Brian's G-NETik X5 Goalie Gear Review
May 31, 2022 || Written by Cedric Hastings
For 2022, Brian's is making it easier for goalies of all skill levels to get in the game and bump up their play in the process. Their brand new G-NETik X5 goalie collection looks to enhance your game with some of the best and most renowned technologies on the market today, at a more affordable price point. Brian's has demonstrated in the past and already even this year why they are one of the best of the best, and with the release of the G-NETik X5, Brian's further establishes themselves as committed to helping every goalie reach their full potential.
Flexible Core Construction
The G-Netik X5 has undergone a redesign of its flex profile to better match its bigger brother, the G-Netik V. The newly modified internal knee rolls ensure the flat face pad has ample flex at the knee. With its slightly stiffened thigh, the X5 will be able to maintain its S-curve shape for longer and improve the seal in the butterfly.
Primo Slide Surface
Appearing once again on the G-Netik X5 is Brian’s Primo slide surface. First seen in their pro pad division, this slick material was originally used in high-wear spots in their pads and gloves due to its improved durability over traditional Jenpro or Weave. Brian’s saw its potential and put it on the slide surface of their first generation Optik, thus introducing a pad to rival the sliding capability of any pad on the market today. The addition of Primo to their midline G-Netik X5 series is a huge advantage over other pads of a comparable price, as it gives younger goalies that extra needed boost of power to push and maneuver themselves across their crease.
Brian’s has done a good job refining their strapping system to create a simplified yet equally effective system for the G-Netik X5. Similar to that of the Optik X2, the X5 features only two main straps on the back of the leg along with an elastic Smart Cord toe tie and Smart Boot strap. The calf wrap features an additional internal piece that wraps around the lower leg to aid in rotation and increase the tightness of the leg channel, so the pad can feel more secure against the leg. All straps on the G-Netik X5 are fully adjustable and replaceable, making it easy to refurbish the pads once the straps start to wear out.
80° Toe Taper and Boot Design
The boot on the G-Netik X5 feels very connected to the leg due to its relatively flat shape. The soft flexing nature of the boot break also helps to make the lower portion of the pad move with the leg and be easier to control than the stiff boots seen on other flat-faced pads. The 80° toe taper is something we’ve seen on Brian’s pads for a couple of years now, and it does a great job of walking the line between creating a good seal in the butterfly and being slightly tapered. The slight taper allows for easier pushes and reduces the likelihood of any slip out caused by the pad coming in contact with the ice and getting in the way of the goalie’s push.
If you flip the blocker over, you will find one of the features that set Brian’s blockers apart from the others. The wide, ultra-flared cuff does a great job at providing an unmatched range of motion and mobility while also reducing interference with the arms of the chest guard. The cuff features a velcro adjustment that can be tightened or loosened depending on how the goalie chooses to wear their blocker.
HD Foam Sidewall
The laced-in, HD foam sidewall is designed to give the blocker a squared-off shape and protect the thumb side of the hand. While not the stiffest sidewall on the market, it does a good job of contouring the body when in blocking positions, eliminating gaps while remaining rigid enough to stop the puck.
The G-Netik X5 uses two large HD forefinger protectors that wrap around the fingers while the goalie grips the stick, aided by elastic attachment straps. While there is no additional index finger protection, the finger protection on the X5 blocker does a good job of keeping everything protected while simplifying the process of gripping the stick.
Balance and Feel
Despite being a midline blocker, the X5 has a very well-balanced feel to it. It’s nice and light on the hand, and most of the mass is right above the back of the hand for a look that feels and is extra protective. Unlike some other blockers, it isn’t nose or inside heavy, which makes it easier to roll your wrist and send rebounds off to the corner or out of harm's way effortlessly.
Bevelled Nose Design
The bevelled nose is great for paddle down saves, as well as making it easier to pick up your stick. It is able to simplify the procedure by letting your hand get closer to the ice with less interference.
Just like its pro-spec brother, the G-Netik X5 uses the same 35° closure as the G-Netik V. This break is less upright than the Optik’s 40° break, meaning the G-Netik break is more like closing your fingertips to the base of your thumb, whereas the Optik break feels more like a pinching motion. The palm features a laced-in break, which helps the catcher have that snappy, game-ready feel right out of the box.
One area where Brian’s catchers stand out over their competitors is in their ability to funnel pucks into the pocket rather than causing them to pop out into a dangerous rebound. This is due in part to a sharply bevelled thumb, which sucks pucks into the pocket with ease. The bevelled design also makes for fewer stingers in the thumb, as there’s less flat surface for the puck to slap.
Strapping and Internals
The X5 catcher uses traditional leather backhand straps and a nylon wrist webbing strap to adjust the tightness on the hand. Tried and true, this system also features Brian’s No Slip Grip Nash material on the palm and wrist, helping keep your hand locked into the glove regardless of how wet the material gets. The wrist strap uses a floating design, which when combined with the wide, flared-out cuff, gives the goalie superior wrist mobility no matter how they choose to hold their glove. The finger stalls in the X5 are made of Brian’s AirKnit material, offering superior airflow and allowing your hands to stay cooler during play.