Velocity 7 is here from Vaughn! Like last season’s V6 line, the V7 lineup features two different models to choose from: V7 XR and V7 XF. You’ve maybe noticed Vaughn ditched their old model number system in favour of XR and XF and it's caused our customers, and even our staff, to re-learn which features are specific to each model.
Yes, XR and XF actually hold some meaning, rather than just being a couple random letters. XR refers to ‘Extra Rigid’, while XF refers to ‘Extra Flexible’. Pretty easy stuff.
When looking at the two models, it’s kind of hard to decipher what is different between them—aside from one having a flat face and the other flat knee rolls—so after reading this, hopefully you’ll have a better understanding of the differences between the XR and XF.
Using a flat face design, the V7 XR Pro Carbon is made to unify rigidity and mobility, giving you the best of both the butterfly and hybrid worlds. Conversely, the V7 XF Pro Carbon is made to attract long time Vaughn users, or those who prefer softer pads, with its modernized knee rolls and flexible structure.
Both the XR and XF have a foam core structure that runs the entire length of the pad, but here's where they differ; the XR uses pro core internals to maintain a stiffer structure, while the XF uses flex core internals to increase torsional flex and pad responsiveness.
Overlaying both the XR and XF core internal foams is the most prominent feature of the entire V7 line: the full length carbon fiber sheet. The carbon reinforcement does a lot of good for pad structure, including maintaining the near-original size of the pad and reduces the overall weight by replacing excess foam. The stiffness of the carbon sheets also helps spring the pad back into original form after being flexed.
Flipping over the two pads, side by side, you start to notice more differences. The two are distinctly different from each other, in four areas on the backside, so here’s a breakdown of the main differences you’ll see:
· The knee stacks. The XF Pro Carbon has a three-piece knee stack which provides better cushion for the knees. The XF knee stack is also extended for better stability. The XR Pro Carbon, on the other hand, has a one-piece knee stack for a consistent seal on the ice;
· The toe ties. The XF Pro Carbon has an HD foam and leather toe bridge with skate lace. The XR Pro Carbon has a sliding toe bridge that allows your foot to move with your pad;
· The thigh wraps. The XF Pro Carbon has a standard thigh wrap that goes underneath the pants. The XR Pro Carbon has a more extensive thigh wrap that protects the knee and thigh – this particular wrap used on the XR was first featured on the Ventus series; and
· The boot straps. The XF Pro Carbon features a ‘clean boot’ design where there is not material in the boot. The boot strap is also set off to the far inside of the boot. On the other hand, the XR Pro Carbon has a boot strap set closer into the skate for a better hold on the skate.
The XR leg channel is slightly tighter fitting than the XF, thanks to the additional calf support between the landing gear and the inset calf wrap. The XR leg channel also features a three-point “Y” shaped Velcro calf strap, capable of mocking the top and bottom calf strap—a great way to reduce weight, if you’re comfortable with ditching leather straps.
Personally, I think the most exciting part of the new V7 line is the new trappers. The XR Pro Carbon is a brand new design for Vaughn, while the XF Pro Carbon is a similar build to the V6 2000 trapper with some vast improvements.
Usually, Vaughn trappers close index finger to thumb tip, but the XR closes index finger to the base of your thumb. This break angle would be familiar for those of you that use the CCM 590. The flat, ‘pancake’ style palm presents a large surface to the shooter, and, while you may think it wouldn’t close that well, it is actually one of the easiest Vaughn gloves for me to close.
On the other hand, if you’re a long term Vaughn user and are familiar with the T5500 or more recent Velocity trappers, you’ll probably love the XF. With a very deep palm and pocket, pop-outs are non-existent with this glove (unless your glove hand is as bad as mine). In the past, Velocity gloves were really overlooked and goalies would opt for the Vision T5500, Epic 8800, or Ventus more recently, but I think you’re going to see many goalies order the XF instead of those gloves.
Of course, carbon fiber is a big component to the new trappers. Both the XR and XF have carbon fiber inserts in the palm for reinforcement, and thumb backing for stability; the XF has a carbon fiber molded palm section, as well as the carbon palm inserts. To prevent the glove T from softening up, the XF also has carbon fiber support strips in the double-T.
In terms of performance, each glove performs a little better than the other in some categories. For example, when it comes to catching the puck, the XF takes the cake, but even then it is not by a long shot. If puck handling is a big part of your game, the XR is probably a more suitable glove for you; the XR break angle makes it easier and more comfortable to grip the shaft of the stick and make strong passes.
Seeing as Vaughn has many loyal customers that are accustomed to their previous products, I could see the XF being the more popular trapper. With that being said, the XR is, in my opinion, going to attract those of you that use a similar style glove from another company.
Yeah, a blocker is a blocker. They literally all function the same, and these two Vaughn blockers literally look the same. What’s up with that? It’s hard for one brand to really differentiate two of their blockers, because it’s a blocker. There is one noticeable difference between the XR and XF Pro Carbons, and after toying around with them for a bit I started to notice even more.
Firstly, the blocker boards are pretty well the same thing. Both blockers have a bindingless face, the same board angle and shape, and both have a carbon fiber insert for reinforcement.
The sideboard of the blockers is where they become different from one another. The XR has a large side shield and an HD side ridge. This sideboard is continued from the V6 2200, and was quite popular on previous Velocity models. The XF, on the other hand, has a more modern looking HD foam sideboard with a carbon fiber insert. The XF’s sideboard is also completely bindingless which gives a clean, aesthetic look, and it also wears a little better than nylon binding.
Taking a look at the backhand of the two blockers, there a couple more differences to be seen. The XR blocker has a pretty standard wrist adjustment, but the XF has a flex cuff—floating cuff—wrist. The floating cuff allows you a greater range of motion, ideal for presenting the blocker as best as possible in all scenarios.
The final noticeable differences between the two are the palms. Completely based off your preference, the XR Pro Carbon has an offset (higher sitting) Nash palm with a grip texture overlay; the XF Pro Carbon comes with a newer MSH3 palm with a grip texture overlay. You can’t really say which one is better, because it all depends on what you like. Personally, I have been using a Ventus blocker with the MSH3 palm and have really liked it. But, that’s just me.
On a final blocker note, the XR has a cool hand tension adjustment, where you can adjust how tight the palm fits to your hand.
Simply put, if you’re a Vaughn goalie, you’ve got options as Vaughn has a lot of different equipment. Although the XR and XF Pro Carbon pads are similar, it allows you to really to choose the pad that is truly right for you without compromise. The use of carbon fiber is an interesting story and it’s really gaining traction in goalie circles. Both the gloves rock and you can’t make a wrong decision there…typical Vaughn. Both the blockers are very comfortable and well balanced.
You can shop the Vaughn V7 XF and XR lines online, or drop by the shop to speak with one of our goal experts.
- written by Christian Plain
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