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The Factory Mad Glove and Blocker


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Gear Demo: Factory Mad Glove and Blocker

 

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I was fortunate enough a couple months ago to demo the Factory Mad glove and blocker. For anyone not on Instagram, the glove has a cult following. The video clips of Dennis changing the T and closure of gloves from Big 5 gear companies get tens of thousands of views on social media. Everyone seeing those videos for the first time is left wondering, “is the floating T so special that it’s worth dissecting a perfectly good glove?” or “I wonder what it’s like to catch with that thing?”. To most people, a blocker is a blocker and they want it to match their glove or pads. The blocker was actually the pleasant surprise of this whole experience. I had very low expectations for it, but it left me modding my existing blocker.

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If you have not read our previous article on the history of Factory Mad, Dennis was a 24 year vet of Vaughn before leaving to start his own shop. One of the options he fell in love with during his time at Vaughn was the floating T. This was an option that Belfour used on a T6000 in Dallas. He also philosophically believes that a glove should break in the middle of the hand with the index finger tip and thumb tip moving toward each other to close the glove. In retail terms, this is similar to a T5500 or 600 break. One of the other unique features to his gloves is the “pancake closure”. There is no curve on the tips of the fingers like nearly every glove on the market. This ensures the fingers and thumb form a perfect seal upon closure. Anytime there is a curve, there is always going to be some form of gap, especially when it is stiff and new. It’s kind of ironic when you think about it because these two gloves share somewhat of a split corporate history, like Jeep and Hummer. In my opinion, the T5500 is the most famous glove on earth for people curling the finger tips to improve closure and the thought of curling a Factory Mad would make Dennis cringe.

 

In terms of my experience with using the glove, it’s a vacuum. If the puck hits the pocket without closing the glove, the floating T skate lace pocket expands upon impact and fully absorbs the shot. It is not coming out. The fact the glove closes better than any “game ready” palm sold at retail is an added bonus. I had never worn the fingers to thumb break before and struggled with it on my first skate. If I did not get the puck into the pocket on the shot, it was hitting my thumb and taking a funky rebound. On the second skate, I got fully used to this break. Once the Indian got used to the arrow, the glove functioned perfectly and there were no issues. I can safely say the amazing break in ready closure helped my adaption. After using this glove, I tried a Vaughn 9500, which is a similar break, and I did not adjust to it as quickly. The glove was stiffer and the pocket didn’t have the same vacuum effect

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In full disclosure, I knew the glove would kick ass. I just didn’t know if itwould be the glove for me because of the break. The blocker was kind of like “thanks for sending it”, but I didn’t have too much enthusiasm for testing it. Boy does that sound silly in retrospect. To start off, the blocker palm was a perfect size for me and it had a very snug fit. It actually took a little wiggling to get this off your hand. It feels very nice and connected without a ton of crazy adjustment. The finger padding works perfectly, but it’s a pretty minimalist design. There are not crazy articulating segments, player’s gloves fingers, impact absorbing material in the index finger gusset, etc. Just some well-placed padding that stays in place.

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As for performance, the blocker is H-O-T HOT HOT HOT HOT. I have a 1S on order, which is supposed to the be the hottest blocker in the game, but the Factory Mad is the hottest I have worn. The pucks hit it and go flying. A soft shot that is normally a dangerous play off the ole waffle, flies a safe distance away and give you time to recover. In speaking with Dennis, there is no gimmicky materials used in blocker board construction, it’s the type of padding he uses between the glove and blocker board that gives it the extra pop. A sneaky feature on the nose of the blocker is a removable strip. It’s basically a wear strip that can be replaced if you do a lot of paddle down and ruin blockers quickly. If you play in leagues with no or lax equipment rules, he can also put a rib support inside the wear strip. This helps better balance the blocker in the paddle down position.

In closing, I really enjoyed the gloves. When I invest in gear that I am keeping as “gamers” next fall or winter, I will consider Factory Mad. The fit and finish is excellent on his gear and meets or exceeds any of the standards from the big 5. Purchasing from Dennis also gives you the unique opportunity to speak directly to the designer, master craftsmen, and manufacturing manager of the equipment. It’s much more personalized and engaging experience than ordering online. . .

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Good overall review. Dennis really makes some great stuff and his mods to the other companies stuff is unreal. I am seriously considering a full set of his gear as my next set. I even want to pick up a pair of his knee pads and I have heard that he has a chest protector in the works.

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1 hour ago, Snowman30 said:

Good overall review. Dennis really makes some great stuff and his mods to the other companies stuff is unreal. I am seriously considering a full set of his gear as my next set. I even want to pick up a pair of his knee pads and I have heard that he has a chest protector in the works.

If I ever get knee pads, he'd be on my short list 

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  • 3 weeks later...
25 minutes ago, djtendy said:

I've always wanted to try the FM gear. Something about the looks and functionality has had me gawking for some time now. Great review!

You should talk to Dennis! As long as you are okay with some shipping charges, he will happily let you demo stuff. My Brian's blocker is amazing after he tweaked the padding in it. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have been using his demo gear for the past week. Have to say all his gear is very good! Not only did I try out the gloves but also his pads too with the 1 piece inner sliding surface.

Very impressed with his gear! I will be ordering a set!

 

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5 hours ago, Bell31 said:

I have been using his demo gear for the past week. Have to say all his gear is very good! Not only did I try out the gloves but also his pads too with the 1 piece inner sliding surface.

Very impressed with his gear! I will be ordering a set!

Yes!!! The green set 

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5 hours ago, Bell31 said:

I have been using his demo gear for the past week. Have to say all his gear is very good! Not only did I try out the gloves but also his pads too with the 1 piece inner sliding surface.

Very impressed with his gear! I will be ordering a set!

I just noticed your Riddler sweater!!!!

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Just got my full set in the mail the other day. Very impressed with what Dennis has made. Been a life long Brian's user but there was something about his stuff I wanted to try. The set was made for the seller I bought them from but they fit me pretty good. Now I just have to wait 2 months to use them

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2 hours ago, SaveByRichter35 said:

How much does a set from him run and what's his wait time look like?

Best bet is to email Dennis himself and ask. I have heard from different people and both times the prices weren't what I was told. Just explain to him what your looking for and what you possibly want. He is not going to get upset as this is how he does his business. I was thinking about possibly ordering this fall but my luck found me the set I got and I don't have worry about it. His knee pads are seto till on my list though.

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22 hours ago, bunnyman666 said:

I just noticed your Riddler sweater!!!!

Yes indeed!!  That team used to be for my roller hockey team in Chicago. Played defense when I was Skating for them. I made sure I got goalie size sweater so I can wear it with my goalie gear. 

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3 hours ago, Bell31 said:

Yes indeed!!  That team used to be for my roller hockey team in Chicago. Played defense when I was Skating for them. I made sure I got goalie size sweater so I can wear it with my goalie gear. 

That would go sweet with the neon green Factory pads!

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14 hours ago, SaveByRichter35 said:

Thanks I'll check it out.

No nicer bloke in the business, and it takes me a LOT to say that! He will take the time with you. Whilst not giving out prices, he is premium priced, but when you consider that it is HIS hands on this stuff from start to finish, it isn't out of line. Let's just put it this way- the worksmanship in a pair of his pads versus the Bauer OD1N at a comparable price makes the Factory pads a downright bargain! You would never get this level of service from Jeremiah Bauer* or Abraham CCM*.

 

*my joke names for the founders of those companies

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1 hour ago, SaveByRichter35 said:

Looking at his website his pads don't look like they're anything I would like.  Too flat for me.  Are they super stiff too?  Everything looks really nice though.

He won't change how he builds, but he may convince you as to why they may work for you. But if nothing else, his gloves are KILLER!  

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9 minutes ago, SaveByRichter35 said:

That's fine, he builds what he likes and I'm sure plenty of people like that style but it's not for me.  The glove on the other hand(pun intended) looks right up my alley.  Very 5500ish.

Yeah- I am not certain his pads may work for my style; I am willing to give them a chance one day.

You will love love love his catch glove; chances are, he may have built Richter's gloves at one point.

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  • 8 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

With the type of closure on the glove, how is it for gripping the shaft of the stick when playing the puck?

I have found that one benefit of the finger curl, is how it wraps the shaft of the stick.

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