My Top 10 questions about Goalie Gear

My names Andrew Lucarino and I’m currently the store manager at Time Out Source for Sports in Vancouver, BC. I have worked in hockey retail for almost 13 years. I have been asked many different types of questions about goaltending equipment. I don’t have all the answers, but I have been able to build relationships with several brand reps and Product Managers, so I get to know their gear. I have been able to pick their brains and sometimes even offer suggestions. It has been gratifying to see some of my ideas come to life in goalie pads. Here are some of the most common questions I get. I hope the answers will help you to decide about your next purchase.

My Goalie Gear Top 10:

Each of these questions will be answered in the article below. Please scroll down, or click which topic you’re most interested in.

  1. What size goalie pads should I wear?
  2.  What are the advantages/disadvantages of a fully flat-faced pad?
  3.  How should you measure the proper length of a goalie stick?
  4.  Should I buy new or used?
  5.  What is the right catch angle for me?
  6.  What is the difference between PRO pads and SENIOR pads?
  7.  Custom vs Stock – Which is better?
  8.  Is it okay to wear my skates a half size bigger for comfort?
  9.  What items should I spent the most money on?
  10.  What helmet should I buy?

What size goalie pads should I wear?

In the world where every brand looks for a unique advantage sizing is often exaggerated. Everyone has different measuring points. ATK or Ankle to Knee and 40% of knee to upper thigh. Personally, I have gotten quite good at looking at a customer and recommending a size.

My number one thing when measuring new pads is being on skates, and checking the knee stack positioning. This, to me, is the most important aspect of new pads. The whole knee drive system is based off where the knee sits in the pad and how you are able to drive through the knee.

Another aspect of fitting goalie pads is thigh height, as explained in our goalie gear fitting guide

What are the advantages/disadvantages of a fully flat-faced pad?

The ever-fun debate between which pad is better: flat face or knee roll. First thing first, knee rolls are purely cosmetic at this day and age in goal pads. That needs to be known on a larger basis.

The main difference between flat faced and knee roll pad is how the puck comes off the pad. This has to do with the different types of foams used internally and how they are packed. Traditionally, knee roll pads like CCM Eflex and Bauer Reactor pads are softer in foam and play. This allows you to play a more save and smother style of game, more of that “hybrid” type pad.

The ever-popular CCM Premier line along with the Supreme line from Bauer, for example, is more your long-rebound style pad being as these styles of pads are flat faced and usually hard packed in their internal foams. These pads are designed to power the puck into the corners and drive the play away from you. Ultimately, the decision comes down to what style of goalie you are or if you are the modern goalie, then it’s whatever looks the best 😉

How should you measure the proper length of a goalie stick?

Measuring a goal stick can be difficult. My old Bauer stick was a 26.5” paddle. My old CCM Pro was a 26”. These two were noticeably more that only 0.5” off of the paddle. My Bauer played more like a 27”

I currently use a Warrior Stick and it feels very similar to my CCM 26”

The problem with each brand is that the measuring point is different. So, as much as we love to sit at the stick rack and compare paddle heights, it does absolutely nothing to help us decide.

When I am sizing up a kid or adult, I try to always have them put on a set of demo pads have them fall on the knee stack to check the following:

Stick Positioning: Ensure the stick is out in front and not off the side, but remember everyone is different. You are not there to teach them how to hold a stick but to help them find the best size their specific stance. Too many times I have seen Advisors try to fix the customers positioning instead of aiding them.

Shoulder Height: once you have established their comfortable stick stance, check the shoulder height. If the blocker shoulder is higher or lower than the glove hand shoulder, then the paddle is too big/small!

Gapping in the body/6hole: Check to make sure that the paddle height chosen is not creating more problems by opening up the arm away from the body. Usually, but not always, this does go hand in hand with uneven shoulder heights but always check!

Check Glove hand: always do a glove hand check too. Most often, customers will not think about their glove hand and let it fall. This causes an over compensation on the blocker hand potentially causing a shift in the body position. As a common practice, I always throw a catcher on the other hand, just to keep the customer thinking.

Should I buy new or used?

Ah yes, this is one of my favourite questions. There is no right or wrong answer. It is up to you.

Budget is the real answer. If money is not an issue then sure go new; if money is a little bit tight look at good quality used gear. HOWEVER, please never scrimp on your helmet. More on that later…

What is the right catch angle for me?

I love trappers, so this is a fun one for me. Choosing the catch angle on a glove is very much like picking a paddle height. It is unique to each person.

I always try to get the customer to bring in his current/old glove that they are replacing. Then I can find out what they like and do not like about it. I get them to put it on (with a blocker and stick – so we get no over compensation) and have them go into a ready stance. I look to see where the glove sits and where the T of the pocket is sitting compared to the body. Then I like to observe how they close the glove, where they hold it in their ready stance, how aggressive they are with it. All these things add up to determine whether or not they are a Lundquist style or a lazy glove or even a side catch.

What is the difference between PRO pads and SENIOR pads?

Pro pads vs Senior Pads – I often get asked if the price difference is: a) noticeable? and b) worth it? Well, in my most honest opinion: Not all pro pads are worth $2000. Now, I know this may cause some anger. Please remember this is just my opinion. I have had the opportunity to try over 40 types of pads in the past 2 years. What I like; you might not.

Okay so now that is out of the way. I will give a great example: Warrior Ritual G3 and the NEW Ritual GT. The Senior pad is absolutely an amazing pad for the money. For nearly the same material and marginal weight increase these pads are phenomenal. But if you compare a CCM Premier R1.9 to the Premier Pro you have a lot of noticeable differences. In my opinion, if you know you are not going to buy another pad for 5-10 years then go pro. If you are a once a week beer leaguer, then a senior pad is more than adequate for what you are doing. It is a matter of preference.

Custom vs Stock – Which is better?

Editors noteGoalieMonkey has a custom section on their site dedicated to customizing your goalie gear.

As a person who has used custom gear for the past 4 years (only because of where I work) I often get asked about the difference between getting custom pads or buying stock. This also comes down to personal preference. I love customizing pads and adding features.

With Brians Pads you can literally do whatever you want. I will say this though, if you are a beer league player who does not care about color, just buy stock. Custom is great if you have the patience to wait 8-10 weeks…and the money to pay.

Is it okay to wear goalie skates a half size bigger for comfort?

This is another topic that is open to debate. Personally, for kids I am okay with going a half size bigger. It allows a little bit of room to grow plus allows them be comfortable. For Adults, I prefer to measure them to their exact size. It allows for the skate to fit properly and be performance driven. The right size skate allows the foot to be held in the proper position and the performance of the player to be maximized.

What item should a goalie spend the most money on?

This is another one of my favourite topics, but it is also open for debate. I have asked hundreds of customers their opinions, as well as many other goalie experts from other stores across Canada. After much thinking and debating, my answer is clear: You should spend the most money on your helmet. The protection of your brain is a no brainer.

The second item I recommend spending money on is the catcher. The catcher is the most used piece of equipment. It wears out fastest, so you should buy one that will last. At our store, it has been pretty close to almost 2 to 1 catchers to blockers sold in a year.

What helmet should I buy?

On this question, I always ask my customers the same question: Is taking a chance with your brain worth saving a couple hundred dollars? If the answer is no (and it should be) then we proceed.

Masks are expensive and what you are looking for is protection. That costs money. I completely understand that the price of masks have begun to skyrocket. We sell the Bauer 960 XPM for 999.99 CDN. Not everyone can afford top end masks, but I must admit that 960xpm mask from Bauer has been my best seller this year even at that price.

My hope is that this article helps makes more informed decisions. Too many times I see equipment bought based off price and not safety.

Visit our store for more help with your gear

Thanks for reading, if you are in the Vancouver area and need help picking the right goalie equipment drop by Time Out Source For Sports

Feel free to contact me at my store at 6049809211 or email me directly at with any questions you may have.

Look forward to gearing from you and writing again soon.

Andrew Lucarino

Want to Browse Online?

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