Thursday, February 25, 2010

What Are The Best Hockey Skates?

What are the best hockey skates? How do you find them? I've written about this before. Yeah, you can sort through all the old posts if you want to. Or you can just read this current updated take on it. Whichever you wish to use as your source for hockey equipment reading entertainment is fine with me. As you may or may not know, I do play hockey. Yes, I consider myself a hockey player and a good one at that. What type of player am I? Well, I value my speed. I'm an offensive minded hockey guy. So it is only natural that I value my inline hockey skates. I should've mentioned that shouldn't I? I'm not an ice hockey player. So, I don't know too much about ice hockey equipment. I can however tell you about the roller hockey equipment that I've had experience with. Do I consider myself an expert on this subject. I don't know. Everyone who plays hockey has their own style. So what works for one person may not necessarily work for the other. Every player's focus on hockey equipment is different. Some want the best protection and pads possible. Some players are afraid of getting their shins hurt so they focus on their shin pads. Other players care more about their hands so they are very concerned about their hockey gloves. I can officially say that one of the most important pieces of hockey equipment in my arsenal are my hockey skates. So, you better believe that I am going to be looking for the best hockey skates imaginable. I'm not going to go into the whole manufacturer debate, because frankly, I don't know who is the best today. I'll have to look into a new pair of skates soon, but until then I'll talk about the search for finding the best skates instead and how you might accomplish your goals in that area of choosing your hockey gear.

Hockey Skate Fit

Yes, It is so important. Why? Your skate will go where your foot goes. You don't want your feet moving around in side the boot of your skate while you are playing hockey. You can seriously damage your foot. You'll have helluva time controlling and balancing yourself too. I myself like to make sure my skates are tight when I'm playing hockey. This helps me control myself and my speed with easy. It helps to be able to control your car right? Same thing with hockey skates. You don't want unresponsive steering. Hockey players need full control in such a fast paced sport.

Hockey Skate Bearings

Ah yes, the skate bearings. This is often an overlooked piece of the hockey equipment puzzle. Why is that? Well, when you first buy a pair of skates you can't see the bearings. They are inside the wheels. Most novice roller hockey players will not even bother to read the box to see what kind of bearings they are getting. They won't care weather they are abec 3, abec 5, abec 7, or abec 9. Hell, they won't even care if it's an abec brand of bearings or bones swiss bearings. I for one do. It's very important to me. Bearings help with the smoothness of skating and they also help with the speed. I have preached this many times before, but you don't want your bearings rattling. If they rattle, get new skate bearings quick. Trust me, you'll end up being a far better hockey player because of it.

So which is the better bearing? Swiss or Abec? I don't know. I've heard Swiss are faster. I've only used Abec bearings however. I've also used them with good results.

The conclusion here is testing. Read the above, purchase your skate and don't overlook the bearings or the fit. You'll decide which hockey equipment is best for you.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Subject Of Hockey Equipment

The title of this post is just going to be called hockey equipment and it will also be the subject. Why is that? It's the main point that I want and like to talk about. I know I've been putting off the old hockey gear posts that I swear I plan on doing. I keep on saying that they will have the pictures of all my hockey stuff that I have in my possession at the moment. All of it is old hockey equipment. I've given my opinions on the brands that I liked the most. Weather those brands are still good, I don't know. I can only say which ones look good to me just by the features they have. So, what could I possibly have to say about hockey now? Well, I'm not going to talk about the NHL, because frankly it is just not interesting to me at the moment. Why are hockey players who play professionally not interesting? Well, the pro players in the NHL who play the sport aren't nearly as good as the guys I've seen growing up. I'm talking about Wayne Gretzky(I hated his roller hockey skates), Mario Lemieux, Eric Lindros, Jaromir Jagr, Sergei Fedorov and the like. Do today's NHL hockey players stack up against those guys. Not in my eyes. Why is that? They just don't have that extra oomph it takes to make them interesting. You've got guys that score a few goals on the net and then they want big endorsement deals to sell their own line of hockey equipment and they don't push it any further.

It's no secret that I've had a bit of experience using hockey helmets. I've already written a post on hockey helmet reviews. If you read that, it talks about a lovely piece of a equipment called the Mission Carbon Helmet. That was the best hockey helmet I've used. It was streamlined and lightweight. It also offered me very good protection, perhaps the best protection a helmet in a sport like hockey could offer. My Cooper helmet was alright, it was also lightweight, but very tight on my head. I think Bauer still uses that old cooper design on some of it's helmets. I like Bauer, because they are a hockey equipment company that offers variety in their designs. With some hockey stuff, you only get a certain kind of gear and that's it.

Again to reiterate some previous posts, if you want a good pair of roller hockey pants I'd go with Black Biscuit. They make very good inline hockey pants that are tough and durable. I should point out that I currently own reebok hockey pants. Reebok's roller hockey gear is good, but I feel that their pants are just a tad too heavy. If you rely on speed like me, you want something as tough and lightweight as possible. There's only so many times I can say why I like certain equipment, but I'm trying to stress the importance of speed in the sport of hockey. It, for me, is the number one deciding condition on how good or bad a player can be. I should note that faster players risk more damage to their equipment when they eventually go down and trust me, if you are a hockey player, you will at some point hit the floor.

Now that I've made my point on the pants, I'll move on to the gloves. Hockey gloves should be comfortable and not weigh your hands down. I like my gloves to be lightweight. I've preferred Jofa gloves in the past. I'd also recommend that if you play indoor hockey, or roller hockey in hotter weather, you should look for gloves with air cooling holes in them. I had those and they helped out alot. My hands would not get as sweaty with them on.

Should I choose a hockey cage or a hockey visor? Trust me, in hockey vision is important. When my eyes started getting bad, my hockey playing drastically took a nose dive. If you can't see, you can't accept passes from teammates or shoot accurately from far away. I've always used a cage in conjunction with my hockey helmets, but a visor seems like a good piece of equipment to invest in. The next time I play hockey, I'm planning on experimenting with a mirrored hockey visor and cage. I may end up cutting the wires on the cage itself to make it fit. Who knows, but next time I'm playing the sport, I'll be doing some experimenting.

I've been thinking about buying a pair of reebok hockey's RBK skates. The ones with the RBK Pump to be more specific. I always like my skates to have a tight comfortable fit. That is part of how I get the most control and speed out of my best hockey skates. Bauer has made my favorite pair of skates that I've had to date, but there's no harm in trying out other hockey equipment companies. The next hockey jersey I get will definitely be a reebok one.