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Help me pick my new gear


Mjeg

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Hi there, I'm a new member and I'm looking at a full new set of gear. The last set I used was a set of Bauer Reactor 7000's which I used for a game or so. I've never owned a set of gear and I'm very inexperienced in playing hockey (I'm still in my teens) but I'm looking to start playing properly in teams over here in the UK. Can anyone give me recommendations on pads that are somewhat similar to what I had? I don't have a budget as of yet until I can narrow down my choices. I'm a small guy, standing at 5 foot 8, so I'd be looking for a hybrid style pad of size 32+2. Thank you!

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Vaughn Velocity, Brian's Optik ((FLX)), Brians Hertiage Line Those are going to be the closest pads to the old reactor line.

CCM E-Flex and R/GT will be "soft" but will play stiff

1X, SLR, Optik ((FLY)) are stiffer pads with some more flex in the boot.

Then 1S, Premier, will be the stiff of the stiff.

I know the local you're in doesn't allow the best opportunity to go into a store and handle all these pads, but if you can, definitely get your hands on some of them and physically check them out. You may be surprised by what you feel you need and what actually grabs your interest in person.

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I had Reactor 9000's.  The most similar feel will be the Vaughn XF series followed by the Eflex II's when considering whats available right now.  the Vaughn's seem to be readily available in 32+2 and the non-carbon pro versions (senior) can be had at a decent price.  I agree with Coop though, check out as much as you can before limiting yourself to one type of pad.  

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First of all I would put equipment on and not buy anything out of the blue, you want to make sure that the sizing is right.  Also, I wouldn't buy anything pro, buy intermediate level equipment no need to break the bank.  Just make sure that you have a good helmet and chesty.  As you play more and get into it, see if you like it, you will start to buy gear down the road.

Good luck!

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1 hour ago, mr_shifty1982 said:

First of all I would put equipment on and not buy anything out of the blue, you want to make sure that the sizing is right. 

While I thin this is great advice, what are the opportunities to have this happen in the UK  - i.e. what is the market, new or used like?

3 hours ago, coopaloop1234 said:

CCM E-Flex and R/GT will be "soft" but will play stiff

@coopaloop1234 -  can you get EFlex IIs in a 32? Every time I look I see them starting at 33 (at least for senior). I am about the same height as the OP and am in the market for a new (to me) pair of leg pads, set, but can't seem to find good stuff in 32"...

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34 minutes ago, Ghostender said:

While I thin this is great advice, what are the opportunities to have this happen in the UK  - i.e. what is the market, new or used like?

@coopaloop1234 -  can you get EFlex IIs in a 32? Every time I look I see them starting at 33 (at least for senior). I am about the same height as the OP and am in the market for a new (to me) pair of leg pads, set, but can't seem to find good stuff in 32"...

http://goal.thehockeyshop.com/leg-pads/senior/leg-pad-size/32"-+-1".html

Looks like there are some, but it seems to be only the entry level of pads (a level lower than senior).

http://goal.thehockeyshop.com/leg-pads/senior/leg-pad-size/32"-+-1.5".html

32+1.5 Warriors are available. Though those may not line up with what buddy is looking for.

http://goal.thehockeyshop.com/leg-pads/senior/leg-pad-size/32"-+-2".html

32+2 seems to very Vaughn heavy

These are all from a local shop of mine. They are out there, but the CCM line is probably as good as an INT line, if not worse. I never trust those introductory lines (S150,S170, etc). Senior (S190) is more than fine.

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Unfortunately for me where I live has only 1 nearby hockey store, and they only stock sticks helmets and accessories. The nearest full store is an 8 hour drive from me, so the next time that I can really go down there would be with the pro team next season :( they do stock most of the brands suggested (Excluding Brians I think) but will definitely make the trip to try out then order online. I do hate being this high, because it's insanely hard to get pads in my exact size, but I'm excited to get my hands on a set sometime soon!

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Height shouldn't be a factor when considering pad size because not everyone has the same leg-torso ratio. For example, I am 6'0 tall but I am most comfortable in a 32" knee.

What is your Ankle-to-knee? A good way to measure would be from the centre of your ankle to centre of your knee. 

Here's how to adequately size a goalie pad: Skate size + ATK + desired length on thigh rise. For example: Me: 8+17.5+8.5=34" total pad. (so a 32+2 or 32+1.5 in a Brian's). 

As for finding a pad like the Reactor 7000s, it's going to be difficult. Every pad is a butterfly pad now with some being slightly softer and forgiving. There are still some models with torsional flex, but nothing like years past. Vaughn (Velocity) pads are still the softest on the market, and if you can find a good deal on a V7 XF as it is an older(ish) model, that will play the most similar. If you are dead set on going for a current gen pad, then probably Brian's Optik FLX/Heritage/Alite if you can find a set or Eflex 3/RGT. Of course, going custom and getting extra internal/external breaks can also be a solution. However, since you're a beginner, you are better off playing with SR level equipment. 

Senior level equipment is often softer than the "pro" stuff as well. A Bauer Vapor X900 is way softer than a 1X for example. Or Vaughn without their "carbon" insert, etc.

Hope this helps!

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I'm 16 inches from knee to ankle, couple that with a 9 inch knee to mid thigh and a skate size of 7 makes me a 32 I believe? if I'm wrong then please correct me. I prefer a +2 thigh rise tho

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If you prefer a +2 thigh rise I would look at Vaughn/CCM. Since this is your first time trying on pads in general you can’t go wrong with either. And I would start out with 1 or 2 outside breaks in the pad. 

Off-note but, me and my family have been going to England for the past 4 or 5 years and I only just started playing a year ago but, I decided if it wasn’t possible to stay home and have someone drive me to my practices/games I would have my dad find me somewhere where I COULD play. I ended up being on the ice 4 times for 3-4 hours at a time and it was really special. Very nice and talented people there. I really wish hockey was more prevalent in the UK. I wish you the best of luck! 

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8 hours ago, Mjeg said:

Hi there, I'm a new member and I'm looking at a full new set of gear. The last set I used was a set of Bauer Reactor 7000's which I used for a game or so. I've never owned a set of gear and I'm very inexperienced in playing hockey (I'm still in my teens) but I'm looking to start playing properly in teams over here in the UK. Can anyone give me recommendations on pads that are somewhat similar to what I had? I don't have a budget as of yet until I can narrow down my choices. I'm a small guy, standing at 5 foot 8, so I'd be looking for a hybrid style pad of size 32+2. Thank you!

im relatively new also and i use eflex 2 760s and they are awesome. id reccomend them to you

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8 hours ago, southpawtendy48 said:

If you prefer a +2 thigh rise I would look at Vaughn/CCM. Since this is your first time trying on pads in general you can’t go wrong with either. And I would start out with 1 or 2 outside breaks in the pad. 

Off-note but, me and my family have been going to England for the past 4 or 5 years and I only just started playing a year ago but, I decided if it wasn’t possible to stay home and have someone drive me to my practices/games I would have my dad find me somewhere where I COULD play. I ended up being on the ice 4 times for 3-4 hours at a time and it was really special. Very nice and talented people there. I really wish hockey was more prevalent in the UK. I wish you the best of luck! 

thanks a bunch man! I'm from Scotland myself, and we have 4 pro teams and a raft of lower level teams in a 12 team UK-wide league. If you're ever down in the UK again a visit to an EIHL game is very worthwhile, we have some really special goalies here as well (for example I got to be great pals with ex-NHL and KHL goalie Chris Holt, who taught me a lot about the hybrid style and using your body to your own advantage), and being so up close with players gives you an insane depth of insight into how the pros tick. :) 

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17 hours ago, Mjeg said:

I'm 16 inches from knee to ankle, couple that with a 9 inch knee to mid thigh and a skate size of 7 makes me a 32 I believe? if I'm wrong then please correct me. I prefer a +2 thigh rise tho

32 sounds about right. Like you, I don't have the luxury of trying on everything and getting the perfect size and pad for me.  There is a lot of guess work involved, but the more reviews you can read and research you can do will make it easier.  I would recommend trying to buy used so you won't lose much, if anything at all, if it doesn't turn out quite right.  A few months ago, I purchased a gently used set of Reebok XLT's with gloves for $600 on Ebay.  I got the pads in a 33+2 which was a perfect fit in the Reebok 18k's I used to have, but on this particular set, it is a touch too big at the knee for some reason.  If I decide to sell them, I can probably get what I paid or very close to it.

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To add to this thread, I'm pretty disappointed that CCM and some others don't see fit to start their senior line at 32.

While I don't play high level, I want my next set to last (it will pretty well assuredly be the last set I buy). If the quality difference between the CCM Int and Senior is exemplified by the difference in the strapping, I wouldn't touch CCM Int with a 10 foot pole while wearing surgical gloves.

And BTW, really, how much money does it save the manufactured putting crap strapping on a set of pads?!?!?

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12 hours ago, Ghostender said:

To add to this thread, I'm pretty disappointed that CCM and some others don't see fit to start their senior line at 32.

While I don't play high level, I want my next set to last (it will pretty well assuredly be the last set I buy). If the quality difference between the CCM Int and Senior is exemplified by the difference in the strapping, I wouldn't touch CCM Int with a 10 foot pole while wearing surgical gloves.

And BTW, really, how much money does it save the manufactured putting crap strapping on a set of pads?!?!?

CCM does offer a 32 in the senior pro line, I'm not sure if it's offered to the public but you can customize it.  It doesn't cost CCM more or less to customize a pad, it all depends on where you go to get your hockey deals from ;) 

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9 hours ago, mr_shifty1982 said:

CCM does offer a 32 in the senior pro line, I'm not sure if it's offered to the public but you can customize it.  It doesn't cost CCM more or less to customize a pad, it all depends on where you go to get your hockey deals from ;) 

Good to know - thanks for the info!

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2 hours ago, Mjeg said:

can anyone offer advice on blockers and catchers that are similar to the reactor line at all?

I think almost any glove that has a 60 degree angle on it. Depends on what style of glove you like. I think they’re are better options for what you’re looking for than the Bauer reactor line, but as I know there aren’t a whole lot of options out there, so I think you’ll be fine.

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