On Thursday, December 19th, Bauer held a press conference in Chicago with a revolutionary announcement. Instead of traveling to Chicago (which would have been awesome) IW watched the webcast from the comfort of sunny San Luis Obispo, CA. This blog will give you a quick rundown of the game changing technology.
Named after the Norse god of war and the Russian word for the number one, the Bauer OD1N lineup strives to elevate an athlete’s full potential while improving its level of protection. The lineup presents gear that is both incredibly lightweight, and tunable to each individual athlete’s fits and preferences. Bauer’s testing crew consists of the cream of the NHL crop: Nicklas Backstrom, Jonathon Toews, Patrick Kane, Henrik Lundqvist, Claude Giroux, and Alex Ovechkin. Let’s take a look at the new equipment.
The new Bauer OD1N hockey skates shed 0.5 lbs from previous skates. While this may not seem like a large decrease, it actually is and makes a huge difference in gameplay. When you remove 226 grams at a time where top-of-the-line skates only weigh 800-1000 grams, we’re talking about a monumental difference. This translates into 1000 less pounds lifted over the course of a normal hockey game. Imagine how fresh your legs will feel going into OT!
The weight loss stems from two main adjustments. First, Bauer optimized every little aspect of the skate to cut unnecessary weight without sacrificing performance. Second, is the elephant in the room – the brand new carbon composite blade holder. This new holder will provide the best possible energy transfer as well as incredible feel for the ice. Using technology from their sticks, Bauer will be able to customize the flex profile of the blade holder to a player’s preferences and playing style. The example that Bauer provided involved Alex Ovechkin v. Patrick Kane. Ovechkin would like more a more powerful start so the holder would be tuned for explosiveness, while Kane would prefer a torsional flex profile for quickness and agility.
Protective Body Suit
Hockey is a game of inches and the OD1N protective body suit can give players the advantage. Acceleration is force divided by mass; and since Bauer is unable to give individual players the gift of force (steroids?), they dramatically reduced the weight of protective gear. Between the shoulders and the ankles, the suit eliminates 4 lbs of unnecessary weight. How?
Bauer found that there were redundancies with players that wear Base Layer underneath the pads. some of the weight was removed by combining the two. A second area that contributed to the weight loss is the technology including the use of Curv® composite. The amazing part: while removing 4 lbs of weight, Bauer still managed to improve the overall protection in the body suit. Overall, the suit provides a system of protection that is lighter, faster, and safer.
One of my favorite parts of the body suit is the custom fit. It is fit exactly for the player. Gone are the days of a single stock fit piece of equipment! The idea is genius. Players step into a body contoured scanning suit which scans each curve of the body using a 3D optical scanner and records each and every physical dimension of the player. This picture shows the scanning process. The result is a fully customized set of gear, fine-tuned to fit the player perfectly.
As of right now, Backstrom and Toews still use this in the NHL today.
OD1N Goalie Pads
Don’t worry, Bauer did not forget about the goalies with the new OD1N gear. As it is with the rest of the OD1N lineup light weight and customization is the name of the game. The new goalie pads are a third lighter than standard pads! If a goalie prefers to kick rebounds far away, Bauer uses harder foams in high impact areas for optimum rebound control. On the other hand, if a goalie prefers to keep the rebounds close, Bauer places softer foams in those areas.
More information regarding the OD1N line will release in February. They officially debut in the hockey world during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.