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Advice/Experience Ordering Custom Gear


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Finally decided to pull the trigger on a fully custom set of gear after years of seeing all the amazing sets others had and was wondering if anyone had any anything they'd learned/do differently/want to share about their experiences after ordering. 

Also stuff like mods people got and reasoning behind them. I know a lot of things are personal preference, but it's nice to learn about what people get and why they prefer it. 

And if anyone has any info about commissioning someone to create a design for their sets like the cost and time of the project. or even the process of handing a napkin drawing over directly to the company I'd love to hear about it. I'm still debating on whether or not to go extreme custom cause artists like goaliecustomizer and thevincenzoarone on Instagram have helped make some fantastic sets, but not sure I can take the extra cost. Planning on getting a Brian's GNetik 5 set so some things are Brian's specific, but experiences from different brands is also great.

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Hi, I've ordered two sets of Brian's stuff custom (relatively) recently; I ordered Gnetik3 pads with Optik 1 gloves, then a Gnetik4 complete set (Optik blocker over Gnetik though). Here is what I can offer:

  • Order from an outlet you like and work with them to get what you want.
    • I ordered through Cam at The Hockey Shop (THS) in Surrey and he was helpful in getting quotes and what Brian's can/cannot do.
  • You will need to at least give Brian's the code from the customizer via whichever retailer you use
    • This includes even if you go the entirely custom route, they'll need it as a base for what to attach to your order
      • This is explained in their Extreme Custom portal, which is new, but has been the case all along.
    • Brian's is really good at dealing with the customization being from a "napkin" drawing, and will give you a mock-up when this is the case.
      • My first set was me describing what I wanted and them getting back to me (via the retailer) with a mock-up.
      • My second set I did entirely in GIMP (software) and submitted to THS, no mock-up needed.
    • If you want something embroidered, provide a high quality image of it if possible so they have no guess work.
  • If you want something specifically done, BE SPECIFIC!
    • You want embroidery in a certain location? Ask for it to be there or they will pick a default for you.
      • I have my name embroidered on the outside of the vertical roll.

Brian's specific things I would do or that I can offer my experience on:

  • Get more of the underside of the boot covered with primo instead of only where your boot sits in neutral position to mitigate wear on the nylon (this is in my review on this forum).
  • Request a second set of the elastic toe-ties. I've found it kind of hard to get replacements after market from Brian's for whatever reason and these wore for me a little quickly (quickly being after like a year and a half of skating 4 times a week).
  • They will do custom boot angles if you want it, and other such things.
  • Get primo on the underside of the nose of the blocker (like the V9 blocker). This will be an upcharge, but should increase durability.
  • If you are getting a single T catcher, consider an anchor T. I've been a huge fan of these since the original DX2.
  • White nash on the palm of the glove will get marked up really quick, I got black nash for this reason.

Ask any questions if you got 'em and I'll answer what I can. Hopefully others chime in too.

I'm actually looking to order a GnetikV set and am going to send a feeler out to Cam to see about some of my other desires I have with the set. I'll keep you posted on whatever I learn, but that will likely be later this week or next depending on how motivated I feel.

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Aside from any Brian's specifics, which was outlined above nicely, here are some recommendations:

-don't settle for a set size. You may very well be in-between or a half size based on your leg measurements.  Have them build you a pad size, don't order a pad size. Send them your floor-to-knee, ankle-to-knee, and your knee-to-thigh rise measurements.

Like pros, my V9 pads have no size on them which is a good indicator they were built for me and not a stock size.

That's my most universal custom pad advice. Otherwise it's just personal preferences on stiffness, breaks, strapping, etc.

For catchers, I like leather/buckle wrist straps instead of nylon slider straps. I like to lock it in and forget about it. You may order BOA, which is a good workaround too for nylon slider straps.

I got my recent blocker with extra backhand padding in the glove for a more snug fit. Again, I like a tight fit so it was a great mod to make it fit tighter and for that tightness to last longer.

I don't like loose, floppy gloves or blockers and I crank both down pretty tight, also never taking them off during play. 

Good luck and congrats on going custom. It's really fun and feels great once you get it.  Your love and geekery for your gear will skyrocket  :)

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1 hour ago, keeperton said:

Hi, I've ordered two sets of Brian's stuff custom (relatively) recently; I ordered Gnetik3 pads with Optik 1 gloves, then a Gnetik4 complete set (Optik blocker over Gnetik though). Here is what I can offer:

  • Order from an outlet you like and work with them to get what you want.
    • I ordered through Cam at The Hockey Shop (THS) in Surrey and he was helpful in getting quotes and what Brian's can/cannot do.
  • You will need to at least give Brian's the code from the customizer via whichever retailer you use
    • This includes even if you go the entirely custom route, they'll need it as a base for what to attach to your order
      • This is explained in their Extreme Custom portal, which is new, but has been the case all along.
    • Brian's is really good at dealing with the customization being from a "napkin" drawing, and will give you a mock-up when this is the case.
      • My first set was me describing what I wanted and them getting back to me (via the retailer) with a mock-up.
      • My second set I did entirely in GIMP (software) and submitted to THS, no mock-up needed.
    • If you want something embroidered, provide a high quality image of it if possible so they have no guess work.
  • If you want something specifically done, BE SPECIFIC!
    • You want embroidery in a certain location? Ask for it to be there or they will pick a default for you.
      • I have my name embroidered on the outside of the vertical roll.

Brian's specific things I would do or that I can offer my experience on:

  • Get more of the underside of the boot covered with primo instead of only where your boot sits in neutral position to mitigate wear on the nylon (this is in my review on this forum).
  • Request a second set of the elastic toe-ties. I've found it kind of hard to get replacements after market from Brian's for whatever reason and these wore for me a little quickly (quickly being after like a year and a half of skating 4 times a week).
  • They will do custom boot angles if you want it, and other such things.
  • Get primo on the underside of the nose of the blocker (like the V9 blocker). This will be an upcharge, but should increase durability.
  • If you are getting a single T catcher, consider an anchor T. I've been a huge fan of these since the original DX2.
  • White nash on the palm of the glove will get marked up really quick, I got black nash for this reason.

Ask any questions if you got 'em and I'll answer what I can. Hopefully others chime in too.

I'm actually looking to order a GnetikV set and am going to send a feeler out to Cam to see about some of my other desires I have with the set. I'll keep you posted on whatever I learn, but that will likely be later this week or next depending on how motivated I feel.

 

This is awesome! Thank you for going into such detail. I was actually planning on ordering form Cam too so we can compare notes haha. For sure second some of the mods you suggested like covering the boot with primo and the anchor T, love it on my current SubZero 3 glove. I would've never thought of other stuff like primo on the underside of the nose of the blocker, which in hindsight is super smart. 

For the palm, would you recommend nash over regular jenpro? I've never had a nash palm so I'm a little wary that it'll wear faster. 

And to maybe offer some advice back, I'm currently in TGN spec ProLaces Armor Hybrid that I love, but any ProLaces armor which wear down way slower than most standard toe ties that pads come with nowadays, (maybe @TheGoalNet can drop a promo code and you can try them out if you haven't already?) but I'll definitely give the Brian's version a try. 

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10 hours ago, seagoal said:

Aside from any Brian's specifics, which was outlined above nicely, here are some recommendations:

-don't settle for a set size. You may very well be in-between or a half size based on your leg measurements.  Have them build you a pad size, don't order a pad size. Send them your floor-to-knee, ankle-to-knee, and your knee-to-thigh rise measurements.

Like pros, my V9 pads have no size on them which is a good indicator they were built for me and not a stock size.

That's my most universal custom pad advice. Otherwise it's just personal preferences on stiffness, breaks, strapping, etc.

For catchers, I like leather/buckle wrist straps instead of nylon slider straps. I like to lock it in and forget about it. You may order BOA, which is a good workaround too for nylon slider straps.

I got my recent blocker with extra backhand padding in the glove for a more snug fit. Again, I like a tight fit so it was a great mod to make it fit tighter and for that tightness to last longer.

I don't like loose, floppy gloves or blockers and I crank both down pretty tight, also never taking them off during play. 

Good luck and congrats on going custom. It's really fun and feels great once you get it.  Your love and geekery for your gear will skyrocket  :)

Thanks for the advice and the post! I was already having a lot of fun just messing around with the customizer so I'm looking forward to the actual process of sitting down and hashing out every detail. Hearing about others experiences and mods just makes it that more exciting.  

Great call on the custom pad size, my current Optik 1's are a little large for me, and was told The Hockey Shop wouldn't have a stock set in till November so was a little worried, but the measurements'll take out a lot of the guesswork. 

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Make sure you specify the colors for every section of the piece of equipment or it will probably come back white. Forgot to do it on my second pair of v4's, but did it on my third pair.  Like others, I would also suggest getting primo/quickslide in high wear areas.

I spec my leg pads to be soft (shredded foam soft) with no external breaks (stock dual internal) and no knee lock (so I can fit large knee pads) and the widest leg channel that can be put on it. Gives me a lot of mobility and I spend more time trying to stop pucks than fighting equipment. 

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2 hours ago, QWERTY said:

This is awesome! Thank you for going into such detail. I was actually planning on ordering form Cam too so we can compare notes haha. For sure second some of the mods you suggested like covering the boot with primo and the anchor T, love it on my current SubZero 3 glove. I would've never thought of other stuff like primo on the underside of the nose of the blocker, which in hindsight is super smart. 

For the palm, would you recommend nash over regular jenpro? I've never had a nash palm so I'm a little wary that it'll wear faster. 

And to maybe offer some advice back, I'm currently in TGN spec ProLaces Armor Hybrid that I love, but any ProLaces armor which wear down way slower than most standard toe ties that pads come with nowadays, (maybe @TheGoalNet can drop a promo code and you can try them out if you haven't already?) but I'll definitely give the Brian's version a try. 

Most folks go with nash in the palm because they feel its a "grippy-er" material for catching pucks. Your results may vary. I've never gone with nash on a trapper and do not experience a rash of popouts without it. Nash will most certainly markup easier and be harder to clean than jenpro. Its my opinion that it will also wear before jenpro in that particular area.

Good luck with your order!

Edited by chile57
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Defintely make sure to dial in your pad size and double check that before ordering. 

When I ordered my custom CCM's, I was roughly in-between two stock sizes and made sure I received the custom size I needed. I am sure there's horror stories out there of goalies receiving custom gear that is too short/tall for them and that would royally suck.

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On 8/25/2021 at 10:25 AM, bildeer said:

Make sure you specify the colors for every section of the piece of equipment or it will probably come back white. Forgot to do it on my second pair of v4's, but did it on my third pair.  Like others, I would also suggest getting primo/quickslide in high wear areas.

I spec my leg pads to be soft (shredded foam soft) with no external breaks (stock dual internal) and no knee lock (so I can fit large knee pads) and the widest leg channel that can be put on it. Gives me a lot of mobility and I spend more time trying to stop pucks than fighting equipment. 

This, especially the back of the pads where you place your leg. White can look gross over time.

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On 8/24/2021 at 8:15 PM, QWERTY said:

And if anyone has any info about commissioning someone to create a design for their sets like the cost and time of the project. or even the process of handing a napkin drawing over directly to the company I'd love to hear about it. I'm still debating on whether or not to go extreme custom cause artists like goaliecustomizer and thevincenzoarone on Instagram have helped make some fantastic sets, but not sure I can take the extra cost. Planning on getting a Brian's GNetik 5 set so some things are Brian's specific, but experiences from different brands is also great.

I can't add much custom spec orders than what has already been dolled out... but I can some insight on working with a graphic designer. For my 2X Pro gear I enlisted the help of Vince Arnone. What was important to me is knowing he had done a number of one off designs with Bauer (and now CCM as well) already. He is someone who already knew what will and won't pass the manufacturer's unwritten rules for things like logo size and placement, as well as color pallet, etc.

I reached out to Vince over IG DM, and he was quick to reply. From there communication was done via email. I already had somewhat of an idea of what I wanted to do, but of course had reference images in hand to pass off and let Vince do his thing. Probably went through 5 or 6 iterations of the theme before I greenlighted what was submitted to Bauer's True Design department. Of course GoalieCustomizer is a great option as well, as is Visual_Merc who has done some great sets for Dell & Lehner with Brian's.

Let me know if you want more details on the process like each of my replies to Vince w/ notes etc.

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On 8/25/2021 at 1:43 PM, BadAngle41 said:

I can't add much custom spec orders than what has already been dolled out... but I can some insight on working with a graphic designer. For my 2X Pro gear I enlisted the help of Vince Arnone. What was important to me is knowing he had done a number of one off designs with Bauer (and now CCM as well) already. He is someone who already knew what will and won't pass the manufacturer's unwritten rules for things like logo size and placement, as well as color pallet, etc.

I reached out to Vince over IG DM, and he was quick to reply. From there communication was done via email. I already had somewhat of an idea of what I wanted to do, but of course had reference images in hand to pass off and let Vince do his thing. Probably went through 5 or 6 iterations of the theme before I greenlighted what was submitted to Bauer's True Design department. Of course GoalieCustomizer is a great option as well, as is Visual_Merc who has done some great sets for Dell & Lehner with Brian's.

Let me know if you want more details on the process like each of my replies to Vince w/ notes etc.

 

Yeah, more details of the process would be great! Maybe even some pictures of the different iterations of the design? I have a vague idea of what I want if I go extreme custom but I'm super picky so I want to try and nail down some sort of concept so I don't go through like 20 mock-ups of something and drive the artist crazy.

And if you don't mind me asking, how much did it cost to have Vince do the mock up? I don't want to reach out and waste his time if it'll be too expensive in the end but no pressure if you don't want to

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Gear mods can get pretty in depth, especially when it comes to a custom shop like Brian's or Vaughn.

IMO the best thing to do is to work backwards.  Determine what you want in a pad and then see what the manufacturer can do to fit your need.

Here are things to think about, and I'm just scratching the surface here.

Pads:

  • Desired stiffness (# of breaks; internal or external or both, type of foam core insert, boot flex)
  • Soft or firm face (depends on how you like your rebounds)
  • Boot scoop shape (wide or narrow stance)
  • Sizing and where you want the inches (ie. subtract from boot to add to thigh)
  • Toe attachment method (inset or center), skate lace or elastic
  • Knee stack and calf wrap options (add/subtract inches to thickness, cut and paste parts from another line)
  • Sliding surface (Primo, jenpro, weave)

Glove:

  • Type of break
  • Tee type
  • Tee reinforcement
  • Glove palm reinforcement (game ready, pro, practice)
  • Backhand cuff shape
  • Palm texture/material, palm size
  • Wrist strapping (nylon, leather, BOA)

Blocker

  • Board firmness (rebound velocity)
  • Palm texture/material, padding (most modern blocker palms have some padding to alleviate stick vibration)
  • Palm size, hand position
  • Finger protection
  • Side board air pillow
  • Wrist strapping, backhand cuff shape
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7 hours ago, QWERTY said:

This is awesome! Thank you for going into such detail. I was actually planning on ordering form Cam too so we can compare notes haha. For sure second some of the mods you suggested like covering the boot with primo and the anchor T, love it on my current SubZero 3 glove. I would've never thought of other stuff like primo on the underside of the nose of the blocker, which in hindsight is super smart. 

For the palm, would you recommend nash over regular jenpro? I've never had a nash palm so I'm a little wary that it'll wear faster. 

And to maybe offer some advice back, I'm currently in TGN spec ProLaces Armor Hybrid that I love, but any ProLaces armor which wear down way slower than most standard toe ties that pads come with nowadays, (maybe @TheGoalNet can drop a promo code and you can try them out if you haven't already?) but I'll definitely give the Brian's version a try. 

I've noticed that maybe the material has gotten slightly more loose over time than jenpro would, but I have no wear issues after a couple of years with the nash palm. I can't say I notice much difference with it in function, but I like how it looks.

I have ProLaces to replace my toe ties I wore through, actually. The Brian's version are fine, but could use a wear cover like the ProLaces have.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/25/2021 at 2:27 PM, QWERTY said:

Yeah, more details of the process would be great! Maybe even some pictures of the different iterations of the design? I have a vague idea of what I want if I go extreme custom but I'm super picky so I want to try and nail down some sort of concept so I don't go through like 20 mock-ups of something and drive the artist crazy.

And if you don't mind me asking, how much did it cost to have Vince do the mock up? I don't want to reach out and waste his time if it'll be too expensive in the end but no pressure if you don't want to

I don't recall what Vince charged... it was pretty marginal (it was also 2 years ago.) Below is a general overview of the exchanges between myself & Vince... then between me and Bauer's design team. It's worth noting that certain things like the size and position of the Bauer logo were pretty strict, as were the nylon color options. Previous to my set there were images floating around of a set Bauer did that was very vintage and they used brown nylon on as well as custom printed graphic on things like the back of gloves and blocker which weren't available to retail customers. 

Arnone Progression...

image.thumb.png.e152b73f5f1754dd5a7d9a99338f792a.png

Bauer Progression (3 iterations was the cap with Bauer at the time)...

image.thumb.png.b865f4c19b90e7622d7d134ba5e442bd.png

More on the design and actual pad linked here...

 

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