Which gear? Mercian Durability

Discussion in 'Goalie Zone' started by F1-mania, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. F1-mania

    F1-mania FHF Legend

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    Perhaps one for @Simon_GK_Mason but thought other's here might be able to help me out here. I'm having a look at the Mercian kit they've brought out with Tommy Alexander, and am interested in making a switch from OBO, partially because OBO has gotten incredibly expensive and partially because I've always used OBO and want to give something different a try.

    I'm currently playing on a pretty grotty sand based pitch, which was meant to be replaced over the summer due to being a health hazard, but it looks like we may be playing a further season on it. When it's wet it's usually fine wear wise, but it's similar to a waterbased in terms of stickiness in the dry, making it a kit grating nightmare. Thankfully in Ireland dry days tend to be few and far between (the one saving grace of the weather) so over the winter months this is perhaps not the biggest issue.

    Has anybody else used mercian style kit on a grotty sand pitch that can attest for the durability of the kit? Unfortunately nobody in the south of Ireland stocks mercian, so I can't take a look myself at the new stuff. Is it likely to last or will it disintegrate like I'd imagine a set of TKs would? With the lower price to the OBO I'm not totally averse to buying new kickers every 18 months to two years or so, but obviously want them to last at least that long and ideally for the leg guards to see me through a bit longer. Any help is appreciated - I'm finally earning money so my newfound kit magpie status is confirmed!
     
  2. AndyGaut

    AndyGaut FHF All Time Great

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    @F1-mania the Mercian kickers aren't that much cheaper although OBO Leg guards are obsurbly priced at £395.55 WTF?
    Mercian Pro Kickers: £243 (266.81 Euros)
    OBO HiRebound: £260.55 (286.08 Euros)

    What about Brabo?
     
  3. F1-mania

    F1-mania FHF Legend

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    Yeah, the kickers aren't a massive saving, it's the LGs where the price is made up. Gloves are significantly cheaper too.

    I'm suspicious of the brabo simply because I know they've not lasted all that long on our pitch, seemed to be similar to the soft style of TK - though I can only take that from a single anecdotal review. The Extreme didn't seem to be much cheaper as a set but I will certainly have a look. I have also considered monarch with the new sublaminated skin, but was prioritising mercian on the back of some very positive murmurs I've heard about the new kit. Monarch haven't overly helped themselves by not having the most informative website with regards to the new kit (is the new GP01 stuff even out yet?).
     
    #3 F1-mania, Aug 17, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
  4. AndyGaut

    AndyGaut FHF All Time Great

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    I had a set of Brabo about 8 years ago that last two seasons on a very abrasive sand dressed pitch, maybe they've changed then. Monarch at the moment is all just rumours but I'd say the end of August isn't very likely for an announcement unless someone else has other information.

    I'm not sure what to suggest really, I think your nearest stockist with actual kit to try would be Total Hockey in Northern Ireland
     
  5. Simon_GK_Mason

    Simon_GK_Mason FHF Legend

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    Hi F1, the nightmare sand-based field you describe is potentially a death knell for any kickers and in all honesty there will not be a huge difference between any. The OBO items have a skin on them which will give a potentially slightly longer early life, the new Mercian Pro kickers also have a skin on them which aids sliding (legguard relevant), so I think regardless of which brand you purchase the bottom edge is going to get ruined pretty fast. For me the decision is then about the construction, have a look at the depth of foam and how it is bonded on the instep. The friction from the field will pull at any join and create stresses that could accelerate deterioration. The Mercian ones are heat welded, so don't use any glue, this essentially creates a bonded single layer of foam that is nearly impossible to pull apart. So, in short, I think that there is little to choose between kicker lifespan on a field such as the one you describe. The protection of top-level kits from any recognised manufacturer will be of a high standard (be wary of second hand kickers as the foam will have died), so the decision is budget and in my opinion rebound and weight. I can obviously vouch for the Mercian items as I have first hand knowledge of wearing them and Tommy has had a large hand in designing the Pro Range as well so we know they perform well. If you can get to a shop that stocks items it is probably a good idea given the expense of kiting yourself out.
     
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  6. F1-mania

    F1-mania FHF Legend

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    Thanks, exactly the information I was looking for.

    Unfortunately with the Gilmour sports/total hockey merger gilmour no longer stocks goalkeeping kit in Dublin - so trying anything requires a few hours drive and total-hockey don't seem to have Mercian kit in stock as yet. Going to take a day or two but think I'll probably take the plunge - very keen to try something different.
     
  7. F1-mania

    F1-mania FHF Legend

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    Bit the bullet and ordered these. I'm away next week but will put up some sort of first impressions thread with a view to writing a full review once I have a bit of experience in them.

    First thoughts though - they're extremely light but I'm in for a period of getting used to them. Will probably keep the OBO stuff on the go for matches until I'm 100% comfortable. Probably need to figure out the strapping too. I'm 6'1-6'2 but the top strap is currently sitting in the knee with a large. Obviously need to figure out if I'm meant to play with the kicker tongue in the kicker or hanging out and all sorts like that. I guess this is all something I need to figure out by using them though. FWIW the left hand glove I'm already quite a fan of. Anyway, couple of weeks I'm sure I'll know what I'm doing. Keep your eyes peeled for a new thread - and if anybody has any advice on the transition from OBO that'd also be greatly appreciated.

    EDIT: Slight annoyance - pads are a touch on the large side and I think I need to order a size smaller in the LGs. Surprising - I'm 6'1 with longer legs than a torso so I'm surprised they're too big on my of anybody.
     
    #7 F1-mania, Aug 23, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
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  8. Bonza

    Bonza FHF Newbie

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    Am tempted to have a go with these too, but don't think I'll be able to see them in person first.

    One thing that's making me reluctant is the single strap design for the kickers. Would be grateful for any information on how the design is supposed to protect the toes when stretching, and if it is successful in practice or whether the toes can be exposed. I've watched many keepers wearing Brabo and though it's not something that seems to be talked about much, it does look to me as though the toes are regularly exposed with the lack of a front strap.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  9. bedfordhockey5

    bedfordhockey5 FHF All Time Great

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    Sand based, they will wear out quicker than your hand through a single sheet of loo roll.
     
  10. murph

    murph FHF All Time Great

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    Whoever solves this issue will corner the lower-level market! I've now gone through two sets of OBO pads due to our hideous sticky pitch.
     
  11. bedfordhockey5

    bedfordhockey5 FHF All Time Great

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    Monarch skin seems to be doing an excellent job so far :)
     
  12. murph

    murph FHF All Time Great

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    For the benefit of others, you may wish to state how long "so far" is, times used regularly and standard of pitch...

    Sand based astros vary wildly - Ours for example as stated, has **** all sand on it, so when it hasn't rained it's a mess. Others have so much sand the inevitable jokes about requiring a bucket and spade pop out!

    It's this reason that generally (our home turf only one so far) I've stuck with OBO due to durability.

    Is never a one-size fits all is it? I could (possibly) rip apart multiple pairs of the best efforts of @Simon_GK_Mason and his team on our turf, yet someone on a more slippy pitch in all weathers may be really just fine?
     
  13. Babybel89

    Babybel89 FHF Starter

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    I've had Monarch GCP 01 kit for the past 3 seasons, used it 3 times a week during the season, and the kickers have literally fallen apart on me! So I've gone back to Mercian and the Evo Pro, awaiting delivery!! Just hope the Monarch can last the weekends game!
     
  14. asahartz

    asahartz FHF All Time Great

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    I'd say 3 seasons is decent from a set of kickers! I know Obo kickers will physically last longer but they don't have much rebound by that time and their protection is reduced.

    A few years ago my daughter went through a set of TK GX1.0 kickers in a little over a season at junior level. When we contacted TK about this they said it was normal wear, and sold us replacements at cost price as a goodwill gesture! Her next set was Obo...
     
  15. freebird

    freebird FHF All Time Great

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    In order to get more durability out of the kit, I've tended to put a 'skin' of thin tape around particular areas of use (bottom and front of the kicker, straps under the kicker) right from the very start.

    I used my OBO kickers for around 7 seasons using this method, changing the tape every two to three weeks..

    edit: Used to train twice a week, and obviously play on a Saturday.
     
  16. Meteor

    Meteor FHF Starter

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    I've done a very similar thing to my latest OBO kickers, but instead of tape my sacrificial layer is a covering of ShoeGoo. Its been a couple of months since the first application (train twice a week, play once all on a sand pitch) and its still all in place.
     
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  17. AndyGaut

    AndyGaut FHF All Time Great

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    @Meteor could you post a picture when you can please?
     
  18. Meteor

    Meteor FHF Starter

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    Will do.
     
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  19. freebird

    freebird FHF All Time Great

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    Nice idea
     
  20. Meteor

    Meteor FHF Starter

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    Hope this picture helps. FYI - these are high rebound obo kickers,

    Because i didnt know how the ShoeGoo might effect the kicker i only applied a little to begin with. Focusing on where the shiny outer coating of the kickers has already worn through or along the molding seams which i felt would fray first as the kickers become worn.The yellowish ShoeGoo coating that has frayed is as a result of layering ShoeGoo on top of itself, its not coming off just fraying at the edges slightly.
    The area circled in red was not coated and here you can see the normal kicker wear starting to show its self.

    TBH its worked much better than i anticipated and i'm really happy with the protection that it is giving - the upshot is that i'm now planning to apply a full coat across the entire base of each kicker.

    Kicker.jpg
     
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