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Opt1k pads + integrated knee block + more


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Hello World! I recently returned to a project started a year ago. That project was a test of strength for installing an integrated knee block in the core of the pad and overall, it can be considered a success. now it's time to use this experience on a real pad, which is what I want to share with you.

the idea arose exactly a year ago, when the first information about Bauer's novelty began to appear. then there were no photos or reviews of the new Bauer's pad with an integrated knee block, but there was already an IDEA. Due to the pandemic, I stayed at home for a while and had a lot of free time, so I decided to translate this idea into a completely new pad for me. the result of two weeks of daily work was completely finished cores for the new pads. but. soon, I went back to work and the project remained unfinished


but the story moves in a spiral and a year later I was injured - a broken rib and was left without ice for two months, which gave time and the opportunity to continue the project at a new level and use it in the already real pads of Brians Opt1k, which I now use


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first impressions of the completely stock Opt1k. very lightweight, very mobile and glide pads. I would call them the best hybrid pads on the market IMO, even though they are marketed as butterfly pads. why? due to a fairly soft boot, torsion flex and not the hottest rebounds

weight of one pad_jDKrOGNOxs.thumb.jpg.a4602c659904a4f6f4ba5b8d3e92c8cf.jpgDn8XMiEHIyw.thumb.jpg.e275333337d59775b1bdfc9a4fd15850.jpg


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from the experience of using them for half a year with 2-3 pieces of ice a week, I realized that I wanted a little more stiffness and stronger rebounds. as you know, the harder the core, the stronger the rebound will be. this was demonstrated by Bauer on the 1s Odin, whose core was made of solid foam

thus the direction of Opt1k modification has been determined


the core was composed of several types of foams glued together


in places the glue crumbled and the foams peeled off, which also did not contribute to the overall rigidity of the pad


and in the area of the lower leg, the pad was a thin outer HD foam with several points of glue glued to it with soft foam "pyramid"nKW-kWkUW_4.thumb.jpg.671a92b87183535826399404f9e95f26.jpg


which I replaced with a harder foam, carefully gluing around the entire perimeterBS8pkC1hcME.thumb.jpg.88b2b6bd5702cb8e18c8c065e21cde1c.jpgDZlW-YxAYjE.thumb.jpg.43e4bd049e89952d47465e092350ea07.jpgFCIq4gZK_XA.thumb.jpg.77b725d525985ef3f535cba18e83531b.jpg

which will definitely increase the overall stiffness of the pad

also eliminated the internal pad break under the knee

The funny thing is that I made my project a year ago from an Optik photo from the Internet. therefore, not very surprised that my homemade core turned out to be almost the same as the original core and even went into the pad padding without any problems9nC1xh4yeFo.thumb.jpg.6f96a3ecfe563cf0c93f97ab97785ab1.jpgS1p2c1mCjew.thumb.jpg.3547de9f92d9255df3aa76834f1bb5f3.jpgomuWmCZj8_Y.thumb.jpg.d1e92e64a33ee373b0421cac14476a72.jpg

to be continued)

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while the parts of the core were glued together, I was sewing

changed the height of the outer wing of the lower leg. initially it did not reach the seam under the knee by 1.5 cm.separated it and sewn it again higher2wPtlsC9gcY.thumb.jpg.69c91716727ed71ed13c5ca5ed3c3edf.jpgB6ZDur0iBZA.thumb.jpg.a06e91f6497b23783ef1cb292be00c2f.jpg

part of the boot is nylon, Primo is located only in the middle. as a result, scuffs are formed there


I do not wear a boot strap and do not plan to do so, so I cut the boot strap attachment pocket and sewed on the damaged placesA2VhL-n_1E.thumb.jpg.42058ec909a9d39315f066b033133d81.jpg6jdwMeZWe3U.thumb.jpg.436d1c743e69ff56eb88dff0b4a064d0.jpg

also I have no plans to strap the knee guard to the pad. therefore the valve with the Velcro over the knee was removedVEvPGc0tk5I.thumb.jpg.bb86cc6b03ef9d0ca1eec7db29faace7.jpgEkXE6oLlkis.thumb.jpg.5316e72c342b62d06870aa0a753599b7.jpg

next, I cut off the toe bridge that was sewn to the inside of the pad padding

it had a traditional design - a pocket in which a piece of HD foam is insertedIhEx7RKlBIc.thumb.jpg.78fa58cecdcc3855643e8ff12bb5c689.jpg

instead of foam, I made a plastic insert that will stiffen the bridge

a sheet of thin plastic was added to the boot area to increase the reboundXbGruukEb60.thumb.jpg.e5d74481842f9b2ae15e6a61656fda9d.jpgJfKtv0Cgy7s.thumb.jpg.1868e96b1978954d7a40d15830e514f0.jpg

a separate word should be said about the very construction of the pad. if the core is made traditionally, then the outer skin is already very interesting. nylon is sewn to the outer genpro from the inside, forming a pocket into which the HD foam sheets are inserted. it was the presence of this pocket that made it possible to insert a sheet of plastic there. leather loops are sewn to the inner nylon for the pad cord

at the same time, the loops are sewn very crookedly and do not coincide with the holes in the core and inner lining, which leads to their uneven stretching

to be continued

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5 hours ago, RichMan said:

Funny, with all the mods involved I expected to see a blocker in the end ;) :D lolll

You have much patience and courage.

Thank you! I postponed all the fun until the end of the season so subscribe, sit back and enjoy watching!

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earlier in the series ...

using these pads after Premier 4 I never got used to the narrower foot channel. so I removed one inner shin wrap that held the velcro for the knee and shin bands, added the velcro to the outer wrap, and moved the shin band to the inner edge of the pads


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now it's time to talk about the concept of an integrated knee block and how to build my first prototype pad with an integrated knee block

in early spring 2020, on this forum I read about the new Bauer model with an integrated knee block. there was little information then and how all this was implemented by Bauer, I did not know

a few days before the shops closed for quarantine, I managed to buy 2 sheets of extruded polystyrene foam used in construction for insulation


for my project, I did not repeat the Bauer shape, because I always dreamed of Brians, I liked their design. then I didn’t know that six months later, I would buy myself a real Brians. fate)))

from a photo of the Brians pad printed from the Internet, using measurements, I made patterns of the lateral curvature of the pad "like Brians". as shown by the subsequent fitting, I did almost identical. I'm genius! (laughs)

further, polystyrene was cut and glued in the form of a pad

according to the available information, the Bauer knee block was integrated into the core and had an L-plate reinforcement. this information was embodied by me in my concept

but polystyrene seemed to me not very reliable and I changed it to polystyrene, left over from the knee block of my Premier 4

after which HD foam was glued to the outer part, and the inner foam rubber and the concept of the pad were completely ready7pemD8KCG-A.thumb.jpg.62ab316afa00f60640227325cce4e13b.jpgJSUPCEiwhDw.thumb.jpg.65bdf5c299b18e623792dbc55bf0991b.jpgoZ_Jryej3S0.thumb.jpg.d6bab7375edceae4c128553f3da5825a.jpg

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today I will try to answer the main question - why?

over the past 20 years, the design of the knee block has not radically changed. it's still a few pieces of foam held together by Velcro and sewn on or tied to the padnk_j-XHwNi4.thumb.jpg.703dfea5b22277bace334d03e9e5e227.jpg

lack of rigid integration with the pad, allows the knee block to do like thisIMG_7440.jpg.d293804eab0e4cfeb4d57ab6796a38cf.thumb.jpg.090a69f3ec942896db65a849e2f38384.jpg

which negatively affects the stability of the pad and its responsiveness

what the integrated knee block gives - it is better to ask @TGN, he tried out the new products from Bauer and will tell you about it better than me. in my opinion, the hard connection allows the pad to lie more evenly on the ice perpendicular to it. the absence of block deformations allows you not to waste energy on them and, accordingly, the responsiveness of the pad improves, it becomes more reactive. it's like skating with lace-up skates and no lacing at all

The funny thing is that according to reviews, the pads from Bauer suffered from the greatest looseness of the knee block)). apparently for this reason, they were the first to decide to implement this integration

my Opt1ks, despite the fact that they were bought already very second-hand, had a fairly small block movement. however, I ran into another problem with them, these are the first pads in my practice. which allowed me to do so2E003040-5D3C-40FC-AF51-42722E6375C1.thumb.jpeg.816ff8acad174aca57accdd6dd19bfc4.jpeg.2f2e1e5b0ac3cf917e3b264a9cd4dd73.jpeg

knocking the knee off the block sideways

even the presence of an elastic band passing through the block could not save the situationwWyPLvBi9kA.thumb.jpg.cbb10b90f1e9104c3c177abbd8a74ed7.jpg

I even added another elastic band, but it didn't help much

while working on this project, disassembling the pads into their component parts, I seem to understand what was the reason for the knee slipping off the block

the fact is that the block itself is about 3 cm thick and is tied to the pad at a distance of 5 cm from the edge. This photo clearly shows that there is a distance between the middle, main unit and the outer valve at the point of contact with the padnk_j-XHwNi4.thumb.jpg.703dfea5b22277bace334d03e9e5e227.jpg

thus, when falling into a butterfly, it turns out that the upper part of the block and your knee on it are pressed against the ice, and the lower part. sewn to the pad is at a greater distance from the ice. Thus, between the ice and the inner valve of the block on which your knee lies, a triangle is formed with a plane inclined relative to the ice on which the knee lies. which ultimately contributes to the knee stalling off the blockWYOjraVQ6GA.jpg.5550a1ecbae9657c086a9f8dcf4de1f7.jpgdzrz9kEqPH0.thumb.jpg.c4eb2918151db22291e4c1b11a88c46f.jpg

we managed to solve this problem by leveling the block thickness during the work on the project. Summing up, I will say that the main motivation for this project for me was a test of strength and research interest, rather than an urgent need

to be...


Edited by ser33
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Well, my new episode is coming to the end of season 8. spoiler: nobody died))

today there will be a story about the cherry on the cake, for the sake of which everything was started

in order to create a new block, it is quite logical to disassemble the past

inside the stock block there were two pieces of MD foam not fastened to each otherTlFyHcyyQhM.thumb.jpg.efd55ac6e8c63c46717ad05223dda459.jpgdgwrT1sySRI.thumb.jpg.aa34b132c47c03ec2ce8e7f40976a75b.jpg

the total thickness of which was about 3 cmeCPXRUaPX-k.thumb.jpg.abe24afdfb60b0c58bccf87f812395c7.jpg

I'm not a big proponent of soft foam in the knee block. Moreover, after 2 years of using these pads, the foam has already begun to deform and lose its shape. therefore, for the integrated knee block, which initially meant more rigidity, I used a Premier 4 hard foam knee block. Comparison of Premier 4 Block Thickness and Opt1k Dual FoamhgzK2aAn9Cc.thumb.jpg.9e37713c1410d7931ec31f5b190c6756.jpg

Since the single foam from Premier 4 was thinner than required, it was decided to make a composite block of it and one piece of Opt1k foam. at the same time, all this will be carefully glued together. the thickness of such a sandwich became about 4.5 cmjdgRt5xhpaY.thumb.jpg.d896ff6a7eeee50777b1ee6f965b08bb.jpg

why a thicker knee block is needed has been discussed recently in the "block thickness" and "wide butterfly" topics. in a nutshell - this allows the knee to be further from the ice and to expand the ankle more, making a wide bow tie despite the narrow hips

Next, I cut the Premiere block, tried it on the pad and prepared a place for the L-shaped plastic amps, which I took from last year's projectrSqWHEsC7J0.thumb.jpg.a66bd5f97a24655accf27a0b758d10d1.jpgrIm9zZo3aFw.thumb.jpg.f0fcba7938817cea9bbbaba9e5de6944.jpg

then the insertion of L-amplifiers followed, to compensate for the thickness of which the HD foam was slightly cut on the front surface of the pad3MUN0YtZtbk.thumb.jpg.f373eafdfc143ab2b31fb627298a058f.jpg7if2WJwp1rg.thumb.jpg.248f53ebe551b63898dbce544af6bd11.jpg

after the glue dries, to equalize the thickness of the L-reinforcements, 4mm foam was added with an adhesive base on both sides7O4VxCBNHsQ.thumb.jpg.42b1d27e1cbcc2ecbb49cc122e42e76d.jpgCQFz5_PUaIo.thumb.jpg.b817ffa993b68c0719e6f3399dd69566.jpg

in the end, one piece of foam from Opt1k was glued to the knee block and LD foam drain into the knee area on the core itselfD2hr33K4YdM.thumb.jpg.3d9462ebed9ca506a770df12b98ad173.jpgHMDYvt8cqsk.thumb.jpg.fcfd26cde4546fbe6ab6d18f2ad2423c.jpg

the final thickness of the finished integrated block was 5 cm or 2 inches

after which everything was cleaned of the prints of my dirty paws, so as not to leave traces)))

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I (and not only me), always believed that the elastic band passing through the knee block holds the knee on the block much better, and it was just more comfortable for me


therefore, I decided to leave its location and abandoned the Bauer mount optionJn4Q8AXFhS4.thumb.jpg.cb9faae4e9fc9fef1dadab36d8304cb7.jpg

thus, it was decided to completely leave the inner flap in its place. but as I experimented with the position of the elastic, a new hole was cut in the inner flap. I eventually gave up on this position, but the hole remained. I had to correct my mistakes first

the flap was removed from its place and the unnecessary holes were sutured. I also added a piece of genpro at the stretch and another layer of 4mm foam to hold the cut inner foam together 


then I sewed everything into placeYmmH2b8NpJI.thumb.jpg.f1f7fff3f23919dc9cdacd5b5a49ccef.jpg

since the thickness of the new block has become larger, the pocket for it has also been increasedBnsE-5gWR-s.thumb.jpg.2ad0999ecb12e2635086b162242f3b9a.jpg

the very first attempt at assembly showed that the thickness of the block with the inner flap is excessive and the details do not fall into place2iXKqqtH-tY.thumb.jpg.ee55c71ae5319f24a415b4ebd94b6860.jpg

so much work has been done in vain ...


but the one who does nothing is not mistaken The block pocket and the inner flap were again disassembled and joined together in parts, forming a single whole, as in the Bauer version. but the elastic found its place where I wanted) since it had already been adjusted to the length that will not change during the life of the pad, the elastic was simply sewn into the inner flap of the new pocket

now everything fell into place

to be continued...

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gluing the inner break in an inverted position with the load 


gave an unexpected and pleasant bonus - an increase in the S-curve. now the 5th hole will be closed even betterS9Oz4PE3rQE.thumb.jpg.86ae08ac66fa8820ffdf422e5efdebb5.jpg

oops! it seems it was a spoiler)))

yes, last weekend the pad work was finished

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after installing the core in the casing, the place for the knee block was marked and the excess was cut off88yHHwOF9p8.thumb.jpg.e04c6bbb5a2a57442598066d7235e0a7.jpg2iXKqqtH-tY.thumb.jpg.807a59ef79f349cecaaac07c1a90a6b2.jpgpNCRC6UvTec.thumb.jpg.47b989c8485b3cef5808185a439166a1.jpg

then trimmed with braidtgb3DuaVhsE.thumb.jpg.36321191626a6e11f4b3a028793bade5.jpg

after which it was time to build. I often read here that the pads are loosely tightened and retightening can get a few inches of loose cord. my pads weren't very tight either, but that didn't give me a lot of cord headroom. due to a slight increase in the thickness of the core in the lower leg area, the cord was not enough. had to look for a new one

the knee block was also tied with a cord along with everything else

after which the side parts were sewn and toe bridge was sewn

Finally, a genpro edging was sewn to the bottom of the padgrmukbJVa5k.thumb.jpg.6e10ab066554f5b79258f31d6e344a18.jpgwA5g5KKI4Mc.thumb.jpg.17e49ee38c3ca78d67bb84c14eb92d0e.jpg

this is what happened as a result of 2 weeks of work

updated bungee laces were also made

5 knots for sagging

weighing showed that there are no miracles and the weight of the pads increased by 100+ gramsYCFPT8q7Y2E.thumb.jpg.dcfc4da88bc5d3dfc1f1c532896f17b7.jpgGcos3z9gvlo.thumb.jpg.7622ff9076849815754a3b398faf443f.jpg

Is this a lot or a little for pads 35 + 2? according to modern trends - not a little. however my previous Premier 4 35 + 3 weighed 2500 grams. on the other hand, there are no heavy pads, there are weak legs))) and my legs are weak. will have to work on this too)))

well that's it, end of story) who mastered it to the end - well done!

ps Last night I came up with another, new design for the integrated knee block, which promises to be even stronger without significantly increasing the pad's weight. but that's a completely different story))

ps 2 if you have any questions or opinions about this work, please share it. any feedback is appreciated and will be greatly appreciated

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greetings to all!

returning from injury took longer than desired. last Friday was my first ice after almost three months. I have not yet had time to properly understand what has changed, but first impressions are as follows: improved rotation of pads, falling on ice always on knee blocks, no bends of the pad, stands exactly perpendicular to the ice. Despite the increased weight on the inside of the pad in the knee area, the return of the pad after recovery from the butterfly to the neutral position did not change. in general, the impressions are pleasant. the work was not done in vain. after the second or third ice I'll be back again, maybe it will be more to tell

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  • 3 weeks later...

the impression of the second ice did not make any special adjustments. the pad is steadily lowered onto the ice. now only two positions are possible - exactly on the leg and exactly on the ice. due to the thicker knee block, the butterfly became slightly wider, and the load on the ankles decreased. this is especially true after ice. the rebounds have also gotten a little hotter, but most importantly, the knee has stopped falling off the block. eventually. I'm happy with the result

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  • 7 months later...
6 hours ago, Bhutch32 said:

Do you have any pictures of how the knee blocks lace in, black lacing in the picture. 

I am planning on replacing my knee blocks but can't figure out where the lacing goes.

the standard knee block on the Optik is corded to the pad. the cord runs through all parts of the pad from the back skin to the front skin through the core. to remove and replace the knee block, you will need to completely unlace the pad and remove the seam between the back skin and the front skin

here is the lacing of the knee blocknk_j-XHwNi4.thumb.jpg.703dfea5b22277bace334d03e9e5e227.jpg

the cord running through all parts of the pad is attached to these front skin loops


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45 minutes ago, A.YOUNGoalie13 said:

I have no clue how you are managing to do this, crazy cool that you took apart a pad and put it back together with mods!!


thanks for your appreciation of my work. this is really valuable to me! Russians have a saying - the eyes are afraid, the hands are doing. so with me. this is not my first "intervention" in the design of the pads, but the most global, so although it was a little scary at the beginning, the further process aroused only interest, without fear. Maybe that's why everything turned out as intended

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