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Took my first shot yesterday with my adidas icon and mag pads, untouched 70-something fastball, hardly felt it. I'm really impressed with these pads and felt them compress during the impact. My question, what pads do you use and why? I don't think I could go back to the crappy wilson pads like I used to have on my first mask.

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If Max could finish a post in a single evening we’d see A LOT more from him 

Looks like @MadMax was bored this evening...............

Took my first shot yesterday with my adidas icon and mag pads, untouched 70-something fastball, hardly felt it. I'm really impressed with these pads and felt them compress during the impact. My questi

I use the memory foam pads that came with my two Wilson Dyna-Lite AL masks and put TW's on my two Diamond BL-Ump masks. No problems with either set up doing everything from LL to Juco ball. Both seem to be well-liked by others here and I can't disagree, although the consensus on the mags is certainly way up there, as well.

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I like the honigs leather mainly because I like the squared off look and the way the bottom pad sits on my chin “shelf”.  Also, I don’t like logos on my stuff and these logos are color matched.  I also paint over the mlb and W logo on my shins and have stickers over the brand on my CPs 

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I used All-Star Mag pads almost exclusively for the last 3 years. I still have a mag with the tan leather pads, but I'm going to give some tan TW a shot this summer. 

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I like the Team Wendy because they use actual science behind what goes inside their padding. I've cut open others, and was surprised on the junk that was placed in there. 

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I alternate between an AS Mag with leather pads and a Champro Rampage with TW. I use the Mag for JV and up and the Champro for 14U and younger.

Ideally, I'd love to see TW make pads for the AS Mag but, they won't because it's the niche of a niche. I suppose at some point, I'll grab a set of LUC pads and try those.

Finally, I'm also very interested in the air-filled pads that come on the UA mask frame. We have sent messages to the pad manufacturer but, they have no interest in selling pads separately at this time.

~Dawg

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I use TW pads on my 3 Wilson Dynalite mask and am stuck using F3 leather pads on my F3 which I don’t like. I have used TW pads the last 5-6 years. Never felt anything with them and are my preference

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7 hours ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

Ideally, I'd love to see TW make pads for the AS Mag but, they won't because it's the niche of a niche. I suppose at some point, I'll grab a set of LUC pads and try those.

~Dawg

Any pads will fit within the AS MAG :HS 

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17 minutes ago, Thunderheads said:

Any pads will fit within the AS MAG :HS 

That is technically true however, the TW pads don't overhang the lower bars of the AS Mag face mask nor have the impact dispersion plate that the stock leather or LUC pads have.

~Dawg

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27 minutes ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

That is technically true however, the TW pads don't overhang the lower bars of the AS Mag face mask nor have the impact dispersion plate that the stock leather or LUC pads have.

~Dawg

I did not know that, thanks.

That's true, but the TW pad is a far more advanced material that doesn't need a dispersion plate

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I just got both AS Mag pads and TW pads to try on my 2 mask. the TW pads are much less bulky. 

Getting used to the bulk of of AS and how it makes the mask sit away from my face, as well as how it muffles my voice may take some getting used to.

We shall see which set of pads I end up sticking with.

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Currently using only MAG pads.  Perfect in all weather temps & conditions. Dry fast too.  On some frames they don't muffle you at all (Diamond for example), but then I've never had any say they couldn't hear me due to these pads either.

TW's are nice & safe, but I don't like how they fit on some of the frames I've had.  Great in hot weather.

I really like the Honig's pads also.  They look classic and fit my face and mask frames so well.  Plus, small logos are great.  I like their harnesses for the same reasons.

I had my first glimpse of the new UA mask on Saturday. Partner had one of all of the new masks it seemed LOL.  He buys them to offset his taxes as he does a lot of baseball year-round.  Anyhow, he likes it and says it feels odd when you're hit, but no hurting.  You can feel the air move when compressed.

Also saw my first Evoshield helmet.  Catcher liked the fit and view, but said the glue holding the pads in kept letting go on him.  He said the weight wasn't too bad either.

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41 minutes ago, GreyhoundAggie said:

I have my MAG pads on a diamond frame wolfe and it muffles me.

I must have a different face shape then or we're setting them up differently.  On the actual MAG mask, they sit up near my mouth, but on the Diamond they fit right where I'd expect them to on mine.

I have a bit of a long face though. :HS

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On 5/2/2021 at 5:30 PM, Scissors said:

I don't think I could go back to the crappy Wilson pads

And you shouldn't have to. They're the overlords of EvoShield, and 20+ year possessors of the most treasured position and piece of real estate in our little corner of the world (umpiring), and cannot be bothered to develop, progress, or improve their products. It's loathsome and shameful. 

On 5/2/2021 at 7:14 PM, kylejt said:

Team Wendy because they use actual science behind what goes inside their padding.

The whole reason for Team Wendy's existence is a scientific pursuit to mitigate, reduce, or eliminate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Dan Moore founded his company after the tragic death of his daughter Wendy following a TBI incurred while skiing. What he noted was that even existing helmets with their polystyrene (styrofoam) innards and open-cell foam pads could not properly dissipate the forces of impact and gradually slow the brain's physical reaction to that assailing force. After forming a team of physicists and chemical engineers, they concocted Zorbium, a cocktail of compounds that result in a hybrid-cell (neither truly open-cell, nor truly closed-cell), reactive "memory" foam that gradually compresses under load and gradually regains its shape after absorbing and dissipating that energy. It was primarily irrespective of volume

Somehow (I don't know the exact relationship or proceedings), Team Wendy was petitioned and inspired to make traditional mask pads for umpires. And they have faithfully continued to do so, largely without any recognition, notoriety, or any form of marketing. They used to provide an additional service of completely refitting existing CPs – which were from such manufacturers as Wilson, Riddell, Douglas and All-American – with their much more advanced Zorbium foam, but they were forced to abandon that service in the wake of increased strain on their overhead and resources due to securing an enormous federal contract to make head protection for the military and SAR. However, they still make mask pads available. 

On 5/3/2021 at 7:14 AM, GreyhoundAggie said:

... the TW pads are much less bulky. Getting used to the bulk of of AS and how it makes the mask sit away from my face... 

This has to do with the Zorbium foam, and I noted how it is (largely) irrespective of volume. Zorbium has something like 4-to-6 different formula variations to alter the foam's density and control how much gradual compression and recovery it performs. By contrast, common open-cell foam – most often found in upholstery – has minimal control over this coefficient of return, and has to exclusively rely upon its set density to react to load. Once under load, there is no control of the foam's compression resistance other than the foam's own volume it occupies. 

Best way to illustrate this? Remember how pathetically thin the default pads have been on the Diamond iX3-UMP mask? The mask was a runaway best seller in the umpire market. It gained such popularity amongst umpires, it singlehandedly forced Wilson to produce an aluminum-framed DynaLite before the iX3 found its way on TV for MLB games. However, the pads on the iX3 were so pathetic, Diamond was prompted to make "better" pads that could be marketed as "Big League" -worthy (actually, MiLB-worthy). Now, since Diamond doesn't command the international corporate presence that the larger companies do, nor do they have the resources (or time) to develop cutting edge, innovative solutions, they merely... doubled the volume of their existing open-cell foam pads! Yeah! That will fix it! 

I wouldn't call All-Star LUC pads bulky per se. Granted, they've got to be of a greater volume than Team Wendys or other Memory Foam pads because they are less dense. This is because All-Star is committed to trying to make the catchers mask (they are a catcher's company first and foremost) as lightweight as possible. All-Star uses a slightly different matrix of open-cell foam in their LUC pads, one with larger air cells but greater structure and resiliency in the foam compounds surrounding those cells. The use of technical fabrics as the skin or casing of the pads also dynamically lightens the weight of the pads, since these pads are well-ventilated and allow for moisture evaporation much better than their leather-clad cousins. And therein lies the rub... 

No catcher or umpire willingly wants a heavy mask. But all that assailing energy, that force, has to go someplace. All-Star is pursuing a solution based on geometry, material science, and the coordination of those materials. The use of a plastic plate, acting as a distributor, within the lower pad, is brilliant (see? Lucroy still has his wits about him). This way, the entire breadth and volume of the pad is engaged with impacted, it's not just localized to the point of impact. Force3 is pursuing a mechanical / physical solution, supplemented by material science (specifically, where can we throw even more Kevlar??). Schutt has adopted a material science approach, too. 

You'd think that an international corporation with products in golf, tennis, raquetball, football and a variety of other sports would figure this out, or at least be trying to. They don't even have an approach, unless you consider "Sitting on our 20+ years as Exclusive Supplier" as an approach. They just can't seem to be bothered to. 

Something to think about: If Wilson truly was committed to the development of their products and progression towards an innovative solution... then why have they only done their "special edition" styles (Mother's Day, Father's Day, Military Appreciation, USA, etc.) in "old" materials like hollow steel and leather? :HS Hmmmmm... 

So we've got the Team Wendys, the Kevlar-laminate Force3s, the distributor plated springy All-Stars ... so what else? Well, as mentioned, Honig's precision-cut leather pads are rather nice, in a reassuring "nostalgic" sort of way. A very well-performing balance of materials and volume. But the real future is down an unlikely path, with our colleagues in football paving the way. 

On 5/3/2021 at 7:38 AM, wolfe_man said:

I had my first glimpse of the new UA mask on Saturday.

 

On 5/2/2021 at 9:40 PM, SeeingEyeDog said:

Finally, I'm also very interested in the air-filled pads that come on the UA mask frame. We have sent messages to the pad manufacturer but, they have no interest in selling pads separately at this time.

This new technology is the WindPact CrashCloud system, which is an air bladder surrounding a lattice foam core. This air bladder has a patented gasket-valve to its construct, and it acts like a highly engineered whoopie cushion. Upon impact, air is driven out at a controlled, gradual resistance (relative to the impact action), and then the lattice foam inside springs back to cause air to be sucked back in, again under a relatively gradual resistance. Through exhaustive tests, the system behaves much faster and under much greater loads than memory foam alone. Memory foam does not recover its original shape very well, if at all, while under load. By augmenting the internal foam with air, that shape recovery can be more powerful. And, within the equations, air weighs (relatively) nothing, so there is very little additional mass to the pads, with the ability to perform under much greater loads. 

Now, again, here's the rub – this new technology needs a subsidy (a sugar daddy, if you will) to keep its development and pending production going. Of course, its ideal suitor is football (Shawn Springs, the founder and CEO is a former NFL defensive back); also, thru the coordination of WindPact's CTO, who has a military background, they landed a DoD contract. WindPact likely doesn't have the internal resources, staffing, or overhead to sell pads, in a retail manner, to such a niche market (sounds alot like Team Wendy, doesn't it?). UnderArmour can afford to sponsor this venture, since they are swimming in the same college baseball waters as two of the biggest marketing sharks on the planet – Nike and Adidas. Notice that Adidas didn't even bother to try and develop their own mask design – instead, they copied the Icon, used the same gel pads for it, and just screenprinted on their 3-bars logo instead of the Swoosh. UnderArmour is pursuing this as a marketing and technological advantage (for college catchers) over Nike and Adidas. But how do we explain EvoShield? 

This one confounds me. Fact is, EvoShield itself is an innovative, forward-thinking company, but they're owned by Wilson. These WindPact pads not only perform better than standard, traditional leather-clad and memory foam pads, but they eliminate the need to annually replace the pads! That completely works against Wilson's sales & profit model!!! They've been "scaring" umpires for the past 15 years that mask pads, to be reliably effective, must be changed annually! To a certain extent, that's understandable. Over time and repetitive wear, the foam breaks down, becomes more brittle, becomes less responsive, and flattens out. However, WindPact is claiming a near-infinite shape recovery cycle! So if you don't have to buy new, replacement pads any more, then why buy new pads every year? Hmmmmm... And, why would I want to buy a Wilson mask, which is "un-cool" on the "cool brands scale, yo!", when I could buy an EvoShield -branded mask? Hmmmmmm... 

--------

So what I currently use are Wilson DynaLite Aluminums with Team Wendy pads (2 of these), an All-Star FM4000 with LUC-Mag pads, a Honig's K4N with standard LUC pads, and a +POS ZRO-G with +POS AirChambers (equivalent to LUCs). I plan on getting a FM5000, and likely also a Champro Rampage... but if I was to do that, I'd have to find a way to get my hands on a set of WindPact CC's, and I really don't want to buy another whole mask rig just to pull the pads out.

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