Inside the OBO kicker

Hey guys, thought this might interest some of you who want to know whats really in your kicker. We’ve deconstructed a kicker to show you a little bit about how they work and what they’re really made of.

Hey guys, thought this might interest some of you who want to know whats really in your kicker. We’ve deconstructed a kicker to show you a little bit about how they work and what they’re really made of.


As you can see in this photo the inside of the kicker is rather different to how it looks on the outside. We counted up the number of components within a kicker, including straps and buckles, and discovered that the Hi-Rebound kicker has 21 individual components. I’ll run through a few of them now.

The black and gray patterned pieces of foam that make up the base of the kicker are a shock absorber. They are less dense than the coating that would normally be on the outside of the kicker and made of soft, lower density foam which absorbs most of the impact from a ball hitting the kicker. They also provide a comfortable inside surface of the kicker that can mold to the shoe.

The two large black surfaces on either side are what gives the kicker its Hi-Rebound. They are rigid, high density pieces of foam. This means they don’t bend when the ball hits them and therefore provide a more solid surface and consequently Hi-Rebound. Notice that they are on both sides of the kicker. This is because OBO kickers do not have a left and right.

The layer of black foam you can see around the bottom of the kicker is like a wear pad. It is higher density than the soft inner and lower density than the outer foam and designed to protect the soft inner foam from wearing on the playing surface.

As with the sides of the kicker, the tongue also has a hard outer surface and a soft inner surface. This cannot be seen in the picture but the top part of the tongue (which can be seen) is higher density than the bottom part of the tongue (which cannot be seen).  This is the same principal as the rest of the kicker. Hard protection on the outside, soft comfort on the inside.

What also cannot be seen in this photo (but you will find on your kicker at home) are the soft foam pieces on the back of the kicker. They are there to stop your shoe from sliding out of the back the kicker during a game.

this kicker doesnt have any straps or buckles for obvious reasons, but the straps and buckles that OBO uses are all designed to wear and survive impact better than anything else on the market.

Champions Trophy 2009

Heres the final update on the Now finished Champions Trophy. Congratulations to Australia.

0,11410,1181-0-155784-0-custom,00Heres the official points, results and upcoming fixtures tables from the Champions Trophy being held in Melbourne at the moment as well as some images of an amazing save by germanys Tim Jessulat (even though he plays in TK its still a great save). Also check out this video of some amazing saves by Korean Goalkeeper Myung-Ho Lee.

Completed matches.

# Time Teams : Score
Saturday 28 November
01 13:05 Germany Germany : England 3:2 (1:1)
02 15:05 Australia Australia : Korea 4:0 (2:0)
03 17:05 Spain : Netherlands Netherlands 2:3 (0:2)
Sunday 29 November
04 13:05 Korea : Germany Germany 5:3 (1:1)
05 15:05 Netherlands Netherlands : Australia Australia 2:7 (1:5)
06 17:05 England : Spain 3:3 (3:2)
Monday 30 November
Rest Day
Tuesday 01 December
07 15:05 Spain : Germany Germany 4:5 (2:3)
08 17:05 Netherlands Netherlands : Korea 1:2 (1:1)
09 19:05 Australia Australia : England 2:1 (1:1)
Wednesday 02 December
Rest Day
Thursday 03 December
10 15:05 Korea : Spain 5:5 (1:4)
11 17:05 England : Netherlands Netherlands 2:3 (1:2)
12 19:05 Germany Germany : Australia Australia 3:1 (3:0)
Friday 04 December
Rest Day
Saturday 05 December
13 11:05 England : Korea 3:2 (1:1)
14 13:05 Australia Australia : Spain 10:3 (2:2)
15 15:05 Netherlands Netherlands : Germany Germany 4:3 (2:2)
Sunday 06 December
16 10:05 ENG (5) v ESP (6) 2:5 (1:3)
17 12:35 Netherlands NED (3) v KOR (4) 2:4 (1:0)
18 15:05 Australia AUS (1) v Germany GER (2) 5:3 (1:3)

Upcoming matches.

Sunday 06 December
16 10:05 England v Spain -:- (-:-)
17 12:35 Netherlands Netherlands v Korea -:- (-:-)
18 15:05 Australia Australia v Germany Germany -:- (-:-)

Current Results Table.

League Table
Australia Australia 5 4 0 1 24 9 12
Germany Germany 5 3 0 2 17 16 9
Netherlands Netherlands 5 3 0 2 13 16 9
Korea 5 2 1 2 14 16 7
England 5 1 1 3 11 13 4
Spain 5 0 2 3 17 26 2

Final Placings

Final Standings
2. Germany
3. Korea
4. Netherlands
5. Spain
6. England



Myung-Ho Lee Saves.

Keep an eye out for more updates coming soon.

New Look Faceoff

Great article on the new FaceOff. Coming soon to OBO.

Hey Everyone!

Here’s something i thought might interest you. Its an article by the Manawatu Standard Newspaper on the top secret, brand new OBO FaceOff mask. Its an excellent article and shows just how committed OBO is, not just to hockey goalkeepers, but to defenders and other codes as well.

Want to fire a ball at Simon Barnett’s face at 160kmh? Bring it on, says the director of Palmerston North sports equipment company, OBO.It has taken three years, a four-strong team of designers and a sum of money that he would rather not think about, but Mr Barnett reckons he has the world’s best frontal-impact sporting mask.

Called Face-Off, the mask is designed for players of sports where the danger of being hit in the face by a high-speed ball is high, Mr Barnett said.

“It can instantly deflect a ball travelling at up to 160kmh , not only from damage caused by the ball – abrasions, bruises and cuts – but by attenuating the shock to the brain.”

OBO is a sports equipment mnew faceoffanufacturer, exporting protective gear for hockey goalkeeping to 62 countries.

For Face-Off, Mr Barnett and his team built a laboratory to determine the best materials and design to deflect frontal impact.

They tested masks by firing balls at them at speeds of up to 160kmh, videotaping the impact at 2000 frames per second.

Footage taken during these trials, and destined for the OBO website, show masks exploding in showers of plastic, cracking and bending, or sliding haphazardly off the dummy’s face.

The testing on cricket face protectors in particular was “frightening,” Mr Barnett said. “They just don’t work.”

After the team had finalised their design, they handed the prototype mask to professional sports players for their opinion.

This was invaluable, Mr Barnett said. English wicketkeeper Matt Prior loved the mask, but said it was uncomfortable when sweating and made hearing difficult. So OBO inserted a layer of padding, and modified the side panels for the finished design, Mr Barnett said.

The mask’s launch is in its final stages, with buyers being sourced and marketing beginning in earnest.

A boost of $217,000 from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology helped in the making of the mask but Mr Barnett “wouldn’t like to think about” how much money he had spent. He expected enough interest in the product to see a return within three years.

Face Off is one of nine inventions from around the country featuring in the HotHouse exhibition at Lower Hutt’s TheNewDowse gallery until February 14.

Via Manawatu-standard

Keep an eye out for more information coming soon…

Beta Testing Review – Bobbla.

My review of the new OBO BOBBLA.

Hey guys. Here’s my final report on the last of the three products in Obo’s new training product range, the Bobbla. To be quite honest, when i first started using this unusual product i was not very impressed with it. I thought it a little simple and not as valuable and relevant as the Flicka or D’flecta. However after using it for a bit longer and talking with my coach about the use i discovered that skills used with the Bobbla were actually more relevant than either of the other two training products.

IMG_0757Pictures of the Bobbla. The egg shape gives it its trademark bobble.

When using the Bobbla, the idea is to look at and practice the basic kicking techniques which are essential to goalkeeping. The Bobbla is rolled at the goal and the keeper kicks it away from the goal. Just like in a simple warm up. However the Bobbla makes each part of that ‘simple’ warm up much harder. Instead of staying on the ground as an ordinary hockey ball would, the Bobbla bounces and spins as it rolls giving an unpredictable bobble as the keeper goes to kick. This means the keeper is forced to concentrate much harder on their timing and basic kicking technique. By using the Bobbla my coach was able to pick out that my left foot was not as skilled as my right foot at kicking, a common problem for a lot of keepers, i have since corrected this and both feet are fairly even.

IMG_0750Here is a beautiful picture of the Bobbla in action. The egg shape has made the ball bounce up as i am about to kick.

The unpredictability of the bobble also speeds up the reaction time of the keeper and keeps them focused on the ball. Because the final direction of the ball was always uncertain i found that the best strategy was to wait until the last minute to kick. This improved my reactions, foot-eye coordination and my timing. Because the ball was traveling slower and moving about i had to focus on the ball the whole time and this improved my concentration. A weakness of mine has always been the slower, bouncy shots and the training with the Bobbla was perfect for erasing that problem from my technique.

From my experience, i found that the Bobbla is most useful for correcting and reinforcing the basic goalkeeping kicking techniques. The flaws in my technique have been somewhat ironed out and the constant repetition has improved my kicking muscle memory and confidence. I believe that this product has a lot of potential for coaches and goalkeepers everywhere. I found it extremely beneficial to my game and was able to make much better use of my coaching sessions.

To see the product in action check out the product information video:

Beta Testing Review – Flicka.

My review of the brand new OBO FLICKA.

As part of the Beta Testing Program i have been training with the Flicka extensively and have a range of feelings about it. I found it most useful for increasing my hand-eye coordination and my ability to track the ball through the air at different rates. The Flicka is designed to simulate aerial saves such as flicks and dragflicks. The ball is caught in the hook and flung so that the ball flies off towards the goal. Its a lot harder than it looks but when you get it it works great.Flicka and ball.

I found the Flicka a very good training product for increasing my confidence and ability when making glove and stick saves. Focusing on clearing the ball wide also improved my basic save technique and skill as a keeper. The Flicka was not as much use to me as it could be to others. I am already technically proficient and i was able to handle most of what the Flicka could throw at me. I found it more useful for creating muscle memory for getting to the ball, saving the ball and clearing the ball wide. I also found it very useful for increasing my skill with stick saves. By standing off to my left and trying to use only my right hand to save the flick i very quickly increased my stick save confidence.


Moving to make a stick save.

I think this tool would be most useful for improving younger, less experienced goalkeepers who perhaps have slight flaws in their technique. The Flicka is better than a player flicking as quite often the player telegraphs which direction the flick is going. With the Flicka this is impossible to judge and so makes the save purely reactionary. The emphasis on making the save and clearing the ball also incorporates a degree of muscle memory which further enhances the keepers technique.

I also think the Flicka would be very useful for goalkeeper coaches. The coaches ability to control the speed and direction of the flick would greater allow them to control the training of the goalkeeper because sometimes field players cannot quite understand what the coach wants. This would allow the coach to individually tailor each flick to get the desired effect and get the desired reaction.

IMG_0721Moving to my left to make a glove save. Notice the technique involved in using the Flicka.

If you want to see the flicka in action check out the product information video:

Beta Testing Review – D’flecta.

My review of the brand new OBO D’FLECTA.

Throughout this year i have been given the opportunity to train with and test the D’flecta, one of the new training products that Obo is bringing out on the first of December this year. I have used it in many different drills and using it has improved my reactions and confidence in making deflection shot saves.


In basic use the D’flecta sits on around the penalty spot area. It can face either way (one side giving more height that the other) and a field player or coach hits or pushes a ball along the ground at it. When the ball hits the D’flecta it goes in any direction, sometimes it goes up, sometimes it goes wide and sometimes it stays on its original course. You cant judge this so its all about reactions. The trickiest part of the D’flecta i found was when the ball missed the D’flecta but was still going for the goal. Often i would get caught waiting for the ball to move and forget about making the basic save. This keeps you thinking about your angles and the basics.

When i first started using the D’flecta i was astounded at how many i was missing. However this was soon fixed as i started to train using the D’flecta regularly and incorporate it into more drills. By the end of the month i had improved drastically. I was stopping most of the deflections from the mat and was playing much better. Regular use of the D’flecta speeds up your reactions and agility. It is an excellent product to both warm up and train goalkeepers. It teaches you that the ball can come towards you from any direction at any time.


In this photo the ball has deflected high and left off one of the D’flectas.

The D’flecta can also be moved around the circle to simulate different deflections from different angles. It can be incorporated into drills to simulate game scenarios. E.g. a straight shot from the top followed by a push at a D’flecta mat set up around the circle somewhere simulates a save then a deflected return. These sort of drills improve agility and basic positioning.

IMG_0784This photo shows a ball recently deflected off the D’flecta, i have to move to my left to make the save.

In summary, i have found the D’flecta mat to be an excellent training product and also a lot of fun. It has improved my game in a short space of time and i recommend it to any other goalkeeper or coach out there who wants to improve. if you want to see the product in action take a look at the Obo Training Product Introduction on YouTube at the URL below .

Review on OBO Robo Elbow Guards

This is my review on the new OBO Robo Elbow Guards. Hope you enjoy it.


Hey guys, iv been part of the beta testing programme for the new OBO Robo Elbow Guards, a very recent addition to the OBO range so here it goes. So far iv played about 5 games and had roughly 10 trainings with the Elbow guards and I have to say I love them.

They have a number of features that only OBO could think of, for example their amazing adjustability. The Elbow Guard has a flexible top pad to protect the upper part of the arm and inner elbow and bicep area. This pad is also fully removable to either provide greater protection or mobility according to personal tastes. I myself wear the right elbow guard with the top pad and the left without as I prefer greater mobility with my left and more protection on my right (shown below).

Left elbow guard. As you can see I have removed the top plate.
Right elbow guard. The top plate is present.

Another feature of the elbow guard I have recently discovered is that you can adjust the amount of padding that you have on the arm.  It basically allows you to change how thick the padding is so that you can adjust how much protection you have and how heavy the elbow guard is. This is an exceptional new idea and I am very impressed with the concept.

As with all OBO products I have found that the elbow guards do not restrict movement and are extremely comfortable.  They fit easily around your arm and unlike other arm guards do not move during the game.  I have found that I have complete movement in my arm and the normal movement of the elbow joint is not compromised by any of the padding. Needless to say it does its job extremely well and has saved my arm a number of times in the few times I have used it.

In conclusion and from my experiences I believe the OBO Robo Elbow Guard is an awesome product. It provides excellent protection, is very comfortable and unconstricting, is very adjustable and looks pretty good as well. even though I have worn them only a few times I am already in love.

Ben Smith.