TheGoalNet Posted March 15, 2017 Share Posted March 15, 2017 How the Pros Order Gear: Josh Robinson Last April, Josh Robinson was named the ECHL’s goaltender of the year. His numbers were a gaudy 931 save% and 1.88 GAA. He was gracious enough to exchange some messages with me last week and answer every child and beer leaguer’s biggest question… What is it like to order gear in the pros? It’s particularly cool for me that Josh Robinson did the interview. I remember studying his set up when the GNetik was being launched. I was on the fence if the elastic straps were a fad or not and I looked at his set up via google images. He had two leather straps from the knee wing to the top of his calf and smart straps on the calf. Believe it or not, when it comes to ordering gear, Josh does most of the research himself. If he is interested in checking out a new release, he does the same thing we all do. He heads to his local shop and checks it out. Unfortunately, demo gear is limited to the NHL guys and he is not able to try everything on ice before committing to an order. However he has one distinct advantage over the average joe, access to the pro reps. After his order is sent to the equipment manager via e-mail he speaks with the reps. He keeps a good relationship with all the pro reps and they will help him with any custom options and make sure his order is correct for the coming season. He’s very educated about equipment and tends to keep his set up consistent year after year. When asking him about much influence the reps have over his order, he replied that “I always design my own gear from top to bottom. I will ask the reps about certain things but I always make sure I have my gear down to the smallest detail”. Now for the most important question of the interview, how are the colors chosen? After receiving his order the pro reps will send him over the customizers. He designs his own colors and specs. His current team, the Missouri Mavericks, don’t care what color his gear is. That allows him the freedom to have some fun with it. He’s worn everything from solid white, to white with black / orange accents, and finally black with orange accents. Knowing that Josh has been on both extremes of the colors spectrum, I asked him about the ole white gear myth. “I don’t think white gear makes a difference. I have asked my teammates and they don’t even notice what most goalies are wearing”. He went on to add that you should wear what you are comfortable with and what you like. He prefers to have all of his gear matching, “I generally like to stay within the same brand. I’m not a huge fan of the look when they are mismatched but that is the goalies preference” I’ve also wondered about pants in leagues other than the NHL. I was curious if guys had the freedom to choose what they wear or if it was team mandated. Josh confirmed they do and he’s in the CCM 12A pant (Side note: I just got a pair of Carolina 12A returns and love them). He’s the pickiest about his skates. Not shockingly with that fact, he’s been with VH with since they were launched. He considers them “the perfect skate” and it’s something that he is “not changing”. He keeps them sharpened at a 3/8 hollow and checks his edges before every skate. The most customized piece of gear he owns is his Vaughn / Pro-Choice custom mask shell equipped with Maltese padding. He has a self-described “oddly shaped head” and it requires a custom fit mask. Other than that, he does not have “a ton of changes” to his current gear. Josh Recently switched from Brian’s to CCM Premier. He chose the new Premier line because he was impressed with the upgrades CCM made to the current iteration. He wore Leferve gear from age 12-junior year in college, so the switch back could be seen as a home coming. His gear is all Canadian made and he’s amazed at “the way they all come together and work together to seal holes”. Josh made the switch back because CCM researched and focused on all the “specific areas that I am very big on, the seal of the ice, the size and placement of the knee blocks, and as well as the new Velcro strapping system”. He’s a “big fan” of that new strapping set-up and was amazing that his order was turned around in 4 weeks. My favorite answer of the interview was also the least expected. When I asked Josh what his favorite set up was, I expected something pretty recent. A particular colorway from one of his Brian’s sets or maybe the set he dominated the ECHL in last season. He went back a bit further and responded with one of the most generally beloved sets of all time, the Koho 580! I had a set too in college and can appreciate his admiration. I think my biggest take away from my exchange with Josh is that even at his level, he does the research himself and that he needs to be comfortable. He’s not above visiting a retailer to check out a new piece of gear or wearing black pads. The level of humbleness and open attitude is probably why’s experienced the success that he has. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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