Custom Don Simmons UL7 Pro Spec
After about 7 long weeks I finally got my custom ordered pads from Don Simmons. I chose Simmons because it seems they almost have a cult following and recently I have heard only really good thing. They were also really good about doing custom things and requests. So I researched all of their pads as well as a bunch of the competition and picked out everything I wanted to get the pad I wanted. The list was:
- Ultra light 7
- single outer break double internal break
- Carey Price style UL6 graphic
- sliding toe bridge
- 997 knee area
They arrived and the only thing I didn’t get on them was the 997 knee area which isn’t really that big a deal. The knee area is the same as what my current Sherwoods have and isn’t an issue for me. The 997 knee area just would have been a little more open. Out of the box the fist thing I noticed was that they are made of 10x better materials than my current Canadian made Sherwood T-95s.
I can never leave anything stock so I got straight to work. I was shocked that these came with like 2004 style thigh boards. I almost considered ditching my knee protection and going back to those. First thing I did was switch the cord on the sliding toe ties to skate lace ( no wax), then I took the knee cradle strap pulled it out and angled it down like I had on my Vaughn 9400s. Its so great to be able to move that strap at both ends. Angling the strap down helps rotation.
Closer look at how I set up the knee area. I also tied my Revoke Pro Knee /thigh guards in. With all that stuff on they feel the same as the Sherwoods. Ultra light does mean light even with a +2 leather straps and clearly better nylon and leg channel materials. Small not I had to trim the mushroom end of the strap from the thigh area to slip in the holder on the landing gear.
All straps can be removed and replaced. Awesome. The calf wedge that contacts the ice has some adjustment, not 100% sure why. I left it adjusted stock and “out further”. I’m curious as to whether or not these are foam block /sheet construction or shredded foam. They are so soft pushing on the face but flex like my “plywood” Sherwoods. The single external break double internal (which I can’t really tell if that was done) really allows the upper part of the pad above the shin a super nice curve. The Sherwoods were more of a /\ from the knee up and my attempts to curve that area really affected the shin area and could have caused some of the break down issues I had. I got some bad ripples in the shin area Jenpro from s curving the Sherwoods
Comparison pictures of the two. I am shocked at the difference in thickness of these and the Sherwoods. The UL7s are like half as thick. If the boot settles they will be a touch smaller however, but recently I hear that a Sherwood +1 is more of a +2 and a +2 is more like a +3 out of the box but the Sherwood boot usually take an L-shape and the lose that extra height.
Skating in them for the first time tomorrow night. Can’t Wait. More to follow.