Bauer has just announced the Vapor X60 Limited Edition will be coming out next month…and it looks dope. They have taken the look of the non-grip version of the X60 stick darkened it a little and added some smoke like blue graphics giving the stick a great look.
The Bauer X:60 LE stick will have the same construction and materials as the standard X60 stick, only difference being graphics and instead of a stick’um coating or traditional gloss smooth coating, Bauer has used a smooth matte finish. Great choice in my opinion.
Check out the site for more info about the stick and its availability.
Bauer has introduced there new X60 glove. Images of the X60 have been floating around for a little while, but I was finally able to get my hands actually on a pair to do a quick review.
The Bauer X60 glove is the top of line glove under the Vapor name. Bauer has focused on making the Vapor line the tapered glove line. It is more form fitting than a traditional glove but not as tight as the Supreme line. I think this glove feels slightly snugger than last years XXXX glove. Although, it does a nice job at opening up in the cuff, so wrist mobility should be no problem.
Bauer has used a very unique palm construction. They are using a lycra base layer that offers a great flexible feel, that requires hardly any break-in. Bauer has also added a composite pad in the lower palm portion. This offers great durability in the high wear area but also absorbs vibrations to get you a solid grip.
Bauer has released their latest and greatest hockey helmet the Bauer 9900 helmet. Bauer has taken the design of the 9500 and brought it to the next level. Although, the shell remains the same Bauer has re-worked the inside offering a great new fit. The 9900 offers a deeper fit than the previous 9500 helmet.
Bauer has also introduced a new type of material they are calling PORON® XRD foam which is used at two spots on each side of the head in the high-impact area. This material is extremely light, breathable, and flexible making it perfect for hockey. According to Bauer the PORON® foam dissipates more than 90% of force on impacts. This material is used along with FXPP foam, and slow memory comfort foam. The FXPP foam dissipates 20% less energy than standard EPP foams. The slow memory foam offer a great comfortable fit. Basically they have your comfort and protection covered with the combination of these high-end foams.
We just got back from the Let’s Play Hockey show in St. Paul, MN. Great to see all of the enthusiasm for hockey surrounding the event. The show also coincided with the Minnesota high school state championships. Congrats to the Edina high school team that walked away with the title, and every team that played in the tournament. A lot of great players took the ice, and the excitement in the arena showed it.
I was lucky enough to grab some interviews with the Bauer and Easton product managers. So be sure to look out for those down road. It was great to see the lines from all of the companies that were at the show (Warrior, Reebok, CCM, ect.) Looks like it is going to be an exciting year, a lot of great equipment coming out.
Warrior Hockey Product Manager Keith Perera came by IW the other day to talk about the new Warrior hockey gloves. They have basically developed three great glove lines all with a slightly different fit, helping to appeal to different players. Personally, the Franchise and other gloves in the four roll based line are my favorite.
Check out the video below for some back ground information on all the Warrior gloves, and a little help deciding what Warrior glove is going to be best for you.
Reebok has just came out with their new top of the line skate, the Reebok 11K ice hockey skate. Many have probably seen glimpses of the 11k on the likes of Datsyuk, and Crosby.
Reebok has made several changes to the 2010 11K, however the overall design has stayed very similar to the previous years 9K skate. Reebok has introduced a new quarter panel material for the 11K skate called Pro Armour IV. This is a combination of materials designed to offer a lightweight, durable, abrasion resistant outer, and great responsive flex. I weighed the 11K, here at our warehouse at 856 grams for one 9D skate. Definitely one of the lighter skates on the market, weighing in pretty close to last years 9K.
Reebok has also redesigned The Pump™ on this years skate line. The Pump™ still features the same performance but now with a sleeker look. The actual pump and release do not stick out as much and are easier to access. Reebok has continued to use the Lace Lock feature to add to the customized fit.
The 11K skate also features a new hybrid tongue. This is a combination of foam and traditional white felt. The hybrid tongue offers a great pre-molded fit, along with a lace bite guard that allows for forward flex. Reebok has also given the 11K ice skate a new liner using a combination of Clarino and Nash leather, offering moisture wicking and a locked in feel. The Nash leather is down the back of the skate, helping increase durability as well.
The 11K skate is not as stiff as some of the competitors top of the line skates, but it offers a nice wrap around the ankle, and the combination of the lace lock and Pump you can lock it down pretty good. According to Reebok the skate will also be available in a new width. It will be a D in the forefoot and narrow in the heel, offering a different fit. Having a slightly narrow foot I’m interested in checking out this new size.
Warrior is getting ready to unleash the new and improved Franchise glove to world. The Franchise glove has always had a strong following since its MIA birth, but this year they have taken it one step further.
The new Franchise gloves has some great new features that have me seriously considering hanging up last years for the new model. Starting on the exterior Warrior has used a combination of materials rather than just the carbon print PU. The Franchise now features a fair amount of the TufTex nylon material. This is a great material, exceptionally durable, lightweight, and does not hold water, so you don’t need to worry about it gaining weight during the game. Warrior Franchise also has some high-grade synthetic leather and some of the carbon print synthetics down the middle of the glove.
Warrior mentioned that many of their NHL players were requesting more wrist mobility out of their personal versions of the Franchise gloves. So they decided to give the retail glove a flared-out cuff for increased wrist mobility. This is most noticeable on the inner wrist side, and makes a huge impact. It definitely offers more wrist mobility compared to last years Franchise. Warrior also decide to increase the cuff roll a little bit making it look like it has a shorter cuff, however, the cuff is not actually smaller it just looks and feels like it. You get the same protection but now with increased wrist mobility.
Personally, I think an entire TufTek exterior would be unbelievably sweet, so Warrior does make this glove completely customizable. So for those that are willing to make the additional investment, IW can set you up with a customized Franchise, from exterior, protection, colors, numbers, and so forth.
Bauer has developed two solid hockey stick lines that have been experiencing some great success. The one95 made waves last year with its release, offering explosive power and a great balanced feel. Ovi was even seen putting a couple pucks in the back of the net with one (probably much to his sponsors dismay). This year has brought the new and re-amped Vapor stick, the X:60 offering a great feel, and intelli-sense shot technology.
Bauer has developed two stick lines in attempt to have at least one stick that will appeal to any player on the ice. The Supreme stick line is the power line. The Bauer Supreme stick has a Mid-Low flex point that allows the stick to load up maximum energy on every shot. Since it does not have as low of a kick point it will not have as quick of a shot release. It’s shot release though is nothing to sneeze at, I would not characterize it as slow. Bauer just put their main focus on power with this line. But that does not mean they forgot about everything else. This stick design makes the Supreme line ideal for monster slappers from the point, and explosive one-timers.
The Vapor line was generated with the finesse player in mind. This stick line is for players that focuses on puck handling and a quick shot release. Bauer has introduced their micro-feel II shaft dimensions that gives the stick a comfortable feel in your hands. According to Bauer it helps improve puck handling. The Vapor stick line excels with wrist and snap shots, offering a lower kick point and quick shot release than that Supreme line. This year Bauer introduced the Intelli-Sense shot technology, which changes the flex point, based upon your lower hand position. This works toward making the X60 stick great all over the ice. So it can still handle slappers and one-timers but a main focus is on the wrist and snap shots.
Easton has done it again producing yet another top of the line stick. The Easton ST stick recently arrived here at IW, many have already been shipped out to some lucky saps.
The ST stick is the power stick in the Easton line. This workhorse has been given thicker shaft walls for increase strength and power. The ST stick uses a compression molding process delivering a smooth consistent flex, which offers exceptional power. This is the same molding process Easton has been using for a little while on their advanced level sticks.
Similar to the other top sticks from Easton, the ST features a Kevlar wrap. I really like seeing the Kevlar wraps on sticks. It offers some additional protection by adding that layer of woven textile around the outside of the stick. Being that it is a woven material it also helps reduce vibrations in the stick giving it a great solid feel.
The “call-out” new feature on the ST stick is the Shox™ technology. This is a Resin Transfer process in the blade. This process results in some unique blade characteristics. As a result of this process the ST stick offers a solid blade feel, and giving you a little help in corralling hard passes. It has a denser feel, making a little more of a “thud” sound. It doesn’t do all the work in receiving passes but has a nice feel.
As far as graphics goes I’d say it is probably the best looking stick in the Easton line. The ST stick comes with a sweet matte gray finish. The grip version has almost a transparent dark orange top layer. Both version you can somewhat see the combination of Kevlar and carbon beneath.
All and all the ST stick is great addition to the Easton stick line. Once again Easton has continued to innovate and progress the hockey stick market.