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TheKGI

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About TheKGI

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  • Website URL
    http://www.keepergloveinsiders.com

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  • Interests
    Serving the goalkeeping community by providing gk product insights not available elsewhere.
    Searching the internet in efforts to locate anyone of unbiased expertise of the subject greater than my own.
  • Glove of Choice
    multiple
  • Country
    United Kingdom
  1. Nike Premier SGT

    I understand completely, and thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate messages like this because it provides direction. For every one person like yourself who contacts me, there are probably 20 who feel the same but do not act. I don't want to lose you guys for having been over the top with the technicals, but I do want to challenge you. I'm trying to reach a format whereby I can provide the quick info you want, but also the super detailed info for those who want to go a bit deeper. I do include what I call my summarized, '1 to 9 Overview', in this review for the SGT. I can't get much more simple than that without compromising myself to a 'why bother' level. In some respects, asking me to provide simple 1 to 5 ratings is akin to trying to hold back the tide... it won't happen. (1 - 5 rating systems are statistically useless, by the way). I mean, if you have access to an Aston Martin in a world full of Skoda's, are you going to limit yourself to first gear? I'll continue to try and streamline the info, but I'd rather provide too much versus too little. Thanks again.
  2. What is, ‘Grip’, to you…? ‘Grip’, tends to be a nebulous term most keepers don’t think much about; you just know what it is, even if it might be tough to explain. You know it when you feel it. Values we assign are interpretive, dependent upon breadth and depth of experience of other foams. Grip is associated with friction. Friction speaks to how one surface resists the movement of another surface. Seems simple enough, but the relationship between goalkeeper and palm is personal and complex. What we perceive as grip involves many factors beyond friction between ball and foam. Friction properties (coefficient of friction) are easily measured with the ASTM D1894 protocol. The apparatus can be big $$$, so very few brand HQ’s are equipped, but foam vendors and the bigger glove factories will have at least a Gerry-rigged version. Some of which would make MacGyver wince. http://www.massdevice.com/blogs/debbi-cohen/how-guide-astm-d1894-coefficient-friction-test-plastic KGI considers ASTM D1894 useful for certain things but dismisses claims about grip if the data is derived from a sled based test. Why? Because sled tests are one dimensional; sled test data does not reflect how foam will perform once cut and sewn into a glove. Why? Because, friction is not grip. Foam which measures impressively via the one dimensional sled test cannot be assumed to provide superior grip because grip is a multi-dimensional result of several variables – • environmental conditions • anatomy • psycho-physiology (tactile perception) • foam composite • biomechanics • cut/patterning • fit & form (Glove:Ball Interface) We each interpret and attach different levels of priority to these variables. What’s most important to you may not be for another. Accordingly, conclusions will vary. Who is correct? Everybody is correct. This speaks directly to the beauty and fascination for how a glove you may consider the best ever, is a glove another keeper would not choose. In a blind test, you could have ten pair of gloves made with foam from the same bolt, and still see deviation from the mean. This is where experience and knowledge plays in. Its one thing to know what types of testing must be performed. It is another thing entirely to know how to interpret the data and what to do it. The Keeper Glove Insider has a great experience in the relationships, relevance, and values of these variables; they are accounted for in The KGI’s published ratings for grip. A big part of relating to a subjective review is understanding the reviewer’s perspective, as compared to yours. It is entirely possible you’re in the same place, but simply manage your descriptions differently. Another consideration (best left for later) is the fact that foams vary from batch to batch. Brand A’s top foam may have been other-worldly superb on your first two pair and then you get a pair that doesn't kick in until the fourth or fifth wash or wearing. If anyone out there has run into performance differences with the ‘same’ foam, please elaborate. Don’t mention specific brand names or types; just write about your experience by visiting the www.keepergloveinsiders.com forum page. What defines grip to you?
  3. Nike Premier SGT

    GlŭvLŭv© #001 The KGI Professional Subjective Inspection Subjective analysis is based upon the opinions of the reviewer. Always consider the source. My credentials are posted here www.keepergloveinsiders.com How good is this glove? Let me say this... If any of you have had a less than excellent experience with the Premier SGT, I am genuinely interested to learn of it. Also, if you have had a pair of the Premier SGT and don’t consider it the best glove you’ve had on your hands, I’d like to learn about the glove you like better. Remember, subjective reviews are not absolute. They are opinion. If you have an opinion that is counter to mine, I will not argue. I will be genuinely curious to hear about your experiences with the model you’ve chosen over the Premier SGT. All I require is that you be real and be interesting. This Premier SGT is a superb piece of kit. Quality of make is state of the art, as is that for the Puma V1.10 Blue, which is made in the same factory. The light weight of the glove belies the Premier SGT’s holding and knock-down capacity. This particular Contact foam is a generous 5.0 mm topcoat (listed as 4.0 mm by Nike), but it does not feel thick. The glove is engineered to pre-assign the entire hand into a receiving position, which you’ll notice by the way the glove is cupped, mimicking the shape of the ball. This is savvy industrial design that comes from clever patterning and close attention to tensioning of seams. All aspects of handling are excellent and I mean all. Where interfacing of hand/ball is concerned, the Premier SGT is sans pareil. I wager that by the design of this glove alone, your tendency to put rebounds back into traffic will be lowered significantly, and driven balls normally parried for safety’s sake will begin to be knocked down and controlled within arm’s reach. It’s like an extension of the brain. I often rail about false claims by brands, but if anything, Nike is to be admonished for not playing up the Premier SGT enough! The unique platform, tweakable cuff, spacer mesh, tactility elements, keystoned finger crotches and the laser-siped palm are each Bonafide, yet, no hype from the Swoosh mother-ship? Holy cow, Batman! The Tiempo pattern - This is the platform that initiated the wave of splayed finger patterns now prevalent in the market. The pattern facilitates enhanced shot holding via synergized coupling to the shape and structure of the hand. Splayed, wider fingers mean more latex on the ball, placed in a more efficient manner. You may notice the wrist cuff seems crooked at the base of the palm. Nope; that’s by design; it accommodates the slightly oblique position of the hand to the wrist, when in a receiving posture. Attention to detail, people! Yes! Keystoned finger crotches – These enhance the drape and fit (a big part of why the glove ‘cups’ in the shape of the ball) and create seams less likely to rip. Kudos to Nike, because this approach complicates production. Of course, the operators at Philla Shanghai are probably running programmable Juki direct-drive lock-stitch machines (or similar), which, if you sew for a living, is like being handed the keys to a Corvette at the start of each shift. This is a perfect example of the value provided by a great vendor partner. When a brand has the luxury of leveraging a state of the art factory, managed by top shelf, high quality people who ‘get it’, you can do these ‘little big’ things. Spacer mesh - As formatted in the Premier SGT, it is a model for the industry. You will feel the slightest of breezes as a true cooling effect. Additionally, the gloves are less prone to develop a virulent strain of mold or mildew, and are much easier to wash and will dry much quicker. This spacer mesh is highly dispersive. Dispersion is the key to spacer mesh performance. Tweakable wrist cuff - Something very few people are aware of. Let’s say you need to make ingress and egress easier. Perhaps you have big hands or perhaps you have come to understand that most of the wear and tear to the fingers on one glove comes from the shearing stress applied each time the second glove goes on. What am I talking about? Let’s say you always put your left on first. That would explain why the thumb tip and index finger tip on your left hand mysteriously wear out. It’s because once your left is on, you then use it to wrench the right hand glove into place. It won’t happen immediately but after you stress the same spots ten or eleven times, the foam may start to abrade. Mystery solved. Okay, so back to tweaking the cuffs... see the fabric strips running parallel on the cuff? Ever noticed how other brands have only one? Well, Nike has two because it allows you to cut the cuff (between the strips), to make it easier to put the gloves on. By having two strips, the elastic fraying is contained. There you have it. Details, people! Little things! How do I know this stuff! I’m The KGI. Tactility - There is the application of a network of engineered tactile elements strategically placed throughout the interior palmar surface. Even the right hand is different from the left, for cryin’ out loud! Why? Because you likely distribute from your right. If you’re a lefty, well, that’s what you get; unlucky, dude (don’t worry, lefties, you’ll still experience the effect). The genius to this feature is based upon the science of tactile recruitment of one the most sensitive areas of the body, your fingertips. The brain has an established neuro-pathway to the fingertips. This feedback-loop between the fingertips and brain is really nifty; it translates a heightened awareness of where the ball is in relation to your hands and fingers. The system kicks in during light touch; let’s say you are in-process of intercepting a cross and recognize you have an immediate opportunity to spring a counter attack with a well executed bit of distribution. You must take and control the ball high, then, seamlessly change hand/finger positions as the ball goes from high, to low and behind your hips, before you windmill that sucker to midfield where you hit your midfielder without breaking their stride. There may be a collective gasp as the crowd marvels at your skill, when all the while it was the proprioceptive elements of the Premier SGT providing stimuli to your brain about where the ball was in space, time, and hands. So, the brain receives that info, interprets it, and fires back a command to the hands to bring the ball over a smidge here and a millimeter there, so as to make the ball and hand one with the universe. This newfound harmony is realized in your stellar bit of distribution. Granted, this sounds a bit farfetched. Well, it ain’t. Check with your neighborhood neuro-physicist. Or, you can put away the Nintendo and better yourself by researching this topic. To get started, Google, ‘neuroscience for kids, two-point discrimination’; then Google, ‘US Patent # 5983395’. Laser Siping - Once you understand what ‘siping’ is, you will understand why Nike uses military spec lasers to modify the palms of the SGT. The specific pattern used by Nike on the palms was heavily researched and field tested. The current siping pattern is a counter-directional match to the radius of the ball, which provides more braking power versus conventional smooth palms. Again, sounds nutty; definitely works. This is a glove for soft handed keepers. If you are hard on your match glove palms, you’ve been warned. The gloves are packaged in a quality, dual compartment mesh glove bag. NOTABLE NOTE - Two important things about the proprietary Nike Contact foam – 1. Do not judge the fit of a Contact foam based glove while the plastic film is intact. The fit of Contact based gloves is radically different when plastic film is on, versus off. 2. Set aside a good chunk of time to remove the protective film. Exercise care and be patient, because it is easy to damage the foam. The plastic around the perimeter is most aggravating, but you need to remove the plastic stuck on the edges and in the stitching, because there is a fair amount of surface area there. You are going to wind up with all sorts of plastic bits clinging to you via the static charge of your electric personality. Contact foam is shielded for a reason. The foam is so tacky that it must have a covering to allow for assembly and packaging. In this type of production environment there are a lot of small bits of textile fiber floating about that would otherwise get stuck on the foam. I will say I am slightly surprised that Nike has yet to specify a slightly thicker film, which would make for a much less maddening removal process for the consumer. “Do I not like that...” The only thing I did not like on the Premier SGT, is the silly belt. I can’t help but chalk this up to Nike’s tendency to not leave well enough alone. Nike can’t help it when it comes to getting cute for cutes’ sake. This feature contributes in no way, shape or form to performance. In fact, I found it slightly obtrusive and stiff. Nike loves tchotchke. The belt is definitely tchotchke. I do not like tchotchke, but I do like the Premier SGT. I would say it rates among the best gloves ever. That's just crazy... Nike is way off the mark regarding the communication of the SGT. Of all the Bonafide features to choose from, Nike hypes the SGT by saying - “Open and close your hands with ease, thanks to new Flex Grooves” “Power Punch Platform gives the glove a solid surface for clearances” Neither statement means anything. For Nike to overlook the SGT features covered by me in this review is just sad. It’s akin to Ferrari describing the Testarossa by mentioning the license plate frames and the lever knob for the windshield wipers. It makes me wince. THE KGI VERDICT - Until proven otherwise, the Premier SGT is my personal reference match model. Absolutely, positively, unabashedly and unequivocally Bonafide. The KGI, '1 TO 9 Overview' for the... Nike Premier SGT Current Overall Rating: 8.55 Dry Grip: 8.45 BONAFIDE Wet Grip: 8.25 BONAFIDE Durability: 4.00 Shock Absorption (Kinetic Dissipation©): 7.95 Ball Handling: 8.35 BONAFIDE Distribution Feel: 8.50BONAFIDE Wrist Support: 7.35 Easy On and Off: 6.20 Heat Management: 8.40 BONAFIDE Moisture Management: 8.30 BONAFIDE Build Quality: 8.70 BONAFIDE Materials Quality: 8.70 BONAFIDE Glove to Ball Interface©: 7.90 Envelopian Ecliptitude©: 8.25 BONAFIDE Finger Protection Resistance Rating : Not Applicable Foam Thickness (mm): 5.0 ≈ Foam Softness (Density): Hyper Soft Pattern Cut (Platform): Modified Traditional; splayed Dry Weight (grams): 124 # of parts per glove: 28 Two Best Features: 1. The Premier SGT has more Bonafide features than any glove the KGI has seen to date... 2. Build Quality - One of the best crafted models in the history of the industry... First thing The KGI would modify: I would kick Nike in the rear and tell them to do this model justice regarding how it is communicated to the gk community... The Swoosh should be embarrassed at how they've treated this glove... All Rights Reserved. Copyrights, 2011 by Richard Avis, BrainThrust LLC and KGI
  4. Post a Picture of Your Gloves.

    One of many, over the years...
  5. How do to wash gloves

    The KGI respects the lore and mystique that washing gloves has somehow assumed but my view is that we have made it out to be much more than it is. I figure I've washed gloves, in some fashion of form, about 10,000 times. I'm not sayin' this is how it must be done; I'm sayin this is how I do it ... - Toss them in the washing machine - Use 25% the normal amount of detergent. Woolite liquid or a branded glove wash is good. - SETTINGS: Warm temp water / Gentle Cycle or Quick Wash (or similar) Cycle. WARM rinse. If you have the option for an additional rinse cycle, experiment and see. Some foams respond some don't. It won't hurt anything either way. TIPS - - If you have the option to control the rate of the spin cycle, choose HIGH. - DO NOT USE FABRIC SOFTENERS. - If you have a few pair of gloves or some socks or even your training kit, wash them all together. The other textiles in the wash load will agitate and clear the foam of micro-particles while helping to open the pores of the foam. If you go to my site, you will have access to photographs of before and after shots (dirty to clean) of palms, taken and random points during the testing duration. Believe it or not I actually use two digital microscopes to track this. The primary reason I use digital microscopy is to keep the brands honest with their foams. If you guys knew the tricks the glove brands like to play, swapping foam types in and out of production. Along with the microscopy, I use a spectrophotometer, among other modalities. Without boring you further on this stuff, suffice it to say, I like to document specific claims made by brands about their foams, and cross-correlate what I find versus my database, and... ah geez, I'm pathetic. Seriously. - Make sure you have closed/attached/fixed the wrist belts, otherwise the 'hook' portion of the Velcro is going to latch onto socks or pants, and snag them. - Depending on the type of washing machine, another thing I have had great results with is adding tennis balls. No more than four, is what I've found. I suggest you watch the process if your machine has a window. You want to find the best water level, agitation rates of the tennis balls against the gloves. Look for a balance; a rhythm. Its a Zen thing. I have literally spent hours with my dogs watching and studying this process. Didn't I say this was simple? In the past year I designed and built a dedicated container you put the gloves into and toss into the wash and its great, but then I see the Reusch 2012 catalog and they are introducing something similar. Great minds think alike I guess. Be on the look out for it.
  6. Reusch Keon Pro M1 Special Review

    The KGI, '1 TO 9 Overview' Reusch Keon Pro X1 Special Current Overall Rating: 8.45 Dry Grip: 8.75 BONAFIDE Wet Grip: 8.40 BONAFIDE Durability: 8.75 BONAFIDE Shock Absorption (Kinetic Dissipation©): 8.25 BONAFIDE Easy On / Off: 5.0 Wrist Support: 7.9 Materials Quality: 8.25BONAFIDE Handling:8.45 BONAFIDE Distribution Feel:8.25 BONAFIDE Heat Management: 8.10 Moisture Management: 8.20 Build Quality: 8.25 BONAFIDE Glove to Ball Interface©: 8.50 BONAFIDE Envelopian Ecliptitude©: 7.65 Finger Protection: N/A Pattern Cut (Platform): Gunn Cut; Roll Finger Dry Weight (grams): ≈ 122 Wet Weight (grams): ≈ 275 # of parts per glove: 12 Two Best Features: 1. Grip / Hold / Feel... in ALL conditions. Spectacularly fantastic. Dripping wet, I palmed the ball! Magic! 2. Durability ... NEVER have I had this grip & durability in the same glove. First thing The KGI would modify: I would make it easier to get on. The Keon Pro X-1 Special runs a smidge small. I've got big hands and struggled getting the size 10 on... The KGI says this about the Keon Pro X1 Special... "All things considered, this may be the best value in a glove I have yet encountered, and few people in the world have had as many gloves on their hands as I have" 'It's ridiculous... how good it is". "Until shown otherwise, this model is my unchallenged inarguable choice in bang for buck in roll finger gloves". "I have never liked a glove this much that I didn't design and build myself". Most Recent Update: 08 - 05 -11 Previous Update: 07 - 25 - 11 All Rights Reserved. Copyrights, 2011 by Richard Avis, BrainThrust LLC and KGI GluvLuv #002 The KGI 'Road Test' & Professional Subjective Analysis www.keepergloveinsiders.com Subjective analysis is based upon the opinions of the reviewer. Always consider the source. My credentials are posted. YOU WILL 'REALLY LIKE' THIS GLOVE IF...© ...you want one of the worlds' best values in a pro-level roll finger glove. ...demand state-of-the-art foam performance in all-conditions. ...need easy care and durability. ...want a lightweight roll finger model that isn't bulky, and is super-comfortable in all earthly climates. Honestly, I really don't need to say more than, 'If you want one of the best roll-finger models on the planet, try the Reusch Keon Pro X1 Special'. In my wildest imagination, I cannot imagine anyone not being happy with this glove. From a Glove: Ball Interface perspective, the glove is as good as it gets in the industry. When receiving, handling and distributing, you will have more foam contact on the ball than with pretty much any other glove. The X1 foam on my pair is magical. Even saturated and dripping wet, I could palm a ball. When dry, I palmed a ball with just my thumb and #5 finger (NOTE- Always remember that no matter how good a foam is, it works only if you actually deliver your hands to the ball). Make sure to read my review of the HO Soccer Ghotta Pro SSG, where I reference the, 'fingertip rescue'. Similar to the HO SSG, there were numerous occasions where I found myself holding balls I had no business holding. As impressed as I was with the foam performance, I was impressed also with the durability. For world-class performance foam, it is very robust; if you have half decent hands and are relatively easy on gloves; the Keon Pro X1 Special is one of those rare models you can train in and use for matches. The fit runs true, to slightly small; the size 10 for the road test was adequate, size-wise, but I would like to try an 11. I wouldn't say they were too snug, but suffice it to say there is not any wasted space or bagginess. I did struggle a bit getting my hands into the gloves, but that's typical. I found the Pull Loop™ to be less than acceptable. They don't work well, but at least they don't detract from performance. The Keon Special X1 is a comfortable glove and lighter weight than most, but the lightness is deceiving because these puppies are tough as nails. For those who care about the middle fingers seaming, it is internally sewn and was not perceivable. Reusch uses elasticized thread on this model. This is a practice I am familiar with; when executed well, it makes a big difference. The conclusion I draw is that Reusch does it well. Nice one. The wrist belts may not seem that different from the industry norm but these are a smidge wider, allowing for superior comfort and support. The cuffs are above average; well made and offering good wicking and moisture dispersion. Overall heat and moisture management scores fall just short of Bonafide status, due to dark coloration and using superfluously useless heat retaining materials purely for cosmetic purposes (a big no-no, in my book). The industry needs to get it through its thick, overly-cosmetic skull... dark colors = warmer & light colors = cooler. Warmer is bad; cooler is good. Like, duh...! Helllooooo? Even so, the glove is much better than average in these regards. The ESS™ patterning approach is subtle, but legit. I like it. It's one of those small attention to detail things; an intangible. It's impossible to measure or quantify absolutely, but it’s there and it makes a difference. There is even a very slight cant to the wrist; it's off-set slightly. In other words, your hands assume a more anatomically suited neutral-position (it's another one of those intangibles). I'm likely the sole human outside of Reusch to notice these at a conscious level, but they do make a difference and I salute Reusch in these regards. Ausgezeichnet! Notable Notes - - This glove is so good, and the price makes it so accessible... so why not offer it down to size 6? The fit suits the smaller handed crowd; the durability warrants consideration by parents. Nobody's Perfect - - One thing I will call Reusch out for, is the way they describe the Pro-Flex™ backhand 'technology'. Okay, they are going to have to demonstrate this one to me. Reusch says the Pro-Flex system is, 'technology at the highest level', and results in, 'the best backhand flexibility in the market'. I say, its a load of hooey. The glove offers the flexibility it needs to, period. If anything, it develops slight pressure points over the knuckles when making a fist (reference my comments on the slightly snug fit, combined with large hands), but is irrelevant cuz you make fists only occasionally. - The Reusch Air Vent System™ - as formatted here, is much better than average, but not great. It could be made better quite easily. The KGI Professional Objective Inspection Observed Features Sizes: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 Country of Origin: China Introduced: January, 2011 Finger Protection: No Parts Per Glove: 12 Platform Gunn Cut / Roll Finger; internally seamed middle two fingers; Reusch calls it the ESS™ Cut Belt Type 360˚; Non-Elastic Belt Dimensions & Hand Opening Belt Length: 228 Belt Width: 55 to 65 Hand Opening: 88 Palm Length & Width (mm) Palm Length: 203 Width of Palm: Width to Thumb Tip: 151 FT/C Fingers & Finger Widths FT/C Fingers: A 196 B 85 C 88 D 93 E 83 F 81 G 64 H 173 Finger Width:#2- #3- #4- #5- #2 Tip to Thumb & Rake Angle #2 Fingertip to Thumb Crotch: 122 #2 Fingertip to Thumb Tip: 100 Thumb Rake Angle:TBD Thumb Measures (mm) Thumb: A 70 B 106 C 45 Wicking & Dispersion TBD @ post-mortem Weights (grams) DRY: L123 R121 SATURATED: L277 R270 CENTRIFUGED: L169 R163 +12 HOURS: L137 R133 +24 HOURS: L125 R122 Palm Moisture (%) SATURATED: L 83% R 61% +12 HOURS: L 31% R 28% +24 HOURS: L 7% R <3% Vapor Uptake & Cool Down Uptake: 5.0 grams Cool Down Temperature (f˚) (minutes): Stitches per Inch & Edge Tolerance S.P.I.: 8 - 9 Consistent Edge Tolerance:3.5 to 4.0 Consistent Thickness (mm) Palm TBD Latex Topcoat Layer - 4.0 'Sandwich' Layer TBD Durometer (New Foam) JIS-A-KGI: 41 SRIS-0101-KGI: 29 Latex Wavelength (New Foam) L = 89.85 a = 0.58 b = 3.00 (X / Y / Z) X = 73.54 Y = 75.97 Z = 59.64 Materials (as claimed by brand) Latex 60, Polyester 26, Nylon 5, PVC 9 (info published by manufacturer; not confirmed) Other Each glove is tagged by Reusch with a note: "Rinse palm with warm water before use. Aqua palms for soft ground (G1) need to be played moistened." These tags are not relevant to this specific glove, as it does not utilize Aqua palms... www.keepergloveinsiders.com All Rights Reserved ©. All this mumbo jumbo is the property of KGI, so there. Copyright, 2011, BrainThrust LLC and KGI.
  7. The KGI says hello...

    Thanks for the kind words and will do on the GK Talk Facebook page. I greatly appreciate your mention about argument. As a proponent of Disruptive Thought and originator of the school of thought known as Constructive Dissent, I maintain that classic argument is one of the few and true ways forward. So long as we are transparent with each other in pursuit of a shared conclusion (or at least an understanding for the others' perspective), then we're good.
  8. The KGI says hello...

    'Helping goalkeeper's best understand what they most need to know'. That, is why I am here. The worlds' leading independent authority on the A - Z of goalkeeping product. Well, that's a might bold, don't you think? Right, I know... just who is this tosser, eh? Take a moment to go to the 'Credentials' page at My link or go to My linkwww.blamethekeeper.com . I appreciate any and all support. I know I'm missing a lot of you with the technically heavy approach. Such has been my world for the last 20 years. Fact is, I really do have more to offer than anyone out there but will need your input to get my sea-leg's with this net-based gig. Don't be afraid to let me have it. None of you can call me anything my wife hasn't called me a thousand times already. I'm most interested in what needs to be improved. At this moment, think of me as as being like most of the center backs you've had over the years. Capable and well intentioned, with incredible potential, but dumb as a pole. Content, will never be an issue for me. Formatting and presenting the content you want most, in a compelling manner is what I need direction with. I want to develop an audience in Britain. I like being amongst people who have a decent sense of humor. We are all brothers,
  9. The following are excerpts taken from questions asked of Richard Avis, The Keeper Glove Insider, by readers of, The Glove Bag, Nov., 2011. www.theglovebag.com How did you first come up with the concept of FingerSave™? I built and developed it but FingerSave was invented by Endrik Fleischmann (Int. Patent WO/01 64295 A2). Fleischman first presented the concept to Reusch and Uhlsport but they passed. I had just been hired as head of adidas soccer equipment (1992) and Fleischmann came to see me. I think having been an athletic trainer in pro soccer, a soccer retailer, and goalkeeper provided a different perspective. I saw the big picture and made sure it became a reality in the market. How many models and trials did it take to bring this idea to fruition? Keeping the secret would have been impossible working with high profile clubs, so we went to a Regionalliga Süd club, TSV Vestenbergsgreuth; a low profile, 1st class operation with great facilities and great people. I do not recall the number of specific iterations. It helped that Hochmuth GmbH (the adidas glove manufacturer) was not far away. Nothing would have been possible without the team of legendary Peter Hochmuth (one of the biggest figures ever in the glove industry) and Günther Reichold, the #1 Torwart; he was superb to work with. Günther is now the GK trainer at the club. For the trivia buffs out there – In August of ’94, Reichold pulled-off one of the greatest feats ever in soccer history. And I do mean, ever. Anybody know what it was? Was it difficult to get Adidas to buy-in to this idea? Oh, man... keep in mind, in 1992 adi’s market share in gloves was virtually nil. Internal regard for their glove product was low... How low was it? It was so low, that action photos in adidas apparel and footwear catalogs featured models wearing Uhl and Reusch. Yikes! The prevailing attitude was Reusch and Uhlsport had command of the market, so why bother? I remember standing in the executive board room presenting my plan. I stated adidas had the potential to be the #1 in gloves. There was laughter; as in tears running down cheeks, guys doubled-over howling, kind of laughter. There I was in the inner sanctum of adidas... the new guy... an American... telling them their business. They thought I was delirious. Well, adidas did become #1 in gloves and FingerSave is the most successful gk platform in history. FingerSave side note... I’ve never considered it ‘protective’ per se. My rationale was that FingerSave enhances hold; shot stopping. Also, speaking as a keeper who’s had multiple finger fractures, and as a physio, I like FingerSave as a post-injury support modality. That said, I do agree it was genius to market it as, ‘protection’ (although we now have a generation of ‘keepers with Lazy Hands©, but that is another discussion). You implemented Nike Air into the backhand of an older model. (I believe it was called the Nike Air Contact). Yes, the Air Contact. An interesting project in that it was the 1st time Nike Air™ was featured outside of a shoe. It was also the 1st time two types of Nike Air technology had been combined in one airbag for any product. Why was this idea only used in one iteration of the glove? Why does Nike no longer utilize this concept? Was it a pricing issue? At $110.00, it didn’t provide value. It had a good, ‘wow-factor’, but was a pain to manufacture, expensive and physical limitations of the Air bag made it too stiff for my liking. It was a valuable experience though. We took away gobs of insight, and it’s cool to have been part of Nike history, however obscure it may be. I know that other companies have experimented with gel, d3o and shockshield, was the Nike Air concept similar in this regard? The Air Contact was about backhand protection & punching. Regarding the other concepts you ask about, my experience has been that when it comes to foamed technology in sporting goods, Nike’s got it goin’ on. There are basically two types of foam scientists in the sporting goods industry. Those who work for Nike or adidas... and those who wish they worked for, or with Nike or adidas. I spent 3+ years in the trenches of non-Newtonian physics, sheer thickening technology and rheopectic polymers at Nike; researching, experimenting and prototyping foam, gloves and patterns around what I term, Kinetic Dissipation©. I met with d3o scientists’ in England, Japanese scientists in damping foams for the auto industry, Biomed companies, as well as 3M, DuPont, Dow, GE, and the company that invented slow-recovery foam, E-A-R Composites. E-A-R does some wild stuff with the Dept. of Defense, such as the material lining the hulls of nuclear subs to help them ‘run silent’. While my parameters for glove performance weren’t met at the time, the knowledge gained was immense. For Umbro, I believe that you had a hand in creating the Umbro Webb Pro (with the flared fingers). How did you come up with this idea? I designed and developed the Umbro Webb gloves. I’m a fan of the original Uhlsport ‘Froggy’ cut and liken the Webb to a Froggy on steroids. Support-wise, it integrates the fingers as a structural unit, putting more behind the ball. The Webb is stupendous for flagging driven balls at arm’s reach. Balls you might parry if wearing a traditional glove are easily swatted down and recovered with the Webb. Scooping balls off the deck is a dream; almost too easy. The same holds for snagging flighted balls. Another cool thing – it is tweakable; easy to modify to suit, by simply taking an X-acto™ and cutting the seams between fingers. Kasey Keller’s model throughout his career was based upon the original Webb ‘Flare’ we did together. Additionally, while at Umbro we introduced these industry first’s - full length 360° tunnel wrist, sewn anatomical seams, Wrap Thumb, Metacarpal Offset, and bonafide heat & moisture management. Why is this glove cut not readily available from other glove manufacturers? Your guess is as good as mine; it’s in the public domain. It’s a flippin’ magic platform. The rifleman cut (rolled index finger, rest flat palm) is an interesting cut that I don't believe is manufactured very much. I think that the first Nike glove with this cut was the Nike International release back in the mid-90's. Did Nike ever patent this cut? How did you come up with this idea? I invented the ‘Rifleman’ cut at Nike; should have patented it but didn’t. The inspiration was hybridizing the surface area of a traditional cut with enhanced feel of a roll cut. As devotees of the roll finger are aware, there is an aggravating tendency for seam defects of the middle fingers. The Rifle cut has one less seam, so the defect rate is less. Can you elaborate on how Nike created the Grip³ technology currently used on the Vapor Grip³. I invented Vapor Grip³ and patented it globally (US pat. 6,654,964 B1). G³ is an evolution of the Roll Finger / Rifleman cut. It hybridized the traditional cut surface area with roll cut on the critical three fingers while eliminating the pesky seaming of the middle two fingers. What are your feelings on this technology? If Reusch or Uhl had intro’d G³, I think it would be more prevalent. It is genuine innovation, but has been under-appreciated at Nike. The design accounts for the three vital interface points between glove and ball; the #1, #2 and #5 fingers (thumb, index and pinky). Roll finger gloves are superior to traditional and negative stitch when it comes to unfettered interface, but G³ eliminates the seam issues with the middle fingers. It’s an elegant example of applied performance engineering and it facilitates getting really close to the ball. Can you please provide some details on how the Nike Tactility project came to light? This is the technology which was used on the Nike Tiempo Premier SGT. It’s patented (US Patent # 5,983,395), it’s bonafide innovation and it’s woefully under-communicated or wrongly communicated. The concept is built around ‘proprioceptive recruitment’. To learn more, Google, ‘neuroscience + two-point discrimination’, or follow this link, http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/twopt.html It isn’t about shot holding or grip. It’s about the autonomic feedback-loop between the ball, the fingertips and the cerebral cortex; creating a ‘subconscious image’ of the ball’s location in relation to your hands as related to space and time. The project was two years in development and involved 40+ prototypes. Even the patterns between left and right hands are different; to account for relevant biomechanical demands. We studied the phases of handling, such as intercepting a high ball, recovering, setting the body, and throwing (long distribution). Much more goes on there than we were aware of. Also, can you explain what the purpose of the sipes in the latex are? It’s another poorly communicated, but bonafide innovation. I had hypothesized that principles of automobile tire siping would translate to gloves and was correct. The palms are siped by a military grade laser. It’s a cool process. Actually, I should say it’s ‘hot’. During each six second cycle, the palm erupts with smoke, flame and sparks. Learn more at www.keepergloveinsiders.com ; click on the Glossary page and go to ‘siping’. Finally, where do you think that the future of gloves is headed? Do you think that you could give us an insider's view of what we can expect in the future? (maybe gloves with exchangeable backhands, new materials used for palms, etc.). I am intrigued by what I see. Goalkeeper gloves are a small market overall, yet we’ve had this explosion of brands. It’s impossible to keep up and, to me, is evidence of how easy it has become. Anyone with internet, cash, and a logo can be a brand. That’s not entirely a knock; incredible things could emerge from these startups. I’m inclined to think there is higher likelihood of innovation from a minnow, although the likelihood of failure is greater without the brand recognition of a shark. We may see something big in foam, but we may not. There are reasons we haven’t had that breakthrough MOAF© (Mother of all Foams). Isn’t it fascinating that the foam in those first Reusch models worn by Sepp Maier in the 70’s, hasn’t evolved much? It’s simple foam rubber; how difficult can it be, right? Well, actually, it’s very difficult and highly complex. If glove latex was easy, we would have more innovation. Motivation is not the issue. The brand that develops the MOAF will essentially have a license to print money! Gloves are simple products, for those brands doing product at the 97th percentile and below, but it’s the world beyond that I’m interested in. The 97th is where the ‘difficulty curve’ goes from near horizontal (easy), to near vertical (bonafide discovery). I think we’ll continue to see progress with secondary foaming/molding approaches related to non-palm components and interchangeable components are always a possibility, though yet to be done well. We had the German KKS glove in the 80’s (replaceable Velcro™ palms) and a recent attempt by adi. It’s definitely doable. I like how all these new guys are cobbling away. I know of two other guys who started out as minnows; small cobblers in their own rite. One was Adolf Dassler (you know him as, ‘Adi’), and the other was Bill Bowerman (co-founder of Nike). Seems they did okay.
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