As we learn more about head injuries and contact sports, the process of choosing the proper hockey helmet becomes more and more important. While the technical engineering of hockey helmets continues to advance, the bottom line is it’s not a “one size fits all” concept. There is more to purchasing the proper helmet than the “nuts and bolts”. At Sports Etc. we like to highlight a few important pieces to focus on when fitting a hockey helmet. Most notably- proper fit, protection level and life span.
Proper Fit: A proper fitting helmet should fit snugly on the player’s head. Any sign of a helmet rattling around, or fitting too loosely can be a major issue. Hockey players can take a variety of impacts, and a helmet that does not sit tightly on the head can lead to a variety of dangerous scenarios. Mainly, the helmet being dislodged from the player completely.
One of the commonly overlooked aspects of fitting a helmet, is how the cage fits onto the helmet itself. Many helmets are sold in “combo” form, with a cage already attached, but it is important to know that sometimes cage size and helmet size are not always consistent with each other. That is why we recommend buying the cage and helmet separately, to ensure the absolute best fit. The cage should sit right on the player’s chin, and should be firmly locked into the “J-Clips” on the side of the helmet. This ensures that the cage will not be driven into the players chin upon impact- which is a common factor in concussions.
Protection Level: Hockey hits come in all types, sizes and intensities. Often times, it is not necessarily the biggest hit on the ice that causes injury, but the most “awkward” hits. Different types of protection levels are essential in preventing concussions. Most helmets on the market help to protect against linear or direct impacts to the head. The difference between the cheaper and more expensive helmets though, is the quality of the foam used within the helmet. The best type of foam to look for is layered EPP or Poron. Most helmets in the $120+ range contain these materials. Low-end helmets often contain one layer of standard VN foam, which loses protective capability over time as it hardens.
The one aspect that differentiates the BEST helmets, from the lower-end helmets, is a helmets protection level against rotational impacts. Most helmets can withstand a linear or direct impact, and can sufficiently protect the player, but the rotational impacts typically have a more devastating impact on a players head. There are helmets on the market that take this into account- most notably the Bauer Re-Akt helmet. These technologies help the head move independent of the helmet, so the awkward angle impacts, which cause the head to snap around with the helmet are mitigated.
Life Span: Another critical and overlooked area in preventing concussions, is paying attention to the “life span” of a helmet. Routinely, a player can wear the same size helmet for years and years. A lot of times, a youth hockey player can stay in that same size helmet until adulthood. Just like anything that gets worn down over time, a completely. The important piece to look at, is the foam within the helmet. The foam is designed to take repeated impacts, but over time as the impacts increase, and sweat is absorbed and dried out into the material- the foam hardens. As the player takes an impact, this hardened foam is driving into the head, which can cause major head trauma. At Sports Etc. we suggest changing out your helmet every 3 years. hockey helmet needs to be re-examined and at times replaced
Check out more information on 2 of the newest, next generation helmets available now!
There is no more important time of year for a hockey player then tournament time! Tournament time is the culmination of the season. It also tends to be the time of the year when your stick has seen better days after numerous slappers, blocks and slashes. Fear not, this is a great time to consider a new stick and we have a few recommendations to narrow down the choices.
Bauer Supreme 1S– This premium, pro level stick is the latest version of the Bauer Supreme line. Like all Supreme sticks it features a higher kick point and shorter taper which Bauer calls the MPK (Maximum Power Kick). This, along with the new Renew Core Technology in the blade (for a longer lasting blade) make this an ideal stick choice
Warrior QX Pro– A staff favorite for overall performance-to-value in a pro stick. This is the same stick used by junior hockey and college hockey teams. They are exceptionally lightweight and durable, and are offered in an extra tall. The QX line offers a “natural flex” coupled with the Dagger Taper and Minimus Carbon for a versatile, high performance experience. Compare this stick to sticks that cost $80-$100 more and you’ll have a new favorite too!
True T-Pro– True has been making composite hockey sticks for other hockey companies for years. As one of the leading manufacturers of graphite/composite golf clubs in the world, they pack decades of experience into their hockey sticks. The T-Pro is the exact same stick that True makes for college and junior teams so they pack a ton of performance into a very reasonably priced package.
Bauer Vapor X-Shift– This exclusive model offers a ton of performance for under $200. Featuring a carbon constructed shaft- no fiberglas as in similarly priced models- and an upgraded 12K carbon blade, this stick is a nasty piece of work for sure!
THE Annual Goalie Sale took place on June 20-21 2017! We wanted to thank everyone who came out to make this sale the fun, successful event it was. Folks from across the State and across the Northeast turned out to grab a great deal on goalie gear from Vaughn, CCM, Brian’s and more! Please enjoy these photos from the event and we look forward to seeing you at our next big event!
The new CCM Tacks 710 hockey helmet, featuring the new I.Q.SHION foam liner, may just be the most comfortable helmet available. But that’s only part of the story. Utilizing all of CCM’s top technologies like D30 Lite Smart Material and R.E.D. System, the Tacks 710 helmet offers top notch protection. Finally, with its pro preferred look, it passes the all important “mirror test”. Strongly recommended for anyone, any age, playing at any level!
CCM Tacks 710 Helmet is available for purchase on 5/26/17
The Bauer Vapor 1x goalie skate has arrived. The new skate from Bauer is lightweight, mobile and protective—the VAPOR 1X goal skate is perfect for goalies who are quick on their feet. Designed to bring a new level of agility to the game’s most dynamic goalies. Here are some of the highlights:
- The 3mm extended facing allows the goalie to stay in attack position while adding more wrap for better overall fit.
- The Dynamic Tongue Flex molded insert gives goalies an edge by acting like a spring to move them forward into their stance.
- The Curv™Composite Quarter and Composite Outsole on the VAPOR 1X goal skate reduces weight, increasing stiffness for better weight transfer and increased quickness.
- The Vertexx Edge holder is a goalie-specific holder that eliminates the cowling and adds extra height, giving it a superior attack angle. The added advantage of a removable steel that’s ready in an instant means quick goalies just got quicker.
Bauer Vapor Traditional Fit– The Vapor fit on the goalie skate is similar to that of the original Bauer Reactor skate. Relaxed/traditional fit- good for normal to slightly full feet.
Sports Etc Performance To Value Rating– 10 out of 10– One of the best skates available for elite level goalies looking for a performance skate. The most innovative goalie skate on the market.
Check out the complete line of Bauer Vapor Goalie Skates Available NOW!
The major highlights of the Bauer Re-Akt 200 helmet include:
- Suspend-Tech NG: liner system with textured XRD Foam. This allows the liner to move independently from the inner foam of the helmet to manage all types of hockey impacts.
- FIT PLATE: This is a customizable occipital lock with recovery alloy technology that allows for a truly custom fit with added comfort around the back of the head. Heat formable.
- VTX Technology: The exceptionally lightweight foam absorbs high and low energy impacts. The integrated XRD and VTX foams create some of the most innovative and comfortable helmet padding to date.
Sports Etc Performance To Value Rating- 9 out of 10. One of the most protective helmets on the market. Innovative technology, which combines protection against rotational and direct impacts with high density foams, and the suspend-tech liner. Extremely comfortable fit, with a very secure fit around the back of the head.
JetSpeed FT1 is the first ever one-piece boot frame skate in the JetSpeed family. Featuring L1TEFRAME 360 technology, the JetSpeed FT1 is a highly-refined skate design with leading edge engineering to help maximize a player’s speed on the ice. Its ultra-lightweight structure makes it the lightest pro caliber JetSpeed skate to date. The monocoque construction gives players two critical benefits: A complete 360° fit around and underneath the foot for a customized fit, and a seamless direct energy transfer platform that helps generate more speed with every stride.
JetSpeed FT1 is scheduled to arrive April 28, 2017.
The next generation of the CCM E-Flex goalie gear is here! While staying true to the core of the Lefevre legacy, the E-Flex 3 has added many features to keep them “up to the minute” for the modern goalie game
The major improvements on the leg pads are:
- Speed Skin- CCM’s proprietary synthetic material increases the slide and glide on the pads and allows for greater power pushes
- Optimized Weight Distribution (OWD) Core- A slimmer thigh rise and the center of mass located below the knee makes this the lightest, most balance E-Flex pad ever
- QK5 Strapping- Optimized to allow greater velocity closing the 5-hole while allowing maximum rotation in the leg channel
On the new catch glove the major upgrades include-
- D30 Smart Material In Palm- Allows the palm to be thinner while increasing protection and dampening vibration
- Improved Double T Pocket- This massive double t-pocket allows for greater visibility of the puck while it’s in the pocket
On the new blocker the major upgrades include-
- D30 Smart Material In The Index Finger- Greater protection and vibration dampening in this sensitive, high impact area
- More Versatile Adjustable Cuff- Allows for a greater range of motion
Come check out the CCM E-Flex III goalie gear now! Looking to create your own custom setup? Click here
Been thinking about an upgrade? Already thinking about a new set of pads for next year? Tired of having to wait 12 weeks plus for a custom set of pads? Well you’ve come to the right place. For a limited time we’re offering a great selection of sizes and colors in pro level pads at 20% off our regular price. Unfortunately we can’t mention which pads, or how much they are on sale for, but most of the pads are 2016/2017 models! Call us at 781-646-1600 for availability and prices!