Which Kickers for Cloud Legguards?

cloud legguards
It has come to that time of year again where i have to look at my kit and ask myself whether or not it’ll survive another season of punishment. This time round it’s my kickers that are being called into question. My trusty Cloud kickers have started disintegrating at an alarming rate after 4 seasons hard work. While they may well survive another season i will be moving up a division with my school and club so i’m not sure if that’s a risk i want to take.

cloud kickers

So this begs the question; What do i replace them with? Well the obvious answer is another set of Cloud feet friends but given my imminent change in level i think it’s time to upgrade. So my next thought was either the Hi Control or the Hi Rebound Robo models. the problem with this choice is that i play on a sand pitch and i’ve heard that the HR kickers (which i would prefer) disintegrate rapidly on this kind of  surface. And given the cost of Robo kickers i’m not sure that i can justify this. Similarly i’m not sure that i could fork out all that cash for the HC kickers if they’re not exactly what i want.

hi-r kickers

So another, more unusual, option that i have heard of is using Tk Gx 1.0 kickers with OBO legguards. Given that these cost something similar to the Cloud range they are a tempting option. they have a similar tongue system too so i think that the  loking system would still work.

compare the tongue to the Cloud Kickers

If you look closely at the Unusual Diving Syle video (below) i think that that keeper is using Gx 1.0’s with Robo legguards without any twisting.

So does anybody have any thoughts on this? I’d really appreciate some advice. if you have any experience of this or know of anyone using this system please leave a comment.


Cormac Deasy

Slazenger Phantom Body Armour Review

Due to popular demand (well someone kinda sorta asked me) here’s my review of the Slazenger Phantom Body Armour. Enjoy

Slazenger Phantom Body Armour

Slazenger Phantom Body Armour

As any of you who have read my review on the Robo Bodi Arma will know I have been singing the praises of the Slazenger Phantom body armour. It doesn’t stack up to the Robo equivalent but it does offer decent protection at a fraction of the cost.
After a string of inadequate or ill-fitting sets of chest guards and arm protection my club invested in all-in-one body armour. I can only imagine that they chose the Slazenger phantom body armour because of its price, but who could blame them. At just over half the cost of the Obo Youth Junior Body Armour it provides protection that lies somewhere between that and the Cloud 9 model.

While using this gear I played at a middle level for both my club and school and I found the protection to be more than enough. The chest pad is made of thick spongy foam bound in mesh which, while being far bulkier than that used by obo, does it’s job of protecting you from the force of the ball admirably. One or two shots from some of the older players on my team (who play for the Irish U18 or U21 teams) have left me a little winded but I’ve never had any major injuries.

The arms are made from seven pieces of high density foam. Enclosed in a stretchy Lycra these allow for easy movement whilst still holding the protection in all the right places. This high density foam is far thinner than the chest piece allowing for manipulation of the elbows while not compromising on the protection to those delicate bones and ligaments. The Lycra stands up admirably to the wear and tear of sliding about on a sand filled pitch with only minor fraying in two places after over two seasons. To be honest those were probably caused by my manhandling of the gear after a bad match.

The problem with many of the cheaper sets of gear is that it is virtually impossible to raise your arms above your head. In an attempt to remedy this Slazenger seem to have reduced the amount of foam in the shoulder area. While this has greatly improved the mobility it is the source of one of my few complaints. As a result of their foam shedding there is a small blind spot in the space between the shoulder caps (which are a little lacking too) and the top of the arm pads. I’ve taken a knock or two here when I’ve misjudged a raised shot (which I still maintain swerved around my hand pad) or was caught out by a close range deflection. I’ve been left with a couple of nice bruises and a stiff arm the next day but I feel that for middle level keepers it wouldn’t get any worse than this.

Some of the main points

Some of the main features

The tight Lycra arms combined with the foam back panel keep these pads in place beautifully but they do cause a problem during the summer season. During a high intensity session it can get quite hot in the gear. This causes a problem in this situation but during the winter it can be a welcome layer during a quiet match.

So in short the Slazenger Phantom body armour is the perfect choice for any keeper starting out who wants good protection and mobility at budget prices. With solid chest protection and high density foam arms these pads are a perfect choice for any keeper in the early stages of his/her career who’s looking for a reasonable alternative to the more expensive other brand options.

So again if you have any questions i’ll be happy to help.



Review: Robo Bodi Arma

This is my review of the Robo Body Armour which i have found to be among the best in the world.

Earlier this season I took ownership of my first set of obo body armour. I have to be honest it was the best money I’ve ever spent. Made from 38 individual pieces of foam (many of which are dual density) this piece of kit is in my opinion among the best in the world. It’s as light as a feather, offers protection similar to that of a nuclear bunker and is as thin as the plot in a Stephen Segal movie.

i own the old model.

I own the old model. i believe the new model is largely the same.

(OBO comment; Largely the same but some key improvements – larger protection area for the sternum, refined shoulder protection and new  fabric.)

Up until this I had either used some school supplied chest pad and separate arm pads or some low-to-mid range body armour, most of which were pretty poor. I settled on a set of Slazenger Phantom Body Armour which in its defence (even if I will be banned forever for saying this) has served me fantastically for the past three years. However, next season I’ll be moving up a division with my club as well as taking the first team place for my school (here’s hoping anyway) so the Slazenger gear really won’t cut the mustard. Don’t get me wrong, the protection is top notch but it’s bulky…. Really bulky!!! I was also considering “Going Dutch” but since the Slazenger gear came with stitched-on arms it was impossible.

So the Slazenger gear had to go. But what to replace it with? Well I toyed with some lower brand gear but I couldn’t find anything to fit as well as the Slazenger stuff (last time mention it I promise). This meant that any time I dived the pads would shift and I’d be left as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from standing on a nail or something.

So I decided to go for a top of the range Robo Body Armour (http://www.obo.co.nz/#Products/ROBO/Body%20Armour) and I’ve never looked back. Straight out of the box I was immediately impressed by the quality. It glistened like nose hair after a sneeze. The mesh felt strong and durable and each contour in the dual density foam felt deliberate and perfectly formed. It fit beautifully too, not like the other brands with a million different straps to secure each pad. In fact there are only 5 straps in total yet they can be adjusted to give a perfect fit. The fact that most of these straps are elastic also has a dramatic effect on the flexibility.

If anybody is considering loosing the weight of the arm pads I wholeheartedly recommend the Robo chest guard. Not only are you loosing the weight of the arm pads but the chest pad its self weighs less than any other I have found. The dual density is tough as nails offering protection in all the right places like the vital organs. With or without the removable inner soft pad it offers protection which is more than adequate all the way up to (and including) international level. The slim fit also allows you to move and react naturally without having to compensate for the pads.

It lasts forever too. Despite the wear and tear of playing on a sand based pitch the signs of this on the chest pad are minimal. Just some minor fraying edges on some of the mesh which I’ve repaired using material from an old smock (actually that’s a tip worth remembering). Such little wear after spending nearly a whole year sliding around on a sand filled pitch leads me to believe that if proper care is taken these pads could last forever.

I have been told that I play with a slightly unusual style just doing whatever feels natural to get the ball away quickly. Since I’ve been using the Robo chest pad I’ve had the option of controlling the ball on my chest at my disposal. Several times this season I’ve been in the situation where the ball has been flicked across the D and my only options were to take it on my chest or deflect it straight into the path of an oncoming forward. In the past I would have just gone with the latter and hope for the best but with this new gear I can take the ball on my chest and have it drop perfectly to clear with my kicker. Without compromising protection the thin design lets you feel the ball on your chest meaning you don’t end up with that numb feeling that comes with the spongier gear. And it no longer hurts the way your tongue hurts when you accidentally staple it to the wall. While this has only happened a hand full of times this year that’s still five or six scoring opportunities that they’ve prevented this season.

Now I know that style isn’t meant to be important to a goalie but let’s face it, all keepers like to look unique. With most of the bulkier chest guards I used to find myself limited to the single tone smocks that most manufacturers offer. While I know that OBO offer a fairly decent selection of colours but if I’m just buying the best one I can find then surely hundreds of other keepers will do the same. With the slim line nature of the ROBO chest guard, however, I have found that I can wear almost any regular t-shirt I can find over my pads. This truly offers a unique selection of styles to choose from.

When it comes to chest pads there’s a huge variety to choose from. I believe that I have sampled a decent cross section of these (including being sponsored by gryphon for a time but that never felt right for me) and can proudly say that I would recommend the Robo Body Armour or Chest Guard to any keeper who wants to perform at their personal best.

The design is simple, like my brother Phill but unlike Phill this design works. It is usable by all and from what I have heard from my fellow keepers there have been no complaints.

If you have any questions feel free to leave comments and I’ll get back to next time I’m online.