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In the beginning... and in this case that's early March 2019... I made the decision to not only move from CCM to Bauer... but that if I was making the switch I might as well go all out and go True Design. While unavailable for retail customers at the time Bauer had already committed to doing so and I wanted to get ahead of the game. I contacted Vince Arnone (@thevincenzoarnone on IG) who had already done a litany of custom designs for NHLers, KHLers, Juniors, College, and Beer League goaltenders. After a number of iterations we arrived at a relatively simple vintage design... my intention being an homage to vintage gear while embracing the minimalism of modern pads... so textured brown leather... traditional vertical/horizontal lines... but none of the strapping or waffle you'd see on other vintage sets...
Fast forward to early June 2019 I was finally able to start working w/ the True Design team at Bauer. With my design in hand we started. For those of you who haven't looked into the process much... it goes like this...
You submit an image/sketch of what you're looking for to Bauer. It can literally be a scanned doodle on a napkin, a sketch on one of the templates from a My Bauer Custom Goal Gear catalog, or like in my case a digital image. Included in the price of True Design, you get 3 revisions w/ Bauer. Their designer's render your initial submittal onto the pads and you can reply w/ changes you'd like to have made... move stuff... change colors... or start over entirely... but you only get 3 renderings. My advice to anyone looking to do this... read the True Design Brand Guide to understand what MUST be on there... then start off w/ a good image in the first place. Doing so will reduce how much you have to change at all. Some of you may remember I posted some images for feedback on my final mock up and they were very minor... logo colors and faux patch colors... the rest I was already good with. Also, having the functional specs ready helps the renderings as well... 45 degree knee blocks... boot strap etc... that will all be included in the renderings. Wait. Given I was one of the first at retail to get a design in... and that every Pro Bauer was working with was likely doing it at the same time I was... and that this is a new process... I knew it would take some time. Bauer never quoted a lead time up front but once the order was in SAP I received a date from my retailer... ~15 weeks from the date it was entered. Long... but again... it's new territory so I waited. The actual delivery was at 14 weeks... so Bauer did it right IMO... they didn't over promise.
You'll notice some clear differences between the vision Vince and I came up with and V003. One of the main driver's was the size and contrast demands for Bauer's Branding... both the Bauer name and Series. The Bauer and Series logos themselves are a raised heat transfer so color options were limiting as well. In digesting that news I looked at images of vintage gear and realized that really... branding on the face of the pad was only on knee rolls or patches... so I moved Bauer to the roll and added a simple patch with the series at the top of the pad. In my research I also came across a Saginaw Spirits set of pads in which Bauer printed an American flag at the top of the pad only to have it be partially covered by binding... so I made a point to tell Bauer to locate it lower on the thigh to avoid that from happening to me. The same went for the glove and blocker... I opted to move things around to make it work within the branding guidelines. Aside from that... I went with black backing on everything and said GO!
The process itself through Bauer was smooth. I'd receive a rendering... analyze/obsess every subtle nuance I could find... make a good list of changes I wanted to see... send it back same day or next day. Bauer held to their 72 hour or less return on changes with a new mock up... so from Design 001 to Design 003... it was 10 days... June 18 to June 28.
With the cosmetics decided... and while I had functional specs already laid out for the most part... next you finalize those specs. In the time I went through the process Bauer tweaked their excel file from a r1.A to r2.0. I'm not sure what Rev they're on now but I can't imagine it has changed much. You'll reference your Custom Graphic number found on the lower right of the rendering... and from there start clicking. Screenshot of my spec sheet...
14 weeks later...
I received this pictures via text while excitedly speaking with the shop and all that anticipation and joy was gone in a flash. You'll notice something wrong here... the faux Bauer patch on the face of the outer roll... well that should be on the outer gusset of that roll. Not ok.
I reminded myself that this is a new process... new territory... and that I trusted the retailer and more importantly Bauer... to make it right. The shop contacted Bauer and relayed my disappointment and desire to have the pads remade correctly. The question was asked if I would accept them for a reduced price... but that discussion ended quickly as reminded them that if I didn't care about the aesthetics much I wouldn't have gone w/ True Design. With no push back Bauer advised the shop to release the equipment to me and that they would get cracking on a new set of leg pads printed correctly. In the mean time I was free to use this set and would return them upon receipt of the new ones. I cannot speak to whether that is standard practice for Bauer... but I can say that I think it's fair. I have no issue in paying for the product in full so long as it's the product I ordered.
For now I will leave you to bask in the images below of the set... more to come on initial overview (specs, weights, dims, etc)... and on ice impressions from someone coming from a CCM EF1 Retroflex to a much more firm pad...
With the recent passing of one of my pro stock NXGs (lasted ~6 months w/ 3 skates a week) I'm down to two NXGs and one 2S Pro. The NXGs as I said are a pro stock w/ a paddle height of 27.5" (actual measure is just north of that at 27.75") and the 2S Pro is a 25" (actual measure 27.125") so a slight variation between the two. Purely for messing around I started using the 2S Pro again and while the NXG is great... the 2S Pro is so damn light I find myself being FAR more active with my stick (and maybe that 5/8" of length makes it feel more maneuverable)... and now has me planning for when the next NXG moves on to that receptacle accustomed to seeing tape balls and spit cups.
Both are P31 pattern now... which is fine... but I do find significantly more wear at the heal of the stick than anywhere else and has led me to wondering if a lower lie might get that spread over more of the blade. That said... Bauer is only offering a lower lie on the 2X Pro (P20 pattern.) While I need work on my puck handling (to put in mildly)... my focus is stopping shots here... so I'm less concerned about the blade curve and more concerned about making sure I keep more blade on the ice.
Anyone out there who can speak to their experience using 2S Pro vs. 2X Pro in general? Weight Feel (Balance) Anyone use the P20 pattern and can elaborate on it? For those who don't want to click 50 times.. I've grabbed all of the Blade Pattern options available for both lines on Bauer's site...
Hi The Goal Net forums!
So since I own both Bauer lines as custom sets, I thought it would be nice to make a detailed analysis of both lines. As a sales advisor and goalie fit expert in a retailer, people often ask me how the vapor are different if both lines offer hard as hell rebounds. Most of the time I simply answer that I feel Vapor or Supreme is more a spec than anyother thing. Basically, most of teh ones who prefer a connected feel will be drawn towards the vapors, and those who prefer otherwise the supremes. There are more diffences but we will dive deeper within the "review". Let's start by showing both sets. First up, the older brother, the 2S Pro.
So this was my first custom Bauer set, I won't dive into the lackluster custom options for colorways, I love this graphic and I am pleased of the way it turned out. I went all stock for this one, except for the intermediate fit for the blocker palm.
Now my 2X Pro, which is a first again for me, being my first dark based set.
So here I went with a lot of custom specs, here is the list;
Square knee block, Powerlite core (single break below the knee) , vapor thin insert (stock option), offset CRS laces (yup, no bungee for me). Intermediate fit for both gloves.
So the pads are pretty similar all things considered, main diffrence would be the boot break.
The Vapor has a thinner, flatter boot which is much softer that the Fused boot which is stock on the 2S pro. Furthermore, the pad is much thicker on the boot area in the Supreme. This makes the supreme less connected and makes it sit higher on the leg. This is one of the things that I liked at first but liked less and less as the season went on.
Now the sliding surface.
As you can see, both a extremely similar except that the calf piece on the vapor is rounder and features an embossed cortech ST logo. The knee block has thankfully gone away from the binding this year, even if the nylon used on the 2x seem to be of better quality. This explains why the sliding is (according to me at least) much much much better on the 2X pros.
However, the thickness is the same on both models on the sliding edge, which brings me to one of the most unique design element of the vapor pad, the tapered core.
As you can see above, the core of the vapor is slightly thicker on the inside edge than the outside edge. This pulled from the 1x, and is to aid rotation while keeping the strapping tight. Speaking of strapping.
The tune-fit (vapor) is much softer and wraps the leg a lot more, the CRS is looser and stiffer. I'm not really picky on strapping, but the vapor is simple and comfortable, both things lacking in the supreme's CRS. The calf wraps on the vapor are longer and hug the skate much more, and have elastic joints at the bottom. On nitpick in the supremes, the strapping did not have any color option (not even white), but again, the set looked good nontheless. The leg channel in nylon on the supremes and has the quattro material from AX Suede on the knee block. On the vapor, we find the quattro in the leg channel as well. Overall, I love both pads, but the vapor suits more my playstyle, mainly because of the snuggier, tighter fit and the softer boot, while keeping the really hot rebounds.
Now the catch gloves. I won't talk about the breaks, the vapor is more of a finger oriented closure (similar to a 590 but feels really close to a 580 somehow) and the supreme is more of a full-hand closure, which is a 600 in ccm language.
Now that the inevitable (Thanos is inevitable) break question is addressed, let's look at best feature on both gloves; the cuff. Back in november when I saw the gear, i saw that the took insperation from the supreme for the backhand of the 2x catch glove. The cuff is now shorter and feels much more open than on the 1x ans 2s pro, but keep the flexibility that the 2s pro had with the FREE flex cuff.
Now a few pictures of the gloves side by side.
They present a somewhat similar shape (big pocket, smaller cuff) but they feel completely diffrent, props to bauer for that, because I always felt more comfortable with supreme type break because of their shape, but never like the feel of the break that much, it's nice to have a glove that just feels like the best of both worlds for me. (2x pro has a great closure out of the box, highly recommend the game ready )
The 2X pro blocker feels like a variant of the 2s Pro, it's the weird friend that just looks somewhat alien, but in this case, the design works and looks both futuristic and traditional.
Now the vapor is much lighter, and here is why.
The vapor has a tapered face, which makes it have an optimized thickness both for balance and protection.
Now the sidewall is where the alien thing comes in. The vapor straight up looks weird, but it works just fine. The supreme has however the best finger protection I ever had on a blocker. I'm not worried with the vapor however. The one thing I don't like on the vapor is the stiching on the face, I prefer the seamless edge of the supreme by a landslide, but this is more of a nitpick than anything.
One small diffence is that the supreme has a segmented finger protection and the vapor has traditionnal build.
So that about wraps it up. so feel free to ask more questions on the gear.
Edit: The 2S pro set was regularly cleaned (once every 6-8 ice times) using a magic eraser and a combination of slight pressure and patience.