Game Time Review: Reebok 20K Stick
By Tyler Roy, Pure Hockey Customer Service
With 2012 wrapped up for stick releases, I was thinking it's probably high time that I talk about what should be on your "must-have" list. How does the Reebok 20k stack up? Is it a must-have or just another good stick? Let's take a look!
There's a new blade system here called the "accuBlade," which is made to reduce blade deflection and give you better accuracy for getting shots ON net and not NEAR it! Reebok's new and exclusive stick blade is made to get stiffer from the heel to the toe. Interesting. Also, this blade is also Reebok's lightest to date and they moved the balance point up a few centimeters, creating a much more balanced stick. Personally, I love a stiff blade at the toe as I'm more prone to shoot from that area anyway. I did get a chip on the toe in the first few weeks of using it but nothing has happened since, so it appears to be run-of-the-mill wear and tear that you see with all sticks. Bottom-line: this blade out performs any other Reebok blade and it has some real life and good snap.
The good thing about the Reebok 20k hockey stick is that it's a true one piece stick, defined by Reebok as "pure fiber technology." In English, this means the same fibers that are in the top of the stick run all the way to the toe of the blade. Being a true one-piece also removes all the overlapping materials and glues that often times create an unbalanced stick. Reebok also used a new weaving system in the shaft where the fibers on the backhand are angled on a 45 degree and 90 on the forehand. This is designed to create tension when the stick flexes during a shot. That, plus the lowest kickpoint in hockey, equals a slingshot effect when shooting. This stick shoots all types of shots very well, the low kick really snaps the pucks off quick and fast. I find it easy to snap off a quick shot right under the bar and have the ability to fire off a hard slapper too.
My favorite innovation might have to be the new grip Reebok has used on the 20k. The new "duel grip" features a smooth matte grip on the bottom half of the shaft for hand movement and a sticky grip on the top half to lock your hand in when your ready to shoot. Quite interesting feel and still hasn't worn out after a month or two of use.
All this stuff put together makes a really solid performing stick, much better than the 11k from my perspective. Only chip on the stick is right on the toe, as mentioned, but that's quite minor. The balance on the stick is really good as is the response you get with snap shots and slap shots. Should you get this stick? Well that's for you to choose, but I like it quite a bit. You can buy it right here and try it out for yourself.
You can also see a video here from my co-worker Kyle Stevenson, where he gives his thoughts on it:
Game Time Review: Reebok 20K Skates
Reebok 20K Composite Stick Preview
By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing
The fall season is always a fun one, the season is starting up, and new equipment is being released left and right. One of the most anticipated sticks of 2012 is the new Reebok 20K.
Preview: Reebok 20K Skates
By Jeff Copetas, VP of Marketing & E-Commerce
The new products are coming down the line fast and furious now, people! We've had our demos of the Reebok 20K skate here in the office for a while but now the curtain of confidentiality has been lifted by Reebok and we are allowed to talk about them and show them off. Here's the details:
What's new: Reebok went ahead and added what they call a "Dynamic Support System" - this provides for a more solid skate all-around and offers better flex in tandem with the reinforced composite quarter package. The claim is that this will maximize your energy transmission with every stride. Time will tell, of course. Sounds to me like we're looking at a stiffer skate. When I tried them on, they certainly did feel a little more stuff than a new 11K, but who am I to say - most top-line skates feel pretty stuff on first wear. Given this is only a preview, we can't say anything about actual performance until we've tried them on and used them a few times. Those write-ups will be coming in a couple of months.
So......the Pump. Right? Seems like the people who love the Pump skate really love the skate and are devoted users. If you're one of them, you're going to love the 20K even more. The personalized performance options and custom comfort this affords you is the most unique feature of these skates. The Quarter Package is Reebok's Pro Armour IV, where they reinforce certain zones in the skate for better support and stability. Back is the dual-zone liner with their "tacky nash" and Clarino material which really does an excellent job keeping your feet dry and locked in.
The tongue offers a pro-felt and EPE foam hybrid. The foam core and molding also maximize comfort and minimize twist. The outsole boasts a lightweight, low-profile and vented outsole provides a very reactive feel. I have to tell you, I don't currently wear Reebok skates, but when I but these babies on my feet, I am reconsidering. As mentioned, they do feel more stiff than past Reebok skates I've tried but in the past when I tried on Reebok's and walked around with them on my feet, my arches hurt before I even got on the ice. I haven't gotten on the ice yet with these, but I can tell you that in walking around, any soreness in my arch has now disappeared in the 20K's.
As far as heel support, these didn't feel any different to me than past top-line Reebok's. Remember, this is a top-of-the-line skate here, so heel support and interiors are already excellent - the 20K's offer that same excellence and our on-ice testing will determine to what extent.
So that's what we have for you right now. Here's a nice big picture for you to spin around with your mouse and see all the angles, including up and down. Let us know if you have any questions.
Reebok Premier 4 Goalie Gear - Preview
By: Bill Notartomaso
Web | Marketing Assistant & Goalie Specialist
It is opportunities like this that really defines why I consider myself to be one of the lucky few that absolutely love their job. I walk to my desk and I am surprised when sitting there is a beautiful new set of the Reebok Premier 4 Leg Pads, Glove and Blocker. With my only instruction simply being “go to town” I do just that. Like the passionate goalie enthusiast I am, I spend most my morning just taking everything in. Needless to say, Christmas Day has nothing on this.
With nearly a quarter of NHL goalies currently wearing at least one piece of the new Reebok P4 gear, Reebok has proven pro performance. This model line has quickly been regarded as Reebok’s greatest and most discussed lines Reebok has made to date. With this anticipation though, come the rumblings of concern that Reebok and Lefebvre has just re-skinned the P3 model pad with new graphics. This is most definitely is NOT the case! Reebok’s main focus with the Premier 4 line was creating maximum goal coverage, and they accomplished this with great success!
At first sight, the Reebok Premier 4 Leg Pads have a very clean appearance. The graphics are a definitely a progressive evolution from prior models, and in my opinion, the best yet. Even the simplest customization to the color-ways is a sick combination. The styling will certainly lend itself to the ultimate custom graphic for your individual preferences.
After thoroughly inspecting the make-up of the pad I got to a deep appreciation for the amount of upgrades Reebok has introduced with the P4 line. Straps have been eliminated and new upgrades of removable straps and outside knee protection are further customizable options at the retail level. Like most goalies, when I first grabbed the pad I immediately flexed it and took note if it’s weight. This isn’t the lightest pad I’ve ever felt, but is clearly lighter than its predecessors. The new Flex Core feature at the boot break improves overall flexibility, even on a pad with no breaks at the knee. This feature should attract a lot more interest from goalies that have been wearing pads with a soft boot, but want a pad that stands a bit taller. The Reebok Premier 4 pad has a traditional Lefevbre boot break angle-- until flexed -- but then goes right back to its un-flexed shape.
Some of you might be thinking, “What is this new Flex Core option?” Well, this feature is designed to help relieve the annoyance of “bottoming out” when digging your edge in during a t-push or push-off in the butterfly. For goalies with a wider stance, the Flex Core along with the new Quick Release knee feature will help cut down the 5-hole area in your stance. This provides a solid combination of maneuverability and coverage.
The new Quick Release feature and improvement are night and day compared to the Premier 3 model line. At the retail level, one of the common complaints was the knee lock and landing area in general. The knock on previous models was that it was too stiff and didn’t accommodate large knee pads. This year, the Premier 4 pads are far from that. The entire leg channel is much softer, and the knee is clearly wider and more open. The leg and knee channel is completely lined with a new material for added comfort and easier pad rotation.
Continuing with the maximum coverage theme that Reebok was going for; they also have introduced the Max Coverage feature on the knee landing area. From my perspective, this was probably the biggest and best addition of them all. The Max Coverage feature is designed to create a stiffer and longer area for the knee to land on, but within the NHL equipment guidelines. Still adhering to NHL regulations, Lefevbre has increased the width of the landing block to even out the two separate pads, and enable the pad to sit more balanced on the ice. This provides additional support and avoids any over-rotation with moving around in the butterfly. Let me tell you, I noticed it right off the bat. When I put the pads down; they just wanted to sit perpendicular on the ground. The knee straps have too been re-routed through the knee block to reduce friction with the ice and snow build-up for more effortless movement while down on the ice. At the knee lock; the elastic has been doubled up for added support. The knee lock also offers a second attachment point for the elastic knee lock strap on the calf wrap; The second attachment point for the knee lock allows the goalie’s knee to shift to the outside of the knee area, and somewhat “shrink” the 5-hole as well as get the pad to the ice quicker by reducing the distance it has to fall.
The other upgraded feature of the Premier 4 Leg Pad is the Solid Seal calf design. This feature, like the Max Coverage feature maintains the coverage the length of the pad. The Solid Seal keeps the inside edge of the calf wrap flat and flush to the ice. This will help maintain stability and coverage while in the butterfly position. One of the other significant upgrades I noticed and really liked was the outside calf wrap, which is set inside the pad a bit. The idea behind this is to help with post integration when the play is behind the net. On the other hand (no pun intended) The Premier 4 Glove and Blocker have little to no change-- why mess with something that isn’t broken? The Reebok gloves and blockers have been one of the most popular pairs of gloves in the game since Lefevbre’s Koho days. All of the P3 options are still available on the P4 models.
Reebok has really stepped up the custom options from the P3/Revoke Pro Zone line. You can make take custom options to the max and get your dream set of gear or still be able to get a P3 type pad with a P4 graphic! Even though the retail Reebok P4 line will be made in China, with only pro/top junior and college goalies receiving gear made in Quebec. The same materials will be used as the previous Lefevbre-made P3 line; all of Lefevbre's raw materials come from China. Patrick Lefevbre has spent much time in China training and overlooking the build process. Jonathan Bernier and a few other NHL goalies are even wearing Chinese-made P4 gear. Despite all the customization options, Reebok is also trying to up the ante by maintaining an 8-week custom time at all times of the year!
Be sure to check out the Reebok Premier 4 gear at all of our Pure Goalie retail locations and online starting early Spring of 2012! Be sure to check out our video preview as well!
Reebok AI9 Hockey Stick
Mark your calendars. On October 15th, 2011, the Reebok A.i nine stick will be released at all Pure Hockey locations. New for the
2011-12 season, the A.i nine will become Reebok’s premier composite stick. While the “K” line with SicKick technology will continue to be produced, Reebok will be offering a new alternative with the A.i nine. Literally, the A.i nine represents a shift in the balance of power. Many changes in materials and construction give the A.i nine a perfectly balanced feel while maximizing energy transfer from the stick to the puck.
Unlike previous composite sticks with a low kick point, the A.i nine’s kick point is located near the center of the shaft. This innovative change provides a greater energy transfer throughout the stick giving you a more accurate and powerful shot. Another significant change in the shaft of the stick focuses on the stiffness of the A.i nine’s walls. Using what Reebok has called a “Power Taper Ratio,” the top and bottom of the shaft of the A.i nine are twice as stiff as the sides. Reebok believes this golden ratio gives you a competitive advantage by maximizing the power exerted when shooting.
The exterior of the shaft is coated with Tactile Griptonite, a revamped version of the Griptonite found on the 11K. Reebok’s Tactile Griptonite combines a woven textured shaft with a traditional gripped coating. This optimizes the feel of the stick giving you increased stick and puck control.
The A.i nine epitomizes innovation and many of the trusted specs that have been proven to work in previous Reebok sticks are still present
in the A.i nine. That includes Reebok’s Pure Fiber Technology, which is Reebok’s method of creating a true one-piece stick. A true one-piece stick means that the blade and shaft are created in the same mold. This eliminates the weight of additional materials needed to re-enforce a fused blade and shaft. In the case of a true one-piece stick, less is more. As a result, the A.i nine and other Reebok sticks made with Pure Fiber Technology have a lighter more balanced feel than their competitors.
Arguably the most important part of a composite stick is the blade. The materials used and the process by which it is constructed
ultimately dictates the balance, feel, and power of the entire stick. Reebok certainly kept that in mind while designing the A.i nine. The most notable feature of the A.i nine is the Xlerated Blade. This is Reebok’s lightest blade to date. The core of the Xlerated Blade consists of soft foam sounded by with extra stiff carbon fibers in a Dual Matrix weave to create one of the most durable, lightweight, and powerful blades on the market.
I know what you’re thinking. You can’t wait to get one of these in your hands and I don’t blame you. This stick is sweet. It is so sweet, in fact, that my words and eloquent description do not do it justice. Christmas comes early, October 15th.
In the meantime, check out Tim Doyle’s video review below as he takes you on magical trip exploring all the wonderful features the A.i nine has to offer:
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