Vaughn has been most known for their ever-popular Velocity series, which has been around since 1998. The Velocity pad was a transcendent piece of equipment, because it was the first goal pad designed to butterfly. Vaughn had also created a secondary Ventus series but they’ve continually played second fiddle (in terms of popularity) to the Velocity series.
New for 2017, Vaughn has released the Ventus SLR Pro Carbon leg pads, designed with HD foams and carbon to be a lightweight, butterfly-style pad. The SLR Pro Carbons have since converted Velocity goalies Matt Murray and Jimmy Howard, and gained the attention of many more, proving this pad is living up to its hype.
An important design feature on the SLRs is the wide-open knee cradle. The open concept knee cradle provides you with more volume than Vaughn pads traditionally do, making it easy to fit the biggest knee pads available.
The open knee cradle also features an angled knee strap, which can mount down to the calf or horizontally across the knee.
In conjunction with the open knee cradle, the wide leg channel allows the pad to rotate seamlessly, creating a solid seal along the ice.
The SLR pads are Vaughn’s first pad without leather straps. It’s becoming increasingly common for companies to be making pads without leather straps, in exchange for Velcro strapping. The main calf strap is attached on the inside edge of the leg channel, at two points, to mock top and bottom calf straps; however, the newest strapping feature is the rotation control strap.
The Re-Active Rotation Control strap is designed to hug directly below your knee, keeping your knee in the correct position on the knee stack and help the pad smoothly rotate around your leg. The buckle is a magnetic buckle for ease of use.
Made with a full foam core internal structure, the SLRs are designed to maintain a rigid shape that perfectly seals the ice. Additionally, the foam core has a full layer of carbon fiber atop it to reinforce the stiffness and maintain the structural integrity of the pad.
An extra layer of carbon fiber is added above the knee to increase the stiffness of the pad.
Also, the internals are pre-shaped to keep a somewhat straight structure, but with enough curve to close the butterfly easily.
The best part about the SLR Pro Carbon pads is they’re lightweight construction. Thanks to the use of HD foam cores and carbon fiber, the SLR Pro Carbon weighs in at 4.9 lbs. (34” + 2” pad size). Achieving a sub-5-pound weight for a single leg pad is the new standard now for new pads, I would say. So, it’s great to see Vaughn building new equipment to suit always changing industry standards, while being able to cater to their key demographic.
No matter what flat-faced pad Vaughn has made in the past—Vision, Epic, Ventus—it has always played second fiddle to the Velocity pad. Mainly, it’s been because the goalies that have bought Vaughn pads generally play a more athletic, hybrid style. The Ventus LT98's were a step in the right direction last year; this year, the SLRs are taking the big leap.
Vaughn NHL goalies would typically use a highly customized Velocity pad. Finally, Vaughn has made a pad that many of their sponsored goalies like. Matt Murray and Jimmy Howard have switched from the Velocity series to the SLRs, as well as Robin Lehner. I'd bet that all their goalies will now be considering the SLR's moving forward at the very least.
The SLR has that Vaughn look: the side profile is reminiscent of the V7s, but the overall construction makes the pad geared toward a butterfly goalie. Considering the extra layer of carbon fiber in the thigh rise, the Ventus SLR Pro Carbons are a legitimate option for more modern/technical goalies, especially those used to Vaughn pads.
Of course, the weight stands out the most with these pads. It seemed like the goalie market was mostly influenced by the weight of the pad, which is why we see every brand making that their main goal. While the SLRs are not the lightest pads on the market, they’re very balanced and will work for many goalies. I highly suggest you check out the Ventus SLR Pro Carbon pads, the next time you’re at The Shop.
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