Bauer is a hockey powerhouse and while they produce some of the best pro gear, including this year's UltraSonic line, they have also improved their second price point line, the Bauer Supreme 3S. After last year’s launch of the impressive Vapor 2X series, it’s been clear Bauer has continued to focus on their second price-point in order to cater to those who are looking for impressive performance without the high price tag. With the 3S leg pad, Bauer has created a stable pad that incorporates advanced technology to offer pro level performance. The 3S also introduces a new strapping style to the Supreme line, incorporates Curv Composite into the thigh rise, and stabilizes the knee block for better control. Let’s dive into the specs.
The inner core of the Bauer 3S leg pad has received some major improvements over the previous S29 model through the addition of Bauer’s Curv Composite. Curv Composite has traditionally been reserved only for the Pro line, but now Bauer has added Curv to their second price point to improve performance and value. If you’re wondering why Curv is such a big deal, it’s because the addition of this material in the thigh-rise helps create a stiffer pad that won’t break down and soften up nearly as much as its predecessor. While the structure is improved, this material is also designed to launch rebounds from the crease, giving goalies some extra time and space to get set for the next shot.
Another area Bauer focused on redesigning is the stability and seal of the pads. By using a square knee block with Cortech ST, the pad seals the ice seamlessly while helping you feel more stable in your butterfly. The 90-degree knee block is stiff in order to reduce the floppiness and follow the knee to the ice while remaining stable.
As for the calf plate, Bauer redesigned the shape to improve movements on the ice without losing its stability. Bauer accomplishes this by raising the calf plate above the ice and toward the calf to minimize contact with ice. This means that you will have less contact on the ice, allowing for even easier sliding and movements without any drag, even on rough ice. Another feature we like from this year's Bauer Supreme line is the butterfly assist calf pillow, a removable pillow to improve the connection to the pad, but also offer a customizable feel to make sure you are comfortable in the set up.
While the thigh rise on the pad is made to be stiffer, Bauer uses their Connect Flex 125-degree boot, which is the same angle but a softer boot than previous Supreme models. While the boot may not be as soft or flat as the 2X, it offers a more flexible feeling than the previous 2S line.
Another big improvement applied to the 3S leg pads is the new strapping system. One of the biggest questions we hear from customers is whether it is possible to get a Supreme pad with Vapor strapping. While Bauer offered that on their customizer for Pro pads, it wasn’t available on the senior or entry-level models until now. Bauer brings the Tune Fit Connect strapping to the 3S, with an extra treat for those who like the tight strapping that Supreme has had for years. While the knee strap is standard and features a Velcro adjustable knee wing, the rest of the strapping is worth digging into. Bauer equips the 3S with the same adjustable calf strap as the 2X, allowing goalies to pick where they want the main connection point on their leg. Bauer also features an elastic outer strap to hold everything down.
My favourite part of the set is the addition of an optional professor strap. While some people like their pads loose, the Supreme line has always promoted a tight leg channel with a secure fit, but the system wasn’t convenient. With the professor strap around the top of the calf, goalies can attain the same secure connection while achieving better pad rotation. Consisting of nylon with padding and a plastic buckle, the strap is comfortable and gives goalies an extra option to customize their pad to their preference.
Lastly, Bauer adds their bungee lace onto the offset toe of the pad. While the Velcro helps improve the efficiency of putting it on, the bungee lace offers a much more reactive and forgiving toe attachment compared to classic skate lace. The bungee toe allows for more separation from the pad and a looser toe feeling while always pulling the pad back into place due to its elasticity. For those that aren’t a fan of this feature, it’s easy to replace it with classic skate lace. An optional bootstrap is also included with the pads to add that extra connection to the ankle.
Here’s the fun section, let’s talk about style. Now, for the most part, Bauer has always had a love it or hate it style, but in my opinion, the 3S is going to push the majority to the love it side. The new design not only features sharp lines and graphics but also layers the Cortech ST skin and adds subtle texture designs. The upper binding now features an iPhone notch look that is distinct while also appearing to tighten the corners of the pad.
Bauer has gifted the goalie world with an impressive new Supreme line for 2020, and the 3S is proof of that. By upgrading the materials and adding Curv Composite, they are finally extending that Pro feeling and performance to those who don’t want to spend top dollar. The change in strapping is something most of us have been hoping for since the 2S and even more impressively remains tight to the leg, as the Supreme line is intended. As for performance, the rebounds are bigger, and dropping into your butterfly is loud and stable while the improvements to the calf plate also allow for effortless sliding. Not only are these pillows catering to Supreme fans, but it will also attract more goalies to Bauer’s equipment as the improvements and features are hard to beat.
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Written By: Jonathan Holloway
Bauer Supreme 3S Leg Pad Gallery