Jump to content

Foam strength in older, unused masks


Recommended Posts

Hey all --

As a bit of background, I've been wearing an axis 1.5 for the last year or two of A/B men's league play. I know, not the best, but I've had a couple of collisions and more than a couple of headshots without any noticeable aftereffects.

Still, after constantly hearing how dangerous playing with a polycarbonate mask is, I'm looking to upgrade. I've noticed that some of the mid-tier fiberglass models are quite a bit cheaper if they are 5-7 years old and approaching the end of their HECC certification. Does anyone have experience or insight into the reliability of these? The shells and cages should be fine, but I don't know how much the foams degrade while in storage. The only experiment on the topic I could find was with player helmets and seems to suggest that as long as the adhesive connecting the foam to the shell is sound, it's acceptably safe.

What do you all think?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@keegper should be good as I believe most of the foam "degradation" is associated with all the excretions that come from our persons. If nobody has sweat in it - foam should still be as good as manufacture date. I would of course give it the once over as you've mentioned. Provided the foam is still bonded to the shell and still soft(er) to the touch (depending on the type of foam) - I wouldn't hesitate to use said lid. If you are governed by the need for an approval sticker - an older mask would of course provide less of a window for it to be deemed "acceptable". Hope this is helpful. Good luck.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, keegper said:

Hey all --

As a bit of background, I've been wearing an axis 1.5 for the last year or two of A/B men's league play. I know, not the best, but I've had a couple of collisions and more than a couple of headshots without any noticeable aftereffects.

Still, after constantly hearing how dangerous playing with a polycarbonate mask is, I'm looking to upgrade. I've noticed that some of the mid-tier fiberglass models are quite a bit cheaper if they are 5-7 years old and approaching the end of their HECC certification. Does anyone have experience or insight into the reliability of these? The shells and cages should be fine, but I don't know how much the foams degrade while in storage. The only experiment on the topic I could find was with player helmets and seems to suggest that as long as the adhesive connecting the foam to the shell is sound, it's acceptably safe.

What do you all think?

I personally have never come across any ref that checks stickers, if they do that would be a pretty a-hole move especially for beer league. If this will be an issue just buy a more recent mask to be up to date. As far as I know those stickers refer more to the potential condition of the foam, straps, pieces, ect... more so than the actual shell.

The issue with polycarbonate is that the mask itself will bend under very little pressure, just squeeze the sides of the mask together and see. Now imagine a heavy person falling on your melon during a scramble in front of the net. Also a very hard shot that doesn't glance off will cause you another problem as the shell flexes in. It simple isn't worth the potential damage to yourself to save a few hundred dollars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like stated by @chile57, if the foam is still soft you should be good to go. I made it all the way  through youth hockey and all but a few of those seasons were played with non-certified masks, but I did always use a straight bar cage, which is what officials will likely notice because it sticks out like a sore thumb. Since you are playing men's league an are presumably 18 or older, you are good in that respect. 

On the topic of older fiberglass shells, as long as it is structurally sound (gelcoat cracks are fine) I would use it. There has been some discourse on whether certain resins used to construct the shell last longer than others, but I do not believe there are any conclusive results to whether it is actually an issue or not. 

If worst comes to worst, attempt to source a replacement foam kit or cut your own.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...