Everyone knows what it means when Labor Day rolls around – it’s almost hockey season.
Slowly but surely the temperature is dropping and NHL training camps are opening up. Early fall tournaments have already wrapped up and most teams have already been on the ice practicing for the upcoming season and Great Skate wants to make sure you’re ready for the 2017-18 season.
From September 15 through the 17, Great Skate will be hosting the Back to Hockey Sale. During the sale you can find the guaranteed best prices on gear for the upcoming season. Save up to 20% on everything from helmets to skates and from sticks to socks during the Back to Hockey Sale. Bauer, MAP & items ending in .98 are excluded from this offer
Beyond the big savings offered by the Back to Hockey Sale, Great Skate is opening the doors to our warehouse for even bigger savings on clearance gear in the warehouse.
Don’t miss your opportunity to grab major savings and outfit the hockey players in your home for the coming season at the 2017 Great Skate Back to Hockey Sale on September 15, 16 and 17.
A second generation family-run business, from GreatSkate’s memorable annual summer tent sales graced with NHL players the likes of Larry Robinson, Denis Savard, Ray Bourque, Mike Bossy, Brian Leetch and Eric Lindros to its trailblazing catalog and mail-order subscription service exceeding 200,000 members, the Buffalo-based hockey retailer has become the player’s choice supplier of hockey equipment.
“GreatSkate is an olde time family hockey service,” President Tom Farkas said. “We’re hands-on. We know hockey, we think hockey and we know what’s going on with the latest, greatest and hottest sticks on the market. Players come in and shop for our service, selection and knowledge of the game.”
GreatSkate’s flagship, 25,000 square-foot suburban location in Amherst, N.Y. features a custom-fit skate center, repair shop, and fully stocked stick and blade racks complete with a simulated indoor rink to fire off a few test shots.
“Back in the 90’s with the summer tent sales and autograph sessions, players would come in and shop,” Farkas said. “Now, they send in their parents and family members because they feel comfortable knowing they will be taken care of.”
In 1984, GreatSkate set the tone with one of the very first hockey catalogs on the market. During the dawn of the pre-expansion era, GreatSkate carried just two major lines of equipment: Cooper equipment and Victoriaville sticks. As the game expanded so did the hockey supply company becoming an official retailer for Bauer, CCM, Reebok, Grit, Mission, Mogo, Mylec, Shockdoctor, Stx, Tapout, Warrior and more.
As the game grew so did GreatSkate with its highly publicized and attended annual summer tent sale featuring NHL superstars.
“Back then you didn’t realize,” Vice President of Retail Operations Keith Farkas said. “We picked up guys like Larry Robinson from the airport and brought them in. We knew who he was but he didn’t know who we were. We’d spot them in the airport and ask, ‘Are you here for the GreatSkate event?‘
The annual, outdoor summer tent sale featured a number of different NHL All-Stars making celebrity appearances each season. Guys like Bryan Trottier, Pat LaFontaine, Alexander Mogilny, Curtis Joseph and Patrick Kane became regulars.
“Alexandre Daigle showed up by limousine one year,” Keith added with a laugh. “Later, guys started showing up themselves. It was a great time.”
While the game has changed from wood, aluminum and graphite to the kevlar and complex composite evolution, the trademark, individual attention and family atmosphere at GreatSkate has not. The next generation of players and fans of the game are in good hands with Internet, Online and Advertising General Manager Mike Farkas and his brother Jeff Farkas, a former standout for the Boston College Eagles and Toronto Maple Leafs.
“When a customer chooses us, it becomes our foremost obligation to make sure his or her hockey experience is flawless,” GreatSkate’s Company Philosophy states. “We would expect nothing less if we were on the other side of the counter.
“Our tradition of excellence has been a proud one — that’s our history. The future is yours.”
Main Image: From left — Tom Farkas, Keith Farkas and Michael Farkas — make the GreatSkate in-store hockey experience second to none. 2017 marks its 44th season since it first opened its doors in 1973.
Blog post was from https://hockeyclan.com/ September 6th, 2017
The biggest hockey event of the summer is almost here. In just a few short weeks you’ll be able to save big at the Great Skate Summer Sale.
From July 27 to the 30, the Summer Sale will provide huge savings on equipment from every major manufacturer. Gear from Bauer, CCM, Warrior and more will be marked down to the lowest prices of the year.
You’ll also have the ability to test out some of the newest gear on the market as the shooting range will be open and each manufacturer will be offering some special opportunities to preview and test gear. That includes a unique shooting room demo that you won’t want to miss.
Every major manufacturer will have reps on hand, including the CCM Fast Team. Have a question about the Bauer skate line? Chat with the Bauer reps who will be on hand. Thinking about placing a custom goal pad order? Vaughn will be at Great Skate throughout the week to assist with custom fitting, ordering and more. Warrior will have reps at the Summer Sale to preview the new Alpha QX stick line as well.
Of course, manufacturer reps rarely come empty handed, shoppers will have a chance to go home with some unique swag during the sale as a number of companies will be giving away swag bags and other cool merch over all four days of the sale.
Combine that free merch with the hottest deals of the year and you’re in store for a terrific event. The four-day sale will feature deep discounts on everything from skates to sticks with some items marked down lower than they have been anywhere else – whether that be online or in a store.
With all of the demo opportunities, equipment reps, giveaways and savings on tap for the 2017 Summer Sale, you won’t want to miss your chance to stop by Great Skate a suit up for the 2017-18 season. We’ll see you there.
Hockey’s arms race has carried over to nearly every corner of a player’s bag but sticks and skates are at the forefront of the battle between giants CCM and Bauer. CCM’s efforts to match the trio of fit lines offered by Bauer led to the return of the Tacks skates and the redesigned and renamed RBZ line, which is now known as the Jetspeed.
The original Jetspeed took up the mantle from the RBZ with a drastically different shape and style than the RBZ. The Jetspeed features a narrow, tapered fit with much lower volume than the RBZ featured. CCM also swapped the RBZ’s rather traditional look for a far more spacey boot design. Unfortunately the look did not pass the mirror test, especially compared to the RBZ’s previous look.
Luckily, CCM has come around with a far better design for the new Jetspeed FT1 skate. It’s still not as appealing as a basic, black boot, but the overall look has improved on the new CCM skates.
The new Jetspeed skate takes up CCM’s revolutionary one-piece boot design, a feature introduced on the Tacks skate in 2016. The one-piece boot takes away the traditional build of fusing a boot to a footplate and attaches the runner directly to the wrap-around boot. This creates a complete anatomic fit and increases the contact points between the foot and the rest of the skate.
Thanks to that wrap-around fit, the true benefit comes when you bake the skates and fully form the 360 degree boot to your entire foot. CCM has also loaded the skate with a new Totaldri liner, a product designed to keep your feet dry and the skates smelling like new even longer.
Overall, the skate is designed to respond better to your skating stride, allowing for a more explosive first stride. The new 360 fit is obviously the most impressive feature of the skates and it’s worth the time to try out on Great Skate’s new synthetic surface as the feature feels like nothing else you’ve tried in a skate.
You never really know if a pair of skates are right for you until you get them out on the ice. Looks and fit in the store only go so far and now Great Skate offers you the chance to test skates on our all-new synthetic ice testing zone.
The new Skate Anytime surface covers the Great Skate shooting range to provide an unparalleled area for players to test new gear. Using a unique construction gives the Skate Anytime surface the closest feel to a true ice surface as possible. Compared to the .01 coefficient of friction of ice, the Skate Anytime surface only has a .55 coefficient of friction.
Unlike ice, the surface is made of interlocking plastic panels which combine seamlessly to prevent an irregular or unnatural skating surface. The product is also incredibly durable surface as it only deteriorated 1.9% after 100 stops on the same panel. This means that not only will you get a true feel of your new skates, but you can rest assured that the surface will give a true feel.
This is a first for Western New York and a first for Great Skate. While our shooting test range has been available for customers to use for a number of years, there wasn’t a perfect way to give a customer a true idea of how a new pair of skates might feel. Other than baking a pair of skates prior to lacing them up, there were no other options available.
The surface reacts to both straight ahead skating and edge work, ensuring any test will give the closest feel to what you’ll experience on the ice.
With Great Skate’s new testing center, you can lace up a new pair of skates, grab a stick and take a spin around the mini rink. This presents the opportunity to test skates and sticks in a more realistic setting. That means a far more realistic and game-related scenario.
This is the only synthetic skate testing surface in Western New York, meaning that Great Skate is the only place in Buffalo you can lace up a pair of skates and fully test them. So if you’re unsure if a Bauer Vapor or a CCM Jetspeed is right for you, Great Skate has you covered.
One of the hottest products on the goalie market today is PadWrap. The self-applied product allows goalies to change the color of their gear almost on the fly. It’s a perfect product for goalies who have switched teams but don’t want to buy a brand new set of gear. To learn a little more about the product, we chatted with Brian Anderson, owner of Philly Sports Customs and the creator of PadWrap.
Brian’s answers to Great Skate’s questions are in bold.
For those who aren’t familiar with Pad Wrap and what it is, give us a quick breakdown of the product.
Brian: Essentially Pad Wrap is synthetic leather (like the material used to make goalie equipment) with a strong yet forgiving adhesive on the back that allows you to change the color of your goalie equipment simply by peeling and sticking.
What was your inspiration for developing the product? Was there a “lightbulb” moment where you realized there would be a market for this?
Brian: I had spent years trying to change the color of my gear to match my team at the time. I tried vinyl dyes, duct tape, you name it. Finally stumbled across an adhesive that allowed me to add some color without it being a permanent solution (for resale value).
Have you made many upgrades or changes to the product since you started selling it? Or has that not been necessary?
Brian: Most definitely. We have altered the formula for our adhesive over the years to allow the product to be more pliable than ever. This was needed to allow it to make some hard bends around corners and such. We’ve also expanded on the original Pad Wrap product by adding the family with a self-sticking nylon (for the nylon portions of equipment) as well as allowing full customization for team logos, and our palm-protecting “Pro Palm” which sticks right into the palm of the glove. Most recently we templated hundreds of pads so that we can offer Pad Wrap pre-cut based on pad model, size, and zone.
Of the different sizes you sell and the various features of Pad Wrap, what’s the most popular version that you sell? Is it pretty much dominated by goalies looking to swap the colors or their pads or are you seeing a lot of other uses?
Brian: Yes, goalies are really our core customer. The original Pad Wrap synthetic leather is still our biggest selling product and the bulk of sales happen across 6 colors, but we offer 30 for those who want to push the boundaries a bit further.
In your opinion what areas of goalie (or player) gear are best suited for Pad Wrap? What are the worse areas, or areas you’d recommend avoiding?
Brian: Pad Wrap is really intended for accents to the graphic on the face of the pad. We don’t recommend putting it inside the legs where it takes high friction. We have to keep the product thin enough to be pliable and if we made it thick enough to withstand inner leg friction it wouldn’t be as easy to work with where it’s intended…the front face of the pad.
Do you find that it’s best used on trim areas like specific pieces of a pad’s graphic as opposed to the full face of a pad?
Brian: We don’t really recommend using it to cover the entire face of the pad although we have seen it done. The problem with that is it’s a lot of surface area to cover and durability can become an issue.
What is the best usage of Pad Wrap that you’ve come across? (Best looking/best application in this case)
Brian: We always find that “less is more”. The simplest accent pieces to align the equipment to a team’s colors can really make for a sharp look.
The process to cut and apply pad wrap is pretty straightforward but it’s also easy to lose focus when you’re tracing and cutting the pattern on your pads. What advice do you have for those out there wanting to put some new color onto their pads?
Brian: A few quick tips: First you really want to clean the pad well of any grime or oils before applying. Simple soap and water works well and then you want to be sure it’s fully dry. A lot of people tend to like blue painters tape as opposed to tracing paper. You can stick several strips together to make a small “sheet” and then apply to the pad. Lightly cut around the graphic and then peel and stick that painters tape “template” that you’ve made onto the pad wrap and trace it. The tracing paper can be tough to keep in place without it moving so this is a good solution. After applying the Pad Wrap we suggest you heat it lightly with a hair dryer or heat gun to reactivate the adhesive and get some good pressure on it. It will cure fully in 48 hours. We have several tutorial videos at wrapmypads.com on how to wrap each individual part of the pad.
You’ve had quite a few NHL teams use the product over the past couple years, what has it been like seeing the product on an international stage like the NHL?
Brian: It’s been very exciting. It really doesn’t get old. Seeing some of my heroes (after all I’m a hockey fan first) wear something I created has been a huge thrill and has been validation that the product has a place in the game.
Do you have plans to do products that would apply directly to NHL uses? Or is the current product already ideal for that?
Brian: We sell a lot of the standard leather Pad Wrap but have also seen a boost in our nylon products for non-goalies on player gloves, pants, etc. We also have some pro goalies using our “Pro Palm” now for practice situations where they are taking shot after shot to the palm and need a little boost in protection.
Simply buy online or stop into Great Skate to make your purchase to secure that extra $20 to finish up all of your hockey shopping for the holiday season.
In a world of continually changing designs and features when it comes to hockey sticks, gloves, skates and apparel, a gift card is often the best choice as a gift option. That way the recipient has the freedom to shop around for what they need without the added complication of taking care of a return or an exchange.
Scoring a $100 gift card is going to make any hockey player happy, it will cover the costs of most sticks on the market while taking a big chunk out of the cost for pro-level sticks like the Warrior Covert QRL or the Bauer Vapor 1X. The same goes for gloves as most price point gloves come in at or under the $100 level while pro models are a bit higher but are greatly discounted when applying a $100 gift card. Add another $20 to the mix and you’re in business!
If you so choose, you can utilize that $20 gift card on apparel or accessories. Perhaps a Bauer New Era hat would accompany the $100 gift card well. If you know the gift card will be used on a stick, buying a few rolls of tape is a nice way to help out your recipient as well.
While unwrapping a gift card isn’t the same as unwrapping a stick or new gloves, you can’t go wrong with the freedom of choice a gift card offers. In the end, it really is the perfect holiday gift for the hockey players in your life.
Be sure not to wait until the last minute; there are limited supplies on the bonus gift cards. So buy now to make sure you get that extra $20 while supplies last.
Starting on Friday November 25, 2016 from 8am – 9pm, receive 25% off your purchase at both Great Skate and Greatskate.com. If you are going to be shopping online you can take advantage of early shopping and In-Store pickup. When shopping online please use Promotional Code BLACKFRIDAY (Please note that your discount will be deducted at the time of shipping)
Great Skate will be opening a bit early on Friday morning starting at 8am, so if you or someone you know is out shopping at Best Buy, Target, and Kohl’s tell them to stop by and check out our great deals. Choose from all major manufacturers such as Bauer, CCM, STX, Reebok, Warrior, & Vaughn. If a Bauer Supreme 1S or Bauer vapor 1X stick is on your list this year you won’t find a better deal than at Great Skate!
Don’t forget to ask about our door buster deals such as Bauer Nexus 2015 model sticks will be marked down 40% off, CCM 72″ Hockey Goals $99.99, CCM 54″ Metal Goals $54.99. How can you beat these deals?
When it comes down to Fit, Feel, Performance look no further than Great Skate. Stop by Friday morning at 3395 Sheridan Drive / Amherst / NY / 14226. If you aren’t from WNY give us a call at 1-800-828-7496. As always some restrictions may apply (MAP) This will exclude minimum advertise price item. see the full offer here
Take advantage of this sale today. It won’t last long. GAME ON!
For the 35th summer, the best deals in hockey can be found at Great Skate. The annual Great Skate summer sale kicks off on July 27 and runs until July 31.
No items will be left out of this incredible sale as all items will be at least 20% off throughout the entire store and an added tent sale begins on the 28th. Anything under the tent will be marked down even more, with discounts up to 80% off through the duration of the event.
This includes composite sticks priced between $29.98 and $99.98, skates starting at $29.98 and all items under the tent between 30% and 80% off from the past model year. Additional deals on apparel and tent buster discounts that are simply too low for the internet will be available as well.
Low prices aren’t the only thing worth stopping by for. A host of incredible giveaways will take place throughout the event ranging from great swag to a Great Skate shopping spree.
If you’re stopping by to snag a new pair of skates, all CCM purchases will come with a free hat. Not to mention, if you happen to snag the right key in the Tacks giveaway, you’ll win a new pair of CCM Tacks pro skates!
Any purchase made over $100 will qualify to win a $500 Great Skate give card, so buy early and buy often to snag that piece of the pie.
However, the gem of the Great Skate summer sale giveaways is a pair of World Cup of Hockey tickets. Drop in your name to enter and you may be trekking to the Air Canada Centre to see the NHL’s best battle for the World Cup between September 17 and October 1.
Mark your calendars now, you certainly don’t want to miss the chance to save big on Bauer, CCM, Warrior, STX and more at the 35th annual Great Skate summer sale.