Here we are, right in the middle of summer and we’ve made it this far without the NHL or your competitive hockey season… For a lot of us, it has meant countless trips to the golf course, hours on hours of NHL ’14, beer league hockey games, thumb twiddling, and work. As I’m writing this during the latter, I’d like to pass along some tips for how to pass the rest of the off-season productively.
1. Growing up, one of my buddies had a net and SportCourt in his driveway. The net was backed up by the garage door and the garage door initially worked before he set everything up. We used to go out there, throw the shooter tutor on and play a game we called “5 corners.” While trying to pick corners, often our shots sailed high or wide and nailed the garage door over & over & over. Eventually the automatic garage failed and the door itself stood there battered and bruised. It looked like Phil Kessel had a go at it with his axe. There was also a broken window incident, but it wasn’t me :).
Available at http://www.icewarehouse.com/descpage.html?pcode=EZGOALCOMBO
The off-season essential here is something my buddy didn’t have (besides foresight and accuracy). I’ll let the picture speak for itself. Unless your shot is super incredibly inaccurate, the EZ Goal with Backstop and Targets is a solid investment to protect anything that you and your neighbors may not want struck by errant clappers.
For everyone who has played roller hockey, you know how hot it can get out on the rink after playing just a few shifts, as we don’t have the luxury of playing on COLD ice in a COLD building, especially during the summer where temperatures are a bit higher than we’d like. Well, we’re in luck because Mission’s popular Inhaler series is at it again with their second generation of roller hockey gear, debuting brand new skates, gloves and roller hockey pants. They are calling it the Inhaler DS and by the looks of it, they’re going to do a fine job at keeping us cool out there. Today, I’ll taking a closer look at their lineup of skates, which are represented by the Inhaler DS1, DS2, DS3. DS4, DS5, DS6 and DS7, which is a whole lot of skate and lots to talk about so lets get started.
With the release of the Bauer MX3 Skates earlier this year, it was quite easy to connect the dots and assume the release of the MX3 sticks was not far behind. Fast forward a few months, the MX3 Ice Hockey Skates are still one of the hottest set of wheels on the market and now the Bauer Supreme MX3 Sticks are looking to do the same thing in their category.
Today, we’ll be thoroughly breaking down the new and the old technology these flagship MX3 Sticks have in them. Then we’ll finish with my own closing thoughts on how it felt to shoot the MX3 alongside a handful of the best sticks currently on the market (not to mention a few that aren’t even out yet either, but we’ll keep that between us!)
Recently I picked myself up a pair of the Nexus 8000’s. Excited for my newly discovered perfect fit in the Bauer line. Over the past 20 years of skating I’ve used many brands, fits and profiles. None have come as close to anything I’ve experienced with this skate.
First I’ll give you a little background into my experience with Bauer skates. Having the Vapor and Supreme dynasties dominating market I constantly would try on each new release in hopes of getting that perfect fit that so many players got. However being in this industry for so long and to be quite honest being extremely picky, as a lot of us gear hounds can be, neither line was ever quite right. Having a rather narrow heel, average width forefoot and average arch; I would find myself squeezing into narrow profile skates in order to avoid heel slip. Heel slip was ALWAYS my problem. Then I finally learned that a great way to prevent heel slip is to get the boot as short as possible. In order to achieve this I decided to find a wider forefoot skate and go 1/2 size shorter. Tested with great results in my Mission AC3’s.
Then comes the newly designed, narrow heel area, medium-wide across the top of the foot and a medium-wide toe box Nexus line! What’s known as a “traditional” fit felt like a gift from the hockey gods! Now with the added room in the forefoot I was able to go even shorter that I normally did, I ended up 1 full size smaller than my previous skates. All to get into the tightest fitting, but still comfortable skate.
The CCM Tacks ice hockey skates are shipping out on Friday, July 18th and the return of the legendary Tacks skates are exciting people everywhere! Well, almost everywhere… Roller hockey players have been sitting back and watching the ice players eagerly receive the return of their beloved skate line. Here is a public service announcement: ATTENTION ROLLER HOCKEY PLAYERS; the Tacks are coming back to you too.
CCM Tacks Inline Boot
For the most part, the CCM Tacks inline hockey skates mirror the Tacks ice skates in terms of boot construction. The CCM Tacks ice hockey skates are designed to give a player the fastest first 5 strides in hockey. Just like the ice skates, the CCM Tacks roller hockey skates feature the AttackFrame technology in the quarter package for explosive acceleration. This AttackFrame uses carbon fiber stiffeners in key areas to maximize energy transfer, resulting in explosiveness. The quarter package also has an aggressive forward pitch that comfortably places you foot on the balls of your feet, which sets you up in the fastest stance. Internally, the Tacks Skates use a Formula T6 Pro Core that creates more support, stability and stiffness for the boot. Turning the skate over, CCM puts the finishing touch on the boot with their extra stiff carbon fiber outsole.
CCM knew if you can’t be comfortable in your high-performance skate, then it might as well be the lower end… This is why they use their pro-spec Dual Zone Clarino Liner that can take a beating while also keeping your feet dry. The Clarino helps to prevent foot slippage inside the boot and it protects the heaven-like, heat-moldable foams that house your feet.
Aesthetically speaking, the CCM Tacks roller uses the same look as the ice hockey skates, with the exception of an extra protective layer on the outside of the forefoot to protect against the normal wear and tear of playing roller.
Back in 2012, CCM announced a multi-year partnership with Taylormade who is an innovative-leader in the golf industry. The original CCM RBZ Stick was the first product to be come about from this new partnership and it was immediately accepted by NHL’ers; including Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Fast-forward two years and CCM is now preparing to release their third generation RBZ stick, named the CCM RBZ SuperFast.
So many skates, so many decisions. It’s understandable to be overwhelmed by how many choices you have when it comes to picking a new skate, especially when you may want to try something new but you don’t know how the fit will compare to your old skates. That’s what I’m here for. I’m going to break down the fit of each skate line from every company (with my own opinion mixed in) so you can expect what a particular skate is going to feel like when you put it on for the first time. These skate companies carry the same fit from their top-of-the-line skates all the way down to their entry level skates so everyone gets the same feeling top to bottom. While companies do have a “style-of-play” per each family, ALWAYS get the best fitting skate over the style-of-play description. You can have the best, most expensive skate on the market but if it fits improperly, it’s worthless to you!
Since I began writing blogs for IW a couple years ago, I never thought I’d see the day where I write a blog about a sock – today’s the day. I mean, what could there be to write about a piece of cloth that provides a barrier between your foot and the boot? Let’s find out. If you’ve purchased many a pair of new skates over the years, undoubtedly you’ve run into ill-fitting skates causing pain, blisters, pressure points, callouses, and Bauer bumps (aka Haglund’s Deformity to the non-hockey players). The Stable 26 skate socks are the solution.
Stable 26 is not a new name to the sporting footwear world, with experience in golf, skiing, and running. Stable 26 may be a new name to you, and a little confusing to those unfamiliar with the 26 structural support bones in the human foot. The Stable 26 skate socks provide the optimal fit, support, and protection in order to improve a player’s performance. Recently introduced to the hockey world, Ottawa Senators’ Norris Trophy winning defenseman, Erik Karlsson, hopped on board: “Fit and stability [are] so important for me. Stable 26 technology has given me the comfort in my skates to perform at the highest level.”
Just over two years ago on June 25th 2012, Bauer made serious waves throughout the hockey market when they released the Bauer RE-AKT Helmet. It was the first of its kind, strategically designed to better protect players from the lesser known and less researched rotational energy impacts. Public opinion and feedback reassured them it was a huge success, so they immediately went back to the drawing board wanting to continue elevating the level of protection Bauer helmets can offer. Fast forward 24 months and the second generation of Bauer RE-AKT Helmets are here with a big statement to make.
Enter the Bauer RE-AKT 100 Hockey Helmet. It features an updated Suspend-Tech 2 System, an improved VTX Foam base liner, Seven+ Technology in the rear (from Cascade helmets) and a new Moisture-Management System that helps to keep sweat out of a player’s eyes. All in all, it’s quite a big design renovation on the previously most protective helmet Bauer had in their line-up.
For all of you CCM Crazy Light fanatics, CCM has done you one better and finally came out with their newest RBZ protective line. While they do have many similarities between the past and present lines, there are some key new features that really make the RBZ’s stand out and I’m sure you guys are interested in what they have to offer. All of their gear will include top to bottom pricing with the 90, 110, 130, 150 (SR. only) and the RBZ.
CCM’s product development team knew the strengths and weaknesses of their past gear releases so they needed to figure out what they can do to improve and be a competitive force in the hockey gear market. Looking at last year’s U+ lineup, there were definitely some things that could be improved on. They wanted to keep the same overall theme: gear for the crafty and agile player who needs to cut as much weight as possible. CCM kept their iconic Crazy Light U Foam on the flagship RBZ for shins, shoulders, elbows and ice pants, which shares the same properties as high-density foams that provide professional level protection. What separates it from the rest? It weighs a fraction of other foams, and on your protective gear, the foams make up most of the weight; by CCM’s studies, about 4 pounds of weight to be exact.