Brian’s Unveils G-NETik CA and Customizers
As if the highly anticipated debut of the stylish, armour-plated new G-NETik upper body protection wasn’t enough, the folks at Brian’s Custom Sports have also unveiled the world’s first chest-and-arm customizer at the same time.
That’s right, Brian’s is now offering a compete customizer for both their SubZero Pro2 and G-NETik Pro arm-and-chest units.
No wonder they call themselves The Custom Goal Company.
It’s hard to know which innovation to get more excited about, so we’ll start with the G-NETik unit, which features additional hard-plastic plate protection on both the forearm and bicep, before taking a closer look at all the cool options you can play with while designing one on Brian’s new customizer.
Designed to combine next-level protection with superior mobility, the G-NETik arm-and-chest unit features layered protection on the arms, with a hard, thin piece floating at the top to eliminate stingers bruises on the forearm and bicep.
By allowing just a little movement in this hard layer of extra protection – it is anchored at the top and bottom with tight elastic – Brian’s hasn’t compromised mobility through the arms, which also have slightly more soft padding on the inner and outer edges than the SubZero Pro2 arm-and-chest InGoal recently reviewed.
While the shoulder floaters are not quite as wide as SubZero Pro2, which was an astonishing 21-inches at the widest point, the G-NETik floaters still measure a little more than 19 inches across. And like the SubZero model, the double shoulder caps flare out on both sides when a goalie actually puts the unit on, adding to the visual intimidation factor for shooters more than when it hangs on the rack at retail.
The mobility factor through the arms is improved by new hinged allow floaters that are also a departure from the more traditional SubZero Pro2 model.
Brian’s labeled it Motion Based Design (MBD), and the out-of-the-box flex and range of motion through the elbows and arms is impressive. It is also adjustable.
Rather than anchor the front-facing blocks of the elbow piece to the side pieces, Brian’s left them unattached save for one elastic strap that wraps under the arm and attaches to the bottom edge of the side portion on the opposite side.
Instead Brian’s has anchored the front-facing elbow block to the bicep plate and kept it connected to the side pieces through a strap that runs underneath and along the break in the elbow. And each attachment point is easily adjusted with a Velcro strip, allowing goalies to tinker with how much tension they want.
That’s a lot of words to essentially say that Brian’s has eliminated the need to break in the elbow by securing all the attachments in ways that flex with the arm, rather than pulling against these flex points in any way:
That combination of added protection without compromising mobility continues with an oversized, high-density foam sternum plate that flexes easily around the edges. Add in shoulder wings with a break down the middle that allows them to flex, and the new GNET-ik arm-and-chest makes gut traps and rebound control on shots off the body easy right out of the box because the hands are allowed to come together in front of the goalie with little resistance.
It’s an important part of puck stopping, yet how many times have you seen someone put on a chest-and-arm unit in the store and try touch the top of their head as a way of testing its range of motion, but never bother to see if those same arms can actually reach each other in front of their body?
The new GNET-ik unit gives you both.
Like the SubZero Pro2 unit, Brian’s has extended the lat coverage around the side, adding a second layer and neatly tucking the plastic buckles from the high-density foam back plate between those two layers to eliminate broken buckles.
Also like the SubZero Pro2, the belly pad is separated from that lat protection on the sides, and while some prefer to have this stitched together, InGoal testers liked how the split made both tuck and un-tucked options functional. The separate belly pad also allowed for a unique combination: tucking the side panels into the pant, while leaving the belly pad un-tucked, which allows goalies to achieve that connected, integrated feeling with the pants without sacrificing any forward pitch or flexibility at the waist because of how easily the belly pad seams allow it to flex forward.
Unlike the SubZero Pro2, there is no extra HD flap under the arm pits, but with the thicker, more protective extra layers of foam rising higher on the lat protection that wraps around the sides, that extra piece, which got caught up with the arms for some InGoal testers of the SubZero Pro 2 model, is no longer necessary on the GNET-ik arm-and-chest unit.
The GNET-ik maintains the use of Brian’s X-Static material, a silver fibre designed to eliminate bacteria and the stink it causes, throughout the inner linings, and like the SubZero Pro2 unit, the arms are stitched in at the top, which allows for some adjustability in the length. That’s key, especially at the lower arm, because as much as those hard plastic plates that provide added forearm protection have some movement built in, it’s important for those with shorter arms to make sure they aren’t positioned too far down where the additional width could interfere with the gloves a little more than the tapered wrists of the SubZero Pro2, something to keep in mind when sizing one up.
Add it all up, and the new GNET-ik arm-and-chest unit provides a great balance of mobility and extra protection, but of course that’s not all Brian’s unveiled this week.
Just ask Eddie Lack, the Vancouver backup who celebrated a two-year, $2.3-million contract extension with a custom Canucks-coloured GNET-ik arm-and-chest of his own:
InGoal played around on the customizers a little as well – not to create a pretty CA, but to show off the various colour zones (it also demonstrates some of the profile differences between the two units). Just click the links, or the images, to go straight to the customizers on Brian’s Goalie’s Only website:
GNET-ik Customizer colour zones:
SubZero Pro2 Customizer colours: