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In search of gel (not foam, foamy-gel, air-gel) mask padding.

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  • In search of gel (not foam, foamy-gel, air-gel) mask padding.

    The gel mask inserts I've been using for the past six years are finally starting to leak, and it's time to replace them.

    Does anybody know of a manufacturer (perhaps not hockey-specific) or a DIY solution that could provide custom gel to line my mask?

    Unfortunately, the old manufacturer, Maltese, has switched to foam instead of gel. I've tried their new foam neck-guard and compared it to their old gel one. I did an unscientific impact assessment on my neck, and the foam seemed to transmit far more of the impact force than the original gel. It's night and day, the gel feels way more protective.

    In my mask, I've taken a number of hard shots, but the gel inserts have saved my bacon (ditto for the gel neck-guard). Maybe it's a combination of the gel properties, plus, in the mask, the fact that the plastic 'casing' the gel is in stretches elastically when the contents are under compression. Whatever the reason, the gel tops any foam I've tried for deadening impacts both light and hard. Foam seems to be good at one or the other. But to get both types of protection out of foam, you need to use two types together and thus it has to be thicker. The gel is thin *and* super protective for all whacks and whumps I get in net.

    So anyway, I'm looking for solutions. I've contacted Maltese, but they can only offer their new air-gel/whipped-gel foam. Has anybody had any experience with or heard about something like the old style Maltese mask inserts? Perhaps a product not intended for hockey, but one that might fit the bill?

    I'd rather not use a bunch of gel bra-inserts and Dr. Scholl's in my mask, but if that offers better impact protection that the foam available, I'd do it.

    Edit: Here are pictures of the kit I'm using now. I'm in love with it. Super-conforming, never get sweat in the eyes, and absolutely the bee's knees for impact. I've bent a few cages and just last weekend cracked the chin (my imminent shell upgrade is spurring on my search for fresh gel), but never felt the slightest ring or headache or flash of continuity-loss or discomfort.

    Note I think a couple of the hard whacks have split the seal on the cheek-pads (the seam of which is cut much finer than the other pieces), and this is why I'm looking to upgrade my gel.





    Last edited by Temple; 03-19-2014, 05:22 PM.

  • #2
    Maybe sorbothane, but I tried it in my running shoes when it first hit the market and didn't think that it was as great as everybody claimed.

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    • #3
      Sorbothane looks like a solid plastic that acts fluidic under high shock. I don't think that would be a good mask liner.
      Last edited by Temple; 03-19-2014, 05:16 PM.

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      • Bassai
        Bassai commented
        Editing a comment
        IIRC seemed more like a dense almost rubbery stuff, but if what you said is what this says then yes:

        "The material combines some of the properties of rubber, silicone, and other elastic polymers. It is considered to be a good vibration damping material, an acoustic insulator, and highly durable. An unusually high amount of the energy from an object dropped onto Sorbothane is absorbed. The feel and damping qualities of Sorbothane have been likened to those of meat."

    • #4
      Maybe use padding off of G-Form gear? Would be the opposite of sorbothane, as described above. I think Bauer use Poron (which is a part of G-Form's formula) in their new helmet liners.

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      • #5
        PM me and I'll tell you Maltese's supplier who would probably be able to do what your asking.

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        • #6
          Originally posted by kedjlng3 View Post
          PM me and I'll tell you Maltese's supplier who would probably be able to do what your asking.
          Correction former supplier. We stopped using the business you are disclosing in November of 2012.

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          • #7
            Are you looking for the kit that has circles etc and the cover is black in color ?

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            • #8
              I remember that original gel mask kit. It was nice. My only real complaint about it was the lack of a sweatband resulted in either me having to wear a skull cap or sweat dripping in my eyes endlessly.

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              • #9
                Originally posted by NJpuckstppr30 View Post
                Correction former supplier. We stopped using the business you are disclosing in November of 2012.
                Your right sorry about that, just looked at the most recent pictures and they definitely look different. But would the company be able to help Temple?

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                • #10
                  like this....http://www.goalietrader.com/ads/rare...r-goalie-mask/ ????

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                  • MrMikeEMike
                    MrMikeEMike commented
                    Editing a comment
                    That's one of the first gen kits. I know because I have one sitting on my wall in a retired mask. My kit is orange, don't remember ever seeing a blue one, but the shapes are indeed the same. Worked well, but was heavy. I used that mask while playing roller, used to keep the gel in the freezer, and brought it to the rink in a cooler.

                • #11
                  Originally posted by kedjlng3 View Post
                  Your right sorry about that, just looked at the most recent pictures and they definitely look different. But would the company be able to help Temple?
                  If it's the one out of North Carolina, I highly doubt it, reason being is the reason we left them and thankfully ended up finding a far superior product is that they could not produce anymore. The bagged gel one was before my time with the company (approximately three years ago I invested into Maltese), the name for them was Pittsburgh Plastics. Never dealt with them personally, but may be worth a shot to ring them up.

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                  • #12
                    I've got the latest version (air-whipped) in my Eddy currently. When I first installed it, I wasn't as happy. Protection turned out to be the same, as the shot that mangled my cage gave me no ill effects, but comfort isn't. I get that part that Temple is talking about. I said this before: The old kit kind of molded to your face and gave a more snug fit. The new kit will shape a little, but I find my mask shifts a little more with it because it's not as conforming.

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                    • #13
                      Hey Temple,

                      Can you post pictures of your current gel 'leaking'? I have the gel set-up in my mask and never thought it would or could leak. I guess I will have to look out for that as my padding is easily going on 6 years, or more, as well.

                      Thanks

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                      • #14
                        In the past a leak or tear could be fixed with clear nail polish or a crazy glue like substance. If the product I was getting was any good I would still be using it. Is that particular type of gel supposed to crack? No, which is what was happening and they never addressed that issue.

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                        • #15
                          My orange bagged gel chin pad started leaking on me and I used a vacuum sealer to re-bag it and it worked great ever since.

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