Category Archives: Featured

Strap a Rocket to the Puck – CCM RBZ Composite stick

CCM RBZ Senior Grip Composite Hockey Stick - 85 Flex
CCM RBZ Senior Grip Composite Hockey Stick – 85 Flex

CCM’s new partnership with golf giant TaylorMade is paying immediate dividends for scorers who are snatching up the new one-piece composite from CCM.

A host of new features and innovations to the stick has made the RBZ a hot item this season as the stick has quickly become a favorite of players everywhere. CCM’s new venture with TaylorMade includes the introduction of Power Swing, Custom Kick Point and Speedblade technology in their new stick.

Designed to compete with the top-end models from companies like Easton (Stealth RS) and Bauer (Vapor APX), the RBZ’s lightweight build keeps it in line with other ultra-light options that have been on the market this year. By comparison, the RBZ weighs in at about 447 grams to the 442 of the featherweight Stealth RS.

The weight and balance of the stick are quite impressive. The center of gravity combined with the lightweight construction contribute to the Power Swing technology with the RBZ.

In addition to the lightweight construction and sleek white matte finish – the sitck camouflages nicely with the boards and ice – the technological features are not just flashy names attached to the same old stick technology.

The Custom Kick Point is a truly innovative feature as the stick has been built with a true flex construction. Rather than having a single kick point at a specific section of the stick, the RBZ’s shaft is consistently stiff at any point. This means that the stick’s flex and kick point will adjust to where you place your hands as a player; guaranteeing a true flex whether you’re looking for a quick release wrist shot or bearing down on a slap shot. Unlike any stick that has come before it, the RBZ adapts to the style you play with thanks to the Custom Kick Point.

The Speedblade technology is perhaps the one piece of technology that most closely parallels what is found in the wildly successful Rocketballz line of drivers and fairway woods manufactured by TaylorMade. Rather than using a traditional foam core construction, TaylorMade pulled directly from their line of drivers to take advantage of C.O.R., or the trampoline effect.

Rather than filling the shaft with foam, which absorbs energy from the puck and thus reduces velocity, the RBZ eliminates foam altogether. The RBZ’s Speedblade is actually constructed with four hollow speed channels that create a hot face for the stick’s blade. This design feature maintains the same durability of a typical composite stick while adding noticeably more control and pop to each shot.

While the RBZ is a fairly new product, those that have had it on the ice have noticed an immediate benefit to their shots as the stick provides more pop thanks to the “hot face”. In addition, the Custom Kick Point allows any player to get the most out of the flex of their particular stick.

Great Skate has the RBZ in stock in a number of different blade patterns so get in now and strap your own rocket to the puck.

Goalie Pads: Too loose, too tight or just right?

Bauer Supreme One90 Sr. Goalie Pads
Bauer Supreme One90 Sr. Goalie Pads

Compared to the equipment that goaltenders had at their disposal 15 years ago, the position has changed drastically. Not only has the technical side of the game changed, but the effect equipment has on the position has changed as well.

With the evolution of the position, pads have evolved to complement the pro-fly style that is seen used by a majority of goaltenders at all levels. Not only has the design and technology of pads changed, the way goaltenders wear them has changed as well.

The way goaltenders wear their pads is one major difference from the way things were done just 15 short years ago.

Back when it was more important to have the goaltender and his pads move as one, the rule of thumb was to keep your pads farily tight from the bottom straps right up to the top. But as the butterfly style has become the predominant approach to goaltending, wearing a loose pad has become the norm.

The science behind this trend is fairly straightforward. The outer straps on a pad are designed to hold that pad against a goaltender’s leg and move as the goaltender dictates. The tighter the straps, the closer the pads mimic a goaltender’s movement. With the strapping system kept, the pads have more freedom to move around a goalie’s leg to provide the maximum amount of blocking surface.

While the traditional approach was to keep your pads tight to your legs so that a goaltender could move freely and react to the puck, the current methodology reflects the changes in both the technique and equipment used for the position. A fairly basic set up would be to have your bottom straps kept relatively tight and loosen as you go up the pad. Yet many goalies are keeping all of their straps quite loose with the hope of covering more ice and putting their equipment in a position to cover more net.

There are benefits to both styles, although modern pad technology can be negated if a pad is worn too tight. Pads like the new Vaughn Ventus and Warrior Ritual are designed with a flat blocking surface that is meant to lay flush against the ice. When a goalie drops into a butterfly with their straps loosened, the pad with rotate around his or her leg as the inner portion of the pad hits the ice. If the pad is too tight the face of the pad will end up laying on the ice rather than facing the shooter.

Many NHL goaltenders wear their pads very loose. A great example of this is Marc-Andre Fleury who wears his Reebok Premier Series 4 pads very loose. This not only ensures that the full face of the pad will be facing the shooter, but it also allows him to cheat the play in some ways. Of course this isn’t cheating in the traditional sense.

By wearing a very loose pad, Fleury’s pads almost hang on his legs as opposed to being strapped right against them. This strategy will allow the pad to hang closer to the ice surface when Fleury’s legs are pointed in a downward angle, thus limiting the distance they need to travel to cover the bottom of the net. This is a useful strategy and has become popular at all levels of hockey, but in order to be effective in utilizing a very loose pad, be sure your pads have interior support along the leg channel – typically Velcro to hold your knee and calf in place. If your pads don’t have these supports and you outer straps are kept loose there is a good chance your pads will flop around and it will be very difficult to move and make saves.

Not all goalies practice this, however. Those goaltenders who rely more on athleticism than simply blocking area use a slightly tighter set up to ensure the pad will not hinder their movement in the crease. Ryan Miller is a great example of a goalie who keeps his pads a bit tighter. Even Miller does keep his pads loose enough to rotate around his legs properly of course.

The key for any goaltender is to find a strapping set up that makes you feel comfortable, keeps you safe and utilizes all the technology your pads have to offer. All pads are designed to rotate around your legs and goalies of all ages should ensure there is some room for this to occur. Finding the most comfortable and effective way to strap your pads is important and you should practice with a few different variations to find what works best for you.

Not only will you be able to try out different ways to strap your pads in Great Skate’s goalie specific section, but you should also make sure the strap set-up you choose works on the ice.

Don’t just go into a game thinking that you want to wear your pads like Marc-Andre Fleury before you know if a very loose pad is right for you. Take a practice or two to try out a few different methods of strapping your pads so you know what will be comfortable and what makes you the best goalie you can be.

Gongshow Saucer King app

saucer kingPerhaps one of the best parts of playing hockey is the culture that surrounds the game. On and off the ice there is a certain bond that brings hockey players together. That bond is something that specific companies are taking advantage of.

One company in particular is Gongshow Gear Inc. Founded in 2002, Gongshow has quickly become a well-known hockey lifestyle apparel company. The key word is lifestyle. Between hats, t-shirts and sweatshirts, Gongshow has become a go-to for players to advertise their sport. Just a few months ago Gongshow took things a step further when they released their iPhone app called Saucer King.

The app is an interactive version of a beach and yard game that has been working its way into the summer routine of hockey players everywhere. Saucer King is similar to corn hole in terms of scheme, set up and rules but with a heavy hockey influence.

Here is what you need to play:

  • Can be played with one, two or four players
  • Equipment includes: two sticks, a few pucks, two mini stick nets and two boards to shoot from
  • Set the nets a certain distance apart with something set in the middle to “sauce” over
  • Teams stand on opposite ends and attempt to “sauce” the pucks into their opponents net
  • Add larger items to the middle to make scoring more difficult
  • Teams can play to any score that is determined to be appropriate

The game can be played just about anywhere and makes for a great, friendly competition to bring along to the beach, tailgates and other summer parties.

Since many hockey players live in a climate that makes beach life in January somewhat unattractive, the Saucer King app is available for free in the App Store through Apple and is nothing short of extremely challenging and incredibly addicting. The Saucer King app doesn’t only function as a single player game but can be taken to a multiplayer mode to play against players from around the world.

Be sure to check out Saucer King in your backyard, on your phone or both and be the first to introduce part of the hockey lifestyle to your friends. Also check out Great Skate for all the newest gear from Gongshow’s newest line of apparel.

Finding Your Hockey Stick Flex

Wandering through Great Skate’s stick section provides players with a plethora of options from manufacturers like Bauer, CCM, Reebok, Warrior and many others. Picking the right stick for you is determined by many factors that ultimately will help find the right stick for your game.

The right look, feel, weight, curve and flex of a stick are all determining factors for a player making this choice. Determining the right curve and weight is often something that has developed over a number of years and that has been determined by the style of game you play. In many ways the flex of any stick you buy will be determined in the same manner. However, how do you know which flex suits you best?

There are a number of different flexes available for players to choose from the range upwards to 110 (very stiff) to 40 (junior flex). It is important that the flex used by a player meets their specific strength and skill level.

In the case of young players who are still perfecting stickhandling and shooting, ensuring that the flex of your stick is adequate for your physical strength is just about all that needs to be considered. For those players who are stronger and more developed, finding an adequate flex will be more important.

First off, understand that different stick manufacturers utilize different practices and construction methods. Just like Ford, Toyota and Chevy all make different four-door cars, Bauer, CCM and Warrior make different composite sticks. So you may find that the 100 flex on the new CCM RBZ will feel differently from the 100 flex on a Bauer Total One or the new Warrior Covert.

Another thing to keep in mind is that lengthening or cutting down a stick will affect the flex. Each time you cut down a stick, you add stiffness to the original flex. You can expect to increase a stick’s flex by about 10 if you take off 2-3 inches. The opposite is true if you add length to a stick as it will add whip.

When it comes down to choosing the right flex there are a number of determining factors that come into play. For players who aren’t fully developed, an intermediate flex – between 50 and 75 – is a good starting point while 90 or 100 is a good place to start for those players who are fully grown.

Going up or down in flex will be determined by a few different factors that include playing style, strength and how skilled you are. Bear in mind that a player who isn’t as skilled and is still working on developing different facets of their game will struggle with a stick with a stiff flex (anything above 100) as it will not only limit your ability taking slap shots but wrist shots too.

If you’re a player who has a heavy slap shot, a stiffer flex would be best for you. In addition, physically strong players will not only have an easier time flexing stiffer sticks, they will gain more benefit from using one. The inverse is also true. If you’re slap shot is lacking and you aren’t as physically strong as others, going with a lighter flex will allow you to fully utilize your specific skill set.

Conferring with a Great Skate sales associate will also provide expert guidance to your specific needs when shopping in the store or online.

At the end of the day, finding a proper flex is going to be based largely off personal preference. But if you find a certain area of your game lacking, consider going up or down in flex to see if there is a noticeable difference.

CCM RBZ Grip Senior Hockey Stick 100 Flex
CCM RBZ Grip Senior Hockey Stick 100 Flex
Warrior Covert DT1 Senior Composite Hockey Stick - 85 Flex
Warrior Covert DT1 Senior Composite Hockey Stick – 85 Flex
Bauer Supreme Senior TotalOne NXG Hockey Stick - 77 Flex
Bauer Supreme Senior TotalOne NXG Hockey Stick – 77 Flex

Fighting the NHL Lockout Blues

With the NHL lockout continuing to drone along, many hockey fans have been without an entertainment staple for more than a number of months. While the NHL and NHLPA continue to dance around an agreement on the CBA, there are still a number of outlets where fans can get their hockey fix.

Although your weekly pickup or local league games might not do the trick, there is still plenty of hockey being shown across a number of different television networks. In addition, there is probably a good chance that some form of hockey is played at a high level somewhere near your hometown.

Between leagues like the AHL, ECHL and other minor professional leagues, a number of young NHL stars and up-and-coming prospects have been dispersed across the continent during the current work stoppage. While many NHL cities aren’t as lucky as Toronto – in which the AHL and NHL franchises are located down the street – there are plenty of opportunities to catch the action of your particular team’s farm club.

For those lucky enough to have a minor league team in their city, be sure to catch a game. The atmosphere at the games is always family friendly and the hockey is extremely entertaining.

The Canadian Hockey League – comprised of the QMJHL, OHL and WHL – is the most well known form of major junior hockey and has been regularly televised on the NHL Network. Not only are there plenty of teams to root for (68 in all) but there is a good chance that your favorite NHL team is represented in each league by a number of different prospects. Keeping track of the progress of these young players won’t only give you a window towards their NHL potential, but will certainly add new hockey knowledge to your repertoire.

Other junior leagues worth seeking out include but are not limited to the USHL and NAHL. Both leagues serve as the top two junior leagues in the United States and typically produce NCAA talent on a yearly basis. For those who are prospect nuts, the leagues are also great talent pools to monitor for upcoming NHL draft boards. The USHL had 13 players selected in last year’s draft and the league has quickly become a well-stocked pond for NHL talent.

The NCAA also offers a peek at upcoming NHL talent as the American collegiate body has become a tremendous breeding ground for talent. Although there are few Division I programs in the US, there is an impressive number of schools with varsity programs at the men’s and women’s level between DI and DIII. Since the majority of DI programs reside in the Northeast and Midwest, networks like NBC Sports, MSG, Big Ten and others regularly televise season games that bring the sport directly to you. The NBC Sports broadcasts have even pulled familiar faces from regular NHL broadcasts for this season and offer a high production value while often showcasing the nation’s best teams.

Most cable networks carry the channels that will not only bring NCAA hockey to your television, but various CHL games as well. Depending on how desperate you are to see hockey on your TV, there are readily available options on a weekly basis to view some of hockey’s best talent right from your own home.

Depending on where you live and how adventurous you are, exploring hockey in your own backyard will put your butt in the seat at an arena. Should you have a minor league professional team nearby (AHL, ECHL etc.) or a junior franchise, go check out a game. After all, live hockey is always best.

Should minor professional, junior or NCAA hockey not be an option there still should be some options nearby. Outside of scheduling a road trip with friends to catch a game out of town, there is certainly a good chance that an ACHA club resides in your area.

The ACHA is the governing body for club hockey in the United States and boasts over 400 member schools across five division (three men’s and two women’s) and are represented at some of the nation’s largest schools (Arizona State, Oklahoma, Illinois etc.). While the club level is still battling for respect on a national level, many of the power players are competing for talent right alongside NCAA programs. In fact, Penn State was the most recent school to make the jump from the ACHA to the NCAA. Finding out if your local state school has a club team would provide yet another source to quench your hockey craving.

Now that the holiday season has passed, take some time to fit hockey into your New Year’s resolution and maybe the NHL and PA will take the time to fit a CBA into theirs.

Easton Mako II Composite Hockey Stick – QUICK HANDS EQUALS SPEED

Easton Mako II Composite Hockey Stick – QUICK HANDS EQUALS SPEED

Easton Mako II Composite Hockey Stick
Easton Mako II Composite Hockey Stick

The Mako 2 replaces the original Mako starting off with the shaft that is lighter than the original Easton Mako, and it’s slightly concave with texture using uni-directional fibers which make it stronger and lighter. The Blade has been lightened as well, and the ribs are actually shifted a bit upward increasing the area where puck meets blade.

Having said this when we tried out the new Easton Mako II the puck come off the blade really hot, makes for a better and a softer feel of the puck. Not only did Easton get this stick right but it has great color features by going back to the original black blade and keeping with tradition with the white shaft. If you would like to test this stick out and find out for yourself the difference please stop by our retail location and test the new Easton Mako II out in out shooting room. If you need help finding the right stick for yourself and can’t make it in please call us at 1-800-828-7496 or email us at greatskate@greatskate.com

Help Your Kids Train with the Best Kids Hockey Equipment

Bauer Supreme ONE.6 Youth Ice Hockey Skates
Bauer Supreme ONE.6 Youth Ice Hockey Skates

Hockey requires quite a bit of equipment from sticks to skates to pads and gloves. It can be confusing and expensive, trying to decide just what equipment you need to get for the child that loves hockey. Luckily, at Great Skate Hockey Supply Company, we’ve got a full range of kids hockey equipment at great prices, along with lots of expert advice.

The first piece of hockey equipment you should buy is the skate. Now your kids can use the same skates their favorite pro players do, because we have them in perfect junior fits. We’ve got all the hot brand name skates, including the Bauer Vapor APXs. These lightweight form-fitting skates will improve your child’s game, and they are especially designed to give healthy support to growing feet.

What your kids wear is just as important as the hockey equipment they use. Hockey is a game of speed and quick moves, so players have to wear pants that are particularly light and flexible. The perfect pair of hockey bottoms will be made from a tight-fitting yet stretchy material–ideally a rayon/spandex/polyester blend. The bottoms keep legs safe and warm without adding weight or bulk. We carry professional-grade junior fit hockey pants from brand names like Bauer that you know and trust.

An appropriate helmet is absolutely essential as well. That’s why we stock helmets specifically designed for junior-sized players, along with other protective gear such as shields, knee pads and gloves.

Whatever hockey equipment your kids need, you’ll find it at Great Skate Hockey Supply Company, call toll free at 1.800.828.7496, or visit us at www.greatskate.com.

Holiday Gift Idea: Bauer 7500 Hockey Helmet

Bauer 7500 Hockey Helmet
Bauer 7500 Hockey Helmet

Do you know any hockey players that could use some game day protection? The Bauer 7500 Hockey Helmet is the perfect gift for that special hockey player in your life.

The Bauer 7500 Hockey Helmet has Gameday Protection with triple density protection, EPP 1/2 liner system, PORON inserts, Ergo translucent ear covers and CSA, HECC, CE certified.

At $99.99 it’s the gift idea you’ve been looking for.

See all of our Hockey Gift Ideas at GreatSkate.com today!

 

 

 

Messier Project M11 Pro Cascade Hockey Helmet

Cascade M11 Pro Hockey Helmet
Cascade M11 Pro Hockey Helmet

The revolutionary new M11 Pro helmet – envisioned by Mark Messier and engineered by the head protection experts at Cascade Sports – brings together high-performance fit & feel demanded by pros and cutting-edge technology for protection against head injury and concussion.

The mission of The Messier Project is to address the issue of concussion, which has become an epidemic in hockey, through product development and a public awareness campaign. The Messier Project campaign is an all-encompassing grassroots and educational initiative which aims to change priorities in the sport by encouraging athletes to play smart and choose the best protective equipment.When it comes to reducing the risk of concussion, protection is performance. Players spend big on the fastest skates and the lightest sticks. Priorities need to change so that head protection comes first, because when you consider what is at stake, safety must be the number one priority. Expanding upon Mark Messier’s personal mission to protect the players and the game he loves, The Messier Project will engage the hockey community through the promotion of concussion awareness, smart play, and protective equipment education.

The Messier Project’s mission is addressing the issues of concussions in hockey. The Project’s secret weapon; Seven Technology . Seven Technology is a cutting-edge new liner system which utilizes a ground-breaking impact attenuation system. Seven Technology is tuned to absorb impact using lateral displacement, providing the protection of two helmets in the space of one – one for catastrophic hits and one for concussions.

With continuous sales and a complete outlet department, there are always deals to be found at our website. It’s not just our low prices that set us apart from the competition, however. Our superior customer service, our full inventory of products and our incredible knowledge of hockey combine to make us the only choice for hockey equipment on the Internet.

If you have questions regarding our Cascade hockey equipment or can’t find the product you’re looking for, please call us toll-free at (800) 828-7496 or contact us. Many times we have products available that aren’t listed in our online inventory. When you contact us directly, we’ll make sure you get exactly what you need!

Warrior Hockey Sticks



Warrior Hockey StickFor well over a decade, Warrior has been manufacturing top-of-the-line hockey equipment from its headquarters in Warren, Michigan. A subsidiary of New Balance, Warrior is very well-known for their innovative sticks, though they also manufacture bags and gloves for the game of hockey. And here at Great Skate Hockey Supply Company, you’ll find a full selection of Warrior products that will put you at the top of your game!

If you play competitive sports, you need competitive equipment. Anything less than the best will put you at a disadvantage, hurting your progress and making it difficult for you to stand out from the crowd. In addition, the right equipment will make you look like a professional–something that’s essential to your status in the sport. Perhaps most importantly, professional-quality equipment is built to last through even the hardest-hitting games.

Choose between Senior, Junior, Intermediate and Youth Warrior Hockey Sticks



Warrior Covert DT4 Sr. Composite Hockey Stick - 85 Flex
Warrior Covert DT4 Sr. Composite Hockey Stick – 85 Flex

Warrior Covert DT1 Jr. Composite Hockey Stick
Warrior Covert DT1 Jr. Composite Hockey Stick

Warrior Covert DT4 Int. Composite Hockey Stick
Warrior Covert DT4 Int. Composite Hockey Stick

Having all of the best Warrior equipment can add up, but when you shop at our website, you’ll get the very best prices on brand name sticks, masks, skates and apparel for children and adults. In fact, we guarantee the lowest prices on our hockey items or we’ll match the price of any U.S. retailer!

If the process of choosing a hockey stick is leaving you overwhelmed, feel free to call our customer service department at (800) 828-7496. Our knowledgeable employees understand Warrior hockey sticks and will help you choose the model that’s best for your ability. You can also email us at greatskate@greatskate.com. Start shopping now!