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Snowwis 996 C/A and pants modding


ArdeFIN
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So while we have been in shutdown since the mid december I've had some time to work with my next C/A to get it done and ready for use when ever we get back on ice. It might be in a few weeks already as the Omicron variant has been fast spreading.

The project involves C/A and pants that I bought from a retired fellow goalie. He had these ordered from Simmons about 5 years ago. Pretty good shape with some wear here and there and puck marks to tell that not everything has passed by. The C/A was also paired with Simmons own beef up kit, which includes a padding sheet to sternum area and extra sheets for elbow floaters.

The shoulder floaters really make this C/A look wide and huge while it doesn't really feel bulky when wearing the unit. Padding on torso is close to what all manufacturers offer involving squared padding with multiple layers of different materials.  The hands feel like Vaughn, thin and not very confident. Doubled elbow floaters are thick and feel protective enough.

Overall feeling of the unit is pretty mobile, adjustments are really good and simple enough so it took me a little effort and time to fit the unit on my body. Mobility is ok, hands do feel tight and more so when reaching my chin or back of the head which is at the edge and just reachable. Would be wearable as it is, but for arms I would need extra padding right away to feel confident of the protection. And just to mention this unit has been running for five years already.

As usual I managed to toss or miss all of the new-to-me pictures so I'll just jump to the project.

First one is evidence of being used, rusty eyelets. They had eaten the lace also so just took them off. The jenpro there is plenty to keep the lacing and arms in place.

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Sideview from the buckles, both of the original ones were broken which I actually didn't even notice when looking this through. So they were still doing their job but for how long. Problem here is once again having no protection for them at all. 

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Then some additional padding. In the torso there was a sheet of soft foam padding that didn't cover belly area at all. As the intention is to use this setup untucked I thought not to add too much material here as it will be lifted off by the pants, but some extra is needed. Noticing also that side padding didn't include any soft foam to make that beloved airbag.

10mm thick foam with support fabric on both sides was used. The cutout on top is to fit the original foam sheet.

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Comparison of what was added and what was there already.

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With the chesty opened from the bottom seam I had access to the floater elastics that were pretty much done and floaters all around. Removed the original ones and added new elastics with velcro on both sides. These strap in between the floaters that are double layered and velcroed together. Picture of that is missing too.

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The clavicle protection has been an issue for me lately with the FrankenCCM and this Simmons design had similar problems possibly originating. So I took the plate of and modified it quite a lot afterall to get the result I wanted.

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And that installed on place, the bottom elastic requires access to insides of C/A so there's no need sew through all layers but only the top one.

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I'll return here with some more pictures and progress of the project.

Edited by ArdeFIN
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A few pictures of weight of this unit when starting the project (before washing the unit)

Whole weight in grams

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Body part only

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One of the arms

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So the weigth of the unit is almost split in two, hands and torso. And if something would be nice to have lightweight that is the arms that should be quick as possible.

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More of it, continuing to the buckle protection. Simple as possible plate with strapping to get rid of it if not good.

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Attaching, this might need some re-thinking as it might just be too sloppy around. But going for non-tucking it isn't going to make trouble with pants. Remains to be seen.

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Flap closed. The original side piece under the buckles is made only with soft foam and no plastic sheet so if the puck ever got there it'll feel, atleast. This extra flap protects the buckles and will aid with ribs too, the other side doesn't get any extra yet. Can be added later on though.

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Then a little continuation for the shoulder floaters. Picture for thousand words. Right shoulder with original strapping and left shoulder ready for floater. I changed the elastics to different types and lengths to fit the new attachment.

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Then the attachment in action. What I only assume here is that the velcro will hold when sandwiched, didn't want to use whole size velcroes here. Attached layer is the bottom part of the floaters and includes only MD/HD etc foam with less than 10mm thickness. Easy to figure the huge size of the floaters, even with the top layer is some 15mm in on every edge.

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Some of the design elements add some extra not-necessary weight to the C/A and could be shaved out of it if needed. But still the weight of the whole C/A isn't too much, Brown is still way ahead.

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That was about everything done to the torso part now, it's pretty simple unit technically so it is easy to modify it more if something isn't working.

So then the arms which as mentioned in beginning are a bit too stiff to my liking. And to be exact they seem somehow tight all the time and when trying to bend my arm it really doesn't want to and the elbow cup does want to have a life of its own.

So first thing is to open all the seams that hold parts together. Best design would be where there isn't anything sewn in for good and atleat the elbow floater and the sleeve part should be detachable. The elbow cup is only held in place with four 50mm wide elastic velcroes. The floater is sewn in with four elastic straps.

The sleeve only looks as simple as possible. From puckmarks you could presume that the floater has been hanging a bit low. That will be improved.

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Looking from the body side and mostly seeing only the elbow cup strapping.

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Same from outside. You can notice the hole lines where the floater elastics were attached to.

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And as said earlier the elbow cup wanted to have a life of its own, meaned that when the elastic straps are set properly to feel snug but not tight when hand is straigth, this is what happens right away when I bent my arm in.

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Trying to reach the 90 degree angle is impossible with the strap attached. So what is the use of hte straps then? Nothing so I got rid of the hook sides of the upper velcros.

Why 90 degree you ask? I've targeted that angle from my little experience with C/A's. If I can bend my arm to 90 degree without having to use excess force the arms feel nice and comfortable and I can close the chin straps of my mask. Other than that I basically don't have to reach far out when goaltending.

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Whats in there? As said they felt like Vaughn and seeing the padding I actually freaked out a bit. It's so thin and the only good thing I see right out is the thick shaped plastic sheet.

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In addition to this there is a thin soft foam sheet for comfortability in side the sleeve fabric next to skin.

The forearm plate felt too wide and actually hindered my glove rotation somewhat so I decided to cut the edge out at the wrist end to make some more room. This isn't really affecting any coverage nor protection as it mostly is inside my glove cuffs.

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To add some material to the padding I used three different foams. White thin foam to forearm under the original padding, thicker dark foam to bicep area to add more protection here. Bicep area gets more beating usually. And the thickest foam from some Warrior pads I think is used to replace the original thin side paddings in wrist and Bicep sections.

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Right sleeve in the picture is modified version with new paddings, velcroes removed etc.

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Front picture isn't telling much as the comparison had the floater over it.

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The last one is of modified one on the left completed with floaters and all. There are a lot of differences but I think I'll have to take a few detail pictures rather than try and improve my written English...

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Edited by ArdeFIN
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  • 2 months later...
Posted (edited)

After some testing and building the other sleeve to a copy of the first one this is the result.

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I had to move the elastic velcroes lower on the side plates to get the elbow floater to stay higher and in front of elbow and not forearm. As that wasn't enough I also added two nylon loops to the sides and routed the lower strap of the elbow floater through them. Now the floaters stay on right height and still have enough space to move around.

The elastics were a pain to sew to the side plates in an angle and position I wanted so after getting them fixed I shortened them to length with a few sews.

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Finally I have everything done for the first phase and the unit is ready for a test run.

I already did a loop to the back of the pants where I can attach the rear "suspender", the front is ready on the C/A side but I'll have to add something to the pants too. Atleast the elastic cord to have some elasticity and some to connect the buckle.

And when someone complained that a Warrior GT is too bulky. Get outta here. This monster of a C/A is bulky. I thought I overdid the FrankenCCM chesty with double shoulder cups and all. But so little I knew about a massive bulky chesty before this one. And there is no added width by me as it's all original.

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Edited by ArdeFIN
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Posted (edited)

Measured the resulting weight for this C/A after some modifications and I think that I added more padding than removed anything. So the result of 3191 grams is pretty amazing.

Not lightweight in any means and if it is as protective as it feels then it's very acceptable.

I still have to fit the C/A together with the pants and add all of the necessary strapping but I should be able to get this one to real world test before summer break. Only two months left 😆

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Edited by ArdeFIN
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