Thursday, November 18, 2010

Roller Hockey: Bauer Vapor RX 20 First Impressions

Roller hockey is my sport. So, naturally I'm going to talk about roller hockey skates. I've done so in the past regarding Bauer and their hockey skates. This time I'd like to talk about Bauer's Vapor series. I'm going with the RX 20 skate for a couple reasons, I think it is a good buy for the money as well as performance. Initially I was going to get the RX 25, but a couple of things told me that it wasn't meant to be. First off, certain sizes in that skate I found were hard to come by. Secondly, the price is high. Not many people are paid to play professional roller hockey and if they are, they probably aren't paid well enough to be able to buy the most expensive equipment. If you are sponsored like Itan Chavira and companies like Reebok are giving their stuff to you, that's one thing. So what do I like about the RX 20 skate? I'll go in to more detail below.

Skate Boot

The boot on this Bauer skate is pretty stiff. They are stiffer than my old CCMs which didn't surprise me, but how stiff they are did. The outer shell seemed pretty tough. I must remind you that my old skates cost around 300 back when I got them. Technology must have changed and made things and materials a whole lot cheaper now. The tounge is stiff as well. On my first time trying them on I thought it felt like it was digging in to the front of my ankle, but thats partly expected because they have not been broken in. It's also partly because I like to have the tounge strapped extremely tight around the ankle. I know some players like to keep them flopping in front to get more forward flex, but I find that slows my skating speed and control.

Wheels

The wheels it comes with are Labeda Extra Soft Gripper wheels. Are they good? They live up to their name. They really do stick to the surface, but I would've preferred a little bit of a harder wheel. You can tell that you won't be as fast as you can go and thats expected with a soft wheel. it all depends on the time of player you are. I'll probably get a slightly harder wheel in the future. If you like to grip the surface though, these will do the job. What more can you want from a wheel that is 74A?

Bearings

These are ok. Abec 7s. I think the RX25 has Abec 9s. The one up after that come with Swiss bearings. I plan on buying Swiss bearings when these need to be changed out. I think that this will enhance the performance of the skate.

Frame

I love the frame design. From the information I've found, its supposedly taken from Mission now that they are a part of the Bauer hockey company. Think its called Vangaurd. Not entirely sure.

Overall the skate is a good skate for the money and with a few adjustments to the wheels and bearings it could be a great top of the line skate. They still need to be broken in, so we'll see how they adjust with their overall stiffness. I hope you enjoyed this post look and hopefully are looking forward to more of them in the near future regarding hockey equipment.

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