Category Archives: Product Reviews

Jetspeed skate preview

CCM JetSpeed Skates
CCM JetSpeed Skates

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 JetSpeed fixes that.

CCM JetSpeed Skate
CCM JetSpeed Skate

 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.

CCM Ribcor Skates

CCM Ribcor Skates
CCM Ribcor Skates

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.

What They’re Wearing – Jack Eichel

What They’re Wearing - Jack Eichel
What They’re Wearing – Jack Eichel

The most eagerly anticipated arrival in Western New York this summer was that of Jack Eichel. He made his on-ice debut with the Sabres at their annual development camp and while his number hadn’t been decided when he took the ice, his decision on equipment was.

Eichel appears to be continuing to wear the same equipment he did at Boston University and through a photo on the Sabres Facebook page, we also know what he wears as protective equipment as well.

 CCM Ultra Tacks - Eichel sports CCM Ultra Tacks shoulder pads and elbow guards,
CCM Ultra Tacks – Eichel sports CCM Ultra Tacks shoulder pads and elbow guards,

Protective: CCM Ultra Tacks – Eichel sports CCM Ultra Tacks shoulder pads and elbow guards, which utilizes CCM’s new D3O technology which minimizes weight while maximizing protection. Floating spine and sternum protectors ensure additional protection in key areas on the shoulder pads. The elbow pads utilizes the same D3O technology and molded foam armor as the shoulder pads.

Helmet: Bauer IMS 9.0Possibly the most comfortable helmet in Bauer’s line. A strong combination of the best features of the ever popular 4500 and the newest technology in the IMS helmets. Poron XRD foam reinforcements and a VN Foam liner ensure maximum comfort in addition to impressive protection.

Skates: Bauer Supreme TotalOne MX3The flagship skate of the Supreme line is a lightweight, powerful skate built on an anatomic fit profile that utilizes CURV composites for an unparalleled fit.

Stick: Bauer Supreme TotalOne MX3Like the MX3 skates, the TotalOne stick is a perfect combination of power and strength. Eichel’s game is often described as a smooth combo of those exact traits, as his heavy shot is one of the hallmarks of his game and was on display early during development camp.

Gloves: Warrior Covert QR1One of the only non-Bauer items Eichel wears is the responsive, anatomically designed QR1 gloves. The QR1 introduces new features such as the Axis Flex thumb for increased dexterity in addition to the previous features from the original DT1 gloves which provided a tapered, responsive fit.

CCM Tacks protective

CCM Tacks protective — UltraTacks gloves, shoulders shins and elbows

Ultra Tacks Protective and Gloves
Ultra Tacks Protective and Gloves

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.

New products arriving daily

Bauer Vapor 1X Hockey Skate
Bauer Vapor 1X Hockey Skate

Spring is a time for flowers to bloom, the snow to melt and for new hockey equipment to hit the shelves.

While almost everyone in the northeast is ready for the thaw to come, hockey players have only one thing on their mind; what new products do we have to look forward to for next season? April is the time when many of these new products are released – or announced – for the next season.

This spring is not different as there will be many new, exciting products in stock and ready to ship out by mid-April. These products will be available in store and online by April 20, 2015.

Many players are eagerly anticipating the new Bauer Vapor equipment as the new Bauer 1X skates will  be available soon. The new Vapor 1X skates feature a brand new Form Fit Lite felt tongue that gives a pro look while providing peak protection thanks to a CURV composite insert. The ankle and upper on the boot are fully composite as well, giving the boot a massive weight reduction while maintaining rigidity.

The 1X skates feature a new footbed designed to increase the amount of contact made between your foot and the skate, thus maximizing explosiveness compared to other skate models. When combined with the higher angle of attack from the Lightspeed Edge holder, the skate really promotes explosive traits. The Vapor 1X skates promise to be a hot item this spring as the new features have pushed the Vapor skate line to the next level.

Bauer has also redesigned the Bauer Supreme protective line to include Bauer’s FlexOrb padding inserts in key protective areas. The line, which is designed to provide a snug, anatomical fit, features FleXorb inserts in key areas on the knee joint, elbow joint and sternum region.

The new Supreme equipment (and the 1X skates) also feature Bauer’s revolutionary 37.5 technology that represents a brand new type of moisture wicking material. The 37.5 material won’t just keep you cool and dry during a game, but it is specifically designed to dry itself, which means your gear will stay fresh longer and eliminate smelly rooms full of gear.

 As the CCM transition hits high gear, the current Ribcor stick and skate line will become CCM products and there will be a new CCM Ribcor stick hitting the shelves this fall. CCM will also be introducing the new CCM Jetspeed skates as the successor to the very popular RBZ skate line. The Jetspeed skates won’t be on the shelves until July of this year and CCM will have a brand new RBZ stick this fall as well. The Speedburner won’t be available until August, however. We got a sneak peak at the new Speedburner stick and we’ll have a write up on that soon, so stay tuned for that.

One additional entry for 2015-16 will be the new CCM Tacks Protective line. The new protective line from CCM highlights the new D3O technology being used all over new CCM products. The D3O technology is featured in specific impact areas of each piece of the new CCM Tacks protective line. The new Ultra Tacks gloves are unique in look and next-level in terms of protection, much like the entire line.

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.

 Easton has steadily ramped up their production away from their sticks and will continue that trend with a new line of protective gear for this season. Easton’s new gear will hit the shelves in May along with the new Easton Stealth which revives the old name with new technology.

The new Easton Stealth CX will feature the elliptical taper profile that debuted on the S17 stick line while introducing a stiffer, more durable blade construction. The commitment to the blade profile is evident as there are a number of new features built into the blade construction of the CX stick.

Easton will also utilize the Hyperlite Design feature to shave weight from the stick in order to increase performance. As a stick line that has long defined elite, lightweight stick design, the new Stealth CX will most certainly continue that tradition.

 The new kid on the block, STX broke in with a strong first showing last year as the Stallion and Surgeon sticks and gloves won over fans of the lacrosse giant. Now, STX is ready to step up their game. There will be a new STX stick line that releases in September. Additionally, STX is ready to introduce the Stallion and Surgeon protective line in a few weeks.

The new line will carry on the Stallion and Surgeon names that adorn STX’s entry into the stick and glove market. With the Stallion line geared more towards a heavier, durable game, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Stallion protective equipment follow the same design standards. In a similar manner, I’d expect the Surgeon – which shared many traits with the Bauer Vapor line – to carry on in that vein as well.

The fun starts in just a couple of weeks as the newest toys to hit the market will be hitting the Great Skate shelves. We guarantee the lowest prices on any US Manufacturer authorized web site which means you can shop with confidence at


OTL Report on helmets

CCM Resistance Hockey Helmet
CCM Resistance Hockey Helmet

A new study from the Virginia Tech Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics has shown that many hockey helmets are deemed unsafe with regard to concussion prevention. The study, highlighted by ESPN’s Outside the Lines this past weekend, indicated that many hockey helmets fall below the standard set by the Virginia Tech rating system.

Concussions and concussion prevention are already a very touchy subject these days as injury prevention is being taken at every level of the sport and manufacturers are researching new technologies in an attempt to make players safer on the ice. However, this new report shows that each manufacturer needs to keep pushing.

The STAR rating system works on a scale of one-to-five, with five being the highest. Of the 32 helmets Virginia Tech tested, only one met the standard for three star protection. The other 31 helmets were either rated at two, one or zero stars.

The Warrior Krown 360 helmet was the lone helmet to rate at three stars, showing that it offers the most protection from impacts that can result in a concussion. The CCM Resistance 300 and 100, Bauer 5100 and 2100, the Warrior Krown LTE and the CCM Fitlite (previously the Reebok 11K) each tested at two stars.

Not Recommended One Star Two Star Three Star
Bauer 4500 Bauer RE-AKT 100 Bauer 5100 Warrior Krown 360
Bauer 9900 Bauer RE-AKT Bauer 2100
Bauer IMS 7.0 Bauer IMS 11.0 CCM/Reebok Fitlite (11K)
Easton E400 Bauer IMS 9.0 CCM Resistance 300
Reebok/CCM 8K Easton E700 CCM Resistance 100
Reebok/CCM 5K Easton E600 Warrior Krown LTE
Reebok/CCM 3K Easton E300
CCM Resistance
Reebok/CCM 7K
Reebok/CCM 4K

Now, it’s important to remember that no helmet can prevent concussions altogether. Collisions or impacts that cause concussions seem to vary on a case-by-case and player-to-player basis. A fairly innocent bump along the board may not concuss me but it will concuss you. Conversely, a monster hit in open ice may not be as concussive as the impact caused when you fall to the ice after the hit.

The variables and differences in each of these cases make the marketing (from manufacturers) and the results of this test difficult to process. For example, the test itself was studying the results from direct impact to the head. This can be caused from everything from a tumble into the boards or net, an errant stick or puck to the head or even an opponent’s body part. What’s hard to identify is if (or how) Virginia Tech studies the results of hits that don’t impact the head. For example, a heavy open ice hit may not cause any direct impact to a player’s head, but the g-force caused by the check itself could still result in a concussive impact to the brain. This is why it is so important to consider both linear and rotational impacts (as the testing did).

Of course, the latter scenario is also a perfect example of how no helmet could truly prevent a concussion.

The other side of the coin here is how helmets are being marketed by manufacturers. The highest price point models consistently introduce new shell construction and interior upgrades. Yet, the study didn’t rate any elite model at higher than two stars – except for the Krown 360. Further, the test showed that different helmet models, which all share the same shell mold, performed at drastically different levels. The best example is the Bauer 5100 and 2100 garnering two stars while the 7500 was given one star and the 9900 was not recommended. Each of these helmets share a similar, if not identical shell design yet each performed at a different level in the testing environment. It’s an odd conundrum without taking the liner materials into consideration.

There are a few things that need to be taken away from these results. First, the HECC stickers that adorn all of the hockey helmets sold at Great Skate are not irrelevant. The HECC ratings are primarily focused on preventing injuries such as skull fractures. While a HECC sticker doesn’t ensure a helmet is concussion-proof, it doesn’t mean a helmet is unsafe either. Second, these ratings help to identify which helmets prevent against both linear and rotational impacts. This means that the tests identify more than just what happens if your head is struck by a stick or the boards. It works to identify the various types of events can potentially cause concussions. Lastly, no helmet can prevent concussions. The helmet industry as a whole is nowhere near finding the answer for this, so bear in mind that there isn’t a magical helmet on the horizon that will keep you safe in all scenarios.

What is important is for the industry to adjust to this study. Companies like Bauer, Warrior and CCM/Reebok need to step forward and do more than offer spin on the results. Each company should not only begin to take steps to make their helmets safe, but they should be displaying their STAR ratings in catalogs and on the boxes for each helmet.

If you’re looking to upgrade your helmet from what you’re currently wearing, Great Skate sells nearly every helmet utilized in the study, including the Warrior Krown 360, which received the highest rating of three stars.

See the Responses from:

Bauer Hockey     /     CCM Hockey     /     USA Hockey

CCM Jetspeed Skate

CCM JetSpeed Ice Skates
CCM JetSpeed Ice Skates

CCM is the legendary hockey brand fueled by endless pursuit of
performance. For over a century, CCM has been there for players from the first time they step on ice to the pinnacle of their careers. Today, CCM continues to draw inspiration from its rich history by offering the innovation and performance that will help write the next chapter in the history of the game.

JetSpeed Skate:

The only way to reach JetSpeed is with our new RocketFrame technology. The composite shell was meticulously designed to wrap closely around the foot and greatly improve heel lock. From there, the lightest components were carefully selected to complement the RocketFrame and provide maximum foot speed.  The RocketFrame Composite is a fully shaped composite shell provides advanced
contoured support including improved heel lock for maximum speed. JetSpeed Tongue is designed with the pro in mind, multi layer
construction for enhanced lace bite protection without sacrificing comfort. Heat Moldedale Speedcore 2 Plus Optimized contour shape with heat moldable technology that allows customized support for unique foot shape.

Check out the new Jetspeed Skates exclusively at CCM Jetspeed Skates coming in July!

Bauer Vapor 1x Skates

Bauer Vapor 1X Hockey Skates
Bauer Vapor 1X Hockey Skates

The hype behind the new Bauer Vapor 1X Hockey Skates will be over on April 24, 2015 when it becomes available to the consumers! Here is a sneak peak of what is to come along with the product detail of the New Vapor 1X Skate.

Bauer Vapor 1X Hockey SkateForm Fit Lite Felt Tongue with CURV Insert: Combination of 52oz
and 40oz felt tongue construction improves overall integration of skate and foot. Lightweight construction pushes the skate to new extremes of weight reduction. The Curv composite inserts provide a higher level of protection and increased support. 37.5 Liner: Revolutionary liner technology helps regulate the core body
temperature of the player keeping your foot dry and locked in place for complete control. Fabrics with 37.5™ Technology dry up to 5X faster than similar fabrics.

Alumunized Curv Composite Upper and Curv Ankle Support:
Alumunized Curv Composite Upper and Curv Ankle Support:

Alumunized Curv Composite Upper and Curv Ankle Support: Driven from the OD1N performance lab, a new
boot construction sets a new standard of on-ice performance and out-of-the-box customization. The combination of lighter weight Curv® composite and updated X-Rib pattern, improves heel and ankle lock allowing players to cross over quicker and turn tighter.

Bauer Speed Plate
Bauer Speed Plate

Bauer Speed Plate: Industry leading proprietary technology, the
BAUER SPEED PLATE™ features a recovery alloy technology providing the player with revolutionary customized fit  haracteristics for the entire foot; allowing the skate to become a part of the foot enables the player to achieve optimized balance and stability resulting in higher top end speed.

Bauer Tuuk LS4 Runner
Bauer Tuuk LS4 Runner

Bauer Tuuk LS4 Runner: Elite grade of stainless steel provides superior on-ice performance through maximizing energy transfer and superior surface finish for a cleaner, stronger sharpening edge. An additional 3mm in profile height allows for a greater angle of attack to turn tighter and get to the puck quicker.

If you are in the Buffalo are, we welcome you to stop in and check out the New Bauer vapor 1X Hockey Skate for yourself.

CCM Ultra Tacks Stick

CCM Ultra Tacks Stick
CCM Ultra Tacks Stick

CCM is the legendary hockey brand fueled by endless pursuit of performance. For over a century, CCM has been there for players from the first time they step on ice to the pinnacle of their careers. Today, CCM continues to draw inspiration from its rich history by offering the innovation and performance that will help write the next chapter in the history of the game.

Ultra Tacks Sticks
Ultra Tacks Sticks

The brand new Ultra Tacks is the lightest, best balanced, and most durable stick we have ever created. The new Ultra Attack Frame blade is incredibly light without sacrificing torsional or bending stiffness, so you have a lightweight product with amazing precision and accuracy. The innovative Bumper Technology reinforces the corners of the shaft for outstanding durability and consistency.

CCM Ultra Attack Frame
CCM Ultra Attack Frame

The ULTRA ATTACK FRAME is the lightest blade we have ever made but still provides very high levels of both torsional and bending stiffness. The result is an incredibly light and well balanced product with more accuracy, better precision, and amazing consistency.

Ultra Tacks Protective and Gloves

Ultra Tacks Protective and Gloves
Ultra Tacks Protective and Gloves

Designed for state-of-the-art protection, the CCM Ultra TACKS family redefines the standards by adding the innovative D3O® foam technology to its line. Engineered to react to fluctuating intensities, the round-breaking smart foam will keep its soft consistency to absorb low impacts while instant hardening at higher intensity impacts to protect against big hits.

CCM Ultra Tack Protective
CCM Ultra Tack Protective

CCM Ultra Tack Shoulder Pads offers Dual Core HD Foam shoulder caps with D3O smart foam and adaptable shoulder systems. While the Shin Pads offers PE Cap with D3O smart foam on the knee joint and new Neo wrap lock strapping system. With an already popular design by Jofa/Reebok CCM redefines the art of protective equipment in the elbow pads with the joint discharge PE cap with D3O smart foam and new Lycra strap & lock strap.

What is D3O? D3O is an extremely clever, globally unique technology that is based on the innovation of capturing the benefits of non-Newtonian shear thickening material in polymers that can then be engineered for real world impact protection solutions. These enhanced properties offer a number of different performance benefits depending on the base polymer used and the intended application.

How D3O works? D3O materials in their raw state flow freely when moved slowly, but on shock, lock together to absorb and disperse energy, before instantly returning to their flexible state. This reaction is counter intuitive. The greater the force of the impact, the more the molecules lock together and the greater the protection.

CCM Ultra Tack Shoulder Pad
CCM Ultra Tack Shoulder Pad