Impact Analysis and Study for
Full Face Fiberglass Vintage
The study was completed in 2008 and utilized the three different manufactures of goalie masks in the era of the full face fiberglass mask (1) Higgins (2) Fibersport (3) Harrison.
The following is the procedure and results from the data collected.
Please note that wearing a full face fiberglass vintage goalie mask comes with risks and the possibility of injury. It is not if you will be injured, it is how long will it take. Under no circumstances are we recommending anyone wear a fiberglass vintage goalie mask. If you dare to wear one you will be doing it at your own risk.
A special mould was constructed to accept the installation of 8 impact transducers at various locations within the forehead and facial areas. There were 3 masks constructed, 3/4 Higgins, Harrison Fuhr/Meloche, Fibrosport Parent, all from this same mould. All three masks were shaped according to the originals, however the only cut-outs made were for the eyes. We removed the areas from the mould where the soft tissue of the face would be and replaced it with a silicone substance. We further covered the mould with a thin layer of silicone to simulate a layer of skin. All 3 masks were calculated with the same surface placement area and were all form fit to the mould. The impact transducers were located as per the following;
A - Center of the forehead
B - 1 1/2 inches to the right forehead
C - 1 1/2 inches to the left forehead
D - Center in the bridge of the nose
E - Right Highest point on cheek bone
F - Left Highest point on cheek bone
G - Center of the upper jaw just beneath the nose
H - Center of the chin
The hydraulic ram and speed encoder were calibrated to apply the identical impact pressures that a puck would create making a direct non deflectional hit at speeds of 60, 70, and 80 MPH. The actual impact device was a modified hockey puck fixed on a spring release device attached to the ram. Each mask was firmly fixed to the mould which was placed on a stantion with a spring loaded platform. A series of impacts were accomplished. The impacts were directed to form a non-deflectional strike and as close to the locations of the transducers as possible. Specifically as close as we could possibly align the impact device. Forty Eight impacts were recorded to each mask. Two impacts were delivered to each location at each speed. One hundred and forty four impacts in total. The results were recordered and data labeled.
One quarter inch sports padding (the highest grade we could obtain) was applied to the mould insuring that there were no voids and 100 percent of the normal contact surface to the mask area was covered. The series of impacts were repeated as performed in phase one. Again, all results were recorded and data labeled.
The quarter inch sports padding was removed and thirty five percent of the surface area that is in direct contact with the mask was also removed. To be specific, the mould was shaved down to create voids and or air gaps between the mould and the test masks. The areas that housed the impact transducers were not altered. These areas remained in direct contact with the mask. The series of impacts were repeated as performed in phase one and two. Again, all results were recorded and data labeled.
The voids created in phase two were filled with the same high grade sports padding. Each void was carefully filled to insure that we again had 100 percent surface area contact. The series of impacts were repeated as performed in phase one, two and three. Again, all results were recorded and data labeled.
Due to the results recorded from phases one to four we applied deflection ridges to the Higgins mask as close to the deflection ridges that were on the Fibrosport mask. This was accomplished to prove or disprove our theory why the results were as recorded. The series of impacts were repeated as performed in phase one, two and three. Again, all results were recorded and data labeled. Note the Higgins mask was the only subject mask for this phase.
All three subject masks were inspected for cracks and seperations. Non were visable.
We created a number of fibreglass test pieces in various curvatures. There were three different layering sequences.
1 - Full sheets no overlapes, 14 layers of a 6 ounce S-Glass weave
2 - Overlaped edges on the inner 10 layers of a 6 ounce S-Glass weave and 2 full sheets on top and bottom
3 - Full sheets of a combination of 6 ounce S-Glass and a 12 ounce matte, 10 and 2.
The test pieces were all cut to the same lenght and width. They were all placed in the same jig. Presure was applioed to each test piece until breakage. All results were recorded and data labled.
TEST MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT:
A - Digital Highspeed Impact recorder with multiple feeds and real time recording
B - Eight Digital Impact Transducers
C - Custom and Special constructed mould
D - Three Fiberglass Vintage Style Masks constructed from the same Custom Mould
E - Digitally controlled high speed hydraulic ram
F - Modified ram attachment
G - Digital Video Recorder
H - Custom Stantion with a spring mounted platform
I - Digital Linear Encoder / Speed Reference
SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS OF RESULTS:
Phase One - Impact devices A, B, C & D
There were varied differences in the impact pressures recorded from each mask type. We believe the outer surface shape can reduce the impact pressure in certain areas of the mask. When comparing the Harrison Fuhr/Meloche style to the Fibrosport Parent style there was a very moderate difference in pressure readings. The high being 3.7 percent and the low being .7 percent. However, we concluded that comparing these to styles of masks overall the Fibrosport was the better design of mask to reduce the effects of direct non deflectional impacts. As you have read earlier we performed a Phase Five.
We were much surprised by the Higgins impact data. In fact, we were so surprised that we actually repeated Phase one on the Higgins mask to confirm we had the correct data. When comparing the Higgins style mask to the Fibrosport the Higgins style mask recorded the highest impact pressures. The high being 8.6 percent over the Fibrosport and 4.9 percent over the Harrison Fuhr/Meloche. The low was 2.2 percent and 1.4 percent respectively. The obvious was the deflection ridges on the Harrison and the Fibrosport. Please note the impacts were created as direct non deflectional impacts. The deflection ridges did not deflect the impact in itself. However, we believed that the deflection ridges were and will absorb energy from the puck due to the significant smaller striking area. The puck releases energy and does not transfer that same energy to the individual wearing the mask. To prove our theory, we performed Phase Five. The results proved our theory. The impact data was reduced by a high of 6.9 percent and a low of 2.9 percent. This all seems to make sense in that the deflection ridges on the Fibropsort mask are much sharper and higher then that of the Harrison and of course they are non-existent on the Higgins.
When comparing all three masks to impact devices E, F & G the Higgins of course recorded the highest on G device due to the style of the mask. Please note that the impact pressures recorded by device G, on the Higgins mask, at the 80 MPH speed was definitely enough to displace your teeth if not remove them and maybe even fracture your upper jaw. It will most likely break your nose on all three masks. As for devices E & F the Higgins recorded the least amount of impact pressure. While the Fibrosport and Harrison were virtually the same. The Higgins mask recorded 4.1 percent less pressure than the Fibrosport or Harrison. Again, this we believe is due to the shape of the mask and in this case the overall surface area.
The conclusion for Phase One - form fit mask with no padding. It is our belief that the Fibrosport mask would provide the most protection and least amount of ill effects from direct impacts.
The Harrison, all be it better, is only marginally better than the Higgins. The Higgins woulld definelty not be our choice of mask. After recording and viewing this data I have had to reverse my original thoughts and theories. If you have spent a considerable amount of money on your teeth, definetly do not wear the Higgins without any padding.
SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS OF RESULTS:
Phase Two - Applied one quarter inch padding
We directly compared the data from all devices on all three masks in Phase One to the same data in Phase Two. We were not surprised that the impact pressures were reduced considerably. The highest reductions were to devices E and F an average of 29.4 percent on all 3 masks. A, B C & D recorded reductions of 21 percent. The lowest reduction was device G on the Higgins mask, that being 11.65 percent. The conclusion of Phase Two is, with the quality of padding we are afforded today there is really no reason to risk your well being by using a form fit mask with no padding at all. Moreover, you can still experience the feel of the Vintage Mask without, as some people would believe, padding the mask similar to a Nascar Helmet
Phase Three - Reduction of surface area contact (no padding)
The results from Phase Three were not surprising in that the impact pressures recorded increased. It is much believed and noted that the reduction of surface area would increase the impact pressures to the remaining surface. However, what was surprising was the amount of increase. With 35 percent of the surface area removed we recorded an overall average high on all three mask of 9.26 percent and a low of 5.88 percent. This somewhat contradicts popular belief that a moulded and form fit mask is much superior to a non-fit mask. There were postings from some individuals in the past that stated a non-fit mask would increase the impact by almost double. We believe this to be exaggerated to say the least. However, please note that the areas we removed for this test were just that. We removed them and they in no way indicate the shape of every head in every style and size of mask. WE still believe you should wear a well-fitting mask. Further, we will now or in the future never recommend either. We are not a believer in Fiberglass pasted to your face and this needs to be a personal choice based on proper information and not just popular belief. Had the Legends of Hockey had the fabulous padding we have today I believe
most would have utilized it to its fullest.
Phase Four - filling the voids
We directly compared the data from all devices on all three masks in Phase One to the same in Phase Four. We had carefully filled the voids with padding to reduce the voids to zero or as close to zero as possible. Thus, simulating a form fit mask with face, head and padding. When comparing the data there were marginal differences from Phase One. The increase and decrease in pressure recorded was plus or minus 2.6 percent. This portion of the study was also to prove or dis prove that the added padding would decrease the pressures from Phase Three. We believed it would and it was proven. Our conclusion is that a well fitted mask either by direct moulding or a well fitted mask and careful padding has the same results or near same results. Again, these tests were carefully constructed and not just arbitraly placed padding. If you choose to wear a vintage mask with no padding and it is not form fit from a mould, you will definitely need to exercise caution and plenty of time to insure the voids are alleviated. Again, we do not recommend you wear a fiberglass mask without full padding. Also, if you have full padding there is no need for a form fit mould. Just a well fit mask. There are other facts to consider when form fitting a mask. Even though a mask is made from a mould of you face and head the mask will not at all times fit 100 percent. There is shrinkage and warping effects that are coupled with expansion and contraction issues that occur during temperature changes. Fiberglass is only second to Aluminum being the highest. Further, facial features change just from a varying hydration of the body and weight gain. These are not huge issues however they are facts to be considered.
Phase Five has already been concluded in Phase One summary and Phase Six requires no conclusion review.
Phase Seven - Tensile Strength
It has been well discussed whether full sheets or non-cut layers of fiberglass is stronger that cut overlapped layers. Also, is a combination of various materials better than the utilization of one type. After testing 90 test pieces, 30 of each type as described in Phase seven we have the following to offer.
Type 3 - recorded better results on 25 of 30 pieces in comparison to both Type 1 and Type 2.
Type 1 and Type 2 recorded virtually the same results.
Our conclusion is a combination of materials and layered in a specific pattern provides superior strength to the utilization of one type. Again, there is much speculation to the lay-up process, full non-cut sheets or cut overlapped sheets. Our tests indicate full sheets or overlapped layers of the same materials have virtually no strength differences. Please note, this test procedure utilized the middle or inner layers as cut and overlapped. The outer 2 layers were full non-cut.
Over the next few weeks the entire data will be reviewed as to determine other factors and pertinent information. Specifically, the percentage of change in impact pressure from a certain data point to the remaining other 7. Is there a pattern or a formula that can be derived to calculate impact pressures from one particular data point to another? We have recorded data from nearly 700 impacts to 8 defined transducers. Eight data points per impact or nearly 5600 data entries. We believe that this study will enhance further our knowledge and provide some answers to theories and popular beliefs.
In closing, this study and analysis has been a labour of love for myself and my two colleagues. We have satisfied our curiosity and hopefully provided some real data and information for you to ponder, discuss and help make a decision in your next vintage mask purchase. Please note, obtain as much information (real information, not popular belief) before venturing into wearing a Vintage Goalie Mask. A simple question as, what information is there to support your belief or theory, goes as long ways to insuring your well being.
Added October 24th, 2008 - Due to misconstrued information we additionally state that this study and analysis is in no manner a recommendation in any form. It is only our opinion based on test data that we have created through our best available means.
To much theory without supported data can conclude in devastating results.
The standards that were followed and utilized to formulate this test, study and analysis have copyright restrictions. They are available from the Standards Document Authority.
Questions & Answers:
We will try to post as many questions and answers that are put forth in regards to this Study under this section so all readers have the opportunity to review.
Question: From Mark J
How can you be sure that the pressures are the same and 100 % accurate to what the puck would be at the speeds you have described?
Answer: Mark we are not 100 percent sure that the pressures are identical. We are reasonably sure that the pressures are within plus or minus 5 percent. However, the study was to measure the differential of pressures between phases and mask types. The overall impact pressures were not the focus of this study. We are sure to a plus or minus 1 percent that the differentials are accurate. The environment and test equipment was not altered and the equipment was calibrated to the same degree for each mask and phase of this study.
Question: From Brian S
Just a thought of mine, was the temperature of your tests done at room temperature or did you have the temperature like it would be at ice level? Also, do you think the results would change?
Answer: Brian, the above tests were performed at room temp. We did however have an additional phase that we were unable to complete due to equipment failure and time constraints. We actually froze the test impact puck in the freezer over night. We were curious what changes would occur utilizing a frozen puck vs. a puck at room temperature. Unfortunately, the test mould broke after only the first few impact recordings. With the mould damaged, to such an extent, we did not believe even after
repairs we would be able to trust the data enough to use it in the manner described. It is only my opinion but I believe the results would have changed.
Question: From Pete Bouchard
I surf the classic mask page quite often and there is some interesting stuff on there. I just finished reading some comments in regards to your study. I am a 3rd year Engineering student and find these articlles and discussion sites quite informative. Could you provide further information on the following?
1 - Back Ground of Study Participants
2 - Criteria that was followed in relation to the performed tasks
3 - Is this study published or will it be published professionally
4 - Is there any recommendations directly related to the analysis
Answer: Pete, I will address the criteria first. We obtained the test standards documentation for impact materials testing from an independent laboratory. We attempted to follow the test procedures as best we could. However, there was criteria within the standards that did not apply. We utilized these standards to form our model. The information in the report is not and will
not be professionally published. We have made it perfectly clear that the information noted in the study is just that, INFORMATION. It is in no way a recommendation of any kind. The study only states what we do not recommend. I will again note that we accomplished this study to satisfy our own curiosity and provide some information for discussion and comment. In regards to the participants;
Thomas H. Connauton
- 35 years experience in the instrumentation, automation and electrical fields
- PEC, CET, Mst Elec
- designed and invented new high speed innovative robotic sorting machines
- designed and invented the first voice activated tri axial robotic sorter to eliminate manually handled mail
- designed light weight delivery devices for automated systems utilizing composite materials
- designed and implemented multi million dollar automation and electrical systems.
- designed Industrial Engineering work sampling study software
Randy W. Cook
- 40 years experience in design of industrial mechanical systems and the mechanical field
- CET in Mechanical
- developed and performed numerous test sampling packages and study analysis reports
- designed innovative hydraulic systems for automated delivery and sorting systems
Brent R - Brent would appreciate if we did not post his name or history in regards to this report due to a possible conflict of interest.
Question: From Mark Diahoust
Would a Liut style be a better choice that the Fibrosport and would it offer better protection?
Answer: Mark, this is a matter of personal preference and personally reviewed information that you should verify. We have done no testing that would indicate that one of these masks was better than the other. My personal opinion is ask as many questions to as many sources as you can possibly locate and buy what you feel is correct and feel comfortable in. My personal choice was a Palmateer, it has good sight lines and relatively good protection in the neck area. This style mask also fits quite well to my shape of head and face.
Question: From Greg Larsen
Is there any future plans in the wind to continue further testing on different masks? It would really be interesting to see a comparison of a mask like the first Cheevers to a Gary Smith Jets mask or even a Liut Style.
Answer: Greg, not in the near future. This is extremely time consuming and costly. I am sure we will do some future studies, however what or when we have no idea.
Question: From Jed D.
Is 1/4 inch padding enough in a mask? Why I ask is can I put 1/4 inch padding in my cage mask? It is a little small.
Answer: Jed, We are not indicating nor suggesting that 1/4 inch padding is sufficent. We only used this as a model to determine whether the padding offered a minor or major difference. It is certainly not wise to change the design and structure of a cage mask in any way including the padding.
Question: From Crazy in Net
I read read on other sites that a moulded mask is pretty much a must if you are going to wear it. Why such a difference in beliefs or opinions?
Answer: Crazy, this is a subject that has very little real data to support any theorys or popular beliefs. In our opinion, and note it is our opinion, that wearing a form fit moulded full face fibreglass mask or any vintage fibreglass mask without padding is extremely dangerous. It is also only our opinion that there is very little difference between a form fit moulded mask and a well fitting mask if both are padded correctly. Please understand you cannot don a fibreglass mask that is 2 sizes too big and through a bunch of padding in it. As I stated earlier in Phase three of the Summary (this does not reflect every size of head in every mask type). One needs to be cautious and prudent, However, if you are cautious and prudent you probably will not wear a full face fibreglass mask anyway. Use common sense.
Question: From Dan the Man
Why did you pick 60, 70 and 80 for test speeds?
Answer: Dan we had originally picked 60, 75 and 90. However, we were unable to sustain accurately the 90 MPH speed with our test equipment. Eighty MPH was the highest we could comfortably maintain.
Question: From Dan the Man again
You have not mentioned any of the differences in speeds. Was there distinct differences from one speed to the other? Or was the same percentages evident at all 3 speeds.
Answer: Dan, there were differences. We are reviewing that information and will post it if there is any info pertinent to our initial scope.
Question: From Neil Thompson
Has there been any other tests like this done? Might be interesting to compare notes. Would some of the major equipment manufactures have info on this? This is a little over my head but interesting s
Answer: Neil, from the search that we did we were unable to find any comparable data. I would truly love to see other tests and compare them. I think a series of these tests should be accomplished and then everyone could have some real defined information. If the major manufactures had data like this I am unaware of it. Also I do not believe it would be something they would openly share.
:Question: From Gerald H
I have been in the fibreglass business for years and I am not familiar with vintage masks. I am familiar with resins and the glass materials available in the market today. My question is, comes from experience, do you think or know if the pressure recorded would change if the resin and glass was substituted? I read your specs page and you indicate that you use an epoxy type of resin. You may find that you will have increased pressure readings from a harder less flexible resin and also from a heavier weighted glass. Just thought maybe you had considered this or if not it might be some thing to mull around.
Answer: Gerald, heck of a question. I have no idea. However, come to think about it the epoxy resin it quite flexible compared to other types of resins. If the surface and structure becomes harder then there would be less energy distributed throughout the mask in itself. You might have a very valid point. Definitely something to think about.
Question: From Goalie 4 Ever
I think all of this is really hoop la, I have been a goalie for 40 plus years. Not at any level that is serious. All this muddle that you read on these mask sites is no more than personally defined information. The overwhelming majority of Goalie Mask collectors do not really care. Isn't the whole idea in playing hockey is to have fun? My thought on this matter, wear something that is safe, less stress more fun.
Answer: Goalie, thanks for your candid views. You may have a point. I have no idea though. Can anyone else help with this.
Question: From Harvey
I have 5 vintage goalie masks. 3 were made by Don Scott, I have 1 from you and I also have a Fibrosport, not the pro model. I wear all of them except the Fibrosport, just a little to thin for my liking. I have been beaned pretty darn good a number of times and yes I do have them all with full padding. I have an opportunity to buy a Garry Smith Higgins style made mask for about the
same as I paid for the others. Is it a good deal and is it a good mask?
Answer: Harvey, do not hesitate, buy it. As long as it is not in two pieces. You know what I mean. If you are not going to buy it please tell me who it is so I can buy it. Gary made some awesome masks.
Question: From Parent is King
Information from past articles and some discussion sites state that there was never a goalie seriously injured in a Fibrosport Mask. Is the Fibrosport mask the superior design in regards to safety?
Answer: King, I have also read the articles and I believe that there never was anyone seriously injured wearing a Fibrosport mask, other than eye injuries. If you are a Parent follower you probably already know. There would have to be much further testing to ever post a grand statement like that. Every mask design has their own special features to offer.
So too single out one as superior, that is pretty tough to do.
Question: From Mask Maker 2
I make goalie masks and I was a little confused how you could make 3 totally different designed masks from the same mould?
Answer: Mask Maker, we did the lay-up on the Higgins first, then we built the mould up with moulding clay to make the Harrison. We removed the moulding clay after the Harrison was completed and repeated the operation for the Fibrosport. After all the masks were completed we prepared the mould for the transducers and silicone fillers and cover. WE also removed the inner portion of the mould and the remainder, approximately 2 1/2 inches in thickness, was what we utilized for the test mould.
Question: From Paul Stanley
This is very interesting stuff. I couldn't imagine anyone actually wearing one of these masks without some form of padding. Sorry my question is, have you ever used the foam fit process, injection foam?
Answer; Paul, I do not believe that injection foam by itself would provide the same degree of protection as a high quality sports padding. I have however filled the voids, areas between the padding, in some of my masks with injection foam. It provides a very nice fitting mask. You can form fit the mask very nice and have protection covering 100 percent of the inside surface. But I would use as much padding a possible and then fill the rest.
Note: It is also a fast and economical way to make a pretty nice face impression for a mould. I have done about 25 using the injection foam and it works quite well. No need for all that plaster, gause and burning your face off.
Question: From Des
I am starting to play in a beer league with all older guys. The hardest shot would be for sure no more than 60 MPH. Will you be posting some data just for the 60 MPH testing? I am in the process of deciding which vintage mask to buy.
Answer: Des, we will be posting some further data and our findings for different speed ranges. However, please remember it is most important to get as much information as possible. Do not rely on one study or one person's opinion. Good Luck
Question: From I Luv Goalies
I am buying my husband a vintage mask for christmas. Could you tell me is a co poly mask the same as fiberglass? Is it as strong and durable? Would it last the same as fiberglass?
Answer: I Luv Goalies, Co Poly and Fibreglass are two very different materials. I have had limited experience with Co poly materials. However, they are quite durable and strong. There is a mask maker that makes Co Poly Masks, I believe his name is Mark Benjamin and you can find him on Classicmask.com. He will probably be able to give you the information you are looking for. If you are able to get the manufactures name of the materials he uses you can get the data sheets off the web. I am sure you can do some comparisons. Remember to get as much info as possible.
Question: From Bert J.
You had stated in your study that a direct impact at 80 MPH to the nose or just under the nose of a Higgins style mask would most likely loose teeth and break your nose. Is this your opinion or is there some facts to go along with this?
Answer: Bert, there is no doubt that it is our opinion. However, we do have supporting data and facts to back up our opinion. Firstly, the data pressures recorded were of significant values to cause severe damage. Secondly, we are comparing the recorded values to existing events. A very good and long time friend of our's was wearing a form fit Higgins style mask. He took a shot from approximately fifteen feet away. Unfortunately, the puck impacted directly off the nose of the mask. He lost 3 teeth, fractured his cheek bone, broke his nose and somewhat blackened both his eyes. Contributing factor is he was using limited padding. We believe if he had of been wearing that same mask with at least 1/4 inch sports padding then his injury's would have been significantly reduced.
Questions & Answers (page 2):
Question: From Bert J.
You had stated in your study that a direct impact at 80 MPH to the nose or just under the nose of a Higgins style mask would most likely loose teeth and break your nose. Is this your opinion or is there somes facts to go along with this?
Answer: Bert, there is no doubt that it is our opinion. However, we do have supporting data and facts to back up our opinion.
Firstly, the data pressures recorded were of significant values to cause severe damage. Secondly, we are comparing the recorded values to existing events. A very good and long time friend of our's was wearing a form fit Higgins style mask. He
took a shot from approximatley fifty feet away. Unfortunatley the puck impacted directly off the nose of the mask. He lost 3
teeth, fractured his cheek bone, broke his nose and somewhat blackened both his eyes. Contributing factor is he was using
limited padding. We believe if he had of been wearing that same mask with at least 1/4 inch sports padding then his injury's
would have been significantly reduced.
Question: From Bert J.
What, in your opinion, is the best option if someone was going to wear a vintage fiberglass goalie mask? 1 - Type of mask, 2
- type and thickness of padding, 3 - eye cut-outs and other equipment required.
Answer: Bert, Firstly I would not wear a Higgins. The full Fibrosport model like the last mask Parent used or a Harrison Gary
Smith Jets style would be my choice. If the Higgins fits properly the your neck area is way to exposed. The Fibro or Harrison
will provide somewhat better protection to the neck area along with we believe better protection from impact injury. I would not
wear a vintage mask without at least 1/4 inch top quality sports padding. (Note full padding) not just a strip or 2 here and
there. The mask also must be well fitting. The eye cut-outs should be as small as possible. I wear two different vintage masks,
on both I have installed a modified chin cup for a little added protection and stability. Also wear a full size back plate, leave
nothing exposed to the elements. If you are ordering a mask then ask for a back plate that is sized to the mask. Not just the
vintage size. Definetly wear a neck guard the best you can buy and make sure your accident insurance premiums are paid
up. Please note that this is my opinion and I again urge you and every perspective user to obtain as much information as
Question: From Mark
I'm curious, how many people actually wear a vintage mask to play goal in? I cannot imagine it being a large number.
Answer: Mark, from the people I know personally and the clients I have sold masks too I would say the number is fairly small,
that being about fifty. There is certainly a few more outside my circle. If I had to hasard a guess probably less than 500.
However, if you asked, how many people have tried at least once to wear a vintage goalie mask then I would guess it would
be in the thousands. Some people try it and get addicted, others try it and say "that was real neat" but I think I will wear my
Question: From Old School
Do you have any idea what Don Scott is doing these days? I think his masks in his earlier years were one of the best if not the
best. I still have a couple of his masks from the late 90"s and still going strong. How long have you been making masks and
what got you started? If you had to buy a mask who would you buy a mask from and in what order?
Answer: Old School, I have no idea what Mr. Scott is doing these days. He made some fabulous masks, I too have a couple
of them. In 1995 I was developing parts for robotiic projects made of fibreglass. I was asked, by a very good friend, if I could
reproduce some parts out of fibreglass for his vintage cars, that were unavailable. So I began making a number of different
car parts. During that same time I was approached to make a couple of masks for a theater play here in Edmonton. Then one
thing lead to another and I was making goalie masks. Between 1995 and 2000 I only made about eighteen or twenty masks.
The first ones were extremely terrible. I had made moulds from the two masks I had played in that I retrieved from my mothers
storage trunk. In 2000 I become very ill. The doctors believed it was allergies related to the plastics and resin materials I was
using both for the car parts, masks and the robotic parts. Over the next few years I had made a few masks, mostly paint jobs
and different cage masks. With the introduction of new resin's I found a combination that I can work with without ill effects. I
had purchased a number of masks over the years and then in 2005 with encouragement from friends and family I began
making them more on a frequent basis. It is very hard to say who I would buy a mask from. If Gary Smith was still making
masks he would probably be my choice and then Don in his earlier years of making masks.
Question: From Dee
If you were to do this exact same study using masks made by a different maker do you think the results would have changed
considerably? Have you had a chance to read the Hockey News Greatest Masks? Some of the replicas in there are terrible
and what is this I read that a Dryden was unavailable 10 years ago, I got one from Don Scott back then.
Answer: Dee, I do not believe that the results would have changed considerably if the same study criteria was followed. They
probably would have changed somewhat. However, I do not believe they would have changed enough to produce a new view
or belief in the study results. As for the Hockey News I have not had an opportunity yet to read it.
Question: From MaskCrazy
This study is exceptional, interesting and informative. I particularly like your candor. I am one of the few that actually wear a
vintage mask. I did attempt once to wear my mask without padding (actually thin strips were placed in the mask) the results
from only one impact was enough for I to realize that it was absurd to be endangering my good health. I use thin gel pads on
the inside of my masks. They are very effective and I believe they are much better that the sports padding available today.
Just a thought for your next study if you are doing one maybe collect data using these as one of the criteria.
Answer: MaskCrazy, email me a pic or the product information on the gel pads. I am curious. Thanks
Question: From The Bear
Finally there is some understanding or something to knaw on regarding this issue of fibreglass pasted on your face. I was
always told that you had to (it was a must) to have your face moulded and a mask made from that mould if you were going to
wear a full fibreglass vintage mask. Correct me if I am wrong, you have other options from what I am reading. Also, could you
email me the product information on the sports padding that you used in the study?
Answer: Bear, firstly your best option (not the cheapest) is to have a moulded mask made and apply padding as we have
indicated. The other we believe if a mask fits well and the padding is applied properly then you can get away with wearing one
that is not moulded. From our information and results you will have similar protection at half the cost. Ultimately it comes down
to properly placed padding and finding a mask that fits your head and facial features. Again please take some time and
review all information you can obtain. There are many different views and do not rely on popular belief. I have emailed your
padding data info.
Question: From Glen No Teeth
I have just came aross your site while I was surfing for a new catchers mask. My question is do you think that a puck would
have the same impact pressures as a baseball? There is a reason for this question. I bought what I believe is a higgins style
vintage mask, very well built, to use as a catchers mask. I made the eye holes a little bigger and I fastened a small cage over
the eyes. I had a friend do a killer paint job on it and I was the hit of the ball park. I did have padding in the mask, not that
much though. As luck would have it, I took a fast ball right off the nose. I didn't loose any teeth, thank god, I did have some
dental work to repair the damage and a visit to the doc to fix my nose. My jaw and forehead were sore for a week. So when I
came across your study page and reviewed your results it was very much the same as my incident.
Answer: Glen, I have no idea but I would think a baseball would be a little less forgiving than a puck. However, I hope you are
not still using that mask, killer paint job or not. Interesting info! If you get a chance send me a pic of that mask, luv to see it.
Also do you know who made the mask?
Question: From I am Canadian EH!
I have been playing in goal for a number of years during which time I have never been injured, vintage mask or not. I
purchased 3 masks off of EBay, all from different makers. None of these masks wrere moulded to my head or face they were
just random purchases from EBay. I am sure there are more goalies just like me that have never had a problem nor an injury.
So why are some people so insistent on pushing the notion that a moulded mask is the only way to stay safe? I have padding
in all my masks and plenty of it.
Answer: Canadian, I believe if you pad a vintage mask well and eliviate all the voids and have maximum surface coverage
you really do not need a moulded mask. However, this is of course a personal choice and should be up to the individual that
is wearing the mask. Everyone is entitled to their views and choice. I do not believe anyone is pushing anything, just individual
beliefs. That is why we performed this study, no one could give definitive answers. The most important issue is staying safe
and having fibreglass only against your face is simply not safe in my book or by the results from this study. Obviously, your
situation works for you and I assume many others. Stay safe!
Question: From BBG
When you decided to initiate and perform this test was there any other data that you had previous? Also somewhat of the
same question, has anyone ever performed a test like this and if so who and how many? It would be interesting to compare
and evaluate the results from more than just one.
Answer: BBG, we did an extensive search, we were unable to locate or recieve from anyone we contacted any information or
data. If there was any test performed similar to this study and test we are not aware of it or did we have any previous data
from such. The only information that we had was of course popular belief and personal views. It would certainly be welcomed
additional information. Comparing two or even three tests like this would be fabulous and quite informative. If you are aware of
any please forward the info.
Question: From Casey
I tried you chin cup suggestion in my Smith mask, wow that sure works nice. It also keeps the mask out enough so you do not
have issues with the nose hiting your body armour. Also cutting the padding out for the vent holes after you install it is much
easier and it fills all the area real nice as well. Thanks, do you know where I can get those gel pads? I have a Higgins style
mask that I wear for roller hockey, the chin keeps hitting me in the neck and there is no room to install a chin cup, what can I
do to help this?
Answer: Casey, glad to hear the chin cup worked for you. I emailed you the info on the Gel Pads. As for the Higgins digging
into your neck, I have no suggestions other than get a mask the fits you better. Either that replica was not made correctly, too
long, or you have a much smaller face. I have seen some people grind down the chin area but that is somewhat dangerous. If
you measure your face from the bridge of your nose to the tip of your chin and do the same on the mask or potentially new
mask you will be able to find one that is much closer to your size. So if you are going to purchase a new mask to wear and it is
not moulded at least get some measurements and find one closer to your size and fit.
Question: From HGPPG
In the past I have been wearing just vintage masks that I purchased, no exact moulded masks. I want to try and be as safe as
possible so I have attempted and just finished doing a face mould with that spray foam you suggested. That works pretty darn
good, came out really well. It still gets a little warm on the face but nothing like moulding plaster. This is allot easier and
cheaper. What do I do with it now? Can I just pour a positive mould now or do I need to do something else? Also can that
positive mould be made into any type of mask?
Answer: HGPPG, before you pour anything into the impression make sure it is smooth. Spray the inside with glue and
adhere pieces of poly to the impression. Cut the pieces in small strips to avoid any wrinkles. This way the positive mould will
be smooth and will not stick to the foam face impression. This face impression can be moulded into any type of mask you are
looking for. With the negative impression you can pour as many as you need for as many types of masks you wish to
Question: From King Kirk
I play roller hockey and have 2 different vintage masks that I have worn over the past 3 years. I know that a roller puck is
lighter than a regular puck but I think the impact would be comparible. The roller puck is lighter but can go even faster than a
regular puck. Both of my masks are just off the shelf, nothing special. I fail to see the reasoning around a moulded mask that
it is better. Well fitting and padded is just fine in my book. I really do think this is mostly hype about moulded masks. Am I
Answer: Kirk, I do not think your missing anything at all.
Question: From Cougar
I would not wear a vintage mask if it was not moulded to my face. There is no way in hell that I would just put on any vintage
mask made by some chump who doesn't know anything about mask making. I also do not care if there is padding or no
padding. Moulded fit mask or nothing and there is noithing wrong with wearinga higgins mask. I have no missing teeth or
broken bones. Anyone who thinks different is just a goof. So my question is why are you being such a goof and promoting
non moulded fit masks, is it because you are unable to make a real moulded fit mask?
Answer: Cougar, as I have indicated previously this is a personal choice that requires compiled information, whether it be
personal views, popular belief or test data to make an informed decision to which type, style and fitting one should be
wearing. We accomplished a study for our own curiousity and nothing more. The individuals whom have posted questions on
this site or even by regular email are all making choices based on the best information available to them. You are obviously a
pro moulded fit mask individual and that is great. If it works for you then that is your personal choice and no one should be
demeaning you for that choice. However, you should do the same and be a little more dignified. They also, including myself,
have a right to make a personal choice without anyone like yourself demeaning that process of evaluation and conclusion.
Now, as for calling me a goof, it really does not matter and is not worthy of a resonse. However, most people that have any
integrity at all would have at least posted this with their right name and sent it in with a proper email address. So if you have
anything further to lend to this discussion please post it with your real name and then we can really discuss the issues at
Question: Bradley Stuart
Whether anyone agrees with you or not this is a fabulous study and very informative. I am also a pro moulded fit mask
person, I have only one mask that was moulded to my features and it works quite well. I do though see what you are saying
about a well fitted mask and correct padding. It certainly seems to make sense and it is a very reasonable conclusion from the
information that I read in your study. It also is common sense in most respects. Did one mask perform considerabley better
than another with full padding? Was there any distinct differences from one mask to another other that what you have already
Answer: Brad, the results from the study regarding full padding indicated no distinct differences other than the Higgins on
devices G and H, nose and chin. That of course is the result of mask design. The Fibrosport had less overall impact
recordings, however it was not substantial in any way other than what has already been stated in regards to the higher impact
recordings on the Higgins. The only information not stated is that there were virtually no recordings on G device for the
Harrison or Fibrosport. The Harrison did record near the same recordings as the Higgins on device H where the Fibrosport
recorded virtually nothing. I believe if any mask is padded correctly the impact pressures should be relatively the same other
than contact surface differences from one mask to another. Also just for your information we padded the mould so all three
masks had the same padding in the test study.
Update: Since we have had a number of queries regarding accumulation of impact pressure recordings (all pressure points
additive) we have concluded the following. After further evaluation of the test data (at all speeds and impact points) we have
found that all three mask styles recorded similar accumulation of impact pressures in comparison of a moulded fit mask
versus a non moulded fit mask. When all pressure points are additive and accumulative all three mask styles were similar in
that there was very little difference in pressure recordings from fit and non fit when applied padding was added. Previously we
had only compared the data from pressure point to pressure point. However, in a total accumulation of pressure data the
Higgins mask recorded the highest overall accumulation in all phases. The Fibrosport style had the least accumulative
Update: Cougar responded with some rude and non factual comments. No he did not leave his real name and email!
Question: from Barry Howell
Is there that much of an difference in the accumulated impact pressures from the Higgins to the Harrison and Fibrosport.? Are
we talking a huge amount, 25% or just a minor increase, 5 to 6%?
Answer: Barry, the actual accumulated pressures from the Higgns mask was 12.9 percent higher than the Fibrosport and 6.1
percent higher than the Harrison. Does 12.9 percent constitute huge, it might be or might not, given the right circumstances.
The general overall focus of the study was to clear up, in our minds, certain facts. That being fit or non fit, also does the
actual style of the mask matter. From our perspective and opinion yes, is does matter. This of course may not matter at all to
some individuals. Also remember that not all impacts to a Higgins mask would be 12.9 percent higher. The test percentage
could increase or decrease given the location of the actual impact. All we are indicating, by opinion, is the Higgins may cause
you more severe injurys then that of the other two masks based on impacts to the mask itself. At present the actual presure
readings are being reviewed by an independent professional. Hopfully, from this review we will have some indication of the
types and magnitude of injuries that may occur.
Question: From Alex Muller
I am in the process of buying a vintage mask to use in an adult pick up league (no hit no slapshot). For the past several
weeks I have been reviewing as many web sites and info pages as I could. though I have decided on a particular mask I am
undecided who I should purchase it from. The price ranges are so different it is particular confusing for the average joe. How
can an average joe tell really what he is buying and are all the masks made the same from each mask maker? Also I have
seen on Ebay some sellers indicating that there masks are made by the best mask maker out there, how can an average joe
again really know? Your opinion on this would be appreciated. Also I have settled on purchasing a Liut style mask with custom
Answer: Alex, there are different process's in applying fiberglass. Also there are different resins and bonding agents. The
types, combination and quanity of glass used in a lay-up is important. Moreover, the proper resins and bonding agents are
critical. In my opinion most of or all of the individuals who are making masks have done their due diligence and are producing
masks that are very well made. I have a certain process which utilizes different types and weave of fibreglass coupled with
resin's and bonding agents specifically designed for the types of glass I use. There are distinct differences from one mask
maker to another and I am sure you can see that when viewing the masks and web pages on line. However, is there one mask
better than another, I really do not think so. They are all different and for anyone to say there is one better than another is
making a personal assumption and choice. The same we all do when we buy a car, tv, skates, pads etc. It is really a personal
choice. You may want a mask that is built like a tank and you are not particulary concerned with the resemblance to a certain
vintage mask. Where as others are more interested in the overall feel and look of the mask. Then there are the individuals
who are dead set on a certain style of mask. If you are concerned with the process then query the maker on their lay-up and
materials. If you are concerned with the overall look and finishes then request detailed pictures. If you are concerned with the
fit of the mask (you should be) take some time and perform some detailed measurements or make a facial impression. Buy
what your comfortable with. I rarely consider budget when purchasing important items to protect my well being. In closing is
one better than the other, again I do not think so. They are all fabulous in what they produce and create. It is what meets your
criteria that really counts.
Comment: From Ronald Vickers
TC, it must be a very small world to have crossed paths with you when both are so very far from home. When I was reading
your web page and you asked me what I thought I had no idea that this was you. I really thought you were pulling one over me
when you finally announced that this web site was yours. The ongoing discussion with yourself and the intervention by the
Engineering students was brillant. Grey Cup day has a way of establishing strange meetings. Eric's passion for old time
hockey and vintage masks is amazing. As I had spoken and commented earlier in the coffee shop I think the study is very well
done, not without some faults. The overall purpose, results and conclusions are most interesting and supported. There could
be and probably is more to conclude from the data you have collected. I hope you will import some of my suggestions and
review the data from that perspective. I look forward in recieving your information for review. See you at the game and the
brew is on me.