InGoal Gear Review
First came the revolution for Bauer goaltending.
The Supreme OD1N 1S had new materials, a new face and a new way to build a pad, reducing weight, creating more active rebounds and significantly improved sliding.
Now comes the evolution.
The new Supreme 2S Pro line also features an improved glove, but the second generation of their flagship pads is all about improving on the big, bold steps of the OD1N 1S line.
Some of those steps started with Bauer’s more flexible Vapor OD1N 1X pad that launched last spring, including making the inside calf plate flush to the bottom edge of the pad rather than offsetting it, better securing the knee stack to the pad, and wrapping the binding over a thinner top edge of the pad. Each is a notable improvement from the original 1S pad, with the first two improving performance and the last two improving durability. But the biggest improvement in the new 2S Pro pad, according to Bauer, is the material they wrapped around it.
he “ST” is new and it stands for “Super Tough,” which is a cool way of saying Bauer has worked to improve some of the durability concerns surrounding the original C.O.R.TECH skin that debuted with the 1S OD1N line. They focused in three things: tensile strength, which is the capacity of a material to stretch out and return to form, puck impact, and skates cuts.
Bauer says their testing came back with an average 75 percent improvement in each category compared to the original C.O.R.TECH, making the new C.O.R.TECH ST skin three times more durable overall than its predecessor. So, what does that mean to you?
InGoal has been testing the Supreme 2S Pro for a little more than four months, and because of the early demand among testers to try it prior to the public launch, has managed to get the new gear into close to 100 practices and games at levels ranging from Bantam AAA, to Junior A, to beer league to weekly skates with ex-pros. And outside of small wrinkles near the outside of the boot break, top corner of the angled outer roll, and outer edge by the binding, the only signs of wear are all the puck marks amassed from shooter ranging up to ex-professionals.
The reality is InGoal did not sustain skate cuts in our original 1S pads either, despite having used them in over 300 skates over the past two years. We did run into some of the cosmetic issues some complained about, including small burn holes in the upper corners from the pads rubbing together during butterfly drops, but that issue was addressed by thinning out the top of the pad and wrapping the binding over the edge to eliminate that exposure. And, for all the focus on durability, our 1S pad continues to slide and kick out rebounds as well as it did on Day One.
By only stitching the top edge of the pad onto the core on the back in the original 1S OD1N pad (left), Bauer ran into some problems with burn holes on the exposed skin on the corners, including our test set. They fixed it — and created an even thinner top profile and livelier rebounds — by wrapping the binding over the top edge in 2S Pro.
Still, we recognized others had problems (as did Bauer, hence the ST skin) so short of being able to hop into a time machine to see how our 2S Pro is holding up in six months, we turned to pros for better anecdotal evidence. The reality is no one is harder on their gear than the guys getting paid to stop pucks for a living, with practices or games at least five days a week during the season, and two ice times on game days when you factor in the morning skates.
“Skate cuts would happen sometimes, when guys fell into you,” New York Rangers star Henrik Lundqvist said of the original OD1N 1S, “But I feel with this [2S Pro] that’s gone now.”
Like anything, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen anymore. InGoal has skate cuts through Jen Pro on two blockers from a tester who plays a lot of paddle down, which led to more skate contact, but Lundqvist’s sentiments, which came five months into this NHL season, seemed to echo Bauer’s claims.
The NHL feedback was positive overall, with most down to two or three sets this season after going through as many as four to seven with 1S. Perhaps the most telling was Minnesota Wild No. 1 Devan Dubnyk, who debuted his new personal 2S Pro graphic with InGoal in mid-August and was still wearing that same set of pads in early March.
“These are the only set of pads I’ve had all year,” Dubnyk told InGoal prior to a March 9 game, noting he doesn’t switch equipment as often as his NHL peers. “I just started wearing a second set in practice. I usually only wear two but they are holding up way better than last year.”
The new C.O.R.TECH ST skin is obviously a part of the improvement. Gone are the glued on logos of 1S. And all you have to do is look at the patches on the inside and outside edges of the boot break to see why: the new material strong enough to sew into so those patches are now stitched in instead of glued on, which along with an improved boot construction should improve the durability of the boot break.
“I never had any issues with the boot blowing out. Over time they would get a little soft due to normal wear, but they held their shape much longer than the 1S,” said Vancouver Canucks goalie Richard Bachman, who was an early adopter of the Supereme OD1N 1S pad. “I feel that the 2S pad was significantly more durable than the 1S. Through the course of the season, I never felt that they got soft and broke down like the 1S did. They maintained their shape and structure for the life of the pad. I did use the same number of pads but as a goalie, I would now recommend kids use them because I am confident they will hold up for a long time.”
Patches are now stitched in instead of glued on, which along with an improved boot construction should improve the durability of the boot break.
The efforts to improve durability go beyond the new skin. The knee stack has been improved, both in terms of the materials on the landing area (more on that later) but most notably with a second layer of stitching to anchor the knee stack itself, which became floppy too quickly on the original 1S pad, allowing the knee to hit the ice before the rest of the pad could catch up.
To address issues with the 1S OD1N knee stack getting too floppy too easily, Bauer added another attachment point at the top edge to better fix the landing area to the face of the pad on the 2S Pro, which improves performance in a butterfly drop.
That added stitching, which debuted on the Vapor 1X, can be tightened over time and better fixes the knee stack to the front edge of the pad, creating a more stable connection.
“I asked for a more solid pad,” Lundqvist said. “It’s more solid and it’s even better.”
That was the other thing Bauer set out to achieve while improving durability with the new C.O.R.TECH ST skin: they didn’t want to lose the improved sliding, light weight and active rebounds that debuted in the Supreme 1S OD1N pad.
New York Rangers star Henrik Lundqvist has played an active role in the development of the new Supreme line beyond some of the best graphics in the NHL. That includes some of the durability improvements in the new 2S Pro: “I asked for a more solid pad,” he said.
The slight wrinkling you can see along the top of the outer roll on his pad here matches what we described above on the InGoal 2S Pro pad after four months, and is purely cosmetic.
Well, our size large 2S Pro pad, which is roughly a 35+1 in most brands, weighed four pounds, 10 ounces with all the straps, which is one ounce less than our same-size 1S OD1N pad. The thinner thigh rise on the 2S Pro, due to the new binding to reduce top-edge wear, actually seems to produce hotter rebounds than its more padded predecessor. And the sliding doesn’t appear to have slowed down at all, despite an improved seal from a flush inner edge that should put more surface area on the ice in the butterfly.
Unlike other reviews, InGoal truly strives to get on-ice testing sessions with and feedback from goalies of all levels, including some Jr. A teams in the BCHL
Of course, those are just surface inspections. We’ll take a close look at each aspect as we continue our in-depth review of Bauer’s Supreme 2S Pro, including on-ice and locker room video with NHL goalies, and a unique strapping tip from Florida Panthers James Reimer.
Stay tuned …