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After the success of the original Optik series from 2017, this year Brian’s improves on much loved features while also borrowing technology from their recent G-Netik 4 pads. Sticking with Opti-slide technology, introducing a new stiffness and strapping, and the addition of Brian’s smart cord toe system, this pad brings all the best into one package.
MAX, FLY, FLX
The Optik 2 line keeps the original 2 stiffness options, FLX and FLY, while also introducing a new option, MAX. The FLX has a hard face to send rebounds away from the crease but with multiple internal breaks allows for a more flexible, hybrid style of play for goalies that like to play more athletically. The FLY option is the stiff option from previous years without any internal breaks, allowing for a butterfly style play while also popping rebounds far from the crease. The new MAX stiffness is the main attraction this year with a stiffer core than the FLY while being pre-curved and featuring a soft boot, allowing for a more practical butterfly.
First introduced on the original Optik Pro Pads, Brian’s continues to use its ultra-popular sliding surface on this generation. A bindingless surface with the use of higher density foams eliminates drag while promoting a smoother, faster slide along the ice, especially late in the game. Originally used as Brian’s durability material, you can be sure this sliding surface won’t wear out over time.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Brian’s keeps their lightweight, high-density E-Foam technology through their pad. They’ve been using this technology for quite a few years and it has stood the test of time as a reliable, durable foam for their pro equipment. Brian’s also uses Air-knit liner in the leg channel to keep you cool and allow the pad to dry-out quickly to reduce water weight. The knee block has a soft landing, but the sliding surface uses a higher density foam to improve the seal to the ice.
The X-strapping is out, the Optik wrap is in. Similar to what was seen on the G-Netik 4 leg pads, Brians has gone with a simple Velcro outer wrap style of strapping, reducing weight and simplifying the strapping system. The knee strap still allows the option to strap around the knee or around the upper calf. The major addition this year is the optional calf strap, providing a snug anchor point to the pad while also promoting the rotation of the pad when dropping into the butterfly. The calf strap ultimately improves control over the pad, much like the reactive rotation control strap on Vaughn. Lastly, Brian’s includes the optional bootstrap and introduces the smart-cord toe-tie system, first seen on the G-Netik 4 Pro pads, for simplicity.
Brian’s keeps the innovative design of the Optik line the same, minimalizing the outer-roll to reduce weight while still maintaining the structural integrity of the pad. The Optik has also ditched knee rolls on all their stiffness options, promoting a flat blocking surface for more consistent rebounds. The ultra-thin profile of the pad also results in dramatic weight reduction.
If Brian’s is known for anything, it is that they are the custom goal company. Made in Canada, the quality and possibilities are endless if you’re looking to design and build your own pad. The graphic itself allows for creative and detailed designs as well as a textured zone on the shin of the pad. If you’re looking to go the extra mile, you can even design your own graphic for an upcharge. Check out the customizer on Brian’s website and feel free to give us a call at the Hockey Shop with any questions or to start building your new set!
After getting a chance to try the MAX core Optik 2 pads on ice, with the structure along with Brian’s signature Opti-Slide, I found I was flying in the crease. The stiffness contributed to hard, accurate rebounds clearing the blueline on shots while also giving me great stability in my butterfly. The new Brian’s calf strap kept the pad tight to my leg and gave me great control over my rebounds and my on-ice movements. I felt more confident in my play, however coming from the G-Netik 4 pads, I would need a few more ice times to adjust to the profile and stiffness to maximize my play. Overall, I was really impressed with the play of these pads and they definitely have made the shortlist on which set I’ll be rocking next.
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