OBO CLOUD Kit Sizing

Just a few small tips I’d like to share for buying new OBO kit.

I recently upgraded my body armour and thigh pads to the OBO Cloud Range, (very good by the way). The first time i brought kit i got it straight from the internet, the sizing worked pretty well so it was alright. This time because of the cost i wanted to be absolutely sure the kit fit before anything was payed for. Luckily my chemistry tutor, (Who plays cricket) told me about a company that had competitive prices and a show room in London. They were very helpful and ordered it all in for me to try.

Now heres the tips.

CLOUD Body armour – don’t rely solely on the OBO sizing of arm length, every one is unique so work out what size you are by them then order the sizes around it as well to try on, i measured as a small and ended up in a medium.

CLOUD Hot Pants – wide waist = Tall is unfortunately the principle most companies work on, my waist size was for a hight of 5’10 -6’2, I’m 5’6 at the most. Try the different sizes, the waist stretches and it has a belt, and I’ve been told by other keepers that it’s better they be too small around the waist than having them catch on the leg pads

ROBO Overpants – A bit of a grey area, medium hotpants doesn’t always mean medium over shorts, because of how they wrap the size varies, if you’re at the larger end of medium like me you might want the large over shorts, it just allows for more flexibility.

Just try before you buy, if you can’t get it ordered to try, ask other keepers in your club or even on other teams you play (We do tend to be nice people us keepers), if they have what you’re after ask them if you can quickly try then to get a size idea, hopefully they’ll let you, (just remember to do it after the match when you have time).  If all that fails, post an article and hopefully other people maybe able to help you estimate, last thing you want to do is pay out on expensive kit that doesn’t fit.

OBO Size Guide Link

Arm Guards or Elbow Guards

Hey guys,

i’m thinking of buying the ROBO body armour and I asked myself a question…and i couldn’t answer it myself so…i thought i would ask for some opinion…

What would you advise…the obo arm guards(that are sold separately)


or the new obo elbow guards


……….i am 14 years old…and i play u16’s club hockey (Pembroke Wanderers) and I am the second choice senior keeper of my school….. The style of play i use is  For short corners I tend to log if its a hit  and i stay up when its a drag. And the odd 1vs.1 I tend to slide… and take the crap out of the player.

What would be the best for me?

New Short Sleeved Smock

Hello amazing people based on your recent feedback here is a basic but fresh smock option we have been working on.

It fits with the new FIH “one colour smock ruling” outlined below.

Goalkeepers and players with goalkeeping privileges must wear a single coloured shirt or garment which is different in colour from that of both teams. Goalkeepers (ie wearing full protective equipment) must wear this shirt or garment over any upper body protection.

Quote from FIH 09/10 rules


The smock is made from the mesh and comes in any colour as long as its black. Based on demand and your feedback we can add more colours and look at some modification so please drop us a comment on your thoughts…


Before you ask i’m wearing a CLOUD body armour, ROBO hi-control hand protectors, Skinny thing stick and a ROBO FG helmet.

This product should be available from December 09.

Different Arm Pad Set-Ups

With the style of removable arm pads and separate chest pads, rather than a full all-in-one body suit, the goalkeeper has a lot of choice concerning their protection. With the ‘padding down’ style of goalkeeping offering a number of combinations, the goalkeeper can choose how to set up their arm protection in relation to the reflex qualities that freedom of movement allows.

The removable style of arm pads, like Obo’s design, makes it possible and easy to customise protection desired to the goalkeeper’s preferences according to their style of play. Rather than wearing both arm pads for full protection, there are a number of different combinations to allow greater flexibility in fluid saving movements, or that extra mobility to make reflex saves when reacting to an unexpected change of angle, like during a tip-in deflection. Suiting the goalkeeper’s style of save making, the different set-ups give various advantages to aid in their shot stopping abilities.

Right arm padded only

This concept has the goalkeeper removing the arm pad from the left arm, for full movement (useful for defending against well placed quick shots, like fast drag flicks and hard, well struck shots), but keeping the right arm padded for full protection. It is based on the theory of the right arm being used to block shots (being placed behind the stick to cover, on raised shots, if the ball is missed) and spending most of the time on the floor, so therefore needs protecting – when going down in a log, or sliding out to tackle/block, only the right arm will be on the ground. Dropping the arm completely down to be flat and fully connected with the pitch, for covering the shot along the floor opens up the gaps above and below the elbow, which would not be protecting by elbow pads. The arm pad therefore provides full protection, when fully extending the arm on a low save.

With the right side therefore not needing to be so ‘reflexive’ (bringing the glove/stick in to block), only the left arm is uncovered. Even elbow pads can be somewhat restrictive (especially if they are tightly strapped over the arm), so to gain full movement in reflex saves to the glove side, the glove arm is not protected to allow total freedom for the arm and elbow joint muscles to move. This way, the goalkeeper can actively make unrestricted athletic glove saves reaching across, without the stiff arm pad to limit movement.

This style of upper body protection has been fairly popular with the crop of New Zealand’s international goalkeepers; Paul Woolford used it during his whole international career, as did his replacement Kyle Pontifex for a short while. It is quite popular in Germany, with a number of Bundesliga goalkeepers using the set-up, as well as being used by Dutch keepers. There are also a couple of keepers in the Spanish male Divisio D’Honor (like the Club de Campo goalie) using it for its gained movement to the glove side.

It is currently growing in popularity in South America as the general method of protection. Argentina’s number 1 women’s keeper, Maria Belen Succi, and the second men’s keeper both use the set-up, whilst it is growing in use in Chile; with their men’s keepers using it. It is also popular in the junior ranks; with the junior Argentinian goalkeepers using it in the recent Junior World Cups.


Right arm pad, left elbow

With arm pads being bulky and weighted, the goalkeeper can often be handicapped by the thick padding on the left arm, needing to be able to move around more fluidly for reactive glove saves in the reflex style of field hockey goalkeeping. Requiring extra manoeuvrability to power away rebounds in a directed clearance away from the body, arm pads don’t always give optimum movement, so an elbow pad is worn instead. However, the left arm can still be vulnerable to dodgy shots because of

goal mouth scrambles and close-in tips; going down athletically to block with the body, so the elbow pad is often worn to protect the bone and surrounding joints.

The elbow pad on the left arm offers a more suitable alternative to an arm pad on the glove side; protecting the elbow from a shot without fully limiting the ability for reflexive and reactive saves around the body and sides. With the elbow covered, only the forearm and the bicep area above the elbow (which is fleshy and less at risk to breaking, if a shot did pin the goalkeeper there) are in potential danger, thus ensuring the goalkeeper is protected enough for game action. The arm pad left on the right arm enables the goalkeeper to happily make more angle and ‘body’ saves; using it for blocking with an active barrier, knowing the arm is potentially well protected from harm.

This method is quite rare, with not too many goalkeepers using it. Currently, the Austrian mens’ goalkeeper was seen using it at the recent Rabo EuroHockey Nations Championships tournament (for World Cup qualification), whilst there is at least one goalkeeper in the Irish national league using the arm pad and elbow set-up. It is also taught and slightly popular in Australia; Stephen Mowlam was known to wear it when logging in a short corner defence.


Both elbows

An alternative method to wearing a full arm pad, which enables freer movement at the wrists and shoulders (the turning points of the arm, for those ‘twitch’ actions to make a last moment reaction save, which are often infringed with arm pads too stiff to provide the full range of amount), giving the greatest amount of freedom, bar wearing nothing, is to wear elbow pads on both arms. In comparison to wearing full arm padding, the reduced amount of coverage also results in decreased weight for the goalkeeper to carry, meaning they are not as weighed down as much for moving into reaching saves. The goalkeeper is not completely infringed from moving the arm fully, for reflex saves, and is also covered against the chances of being in the vicinity.

Elbow pads are worn purely for protective purposes, as the school of thought teaches the need to protect the bone (which would put the goalkeeper out of action, if damaged), as well as looking after the muscles: the pads are there to protect the bones, from a direct hit, whilst looking after the muscle joints surrounding the elbow, on the basis that continually landing on the area after a save (when diving or landing a jump/high dive) can result in long lasting damage – causing an ailment similar to “tennis elbow”. Sometimes, they are often simply used to cover bare flesh, with the chance of ‘skinning’ the elbows on a rough sand based pitch.

When standing up against shots, and bringing the arms in to passively block, like against a deflection, where the arms are exposed, the goalkeeper is putting themselves in danger. Elbow pads often have added forearm padding, helping protect the vulnerable bones surrounding the wrist, in case of taking a shot there; furthering the confidence to go down low against hard strikes that would otherwise be dangerous. With the elbows fully protected, the goalkeeper can comfortably go down for barrier saves and block slides with the confidence of being safe from harm, as well as having the elbow ‘backed up’ for blocking a stick side shot, with the chance of it skimming past.

This set-up is popular in Britain, and with the common school of thought with goalkeeper coaches; it is seen quite a lot in the domestic regional and national leagues, as well as at county and junior level. International English goalkeepers George Pinner and Becky Duggan are among the many examples. Welsh, along with Irish goalkeepers, also find it popular; like David Harte, Ireland’s no 1. However, it is not just used in the British Isles: Klaas Veering, the goalkeeper from Amsterdam H&BC (who has been capped internationally) uses this; matching his style for stand-up reaction saves and blocking low with barriers. There are also a few goalies in the Bundesliga who use the set-up, with Kristina Reynolds (female German international, who played as the first choice keeper in the 2008 Beijing Olympics) wearing two elbow pads as well.


Right arm elbow, left unprotected

For stand-up reflexive style keepers who hardly ever go down to ground for a save and prefer to bring their gloves in to block shots on either side of the body, they tend to use a set-up, where only the right elbow is padded, to enable as much movement as possible, without maximising the risk levels. With the left arm left needed for extra movement for those athletic, reflex and dramatic saves against tough drag flicks, only the right elbow is padded up. In case of being hit there, an elbow pad is worn; reinforcing the coverage behind the stick, for stick saves (in case the shot is missed). This also helps protect the joints and muscles, when diving down to the stick side; limiting the chances of damaging the elbow when landing, as well as the chance of getting hit there. Again, with the left arm free, the goalkeeper has full movement on glove saves, for using the glove in all positions around the body in shot blocking.

The main chance of being hit on the right elbow is when going down on the play; diving, sliding out to tackle or going down to block a low shot, with barrier style saves. The elbow pad also gives protection to the elbow when sliding; covering against the chance of skidding along the pitch surface when sliding on the right. It is also possible to safely go down against a shot with a ‘long barrier’ shape for barrier saves; tucking the right arm more into the body to give extra protection (with the left arm also brought down to hip height, and behind the body, to protect the fully exposed arm), to bring the exposed area of the arm (upper arm and forearm) away from the shot; so an elbow pad provides sufficient protection, covering the vulnerable bone.

This style is fairly popular in Holland; Jaap Stockman, the young prodigy of HC Bloemendaal and the Dutch national team uses it to protect his right side, whilst leaving the glove arm free for reflex saves; the main element of his deep positional, reactive style. It is also fairly popular in Belgium, with national keeper David van Ryssleberghe is a good example. England national goalkeepers James Fair and Nick Brothers both use the set-up, for its reflex style elements, and reacting athletically against well placed drag flicks. Ireland’s second choice international keeper Iain Walker, use of it for its reflexive purposes, shows how its popularity in western Europe is growing. Kyle Pontifex (New Zealand’s new first choice) has been using this set-up since 2007 and the BDO Champions Challenge, again, for its increased freedom of movement for reflex style saves. Juan Manuel Vivaldi, Argentina’s prominent number 1 men’s goalkeeper, who has also recently been playing in the Hoofdklasse (Holland’s premier league) also uses it, for these reasons.


Which to use?

The combination you use for arm protection will depend on the way you play: if you spend more time standing up, patiently waiting to react to the shot, then you will normally ‘pad down’ more to allow greater use of your reflexes, whilst if you prefer to bring your body into play to get in front of the ball, then you are going to cover up more. You should also be aware of the safety aspects relating to reducing protection to allow increased movement for save making; given that you are exposing vulnerable areas by losing protection in order to gain advantages of increased movement, you should be aware of plays in the game that can leave you in danger, like close-in shots with the arms brought, where you could risk a fracture if you ended up being hit on the uncovered bone.

The older and more experienced you get, the better you are to experiment, knowing how you play and the ways you block certain types of shots, and can therefore make well thought out decisions concerning your safety.

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 

Chest pads

The foam chest pad offers the goalkeeper basic protection to their upper body, whilst providing them with flexible options as to how they ‘pad up’. Unlike full body armour, chest pads do not have shoulder protection or arm pads attached, allowing the keeper to choose protective options to suit their style, such as wearing elbow pads alongside the body pad instead of full arms.

There are a lot of goalkeepers, who play with a basic chest or body pad, allowing them the freedom of movement to make reactive saves on the play, with the extended ability to circulate their shoulder joints and move freely without stiff arm pads limiting extension of the arms. Generally made out of foam type materials, but increasingly using harder plastic padding for higher levels of play, they feature a basic plate to cover the body, with straps around your back and arms to secure it in place.


If the chest pad does not cover your ribs or abdomen properly, especially if there is a gap between it and your shorts (which can leave you vulnerable when exposed on plays where the play is tight and the shooter has the time to ‘wind up’ on their shot, like a close in, raised shot from about 5 feet away, with potential bruising or being ‘winded’ on the shot), then you may want to look for better padding.


Consider your options when purchasing – don’t just go for a chest pad because you like its price; the cheaper they are, the less foam there is. The cost reflects the thickness of the foam and you want something with a suitable degree of protection to look after your important internal organs and prevent broken ribs. At low levels, for youngsters who will not face hard shots to these scary areas, and beginners who may not decide to play the position long, these are great, but don’t put yourself in pointless danger.


Common manufacturers include all the main companies, like Monarch, Mercian, and Grays in the UK, along with Mazon (Australia), and Brabo (the Netherlands), providing general foam padding chest pads for lower level games. Mercian’s old T-pro plate design (which is now outdated as the manufacturing machine broke) offers a hard plastic sheet for shot stopping, with added abdominal guards for extra protection to the stomach area.


TK produces a far more protective international version, based on segmented plastic square inserts covering the body, which ‘block’ the ball, absorbing the impact of the ball, by ‘spreading’ out the force of the shot. The thick plastic means there is more behind it, compared to thin foam.


Obo’s chest pad design (which comes separately to the arm pads) uses high density foam for maximum protection in order to absorb the impact of the shot; more vulnerable areas have dual density foam. Its design incorporates 38 individual inserts, which means that there is no ‘bunching’ (that would otherwise compromise flexible movement) when moving, or lying down against a shot.





  • Affordable prices

  • Cushions the direct shot, if the ball is missed by the gloves

  • Size and shape means they do not interfere with padded shorts, so no movement problems

  • Increased arm movement, as they are free from disruption by integrated arm pads or wraparound shoulder padding

  • Lighter, meaning reduced weight for the goalkeeper, enabling them to be quicker around the D



  • Often no coverage of the shoulders (shoulder caps normally combined with and worn underneath for extra protection)

  • Ribs can sometimes lack coverage, putting the wearer in danger

  • Foam thickness varies and can often be fairly thin, so it is important to match that to your level of play when purchasing – against hard shots, the goalkeeper could end up with bruised ribs or bruising to the stomach otherwise

Shoulder Pads

Without any protection to the shoulder areas when using a solo body/chest pad, separate shoulder pads can be used in conjunction, to protect your joints when you hit the pitch when landing a save, or challenging on the ground. Increasing your upper body protection should be considered if you are concerned over the level and types of shots you will face.


Ice hockey shoulder caps

To cover the space above the chest pad and around the shoulder joint, which is not covered by the armour, some form of protection is needed for the vulnerable shoulder areas, when landing a save, risking knocks and bashes when scrambling around the goal mouth, or facing a direct shot to the top of your body. The padding often extends around the biceps (top of the arm) to take the sting out of shots.


Wearing ice hockey shoulder pads (worn by outfield players) on top of the body pad is a great solution to this problem of missing padding on the shoulders. You will find a number of reflex orientated goalkeepers at international wearing them in conjunction with a body pad, providing adequate protection that they need for the upper body (which the chest pad does not cover).


Some hockey shops will sell ice hockey shoulder caps, and Mercian have gone as far as making their own version. Some on-line shops like the Hockey Factory Shop (www.hockeyfactoryshop.co.uk) stock ice hockey player’s shoulder pads, like the CCM and Reebok ranges. Again, Ebay is an idea, and you can find suitable first or second hand padding, by doing a search for “shoulder pads” in the ‘Ice Hockey section’ in the ‘Sporting goods’ area





  • Combine well with field hockey body pads

  • Add protection to vulnerable shoulder joints and upper body

  • Moderate, affordable costs



  • Harder to find – specialised stores

  • Potential to be bulky (depending on preferences/upper body strength)

  • Can limit arm protection at the shoulder cuff rotator muscle (but only slightly)


OBO Shirts

Verbunt Hockey, Netherlands have recently launched 2 new OBO shirts that are exclusive to Verbunt.

Check out the Orange shirt: link





The new OBO shirt, now in orange/blue. Nice to play in or wear after the game.
Backside: ‘Goalkeepers are amazing people’ logo + number 1.
Left sleeve: ‘OBO Good shit that really works’ logo.
Front: OBO logo oval.

Also a new OBO Polo: link


Here is a cheeky shot of one shirt being worn out in the “field”.

obo shirt out in the field