forced to play goalie for a lower-level beer league in short notice, so I ended up buying a lot of my gear from eBay. I was lucky enough to spend under $500 for everything, since I was (and still am) on a budget. Unfortunately 2 of the main pieces, my Chest Protector and Leg Pads, are causing some issues. I'll explain in more detail:

I bought a Bauer Supreme One95 (not Pro) Chest Protector in size Medium for $85. It was in like-new condition. I can tell the arms are definitely a few inches too long because they tend to push my glove and blocker off a little, and also the elbow pads don't line up with my elbows. I looked at cutting and re-sewing the arms with a sewing awl, however, I am not sure how to approach this, and I definitely don't want to butcher them beyond repair. Also, they seem to be pretty bulky in the upper area, so I can't really turn my head without my mask (and throat protector) being restricted by the pads. So two questions: Is it difficult to mod gear while still having it hold up? Any suggestions on what to do with the upper area?

My leg pads are Vaughn Velocity 7500 33+1. I am 5'7", and the pads seem to fit, it is just when I go down in a butterfly position my knees are exposed, and I have been hit there a few times. I definitely want to get some sort of protection there, but I also feel like the top of the pads should cover a majority of that area, is that correct? My concerns are whether or not the pads are the right size, or if I am going down in the butterfly position incorrectly. As far as protection goes, would you recommend thigh guards that attach to the pad, or knee/thigh pads that are separate?

I mainly question whether or not I should get some new/used gear that addresses my issues. At the same time, I would save money by making some modifications to the gear. As I stated, it is a lower-level beer league, so the shots aren't ridiculously hard, but I still want to feel comfortable playing in my gear. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I plan on going to Play it Again and our local hockey store to check out/try on some gear as well.

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1 hour ago, tburns517 said:

Hello All,
Last year I was forced to play goalie for a lower-level beer league in short notice, so I ended up buying a lot of my gear from eBay. I was lucky enough to spend under $500 for everything, since I was (and still am) on a budget. Unfortunately 2 of the main pieces, my Chest Protector and Leg Pads, are causing some issues. I'll explain in more detail:

I bought a Bauer Supreme One95 (not Pro) Chest Protector in size Medium for $85. It was in like-new condition. I can tell the arms are definitely a few inches too long because they tend to push my glove and blocker off a little, and also the elbow pads don't line up with my elbows. I looked at cutting and re-sewing the arms with a sewing awl, however, I am not sure how to approach this, and I definitely don't want to butcher them beyond repair. Also, they seem to be pretty bulky in the upper area, so I can't really turn my head without my mask (and throat protector) being restricted by the pads. So two questions: Is it difficult to mod gear while still having it hold up? Any suggestions on what to do with the upper area?

My leg pads are Vaughn Velocity 7500 33+1. I am 5'7", and the pads seem to fit, it is just when I go down in a butterfly position my knees are exposed, and I have been hit there a few times. I definitely want to get some sort of protection there, but I also feel like the top of the pads should cover a majority of that area, is that correct? My concerns are whether or not the pads are the right size, or if I am going down in the butterfly position incorrectly. As far as protection goes, would you recommend thigh guards that attach to the pad, or knee/thigh pads that are separate?

I mainly question whether or not I should get some new/used gear that addresses my issues. At the same time, I would save money by making some modifications to the gear. As I stated, it is a lower-level beer league, so the shots aren't ridiculously hard, but I still want to feel comfortable playing in my gear. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I plan on going to Play it Again and our local hockey store to check out/try on some gear as well.

For the pads: I can't close my butterfly either. It's a flexibility thing. That said, my knees and the knee stacks are together so while I'd love to get my pads closed, I should be able to stop 5-hole shots still. However, like you, I know that getting hit there sucks so knee pads are important. Thigh guards are generally crap. What you really want are some really good knee pads. 

There are a couple threads about knee pads on here. It seems that the Warrior Pro and the Passau knee pads are the favorites, but it's really all about comfort and protection so personal preference comes into play here. I personally wear Passau and I think @Hills does as well. Could not be happier with comfort and protection, plus they don't fall down. 

I don't think you need new pads if you like the ones you have aside from your inability to close the 5-hole. The problem sounds more like technique and flexibility than an equipment issue. Of course I'd never recommend against buying new goalie pads because... well... who doesn't love buying new goalie pads?! :26_nerd:

Now, as for your chest protector, I was in the same boat as you. I had a Bauer Reactor where the arms were too long. I ended up using a speedy stitcher to shorten them by about 1.5-2" by folding over the fabric at the top of the arms. I have some photos I'll attach from my phone if that helps. It worked pretty well, but then I decided I wanted something more protective and ended up getting a new chest protector that allowed me to have different sized body and arms (in my case, again, Passau). It's not a hard modification to make though and if you like the chest protector otherwise, it's worth a shot. 

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With the chest protector, if you're feeling the protection isn't adequate, then get a new one.  If you think everything would be fine if you adjusted the arms, then a Speedy Stitcher is your friend.  If it were me, and the arms were too long and the shoulder floaters were causing issues (likely because the whole unit is too big), I'd just a get new one that fits correctly.  One issue, fix it.  More than one issue, replace it.

Always wear on-the-knee kne pads.  Thigh boards aren't adequate anymore.  That's the first issue.  I recommend either Warrior X Pros or Passau.  The second issue is a Velocity 7500 with 1" rise will be short in the thigh.  You'll have problems closing the 5 hole because of it.  For coverage, you'll need a more modern pad with bigger thigh rises.  So just like the c/a, you now have more than one issue.  The knee pads are a must, even with better coverage, so that addresses one.  You'll have to decide if you want more 5 hole coverage with new pads, or you can compensate with your stick.

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Thanks @IPv6Freely and @psulion22 for the replies! I've been looking at some other inexpensive pads on eBay and craigslist. I came across these and he is willing to do $150 for them:
https://annarbor.craigslist.org/spo/d/vaughn-velocitygoalie-leg-pads/6244519122.html

They look really similar to the 7500 that I have right now. Would going from a 33+1 to a 34+2 be a drastic difference? I'm pretty sure I am borderline 33/34. I'm thinking it would provide the extra protection I need on my thighs, and would probably help with the 5-hole issue too. The price I would pay for these would only be a little more than I would spend on knee pads anyway. I still plan on going to a local hockey store and trying out the different sizes.

Edited by tburns517

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My .02 on the pads...

There are two important considerations in regards to the fit of a pad - whether or not your knee sits properly in the cradle, as well as the overall height of the pad. If your knee is hitting near the center of the cradle, you have the correct "fit," but perhaps a bit too short of an overall height. Going to a 33+2 may help. A 34+2 may help you close the five-hole, but it might also negatively effect mobility if they are too tall. If you've only been playing the last year, I would hesitate to "chase size" as a way of closing the five-hole. Addressing issues in technique or even how you strap the pad may make a big difference. If your current pads fit, get the knee pads for protection and then assess whether you still need a taller pad. Given your height, I would guess they are probably adequate, but everyone is a bit different. I'm 6' and a 33+2 in most pads is ideal for me.

If you can get someone to take a picture or two of you in your butterfly (or short video dropping into the butterfly, even), it might helps us make further suggestions.

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