So I’ve had my Passau pads for about 8 months now, and I figured it would be a good time to complete in depth review. Passau is a company that creates completely custom goalie equipment, and they pride themselves on their customer service. They lived up to the name, mostly, though I did have some communication issues with them about the expected completion date which they kept pushing back, and as documented elsewhere in this blog, it took well over 3.5 months to get the gear when it was promised in 10 weeks. Everything was ironed out eventually, but it wasn’t a good first impression to have when buying the gear.
So my specs are a little odd and, mind-you, my setup won’t work for everyone. They can make any pad you want so it’s not like you have to decide between a butterfly or hybrid pad, you can build a pad to fit your specs and that’s it. I have shorter lower legs when compared to my upper leg so, as you will see, this had an impact on the sizing.
Leg Pads: My pads are 34+4, although, if I could, I would go with a 33.5+3. Their sizing is closest to CCM and coming from Warrior pads it was a little bit of an adjustment. The pads are designed to be a stiffer in the shin area and thigh rise and soft in the boot angle and the knee cradle. This gives me a harder rebound in the more exposed areas of the pad, while still giving me some additional flexibility in the pad. I went with all velcro strapping, and a leather boot strap. The leather strap I left on to help keep the knee stack centered on my knee. Lastly, I use HALs toe ties, I tried the Passau version but didn’t like them as much as the HALs. Passau offers the options of outer breaks on the pad but these are purely aesthetic and there are no breaks inside the pad. What they do to compensate for the lack of internal breaks is bend the pad at the knee cradle. In essence, creating the effect of a break but without a physical break. Mine were supposed to have this done but in all honesty I can’t tell if was done or not.
Blocker: The blocker is pretty standard. There are some nice features that I didn’t know about until I received the gear. The first being that there is a concave piece of foam over the top of the wrist that really help support and protect the wrist. The other nice feature is the construction of the board that, according to the sales reps, is made in the same manner as the leg pad, giving it some added rebound. It definitely lives up to the reputation and I’ve had pucks fly off of the boards.
Glove: This is perhaps the piece of gear I wanted to customize the most, and my specs reflect that. I got a 90 degree break, with a double-T pocket. The T had another two inches added making for a deeper pocket, and I had black skate late used for the pocket webbing along with a pro palm installed. The only feature I would change is that it came with a two-piece cuff, and while I haven’t had any issues with it I would prefer a one-piece cuff.
Overall the performance is awesome, but I would expect as much given the cost and reputation of the company. The leg pads are great and work as advertised, though I would probably cut down the thigh rise in the future, but it certainly helps with dealing with a more jiggy-fly than true butterfly. (I have terrible hip internal rotation). The rebounds are decent, for being a stiffer pad but that being said, it’s not nearly as much as say a Bauer 1S/2S advertises. The pads are constructed of all jenpro, and, coming from Warrior Ritual GTs, the sliding was not as smooth as the Warrior pads. They do have a primo/ weave type option but I was a space cadet and forgot to ask for it. I don’t think it really comes down to the the construction of the sliding surfaces. On the knee blow there are some interesting folds where they tacked down the jenpro . Lower down the leg the sliding surface is very similar to the Eflex 2 line and there is only a small piece of foam in-between the sliding surface for comfort and the leg channel.
The blocker functions well, and I don’t have any complaints. The glove, however, is a puck vacuum! The deeper pocket is amazing and I’ve never had any issues with either piece of gear in terms of protection. The glove isn’t the easiest to puck handle with but that is due to break that I chose and personal skill level rather than anything else.
To date, I haven’t had any major issues with the durability of the pads, which I suppose one would expect, given what they are and given the manufacturers reputation. However, there have been some wear issues that have shown up, as the corners of the knee blocks have begun showing some wear and tear. It’s a minor issue and doesn’t affect the performance, but it is slightly disappointing given that these wear marks began showing up after about 4 months of using the pads, at roughly one to two times a week. The wear marks have gotten worse over time so we shall see what happens moving forward.
The only other issue I have with these pads is the overall fit and finish of the gear. It looks great and it’s exactly what I requested from the manufacturer, however, there are some minor quality issues that I was surprised especially given the Passau’s reputation as a premium pad manufacturer.
What I mean by fit and finish is just the overall quality control and finishing touches on the gear. As you can see from the photos, there are some threads that are sticking out, the outsides of the pad have some weird bends in them. Additionally, in certain areas on the glove and leg pads the jenpro doesn’t seem to have been pulled tight and adhered properly, so you can see some separation of the materials or what may have resembled bubbling. These aren’t things you would expect from this company. On the glove there were pieces of Jenpro that were still hanging on to the pocket eyelets where they laced the pocket. It looked like they took a whole punch to make the holes but the hole punch didn’t cut a complete circle, and rather than cut these pieces they just left them. While these issues don’t affect performance they are aesthetic issues that I, personally, can’t overlook.
So overall the finish of the pad isn’t the greatest and it’s disappointing that Passau would let these leave the factory floor like this. For me it takes some of the enjoyment out owning a custom set of pads, knowing these issues exist.
So all told, I love the pads for their performance and customized features, but thats where it ends. Do I think there are better options available? Quite possibly! I’ve never used Brian’s nor have I ever used Bauer so I can’t make that determination. I have had CCM Eflex’s in the past and really liked them, and the Warrior’s I didn’t mind either. I’d be willing to try something that is stock in the future rather than customized so that should give you an idea where I stand on the subject.
Would I recommend Passau to others? Conditionally, yes. If you are looking for some very specific features, graphics, performance characteristics, or fit that you can’t find in the name brands then I would say Passau would be a good option. If you can find something that you like a different brand, then I would say use that. Goalie gear is all about personal preference, so find what works for you. I think the biggest knocks against the current set that I have is the fit and finish of the pads, which to me, is a big deal, but might not be to others.
Would I buy Passau again? No, I will probably go with a stock set up of E-Flexs, Vapors, or Gnetiks. I’m finding that I actually prefer a softer pad to a stiff butterfly style so that is a design change I would make and the other is that I can work to improve my flexibility and just find something that works that is stock. While Passau could make those pads very quickly I think I would prefer something stock to a custom item.