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.
Drop everything you have planned for this weekend, STX will be making a stop at Great Skate this coming weekend. You’ll be able to test out the newest Surgeon and Stallion sticks along with the matching gloves in Great Skate’s shooting range.
STX will have the new Surgeon RX2 and Stallion 600 on hand along with the rest of their stick line which includes the RX2.1, RX2.2, Surgeon 400 and 200 sticks. While you’re testing out the new STX sticks you’ll also have the ability to try out STX’s impressive glove line.
STX currently offers two glove models, the traditional fit Stallion and the taper fit Surgeon. Much like the Vapor and Nexus lines from Bauer, the Surgeon and Stallion lines use a similar familial design and feature package.
For players who prefer a tighter fitting glove not unlike a lacrosse glove, the Surgeon is ideal. Brand new, it fits very snug to your hand without restricting mobility. As the glove breaks in there is plenty of play but it remains a unified fit. The Surgeon, meanwhile, has the fit and feel of a traditional four roll glove despite a more modern design.
Of course, the stars of this weekend’s STX Demo Day will be the twigs. You’ll get a chance to get your hands on the brand new STX Surgeon RX2. The Surgeon RX2 is a revolutionary new stick that has completely changed the traditional design of a hockey stick. Using a new, rounded/concave shaft design, the new Surgeon stick looks more like a lacrosse shaft than a hockey stick. However, this is more than just a gimmick.
The new shaft design of the Surgeon RX2 is designed to create more points of contact with the palm of your hand, ensuring greater control and power when shooting or stickhandling.
While at the STX Demo Day be sure to enter the various raffles and contests on hand which will allow you to win a number of prizes including a brand new Surgeon stick. You’re not going to want to miss this opportunity as the STX Demo Day runs all weekend at Great Skate.
Save big on nearly all of Bauer’s 2015 collection at the Great Skate Yellow Tag sale. With massive savings on a number of items, the 2016 Yellow Tag Sale provides some of the best prices on the best gear from 2015.
The MX3 skates are incredibly light and provide pro-level performance thanks to the anatomically designed CURV composite boot and the Free-Flex tendon guard which gives a customizable option for players to choose from.
Additional savings are available on the entire Vapor collection from 2015. That means you start saving on the APX2 pro gloves and other protective gear from the Vapor line. Thanks to the Yellow Tag Sale, you can find the cheapest prices on Bauer Vapor equipment from the past year.
Other sale items on price point models like the X 100 gloves and X80 pants surpass the 25% threshold, with the X80 pants currently available for only $64.99.
Bauer’s newest family member, Easton is also roped into the Yellow Tag Sale. In fact, some of Easton’s most impressive releases from the last year are 44% off or more. The sale on the Stealth CX stick cuts nearly 50% of the price off while the Synergy HTX stick is currently on sale for 50% off the original price.
As Easton is transitioned into Bauer’s collection, many of their products will either change to the Bauer name or disappear altogether. So for players who are passionate about Easton’s equipment, now is the time to buy. You can get Easton pro sticks on sale for incredible prices to ensure your stockpile doesn’t dwindle for some time.
One final piece of the Yellow Tag Sale is CCM’s RBZ protective line. As the company transitions to a new name under the Jetspeed and Quicklite lines, the RBZ collection will move away. That also means that the entire RBZ protective line will be priced to sell.
The RBZ line is a good looking line that has drawn from the former Crazy Light collection to create a blend of protection and performance. The entire RBZ protective line is highlighted by the use of Crazy Light U foam, which is designed for pro level protection without adding bulk.
You can find more gear in the Yellow Tag Sale in store or online at Great Skate.com
The Maple Leafs and Senators got the trade season started early this year, pulling a nine-player swap that included Dion Phaneuf in the mix. With the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline approaching there are big names making the rounds in the rumor mill and we’re likely to see at least one shocker before the deadline passes on February 29.
Here’s a look at the top ten players who are at going to come up in rumors and may just be wearing a different uniform come March.
Jonathan Drouin – Like fellow Bolt Steven Stamkos, Drouin has been talked about quite a bit this season. His current suspension by the club likely damaged his trade value quite a bit and the Lightning are in a very difficult position given both Stamos and Drouin (a pair of lottery picks) are two of the most popular trade chips in the entire league. If Drouin isn’t gone by the 29th I’d be shocked.
Eric Staal –The Hurricanes are only a handful of points out of a Wild Card spot and parting ways with their captain wouldn’t be the best way to continue that playoff push. But Staal and Cam Ward are both expected to hit the free agent market this summer and the Hurricanes would be wise to cash in rather than losing the pair for nothing.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – RNH has only been whispered about here and there as the season has progressed. Most of the chatter surrounding the former first overall pick has been due to the emergence of Leon Draisaitl at center. Should Peter Chiarelli choose to trade RNH it would likely be to secure help on the blue line as the Oilers look to finish their rebuild.
Loui Eriksson – While the Bruins are in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, Ericsson’s contract demands may not meet what the Bruins are willing to invest moving forward. Should that be the case, taking advantage of Ericsson’s strong season would provide Boston great return for the future.
Dan Hamhuis – The Canucks were said to be on the fence between buying and selling ahead of the deadline. While they haven’t fallen out of the playoff race yet, injuries to Brendan Sutter and Alex Edler could seal their fate. Should the Canucks decide to build rather than rent, Hamhuis could be on his way out.
Jamie McGinn – The Sabres Swiss Army Knife winger has played on every line for the team this year while sitting on the team’s number one power play unit. While the Sabres would probably be better off re-signing McGinn as they attempt to transition out of the league basement, his strong season could mean an impressive return for Tim Murray to play with.
Justin Schultz – Once the hottest college free agent, Schultz hasn’t fully converted into the player most scouts and pundits expected him to be at the NHL level. His place on one of the league’s weakest defense corps likely has a lot to do with his average returns but he could easily be a deadline casualty as the Oilers look to improve on the back end. He was even scratched earlier in the month as it was rumored a trade was imminent. I don’t expect him to be in Edmonton beyond March 1.
Keith Yandle – The Rangers are in a tough spot as Ryan McDonagh is banged up and they can’t afford to lose another strong NHL defenseman. However, the Rangers paid a hefty price to acquire Yandle and as a pending free agent it is thought that the Blueshirts may be looking to recoup some of their investment. Given that the Rangers Cup window is probably closing, I’d be amazed to see Yandle traded, but expect to see his name attached to plenty of e4 reports and more.
Mikkel Boedker – Boedker is expected to ask for a big contract this summer which could alter Don Maloney’s approach in keeping his team in the Western Conference playoff hunt. The return he could get for one of the leading scorers on the Coyotes roster. It’s hard to see Maloney parting ways with Boedker given Arizona’s place in the standings. However, the return would likely rival that of Keith Yandle from last year’s deadline.
At this point the Phaneuf trade may wind up being the biggest blockbuster of the trade season but that could easily change if Stamkos winds up waiving his no trade clause. The deadline is always entertaining and I don’t doubt this year will be any different.