Archive for the Equipment Reviews Category

Long Term Review: Winnwell GX-8 Hockey Stick

Posted in Equipment Reviews with tags , , , on November 18, 2011 by prostocknation

It has been a little while since our last gear review but rest assured we have not forgotten about them.  4 months ago we were introduced to the Winnwell GX-8 one piece composite hockey stick.  The specifications of this stick were very impressive; it’s made of 100% graphite and it weighs less than 500 grams…all for under $100.  Here is our original post with our initial thoughts: (https://prostocknation.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/what-is-100-graphite-sub-500-grams-under-100/)

After using this stick over the past 4 months I have a pretty good sense in how it performs and holds up over time.

Weight:  The GX-8 is very light.  Other manufacturers offer sticks at the same price point but they are much heavier due to use of inferior materials like glass and fibreglass.

The balance of a stick has always been a higher priority for me as most people will not notice an extra couple of grams in weight, but they will be bothered if the stick is blade heavy.

Performance:  Pucks pop off the blade quickly and the puck feel is very good.  I would compare the performance to sticks I’ve used in the $175-$200 category.

Durability:  The stick has held up very well and the blade has remained stiff.  The only issue we have experienced is a small split in the carbon fibre on one of the corners towards the bottom 1/3 of the shaft.  We contacted Winnwell regarding this issue and they assured us it was only cosmetic and not structural as the split was very shallow.

Price:  At $99 it outperforms pretty much anything close to this price point.  It is advertised as one of the biggest bang for the buck sticks and it does live up to it’s name.  Not to mention it also comes with a 30 day warranty.

Personal Preferences:  I prefer to use sticks without grip coatings of any kind, whether it be textured or not.  The GX-8 is clear (it has no grip) and that is exactly how I like it.  The shaft profile is a bit boxy compared what I normally use but it doesn’t affect my game too much.

Final Thoughts:  Players on a budget would often ask me what stick they should buy.  In the past I would always recommend buying a top end wood stick over any low end composite because it would perform better.  Things have changed and the Winnwell GX-8 has been at the top of my recommendations list in recent months.

We will periodically check in on the status of this stick.

Winnwell Hockey:

Website: http://www.winnwellcleanhockey.ca/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Winnwell-Hockey/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/winnwellhockey

– M

October Pick Ups – Manitoba Moose Pro Gear

Posted in Pro Returns, Pro Stock with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2011 by prostocknation

These are my latest Manitoba Moose purchases:

  • Pro Bag
  • 2 Pairs Reebok Edge Socks (XL)
  • 14′ Reebok (CCM 852 Style) Gloves

What do you all think?  Most of the pro bags I’ve seen are made of vinyl and they rip easily.  This Moose bag has one of the highest quality nylon I’ve ever seen.

Looking for Manitoba Moose gear as well?  We’ll tell you where this weekend!

– M

ProStockNation.com New Video – The Puck Catcher

Posted in Equipment Reviews with tags , , , on September 28, 2011 by prostocknation

Check out our newest video featuring The Puck Catcher!  The Puck Catcher is a product that is made in Canada and designed to make clearing pucks off the ice much faster, easier, and of course, more fun.  We’ve been using it for over a month now and it can definitely take a beating.  Click here to read our previous post on the Puck Catcher.  We will being posting our review of the product shortly!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3xxP1RF3IQ

– M

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