Bauer has expanded their Limited Edition gear for 2011. Bauer has done LE sticks before, but now they have expanded it to the LE X40 gloves, LE one80 gloves, LE one80 pants, and of course the LE totalone stick. All of the LE products feature the same great features as the standard version but with a new unique look.
The Easton Synergy EQ skate line features a completely different construction and fit compared to the Easton Stealth skate line. The EQ skate line has put the main focus on fit and performance. The EQ50 ice hockey skates feature a hybrid design to combine highly moldable materials in the bulk of the quarter for exceptional mold-ability with key embedded composite zones to offer great response and stability.
Easton first came up with the overall philosophy and design of the EQ50 skate in the EQ5, although the skate did not quite match up to Easton’s standards so they went back to the drawing board and re-designed the skate which turned into the EQ50. Some of the key improvements from the EQ5 to the EQ50 include:
Drastically improved fit especially in the heel pocket
Improved materials in the quarter panel (now using Fusion Foam 2.0) offers improved mold-ability
Extended flex tendon embedded zone improves overall stability
Added embedded zone in the heel cup or heel anchor to ensure all the energy is transfer down into the runner, along with longer lasting performance
Finally of course a much better overall look
The EQ50 features four key composite embedded zones including, the side-wing, heel anchor, flex tendon and outsole. The side-wing and full composite outsole allow you to really load up the skate and get a great response and power from each stride. The embedded zones in the flex tendon and heel anchor offer great stability. The added embedded zone in the heel also helps prevent a pre-mature breakdown of the heel anchor.
Now on the other side of the story is fit. The Easton Synergy line is designed to be a very accommodating boot and to be able to be molded to fit a variety of feet. Which is great news for anyone that has wanted to get into a pair of Easton’s but just could seem to fit into the Stealth line.
Personally, I have a narrower foot and because of that never really fit well into the Stealth skates. I had a chance to get these on and right out of the box the fit felt great. Still a little wide for me in the forefoot but great in the heel. This was especially nice to see since the EQ5 had a really big heel pocket that I was unsure if it would be able to prevent heel lift for me. Upon baking the skates the fit got even better, I could really feel them tighten up and hung around the foot. After I baked the skates I was surprised that it seemed as if they narrowed up even in the forefoot.
Bauer has done it again…made another sweet lookin’ Limited Edition hockey stick, and this time with the red hot Total One stick. Bauer has kept all of the tech specs the exact same on the TotalOne stick but with an eye catching translucent red paint. So that includes the TeXtreme carbon fiber, power core 3 blade core, pure shot blade profile, tac-spiral shaft texture, and amplified mid kick point. One addition to the TotalOne LE stick we did not see with the X60 LE stick is that the TotalOne LE comes in a grip and matted non-grip. The design of this stick actually came from the Patrick Kane winter classic special make-up stick. Which was a one95 stick with translucent paint making the white graphics red.
Since Cascade has teamed up with Mark Messier and created the Messier Project, the Cascade M11 hockey helmet has taken off. The core focus of the Messier Project has been to teach and increase awareness about concussions in hockey. The following is a check list for concussion symptoms to help players and teams determine when an injured player should return to play.
Cascade uses what they call the Seven Technology for the bulk of the M11 hockey helmet’s protection. You can see below the the basic design of the Seven Technology. The clusters below are placed throughout the M11 helmet with softer comfort foams covering them.
The major benefit of Seven Technology is after an impact it almost instantly regenerates to the original position. Therefore, on multiple impacts it offers additional protection than foams that take longer to regenerate to the original position. Cascade supplied the following stats on multiple impacts on the Seven Technology versus more traditional foams.
Cascade has slowing been growing in popularity. Cascade does not contract players to wear their product in the NHL but for the last couple years more and more have been popping up in NHL locker rooms across the league. According to Cascade they currently have 12 NHL pros using the M11, 19 College University teams, 30 Junior teams, 100 prep-high school teams, 250 youth teams, and 400+ M11 teams.
Part of Cascades success on getting teams to adopt the M11 helmet is first the protection offered, as well as their great custom and team program. Ice Warehouse has a easy to use custom builder imbedded on the site that allows players to choose the colors they want on their M11 helmet.
Warrior Hockey is about to unleash its latest and greatest hockey stick…The Warrior Widow Hockey Stick. The Warrior Widow stick will be taking over the top of the line spot from the former king of the Warrior stick line, the Kronik stick. Warrior has used the same true one-piece construction process on the Widow that they used with the Kronik. The combination of Warrior’s carbon elite carbon and the one-piece construction process results in an impressively light, and balanced feel, with great energy transfer and power.
The Widow stick also brings a new taper and flex profile to the Warrior stick line. Warrior is calling this new taper the Dagger Taper Technology. Essentially the Dagger taper technology is a process of tapering the shaft even more aggressively to about the width of the blade along with softening the flex in the upper handle to create additional flex. According to Warrior this allows the stick to have a greater overall flex for better pop on slap shots, wrist shots, and snap shots.
Warrior has also introduced a new material for the Widow hockey stick. The Blade on the Widow Hockey stick features the X-Stitch. The X-stitch is based off the carbon elite material, but adds aramid stitches to increase the overall strength and puck feel. Aramid is a Kevlar like fabric material that offers great strength properties. The Warrior Widow hockey stick also features the evolution of the Double D blade core, which is refereed to as the D-Lite blade core. The D-Lite blade core offers a similar double-density internal polymer core as the double d. However, Warrior has also added a Durable cap wrapping the parameter of the blade to help further increase durability.
The stick length has been extended on the Warrior Widow stick. Warrior has added 3″ to the shaft to help make heavy end plugs unnecessary. According to Warrior if you cut the stick within the 3″ area it will not change the flex of the stick. Personally, I think any time you cut a hockey shaft the flex will has to be somewhat altered, although that change will not be the exact same for all sticks. So, I think Warrior has designed the stiffness of that part of the stick with a carbon weave that will have a minimum impact on the flex of the stick when cut. Which is nice to not mess with an end plug that will add weight and change the flex.
All in all I think Warrior has a winner here, and has certainly raised the bar from where the Warrior Kronik stick left off.
Bauer has done it again…unveiling the new 2011 Bauer Vapor X:60 Limited Edition hockey stick. Essentially this is the same stick as the last Bauer X60 LE stick, although Bauer has freshened it up a bit with some new grey, silver, and yellow graphics. Personally, the X60 LE sticks are my favorite out of the X60 stick family because they offer the sweet matted stick finish.
This is the first installment of some hands on stick reviews from IW Hockey. The goal here is to give straight forward information on some of the top hockey sticks on the market. Granted since a good portion of the review is derived from personal perception there will be some bias, although these reviews were done with the goal of being as un-biased as possible. Now to start it off….our first hands on stick review of the Warrior Dolo DD hockey stick.
The Warrior Dolomite Double D hockey stick 2011 had a great all around feel, and was just a solid stick across the board. The Dolo DD is an advanced stick but not a top of the line stick. The Warrior Dolo stick like many other sticks in this price point are very light but don’t make it into the “what is the lightest stick” debate. I felt like it was a good weight. Light but just heavy enough to feel like you have something there. The low kick point was easy to load and excelled in wrist shots and snap shots. Warrior has used their Double D blade core that uses denser foams in the heel and softer foams in the toe. This offers a great puck feel. Seemed a bit more responsive in the heel from the denser foams, but softer on the puck towards the toe of the blade. Denser foam gives it a nice feel in receiving passes.
Comfortable shaft dimensions
Good puck feel from DD blade core
Easy loading for a low kick
Not the best for slap shots
Very slightly blade heavy (potentially could not be a con, see notes under stick feel)
Weight: 473.4 grams
Flex Profile: Low Kick Point
Warrior characterizes as Precision flex
You can see in the image below, there is minimal flex in the upper portion of the stick with most of the flex just below my lower hand
Call out Features:
Carbon elite material
Fused one-piece design
Double D blade core: Uses denser foams in the heel and softer foams in the foam for in proved puck feel while maintaining power and durability.
Review Points: (points based on 1-100 scale)
Overall score: 87
Stick Feel: 88
Double concave walls and rounded corners make the stick very comfortable. Easy to roll the wrist and stick handle. Very slightly blade heavy but overall nice balance feel. Lightweight stick but because it is not in the ultra light stick class still feels like you have a little more substance there especially in the blade. Light enough to make one handed play easier but heavy enough to feel like you are holding something. The Dolo DD was a pretty easy loading stick, not quite as easy as some of the mid kick sticks though. For a low kick stick it was pretty easy to load, just had to lean a little on it to load it up.
Puck Feel: 88
The Double D blade core gives the stick a nice puck feel. Has a soft feel out by the toe and bit more responsive in the heel.
Slap shots: 76
Slappers were not the strongest point of the stick. Part of this could have been because I felt the lie 4 was just a little too far out in front of me. Vanek curve was a good blade for slappers though. The Dolomite didn’t feel bad, it just did not excel as much as it did in the other categories. Which makes sense with the low kick flex design.
Snap shots: 87
The Dolo Double D put up a solid performance on snap shots. Nice quick shot release, slightly snappy feel. Pretty good accuracy, didn’t feel like the most accurate stick in the world, but certainly did not feel like it had bad accuracy.
Wrist shots: 93
I felt like the Warrior Dolo stick excelled in wrist shots the most. Easy to load the stick, it didn’t require you to put all your weight into the shot. Still could get a good flex shooting more with your arms. The low kick felt good with a pretty quick shot release.
Giving Passes: 85
The Warrior Dolo hockey stick had a solid performance here, but nothing over the top. Good feel didn’t even really think about it much, so it must have been doing something right.
Receiving Passes: 91
Double D blade felt great for receiving passes. I could feel the denser material in heel, kept the puck a little closer to the blade when catching a pass with out really “receiving” the pass. You could feel a difference from catching passes toward the heel or in the toe. Obviously there will always be a difference there, although seemed to be a little more distinctive in this case.
CCM has re-amped and redesigned the U+ skates for the up coming season. Just in time for the holidays CCM will be releasing the new CCM U+ CL ice hockey skates. One of the changes CCM has implemented is the fit of the U+ Crazy Light skates. CCM has increased the overall step in comfort of the skates by adding foams in the ankle and heel for a tighter heel pocket. Along with giving the forefoot a more relaxed fit. CCM has also added some embossments in the quarter panels to help enhance the step in comfort. Before the higher level CCM skates were know for being very straight and vertical in the quarters, so these changes should really help improve that initial step-in comfort.
CCM has continued to use the U foam through out the quarter package, and added U foam in a couple of new places on the skate to give an improved 360 degree fit. CCM has added the U foam in the tongue along with in the footbed, allowing for more custom molding in those areas.
This year CCM is also introducing the exhaust system made up by the tongue, footbed and outsole to function together as one “moisture exhaust system”. This system will help keep the foot and boot dryer, improving the fit and keeping the skate light even late in the 3rd period.
CCM is also manufacturing the U+ CL skates in Canada, which should help ensure some great quality. All and all looks like CCM has made some nice improvements to taking the U+ skates to the next level.
In regards to hockey equipement a lot of what gear is the best always comes down to personal preference. All the major manufacturers are doing a great job at offering the different level price point pads, and making good equipment. However, especially on youtube many people ask for our opinion on what equipment is better (side note: we definitely appreciate all of the input and contributions on our youtube, facebook, and message board…if you contribute, thank you, and keep it up).
So based on this, I plan to post some blogs based strictly on personal opinion and let you guys know what equipment I or whoever is posting is excited about.
Starting it off, let’s talk about shoulder pads. I have been really impressed with the progression of shoulder pads. There are several companies that are doing excellent job on offering great protection without limiting mobility. Mobility has always been a key issue for me when selecting shoulder pads. This is probably the biggest selling point for me, and the first thing I look at. So there is no surprise that the pads I have selected are all pads that offer great mobility and still an advanced level of protection.
Easton earlier this year came out with the S19 shoulder pads. The S19 have a very lightweight feel that does not feel binding at all. I particularly like the three panel design with the perforated thin outer panels. Easton has also given the S19 shoulder pads a good size cut out between the arm and sternum. This allows for improved mobility especially crossing your arms across your body which happens often when stick handling.
Next up is the Warrior Projekt Shoulder pads. Warrior introduced the Projekt line a little while ago and I have been impressed by this line. I think it was a great contribution to the Warrior protective line. The Projekt has focused on the use of Zote foam to make the pads very light, and the Projekt Shoulder pads has done just that. The Zote foam works great for hockey equipment becuase it is light absorbs a ton of energy and in my opinion best of all it is not rigid. Warrior has used almost a mesh like vest with their top of the line liner on the inside as the base of this pad with the protective pieces attached. This base has given the pad a light airy feel. I also really like it when shoulder pads feature segmented bicep guards. This pad like all of the other pads I have chosen have segmented biceps, which allows for better arm movement and does not compromise protection.
Finally, maybe my number one pick is the Bauer Vapor X60 shoulder pad. In my opinion there is a huge jump from the X40 to the X60 shoulder pad. The X60 offers exceptional mobility but definitely offers an advanced to pro level protection. It has a significant size and pad coverage leading one to think it will feel bulky or heavy. Although, once you put it on you almost feel foolish for expecting that of this pad. Bauer has used several segmented panels that are allowed to over lap and move past each other ensuring great mobility and protection. A couple of the unique design features are the elastic lacing system inside the pad to determine how tight the chest panels are. This allows one to make the pad a little looser yet having the side fastened, which I prefer. Another unique feature is the design of the shoulder cap and clavicle. Similar to the bicep guard they are designed to allow them to overlap allowing for arm movement without pushing the clavicle guard into your neck.
So there it is. I hope if you were looking on an opinion on shoulder pads you have what you need. Be sure to check out the rest of the shoulder pads on IceWarehouse.com. There are plenty more excellent pads that did not make the list today, but might make yours.
Well we are over half way through the 2010 playoffs. So far they have been packed with all sorts of excitement, and several David over Goliath victories…So I decided to break down what sticks the top goal scorers of the playoffs have been using.
To start it out we have Joe Pavelski. Many did not expect to see him among the upper goal scorers of the playoffs, despite his foreshadowing play during the olympics. Pav is leading the way with goals on the Sharks. Netting even more goals than giants like, Heatley, and Marleau. Pavelski, as you can see is using an Easton S19 stick, which matches he’s play perfectly. The Easton S19 has an excellent quick and snappy shot release, but can also deliver deadly one-timers, as Pav has shown.
Next up we have Mike Cammalleri. Mike is also using an Easton stick, however he is using the slightly older but still very popular Easton SE16 stick. Cammalleri excels in the quick give n’ go style play, and the Easton SE16 works great with this. Easton has designed the SE16 to be the “ultimate feel” stick in their line, perfect for touch passes, and one-timers. The great feel helps give confidence when receiving passes to make that quick play on point.
Here we have a nice visible shot of Toews stick, a Warrior Dolomite Spyne DD. A fairly new stick that came out around mid-season this year. The Dolo Spyne has a great feel, nice rounded corners and concave walls. The Dolo Spyne features a mid flex point to load more energy into the stick, and a slightly stiffer feel than the Dolo DD stick. As Toews has shown the Dolo Spyne DD is a great all around stick from slappers to wrist shots.
Finally, we have Daniel Briere, here meeting a line of fans in Boston. Briere definitely seems to step it up in the playoff, and this year he has been doing just that. If you need evidence, just take a quick look at the second round series against Boston. Where Briere and the Flyers pull off one of the greatest comebacks in recent hockey history. Briere is shown here with what looks to be a Bauer Supreme One95 stick. One95 is a great stick, that has seen a fair share of use in the NHL. The one95 stick offers a mid-flex point for loading maximum energy. Great for one-timers and slap shots, but as Briere has shown it can handle whatever you through at it.
As we have seen there are plenty of players stepping up their game these playoffs, and the same can be said about the stick manufacturers lately. With quality sticks coming from several companies. It is just a matter of finding what stick fits you the best, not what is the best stick.