Saturday, January 16, 2010

Reebok Hockey 11K Pump Skate Review

The Reebok 11K Pump Ice Skate is the third generation pump skate from Reebok Hockey - their lightest skate ever.

In 1989, Reebok introduced the original Pump high-top basketball shoe and within four years sold more than 20 million pairs.

20 years later we have the the new and improved Pump Air Bladder which minimizes gaps around the foot. They moved it 1/2” back in the boot, allowing air to flow into the pump chamber a little easier.

The heel lock system has been stepped up with better ankle support and enhanced forward flex giving you more power and speed in your stride. The felt foam hybrid pro tongue also helps keep your foot locked-n and fully stabilized.

The 11K Pump Skate also includes a lightweight core and durable outer shell designed to resist cuts and abrasions while controlling flex and torsion called Pro Armour IV.

You also have Reebok’s own Skatelock which is a metal loop outside the normal eyelets for your laces that allows you to lock in the lower laces once you tighten them the way you like, and tighten the top three laces on their own. Nice feature.

The black version is out now, and the white version of the 11K Pump skate worn by Matt Duchene will be available as of April 2010.

Pump it UP!

Order from Amazon at Reebok 11K Pump Ice Skate

Can't afford the Reebok 11K? Get the Reebok 9K.on sale.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Reebok 11K Pump Skate at the 2010 NHL Winter Classic

The all new highly anticipated 11K Pump Skate hit the ice at the 2010 NHL Winter Classic on January 1st.

Fitted to 5 Boston Bruins players including alumni Bobby Orr who participated in the ceremonial face-off, and current roster players Patrice Bergeron, Marc Savard, Johnny Boychuk and Dennis Wideman.

The 11K made a big splash on and off the ice with in-stadium Reebok branding as well as 2 Billboards in Boston and Philladelphia.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Flat Bottom V - FBV Skate Sharpening

Since the Flat Bottom V technique was introduced about a year ago, players on over 20 of the N.H.L.'s 30 teams have switched from the traditional sharpening method to FBV.

The list  includes Zach Parise of the Devils, Joe Thornton and Rob Blake of the San Jose Sharks, Jason Arnott of the Nashville Predators, Milan Michalek of the Ottawa Senators and Doug Weight of the Islanders.

Conventional skate sharpening uses a grinding stone that creates a concave arc in the bottom of the blade. The FBV method provides a sharper bite on turns and a freer glide in straight-ahead skating.

The flat-bottom V uses specially made spinners to carve out tiny fangs along the skate blade's ridges that bite into the ice for turns. The flat bottom between the fangs, similar to the flat cut of a speedskater's blade, puts more of the blade's surface in contact with the ice and is supposed to increase speed.

2” Radius

The most common choice of Radius of Hollow (ROH) for hockey players is 1/2". According to a recent study of all NHL players 47% choose to skate on a 1/2" ROH. The next most common ROH in the NHL is 5/8" ROH.

The FBV is quite different from the circular hollow. With the flatness of close to a 2” radius, skaters will notice more speed and less drag and they’ll notice the glide is a lot longer. With the FBV, skaters will see a decrease in the number of strides necessary to get from end to end. The result of this combination is more speed and solid edges to bite during turn.

Blackstone Introduces: The Flat Bottom"V" from Chris Labbate on Vimeo.

Most skate sharpening machines can be retro-fitted to use the FBV spinner attachment. Contact skate sharpening machine manufactures Blackstone Sports for more info.

Goalie Skate Sharpening Techniques

Goalie Skate Sharpening

As most goalies are butterfly goalies, they are sharpening their skates with deeper hollows than in the past. Most goalies now sharpen their skates with a 5/8", 1/2", or sometimes even a 3/8" hollow. Younger goalies should use a flatter hollow: either 3/4" or 1".

Butterfly goaltending demands a lot of bite for lateral movement, and while it does place extra demands on your legs while shuffling, the ability to sustain a greater angle of attack from skate to ice pays huge dividends when it comes to your butterfly slide, down-pushing, and backside recoveries. It always boils down to personal preference - go with what you're comfortable with.

Here's a closer look at some of the tools used to sharpen Goalie skates.