Bauer Unveils OD1N Prototype Gear
Bauer surprised most of the goaltending world when they unveiled their new OD1N prototype pad at a press event on Thursday. The biggest surprise at InGoal Magazine was the timing.
InGoal was aware of the OD1N project for months, but was always under the impression it would be unveiled at the 2014 Sochi Olympics on the legs of New York Rangers and Swedish superstar stopper Henrik Lundqvist.
Maybe it was always destined to debut early along with the new player line of OD1N gear. Or maybe Lundqvist just couldn’t wait. After all, the OD1N pads made such an impression on the Vezina Trophy winner he didn’t want to give them back after the first test session.
Lundqvist quietly began wearing OD1N three weeks ago with the Rangers.
“They are so much lighter than the old pads, you feel faster and you have more energy,” Lundqvist said. “For me, when I play the game, it’s all about quickness and reaction time. To have a pad that helps me in those areas of my game is a major advantage for me.”
Lundqvist shared his impression of the new pads at the press event via this video:
So when will the rest of the goaltending world get to try it? For now indications are this will remain a prototype for top pros (Carolina Hurricanes goalie Justin Peters didn’t even know OD1N existed last week). There are no immediate retail plans, so it’s unlikely to hit the shelves before 2015, if at all.
Bauer did say it plans to use “several of the advanced technologies created for the OD1N products in its upcoming consumer product launches.” And “moving forward, OD1N will be a platform of technology for Bauer hockey to create game-changing technologies for all levels.”
So what exactly is that technology, and how will it help goalies?
While Bauer wasn’t about to give a detailed breakdown of the exact science behind OD1N pads or a new foam that recalls the stuff used in Crocs shoes, the biggest difference appears to be those foams and how they are used, including one that is actually exposed on the face of the pad.
Bauer said the outer pad shell is comprised of one, seamless foam cover developed from materials never used before in goal pad construction.
The benefits of this new design include weight savings. Bauer cited a “one-third reduction in overall pad weight” in its press event, and said it was “the lightest elite-level pad ever created at four pounds.”
“By wearing the new OD1N goal pad, a goalie can move from the goal line to the top of the crease a full inch faster than when he is wearing traditional pads,” Bauer GM of Equipment Craig Desjardins said during the keynote speech Thursday. “A goalie also saves more than 180 pounds of lifted weight over the course of a regulation hockey game.”
There were no pad size specs to match weight claims, but the new Warrior Ritual G2 was the lightest InGoal tested previously and came in at four pounds, four ounces on a 34 plus 1.5-inch pad. InGoal has also had custom, stripped-down Brian’s SubZero pads weigh in at less than four pounds.
The bigger difference may be the ability to dial in custom rebound control by inserting different foams in strategic areas of the pad.
“So in the case of Henrik Lundqvist, he’s looking for that puck to hit his pad and automatically redirect as quickly as possible out of the crease area. He doesn’t want it anywhere near him, whereas another goalie might want the puck to hit his pad, fall down and cover it up right away,” Desjardins said. “We have the ability to customize that rebound control absolutely anywhere on the entire insert of the goal pad.”
It’s a promising innovation from Bauer, and the idea of going way outside the box while building new goalie gear should always be applauded. We can’t wait to learn more as OD1N becomes a retail reality in the future.