NEW ROBO BODY ARMOUR
The Protection of the new body armour is better then the older OBO armour, especially around the abdominal and clavicle area. The shoulder pads are shaped to the fit the shoulder and are far more comfortable and best of all easier to move in. I am of tall stature and feel that the ability to securely tie the armour closer to my body enables me to be more confident in making saves. Overall much better than the older armour in terms of protection and aesthetics. Fred Whitfield L’boro Students GK OBO GK
The new body armour offers great flexibility and increased protection to the stomach and chest areas. It has a great fit to the body when the straps are fitted tight and sits in the body better than previous body armour. Shoulder and collar bone protection is excellent and a big improvement from previous versions. Having tried which arm protectors fit best with it, I preferred to stay with the the Robo full arm protectors ( though the OBO elbow guards will also work fine. Ali McGregor OBO GK
Now I’m no Pamela Anderson when it comes to cup size, but if I did have ‘plastic fantastics’ to look after I would be confident that this piece of kit would look after my investments nicely. I have been using my new chest protection since August 2011 and have a zero bruise count during that time. The armour wraps around the torso giving excellent protection for the ribs. The wrap around means I can safely dive or drop for smothering saves without exposing myself. And let’s face it, no one wants to expose themselves mid game. The collar is more substantial than previous models without being obtrusive, offering improved protection of the clavicle bone. The shoulder cup seems to sit in the right place and stay there while I move around, unlike some where they seem to be after thought pads stuck on top and making some goalkeepers look like Ming the Merciless. Looks are important, let’s face it, 99.9% of hockey spectators will look at two goalkeepers and assume the one with the best looking kit is probably the better keeper. What makes good looking kit? For me it’s the gear that makes me look and feel more athletic. The first time I wore my new OBO chest protection I turned to the nearest person and asked “Do I look slim in this?” I was joking of course. Mostly. The strapping to secure the chest piece is fairly heavy duty elastic which means it will sit flat across your back and not bunch into a thin uncomfortable ridge. It’s adjustable of course and if correctly set up, will hold the chest pad down and prevent ride-up.
The only concern for me was the length of the front section. I hear this has been addressed in the latest batch to hit the market. So overall this protector gets a thumbs up from me. Bianca Russell Goalkeeper New Zealand Black Sticks
NEW OBO GK TOP
At last a GK Top that actually fits me correctly and is light weight. For too long GK tops have been like wearing a flag made of mesh with no real shape to them.
The new top feels very supportive and i really like the tight fit. The elasticitiy in the top allows for full freedom of movement. Even when wet the top is still very light.
Great work OBO on another fantastic piece of GK kit. Harry Gibson
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.
Pictures 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.
Here 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:
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.
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.
Moving 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:
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.
This 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 .
OBO and myself (along with other keepers) have been working together to produce a knee protector that would protect the exposed top part of the knee joint. The goal for this project was to make a light weight, protective piece of equipment that didn’t hinder a keepers mobility or effect performance by being bulky and cumbersome. The knee protector had to fit in and work with a keepers leg and thigh protection and help to prevent injury to the delicate ligaments and bones found in the top of the knee joint.
I’ve been testing a prototype since Mid-March with very encouraging results. We’re at the stage where we feel we’re almost ready to take the product to market, save for a few minor tweaks here and there. I’m now at the point where I’m allowed to release images of the prototype and I would appreciate it if you could take the time to give some feedback and impressions on the design and if you would consider using it (or why you wouldn’t).
The 2016 balklänningar This is one of our best collections yet and we are very proud of this years formal dress collection!
The basic design of the knee protector is a soft foam part that wraps around the knee cap itself with a HD foam part which wraps around the thigh, snuggly covering and protecting upper part of the knee and knee ligaments. Velcro straps are used to hold the unit in place.
A view of the knee protector on the knee. As you can see, the unit sits close to the body so not to interfere with the leg guard or shorts.
Image of the knee protector with the HD Foam on the “inside” of the leg.
A view from above.
The knee protector whilst wearing SPs and Hot Pants. As you can see, the knee protector fits in the leg channel easily and under the bottom of my hot pants. Note: I like to wear my gear TIGHT and I had no problems with the knee protector making the leg guards or hot pants feel uncomfortable.
If anyone has any questions at all, please feel free to ask and I will answer them as quickly and as thoroughly as I can.
Alistair McGregor is the current Loughborough Students and Great Britain goalkeeper. As an OBO sponsored player has requested to test out the Knees Up knee protector…here is his review:
“I have been using the knee pads for the past few months now and have been very impressed by them. I got a direct hit off them during a shooting session, obviously at the time the initial impact still hurt, however i was able to continue with the session. Having been hit on the knee before with other knee pads i have suffered a bit of stiffness from the impact. I feel that with the OBO knee pads that the stiffness from the injury was far less and only received a very small mark were the ball hit me. The foam in the knee pads seemed to dispel a lot of the impact of the shot. I fully appreciate that the thickness of the foam is difficult to get right, i feel that this is very close to being an excellent knee pad. The knee pads sit well with the shorts and the open knee area helps to keep them in place. A possible addition could be a plastic/harder thin material inside the knee pad to provide even greater protection.”
” The knee pads do hold the water quite a lot when wet, however overall I have been very impressed with the knee pads and will be using them in the Olympics. I feel that the knee pads give me that little bit of extra confidence when facing some of the hardest hitters of the ball in the world.”