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Vaughn V9 full set - initial impressions and long-term review


AdamL
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I haven't skated in these yet, although I have put strapped them up with my skates and knee pads on and practiced some crease movements.  Most of my impressions will be pretty surface-level so far.  We had twins back in March of last year and that, combined with the pandemic, forced me to sit out the first session back that started in the fall of 2020.  I'd planned to rejoin the league this spring, but every goaltender opted to return and so I didn't have a spot.  I'm hoping to sub a few times during this shortened spring session before the summer league starts, but I may not have too many opportunities to skate in the next few weeks; fingers crossed.

Glove

I went with the 2-piece glove simply because I found it the most natural to catch with.  When I went to my local store to try on a few gloves I took a lacrosse ball with me to throw off the cinderblock walls outside to see which felt most comfortable to catch with.  I was flat-out stunned the way every single time the ball ended up in the pocket with the 2-piece V9 glove.  The best way to describe why I think I catch well with this glove is probably to show a picture of Mrazek, who holds the glove just like I do.  You can see the break of the glove is 90* with the ice, so as shots rise off the stick they naturally funnel up into the pocket. 

RALEIGH, NC - DECEMBER 20: Petr Mrazek #34 of the Carolina Hurricanes  crouches in the crease to protect the net… | Carolina hurricanes,  Hurricanes hockey, Hurricane

Contrast that with how Price presents his 590, which is also how I found myself holding the glove instinctively.  The break actually angles down and to his left as it did with me, and so unless I was able to catch a puck cleanly in the pocket, it would hit the thumb side, roll across the palm, and pop out.  My 590 is absolutely littered with black marks on the thumb side.  User error?  Definitely.  But it's just not the glove for me.

Canadiens Notebook: Goalie Carey Price has different look this season |  Montreal Gazette

On to my actual glove.  I went with the pro palm and reinforced T on both sides.  It's not particularly snappy out of the box, but it's also not super stiff.  Given Matt's (hockeyreviews.ca) complaints of Vaughn's gloves without pro palms being pretty thin I figured I should opt for it.  My XLT is a pro palm as well and broke in nicely, I have no doubts this one will do the same.  I also opted for skate lace on the outsides of the pocket and nylon in the middle, mostly to be able to track pucks through the pocket if they're coming at my face.

1287318477_Glovefront.thumb.jpg.e8e3ef25d0d39c2a56f6619458b3bf90.jpg

Backhand shot.  Looks like a Velocity glove.  One thing I do think may cause some issue is the aerospacer portion of the cuff.  It contacts my forearm some when I present the glove even without my C&A on, I do worry it might be slightly restricting, but time will tell.

553342460_Glovebackhand.thumb.jpg.d707957274c0f89422adce6412b5b042.jpg

The pocket is absolutely huge compared to my 590.  

893932802_Glovecomparison.thumb.jpg.4b3ec1b7eeaafb5ee4c240b7ed5bcae0.jpg

It's much deeper too, even though this picture doesn't look as dramatic as I think it does in person.

1321406264_Pocketcomparison.thumb.jpg.baa1591b6704b780647b5a33ecb651af.jpg

 

 

Blocker

I went with the full carbon face, which is an option on the customizer.  Vaughn blockers aren't known for having the biggest pop, but this thing feels extremely firm on the face.  I'm not expecting Bauer-like rebounds but I'm hoping they'll still find their way to the corners easily.  I custom-specced a firm & rigid side board.  I'm unsure exactly what material Vaughn used, but it's solid and square, unlike what I've seen in some other social media posts with the stock side board.  Very happy with it so far.

936554200_BlockerSidewall.thumb.jpg.5e6e0565f29c9442cc31c175e215ed60.jpg
 

A comparison of the board angles.  Pretty similar in feel from the back of the hand down, but the V9 is steeper above the hand.  When I think about box control I believe this should add some additional coverage toward the top of the net, especially in close.  

542793476_Blockeranglecomparison.thumb.jpg.a62c78b05f9945e27ba37b52d89d1159.jpg

Interestingly it's slightly taller than my XLT blocker despite the more aggressive angle.

1329784987_Blockercomparison.thumb.JPG.ab25c8f9643f081ec4876da52f3b588d.JPG

I was somewhat worried about the wrist mobility of the V9 blocker after trying on the offshore version in store, but I'm pleased to say the mobility in this one is excellent.  The padding on the back of the hand is thick and keeps the blocker firmly connected to my hand, unlike the XLT which is pretty loose.  

1420446123_Blockercuff.thumb.jpg.8b21f4893e2b2409729b170d511d1f51.jpg

The biggest improvement from the XLT to the V9 blocker for me, though, is the left/right balance.  It's probably tough to see in this photo, but the XLT has a really thick pad between the blocker board and the thumb side running the entire length, whereas on the V9 it's only over the thumb.   The weight on the inside of the XLT blocker is extremely noticeable when turning the board over as if deflecting a shot to the corner, whereas the V9 is much more balanced, with less weight on the inside.

73865276_Blockerpalms.thumb.jpg.865c5f53291f7429738bf5d689185bd2.jpg

 

Pads

I'm 5'10" and 18" ATK, and I went with 33+2.  I specced:

  • Stiff option thigh rise
  • Stock boot stiffness
  • SLR2 RRC strap
  • SLR2 knee stack
  • Layer the pad like the SLR2 with carbon in the face for the biggest rebound Vaughn offers
  • HD foams on the landing side, including the calf stabilizer
  • Leather strap at the bottom of the knee block
  • Changed aerospacer on the back of the pad to nylon for durability
  • Added 1" to the Y-strap elastic

15258548_FullSet.thumb.jpg.b6e2d8bf8bc0617f673e031f7ccaa9d1.jpg

The thigh rise is indeed stiff.  When I first filled out the customizer I selected "extra stiff" and was flatly told even the pros don't do the extra stiff option - they've literally never built a pad with it.  I don't know what to best compare the thigh rise to, but it's at least as rigid as the EF4, if not more.  Not at all your typical Velocity feel in the thigh rise.

The SLR2 RRC strap - 

I found the stock Velocity RRC strap a bit of a pain to put on and also too tight.  The elastic used is twice the width of what's used for the SLR2 strap and the pad feels 100% stuck to your leg.  I'm sure some people prefer that feel, but I thought the SLR2 version gives the control and reaction you want from a professor strap while still allowing the pad to move and rotate as it should.  Plus the buckle is trick.

1783327425_SLR2ProfessorStrap.thumb.jpg.c6dd8c00065e74155031a8a2a45c7161.jpg

Here you can see the calf pillows Vaughn added to the V9 and the nylon instead of the aerospacer on the back.  Aerospacer works fine in some places, IMO, but in an area that will see as much wear as the back of the pad will I wanted a material that should last longer.  Here unfortunately we can also see where Vaughn made a mistake on my order.  They used the regular V9 knee stack instead of the SLR2, and they put the knee strap in the middle of the knee stack instead of at the bottom.  Turns out I'm okay with the knee stack - the pad still feels like it responds well with the stock one - but I'm shipping them back to have the knee strap moved to the bottom of the stack and have the buckle moved down as well.  In its current location it cuts into the back of my knee too much if the strap is tight enough to actually aid in securing the knee block to the pad.

 

546460938_BackofPads.thumb.jpg.a4529737cf1097ea8e3c7f580dc3bdb0.jpg

The stiff calf stabilizer seems to make a big difference in how stable the pad feels on the landing side.  

2030944222_Padlandingside.thumb.jpg.28e3f98438650248834a5c7d3ae29583.jpg

Profile shot

412641329_Padprofile.thumb.jpg.e1d7abbf72d51691c2440e4928cfb2af.jpg

Boot underside.  Not as flat as some other pads on the market today (20.1 for example), but still much flatter than what I'm used to.  The boot is pretty soft but not "deep ultra soft" like the EF4.  I can easily flex at the ankles in them unlike in my terrible X28s, no need for it to be any softer for me.

1917358770_Bootunderside.thumb.jpg.b184bd4429780154e95587634d20fd2e.jpg

I'll finish with one relatively significant disappointment I have in the pads (other than having to send them back to fix the knee strap), and that's the weight.  I knew doing the stiff thigh rise would add some weight, I also figured doing the HD foams on the landing side would add a small amount of weight as well given HD foams simply weigh more than low density foams.  Turns out, layering the pad like the SLR2 also added a small amount of weight, although Dennis said it should have been extremely small.  I didn't think it should add any considering the SLR2 is the lighter of the two pads, but I digress.  The pads came in at 5 pounds 5 ounces each.  I didn't expect super light pads, but I was hoping they'd be about 5 even or slightly less, especially because they're little 33+2s.  That said, my X28s are 5 pounds 13 ounces each, and most of that weight feels like it's in the boot.  If I balance the V9s on my hand, it's quickly apparent the bulk of the weight is in the thigh rise now with that stiffer option.  If you imagine trying to do anything athletic with 5 pounds strapped around your ankle or 5 pounds strapped just above your knee, it'd be much easier to move with that weight up higher, which is exactly what I feel when I put these on.  No, they're not as light as I expected them to be, but the weight is distributed in a way that makes them feel noticeably lighter than my old pads when they're actually on my legs.   

Regardless, I'm super happy with the set overall and can't wait to get it out on the ice.  

Edited by AdamL
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I haven't been playing much because my left hip hasn't held up to playing every week, but I'm still subbing now and again and have probably a dozen or so games in the set.  Overall it's a huge improvement over my old gear, but I thought I'd go over a few things I haven't been super pleased with.

Blocker

I've found the rebounds off the blocker to be remarkably inconsistent.  The reason, I think, is because the pad on the back of the hand is WAY too soft.  It's comfortable, but if the puck hits in the top maybe 40% of the board, the blocker will fulcrum over the top of my hand, rather than that energy being transmitted back to the puck to send the puck to the boards.  I can squeeze into the palm and flex my wrist as hard as I can and still easily move the blocker board back because any force into the top part of the board compresses that pad.  It leads to some shots coming off the blocker white hot if they hit in the lower half, then some others hit the top and will die just a few feet away.  It's honestly a huge frustration with the piece.  Maybe it's possible to have that pad replaced with something firmer?

1621422048_Blockerpad.thumb.jpg.3f0fcbfced4d25513545039c96f4ff52.jpg

 

Glove

I read in Cam Matwiv's VE8 review from way back when that he had trouble presenting this glove, and I have too, but I have found it's been for a different reason.  I actually didn't think I had an issue with it until I looked at some photos of me playing and noticed my glove was pointed as much toward the ground as toward the puck.  Cam had issue with the piece of aerospacer on the flap closest to the wrist, but I haven't found that to be a problem.  I've found I'm fighting the portion of strapping that goes over the wrist itself, the piece farthest up the wrist shown here backed by gray nash.  It's sewn into the glove on the right side, so no matter low loose you make the strap on that side, it's pretty tight on the wrist (shown loosened up below to give you an idea).  To get around that I'm running the strap on the left side of this piece pretty loose as well, which allows for a decent amount of mobility now but, in order to get enough flexion at the wrist, it's not possible to wear the glove very tight, which I prefer to do.  If both are cinched down, I can open up that flap closest to the chest pad entirely and still have trouble presenting the glove.  The current solution is to cinch down the velcro on the back of my hand fairly tight and basically run all of the other straps as loose as possible.  It works okay, but isn't really giving me the feel of control I want.  

896157278_V9Strapping.thumb.jpg.af3f48e7d265066c7eb1dceb5c37efbb.jpg595339310_V9Strapping2.thumb.jpg.62dccac4e1e912a17ff39fecc7d0fcf8.jpg

 

Pads

My only complaint with the pads pertains to an option I chose to change up on these and that's the professor strap.  Occasionally these pads will fall down my leg and when they do, it's because the pad on the strap comes out from beneath the elastic.  I think for this design to be as effective as it should be, the elastic needs to exit the padding as close to the end as possible.  It's not a huge deal, I can easily access it during a break, the strap back under the elastic and pull the pad back up, but I shouldn't have to do that IMO.

1732631632_ProfessorStrap.thumb.jpg.dfed5a9519b7633ea412f6e9fd0f67ea.jpg

 

All in all, still a huge improvement from what I was wearing before, except I'd say blocker is a push.  It's more comfortable and well-balanced than the XLT was, but I'd guess I'd prefer a newer Lefevre blocker over this.  On the glove front, I have a significant desire to try the 580, because for as well as I catch with this glove, my stickhandling has gone to hell due to needing to turn my wrist another 15* to use the Turco grip.  I just can't get used to it and usually end up playing the puck old-school style with the tee pointed down.  When I don't it's flub city.  Closure on the glove still feels weird, too, there's no getting around the 590 60* break feeling much more natural on the hand than the 45* Vaughn break, but I catch better with this glove so eh.  I give an XP glove a go too if it was free, but I won't be dropping the coin on one.  

 

Edited by AdamL
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I've been waiting for you to start this thread after you said you would.  Good stuff, man. Youre gear looks great.  Bummer about the mistake, but I'm hoping you get your pads back quickly.  I've worked with Dennis at Vaughn a few times with custom orders and he is really helpful and very quick to respond.  Scott there is great, too, the best guy to get on the phone and talk gear. 

I liked your Mrazek/Price comparison.  I am very familiar with what you are talking about and agree with your analysis...I'm just in the other camp as you.  The 590, 60 deg, XP Vaughn single piece glove is like heaven on my hand and I my glove hand confidence has sky rocketed since I started using the V6 2200 version, VE8 version, and soon the V9.  

I see you have the stock bungee toe ties: are you keeping those on there?  It's an interesting design have the sleeve there for the bungee cord to run through.  I ordered a classic foam insert toe bridge for skate laces on my pads, but I use TGN spec Pro Laces, so I will not be using the Vaughn set. 

Hope you get your pads soon pal and looking forward to more content about your gear, soon.  

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Excited to hear about how they are on the ice! I was torn between the V9 leg pads, and a third pair of V4's (I like V4's). 

Interesting to hear about the weight, it does make sense that it would weigh more, but I had no idea that it would weigh that much more  than the standard V9 leg pad. My 2010 V4's came in at 4.8 lbs (34+3) 2017 V4's that weighed 5.1 lbs (35+2) and a brand new 2021 pair that I I just have sitting around until I get around to purchasing the matching blocker and a glove that weighs 5.7 lbs (35+1.5) each. Oddly enough, they are softer than my 2017 pair was when I got them.

The velocity blocker's have pretty much been the same since the V5, which is what I have been using for the past 8 years, so a V9 will likely be the replacement. 

Edited by bildeer
changed 34 to 35
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9 minutes ago, bildeer said:

Excited to hear about how they are on the ice! I was torn between the V9 leg pads, and a third pair of V4's (I like V4's). 

Interesting to hear about the weight, it does make sense that it would weigh more, but I had no idea that it would weigh that much more  than the standard V9 leg pad. My 2010 V4's came in at 4.8 lbs (34+3) 2017 V4's that weighed 5.1 lbs (35+2) and a brand new 2021 pair that I I just have sitting around until I get around to purchasing the matching blocker and a glove that weighs 5.7 lbs (35+1.5) each. Oddly enough, they are softer than my 2017 pair was when I got them.

The velocity blocker's have pretty much been the same since the V5, which is what I have been using for the past 8 years, so a V9 will likely be the replacement. 

For build and feel, yep.  But they thinned out the board substantially over the years.  The V6 2000 blocker was massive in the side profile view, that was the one without the binding.  It felt really top heavy too and kinda clunky.  It was thicker than the V4 blocker. 

I skipped V7 stuff but 8 to 9 stuff has changed very minimally.  The overall feel is exactly the same.  The new V9 feels so damn nice. I ordered mine with extra backhand padding for an even more snug, pillowy fit. 

Do you order custom too or buy stock?

Edited by seagoal
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17 minutes ago, seagoal said:

For build and feel, yep.  But they thinned out the board substantially over the years.  The V6 2000 blocker was massive in the side profile view, that was the one without the binding.  It felt really top heavy too and kinda clunky.  It was thicker than the V4 blocker. 

I skipped V7 stuff but 8 to 9 stuff has changed very minimally.  The overall feel is exactly the same.  The new V9 feels so damn nice. I ordered mine with extra backhand padding for an even more snug, pillowy fit. 

Do you order custom too or buy stock?

I bought the blocker as a lightly used pro return (Matt Hackett from his wild days). As far as I know, the build is completely stock.

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On 4/10/2021 at 12:02 AM, seagoal said:

I've been waiting for you to start this thread after you said you would.  Good stuff, man. Youre gear looks great.  Bummer about the mistake, but I'm hoping you get your pads back quickly.  I've worked with Dennis at Vaughn a few times with custom orders and he is really helpful and very quick to respond.  Scott there is great, too, the best guy to get on the phone and talk gear. 

I liked your Mrazek/Price comparison.  I am very familiar with what you are talking about and agree with your analysis...I'm just in the other camp as you.  The 590, 60 deg, XP Vaughn single piece glove is like heaven on my hand and I my glove hand confidence has sky rocketed since I started using the V6 2200 version, VE8 version, and soon the V9.  

I see you have the stock bungee toe ties: are you keeping those on there?  It's an interesting design have the sleeve there for the bungee cord to run through.  I ordered a classic foam insert toe bridge for skate laces on my pads, but I use TGN spec Pro Laces, so I will not be using the Vaughn set. 

Hope you get your pads soon pal and looking forward to more content about your gear, soon.  

I absolutely love the feel of the Vaughn XP glove on my hand, I just don't find it quite as natural to catch with.  If we're just talking how comfortable is the break angle in my hand and which feels most natural to close, the XP wins, but the 2-piece was the clear winner in terms of strictly catching for me.  That said, if you're a 590 user, I think you owe it to yourself to try on the V9 XP.  

I'm honestly not sure what I'm going to do with the toe ties.  I actually don't hate the stock ones, they feel pretty natural and the clip is fairly easy to use, but they also don't have much slack between the boot and the toe of the skate to help with post integrations.  I'm planning to pick up some BAHR bridges with the centered and offset holes, try some hybrid pro laces and maybe even give the old skate lace a try again.  

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On 4/10/2021 at 12:06 AM, bildeer said:

Excited to hear about how they are on the ice! I was torn between the V9 leg pads, and a third pair of V4's (I like V4's). 

Interesting to hear about the weight, it does make sense that it would weigh more, but I had no idea that it would weigh that much more  than the standard V9 leg pad. My 2010 V4's came in at 4.8 lbs (34+3) 2017 V4's that weighed 5.1 lbs (35+2) and a brand new 2021 pair that I I just have sitting around until I get around to purchasing the matching blocker and a glove that weighs 5.7 lbs (35+1.5) each. Oddly enough, they are softer than my 2017 pair was when I got them.

The velocity blocker's have pretty much been the same since the V5, which is what I have been using for the past 8 years, so a V9 will likely be the replacement. 

You had a set of V4s come in under 5 pounds??  I played in V1s for 15 years (yep!) before I got the X28s I'm replacing now, and the X28s felt like feathers compared to my old V1s, I wonder now how heavy those were.

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7 hours ago, AdamL said:

You had a set of V4s come in under 5 pounds??  I played in V1s for 15 years (yep!) before I got the X28s I'm replacing now, and the X28s felt like feathers compared to my old V1s, I wonder now how heavy those were.

I couldn't believe that they weighed what they did, but I think part of the reason my 2 newest pairs weighed more was because I had the 7800 V5 knee block and sliding surface, so that was likely what added the weight. I'm also quite certain that part of the reason they weighted less was because I did a fair bit of modification to them when I was still using them, so while they were stock when I got them, I had removed parts of the leg channel and knee lock by the time I was done with them. I also recall hearing many years ago, probably in 2014, that the V4 was lighter than the V5, for whatever reason. I think I read that somewhere on the GSBB.

Did you by any chance use a V1 blocker? I've always been interested in hearing how those were with the flatter board profile.

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5 minutes ago, bildeer said:

 I also recall hearing many years ago, probably in 2014, that the V4 was lighter than the V5, for whatever reason. I think I read that somewhere on the GSBB.

 

V5 was Vaughn changing from the stuffed foam to the layered foams with more HD materials. It's a heavier way to construct a pad, thus the increase.

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22 minutes ago, seagoal said:

By the way @AdamL , why didn't you just order SLR2 pads with V9 graphics?  Why order a Velocity pad built like an SLR2 pad?

The core is still a Velocity core - I wanted that bit of torsional flex and the softer boot break and bit of boot taper of the V9.  I’d have to get more information from Vaughn about exactly what they did, but what I’d asked for was just to layer the face of the pad like the SLR2 so those rebounds come off hotter. Basically I was trying to do what CCM did with the max rebound face in the new EF5.

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38 minutes ago, bildeer said:

I couldn't believe that they weighed what they did, but I think part of the reason my 2 newest pairs weighed more was because I had the 7800 V5 knee block and sliding surface, so that was likely what added the weight. I'm also quite certain that part of the reason they weighted less was because I did a fair bit of modification to them when I was still using them, so while they were stock when I got them, I had removed parts of the leg channel and knee lock by the time I was done with them. I also recall hearing many years ago, probably in 2014, that the V4 was lighter than the V5, for whatever reason. I think I read that somewhere on the GSBB.

Did you by any chance use a V1 blocker? I've always been interested in hearing how those were with the flatter board profile.

I did not, I had an Eagle glove and blocker back in those days. 

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On 4/10/2021 at 4:43 AM, AdamL said:

I haven't skated in these yet, although I have put strapped them up with my skates and knee pads on and practiced some crease movements.  Most of my impressions will be pretty surface-level so far.  We had twins back in March of last year and that, combined with the pandemic, forced me to sit out the first session back that started in the fall of 2020.  I'd planned to rejoin the league this spring, but every goaltender opted to return and so I didn't have a spot.  I'm hoping to sub a few times during this shortened spring session before the summer league starts, but I may not have too many opportunities to skate in the next few weeks; fingers crossed.

Glove

I went with the 2-piece glove simply because I found it the most natural to catch with.  When I went to my local store to try on a few gloves I took a lacrosse ball with me to throw off the cinderblock walls outside to see which felt most comfortable to catch with.  I was flat-out stunned the way every single time the ball ended up in the pocket with the 2-piece V9 glove.  The best way to describe why I think I catch well with this glove is probably to show a picture of Mrazek, who holds the glove just like I do.  You can see the break of the glove is 90* with the ice, so as shots rise off the stick they naturally funnel up into the pocket. 

RALEIGH, NC - DECEMBER 20: Petr Mrazek #34 of the Carolina Hurricanes  crouches in the crease to protect the net… | Carolina hurricanes,  Hurricanes hockey, Hurricane

Contrast that with how Price presents his 590, which is also how I found myself holding the glove instinctively.  The break actually angles down and to his left as it did with me, and so unless I was able to catch a puck cleanly in the pocket, it would hit the thumb side, roll across the palm, and pop out.  My 590 is absolutely littered with black marks on the thumb side.  User error?  Definitely.  But it's just not the glove for me.

Canadiens Notebook: Goalie Carey Price has different look this season |  Montreal Gazette

On to my actual glove.  I went with the pro palm and reinforced T on both sides.  It's not particularly snappy out of the box, but it's also not super stiff.  Given Matt's (hockeyreviews.ca) complaints of Vaughn's gloves without pro palms being pretty thin I figured I should opt for it.  My XLT is a pro palm as well and broke in nicely, I have no doubts this one will do the same.  I also opted for skate lace on the outsides of the pocket and nylon in the middle, mostly to be able to track pucks through the pocket if they're coming at my face.

1287318477_Glovefront.thumb.jpg.e8e3ef25d0d39c2a56f6619458b3bf90.jpg

Backhand shot.  Looks like a Velocity glove.  One thing I do think may cause some issue is the aerospacer portion of the cuff.  It contacts my forearm some when I present the glove even without my C&A on, I do worry it might be slightly restricting, but time will tell.

553342460_Glovebackhand.thumb.jpg.d707957274c0f89422adce6412b5b042.jpg

The pocket is absolutely huge compared to my 590.  

893932802_Glovecomparison.thumb.jpg.4b3ec1b7eeaafb5ee4c240b7ed5bcae0.jpg

It's much deeper too, even though this picture doesn't look as dramatic as I think it does in person.

1321406264_Pocketcomparison.thumb.jpg.baa1591b6704b780647b5a33ecb651af.jpg

 

 

Blocker

I went with the full carbon face, which is an option on the customizer.  Vaughn blockers aren't known for having the biggest pop, but this thing feels extremely firm on the face.  I'm not expecting Bauer-like rebounds but I'm hoping they'll still find their way to the corners easily.  I custom-specced a firm & rigid side board.  I'm unsure exactly what material Vaughn used, but it's solid and square, unlike what I've seen in some other social media posts with the stock side board.  Very happy with it so far.

936554200_BlockerSidewall.thumb.jpg.5e6e0565f29c9442cc31c175e215ed60.jpg
 

A comparison of the board angles.  Pretty similar in feel from the back of the hand down, but the V9 is steeper above the hand.  When I think about box control I believe this should add some additional coverage toward the top of the net, especially in close.  

542793476_Blockeranglecomparison.thumb.jpg.a62c78b05f9945e27ba37b52d89d1159.jpg

Interestingly it's slightly taller than my XLT blocker despite the more aggressive angle.

1329784987_Blockercomparison.thumb.JPG.ab25c8f9643f081ec4876da52f3b588d.JPG

I was somewhat worried about the wrist mobility of the V9 blocker after trying on the offshore version in store, but I'm pleased to say the mobility in this one is excellent.  The padding on the back of the hand is thick and keeps the blocker firmly connected to my hand, unlike the XLT which is pretty loose.  

1420446123_Blockercuff.thumb.jpg.8b21f4893e2b2409729b170d511d1f51.jpg

The biggest improvement from the XLT to the V9 blocker for me, though, is the left/right balance.  It's probably tough to see in this photo, but the XLT has a really thick pad between the blocker board and the thumb side running the entire length, whereas on the V9 it's only over the thumb.   The weight on the inside of the XLT blocker is extremely noticeable when turning the board over as if deflecting a shot to the corner, whereas the V9 is much more balanced, with less weight on the inside.

73865276_Blockerpalms.thumb.jpg.865c5f53291f7429738bf5d689185bd2.jpg

 

Pads

I'm 5'10" and 18" ATK, and I went with 33+2.  I specced:

  • Stiff option thigh rise
  • Stock boot stiffness
  • SLR2 RRC strap
  • SLR2 knee stack
  • Layer the pad like the SLR2 with carbon in the face for the biggest rebound Vaughn offers
  • HD foams on the landing side, including the calf stabilizer
  • Leather strap at the bottom of the knee block
  • Changed aerospacer on the back of the pad to nylon for durability
  • Added 1" to the Y-strap elastic

15258548_FullSet.thumb.jpg.b6e2d8bf8bc0617f673e031f7ccaa9d1.jpg

The thigh rise is indeed stiff.  When I first filled out the customizer I selected "extra stiff" and was flatly told even the pros don't do the extra stiff option - they've literally never built a pad with it.  I don't know what to best compare the thigh rise to, but it's at least as rigid as the EF4, if not more.  Not at all your typical Velocity feel in the thigh rise.

The SLR2 RRC strap - 

I found the stock Velocity RRC strap a bit of a pain to put on and also too tight.  The elastic used is twice the width of what's used for the SLR2 strap and the pad feels 100% stuck to your leg.  I'm sure some people prefer that feel, but I thought the SLR2 version gives the control and reaction you want from a professor strap while still allowing the pad to move and rotate as it should.  Plus the buckle is trick.

1783327425_SLR2ProfessorStrap.thumb.jpg.c6dd8c00065e74155031a8a2a45c7161.jpg

Here you can see the calf pillows Vaughn added to the V9 and the nylon instead of the aerospacer on the back.  Aerospacer works fine in some places, IMO, but in an area that will see as much wear as the back of the pad will I wanted a material that should last longer.  Here unfortunately we can also see where Vaughn made a mistake on my order.  They used the regular V9 knee stack instead of the SLR2, and they put the knee strap in the middle of the knee stack instead of at the bottom.  Turns out I'm okay with the knee stack - the pad still feels like it responds well with the stock one - but I'm shipping them back to have the knee strap moved to the bottom of the stack and have the buckle moved down as well.  In its current location it cuts into the back of my knee too much if the strap is tight enough to actually aid in securing the knee block to the pad.

 

546460938_BackofPads.thumb.jpg.a4529737cf1097ea8e3c7f580dc3bdb0.jpg

The stiff calf stabilizer seems to make a big difference in how stable the pad feels on the landing side.  

2030944222_Padlandingside.thumb.jpg.28e3f98438650248834a5c7d3ae29583.jpg

Profile shot

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Boot underside.  Not as flat as some other pads on the market today (20.1 for example), but still much flatter than what I'm used to.  The boot is pretty soft but not "deep ultra soft" like the EF4.  I can easily flex at the ankles in them unlike in my terrible X28s, no need for it to be any softer for me.

1917358770_Bootunderside.thumb.jpg.b184bd4429780154e95587634d20fd2e.jpg

I'll finish with one relatively significant disappointment I have in the pads (other than having to send them back to fix the knee strap), and that's the weight.  I knew doing the stiff thigh rise would add some weight, I also figured doing the HD foams on the landing side would add a small amount of weight as well given HD foams simply weigh more than low density foams.  Turns out, layering the pad like the SLR2 also added a small amount of weight, although Dennis said it should have been extremely small.  I didn't think it should add any considering the SLR2 is the lighter of the two pads, but I digress.  The pads came in at 5 pounds 5 ounces each.  I didn't expect super light pads, but I was hoping they'd be about 5 even or slightly less, especially because they're little 33+2s.  That said, my X28s are 5 pounds 13 ounces each, and most of that weight feels like it's in the boot.  If I balance the V9s on my hand, it's quickly apparent the bulk of the weight is in the thigh rise now with that stiffer option.  If you imagine trying to do anything athletic with 5 pounds strapped around your ankle or 5 pounds strapped just above your knee, it'd be much easier to move with that weight up higher, which is exactly what I feel when I put these on.  No, they're not as light as I expected them to be, but the weight is distributed in a way that makes them feel noticeably lighter than my old pads when they're actually on my legs.   

Regardless, I'm super happy with the set overall and can't wait to get it out on the ice.  

Good info and photos, thanks. Looking forvard on on-ice review. 

btw. great colours!

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13 hours ago, mik said:

Good info and photos, thanks. Looking forvard on on-ice review. 

btw. great colours!

Thanks!  I'm looking forward to some on-ice impressions as well.  I just dropped off the pads with FedEx this morning.  😭

Edited by AdamL
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On 4/9/2021 at 7:43 PM, AdamL said:

REVIEW

Thanks for posting in-depth, it's always fun to check out other people's specs and see their thought process., and it looks like you were able to put together some pretty sweet modernized gear with their custom options.

I don't follow Vaughn lines enough to know if this is an evolutionary leap from the V8, but the V9 logo looks worlds better!

Is there any reason why you didn't elect to eliminate the air mesh in the shin?  For me, I've always found that material to be lacking from a durability standpoint.

Big props on the reinforced T, I think you'll find some significant gains when shooting the puck as it transfers energy better straight to the stick.

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1 hour ago, Chenner29 said:

Thanks for posting in-depth, it's always fun to check out other people's specs and see their thought process., and it looks like you were able to put together some pretty sweet modernized gear with their custom options.

I don't follow Vaughn lines enough to know if this is an evolutionary leap from the V8, but the V9 logo looks worlds better!

Is there any reason why you didn't elect to eliminate the air mesh in the shin?  For me, I've always found that material to be lacking from a durability standpoint.

Big props on the reinforced T, I think you'll find some significant gains when shooting the puck as it transfers energy better straight to the stick.

Thanks.  I think it’ll be a nice combination of familiarity from having played in V1s for so long, but enough modern features to really notice the performance improvements. 
 

I considered getting rid of the air mesh in the leg channel as well and may regret not having done that, but I guess we’ll see.  It’ll definitely see friction, but it’ll be against my socks, so nothing sharp or rough.  I have a VE8 C&A with the air mesh on much of the front and it’s holding up well so far, for what it’s worth.

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I spec'd both my V4 and my V6 with all nylon leg channels for more durability and better rotation.  I always figured that a slick nylon channel 'should' rotate better than the channel with the m2h4(or whatever that material was called back then).  This was before they started using the air mesh stuff.  What are you talking about when you mention the aerospacer?

It will forever bug the shit out of me that Vaughn still insists on making the glove logo upside down
Rage Guy (FFFFFUUUUUUUU-) | Know Your Meme

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2 hours ago, SaveByRichter35 said:

I spec'd both my V4 and my V6 with all nylon leg channels for more durability and better rotation.  I always figured that a slick nylon channel 'should' rotate better than the channel with the m2h4(or whatever that material was called back then).  This was before they started using the air mesh stuff.  What are you talking about when you mention the aerospacer?

It will forever bug the shit out of me that Vaughn still insists on making the glove logo upside down
Rage Guy (FFFFFUUUUUUUU-) | Know Your Meme

 Vaughn calls the air mesh “aerospacer” on the customizer, I just parroted that here.  I’ve now been properly educated and will henceforth call it air mesh.

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On 4/13/2021 at 3:22 PM, AdamL said:

Thanks!  I'm looking forward to some on-ice impressions as well.  I just dropped off the pads with FedEx this morning.  😭

One week exactly to get them back, FedEx just dropped them off. Can’t wait to get them in the ice!

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On 4/9/2021 at 10:43 PM, AdamL said:

Backhand shot.  Looks like a Velocity glove.  One thing I do think may cause some issue is the aerospacer portion of the cuff.  It contacts my forearm some when I present the glove even without my C&A on, I do worry it might be slightly restricting, but time will tell.

I had the exact same issue with my VE8 glove I actually took my seem ripper and took it off and re-stitched the trim back on.  Did it wall by hand but it gave way more mobility.  When you order the glove you can ask for that piece to be removed.

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On 4/9/2021 at 10:43 PM, AdamL said:

Blocker

I went with the full carbon face, which is an option on the customizer.  Vaughn blockers aren't known for having the biggest pop, but this thing feels extremely firm on the face.  I'm not expecting Bauer-like rebounds but I'm hoping they'll still find their way to the corners easily.  I custom-specced a firm & rigid side board.  I'm unsure exactly what material Vaughn used, but it's solid and square, unlike what I've seen in some other social media posts with the stock side board.  Very happy with it so far.

936554200_BlockerSidewall.thumb.jpg.5e6e0565f29c9442cc31c175e215ed60.jpg
 

A comparison of the board angles.  Pretty similar in feel from the back of the hand down, but the V9 is steeper above the hand.  When I think about box control I believe this should add some additional coverage toward the top of the net, especially in close.  

542793476_Blockeranglecomparison.thumb.jpg.a62c78b05f9945e27ba37b52d89d1159.jpg

Interestingly it's slightly taller than my XLT blocker despite the more aggressive angle.

1329784987_Blockercomparison.thumb.JPG.ab25c8f9643f081ec4876da52f3b588d.JPG

I was somewhat worried about the wrist mobility of the V9 blocker after trying on the offshore version in store, but I'm pleased to say the mobility in this one is excellent.  The padding on the back of the hand is thick and keeps the blocker firmly connected to my hand, unlike the XLT which is pretty loose.  

1420446123_Blockercuff.thumb.jpg.8b21f4893e2b2409729b170d511d1f51.jpg

I only ever dabbled in Vaughn gear... had a quick stint with V3s... entirely stock. Oddly I found the blocker the only piece that I actually liked all that much. At the time I recall it wasn't overly light or anything... but I think like you mentioned that balance of it just worked. So often people get wrapped around the axle about weight... but as you described in your leg pad summary... it's more about where that weight is placed.

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  • 3 weeks later...

No real updates just yet, but I managed to get a spot in a summer league here, which starts up June 10, and I'm subbing on 5/23 and 6/6, so I'll get a couple skates in before the season starts.  Hoping to get the glove baked and broken in this week, and I also have some standard toe bridges with centered and offset holes and some hybrid ProLaces on the way.

With the 12.2 launch I'd been sort of kicking myself for not waiting, but now that I have a spot secured in less than a month I'm glad my set is already here and that I'm going to get a chance to skate in them a few times before the games start.  The wait times are crazy and I'd be going nuts playing in my old gear.  Can't wait to get out there!

Edited by AdamL
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On 4/23/2021 at 2:32 PM, thebigm said:

I had the exact same issue with my VE8 glove I actually took my seem ripper and took it off and re-stitched the trim back on.  Did it wall by hand but it gave way more mobility.  When you order the glove you can ask for that piece to be removed.

Thanks, that's definitely something to consider.  

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