Finding the right pair of hockey skates can be confusing with so many makes, models and changes to the hockey industry over the years. To simplify things, it is easier to break down skate fit into 3 categories: Tapered/Narrow, Contoured/Mid, and Traditional/Wide. Let’s take a closer look at what we mean and how it relates to the two major skate manufacturers; CCM and Bauer:
1.) Tapered/Narrow Fitting Skates
The tapered style skates generally have a narrower and shallower profile than other models, which allows for a nice, snug fit around the foot for optimum performance. This is the most popular fit within the hockey community and generally caters to an individual with an average foot, but is definitely not right for everyone, especially those with fuller feet. The tapered fit are products of the Bauer Vapor line, and the CCM Jetspeed line- our two best selling models.
2.) Contoured/Mid-Cut Skates
The contoured/mid-cut skates are perfect for someone with average to slightly full cut feet. It runs wider than the tapered line of skates, but still has a firm heel lock to provide a secure fit. This style of fit tends to be our second most popular seller, and offers a perfect blend between a narrow and wide cut skate. Examples of this skate would be the Bauer Supreme series and the CCM Tacks line.
3.) Traditional/Wide Fitting Skates
The traditional or wide cut skates are the fullest cut of any skate models on the market today. The more flexible boot and deeper heel allows for a relaxed and comfortable fit for those with wider feet. If you tend to have a narrow foot, this may not be the best option because the extra space within the skate may cause discomfort or hurt your overall performance. This style of fit is similar to that of a EE width, and has really replaced the need to seek out a different skate in a EE wide. The Bauer Nexus series, and the CCM Ribcor line offer this fit.
If you are able to narrow your search down to these three fit styles, selecting the perfect skate becomes much more manageable. With that said, the BEST way to ensure a proper fit is to come see the experts at Sports Etc!
Fitting your young hockey player can be a difficult and overwhelming task- so let the crew at Sports Etc help you out!
Our Learn-To-Play Youth Hockey Starter Package offers every piece of hockey equipment needed to get your young hockey player on the ice. The head-to-toe package includes:
- Shoulder Pads
- Elbow Pads
- Shin Pads
- Hockey Bag
- + a Free Skate Sharpening!
We have been fitting hockey players for over 35 years and we take great pride in ensuring a proper fit. Unlike most generic hockey packages, we offer a mix-and-match package of Bauer, CCM and Easton equipment to make sure that each piece of equipment fits just right.
Regularly priced at $349.99; NOW 25% OFF $249.99. Save $100!
After the successful launch of the CCM JetSpeed skates in 2015 it was with great anticipation that we awaited the 2016 launch of the CCM Tacks skates featuring the return to prominence of the legendary Super Tack skate! Five years in the making, the CCM Super Tacks skate represents one of the most revolutionary technologies found in hockey skates in decades. Some of the notable features include:
- The high performance carbon composite used in the Super Tacks skate is uniquely moldable to the player’s foot, providing an excellent customizable fit and high level of skating performance.
- MonoFrame 360 technology is a one-piece boot frame that eliminates the need for an outsole. It allows the skate to be molded 360° around the foot, for ultimate reactiveness and Direct Force Propulsion (DFP).
- The SpeedBlade Black consists of a premium oxide-treated steel that hardens the blade and helps provide a longer edge life.
The entire Tacks line is the most anatomical fit of the CCM family of skates with a slightly fuller toe box with an anatomical heel lock for the perfect balance of comfort and control. If you haven’t tried on a Tacks skate recently you really owe it to yourself to try one on.
Need more incentive to try out the new CCM Super tacks? How about a chance to win a pair of Super Tacks skates? For a limited time if you come in and check out a pair of new Super Tacks skates you will be given a key with a chance to “unlock” a pair of Super Tacks skates! Hey, even if you don’t win the skates we’ll still give you a free CCM hat just for trying the skates on! Click on the banner below for more details
Ever wanted to look like one of the most popular goalies in the NHL? Now you can with the Sports Etc exclusive V7 XR Carbon Pro Leg Pads featuring “Howie” graphics. The unique, exclusive features include:
- a tapered toe that allows a greater attack angle
- y-strapped calf wrap with a more generous leg channel for greater rotation of the lower leg
- an improved knee cradle and lift with unique strapping system
The stark white face with a single colored outside cheater roll makes these pads stand out from the pack. The overall effect is a clean looking, clean sealing pad that allows maximum attack angle for dominance across the crease
In the modern era of composite hockey sticks there have been many innovations and changes. The one thing that has remained constant is the shape. For the most part the shape of sticks has been square or, more specifically, rectangular. STX is looking to change all that with the introduction of the Surgeon RX 2 composite stick line featuring Puregrip Technology.
Puregrip Technology gives you an entirely new way to take control of the game. Its innovative, ergonomic design on the underside of the shaft fills the void in your hand left by a traditional shaped hockey stick. The angular shape on the bottom of the stick maximizes hand contact points for advanced stick control and quick, responsive play.
It has the familiar square top, but the bottom is like nothing you’ve ever played with before. It’s like the ultimate hybrid of a hockey stick and a lacrosse stick (STX being one of the leaders in LAX gear being completely coincidental). It has a great feel in the bare hand, but you really need to hold it with hockey gloves to fully appreciate just how different and comfortable this shape is. This unique ergonomic shape creates more contact points in the hand creating greater control.
The STX Surgeon RX2 sticks will be available on June 10th. Stop in and check out the shape of things to come!
Brian’s has released the new Sub Zero 3 goalie line, and it is without a doubt one of the best goalie pad designs we have seen. The incredibly light feel, easy smart strap system and customization capabilities have all contributed to the rapid growth of the Brian’s brand. Their dedication to “Goalie’s Only” is evident in their high quality product. Below are some of the highlights:
Lightest Goalie Pad Ever
The new Brian’s Sub Zero 3 goalie pads are 10% lighter than the Sub Zero II, which was previously the lightest pad on the market. The thinner profile has allowed for a weight reduction, but the flat-faced design keeps the pad stiff.
Cutting Edge Design
The Brian’s Sub Zero 3 pads have ditched the leather straps for a smart strap system. The smart strapping system has made the goalie pad 100% adjustable, and allows the goalie to find the most comfortable feel for their game. The design also allows for a smoother pad rotation on the leg for butterfly goaltenders.
The customization of the Brian’s goalie equipment is simply incredible. There is literally no custom design that Brian’s will turn away. The attention to detail is second to none, and the team at Brian’s is enthusiastic about new and challenging designs.
Fastest Growing Goalie Brand
Brian’s is without a doubt the fastest growing goalie company, and you will see it firsthand at the NHL level. They have increased to an 18% market share amongst NHL/AHL goalies. Brian’s has a small company feel with outstanding customer service. Their dedication to serving goalie customers is unmatched, and has contributed to their incredible growth.
Don’t think you can afford the pro-level Sub Zero 3? Try the Brian’s Sub Zero 7.0 series. One of the best value pads currently on the market. We would put it up against many other companies’ pro-level pads. The stiff face creates an incredibly durable pad, at an affordable price.
Customize your next pair of SZ3’s —->Brian’s SZ3 Customizer
Below is a collection of some custom designs that we helped put together at Sports Etc, many of which that were featured as “pad of the week” on www.goaliesonly.com :
Spring has arrived and its time to hit the street running…or make that rolling! We offer a great selection of roller hockey skates and Rollerblade inline skates for the whole family. Get your new skates now and get rolling!
For most hockey players, skate sharpening is typically a matter of personal preference. Some players like to be able to dig into the ice for a firm “bite” or “grip”, while some players like a more shallow hollow for a better “glide” along the ice. There is generally no right or wrong skate sharpening radius, but below are some general guidelines to skate sharpening:
The most common skate sharpening radius we see for ice hockey players is a 1/2″ inch or 5/8″ inch cut. The 1/2″ radius would be our typical recommendation because it is the perfect blend of “glide” and “bite.” Some players opt for the 3/8″ cut, but you are definitely sacrificing some “glide,” which can in turn affect your overall speed on the ice. Likewise, players that choose the 3/4″ cut can really sacrifice their “bite,” which can negatively affect quick cuts that are so common in the game of hockey.
Our recommendation: 1/2″ or 5/8″ inch radius.
We see the biggest variety of skate sharpening cuts when dealing with ice hockey goalies. Generally, we find that the more experienced goalies opt for a very deep cut, like 3/8″ inch. This allows the goalie to really dig into the ice, and slide post to post to make reactionary saves. Sometimes this can be a difficult radius for inexperienced or younger goalies because there is too much bite, which leads to their goalie skate getting caught underneath them, often tripping them up when sliding post to post. For this reason, we recommended that a more inexperienced goalie choose a 1″ cut, so it as an effortless glide going from post to post.
Our recommendation: 3/8″ or 1/2″ for the experienced goalie, 1″ for the inexperienced goalie.
Figure skaters generally like a better “glide” along the top of the ice, so we typically see a 1″ cut to maximize a smooth glide. When a figure skater wants to dig into the ice, they do so with their toe pick, so a sharper edge is not necessarily paramount.
Our recommendation: 1″ inch radius.
Sometimes the time of year can play a factor in which radius hockey players choose. In the warmer summer months, the ice gets softer, so many players elect for a duller cut to avoid digging too much blade into the ice.
Likewise, in the winter months, when the ice is harder, players often opt for a sharper cut that is more capable of digging into the ice.
Our recommendation: 1/2″ inch radius in the winter. 5/8″ radius in the summer.
Below is a chart that outlines recommended skate sharpening cuts:
In hockey, there isn’t a much better feeling than completely getting into a slap shot and blowing it by a goalie. But like hitting a perfect drive in golf, ripping the perfect slap shot on the ice can be a matter of consistency- and many times slap shots can become very inconsistent. Here are some tips for improving the velocity and consistency of your slap shot:
Find the Right Hockey Stick
First and foremost, you want to find the perfect weapon that will help you achieve the hardest shot possible. Each player has a different body type and strength level, so you want to make sure your stick suits your game.
A bigger/stronger individual should be using a higher flex stick to get the most power from their shot (something in the 85-110 range; 67 for an intermediate). A player of smaller stature or strength should use a “lighter” or lower flex hockey stick (something in the 75-85 range; 60 for an intermediate).
Another added benefit, which can help add velocity to a player’s shot is choosing a “grip” hockey stick. The tacky grip allows you to keep your bottom hand firmly planted on the stick, while taking a shot. This is important because it ensures that there is no slippage of the hand. When the bottom hand slips during a shot, the player loses power that is needed to “load” the stick for a shot.
Longtime NHLer and shooting coach Scott Bjugstad has been advocating grip sticks for some time now. When we met him at an Easton hockey expo, he explained that a huge amount of velocity can be lost on shots when using a non-grip stick.
Have the Proper Technique
When taking a slap shot you want to make sure you attack the puck properly. The puck should be placed towards your back foot. The stick should hit the ice a few inches behind the puck, so you can really “lean” your body into the shot, which in turn allows the stick to flex and “load” for the shot.
Drive the blade of the stick through the puck striking it between the middle/heel of the blade. As you follow through, the puck will naturally roll towards the toe of the blade, which provides extra torque and spin of the puck increasing the velocity even more.
Practice Makes Perfect
It may seem obvious, but players like Alex Ovechkin didn’t just become one of the best pure shooters in the NHL by accident. It takes practice. Grab a stick, a sheet of practice ice, and a bucket of pucks- find a spot in your driveway or basement- and shoot. The more you shoot, the more consistent shot you are going to have. Sidney Crosby shot pucks every single day at his parents washing machine in their basement. Find a method of practice that works best for you and work hard to improve your game.
- As most hockey goalie parents know, goalie equipment can be incredibly expensive. If you are playing competitively, quality pro-level leg pads can range anywhere from $1,600-$1,900 dollars. The benefit of a pro-level goalie pad is that they can withstand the repeated abuse of pucks for someone who is playing 4-7 times a week.
- In the hockey industry, it is almost unheard of to find pro goalie leg pads for under $1,000 dollars, but at Sports Etc. we have a wide selection of pro-level pads, that may fit into your budget. Some of these pads may only be a year or two old, but are the same quality of current models. Below are a few examples:
- Bauer Reactor 6000 Pro Leg Pads– (Previously: $1,699.99, NOW $849.99) A softer faced pad with a traditional full knee roll design for any goalie looking for great versatility and flexibility, while still providing a firm blocking surface and strong seal on the ice. The softer face enhances rebound control, while the pro core inserts help customize a goalies desired pad stiffness.
- Brian’s GNetik Pro Leg Pads– (Previously: $1,699.99, NOW $999.99) The G-Netik has an E foam construction, which reduces weight and increases durability. Smart strap system and traditional strapping options allow for enhanced adjustability. A wide knee cradle creates an extremely comfortable landing platform for the knee. A straight thigh profile and squared roll is perfect for any butterfly goaltender looking for a nice seal on the ice.
- Reebok Premier XLT Pro Leg Pads- (Previously: $1,699.99, NOW $999.99) The Premier XLT features cross-link foam technology adding life to the rebound to direct pucks to the corner and allow goalies to recover. The elimination of bindings on the inside landing area provides a solid seal to the ice. No break on the outer flex allows goalie to maximize ice coverage.
- These are just a few examples of some of last years pro leg pads that are an incredible value. Don’t miss out because once these pads are sold, they’re gone! Visit us at www.sportsetc.net or call at 781-646-1600).