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Requiem for a set of Reebok Premier Series III Pads


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Friday evening likely marks the final time I will wear one of the pieces of equipment that I quietly grew very closes to over many years. A set of Lefevre-constructed Reebok Premier Series III leg pads, 34"+2" Navy/Red/White. They fundamentally altered my approach to goaltending for the better, fully opening me up to how the modern game is executed. While I did have a modern, ok-sliding, but uber-soft pad (X-Pulse Pro) prior, I was still playing a with a more angry, reactionary style. The PIIIs helped to alter this and probably helped to curb the physical damage I was incurring.

To say that they have been durable is a massive understatement - I estimate that I have used these in around 1000 skates since I purchased them new in early 2012. Clearly, they were aging-out of the goalie pad market at that time. This, along with the likely unpopular color scheme, afforded me the chance to purchase these at a 1/3rd of the original sales price.

I have recounted the mis-construction of the left pad on this board prior, but the short version goes like this: Shortly after the purchase but many skates, the left pad began to twist along the vertical axis. I took measurements of both pads and determined the left pad was sewn together about 1 inch along the entire perimeter (binding face and leg channel). I disassembled and reassembled 'correctly' and the twist disappeared forever. I was not pleased with the error, but this was truly the only construction item that has ever thrown an error signal. 

One peculiar design feature that also seems vestigial is the rounded medial roll. I suspect this is fine if you appreciate strapping the pad tighter, but, again, I am not sure this is truly beneficial with such a stiff pad construction. Although rare in my experience, I believe that the rounded roll may prevent any or complete pad rotation is certain scenarios as you're relying on a large radius to answer a 'yes or no' question. A squared-off medial 'roll' seems to be far more binary.

I have done a few modifications over time - Removed the outside knee wing, added some JenPro to the top-inside calf wrap to stop the wear on the Cordura, did the same thing at the bottom of the calf wrap. I kept all of the straps (6!!!), although I can unequivocally say that about 4 of them serve no purpose - the boot strap, the middle calf strap and both knee straps just kinda flop around, looking all sorts of vestigial. The construction of these pads makes so many straps practically useless, as I have found. For my part, this is metal carry-over from days of yore that I am ready to let go.

I am stunned at how good the pads still look, although it has required much maintenance over the years. I have replaced the toe binding numerous times. As a result, the sliding surface LOOKS perfect, but has certainly lost something in terms of feel-to-the-touch and feel on the ice. The JenPro on the right pad, outside roll has worn away due to blocker-on-pad wear, but some heavy duty duct tape took care of that. I've replaced Velcro on the knee cradle, as well. Liberal amounts of silicone spray has also limited the overall wear. Very pleased, overall.

I would like to tip my cap to the Lefevre design and manufacturing team and say 'Adieu!' to what has been a wonderful piece of equipment. I recently purchased a new set of Vaughn Ventus LT98 Pro Carbon pads under circumstances much like my PIIIs - sitting around for a few years, less than 1/3rd the original asking price. They are far lighter and seems less finicky to me than the PIIIs did when new, but perhaps I am just better educated. 

Thanks for reading!



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