There is a reason the folks at Brian’s Custom Sports have carried their online presence through a website called Goalies Only.
From top to bottom, Brian’s is a company built by goaltenders, a group of people with a passion for the position that shines through in their product.
That was immediately evident when InGoal Magazine took in part of Brian’s international sales meetings just outside of Toronto, two days of activities on and off the ice event included both distributors and goalie coaches from Finland, Sweden and pretty much all of Europe, as well as Detroit Red Wings goaltending coach Jim Bedard, and Boston Bruins top goaltending prospect Malcolm Subban.
It makes sense then that Brian’s is preparing to celebrate their 30th anniversary as The Custom Goal Company with more than a half dozen new products that will both honour that past and continue to build on an already bright future with a focus on innovation and evolution. Because the reality is no matter how much we may like vintage gear, no goaltender really likes looking behind them.
Clearly no one at Brian’s Custom Sports was looking in the rear view mirror when they set out to improve on the revolutionary SubZero pad, which launched two years ago as the lightest pad on the market – likely ever – thanks to the ground-breaking Velcro-based Smart Strap system, and the company’s exclusive E-Foams. The new SubZero Pro 2 line takes that success and builds on it, with a handful of changes that will be unveiled here at InGoal leading up to the products launch later this month. From there we’ll provide sneak peaks and previews of subsequent launches all the way through next spring, and into the playoffs, which is coincidentally when Brian’s pads are at their best because they don’t break down as quickly as some others.
That includes the new SubZero Pro 2 pad – despite the fact it features a significantly softer boot break than it’s predecessor.
It’s called the Hyperflex 4 Boot, and while changing it is always an option – Brian’s doesn’t stitch “The Custom Goal Company” on its new pads for nothing – this softer reconstructed boot (or four “darts” in Brian’s vernacular) will be stock at retail:
The concept remains true to the look back and move forward theme behind all of Brian’s 30th Anniversary celebrations.
Combined with the use of a rich-looking, high-abrasion material on the underside of the boot, this new, softer break allows goaltenders to maintain the kind of “connected” to the pad feeling that so many associate with the more athletic puck stoppers of the past. With the trend towards more raw skill and skating in the modern game, the new Brian’s Hyperflex 4 Boot on the SubZero Pro 2 pad is a perfect step in the evolution away from always playing a “drop and block” style. And with the combination of E-Foam technology and the way the pad constructed, the new pad’s softer booth break won’t breakdown or shrink like some others.
Yet the new SubZero Pro 2 has several other new features – InGoal will roll them out over the coming weeks leading up to a full review in the magazine – that allow it to maintain this more comfortable feel through the ankle and skate while still providing all the coverage and tight seal along the ice modern goalies demand. That was exactly how Subban described the pad after exploding through a series of drills with Bedard, who has always stressed skating with Red Wings goalies.
Subban and the coaches and distributors from both Europe and the United States all had a chance to put the SubZero Pro 2 line through its paces at the Brian’s meetings outside Toronto, and InGoal caught some of the action on camera before taking a spin ourselves. If you look closely enough through some of the photos of Subban in his stock SubZero Pro 2 pads below, you may even be able to spot some of the other subtle changes from the original SubZero before we unveil them: