Archive for July, 2011

Long-Term Review: Bauer Supreme Total ONE Skate

Posted in Equipment Reviews, Pro Stock with tags , , , , , , on July 30, 2011 by prostocknation

It’s hard to imagine a decade ago top end skates were made with nylon toe caps and synthetic leather materials.  I remember trying to squeeze my foot into a Bauer Supreme 7000 but the fit of the skate just wasn’t for me.

Fast forward 10 years later I have decided to give the Supreme line another chance.  Plastic anatomical toe caps and a composite quarter have replaced the outdated nylon and synthetic leather.  In the previous pairs of skates I’ve owned I found the baking process helped reduce the break-in time of the boot but rarely did it change the fit significantly.  My right foot felt fine right off the bat but my left didn’t.  After baking the Total ONE I noticed a huge difference and the material conformed around my foot.  I have a bone that protrudes slightly out on the left foot just above the arch and it was painful just putting the skates on fresh out of the box.  After a quick punch of the trouble area the skates fit perfect.  It wraps around my foot snugly and it is the best fitting boot I have ever worn.

My skates are built close to retail specifications except I do not have the hydrophobic liner and I have LS3 steel installed instead of the lighter LS Fusion.  Don’t let that concern you because this skate is still very lightweight.  I threw one of these 7.5D boots onto our scale and it weighed in at 727g.  I have the hydrophobic liner in my ONE95 Goalie Skates and I don’t like the feel of it.

Composite materials can be found all over this skate.  Also notice the white felt on the inside of the tongue!  More on the tongue shortly.

Even the bottom of the footbeds have Bauer’s ALIVE Composite material which is very moldable and responsive.

Where the Total ONE really differentiates itself from the previous generation, the Supreme ONE95, is the Reflex Tongue.  These skates meant to be worn tongues in to take full advantage of the interchangeable inserts which come in 3 different flexes, Mid, Stiff, and X-Stiff.  I am currently skating in the Mid flex and it’s the one I prefer of the three.

Some may think this tongue looks very gimmicky but it’s really the exact opposite.  Non-believers should try it out first before making a final judgement.  I find where the composite inserts help me the most is in the initial couple of strides.  I feel I get an extra bit of jump and it makes me a tad quicker compared to other skates.  You can customize these to a stiffness of your liking and together with the tendon guard they work together to help your stride.  Watch this clip on Bauer’s “Sling Shot Theory.”

The Total Edge Comfort is basically a piece of synthetic leather sewn right above the ankles to prevent the boot from digging into your leg especially during the break-in process.  Many pros have had this option for years but now these will be standard on Bauer’s top end boots.

In the past year that I’ve worn this skate, it has been very responsive and durable.  The thing about using a stiff boot compared to a softer, lower-end boot is the extra support you get.  You’ll never be able to revert back to using a softer boot because it will feel like mush; much like those old plastic Microns you could rent at your local rink to go ice skating.

The only issues I’ve had with the skates so far include the stitching fraying and ripping in high-wear areas (such as near the toe cap, as pictured) and what looks to be the outsole separately from the boot.  I’m told this is only cosmetic and not anything structural.  I will check back at a later date to see how they hold up.  I have also swapped out the stock Bauer laces for a pair of Elite Pro with the molded tip.  These are by-far my favorite laces but I will talk about those another day.

If these skates fit your foot type and your pocketbook can afford it, I highly recommend considering the Total ONE your next pair of skates.

Pros:

  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Lightweight, responsive
  • Conforms to the shape of your foot very well after baking
  •  Innovative interchangeable tongues

Cons:

  • Price ($850 + tax in Canada)
  • Stitching easily frays
  • Cosmetic separation of outsole and boot

 

– M

Advertisements

Free Bauer 2100 Hockey Helmet From Chevrolet

Posted in ProStockNation.com Announcements with tags , , on July 23, 2011 by prostocknation

If you have a child born in 2006 registered with Hockey Canada for the 2011/2012 season you are eligible for a free Bauer 2100 helmet.  More information available here: http://media.esportsdesk.com/images/leagues/3957/graphics/freehelmet.pdf

 

– M

What Is 100% Graphite, Sub-500 Grams & Under $100?

Posted in Equipment Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2011 by prostocknation

Today practically every company in the industry offers a composite stick at the $99 price point catering to the recreational level player.  These sticks usually contain little to no traces of graphite and lots of lower end materials.  While it is easy to name manufacturers who sell $99 sticks, try looking for one that is 100% graphite and the list shortens considerably.  Out of those remaining sticks, filter out the ones that weigh less than 500 grams.  There are not many options are there?

This is the Winnwell GX-8 and if you haven’t already guessed; it is 100% graphite, weighs 490g, and costs $99.

This stick is listed at 490g but we decided to throw it on our scale “naked” (without any tape and uncut from the factory length) as Winnwell’s website lists it at 480g.  Our kitchen scale confirms the stick weighs 479g.  There are several factors that could affect the weight of the stick such as blade pattern, grip/no grip, etc. but what we are interested in here is it is indeed under 500g.

We have not used this stick long enough yet to give it a fair test so we will leave any long-term reviews for a later date.  So what are our initial thoughts?

Well, as soon as we picked up the stick it felt nice.  It did not feel like a $99 one piece stick at all.  Normally sticks at this price point feel like bricks and tend to be blade heavy.  While the GX-8 is not the lightest stick in the world it does offer good balance thanks to Winnwell’s precise weight distribution (or Optimum Pro Balance Technology as they call it.)  During a game it will be very difficult for someone to notice a difference in weight when you start talking in grams.  Even though it may be slightly heavier, a well balanced stick will feel and perform much better when you are using it.

After playing with it during my first ice time the blade is very rigid and pucks do ‘pop’ off nicely.  Check out the 12k graphite weaves on the tapered shaft.  I really like it when companies show off what their sticks are made of and not try and hide what is underneath with a cheap paint job.

This stick has been a great surprise so far and looks to be a great ‘bang for the buck’ stick.  I would recommend this stick to both advanced and recreational players.  The only thing I would change is the shaft radius.  It is a personal preference but I do have smaller hands and the shaft is a bit boxier than what I normally use.

Aesthetically the graphics are simple and that is how I prefer my equipment.  Some of my photos may look like they are in black in white but in reality that really is what the stick looks like against the pavement.

I will check back in with this stick in a couple weeks.  In the meantime if you would like to find out more information about Winnwell Hockey or the GX-8 stick, check them out on their website at www.WinnwellCleanHockey.ca

– M

Less Than 12 Hours Away! Preview: Vancouver Canucks Equipment Sale 2011

Posted in Equipment Sales with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2011 by prostocknation

Welcome to ProStockNation.com’s exclusive preview of the Vancouver Canucks 2011 Equipment Sale.

Oh how things have changed.  If you have been to the Canucks’ sales in the past you might be thinking how different the pictures below look.  Sales went from being a huge annual 2-day excursion with loads of equipment scattered across the arena concourse to a single day event and now gear has been sold year round at the Canucks Outlet Store halfway across town.

The equipment sale this year will be housed in an area that’s about the same size as the average Downtown Vancouver studio suite.

You will find a wide variety of equipment from current and past seasons.  Contrary to our earlier reports, there will not be new stock brought out each day.  Stock is limited and everything will be on a first come first served basis.  There will be no limits on how much you can buy.  There are different price points for sticks.  These price points will be indicated by lists posted on the wall separated by tape.

Gloves will be scattered in several wire bins as well as on top of the sticks.

In the “goalie corner” you will find brand new and used gear from the likes of Roberto Luongo, Cory Schneider, Jason LaBarbera, Andrew Raycroft, and Michael Houser among others.

Skates are nicely laid out into two main sections… prehistoric (CCM Mustangs, Bauer Vapor 10, older CCM Tacks) and the present (more recent model skates.)

This is an equipment sale first!  Since this is a smaller sale the preparation was more precisely done than the previous ones.  Many of the skates will have a tag indicating the player, model name, and the size.  This will make finding your size much easier than the conventional methods of “guessing and checking” and looking underneath the insole/skate and praying for some sign of marking.

In the “premium corner” you will find game used equipment from the more popular players on the team such as the Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Ryan Kesler, and Alexandre Burrows.

If you go to the sale, please share with us what you picked up!

– M

Canucks 2011 Equipment Sale Video:

Posted in Equipment Sales, Pro Returns, Pro Stock, ProStockNation.com Announcements with tags on July 11, 2011 by prostocknation

Hey guys, we had a chance to get a ProStockNation.com exclusive preview of the gear available for the annual equipment sale. Here is our short walk through video. Pictures will be up shortly, so stay tuned!

 

– E

Initial Thoughts: Rick Nash Winnwell Pro Stock Gloves

Posted in Pro Stock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2011 by prostocknation

Rick Nash, Matt Stajan, Marc-Andre Bergeron, and Kyle Quincey.  What do all of these NHL players have in common?  Their glove of choice is Winnwell.

Being a Gold Medal winner, 4-time NHL All-Star and Captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey club, Rick Nash has been heavily courted by different companies to endorse their products.  Yet, he chooses to sport Winnwell Pro Stock Hockey Gloves.

Here is a glimpse of Rick’s 14″ pro gloves.  Over the next couple of weeks I will be using this glove and checking in with updates.

These are made of nylon and have plastic inserts everywhere like you would expect from most pro gloves nowadays.  All of the graphics and text are embroidered.  For players who don’t like overly loose (think traditional 4-roll) or tight (newer anatomical style) fitting gloves these are in the middle.  The blooming style cuff also increases wrist mobility.

What I liked right off the bat was how the thumb was constructed.  The white bit you see sticking out is a plastic insert which offers protection from hacks and slashes.  The thumb is allowed to move freely unlike some gloves that will basically have one large piece of plastic from the cuff to the tip of the thumb, restricting movement.

The three piece index finger is another feature we like that more and more companies are also incorporating, but mostly into their more anatomically fitting gloves.

The palms and gussets of the glove are made of you guessed it, Nash leather (pardon the pun.)  An unique feature about these palms are the seamless transitions between the palm and gussets on the inside of the pinky and index fingers which are key areas for wear and tear.

The inside of the glove is lined with Winnwell’s Cleansport NXT liner (more information available on their website: http://www.winnwellcleanhockey.ca/cleansport.php.)  The NXT extends all the way from the cuff through to the fingers and I actually prefer these types of liners because they are generally softer than what is traditionally used and I don’t get any uncomfortable scraping on my knuckles.

I weighed these gloves and compared them to another pro glove I had sitting in the office with nash palms and gussets…

Winnwell Pro Stock: 639g

RBK Pro 4-Roll: 702g*

*The RBK has had the inner padding and a part of the cuff removed so technically it will weigh a bit more than 702g.

For more information on Winnwell’s products, check them out at their website: http://www.winnwellcleanhockey.ca

Stay tuned… we also have another Winnwell product to show you in the coming days that may surprise you.

 

 

– M

Nashville Predators Equipment Sale – July 13, 2011

Posted in Equipment Sales with tags , , , , , on July 7, 2011 by prostocknation

The Nashville Predators will be holding their equipment sale during their State Of The Union event on July 13, 2011 at the Bridgestone Arena.  Season Ticket Holders will be entitled to first pick from 11:30am-1pm and the general public from 2pm-5pm.

Details are available on their website: http://predators.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=568707

 

– M