This week, Bauer Hockey revealed their newest creation – the OD1N line, a line of gear made specifically for six of the world’s elite hockey players. The Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are two of those players, along with Claude Giroux, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Henrik Lundqvist.
“The Bauer OD1N products were specifically designed for a select few athletes,” Bauer stated, “to be worn on the world’s biggest stage in February. The majority of athletes are expected to begin wearing the gear this month, and work with us to fine tune it before the Olympics. Although not in stores, we expect to utilize several of the advanced technologies created for OD1N products in upcoming launches.”
Bauer’s research and development department has been working on the OD1N line for two years, and CEO Kevin Davis calls it the “concept car” of hockey equipment. The line includes a skate, a personalized protective body suit, and customized goalie pads. Davis said the design team “set out to completely reinvent speed, to completely reinvent performance, to completely reinvent the safety of the game. It’s game-changing technology.”
“Our absolute focus has been towards giving these six players an advantage going into the Olympics, without hesitation” said Bauer GM Craig Desjardins. “Our focus today has been in the elite of the elite, some of the best players in the world.”
The OD1N Protective Body Suit is created using an optical scanner and a CAD system that measures a player’s dimensions, so that the suit can be built to their exact specifications. The suit acts as a base layer, and custom-made shoulder and elbow pads and shin guards can be fit on top of that. It reduces much of the bulk that hockey players typically wear under their uniform, eliminating up to 4 pounds of weight the player has to carry. Toews has started wearing his very recently.
“You have all the protection you need and it’s as light as you can imagine,” he said in a taped presentation at the product launch Thursday. “As a hockey player, the last thing you want to be doing out on the ice is worrying about your equipment. You should never have to think about it, and I think that’s exactly what the body equipment from the shoulder pads to the shin pads accomplish because you really don’t feel like you’re wearing anything.”
Even more intriguing is the Bauer OD1N skate. Bauer says the OD1N is “the lightest hockey skate ever created and has the first fully composite holder”. The OD1N skates weigh about 550 grams, compared to the 750 grams most of the high end skates on the market currently weigh; the carbon composite holders have stiffness and flex patterns that are customized to players’ skating styles, which improves their energy transfer.
Consider this, Blackhawks fans. Patrick Kane is already fast. He has a natural quickness that allows him to weave in and out of places on the ice many forwards wouldn’t dare to go. With this new OD1N equipment shedding a fair amount of the bulk players carry with them on the ice, imagine how much quicker Kane will be with lighter, more streamlined pads, and skates that are designed to be light enough that players can get to the puck nearly a foot faster on a race from blue line to blue line.
It’s almost terrifying.
In the best way possible, of course.
“You fall in love with (the skates) right away,” Kane said in the video presentation Thursday. “As far as turning and skating, you feel like they’re a lot quicker.”
“They’re so quick and light you can pretty much get on your feet, on your toes, and start running on the ice,” said Toews.
With the Blackhawks already off to a fast start, the last thing opponents want is for them to get quicker. Kane and Toews, however, seemingly can’t wait.