Oceania Cup Final

So it looks like we are taking the long road to qualify for the world cup….
We started the match with one of the strongest NZ line ups seen so far this year. I am glad I had a good warm up as right from the first whistle the Aussies had us under the pump. Against the run of play Nick Wilson opened the scoring for NZ. Unfortunately the lead was short lived with the aussies forcing a pc a couple of minutes later and after smothering the initial flick Grant Shubert latched on to the rebound placing it high in the goal from close range.

The game continued to be a close contest as we defended our arses off. On the stroke of half time we conceded another pc. This time the initial flick was heading low to my glove side, as I moved to save the shot a Aussie striker dived in for a deflection. Close to unstoppable from that range so we went in to the break 2-1 down.


Photo credit; Andrew Cornaga/PHOTOSPORT

Again the second half was a hard fought affair, we were awarded a pc with 2 minutes left on the clock but it was not to be with Hayden Shaw missing the goal. On full time the Aussies were awarded another pc, with 10 attacking players in the circle they were li jng up to punish the rebound from the first up flick. So it was 3-1 in the end. I can report the 3rd half was enjoyable both the nz and aussies sharing a few drinks.

Now we return to Invercargill in November for the next qualifier but next up is the NZ national league. I will be looking to lift the sheild for a 5th time with the Wellington team.

Over And Out,


Ice hockey elbow pads

With more goalkeepers wanting to ‘pad down’, ice hockey elbows are being worn more and more. With not many hockey companies producing elbow pads, they provide a decent level of protection for high level matches, with the flexibility for those desired reflex saves.

Ice hockey player’s elbow pads are becoming a popular replacement to those produced for hockey, for elbow protection when ‘padding down’ for extra movement. With more and more goalkeepers wanting to ‘pad down’ to increase their mobility and flexibility for save making, without losing the important protection of the elbow, and hockey designs not always considered ‘up to scratch’, they are an easy and usable alternative to those produced by hockey companies. Ice hockey elbow pads are now currently worn by a number of international goalkeepers, as well as domestic top level national league ‘keepers.


In Great Britain, for example, James Fair (England and GB international, who plays for Cannock) wears Jofa elbow pads, as did Simon Mason (Guildford, and well renowned ex-GB keeper). George Pinner (England and Beeston) wears Easton Synergy pads, whilst Lee Ible (Brooklands MU) wears Sherwood pads, and Welsh international George Harris (East Grinstead) wears Reebok elbow pads: all of these goalkeepers play in the England Hockey National Premier League. Ireland’s current number 1 and Pembroke Wanderers ‘keeper David Harte wears ‘Mission’ pads, whilst other Irish keepers wear similar styles. In Scotland, Kris Kane of Western Wildcats (who played in the Euro Hockey league’s KO16 round-up) also wears the Reebok elbow pads.


Ice hockey elbow pads are not just popular in Europe, and are gaining use all over the globe. Kyle Pontifex (New Zealand’s no 1 keeper) wears them, as do American international goalkeepers, like Kevin Segeren who played in the recent U21s Junior World Cup.


These elbow pads go over the elbow joint, fixed in place by a velcro strapping system; providing coverage of the bone and surrounding muscle. They are made of strong plastics, giving more than ample protection against hard shots you may face, like close-in low cut chip shots around the hips and body, or a well executed deflection, where you are likely to have your gloves and arms low, near to the body to block; leaving the elbow open to such shots.


With the game of ice hockey involving hard fore-checking (body hits) and rough play; the design matching the needs of facing shots when the player blocks shots with their body and taking hits, these elbow pads often come with extra coverage of the forearms; covering the vulnerable bones of the lower arm between the elbow and wrist (which can easily fracture by being hit by a hard shot). The forearms are often left exposed, which are vulnerable when going down against a strike, or charging down a player, with the arms lowered to provide extra coverage on low shots when playing percentages: the extra padding on the pads helps reduce these risks.


The Reebok 5k elbow pads are extremely popular with a lot of higher level goalkeepers in domestic leagues, including national conference, as well as internationally, with the beefy design being suited to taking the damage from hard and fast strikes, without causing further damage, or limiting manoeuvrability for saves.


Ultimately, elbow pads worn by the outfield players (forwards and defenders) of ice hockey increase the protection to the arm and elbow area, for field hockey goalkeepers who dislike the discomfort and bunching of full arm padding, but have concerns about the general protection provided by elbow pads, without compromising flexibility.





  • Greater level of protection against shots/knocks, compared to the basic thin foam hockey elbow pads produced

  • Will cover forearm and elbow for increased coverage of the arm

  • Hard shell protects against direct blows to the elbow, limiting the chance of breaks

  • Fairly cheap second hand (can be more pricey if bought new)



  • Harder to find – specialised stores for ice hockey equipment, or online shops

  • Tight elbow strapping can reduce full arm movement at the elbow joints for full range of movement 

Review of Robo Elbow Guards

After a long August, I have finally had the time to write my review of my Robo elbow guards I won during the Review Your Kit Competition. I will divide the article in four sections:

  1. At first sight
  2. First time using them
  3. Tech specs
  4. Overall impression

So…read away.

At First Sight

When my elbow guards came in the mail, It was wrapped in a printer cartridge box, so, I came to the conclusion that the package was for my mom. On my way to the basement, I realized that it had been sent from New Zealand and thought “Isn’t that strange? I didn’t know they made printer cartridges in New Zealand. I then saw it was addressed to me and instantly connected the dots. I grabbed the closest knife and cut off the tape. As soon as the box opened I was extatic. Wrapped in their mesh bag gleaming white, I have never had a better July 30th.

If you ever thought that the elbow guards looked, well, thin, than I can tell you you thought wrong! I had that thought upon seeing the photos during the Beta testing era, but not any more! The elbow guards are possibly the solidest Upper body product ever created by OBO (aside from helmets of course) As they seem to be made of steel compared to my Cloud body armour. The Velcro straps looked solid and the design looked very fitting.

First Time

I received the parcel the day before my Nationals tournament so I did not get to try them in practice before hand. The first time I used them, They felt somewhat itchy but comfortable never the less.  I decided to use them without the forearm cover to make the more breathable. Therefore, the velcro strap that ties the plasticky section with the mesh section was left exposed to the inside of the joint.This proved to be rather uncomfortable while I was sitting on the bench during the first half but not so much of a nuisance while I was playing. Trying them on with the forearm cover, this problem did not occur.

Inner joint pinch

The middle strap pinches when flexing for a long time

I didn’t know the full strength of the velcro straps and at first, it appeared to be glued on! I didn’t have this problem with my body armour so I thought that something might have been wrong. I later found out that you just have to pull really, really hard to rip it off. Kudos to Obo for designing it this way or else it would probably fall off in wet weather (Unless I got an Obrella ;))

The inner padding was comfortable but very breathable and I found my sweat to stick to my arm a lot. They’re now somewhat smelly – and I have no plans to wash them – but nevertheless quite comfortable and move with the body giving great protection and movement at the same. I always thought giving great protection and movement was a challenge to most hockey goalkeepers and the previous chest pad I had used (ice hockey) was clearly meant to be bigger and thicker than increased mobility. Obo seems to have two and two together with the elbow guard and the mix of protection and mobility is superb.

Teck Specs

When I first broke down the elbow guards into their separate pieces, I found one word: confusing. It seemed as if there were infinite possibilities on how to customize the elbow guards. I turns out there were about eight (both arms). The elbow guard is comprised of three pieces:


The core


The inner pad


The outer pad

These three segment provide many different combos on each arm to optimize the protection you want. There are several different types of foam incorporated into the design with a possible hint of plastic. The two I will point out are the two black pads on the outside and the other that covers those important blood vessels on the underside of your wrist.

The first is the perfect material that allows you to log, slide, and dive with ease while “Going Dutch” and offers optimal protection to your elbow while logging on a corner.


Possibly the greatest part about the elbow guards 🙂

The latter, gives the ultimate protection flow between your HPs and the elbow guards so as not to get injured if the ball goes beneath your HP.

Overall impression

Another fine product Obo! I believe you guys have surmounted the challenge combining both protection and mobility. I am very pleased with my elbow guards and always enjoy keeping while wearing them. They have given me confidence where I was doubtful of my protection and allow to play a much better game. Perhaps a suggestion for v2 of the guards is to make the strap around the joint more of a slip on like the Nike Bauer ice hockey guard. Thanks for my prize. This shit really works!


Blacksticks v Malaysia Test Result

Finally in to the 5th and final test of our series against Malaysia. We now find ourselves in Taupo where the great weather has finally turned to rain. The locals really got behind the team and the test match organising a great dinner with some kids from the region and then having a great turnout for the match.

We started the match well and opened the scoring then followed it up with a second before half time. Going in to the break I guess you could say we were happy with how the game was going – of course the second half was a totally different encounter. The Malaysians stepped up their game and we made a few errors to help their cause. They managed to score from a break away and threatened many times. Thankfully we managed to grind out the win. 2-1 final score.

The 5 game test series ended;

Blacksticks holding 3 wins and 2 draws.

Now we focus on the Oceania Cup against Samoa oh and the Aussies 😉

Over and out

Kyle Pontifex

Blacksticks v Malaysia Test Update

So on to game 3 against Malaysia: After a disappointing 2nd test ending in a 1-1 draw we moved on from the lovely Palmerston North (the home of OBO) to Napier.

The blacksticks played well as a team and dominated the match, we were rewarded with a nice goal to Simon Child. One of the Malaysian’s strengths is their ability to conter attack at speed and true to form they had a few chances close to half time.

Keeping my defence in good position and having the confidence to wait for the ball to arrive we kept the Malaysian’s scoreless going on to the break. The second half brought some more challanges as we had a number of PC’s to defend, the most difficult of these was a flick that took a deflection off the first runner. Using the large blocking surface of the RHP I managed to smother the deflection. Hayden Shaw flicked one in at the other end and then the local boy Shea McAleese got on the end of a backhand cross from Nick Haig to deflect our third goal of the match.Final Score 3-0.

Our next match is tomorrow and the we finish up the series on Sunday in Taupo. Get along if you are in the area!!

Over and out Kyle Pontifex


Recommended use, hot pants, groin guard

qna Question:

I play for club and school in Australia and I train with a division one team on the side. Last week during division one training I was hit in the belly of my kicker last years Yahoo and it kind of hurt. I was fine at the time and I continued to train. Afterwards when I got home and I rolled my foot and several bones cracked. After a physio trip I came out missing all three of my games that weekend. Now to clarify I don’t blame my gear for my injury or Obo but I was thinking there aren’t many warnings on the site for gear about maximum speed or recommended use. Just a suggestion. Tyson H-CPS. I’m in the market for groin gear and thigh protectors. I was wondering how far can the thigh protectors go around and do you put an athletic cup in the groin gear or is it good to go out the packet.


I’m sorry to hear about your injury. All new OBO equipment comes with a warning that states that hockey is a contact sport and that injury is a possibility. I’m attaching a link from the OBO website that explains the recommended level of use for each range of equipment:


It can be tough with equipment when you’re a younger keeper training up, but I think it’s really important that when you buy and use equipment you consider the level you want to play in the future as that’s often where you’ll train. As you know, players in your first team can consistently hit the ball hard.

On your last question, the ROBO hot pants do a great job of protecting the inner thigh region. They must be worn with an athletic cup in the groin area, playing out of the packet is not a good idea.

good luck,


OBO Training Product Pictures

As many people are aware we have been busy working on a range of training products with a focus on helping goalkeepers to train more effectively and have more fun!

We are pleased to now reveal more details about the products and show you some photos of what the 3 products are shaping up like. We can confirm that the products will go on sale from the 1st December 2009.

The products will be supported by a special section on the OBO website including drills for each product designed by Martijn Drijver from the Netherlands, Jon O’haire from the USA and Graeme Mansell-Grace & Steven Bayer from England.




bobbla ball

Product info
The ball is designed to be hit or rolled along the floor at the goalkeeper. The egg shape makes the ball bounce and bobble randomly making routine saves much more complex. It encourages the fundamental of getting your body behind the ball. Also a useful tool for reaction training and outfield warm up and dribbling drills.



Product info
This stick allows a coach, player or parent to flick the ball easily at the goalkeeper. The speed is controlled by the user and can be used softly for beginners using their hands and more power for advanced keepers simulating top level drag flicks.



Product info
Balls will be hit at the D’FLECTA, which alter ball directions in both height and width. This simulates deflections and helps train reaction times and hand eye coordination of goalkeepers.

Please drop us a comment on your initial thoughts or any questions you have about the products.

Keep and eye out for beta test reviews and youtube videos showing the products in action… (you can subscribe to OBO’s youtube channel from here)

Brand Use At The Womens Champions Trophy 09

Here is a table showing the goalkeepers from the women’s champions trophy and what kit brand they used.

Here are some interesting table stats from the recent women’s champions trophy in Sydney.

Tournament Position



Shirt No.



Brand Used










Maria Laura ALADRO














Rachael LYNCH







Floortje ENGELS














Yvonne FRANK







Barbara VOGEL







Yimeng ZHANG







Dongxiao LI



















In percentage terms it equates to these figures;


Goalkeepers (12)

Total %

OBO 8 66.6
TK 2 16.6
Mercian 1 8.3
Monarch 1 8.3

OBO Goalkeepers are amazing people!

You can also check out these posts on brand use here; brand use.

Ross Meadows OBO Profile

We welcome Ross Meadows to OBO’s list of particularly amazing people.

Ross plays his club hockey for Hale Hockey Club in Western Australia and captains the SmokeFree WA Thundersticks in the Australian Hockey League.

Having recently received the call up to the Kookaburras squad for the 2009 season, Ross has the ideal opportunity to impress Australian coach Ric Charlesworth ahead of the World Cup Qualifiers in August and the 2009 Champions Trophy in Melbourne during November/ December.

What club you play for:
– Hale Hockey Club, Western Australia
– SmokeFree WA Thundersticks (Captain)
What Country you play for: Australia
Great achievements:
– Australian Debut v Holland 2008
– AHL Championships 2008 & 2009
List of gear you use: OBO ROBO Hi Rebound pads, kickers, LHP, Hi control RHP, bodi arma, smarty pants and the all important groin guard
Best goalie memory: Being selected to play for Australia
How often do you train: Every week day
International caps: 15 (as of November 2009)
International debut: January 2008 v Holland in Busselton, WA
Any secret tips: Never dwell on the goal that you just conceded – you don’t know when the
next shot is coming
Goals in life: Represent Australia as often as possible and enjoy my hockey