Commotio Cordis is a rare, but serious, medical condition disproportionately affecting male athletes between approximately 10 – 18 years of age and is caused by low-impact trauma to the chest by a projectile, such as a lacrosse ball, baseball, or a body part like an elbow or head. Within minutes, this seemingly mild trauma can cause sudden cardiac arrest and death.
As a result, goalies must now have chest protection that meets the NOCSAE ND200 standard and contains the SEI Certified logo.
The EKG Chest Pad’s 3-Point Dispersion Chest Plate of the Maverik EKG Chest Pad is designed to deflect and disperse the impact of a shot away from the heart and prevent Commotio Cordis.
The Chest Plate does just that! You can barely tell that you’ve taken a shot to the chest when a ball hits the Chest Plate making you feel safe and protected against Commotio Cordis.
The Max EKG Chest Pad also features adjustable elastic strapping for personalized fit and comfort around the waist.
The strapping system can be loosened or tightened to find the most comfortable fit for you. The strapping system also features an adjustable Velcro strap on the back of the chest pad that allows you to place where the strap sits on your back.
So, whether you like the pad to fit tight to your body or float loosely you’ll be able to find your perfect fit. You can also change the height of the pad for the ideal fit around the shoulders by using the Chest Pads adjustable shoulder strap system.
Lastly the Chest Pad has a floating belly pad which is separate from the rest of the chest pad. This belly pad is designed to move freely of the chest protector allowing for better range of motion and movement when in the net.
Floating means it doesn’t attach around your waist. It hangs from the top piece as seen in the pic below and the 2nd pic above.
Some goalies like this feature as it moves freely while others find it annoying because the pad isn’t firmly against your stomach.
Maverik EKG Chest Pad Protection
The Maverik EKG Chest Pad’s 3-Point Dispersion Chest Plate is an amazing piece of technology. Many of the goalies I’ve reached out to for a review of this chest pad rave about this particular feature.
“The first shot I took to the chest plate shocked me because I didn’t even realize that I got hit with the ball until after looking at my goalie partner and asking” said Emily Sterling, University of Maryland Women’s Lacrosse.
When taking a shot to the chest plate area when wearing this chest pad you can barely tell you’ve been hit by the ball. I feel safe and confident that I wouldn’t be put at risk of Commotio Cordis when wearing this chest pad.
Emily did point out that since the chest plate does sit out in front of your body more than a normal chest pad. This might take some time to adjust when making crossbody saves. When making an off-stick side high save you might have to bring your top hand arm slightly farther out on your body which will take some time to get used to.
However, the rest of the chest pad leaves a bit more to be desired. The lower half of the chest padding seems to be a bit too thin and lacking in protection. This was something that I noticed right off the bat and was something that many others have pointed out.
“If you take a shot to the sternum or central chest area there’s little to no pain and definitely no injury, however if you take an extremely hard shot to the stomach you might feel like you got the wind knocked out of you” – Simon Bellamy, Brock University Men’s Lacrosse
As Simon mentions, the padding in the lower half of the chest pad is made up of little padded areas that are all stitched together. As these pieces are not connected enough this doesn’t allow for the force of a shot to be distributed evenly throughout the chest protector making shots to those areas hurt more.
If I’m being honest it’s like Maverik developed their field player EKG pad (left) and then attached a thin stomach pad to the bottom and called it a day.
Bottom line – that’s just not good enough for a goalie chest protector. I would never want a goalie fearing getting the wind knocked out of them (or perhaps something worse like broken ribs).
While it does lack lower body protection in my opinion at least it provides coverage.
The EKG Chest Pad does a good job covering the lower half of your body as Simon points out “the belly pad does go quite low down so that it almost entirely lines up with the lower abdomen protection of a goalie cup. With other chest protectors that sit a bit higher you have this sort of no-man’s-land between your chest protector and your cup where you can get balls to flesh in the abdomen region. This chest protector does a great job of covering that area so that you’ll never get hit straight up in the stomach.”
However, the Chest Pad does leave gaps near the lower armpit/rib area and near the bottom of the rib pad. This was one of the biggest things I noticed when I put this chest pad on. I’m not alone.
Many goalies like Avery pointed out how this chest pad can really ride low and give you the feeling like your shoulders and even your collar bone are fully exposed.
This was done in order to taper the chest pad in to allow for better maneuverability. And yes it does allow your shoulders to move easier.
But when you’re a goalie who in training is seeing upwards of 500 shots per week eventually, you’re going to catch a shot in one of those areas and you could be at risk of a serious injury if a ball hits you in the wrong spot.
Maverik EKG Max Chest Pad Price
The Maverik EKG Max Chest Pad comes in at the high-end of the market with a price tag of $170.00.
The heart protection is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It’s an odd sensation to get hit in the upper chest area and not feel it.
The shoulder and lower stomach protection are lacking however many goalies find it super comfortable with insane mobility.
Video Review of Maverik EKG Chest Pad
Here is a video that Evan and I did talking about the pros and cons of the Maverik EKG chest protector.
I’m very conflicted on my thoughts on this chest pad.
This chest protector was designed to provide excellent range of motion and meet the new NOCSAE performance standards of protection against Commotio Cordis.
Does it achieve those goals? Yes, 100 % it does.
But I can’t help but be left wanting more, especially given the large $170 price tag.
Is too much to ask to have a chest protector that would never leave a goalie with the wind knocked out from a shot? Or potentially even worse like broken ribs.
I think this is especially important to point out with the rise of the Blaze Riorden style of goalie play.
As shooters start to rip the ball harder and harder, we expect to see goalies start to become more willing to use their body to stop the ball and I just wouldn’t feel safe doing so in this chest protector outside of the chest plate.
I’m also not a huge fan of the floating belly pad on the EKG Chest Pad.
While it is designed to allow for better maneuverability there is no strap that connects the belly pad to the chest protector, hence it’s floating nature. This can be a pro and a con depending on your preference. I wish there was an option to choose where the adjustable side straps sit on the chest protector so that you could choose for yourself to have a floating lower belly pad or have it sit more securely to your body. Maybe having Velcro options like how straps are set up on hockey goalie pads might alleviate this issue for me.
Another improvement that Emily had pointed out would be making a cut that fits women’s bodies better. With the extra chest plate on the front of the chest pad it does take up a lot of space and points more upwards on women compared to men, which can be a bit distracting to the goalie at times. Making a chest protector that’s either more compatible for both sexes or having one that might fit women’s bodies a bit better would be very helpful.
I think if Maverick can do more work on improving the lower half of this chest pad and maybe providing a bit more shoulder protection, without sacrificing the range of motion this chest protector provides I think I would have a much more positive review of this chest pad.
So, in conclusion, is this chest pad one of the top pads on the market? Yes, I do think it is regardless of my feelings on the lower abdomen protection I do think this chest pad would be near the top of my recommendations based on what’s out there.
Do I think Maverik can do a lot to improve this Chest Pad? Yes, I totally think so.
Which, to be honest, makes me really excited to see what the next iteration of this chest protector will look like. Maverik is one of the most innovative lacrosse equipment manufacturers in the market and I think if there was anyone I would trust to be able to correct these issues it would be them!
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