Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easton Hockey Equipment

I've gone through buying and using alot of hockey equipment in my day. Back when I was younger, I would go to CCM or Bauer for my skates. Easton also offered skates, but I never thought they were that good. Obviously times have changed alot since then. I've gone to some hockey store websites and noticed that they look like they are better built. Are Easton hockey skates better now? If someone out there can answer that for me, please do so. The Easton Stealth and Easton Synergy skates look pretty cool. The designs are really slick. I would like to try them out.

I'm not saying Easton is a bad company or anything. They aren't, they are a very reputable hockey equipment manufacturer. I just never bought their skates. I almost always exclusively bought their hockey sticks and their hockey gloves. When I was growing up, having a pair of Easton hockey gloves meant you were a real hockey player. They were also expensive back then.

So, what do more hockey players use Easton skates nowadays? I know I've had a relative buy a really expensive pair of Easton ice hockey skates. That's when I started to think about it more and more. Maybe they have upped their game in the hockey skate arena. If you have any opinions on your Easton hockey equipment, let me know.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hockey Monkey and The Zambonis

Hey what's up. Once again, I'd like to take time out to talk about something other than hockey equipment. I know that most of my readers are composed of people looking for opinions or articles on hockey gear, but I'm going to tell you about something else hockey related. That's the great thing about this blog, almost everyone who reads it, is in to the sport of hockey. So what's this hockey related thing I'm going to talk about? It's actually a band called "The Zambonis", you know, named after that giant machine that smoothes the ice out in between periods in NHL games? Of course you do. Anyways, they are quite a unique bunch.

Hockey Monkey

This is the title of one of their songs. In fact, it's my favorite track that they have. I'm willing to bet its most of their fans favorite as well. It's very catchy and family friendly. It's got the band wearing hockey helmets, animation, and a monkey that plays hockey on a frozen pond. What more could a hockey fan want? So go check out the hockey monkey first before you do any other song. If you are a fan of the sport you won't be disappointed.

I've embedded the video here below so you can check out the hockey monkey in all his glory!



The Zambonis

I first found them searching for hockey related stuff and I wasn't even looking for a band. I must say, it was a cool find. If you want more information on them, you can also check out The Zambonis Facebook Page. It has tons of pictures of them with NHL players/veterans, hockey celebrities(The Hanson Brothers from Slapshot), and information on upcoming events. Also, be sure to check out their song Smashmouth Hockey, the video is full of some cool NHL hits/fights.

In closing, the band rocks. They have a cult following that is probably growing larger by the minute. I imagine every new hockey season, the fresh fans come pouring in. I'm definitely one of them. So if your tired of the cookie cutter junk that's found mostly on the radio and you want to see a band that dons hockey equipment in their live gigs and videos check out The Zambonis.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

RBK 11k Skates Any Good?

I've mentioned that I plan on buying some new hockey equipment soon. I'm not entirely positive, but I may have mentioned that I plan on buying the skates first. So yeah, it's official. The hockey skates are what I will be having as my priority in this venture. I'm looking at the RBK 11k. I've always considered myself a very fast skater and I thrive on breakaways as my main scoring opportunity. I used to get a whole lot of breakaways in games.

Now before I get to Reebok's hockey skates and why I am asking this question, I'm going to talk a little bit about my playing abilities. Like I said breakaways were my main thing. I would get so many a game, I would lose count. I used to think this was good and that it meant I was one of the better players in the leagues that I played in. Now I'm starting to question it. Alot of it has to do with certain sports athletes I've been seeing in the news/press lately. These guys were stars at one point. They would score and outspeed everyone with their talent. Some even wore some Reebok gear themselves and we aren't just talking about Reebok's hockey gear here. The point is, they are older and their speed and youth is gone. They can no longer get as many scoring opportunities and their points have suffered greatly as a result. Does that mean they weren't really that good of players to begin with.

Some people have natural ability that helps them win. Others have game smarts and other game skills. Is someone who relies on speed and quickness to score a good player. There are people out there that rely on shot accuracy, stick handling etc.. If you get older and all of a sudden your scoring starts to drop drastically because you are no longer fast, were you ever really any good of a player? That is a question that I am dealing with as of late. I am hoping I still have my speed and I am hoping RBK 11k hockey skates will give me a boost if I've lost a little bit of it.

If not, I'll have to start practicing on other abilities such as passing, and shot accuracy. I used to just work on fancy stuff. You know, the finesse hockey abilities. I loved working on stick handling and my quick skating moves, but now they might not cut it. My slapshot has always been fairly week unless it was close range and from an odd angle. My wrist shots weren't always that great and my accuracy, while great at times, wasn't the best it could have been. Should I be focusing on trying to buy the best hockey skates? Should my focus be somewhere else other than getting RBK 11k hockey skates?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hockey Equipment I Plan To Buy Online

Hockey equipment that is online can usually be bought for less than actually going into a store and purchasing it. There are way too many other sports websites out there that give out coupons. Not only that, but there are also entire coupon sites that may have them as well. Trust me when I tell you that getting the right gear for the right price is definitely worth it. I'm all for what will improve a player's ability in the sport. Why should you go the online route? Well for all the reasons I've stated above of course. Besides, would you rather sit in the comfort of your own home and look at all the selections possible for your hockey needs, or travel all the way to your sporting goods shop to find out that they only have a fraction of the choices available. I don't know about you, but I would plan on going the online route for all of those reasons. Did I mention you don't have to move? Don't get me wrong, some people actually like traveling from store to store to have to find the equipment they are looking for, not me though. With that said, I'll get on with the rest of my latest hockey rant.

Ok, this post is going to be a long one. A real long one. How long can I talk about hockey equipment and the sport? Here's a hint. Very long. I can talk about it till the worst player in the history of the NHL recieves his first hat trick. Speaking of the NHL, well not the NHL, but the players in the NHL who played for the Olympics, how about Team Canada beating Team USA. I'm all for the USA hockey team, but congratulations to Canada for the gold. There's not a better way to do it either. They won in their hometown at the sport they invented. They needed the gold on that one. I'm going to have to look up what equipment and gear Team Canada's hockey team were sponsored by. Did it play a role in their success? I'm not sure, it may have just been that they had stellar players. Now, Before I start talking about want I want to buy online at a hockey store, I want to talk about the NHL itself and some recent commentary I heard on the radio.

I was listening to some sports radio the other day and the show's host was in a discussion with a hockey fan who called in. They both wanted to ditch the fighting aspect of the NHL. They hated seeing the big dumb guys drop their gloves and hockey gear and go at it. They felt it ruined the pace of the sport of hockey and that in the Olympics, the games were much more exciting, because of the lack of fighting. They wanted to kick fighting out of the sport. The only reason they think the NHL even allows it, because some of the fans wouldn't go to games unless they might see a fight. I kind of agree with them, but If they were to ban fighting all together I might miss it. I myself as a hockey player am more into the hockey equipment and the affect it has on my performance than going in there at taking another player out. My main focus is always the goal and my second focus is my actual hockey gear itself. I just that I would let you know how I felt on that topic, because it is an interesting one to touch on. Now that I've got that out of the way, on to my title post.

I plan on buying some hockey equipment real soon. I also plan on purchasing it from an online store. I'm leaning in one direction right now, I will not say which store it is at the moment. I'll wait until after I bought my gear to let you know if it was a good experience or not. Lord knows I've had some bad experiences with online hockey stores. This time, I know who not to buy from. I also plan on walking into a regular sports retail store and seeing if I can get it the gear cheaper there than online. Sometimes it happens. The problem with online store coupons is that they expire and you won't know if some work until after you have added everything into your shopping cart. That's not the only reason I'll be visiting my local sports shop. I also wish to try out my equipment first to see if it fits. There's nothing worse than having something shipped to you to learn you have to ship it all the way back if it doesn't fit right. I've had this happen with a pair of hockey pants. I won't make the same mistake again on that issue.

So what equipment do I need? Well it's more like what equipment do I want, but I'll go through a list of each and what I'll probably get. I'm happy with my Mission hockey shin pads, so I won't be getting new ones of those. I don't plan on buying any elbow pads either. I have a pair of Jofa ones. I have a Mission Carbon hockey helmet, but I plan to switch it up a bit. I am thinking about getting a Bauer 4500 helmet. I'll probably go for the color red. No reason other than I've pretty much used white hockey helmets my whole life and I am bored with the color. I also want to get a black cage to protect my face, but I also plan modifying. Yeah, sometimes I like my own custom hockey gear. I may cut out some of the wires and replace them with a shield of my liking. I know they sell shield and cage combos, but they aren't what I am looking for. So I figure I'll just make my own gear. I've always been a fan of Bauer helmets, ever since they bought Cooper. My oldest hockey helmet is an old white Cooper one. So yeah, the 4500 helmet that they are selling now brings back memories. The design is similar, but a little updated atleast in my opinion.

I do like my Mission hockey pants, but if I decide to get new ones, I probably won't go with them again. I've been looking at a few pairs and the only ones that have caught my eye are the ones made by Hyper. The Hyper Pro hockey pants look awsome. They are also reversible too. You can turn them inside out and they change from home to away colors. It's actually a pretty cool idea. I'd like to see some jerseys designed like that. On second thought I do see a pair of Mission hockey pants as I sit here and type this that I think look really cool. They are the Mission Boss hockey pants and they aren't too expensive either. They are rather cheap compared to the Hyper pants. They are also on clearance. This will be a tough decision and will probably come down to the price.

Now on to one of the lesser pieces of gear that I tend to care about. Don't get me wrong, hockey gloves are important. I need to have them. I just don't go crazy with purchasing the most expensive gloves on the market. As long as they fit and are comfortable, then they're good with me. I am curious about buying some leather hockey gloves. I am looking for a light weight pair with good protection. I'm currently looking at some pro stock gloves, but I'm not so sure about the price. Easton stealth doesn't look like such a bad choice either. I like the
RBK Pro Stock 9K gloves too. It seems I may put more thought into the gloves this time than I have in my previous hockey equipment choices.

I think the last thing on my hockey equipment list would be my skates. I'm going to try and find the best hockey skates I possibly can for the best price. To me, it's the most important piece of gear I'll be buying. I want them to be light. I want the skates to be fast and I want them to be tough. I like my skate boots to fit tight and because of that I'm going to go with either Bauer or Reebok Hockey skates. I like the way Bauer's skates in general fit. I'm currently looking at the Bauer Vapor RX 25 skates. They aren't too expensive and they come with abec 9 bearings. The Labeda wheels look good too, so I won't have to replace them right out of the box. On the Reebok side of skates, I'm looking at the RBK 9k crimson shadow pump skates. I like the idea of being able to make my skates tighter just by utilizing the pump. I'll have to try it on in a store first to see how I like the fit.

That's pretty much it. So now you have the run down on what I plan to get. I enjoy all aspects of hockey, but first and foremost, I am an offensive player. This is basically what I make all my decisions on when I decide to shop for hockey stuff. Defensive hockey players may differ in their opinion on what is important for them. I also know goalies would have a different set of choices for everything, because their equipment is different. I'm not sure if anyone agrees with my choices of product for hockey, or the reasons I choose them. I would be interested in hearing anyone's thoughts on it though. Just drop me a line if you ever want to let me know about any hockey equipment.

Hockey Equipment Drying Rack?

I started playing hockey a long time ago. Or atleast what seems like a long time ago. Recently I came across something that I think you would only find in a recreation center and that is a hockey equipment drying rack. Why would a player buy this? I mean your everyday average hockey player. More over where would they put it? In their garage? I love the sport of hockey. I enjoy playing it. Well, I should say that I really enjoy roller or inline hockey, but you get the idea. Do I really need a hockey equipment drying rack? I understand that yeah, hockey equipment get can smelly or really stinky. Would this even help out with that this much? I just don't know. I don't know if it's worth it to have it take up the space it does in a room or a house. It also makes it look like a hockey player is standing around whereever it is going to go.

I can understand if you are a goalie and you want to air out your goalie pads. Goalies probably get way hotter than offensive or defensive players. Their pads are also larger and heavier. Yeah all that's true. Goalies may need it more, but there still is the problem of having it take up all that room. It's easier to put your hockey gear in a bag and pack it away isn't it? I mean having a goalie standing their in your living room 24/7 would be kind of annoying. I think it'd be interesting to poll a group of hockey players and ask how many actually have their own drying rack. I'll bet its only the ones that take it very seriously. I'd be willing to bet that it would be mostly college and highschool students on varsity teams that will end up being the owners of their own drying racks.

If you are on a team and plan on going to the NHL or college hockey and that is your top priority, I might see the reason why you would want something like that. Some players of sports take things very seriously. That's cool, that is why those players are usually the cream of the crop. It's why they are the top goal scorers and point earners in their respective leagues. Then you have the hockey freaks, that just have to have everything there is out their for bragging rights. You know, the type that would tell you that they actually bought one, even though they aren't the greatest player out there. These players usually buy every piece of hockey equipment they can to try and prove they are a good hockey player. The problem is you can't buy your way into being good at a sport. You have to work at it and practice your hockey drills.

I'm not trying to make fun of or downplay the usefulness of something that many players might find essential for their hockey equipment. I'm just saying for me, that it is a little too much. I don't even know how much they cost, but I'd rather spend my money on the actual hockey gear itself than an apparatus that I hang it on. So, I've come to the conclusion while writing this that as a hockey player a hockey equipment drying rack really is not for me.