Tag Archives: NHL

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
CCM V08
CCM V06
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 Greatskate.com. 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 Fitlite Helmet

CCM Fitlite Helmet
CCM Fitlite Helmet

The new CCM FITLITE helmet features engineered subshells to create a lightweight professional level of protection. Designed to better manage rotational acceleration by integrating CCM’s groundbreaking R.E.D. (Rotational Energy Dampening) System to its innovative comfort liner, the CCM Fitlite helmet is combining the advantage of a fully customizable lightweight fit with innovation in safety protection.

R.E.D System: The R.E.D. System is a series of liquid-filled bladders that allow for improved rotational deceleration of the head. Customizable Fit: Microdial II system and low density flexible EPP with Lycra laminated cushions for a comfortable 360o wrap around the head.

CCM Fitlite Helmet
CCM Fitlite Helmet
CCM Fitlite Helmet
CCM Fitlite Helmet
CCM Fitlite Helmet
CCM Fitlite Helmet

PETG SUBSHELL: High density PE shell with PETG subshell for a lightweight professional level of protection. Liner: Low density flexible EPP with
Lycra laminated comfort cushions Offers a lightweight professional level of protection and a state of the art comfort. Microdial II Allows a 360o wrap and adjustment Optimal fit and comfort with an occipital lock to best keep the helmet in place during play. Shell: Two tone high density PE shell with PETG subshell Lightweight protection with team customizable color .

Pre-Order May 26 from Greatskate.com

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

 

Many factors to consider with helmet safety

Many factors to consider with helmet safety
Many factors to consider with helmet safety

There’s something very important that has been overlooked recently in virtually every facet of sporting culture; helmets alone don’t prevent concussions.

That can be a bit unnerving to read and think about because if the helmet you’re wearing can’t prevent you or your child from getting a concussion, how can you be at ease? Don’t worry, the helmets on the market today are the most technologically advanced helmets ever made and offer protection from a wider variety of injuries than ever before. The point that needs to be considered is that the helmet alone won’t prevent from concussive impacts.

Plenty of research has been done in this field and a great deal of it paints the picture that all the bells and whistles in the world won’t limit the impact and results of high speed collisions. Helmet’s like the Bauer RE-AKT and CCM Resistance have added groundbreaking features that help keep the head protected from both direct and rotational impacts experienced during a hockey game. This was a big step forward in both design and safety as limiting the effect of an impact against a player’s head.

So what does this all mean? Does it mean that you’re no safer with a mop bucket on your head versus a state of the art helmet like the IMS 11.0? Of course not. But simply picking the most expensive helmet you can find and expecting your problems to be solved is far from the solution as well.

When it comes to buying a new helmet, comfort and fit are just as important as the protective qualities of the helmet. I have a handful of helmets in my locker and they all offer a different fit. There is one that I don’t ever wear because it doesn’t provide a snug, safe fit that will keep me protected. The helmet in question is a CCM V08. It’s a phenomenal helmet that is wildly popular at the NHL level that simply doesn’t fit my head. It looks great and I was incredibly excited when I got it. And then I found out it wasn’t going to fit and I’ve never worn it on the ice.

Meanwhile, my Bauer IMS 9.0 is the most comfortable helmet I’ve ever owned. It sits a little higher on my head than other helmets, but the combination of HD foam, Poron XD foam and other protective elements provides a great fit that I know provides adequate protection.

CCM Resistance Hockey Helmet
CCM Resistance Hockey Helmet

Obviously none of that means that if I was to hit my head on the ice the wrong way I wouldn’t be concussed, because the most likely result of that would indeed be a concussion. The key is that I made sure to try on a number of different sizes of helmets with a Great Skate sales representative before making a decision. I tried on different makes and models of helmets before settling on the one that had the best overall fit and, therefore, offered the most overall protection.

After making my purchase I’ve made sure that all the hardware is up to par and that the helmet is stored properly. This ensures it dries properly after games and the padding will stay intact. BY making sure the hardware is taken care of means that I won’t lose a screw halfway through a game. Proper maintenance and care for your helmet is just as important as finding the right helmet with the right fit. If padding is falling out of your helmet due to poor care, it’s time to reconsider how you store and take care of your equipment. Furthermore, if padding is falling out of your helmet, it’s probably time to get a new one.

Helmet Protection
Helmet Protection

It can be worrisome to hear that as different and protective a helmets can be, that they all can’t prevent against concussions. New helmets are able to lessen many impacts – and in turn help to reduce concussive impacts – but many times concussions aren’t avoidable. It’s important to do all the necessary research when you’re planning to buy a new helmet. Know your pricepoint, know the style you want and then make sure to find the model that fits you best.

Take some time to fully evaluate the helmet you wear. Maybe you’ll find that the fit isn’t idea or that some of the interior padding has deteriorated. If that’s the case, take the time to research a replacement before heading to Great Skate for a new lid.

New Vapor Sticks

Bauer Vapor 1X Grip Hockey Stick
Bauer Vapor 1X Grip Hockey Stick

I’ve always been slightly confused by Bauer as they release new editions of their wildly popular gear and their newest stick line is no exception. The new Bauer Vapor 1X stick represents the manufacturer’s newest release in what is likely their most popular line of equipment.

While details on the 1X are slim, it will come with a number of new features that includes an improvement on the AERO SENSE blade core that helped to define the APX and APX2 sticks. The Pure Shot blade profile remains for not only the 1X stick but also the X900, X800 right down to the X600 price point model.

Bauer is also introducing a new taper system for the X line of Vapor sticks. Called QRT Taper technology, the new feature has vague details online but it is expected to create a lower, more responsive kick point than ever before. Popular features like the monocomp construction and eLast technology remain vital parts of the design process as Bauer continues to strive for a steady balance of performance and durability in the stick line.

Of the new features in the 1X stick, the QRT Taper technology is one of the many (along with the AERO SENSE II blade core) that can be found in every model in the line, not just the highest model. While the overall weight and performance of the 1X – and the X900 to a lesser extent – will be unparalleled, a wider range of players will have the opportunity to benefit from the new breakthroughs Bauer has made in stick design.

This new ideal of including more features in lower model sticks, not only allows manufacturers to introduce their breakthroughs across a wider demographic, but more players are able to use them. Thus, the word of mouth on the impressive returns players are getting from different pieces of equipment even if they’ve never made a big purchase for something like the 1X.

Bauer Vapor 1x
Bauer Vapor 1x

Bauer also shifted gears with the graphics package on the 1X stick. A white and silver base dominate the look with touches of black trim worked in strategically. It gives off a sleek feel more so than the darker APX models which used far more charcoal grey and black and less white and silver in their designs. As someone who appreciates the look of a lighter graphics package, I have no complaints about the new look of the 1X stick. For those players who preferred the previous models, the X900 and lower models all sport the very familiar Vapor design features that have grown popular in recent years.

Bauer vapor 1X Hockey Stick
Bauer vapor 1X Hockey Stick

More details will come available soon as the Vapor 1X stick launch date draws closer. Stay tuned for more information on the 1X and the rest of the Vapor stick line and be sure to stop by Great Skate to demo the new stick before you buy it.

Gift Guide: Apparel

Gift Guide: Apparel
Gift Guide: Apparel

Hockey apparel wasn’t always as prevalent or as readily available for purchase as it is today as there was a time not too long ago that branded apparel was very hard to come by. Now every manufacturer has a bevvy of hats, t-shirts and sweatshirts adorned with their logo and products. The same goes for hockey lifestyle brands like Gongshow which cater exclusively to hockey players.

In the event that you haven’t found the right gift for the hockey player you’re shopping for, take a look at the hockey apparel at Great Skate. Great Skate’s hockey apparel includes products from CCM, Bauer, Easton, Gongshow, Reebok, Warrior and many others.

Whether sporting it at the rink or just when they’re hanging out, products like Bauer hoodies and CCM hats are always a go-to for hockey players of all ages. What’s even better is that these great gifts can be found without worrying about breaking the bank.

The Bauer New Era 3930 hat might be the hottest item of the year as it’s nearly impossible to walk into a rink without seeing one or two of the great looking hats. CCM’s national pride inspired hats are also popular with every age group and they have a very cool set of knit winter caps out for this holiday season. Another great hat for the cold winter months is the Great Skate Bauer winter hat. It’s warm, attractive and sports the very cool Great Skate logo on the front.

In the event that the player you’re shopping for isn’t a hat guy (or girl), there are plenty of other apparel options available with Great Skate. For example, Warrior’s hockey t-shirts are expressive and unique. They also happen to share many similarities with other popular athletic apparel shirts that are popular on the market today. Given that so many hockey players have to trudge through sub-30 degree temperatures and snowy sidewalks, a hoody is always a great option for a gift around the holiday. You can find Bauer hockey hoodies along with many other outerwear options from nearly every manufacturer at Great Skate

A pair of personal favorites happen to be the Bauer softshell jacket and the Easton Synergy midweight jacket in case you need a little more protection from the elements.

These products represent a small portion of the terrific hockey apparel at Great Skate that could check off the gift needs of any hockey player on your shopping list no matter how young or old they happen to be. Whether shopping online or at our store you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for.

Gift Guide: Gift Cards

Gift Guide: Gift Cards
Gift Guide: Gift Cards

Not all the items on a hockey player’s wish list can be picked up in one shopping trip. Maybe you know a goalie who is hoping for a new Bauer NME 8 mask or a defenseman who is hoping the STX Stallion stick will help bring a bit more power to their slap shot. While you may not be able to check off a box that big you can certainly help to check it off by picking up a Great Skate gift certificate.

Gift certificates at Great Skate Hockey are available in any denomination you can think of and serve as the perfect gift for the player whose wish list is a little too long. A Great Skate gift certificate also absolves you of having to pick the right colorway on the new Warrior Dynasty AXLT gloves. Rather than picking the wrong color or the wrong size of an item, why not buy a gift card and let the player pick themselves?

That’s the beauty of picking up a gift card at Great Skate. If you’re unsure of the size or style a certain someone wears, you can sang a gift certificate for the amount you were going to spend and let them pick out the present on their own.

This is an especially effective practice when it comes to tricky items like skates and helmets. In fact, if you’re planning on getting a stick as gift for someone you may be better off grabbing a gift certificate lest you know the proper hand, flex, lie and blade pattern you need to buy. It may seem a little odd to think that you would need to consider each and every one of those factors when buying a stick, but never underestimate the intricacies of a hockey player’s preferences.

If you think that a Great Skate gift certificate will allow the hockey player on your holiday shopping list to get the gift they really want this year, you can stop into our store to pick one up.