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.
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!
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
It wasn’t until just a few years ago that any significantly new design features were utilized in goalie skates. However, as the need for aggressive lateral play has grown prevalent, the ability to push and attack from the butterfly is now a hallmark of nearly every goalie’s game.
Properly executed, goaltenders can remain highly mobile even with their pads on the ice after making a save. For today’s butterfly goaltender, lateral mobility after making a save is a tool needed almost every play. It’s also a tool that can be limited by the traditional cowling on goal skates.
The point at which your blade leaves the ice on account of the cowling is affected by the attack angle of your skates. This attack angle has been a subject of evolution in recent years as Bauer in particular has led the way in this regard. By increasing the height of the cowling, more of the skate blade remains in contact with the ice longer. For example, the Supreme One.7 goalie skates feature a tall cowling which allows a goaltender to keep their pad level low as they push side-to-side.
Of course, no skate is built perfectly in that regard. Even the most recent Bauer skates still will catch on the ice despite of new cutouts on the cowling instep. So, the new OD1N 1S skates feature no cowling at all. This is a revolutionary new design feature which leaves the skates looking far more like a pair of forward skates than goal skates.
The new Bauer goal skates will certainly be unlike anything any goalie has ever seen just as the performance benefits will be unlike anything they have seen. The newest goal skates will give players the ability to leave their pads that much closer to the ice without their foot sliding out on a push. For goaltenders who wear their pads particularly loose, it wouldn’t be surprising if there is the illusion of pads not even leaving the ice despite the goaltender pushing with their power leg.
There will probably be a point where the improvement doesn’t offer any further benefit, but we haven’t reached that point. Not yet at least. The skates coming on the horizon will be truly revolutionary to the position and the goalie skates at Great Skate today offer a drastic improvement in play for butterfly goaltenders.
The next evolution of the CCM skate line has arrive. The CCM JetSpeed skates are on the Great Skate shelves today. The new skate places a focus on increased footspeed thanks to a brand new fit profile.
While the JetSpeed features a similar graphics package and look to the RBZ skates line but that’s just about where the similarities end. The RBZ featured a very comfortable, wide boot design which actually ran a good size bigger than most other skates on the market. While the RBZ offered a number of impressive features, the overall fit wasn’t conducive to increased footspeed.
The entire fit profile is different in the JetSpeed skate. The narrow boot features an improved heel lock and low volume design to ensure a contoured fit. CCM’s Rocketframe composite heel construction wraps fully around the heel and promotes a snug fit in the heel and up through the ankle.
Along with Rocketframe, the Speedcore 2 heat moldable boot creates a truly unique fit for each and every player once the skates come out of the over. The contoured boot is promoted through the Speedcore 2 construction. The narrow toe and forefoot area continues the contoured, anatomic fit profile of the skate.
All of this ensures that the JetSpeed skates are the most responsive skates on the market. With a more responsive skate, you can count on a quicker power transfer and more explosive starts and stops.
CCM also developed a new tongue for the JetSpeed skates. The JetProtect tongue is a multi-layered feature that features a thick, pro-style felt backing with a hard shell on the outermost layer to provide additional protection.
The Speedblade 4.0 holder and Hyperglide runner return as mainstays of the entire CCM skate line.
Nothing is more drastic in difference or performance than the new contoured fit, however. The stiff carbon boot construction is built to react to each and every stride taken on the ice, giving players next level speed and responsiveness.
The Pump will not be going away as CCM takes over the Reebok hockey brand. In fact, the new CCM Ribcor 50 skate features the newest version of the Pump technology.
The Ribcor 50 also features a new and improved tongue, a state-of-the-art quarter package and the new Speedblade Black runner.
CCM’s new black steel runner is designed to promote longer life with the steel no matter how many sharpenings you put the skates through. The new SB Black runner is not only featured on the Ribcor 50 skate but on the Ribcor 48 skate as well.
As with every elite model skate, the Ribcor features a fully heat modable core and a full carbon quarter package for a stiff, responsive, lightweight boot. A moldable boot like the Ribcor allows for a fully custom fit while also providing a stiff boot for an explosive first three steps. Of course, the added feature of the pump also provides for additional comfort customization for each player wearing the new Ribcor skates.
A brand new, felt tongue is featured on the skate for a classic look and feel while still featuring innovative lace bite technology without sacrificing comfort or looks.
Each price point Ribcor model shares many features of the elite model with minimal sacrifices in each model. The Ribcor 48 offers nearly every feature of the Ribcor 50, including the SB Black runner, SpeedBlade 4.0 holder and the fully heat moldable Flexcore.
The Ribcor 46, 44 and 42 skates are also heat moldable although each model features the traditional SpeedBlade runner (not black) and a more basic quarter package and tongue construction.
Each of the CCM Ribcor skate model can be found at Great Skate’s impressive inventory of skates, ensuring that you can find the right size and model of skate for your game. Stop by today to get fitted for the newest CCM Ribcor model.
Bauer’s Flexorb technology isn’t left out of the Supreme MX3 shoulder pads as strategic sternum reinforcement utilized the same Flexorb pad construction as the TotalOne gloves and protective line. Additional protection throughout the unit features Vent Armor padding for a lightweight, breathable protective layer.
Vent Armor is featured prominently on the shoulder pad unit as the padding is utilized throughout the chest, shoulder caps and ribs. The reinforced rib and kidney areas are particularly protective as the pads wrap around in prominent areas thanks to the anatomic design.
Bauer has also built their new 37.5 technology into the unit to ensure maximum comfort and a quick drying, odor control system. 37.5 technology enhances moisture evaporation to not only keep players cool, but to keep equipment from gaining weight due to wetness from sweat.
With the anatomic design of the MX3 equipment, the shoulder pads move as one with the player wearing them with little excess movement or sliding. This is enhanced by Bauer’s new strap lock system and integrated sleeve lock. This is a new feature that combines strategic, traditional strap placement with a sleeve insert that is attached directly to the padding. The sleeve lock on the shoulder pads is built into the bicep guard to ensure the arms of the pads move in unison at all times.
Maximizing range of motion while maintaining superior protection is the hallmark of the Supreme MX3 protective line. The MX3 shoulder pads achieve this in a number of ways, making them a tremendous choice for players of any level.
CCM Tacks protective — UltraTacks gloves, shoulders shins and elbows
Among the many innovative features being introduced to the hockey world by CCM this year, few are more impressive than their new D3O technology.
Almost a direct answer to Bauer’s Poron XRD foam that’s featured in the company’s helmets and protective equipment, the D3O technology is featured in specific impact areas of each piece of the new CCM Tacks protective line.
The D3O foam is designed to absorb high impact collisions while remaining soft and flexible. Upon impact, the foam contracts and then redirects the energy away from your body. Ultimately the foam is made to reduce the direct force felt by each hit.
CCM features the D3O foam in each shoulder cap of the Tacks shoulder pads, the kneecap of the shin guards and the elbow cap of the elbow pads, the hip section of the pants and the backhand and fingers of the gloves.
The Tacks protective line also features a new ventilated armor system that is easily noticeable on the chest portion of the shoulder pads, the bicep guards on the elbow pads and the interior portions of the pants. The molded foam armor is included in the 6052, 4052 and 2052 models while the 6052 shoulder pads also utilizes the new D3O lined shoulder caps.
In fact, the 6052 line is one of the best value buys in all of hockey as each model not only features the D3O foam but also nearly every other feature of the Ultra Tacks models.
The Ultra Tacks shin pads are built with an anatomical calf wrap reinforced with HD foam while both the 6052 and Ultra Tacks shin guards have a new neoprence lock strap which differs from any used in previous years. Ideally, the neoprene wrapped strap won’t lose elasticity nearly as fast as the moisture-repellent reinforcement will keep the elastic strap dry and fresh.
While the pants don’t differ much from the RBZ line with the +1” adjustment feature and the floating HD back protector. The new Ultra Tacks gloves, however, feature pro-level protection with the D3O reinforced back hand and fingers and the snug backhand fit opens to a mobile cuff for improved mobility.
The entire Tacks line brings a new set of options for CCM fans while pulling from some of the newest technology in the entire industry. Great Skate carries the entire CCM Tacks protective line both in store and online.