Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cheap Hockey Equipment | Yields Cheap Results

The one that thing that stinks about playing hockey is that it is so expensive. Cheap hockey equipment is the answer to that problem. Or is it? You see while hockey is an expensive sport, hockey equipment needs to be top of the line. You can buy cheap hockey stuff and you'll end up with a ton of problems when you to play. I remember I bought the cheapest helmet I could find. It was a twenty dollar Mylec roller hockey helmet. The plastic was cheap and cage on the helmet was hard to see out of. Not to mention the thing didn't fit well at all. This was when I was younger and was just starting. While it was good to have a helmet, it did not improve my skills. That is the thing with hockey equipment, if you get top of the line, you will play top of the line.

I mentioned the Mylec helmet was cheap. It was. Not to take anything a way from Mylec, they are a good roller hockey company and they make great hockey balls and roller pucks. You just need to do your research. Bauer has great helmets as do Itech and CCM. They aren't cheap though, so prepare to spend money. Sometimes you'll find discount hockey equipment online, which will help you save a few bucks. Finding stuff online you can pay a cheap price and still get top of the line hockey gear.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ice Hockey Bags For Carrying Your Gear Are Essential

Ice hockey bags are they needed for hockey players? I think they are. Now, I've been in many hockey leagues. I've played roller hockey in outdoor leagues. I've also played inline hockey in indoor leagues. I almost always see people with some kind of bag to carry their gear. Do they all have a hockey bag? No. Some use gym bags and some use backpacks. Most don't. The problem with using a generic bag to put all your hockey stuff in, is that they will not hold everything as good as a bag that is designed to. Hell, you can have many uses for a sports bag not having to do with sports. The fact that they are so big means if I go on vacation I can just put a whole bunch of clothes and other stuff in there and off I go. I know i've jumped back and forth a little bit here, so I'm going to tell a story about when I was a young hockey player.

Hockey players need alot of expensive equipment and an ice hockey bag to carry it all. Back when I first started playing inline hockey, I would just put on all my gear and head down to the rink. I would actually skate down since it was pretty close. The more advanced you get when playing roller hockey or ice hockey, the more stuff you will need to be wearing. If you join a league, then you most likely will need something to carry your hockey gear. This is especially true when you sign up for an indoor hockey league. Indoor leagues most of the time will not want you skating into their building with all of your stuff on, especially if they have other sports and or fitness programs in their facility.

This is where your ice hockey bag comes in. I first started with a gym bag to put all my hockey equipment in it. Eventually it ripped, because it wasn't tough or big enough to house my gear. As a gift, I was given a TPS ice hockey bag. This thing was huge. It was basically a big blue bag with tough material and plenty of pockets for accessories like hockey tape, pucks or jerseys. I also used this bag for when I went on vacation or traveled. These bags are great if your a goalie, you can even use them as goalie bags if you wish. TPS ice hockey bags are so huge, you can use them to store things other than hockey stuff.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Best Hockey Skates

What are the best hockey skates for inline hockey players? Ok this is a trick question to all you aspiring hockey players out there. I'm not going to name an equipment brand like Bauer, CCM, Mission or Reebok. My main goal of this post is to state what I believe a good inline skate should be from my own experience playing roller hockey.

Hockey skates like an other type of skates need to be stiff so that the player can control them. The goal here is that where ever your feet move, the skates should move with it. That is not all you need though. You also want the skates to be flexible even though they are stiff. This is so that you can pivot and make turns and move in and out of player traffic. Remember Hockey is a fast sport that can get crowded quickly, the ability to dodge and weave around other players is essential to obtaining scoring chances. The laces on the skates need to be tied tight as well so that it helps adhere the boot to your foot. This is all apart of what I would call the upper part of the skate.

In the lower part of the skate you focus on speed. I've talked many times about how inline hockey skates need to be fast. I've also mentioned about the need for smooth skating as well. You need to have good bearings to insure smoothness when skating. This in combination with the correct set of wheels will also help maintain grip and control when playing hockey. Everyone of these things may not seem that important to have all together, but I wouldn't even play a game of inline hockey if I was missing one of these elements. These elements, in my opinion are precisely what you need in order to have the best hockey skates for you.

There are too many hockey equipment companies out there in order to say which one is the best. I mean, Reebok, Bauer and other skate companies all have a good line of selection. While Reebok is most likely gaining popularity with it's skates due to the partnership with the NHL, I cannot fully recommend them because I haven't tried them out yet. I will say that their features do seem very cool. They've taken their shoe pump and applied it to hockey skates. How will this affect you the hockey player? I don't know. It could end up being a feature that makes you skate better.

The only company I can say for certain that made my best pair of skates would have to be Bauer. These skates were everything I wanted and more. Keep in mind, these weren't even the most expensive kind. In fact, I think they were one of the cheapest pair of hockey skates in the store at the time. I mainly liked them because they fit me real good. I actually read that Bauer skates fit better on players with a more narrow foot. I don't know if it's true, but my CCM Tacks were more wide than my Bauer skates. This in turn caused me some problems while playing hockey when I first bought them. Do you want to know how I solved it. Just wear double socks. Although doing that can cause blisters. I usually ended up putting cotton where my heal was. There's more friction in the skate if you have two pairs of socks on.

So I can vouch for Bauer. I think Reebok is a reputable company. I believe they both offer quality skates. I've had experience playing hockey with Bauer skates. The fact that I mention them all the time shows what I think of them. I think they were my best hockey skates.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Reebok Hockey Skates

Ok in these past 10 years or so, A popular shoe company entered the hockey gear scene and they were called Reebok Hockey Equipment. For a while now, I've noticed Reebok hockey pads have become widely used with inline players. That is not the only equipment that they have on the up and up. Then, came their skates. Now they are the official NHL equipment carrier. That's right, Reebok and their hockey department are now officially endorsed by the national hockey league. Reebok's hockey skates have been growing in popularity ever since. My guess is that once Nike got into hockey equipment, Reebok dove in too. Well, atleast to me it seems that way. So what do Reebok's skates have to offer? Well the skates are named RBK skates. They also come in certain variations, the RBK 4k, RBK 6k, and the RBK 8k. This is the order from least expensive to the most expensive.

One of the cool things I found out about Reebok's roller hockey skates is that they brought back the pump technology introduced in the 90's with sneakers. This seems like it would be ideal for a hockey skate, because the boot needs to be tight and fastened to the player as much as possible without discomfort. You never want your foot to be moving around in a skate boot, you could fall or even break your ankle.

Aside from the overall cosmetic coolness to the skate, it seems like they would be pretty good for an offenseman. I know there are plenty of players in the NHL that use Reebok's hockey gear, and the company is a reputable footwear brand. They have have a nice set of bearings too. The RBK 6K PUMP sr. skate, which is middle of the line, comes with ABEC-7 bearings. I would always go for skate bearings that are ABEC-5 rating or above as I've found them to be the smoothest while skating. Whatever the case, they certainly do seem to have a good grasp of making skates.

RBK hockey gear is where it is at right now. The NHL wants them, now the players want their stuff. We are talking all players of the sport. Anyone who plays inline hockey, to street hockey, or to ice hockey. They are interested in this brand right now. I myself, am an avid roller hockey player. While there are many skates to choose from when playing roller hockey, I wouldn't mind trying out a pair of Reebok hockey skates if I had the chance, maybe i'll check out their pads too.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Roller hockey equipment

I could go on and on about how all the hockey equipment is different. I'm no expert, but I do have experience when it comes to things like hockey pads and the like. For those of you that read this blog, you know that my main focus is the equipment that is used in the sport. I actually played offense, but I could play defense as well. In the sport of hockey, you sometimes have physical offensive players and physical defensive players. I was neither.

If you are either of the above, than you might not be too much into the performace of your hockey equipment. You just want to go where the puck is and check the opposing teams players. The goal for a tough hockey player is to take out other players by brute force. There's nothing wrong with that and sometimes you may want extra padding in your pads so that you don't get injured.

I on the other hand, relied heavily upon my hockey gear. I wanted everything optimized for speed. Since I was in the sport of inline hockey, I had to make sure my skates were light. I needed the boot on the skates to be stiff and tight. The frame that held the wheels had to be aluminum for long lasting life. I also wanted to buy myself the best type of roller hockey wheels available. I usually added 2 soft wheels and two 2 hard wheels to each skate. This way, when I played, I would have an good amount of speed and good amount of control. I didn't want too much of either. High level abec bearings were what I used in the wheel. This was important for speed and a smooth skating experience.

When I firsted started playing roller hockey, I knew that I wanted to be a fast player. So i worked on my speed and movement. My style of playing differed from others. I would let other people get to the puck first along the boards, because I was confident enough that I would be able to pick it off them with ease and skate away with it. This was my trick to getting alot of breakaways. Scoring was one thing, but getting breakaways was easy for me. The game of hockey relies heavily on scoring chances, so i figured the more breakaways I got, the more I would eventually score. That was my trick. Hat tricks came easily this way. Practice makes perfect wit this type of playing, but the roller hockey equipment can add 20-30% or more to how good you end up being.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bauer Hockey,Reebok Hockey and CCM Hockey Equipment

Update: Keep in mind that at the time of my writing this I was not aware that Reebok had owned CCM. The title should actually read Bauer and Reebok only. Also, it is important to point out that Nike no longer owns Bauer. Some private investor bought the company. I do however think that the swish logo is still allowed to be displayed on the Bauer's hockey gear though. The business in hockey and sports companies in general is very interesting. So many deals and what not in order to entice the players and fans to buy their products. It certainly makes everything more interesting if not confusing. I hope you enjoy the rest of this old post. I've left it as is.

3 of the top hockey companies in the world are Bauer Hockey, Reebok Hockey and CCM Hockey. Back when I was playing inline hockey, all the equipment that players were getting were either from Bauer or CCM. These two companies were the head of the hockey equipment business. A short time after Nike came into play. At first they had their own brand that I didn't think was very good, but they wised up and bought Bauer. To me, they basically used the name Nike and Bauer to increase sales. I think at the time, the most popular brand of skates were CCM Tacks. The CCM Vector skates didn't exist at this point. Bauer skates were growing too.

A short time later, Reebok entered the scene and started to get more and more popular with hockey players. I attribute this to the endorsement deals they had with some popular NHL stars. I won't mention the Mission company as they have since been bought out by Bauer. The point here is to take a look at the popularity of these companies. According to google hockey trends with these companies, Bauer hockey is the most searched for. CCM is second, but they seem to be declining on the graph. Reebok hockey has grown, but they are still not quite as popular as CCM hockey. An interesting thing to note is that Reebok has gone through spikes of popularity at certain points in time. Reebok hockey has even overtaken Bauer hockey on certain occasions.

What can be gathered from this hockey search information? Well, for one, CCM seems to be declining in searches. Bauer is still on top. Reebok, while at the bottom, can sometimes gain among hockey players. One important piece of info regarding these hockey rankings is the amount of decline of interest in these hockey companies. What does this say about hockey overall? Maybe hockey is in a slump sportswise. Either way, you can still get your hockey equipment from Bauer, Reebok, or CCM.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Easton Hockey Skates

I have a relative who just bought a pair of Easton hockey skates. He told me that they cost him like $170 or something. At first, I thought wow, the prices of hockey skates sure have come down since I first started playing. I then realized quickly that he was talking about Ice hockey skates. You see, while ice hockey skates and inline skates are similar sometimes in boot design, I imagine that is where cost similarities would end.

Ice skates have a boot and a blade. Inline skates have a boot, a frame, wheels, bearings and screws. So as you can see, an inline skate would most likely cost more. I always assumed good inline hockey skates would be between $200-300. I could be wrong as prices seemed to have dropped these past few years though. Bearings can be expensive too. I think the standard bearings that come with skates are abec bearings. If you have a pair that come with swiss bearings the price will most likely go up a bit.

There's nothing wrong with any of this, it is just something i noticed. I've always considered Easton my go to hockey company for sticks and gloves. I imagine they would make good skates too though. If anyone has a chance to try out a pair of Easton hockey skates that are for inline or ice play, let me know how they are.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Nike Bauer Vapor Skates

Not too long ago, I purchased a pair of Nike Bauer Vapor skates from an online dealer. I'm not going to say which online hockey store it was, as they threw my order around various dates and I ended up canceling. So, I never got Bauer Vapors because of poor service from some hockey dealer. That doesn't mean I won't try buying them again though. If I do decide to buy a pair of skates, I'll most likely get a Bauer brand. The Vapor hockey skates were well priced and weren't too expensive and I always thought that Bauer skates fit me better than other brands.

What's interesting about the Bauer's Vapors, are that they come in different versions. You have Vapor XXV which is usually priced between $250-300. These were the pair that I was trying to buy, I thought they were good enough for the price. I believe their highest priced skate is the Vapor x60. They can run upwards of $600. To me that seems way too expensive for a hockey skate. There's no way i'd buy a pair of skates for that price. So, until Nike and Bauer comes out with a new line of inline skates, I'll probably be buying those awsome Nike Bauer Vapor skates.