Since the Spring of 2016, some of the most advanced, trend-setting, out-of-the-box goalie equipment has hit the market. It’s safe to say goalies alike have been spoiled with the choices we have been given – there’s something for everyone. Unsurprisingly, the new Brian’s OPT1K line raises the bar, and then some.
The new OPT1K line brings together innovation and heritage to produce, what may be, the best equipment on the market. Call me a hype guy, but I like what I see.
What is OPT1K?
I know what you may be thinking: “What about SubZero and G-NETik?” Don’t worry about SubZero or G-NETik, because this is something new. The best way to describe it is that Brian’s adds a tier to the hierarchy system; rather than a new Pro-level pad, the OPT1K is considered above Pro-level.
A great part about the OPT1K series is how much the graphic stands out. With the leg pads, blocker and trapper, an entire OPT1K set has twenty-seven color zones. TWENTY-SEVEN! The colour combinations are endless with the OPT1K line – it’s going to be exciting to see all the sets we bring in!
Most importantly, OPT1K will come in two different styles: FLY and FLX. More on that below.
((FLX)) and ||FLY|| Chassis
The Brian’s OPT1K leg pads will come in two distinct chassis options, to cater to both Hybrid and Butterfly goalies.
The FLX core provides a softer core, best suited for hybrid-style goalies. The core is designed, using Brian’s signature E-Foam, with multiple internal breaks to replicate the feel of a soft pad with external breaks. The no-break external design is essential for preserving the pads’ shape and structural integrity.
Conversely, the FLY chassis is a stiff core, best suited for butterfly-style goalies. This core is designed without internal breaks, providing a solid foundation for the butterfly. Combine that with the Primo sliding edge and it’s smooth sailing on any ice surface. The first reactions from THS staff suggest that the FLY core would be the preferred option.
Both chassis differ in design, making both options play out entirely different from the other. Both chassis also come with different boot tapers – the FLX core comes with an 80-degree boot taper, while the FLX comes with the 90-degree.
What’s most prominent about the OPT1K leg pads is the look. Brian’s has gone to a flat-face, no vertical roll design; this increases the overall flat blocking surface of the pad. The vertical roll is shaved down to a small fraction of the normal size we are accustomed to.
Along with eliminating the vertical roll, they’ve also made the thigh-rise extremely thin. The slim thigh rise is crucial, because it reduces the weight, as well as any interference between both pads.
Brian’s attention to detail is well demonstrated by the small features of the pad. The lace-less face of the OPT1K pad is aesthetically pleasing to eye; combine that with their extensive selection of materials, Brian’s does a great job of making the OPT1Ks look rich and full of quality.
To quickly touch on the materials used/available, Brian’s offers the following: flat, weave, and matte JenPros; Bucky (vintage); Primo synthetic leather (used on the sliding surface); Defender; Hex-Air; X-Static Anti-Microbial; and Air-Knit.
As mentioned before, Brian’s will be featuring an entire Primo sliding surface as the stock option for the OPT1K pads. Pairing the Primo with the binding-less inner gusset, the OPT1K pads will give off the fastest on-ice movements.
A crucial design feature of the inner gusset is the use of Super-HD engineered foam. The stiffer the surface of the landing surface, the more consistent the pad’s seal on the ice. Overall, this will not just improve the on-ice seal, but also improve coverage. You’re drops to the ice will be heard throughout the arena.
To further the consistency of the inside edge, the max-sized 45-degree knee block is inset and laced-in, to always remain in position and secure.
The OPT1K leg channel, by way of how materials are cut and sewn, has a ‘triangle’ opening to the leg channel (looking from the boot). This leg channel design improves pad rotation by creating more free space around the skate/ankle area, reducing interference.
As per usual, the leg channel is lined with Brian’s signature X-Static Anti-Microbial material – X-Static promotes wicks away sweat, which will both eliminate bacteria and keep the pads relatively dry. An extension of the drying properties is the pads won’t gain much water weight.
Hex-Air Knee Cradle
The Hex-Air knee cradle has been used on Brian’s previous series and is seen again on the OPT1K pads – to no surprise. The Hex-Air knee cradle has hexagons surfacing from the knee cradle, creating air channels that promote air flow. The hexagons also add a bit of padding for your knees.
A small feature of the knee cradle that I like is the use of nylon, rather than Primo or another material. Nylon is fairly lightweight and slick, which promotes smoother butterfly rotations. Nylon knee cradles are a regular option for pro goalies.
The OPT1Ks feature the re-designed X-style Smart Strap.
The ‘X’ configuration provides you with more secure and open strapping options, depending on your preferences. The main knee strap is intended to strap down to the calf, while an additional one-inch strap from the top of the calf wrap attaches to the knee. Here, at the knee, the X-configuration reduces strap interference at your knee.
The Smart Strap toe straps have also been re-designed to allow for better connection and minimize friction between the strap and cowling.
The OPT1K leg pads are the perfect ensemble of Brian’s craftsmanship and innovation. From the chassis that works best for you, to the vast selection of custom options and materials, you can find the OPT1K pad that works best for YOU!Read the Brian's OPTik Trapper & Blocker Review
Shop the Brian's OPTiK Pro Leg Pad
Brian's OPTiK Pro Leg Pad Gallery