I've been a long time user of the Velocity line ever since it first came out. I remember being at the store and our rep at the time was Joey (who is now with Vaughn in BC) and he gave me a set to demo for a few months. Through the years Jorg has also given me a pile of stuff to try out…some being prototype, etc and asked my opinion on things which was great! I was always intrigued by the flat face and squareness of the pad and I remember my first set that I tried which was a very cool looking black and copper colour. I'm going to be brutally honest here….I totally hated them. The reason for this was because I had zero experience wearing this type of box pad. I came from the previous Koho/Heaton setups which were worn tighter to the leg at that time, had big shin rolls and were stuffed with Dacron. When I tried the first representation of the Velocity line, I wore them the same way and took no regard for the mechanics of the pad being different and thus, I wasn't happy with it. I remember when I met Pete smith at the very first GSBB clinic that we had and he showed me how it was supposed to be worn and what to adjust, etc….and from then on, I've really enjoyed using this setup and all it's changes through the many years I have been using them.
Fast forward to 2012.
At this point in time, Vaughn has so finely tuned this pad that it is as close to perfect as it can get. I mean, the V4 line was nice but really, this one has made a significant change in both weight and function to the point where this one is my new Go To pad. I've found that this pad is first and foremost lighter than all of it's predecessors and that my lateral sliding has actually improved with it due to the changes made which I will highlight with pics and description.
Some specifics and everyone always asks me this….what mods did you get? Well, I can honestly tell you this time, VERY LITTLE. That pad is that good as a stock setup. Really. I'm not fooling here at all.
So….here is my huge list of mods:
1.) Sliding Toe bridge.
2.) 1 inch longer straps
3.) 1 inch longer velcro knee strap (to accomodate knee pads)
Shocked? So was I when I first thought about it! I think my buddy Steve at Vaughn paused for a second when I told him as well because he was probably expecting me to butcher something up.
Size of the pads is 35 +2" which is a standard that works perfectly for me.
Here is some of the rationale behind why I didn't need to mod the pad as extensively as I have done in the past which I'll highlight in pictures with some text before the pic as it is listed. I really didn't want to do a quality review until I had a month into them and over 22 hours on the pads. You can't do justification to a review after only using a few times.
Here is my complete setup which I posted previously in the Vaughn thread.
I went for a simple royal blue and white setup which matches my Wednesday team jerseys. The good news is that the background is a LOT nicer that previous years since I just finished my basement and studio over the holidays!
You can see that the inside calf wrap and knee are the first key changes on the pad. Note that they have put an appropriate gap between the knee wing and calf piece to all for adequate flex in this area. I remember years back that I had this added as a modification. Not needed here at all.
Outside gusset of the pad….I went with a blue colour on this piece. My previous set with white looked a lovely combination of grey and rust (from the quality painted goal posts we use!) after a couple of months. Not that it matters really…it's just an cosmetic piece. Note the newly improved outside calf wrap. This is a fantastic setup because it is not a huge as the Carey Price one that I previously had and not a pitifully small as the previous V4 unit. It's a nice balance between both and hugs the leg perfectly without binding or folding under. Note as well…the pad is quite a bit thinner than previous versions. Knock that one off of the mod list as well. One thing I noticed was that this pad was noticeably more flexible. I simply wore them the same day right out of the box. I didn't squish them down or do anything of that sort like I have done with previous gear. It's game ready.
Those that know my reviews from the past know that I asked for this mod on my V3 and V4 pads. Looks like someone listened to me and worked to make this a factory setup. It works beautifully because it doesn't bind on the pants as the older one would do. This allows the pad to fully rotate and clear your pant. Thank you for changing this Mike Vaughn! Don't need to add this as a mod anymore. Note the new V5 logos…..they finally oriented it in the correct direction. Looks great now!
I'm really not sure what Vaughn was thinking last year with the V4 units and putting the punched nash material on this area. Not only did it soak up water like no one's business, I found it to be a hinderance and slip out on me when wet and it would literally stick to freshly frozen ice. You'll notice this was on my previous setup of V4s with Clarino as shown here. I wonder if they had an overrun of the material and decided to use it. Oh well…thank goodness they changed it for the better. Thanks again for listening, Mike Vaughn. Don't need to add this as a mod either. boot strap attachment point has been rock solid on my set in this area. Nothing to worry about here. Note the new V5 logos…..they finally oriented it in the correct direction. Looks great now!
This was a huge change for them on the pad. I had some issues with my V3 and V4 pads not holding the edge flat enough no matter how I changed my strapping to accommodate it. The only time I had it working was through a couple of sets of V2 and V3 pads that Steve Fowler had put in some HD strips in this area and the knee area. The knee area worked but it increased wear too significantly to be a positive benefit. This is a very solid compromise for doing it in the shin area. There are 3 main key functions of this. First and foremost been, it is quite a bit firmer in this area. The pad completely seals the ice and you don't get any squeakers through the front or on the pad directly facing the shot on the ice. Secondly, the lateral sliding (in combination with the knee) is vastly improved with this mod. Thirdly, the pad completely sites upright and parallel to the ice. Scratch this off of my mod list! Thanks again for listening Mike Vaughn!
This was one of my mods….the sliding toe bridge which I have grown to love. I tried them on my V4s and liked how they functioned. Attention to detail is important. Not that this is a big thing but you will notice how Vaughn has properly put a curved corner on the inside of the bridge to eliminate or reduce wear. Again, it's the small things that separates some from the others. One thing I have never had to do is add any locktite to Vaughn's toe bridges ever. They have a great screw and T-post setup and in all of my years of using their pads, I've never had one get loose or separate. Again, small but important details to consider.
lower boot of pad….completely stock…I didn't even do the nylon shin that I normal do. I didn't feel it was necessary at all this time.
Top of pad, again completely stock. No need for any changes. Knee cradle is adequately spaced, even for thick knee guards.
And we come to the piece that I find just glorious! For the first time EVER, I have no more squeakers on this pad through the 5 hole. These things absolutely shut down things in the centre and come together with great ease. Carey was onto something when he had this spec'd to his pads before. It is a solid piece. Now, it is important to note that this pad isn't as comfy and cushy in the knee area as previous Velocity setups. This knee is a nice chunk of HD/LD foam. I haven't found any issues with them since I'm using a knee guard with it. The cushion layer is on the area where the knee first contacts. The straps are perfectly placed at the edge of the block to allow your knee to stay in the pad and not slip off of it. It works plain and simple. This change alone made me so comfortable using this pad. Sliding laterally is vastly improved as well. Another mod not needed to add. A great change to the overall feel and function of the pad.