Un-boxing and Assembly
I received the goal from HockeyTrain.com and according to the box it weighed over 40 lbs. Right away I knew this goal would be sturdier than any I had owned before. Setting up the EZ goal took me a little over 20 minutes. If you’ve ever assembled a tent before, you can probably handle putting together the EZ goal. Each hollow pipe fits into the next, and snaps in place securely.
Attaching the Net
Lacing the net took nearly twice as long as assembling the frame. The net had tabs sewn into the center and the top and bottom to make lining it up much easier. I appreciated the forward thinking. One tip I followed in the instructions was to secure the corners before doing the actual lacing. I used a short strand hemp rope had laying around to secure each corner before lacing, and I think it saved me a lot of time in the long run. Compared to other goals, I’d say the net stretches tighter than most, so keep this in mind as you lace it. There really isn’t a lot of room for slack. I’ve heard the tighter a net, the faster it will wear out. Although that makes sense, I haven’t used the goal long enough to say one way or the other.
Putting it to Use
The goal performed better than I expected. I sprayed the surface of my homemade shooting pad with silicon lubricant, slid the puck back and forth a few times, and let a rip. I don’t have the hardest slap shot, so maybe I’m not the best judge, but the goal seems really solid. I hit the posts and cross bar a few times, and the only evidence is a few scuff marks. The shape of the frame is nice, it’s got a top shelf so you can keep a bottle there to take sips between shooting rounds. Because the net is so tight, I noticed that sometimes when I rocketed it in, the puck would ricochet right back to me. I happen to be wearing sandals at the time and the puck hit me right in the foot. It didn’t feel to good.
I would highly recommend using a backstop. I didn’t and it only took one wild puck to make me regret it. There’s a vinyl fence right behind the goal that didn’t take to kindly to a deflected puck. I’m nervous to get the EZ Goal backstop because when I look at the pictures, the net looks as tight as it is on the goal. I don’t want pucks bouncing hard of the net. Instead I think I’ll build my own and put more slack on the net. Building my own will also allow me to put it a little higher just in case I get really wild.
Although the goal is easy to fold, I haven’t had a need to put it away very many times. It seems easy enough. It’s rained a few times and the EZ Goal seems to handle the weather OK. There are signs of surface rust where the paint scraped off when I was moving it, but I’m not too worried. If worst came to worse, I could always sand and repaint it if I really cared, but I don’t think that will be necessary.
For the player who wants to train at home, I think this goal is well worth the money. The only thing that would be better is if you can find a really good deal on a rink who is retiring an old goal. However, you still wouldn’t get the storage benefits the EZ Goal has to offer. I’ve been using a homemade PVC hockey net and debated making one out of steel pipes, but I honestly don’t think it would be worth it with a product like the EZ Goal on the market. If you buy this goal, you won’t regret it, just make sure that before purchasing, you have a safe clearing to shoot on it.
HockeyTrain.com has this exact hockey net available on their website.