Intimidating hockey masks
Ok, so goalies didn’t wear masks until the late 50’s when Jacques Plante became the first NHL netminder to wear one after being struck in the face with a puck and later returning to the game in the mask he had previously only worn for practice.
In case you aren’t familiar with the sport, Kendo is one of Japan’s martial arts that employs techniques of fencing based on the two-handed sword of the samurai.On page 168 of our new book, , we start chapter 13, which is called “Protection & Protest,” by describing different highly functional masks that can also be collectible art.Much of the book (the previous twelve chapters) describes masks that function in rituals and celebrations, but are also highly prized by collectors and museums for their artistic value.Even the goaltenders who then adopted the new form of protective gear didn’t think much about the appearance of them until the 1970’s when Gerry Cheevers began putting markings on his mask every time he was hit in the face, either with a puck or a skater’s stick.That all changed in 1974 when art student and former goalie Greg Harrison crafted a for Penguins goalie Jim Rutherford, commonly viewed as the first instance of personal art on a mask and thus spawning a new artform.I have seen a lot of people buy a cheap mask, and a month or so later it is chipped, cracked, or even worse they have gotten a head injury from it failing to protect them.
A good quality mask will last you for many years, and is well worth the extra cash you are going to spend to get one.
In the next series of articles I want to cover each area, and give you insights on not only how to make an informed purchase, but also how to make sure you are getting something that is going to protect you, and also something that fits right. If you know nothing about masks, chances are the only thing you are going to get experience with is the stock masks that your local hockey store has.
Generally they are a mass produced mask, usually made out of some type of plastic and while they can be protective and safe, you really need to know what level you will be using the mask at, and make a decision based on that.
The mask was made of leather, and had a wire cage which protected the face, as well as Honma's large circular glasses.
It was not until 1959 that a goaltender wore a mask full-time.
Kendo is now a system for mental and physical training practice using bamboo swords.