There is no more important time of year for a hockey player than 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 Nexus 2N Pro– This premium, pro level stick is the latest version of the Bauer Nexus line. Nexus stands out as the first of the “Hybrid Flex” sticks featuring a mid-kick point and Sweet Spot Technology for a natural flex. This is Bauer’s most versatile, elite stick.
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 Saber Taper and Minimus Carbon 800 for a versatile, high performance experience. Compare this stick to sticks that cost $80-$100 more and you’ll have a new favorite too!
Warrior QRE Pro– Another 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 QR line offers a low kick point, the most popular kick point in hockey, coupled with the unique Edge Taper and Minimus Carbon 1000 for a high performance, quick release stick. Compare this stick to sticks that cost $80-$100 more and you’ll have a new favorite too!
CCM SuperTacks AS1– The new SuperTacks AS1 pushes the boundaries of performance and will become the new standard for Mid-Kick point sticks. The stiffness profile has been revisited to maximize loading while providing great stability and control. Not only can players benefit from a great, powerful stick, the feel has been substantially improved. The new X-Flow technology allows for a 10g weight reduction while improving compaction for better durability.
CCM Tacks 9080– Another stick that rates highly in the performance-to-value ratio. Featuring the same mid-kick, maximum loading taper and intermediate geometry as the AS1 in a more affordable stick. At nearly 1/2 the price of an elite stick, this is one of the best deals around.
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!
1.) Bauer Vapor Line
- The Bauer Vapor series has been a staple in the hockey skate industry for over a decade now. The Vapor line continues to be a best-seller because of its reliable, excellent fit. The narrow, tapered fit allows the skate to fit snugly on a players foot, which most hockey players desire to achieve the best performance.
- The new “trigger” holder from Bauer has also had a tremendous impact on the popularity of the brand. The ability to change out broken blades, or freshly sharpened blades on the fly has proven to provide excellent value to the skate.
2.) CCM Jetspeed Line
- The only skate that has been able to successfully put a dent in the Bauer Vapor line, has been the new Jetspeed skate from CCM. The fit is very similar to that of a Bauer Vapor, in that it is a narrow, tapered fit, which allows the boot to sit securely on the foot. Once you get this skate on someone’s foot, it has been an easy sell.
3.) Bauer Supreme Line
- The Bauer Supreme series has been Bauer’s second best-selling skate for a number of years now. The Supreme fits a little bit wider than the Vapor, so if someone has a “fuller” foot and wants a Bauer skate, this is generally the skate for them. The contoured fit around the ankle provides an excellent heel lock, while the spacious mid-foot area creates a comfortable fit.
4.) CCM Tacks Line
- The new CCM Tacks line mimcs the fit of a Bauer Supreme- the contoured boot locks the heel in place, while the slightly wider mid-foot adds space for those with “fuller” feet. The Tacks of a few years ago were extremely wide, and created a very sloppy fit, but have been newly redesigned for a more secure fit.
5.) CCM Ribcor Line
- The CCM Ribcor Line is one of the most comfortable “out-of-the-box” fits on the skate market. The slightly wider width allows for a generous fit, while the softer boot creates a forgiving and comfortable fit. Ideal for any player that values comfort over anything else.