Archive for the Equipment Reviews Category

REVIEW: Winnwell Pro Stock Gloves

Posted in Equipment Reviews, Pro Stock, ProStockNation.com Announcements with tags , , , on September 13, 2011 by prostocknation

We already gave you guys a quick look at Winnwell’s Pro Stock glove, now it’s time for our review after some on ice use.

I am a fan of anatomical fit gloves so switching to these traditional boxier fit gloves from my usual gloves was a bit unwelcome at first. I thought I would be off put by the fit, but I quickly changed my mind. The cuff felt much tighter than I expected and it suited me perfectly. That isn’t to say the cuff is uncomfortable or lacking in mobility, quite the opposite really. It allows for great range of motion, especially downward when stickhandling.

The palm area features a nice piece of nash overlay to add some extra durability. Even with this added piece, the palm still feels very soft and pliable. It doesn’t feel totally like micro-nash but it’s very close. In place of mesh gussets the gloves feature a series of hole shaped vents in the fingers. This is a feature not commonly seen on gloves with full nash palms and gussets.  Additionally the top of the thumb features an interesting bit of what I will describe as mesh. This is another feature not seen on most nash palmed gloves. These aren’t features that I noticed at first, but the affect they had was certainly noticeable when it came to keeping my hands dry.

What really has made me a fan of these gloves is the NXT lining. This lining is the signature piece for Winnwell’s gloves. The lining runs down the entire length of the fingers. This is a great feature both for comfort and as well as dryness. I am writing this review after about 4 hours of ice time. Never during that time did my hands feel sweaty.  After getting off the ice the NXT does a great deal in helping to speed up the drying process. The gloves went from out of my bag to my drying shelf, and were bone dry an hour later. It’s such an added benefit to having dry hands during a game, to having dry, odour free gloves after your game.

The only downside I found with these gloves was how easily my tape left a mark on the nash. This certainly isn’t a knock against Winnwell, or the the gloves themselves. That’s just the problem with nash palms in general. It’s something everybody has dealt with at some point in their hockey career.

If you’re looking for a solid glove, that inexplicably seems to have been overlooked by much of the hockey world, I would definitely recommend Winnwell’s Pro Stock product.

Stay tuned to ProStockNation.com to see how you could win a pair of Winnwell Pro Stock Rick Nash gloves!

-E

Upcoming Review: Winnwell Pro Stock Gloves

Posted in Equipment Reviews, Pro Stock with tags , , on September 8, 2011 by prostocknation


Stay tuned for our upcoming on ice performance review of Winnwell’s pro stock glove. Followed by a contest to win this pair!

– E

A Look At: The Puck Catcher

Posted in Equipment Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2011 by prostocknation

During pregame warmups the ice will be littered with pucks and dozens of shots will be taken.  While players love to stickhandle and shoot, nobody likes the cumbersome task of removing all of the pucks from the playing surface before starting the game.

Milk crates, puck bags, duffle bags, and pails have all been popular options when it comes to storing/transporting pucks but they all require you to bend down and pick them up individually by hand.  Not only do players loath doing this but it is also time consuming.  Those who don’t fancy this method can simply flip the pucks over the boards but how many pucks have you lost already as a result of that?

There is another option, The Puck Catcher (www.PuckCatcher.com).

This product is replacing my current set up of a 1 gallon Akzo Nobel (shameless plug) plastic paint colorant bucket.  It can hold roughly 20 pucks so I will use the same quantity in The Puck Catcher to give you an idea of how much it can actually store.

Assembly:

It’s quite simple actually.  If you have put together a hockey net before it will make things even easier as the construction is similar but on a smaller scale, especially when it comes to stringing the net.  An instructional video on how to put it together is available on their website: http://puckcatcher.com/assembly/

Construction:

The steel and netting on this product are similar to the ones you’d find on a real hockey net.  The fold out ramp and base are made with a high quality plastic.  An adjustable nylon strap is also provided for easy carrying.  The base measures approximately 37cm x 30cm and it is 33cm tall with the ramp closed.

Capacity:

The Puck Catcher advertises itself as being able to carry upwards of 40 pucks.  After throwing 20 pucks from the paint bucket into this, it is indeed roughly half full.  Rather than filling it up to the brim with pucks I intend on storing my water bottle in it as well.


First Impressions:

The Puck Catcher just arrived today so I haven’t had the chance to take it out to the rink yet.  I was a bit hesitant to shoot too hard at the ramp at first but after a couple of pucks went in it was obvious this was designed to take a beating so I had no problem shooting harder and harder.

I am very impressed with the overall build quality of this product fresh out of the box.  Though I am not surprised as this is Made in Canada and not outsourced to some unknown company off-shore.

There are already imitations of this idea out on the market but they are made with inferior materials and the companies do not pride themselves on where the product is manufactured.  When given the choice at the retail level we will have preference for domestically made products over off-shore goods whenever possible.

As with many of the products we have featured on ProStockNation.com, we will check in periodically with reviews and comments.  If you would like more information about The Puck Catcher please check them out at their website at www.PuckCatcher.com

– M

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

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

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

Upcoming Review: Goalie BladeTape

Posted in Equipment Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2011 by prostocknation

While our focus has been on pro stock hockey equipment, we also like to showcase goods manufactured in North America.  The product we are about to introduce you to (if you haven’t heard of them already) fits our criteria perfectly.

First and foremost we would like to thank N from hgreview.ca and BladeTape (BladeTape.ca) for giving us the opportunity to try this product out.

BladeTape is made by Blade Pro Sports Products based out of Richmond, BC, Canada.  This alternative to traditional stick tape is proudly manufactured in Canada.  How BladeTape distinguishes themselves from stick tape begins with the application process.  Two rubber-like waffle-patterned strips on an adhesive backing are stuck directly onto the blade; a time-saver.  This material is more durable than your conventional tape and it also offers a better grip on the puck.  With no tape on the bottom of the blade, friction is reduced as well.

Composite sticks are in a day in age where they can endure repeated contact with bare ice quite well so don’t be afraid of excessive wear on the bottom of your blades.  I will be using this product on a Sherwood SOP 9950 Goalie Stick (wood and multi-lam construction) so it will be interesting to see how this stick and BladeTape holds up.

Willie Mitchell, Chris Mason, Matt Cooke, and Brent Sopel are among some of the NHL players who are BladeTape users as listed on their website.

I will be reviewing this over several weeks so I will periodically check in on ProStockNation.com and HGReview.ca.

– M

Initial Thoughts: CCM V10 Helmet

Posted in Equipment Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2011 by prostocknation

I got a hold of a set of Manitoba Moose helmet stickers and that was enough justification for me to go out and purchase a new helmet and make use of it.  While the majority of the AHL is outfitted in Reebok and CCM helmets, I decided to get the same model as my favorite Moose player, #52 Sergei Shirokov.

The CCM V10 is similar fit to my existing helmet, the NBH 5500, and I love EPP and memory foam so it was perfect.

Since this is Pro Stock Nation, I wanted to make this retail helmet look as pro stock as possible.  Excuse the messy desk.

Front shot: Just your average CCM V10… White, Medium.


Side Shot:

Time to cover up the ugly CCM branding on the sides and rip off that cheap looking “10” sticker.

Back shot:

I always remove the size, CE and warning stickers, they make the helmet look way too busy.

Shirokov uses a Bauer HS22 Pro Straight but you won’t imagine how hard it is nowadays to track this model down.  They are now banned for sale in Canada (you can only get the HS23 which looks totally different) and I went to three different shops in California which had none in stock.  I ended up mounting an Oakley Pro Modified visor to this helmet since I stocked up a few years ago and had spares lying around.

I brought my helmet and visor to my LHS to get mounted since I did not have the necessary screws and spacers available.  Tip: If you guys ever get work done at your local shop, make sure you are not in a rush.  Unfortunately I was in a hurry that day so when the employee showed me my visor mounted to the helmet, I didn’t double-check anything.  After I left the shop I took a closer look when I got home and turns out they over-torqued the visor and cracked it.  I won’t drop any names at this moment but it was my first time getting work done at this particular shop just because it was close to my work and I am not impressed.

The CCM logos on the side are covered up with the Advance Electronics stickers.  If you look closely you can see the crack from the top screw mount to the top of the visor.

The back looks much cleaner now with all the unnecessary stickers removed.  The only two stickers I was not able to use were the AHL 75th Anniversary and the Can/Am stickers because on a Pro helmet they would be located where the HECC and CSA stickers are on the retail counterparts.  Removing these two stickers are a no-no.

Aesthetics aside, how does it perform so far?

Like I mentioned earlier, the fit is similar to the NBH 5500 so for those of you with more oval shaped heads, this helmet may be suitable for you.  The helmet is one of the lightest I have used, obviously not to the same extreme as the Easton S19 but at half the price it holds it’s own very well.

The ventilation on this helmet is excellent, you can actually hear the wind being channeled through the helmet as you skate.

The only con I have about it so far is the amount of sweat that runs down your face when you’re sitting idle on the bench.  While EPP foam helmets are more notorious for this compared to lets say, VN foams, this helmet is much more prone to it.  While it isn’t a major problem it still is a small inconvenience.

Before I go too in depth into a review on the helmet I’ll give it a few more ice times.  I just wanted to show off the Moose stickers for now.

Until next time!

If you like what we’re doing, please like us on Facebook @ http://www.Facebook.com/ProStockNation  We will be giving away a free Reebok Hockey hat on May 14 @ Midnight!

– M

Reebok 11K Helmet

Posted in Gear Sightings, Pro Stock with tags , , , on April 17, 2011 by prostocknation

As always seems to happen, at the end of the regular season and as the playoffs begin, guys start debuting more and more gear that is on the cusp of retail release. The latest piece of gear showing up is the Reebok 11K helmet. Usually we see Reebok’s poster boy; Sidney Crosby leading the charge when it comes to wearing their latest gear. However in his absence some of their other contracted players have taken over. Matt Duchene recently debuted the newest helmet in his final regular season game.

Duchene can be seen above celebrating a goal with Mark Olver (pictured in Reebok’s standard 9K helmet.) The main aesthetic difference is in the apex of helmet. The 11k featuring a more rounded dome.

Another player who is donning the new helmet is Chicago Blackhawks forward Ben Smith.

Smith scored 2 goals against Vancouver on Friday night. We don’t know if the goals are a result of his new helmet, but if they are, it’s certainly a rousing endorsement for Reebok.

All images are property of Getty Images and their respective owners. No copyright infringement is intended.

-E