by Doug Sears Jr., Special Contributor to Warrior Hockey
A conundrum has vexed the hockey world since the beginning of the sport: How to balance the mobility and protection of the wrist. There have been many attempts to solve this, ever since the 1980s when the long, flappy cuffs Wayne Gretzky favored began to fall out of favor with the rest of the hockey world. Cuffs got shorter, elbow pads longer, and the tug of war began.
The early 1990s saw the Easton GX line, which incorporated a Velcro strap so when the wrist flexed, the cuff would maintain its protection. Players found this to be protective but cumbersome, as it slowed wrist movements and got in the way of movement at times. Since then, the hockey industry has seen short cuffs paired with long elbow pads, wrist bands with built in protection, floating slash guards attached to elbow pads, and even an adjustable cuff that could be worn short or long using a Velcro attachment.
Ultimately, the conundrum came down to a simple question: “Do you want a protected wrist, or a mobile wrist.” It was one or another, never both.
Enter the AxyFlex cuff, the most notable component of the new Warrior Covert QRL glove. The AxyFlex cuff is a contoured, comfortable, mobile cuff that provides 360-degree wrist protection as well as 360-degree mobility.
The concept that makes this all possible is genius in its simplicity. Build a cuff, a circle of padding and plastic inserts. It’s taller on the backhand of the wrist where the risk is greater, and shorter on the inside of the wrist where flexion happens most often. Take that cuff, attach it to a mesh and elastic material all the way around. On the other end, attach the mesh and elastic, which resembles mesh finger gussets in feel, you have the AxyFlex cuff.
The result is a floating cuff that covers and protects the wrist from slashes, hooks, and errant pucks, while sliding easily out of the way while a player stickhandles. It literally allows the mobility of a minimal or zero cuff glove with the protection of the most robust or obtrusive cuff currently on the market.
The AxyFlex cuff delivers on every promise it makes. It is destined to be adopted, adapted and otherwise copied by the other brands because for the first time the conundrum has been solved. The AxyFlex cuff has finally married the need for mobility with the need for protection.
*To read Doug’s previous review of the QRL Gloves, click here.