Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In Shining Armor

Futuristic flak jackets or the greatest innovation in hockey since the curved blade? The greatest team in all the land, (the Edmonton Oilers… erh slight bias), seem to think the latter as Farrell shoulder pads have spread like wildfire through oil country’s dressing room. Farrell pads have gained notoriety by using a unique technology to enhance absorption and are able to give greater protection than the bulkier competition while maintaining a streamlined fit.

This “Compression Block Technology” is made up of individual cells which spread out impact horizontally to avoid strain on certain areas. Originated in football shoulder pads, the technology has now been tweaked for the ice. Each cell is hollowed out to enhance ventilation and keep the body cool while total weight is held under 2 lbs. In addition to these compression cells, Farrell uses “impact plates” in key zones to give areas of repeated abuse that extra layer of protection. These plates can be shifted around the vest, anywhere from bicep to ribs and even kidney’s to sternum.

Founded in 2001 by Dan Farrell, Farrell hockey made its auspicious beginnings in the state of Delaware before making its way through collegiate and major junior levels, prior to reaching the pros. Today, several NHLers don Farrell shouldies, especially those with a history of the dreaded “upper body” injury.

Aside from shoulder pads, Farrell Hockey has been making advances in other facets of equipment including their base layers for both goalie and players. Consisting of moisture wicking compression shirts with a low profile cell technology added to impact areas. Carey Price can be seen sporting the Farrell base layer as it gives him added protection to the collar bone and ribs, areas that often become exposed while playing.

Since spawning Farrell pads into the Oilers’ dressing room, forward Dustin Penner has even taken a share in the company. Although, Farrell hockey is seeing rapid growth, many fans are left wishing Penner’s game could do likewise.