New for the 2011/2012 hockey season is Alkali Hockey, a roller specific brand, aim specifically at designing, manufacturing, marketing and selling roller hockey targeted products. For their debut line up of gear they are focusing on the essentials including skates, sticks, roller hockey pants, gloves, girdles, padded vests, and bags. And from the look of things we reviewed, Alkali Hockey went all out in making sure every level of hockey player was getting a great product.
Cofounded by roller hockey legend Joe Cook and designer Justin Hoffman in early 2011, together they bring over 20+ years of roller hockey industry knowledge to the table. Using what they call “Lithium Science” in the design and construction of all their products, they aim to bring the most advanced materials and construction techniques to maximum the energy yield by each and every player.
The biggest release from Alkali Hockey this year will undoubtably be their skate line. Alkali started from the ground up when developing their skates, to come come up with a truly unique and sleek design. Their top of the line performer is the CA9 skate, which is one of the meanest looking skates we’ve seen in awhile.
Starting with the boot in the CA9, Alkali went with high quality EPP foam with Surlyn quarters for top of the line support and performance. Another great part of the design is the Carbon Fiber reinforced tendon guard that is stiff all the way up the back of the skate but at the top the guard is able to flex which is extra important for making turns in roller hockey. A 9mm pro spec tongue with extra ventilation provides superior fit. Excellent heel locking is utilized by strategic memory foam ankle pads and an anti-microbial microfiber liner provides excellent moisture wicking capabilities which is quickly becoming a major concern regarding the harmful nature of bacteria growth. Moving to the outsole of the skate, Alkali uses what they call the MPT (Maximum Power Transfer) carbon fiber outsole. This full carbon outsole is designed for direct energy transfer from your feet, into the chassis and down onto the ground for maximum stride.
Below your feet, Alkali went with their own magnesium alloy chassis that rolls on an all 80mm wheel set up. Now many companies have an all 80mm frame, Alkali is the first to come to the market with all 80mm magnesium chassis. Gripping the sport court and providing the speed will be Labeda Addiction XXX Grip wheels with ultra smooth Swiss 608 sized bearings. Hopefully we all know by now that the Labeda Addicitons are the fastest and grippiest wheel on the market so it was no brainer that Alkali would bring these amazing wheels out on their top of the line skate.
Rounding out the rest of the Alkali skates line up are the CA7, CA5, and the more budget minded CA3 skate.
For their debut stick line, Alkali has unveiled the CA9 as their top of the line stick. Using their Lithium Science construction, Alkali went us a lightweight 3K carbon fiber weave for durability without sacrificing weight. Standard shaft dimensions are present with a slight double concave but nothing too large. A smooth finish always for easy hand transitions and fast stick handling. Moving down the shaft the CA9, along with the other sticks in the line up, features a low kick point for maximum loading on wrist and snap shots. A nice addition to the stick is reinforced anti-slash protection to increase longevity. Alkali added a vibration dampening core to the core made of 3K carbon as well for superior stick handling.
The rest of their stick line will be made up of the CA5 and the CA3. The CA3 will be aimed at players looking to play both indoor and outdoor hockey and comes with an ABS blade for maximum durability.
Another special focus of Alkali Hockey is their unique line of pants. Borrowing technology from the garment and sports apparel industry, Alkali went all out on making the best roller pants available.
Taking a look at their top of the line pant, the CA9, the first thing you notice is the extra large Lycra gusset. Alkali says this provide up to a 16 way stretch allowing you to obtain your maximum stride. Paired with the ventilated, stretchable Platinum-Flex body fabric, the CA9 pants move every way you want them too. Up a the waist is their Sure-Fit adjustable waist band with Flex Back waistband. The Sure-Fit system is made up of high quality rubber pull tabs on each side of the waist and by pulling on them and velcroing them in place, proper fit is achieved.
Moving down to the knee, Alkali used dual layer 1680D ballistic knee panels for superior durability and has lighter mesh ventilation on the back for breathability. Another unique design Alkali used was using fully sublimated graphics on their whole line of pants. With sublimated graphics, they are built right in the fabric and wont rub or peel off when you fall.
The rest of their pant line consists of the CA7, CA5 and the CA3.