Brand new in 2018, Vaughn Custom Sports has released the newest generation under the Velocity name with the Vaughn VE8. Throughout this article, we will be noting the major points on the VE8 Pro, which is an offshore built version of the VE8 Pro Carbon counterpart.
Starting with the leg pads, the VE8 Pro Senior leg pads are designed for the hybrid-butterfly style that is looking for updated strapping with elastic and Velcro type closures but still likes how a tradition look and feel. Specifically on the VE8, the standard leather calf straps been replaced a Velcro and magnet system which provides a similar look and feel to leather straps, but are much simpler and lighter to use. Also, this new strapping system allows the goaltender to wear the pads tight to the leg while standing and in movements, yet when dropping down or moving across the crease, the elastic will engage and allow the pad to seamlessly rotate on the body.
Continued in the calf section, Vaughn closes off the entire leg with a large “double back” strap across the middle of the leg. This strap is made of a thicker Velcro which feeds through a plastic reducer on the outside of the calf and folds back on to itself. Utilizing this strap will not only support the leg in the pad, but it will allow the inner calf wedge to pull tighter to the pad and keep it from dragging on the ice.
Within the knee cradle, Vaughn has utilized a stitch nylon material with a removable outer knee lock. For this design, the goaltender will be able to customize their fit for their strapping preference. To unlace the outer knee lock, simply undo the knot on the lacing bridge and remove the cord. With this undone, the goaltender can angle their knee lock down to the calf to create more room for their larger knee pads or create even better rotation.
Still on the knee block, Vaughn has reengineered their design to include a separate knee and calf wing to fully hit the NHL maximum spec allowed which gives two added benefits for the goaltender. First, this separate design creates a slightly longer knee block which ultimately creates a larger landing area. Second, the knee block is now laced in to the pad to create a stiffer landing surface to give the goalie more stability while driving their knees down and even when sliding across the ice.
For those who might inquire, there are three key differences between the VE8 Pro and Pro Carbon leg pads. First, the VE8 Pro is built offshore as where the VE8 Pro Carbon has a domestic build. Next, the VE8 Pro does not feature any carbon materials throughout the pad as just HD foams are utilized. Last, the VE8 Pro does not feature an RRC style upper calf strap that you would find on the Pro Carbon. To note, I found that when the top elastic calf strap is tightened up enough, it can act in a similar fashion to the RRC strap.
Now, the blocker!
Vaughn’s VE8 Pro blocker is designed to take the best of the both worlds from the XF and XR lines and give the goaltender ultimate comfort and control. The board of the blocker is a thicker build with no beveling on the underside to give the goalie a solid and stable blocking surface. The hand placement is slightly below center which gives the goalie more blocker above their wrist to help protect between any nasty forearm stingers that can sneak above the blocker but below the elbow.
Within the palm itself, Vaughn has installed their VX Suede palm with mesh gussets and a suregrip style texted overlay. This palm is designed to be soft and comfortable on the hand, yet provide ultimate grip and reduce vibration during usage and key saves.
Continuing on the design of the palm, the sidewall that connects the board and palm has a rigid design which helps square off the 7th hole between the body to cover more space. The sidewall itself is at the NHL maximum legal shape and length which protects the inside of the hand and reduce pucks sneaking through to the fingers. On the thumb rail on the inside sidewall, it is slightly raised to help prevent any puck skip over and promote a tighter closure when the goalie tightens their blocker up to the body.
Two gloves to check out!
Since the Vaughn Velocity V6, Vaughn has offered two models of Velocity pads, gloves and blockers for their customers. With the growing needs of the goaltender, Vaughn has morphed both of those Velocity models in to one specific set of pads and blocker, which combines the best of those worlds. However, Vaughn has kept the gloves entirely separate to offer two unique shapes and breaks to continue to meet the needs of their goaltenders.
Looking at the obvious difference, there is the VE8 Pro glove which features a traditional 2-piece cuff for goaltenders who would like more flexibility in their wrist to be able move freely. The VE8 XP Pro glove features a 1-piece cuff which creates more rigidity throughout the wrist to keep a solid blocking surface in case the puck misses the pocket of the glove. Now stating the obvious differences, I will detail both of the gloves below and explain the specifications.
Starting with the glove that most matches the line; the VE8 Pro is designed to fit the Velocity line with its traditional look and feel. Despite the obvious difference with the 2-piece cuff, the VE8 Pro also features a different break angle for goaltenders who like more of a lateral or horizontal break with their glove closure. This lateral break is achieved from the 2-piece double cuff and thumb mold, contoured to the shape of the hand to maximize surface area.
The palm of the glove is surrounded by HD foams to provide enough padding and coverage while still keeping easy closure. Also, the palms are not quite the highest pro palm level as the Pro Carbon would offer, but features phenomenal protection for the price point.
Aiding in this closure, Vaughn has designed a new Double T that provides the better closure but a great visual look in to the pocket as well. This Double T has a “Y” shape that connects as a Single T at the base but provides a wide and deep pocket throughout the basket itself to help control pucks.
Internally, the glove has raised finger rails to allow for extra grip across the palm to prevent slippage throughout use. On top of that, there are strategic straps designed to further keep the hand in place. These straps are located across the back of the finger digits and across the back of the hand. Finally, a large dual wrist strap is attached to give the glove a completely custom and secure fit.
The glove now features an extra wide four piece backhand protector which is designed to give the glove maximum amounts of flex when being closed, but also protect the hand in any RVH setting or when covering the puck. This backhand has a unique attachment along the backside of the pinky rail where it gives more free movement while still providing protection.
For 2018, the VE8 XP Pro is one of the most anticipated gloves on the market, and it does not disappoint. Almost starting from scratch, Vaughn has created a new feel and break that their gloves have never had in the past. The XP Pro is designed to create a similar feel to a 590 break which is a 60 degree style closure. Historically, gloves with a 60 degree break are extremely comfortable on the goalies hand which allows the goaltender to be able to make more natural movements all while still having a rigid 1-piece cuff to provide another blocking surface.
1-piece cuffs are great for goaltenders who like their glove to seal tight against their body and provide a good blocking surface so pucks do not sneak through and that is what the VE8 XP Pro does. Aiding in extra blocking surface, the palm of the VE8 XP Pro has an enlarged palm pad which provides more protection in case a goalie does not cleanly catch the puck in the pocket.
Moving through to the backhand of the VE8 XP Pro glove, Vaughn has opted to go with a traditionally segmented setup which gives a great fit across the knuckles while still offering plenty of protection. Additionally, the backhand is finished off which a larger finger rail to provide extra protection against any hacks or gaps in the RVH position.
Internally there is a Velcro closure across the back of the fingers, another Velcro strap across the back of the knuckles and a large nylon wrist strap which feeds through a padded wrist strap. This strap pulls through the backhand and can be adjusted without removing the glove or opening up any pieces of the backhand.
Continuing the trend within the VE8 Pro glove, the VE8 XP Pro features the same Double T, giving the goalie ultimately visibility throughout the pocket while retaining a seamless and easy closure.
Throughout the entire design, Vaughn has kept the “new” goalie in mind with their reduction in strapping, easier setup and lighter weight without sacrificing their protection, feel and quality that they are known for. If you are a goaltender that is looking for the best bang for your buck, while mixing new and older technologies, the Vaughn VE8 Pro set will be sure to turn your head! Shop our exclusive line and colors now at GoalieMonkey.com!