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BTW, for the purposes of edification, if anyone here as a durometer gauge that will work for pads, and a current gen kickeez to compare it with, I'd be happy to ship my old-style pad to you so you can compare the two.
 

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Very interesting commentary. I retired from the stock modification business about 4 years ago, so I can't speak for the softness of the current pads but I installed 100's of them each year - mostly Kick-Eez and Gooey pads. Both of these companies have long time suppliers who actually mold the pads for them and are very involved with the quality of those pads. If Dave at Kick-Eez says they haven't changed the hardness (durometer reading) of the pads then they probably haven't ASKED for a change - but manufacturing batches do have variances and possibly this is what has occurred as of late - I don't know. I have no idea of the quality checks Kick-Eez employs when they receive batches but customer feedback should be important to them. If not, customers will go elsewhere. All of us pad grinders have seen these variances and we can tell easily when the same brand is a bit softer or harder - it happened all the time.

As for the Gooey pads, they will always be softer than a Kick-Eez but won't last as long. George at Gooey pads and I had many discussions about the shorter life of their pad because we installers were the first to hear from our customers when they were dissatisfied with the longevity of the pad. Both Gooey and Kick-Eez would replace "defective" pads for us installers when the customer demanded a new pad, but we had to eat the cost of re-grinding the new pad to keep our customers happy. I ended up explaining to my customers inquiring about a Gooey pad that it was one of the softest pads on the market and may only last a couple of years as opposed to the Kick-Eez that would last much longer - thereby giving the customer a base on which to make their decision.

Personally, I use Gooey pads for my trap gun. Comfort is more important to me than longevity. But it's not for everyone.

I still believe that Kick-Eez is the best overall BALANCE between comfort and longevity. If their latest pads are harder than they have been in the recent past, let them know about it - you can tell. And if (like Skeet Man said, above) you can actually give them a durometer reading between the "good" softer pads and the "bad" harder current pads that would give more credence to your claim.
 
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