Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Cleaning Your Hockey Gear

 

There is nothing more unique to hockey than that fresh-out-of-the-locker room smell. While this stench can occasionally illicit incredible memories of game-winning goals and locker room celebrations, it is in no way an incredible thing. This smell is actually caused by bacteria that grow from the sweat, blood, common soil and other gross stuff that builds up on your equipment over time. If left untreated, these bacteria could potentially become very dangerous (not to mention the smell will only get worse). It can cause diseases and spread illness from player to player. Bacteria like to find cool, moist places where it can multiply and grow. While there are many professional cleaning companies that have expensive machines to clean your equipment and kill these bacteria, there are simpler (and cheaper) procedures that you can do at home that will help to reduce the risk of dangerous bacteria…and the smell. 
 
The first and most important preventative measure that you can do is to air out your equipment as soon as possible after playing. This means emptying out the entire bag and letting the equipment air dry. If you can hang equipment to allow better air access that is preferred but laying equipment on the ground in an area with good air circulation will work just fine. Dry off the blades and holders of your skates and take the inside liners of the skates out so that air can reach the inside as well. Regularly spray your skates with a disinfectant spray to kill bacteria. To disinfect your helmet, wet a towel with warm water and apply a small amount of soap or shampoo to the towel. Take this soapy towel and wipe down the helmet completely. Be sure to wipe down the facemask taking special care to clean the chin cup. We recommend using tear-free shampoo in case you are not able to wash off all of the soap residue and some gets in your face the next time you play and sweat (non-stinging eyes leads to more goals). After the soap is applied and scrubbed in, use another wet towel to wipe away all of the soap from the helmet.
 
Skates and helmets require special attention when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting. As for the rest of your equipment, we recommend you follow these 6 steps every week or so to reduce the risk of bacteria build up and to help with the smell. You will be soaking your equipment so it is extremely important that you plan ahead and leave enough time after the cleaning for your gear to dry completely before you have to use it again. Here are the 6 steps that we have found to work:
 
Step 1: Fill a bathtub or large sink (large enough to fit all of your equipment) about 1/3 of the way with hot water. You will be putting your hands in the water so make sure it is not too hot to touch. 
 
Step 2: Add about ¼ cup of laundry detergent to the tub as it is filling making sure that the detergent spreads and mixes into the water.
 
Step 3: Put all of the hockey gear (minus the skates and helmet) into the water. Be sure to dunk the gear so all of it is exposed to the detergent/water mixture. Let the gear soak for 30 to 45 minutes.
 
Step 4: Drain the tub or sink and clean out all of the soap. Rinse all of the equipment with clean, room temperature water to get all of the soapy residue off of your gear.
 
Step 5: Wring out any excess water and hang up all equipment to dry. Be sure to hang the gear in an area with good air ventilation so that it can dry in a reasonable amount of time.
 
Step 6: Spray and wipe down the empty hockey bag with a disinfectant spray. Make sure the bag and equipment are completely dry before re-packing your bag.
 
We recommend that you go through this process once a week or once every couple of weeks. Jerseys and socks can go in the washing machine but do not use the dryer in case of shrinking. Special attention will need to be given to jerseys and socks with logos or bright colors. Airing out equipment after every use is crucial as a preventative measure. Professional equipment cleaners are not necessary but usually have machines to kill bacteria and minimize smell. If your equipment is older and was not well-kept, this more intense method may be useful.
 
Hopefully these simple steps will lessen that smell that all non-hockey players complain about. We are sure that it will help to kill the bacteria on your equipment and, in the long run, will help to prevent sickness and diseases and keep you on the ice and playing the game we all love. 
 
Special thanks to: Hockey-University.com and LiveStrong for inspiration.


2 Comments Posted at 12:00AM on 08/07/2012

Leave A Comment...
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Bauer Nexus Protective Line

Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing

 

Bauer’s new protective line for 2012 is the Nexus 1000 series. This line was designed 100% based on customer feedback to Bauer, from pros all the way down to beginners. They wanted more classic, wider-fitting protective equipment, so Bauer went and designed the Nexus line, which is a volume fit all the way through, from the shin pad, the shoulder pad, and the elbow pad. It features Bauer’s new EPP foam construction, which is a lightweight EPP foam and posesses superior impact-dispersion properties compared to previously used foams, while still being lighter. The Bauer Nexus 1000 Shoulder Pads feature that lightweight EPP foam and they designed the chest panels to be in different pieces, so it won’t be one big piece. This won't restrict your movement, but will still be very protective. They have the poly bicep guard, which has a nice hard plastic for impact absorbance, so if you take a slash or a hit from some dirty hacker, it’ll be nice and protective for you. The shoulder caps are anatomically designed, which means they are designed to match the shape of your shoulder, so they will sit more flush and be a lot more comfortable. They also won't sit too high or look goofy. The back pad, along the spine and down and through the abdomen by your kidneys, will feature that same lightweight EPP foam, with poly inserts all over them for a little bit more protection. Finally, the inside of the entire pad features Bauer’s THERMO-MAX+ liner which will wick away moisture keeping it nice and light during the game. 
 
Next up is the Nexus 1000 Elbow Pad. This elbow pad features Bauer’s anchor strap and it’s a really comfortable strap that holds dow nicely, it’s adjustable and not at all like the pads that have the straight sling in them that you’re sliding your arm through with no adjustment. Very nice and comfortable. It has that lightweight EPP foam and poly insert on the forearm wrap, and then it’s a hard plastic, covered elbow cap. Again, this features Bauer’s THERMO-MAX+ liner to wick away moisture and keep you nice and dry and cool down during the game.
 
The Bauer Nexus 1000 Shin Pad features an anatomical design in their shell. It’s has a poly shell up in the knee and down in the shin. The shin has some slight little ribbing to it which will provide a little bit stronger of a structure and allow for it to take a little bit more of a beating. On the back is the calf wrap, with lightweight EPP foam and a poly insert just for a little bit more protection. Similar to what you saw in the elbow pad, it has this kind of anchor strap – it’s called the shin sling, which will be a little bit more comfortable strap to keep your shin pad nice and tight to your leg. This pad also includes the stretch Velcro straps - what Bauer added is adjustability; there are 2 different spots you can put it in for each strap, one higher and one lower. It’s just going to be a little bit more of a comfort thing and you can customize the fit a little bit more. On the inside, it’s got a pro mesh liner, which actually is completely removable.  It’s a really breathable liner, and it’s also nice, you can take that thing right out and throw it in the wash and your bag won’t stink quite as bad as normal. This pad is actually very similar to something I was wearing for a long, long time, the old Bauer Vapor 10 shin pads, which I was wearing when it was the top model pad. It’s got that nice wide fit, a very similar design on the shell, and it sat back on my knee very well, a nice wide surface for shot blocking. I just loved those pads and this pad really reminds me of those old Vapor's, especially that really breathable liner and it’s got a nice hold in the knee. This pad, like I mentioned with the whole Nexus line, was designed by basically player requests. And this what all the players were looking for, something that fit like that old classic style shin pad, a little bit wider face, a nice deep fit and that’s what they did for the Nexus 1000 shin pad.
 
So that was the Nexus 1000 line, and for those of you interested in that, you may also be interested in the Nexus Pro line, it’s exclusive to Pure Hockey. It shares most of the same features as the Nexus 1000, with the nice limited edition black color. As you can see, it’s got the same adjustable straps, removable liners, anchor straps, the shoulder pad has the same thing, it’s got that triple bicep pad, so again, the Nexus 1000 line, and the Nexus Pro line, available at Purehockey.com and all Pure Hockey locations. 

Here's a video we did recently, so you can see the Nexus 1000 line with some close-ups. Let us know if you have any questions!
 
 

 



0 Comments Posted at 04:00AM on 08/15/2012

Leave A Comment...
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Bauer Vapor X6.0 Composite Stick

Bauer’s Vapor X 6.0 Stick is the third stick down in the Vapor line from Bauer for 2012. It is behind the APX and the 7.0. Like those two sticks, it features Bauer’s Intelli-sense shot technology for flex profile, and basically what that means is that depending on the shot you’re taking and where your hands are placed, it’s going flex a little bit differently. Taking a slapshot, it’s going to load up and give you a little extra power in that shot; in a snapshot or a wristshot, it will give you a quicker release.

Down in the blade, it features that same Aero Foam technology that you see in the APX and the 7.0. It’s a lighter foam inside, a little bit stronger and will provide a little more feel back on the puck when you’re stickhandling. The connection from the shaft to the blade features Bauer’s Pure Shot blade profile. And what that is, a thickened connection in the hosel, going from the shaft to the blade to strengthen the connection point. That’s going keep the blade from flexing back on shots and deflecting off, and keep the blade nice and square to your target. Along the same lines here is the Vapor Premium Taper, which is a secondary taper along the top and the bottom of the shaft, and what that does is that it will strengthen it out, reduce the torsion of deflections so the blade stays square.

Up in the shaft is the Microfeel II shaft, which is the same as found on the APX. It’s a little bit round in the corners, double concave on the front and the back of the shaft, just for a little bit more comfort and a little more control, and to strengthen the stick. This one has the Grip Tack finish, for a little bit more grip on the stick. The Bauer Vapor X 6.0 stick available at Purehockey.com and all Pure Hockey locations.

 



0 Comments Posted at 12:00AM on 08/29/2012

Leave A Comment...
Friday, August 31, 2012
Pure Hockey In-Store Services

 

 

Pure Hockey is dedicated to providing customers with the most knowledgeable and helpful staff when it comes to helping our customerspick out new hockey equipment. Our #1 goal is helping you keep your current gear in the game and performing at its peak level. There’s nothing worse than missing a shift or even an entire hockey game to try to fix a skate issue, or worse, equipment failure costing your team a play or a goal. 
 
Our staff is here to make sure your gear is never something you need to worry about when you hit the ice. Our team is highly trained on how to execute repairs and consulting customers on how to properly care for and maintain their equipment to keep it performing at its best for a longer period of time. Our staff is never here to sell you on unnecessary repairs, but to advise you of the options and recommend the best one for you. 
 
The following services are offered at all of our store locations… 
- Skate Heat Molding
- Skate Stretching
- Skate Punch-outs
- Rivet Replacements 
- Holder Replacements
- Steel Replacement
- Skate Sharpening 
Pure Hockey staff are trained in all aspects of skate sharpening and are tested for recertification twice per year.
 
On top of the services offered above at all of our store locations, the following additional services are available at the following locations:
 
- Flat Bottom V Sharpening
 
- Custom Skate Radius Profiling, performed by an extremely accurate, computerized profiling machine
 
So be sure to stop in to our store locations not only for the best selection of new equipment, but for the highest quality service, sharpenings and repairs!


0 Comments Posted at 09:00AM on 08/31/2012

Leave A Comment...
Friday, August 31, 2012
Helmet Fitting

Hockey Helmet Fitting
By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing


In recent years, it has become increasingly evident how devastating head injuries can be in hockey or any sport. Most players and parents are more aware than ever of the dangers of concussions in the game of hockey. The first thing to know is that there is no such thing as a perfect or totally injury-proof helmet - they unfortunately do not exist.

Hockey is a contact sport and the risk is always present. In the past few years however, hockey helmet technology has drastically improved and players are more protected than ever before. Although, like any other item of protective equipment, there is a hierarchy of models. This is why our employees and all of us at Pure Hockey will always work with our customers to find the best helmet for each individual player.??Helmet manufacturers work tirelessly and dedicate an astounding amount of money in research & development to eliminate weight, increase protection, and add comfort to new hockey helmets.

There are a lot of things that need to be kept in mind when shopping for a helmet.  The top priority needs to be fit. No matter how expensive, technologically advanced or protective the helmet model is, if the one on you head doesn’t fit correctly, it wont be protective. This is why our employees and all of us at Pure Hockey will always work with our customers to find the best helmet for each individual player.

Continuing on fit, it’s not just the helmet that requires proper fitting.  You also need to make sure the cage properly fits and the chin cup needs to be securely and snuggly strapped against your chin. This ensures that the helmet stays in place. If the cage won’t close all the way to your chin and you get hit, it forces the helmet to displace. So you always want to double check that the cage, as well as the helmet, fits properly. Note that when purchasing a helmet and cage, a player who is a medium helmet is not always guaranteed to be in a medium cage. This can be true even when buying a combo helmet, so always be sure to have both the cage and helmet properly fit.

The next thing to think about is the level and frequency of play. You always want to be aware of how often, and at what level of competition you or your child plays. A Mite does not have the same protection and performance needs as a college or pro player (Trust us, a $200 hockey helmet isn’t going to be the difference between a 6 year-old making it to the NHL or not). That being said, non-checking levels still carry a level of risk for head injury, falling down, hitting the boards or simply accidentally bumping into other players.

A major thing to think about is price. As mentioned earlier, the most expensive helmet does not always translate to the best helmet for a particular individual. Now that I’ve said that, consider how much sense it makes to spend $200-$250 on a stick and $600-$800 on skates and then try to save some money by only spending $60 on a helmet? The helmet is the thing that protects your head, your most important and fragile body part. Where do your legs and your arms get their neural messages about what to do - from your head. If your head isn’t protected or functioning optimally, what good is the most expensive skates and stick? Get the helmet that fits, is comfortable and provides adequate protection for the level of hockey you are playing.

Another tip is to be sure you always wear (and not chew the side of) a properly fitted and molded mouthguard. These will help keep you safer during the game and help reduce the risk of injury.

Getting The Right Fit...
Unlike most other pieces of equipment, for the most part, helmets have a single run of sizes. For example, hockey helmets have Small, Medium, Large or Extra Large. Almost all hockey helmets on the market today have some form of size adjustment. Generally speaking, most helmet sizes run right into the next. So a Small helmet, expanded to its biggest adjustment, will be very similar in size to a Medium helmet (of the same model), closed down to its smallest adjustment.?The simplest way to fit a helmet is to first estimate the correct size, expand it as large as it will adjust to, and place it on your head. Slowly adjustment the helmet smaller until it is snug on your head. The helmet should be snug and should not move around, but not too tight to make it uncomfortable. Be sure the helmet does not move around when you move your head. You will also want to wear the helmet for a few minutes to be sure there are no pains or pressure points on your head. Once you have the helmet snug, secure and comfortable, you’re ready to skate.
 

 

The next step is to go over some of the helmet models, and some of their features and benefits.

Bauer Re-Akt
This helmet is a technological marvel as far as hockey helmets go. It is designed with rotational force management in mind. The SUSPEND-TECH liner is a free-floating liner which enhances protection and comfort.  The central, tool-free adjustment system makes it simple, quick and easy to adjust on the fly. Memory foam pads in the temple provide a snug and comfortable fit. The Vertex foam from Bauer is lighter and more impact absorbent than traditional EPP foam. PORON XRD foam added in strategic places, adds comfort, by molding to your head, and adds a layer of excellent impact protection. It was also designed with looks in mind, resulting in a much sleeker, lower profile look than most comparable top-end helmets. This has been one of our most popular helmets in 2012-13.

Reebok 11K
One of the more popular upper-echelon helmets on the market. With a unique composite subshell, it is their lightest fully-adjustable helmet. The Micro-Dial II system creates a TRUE 360° fit by wrapping around the head and locking your head in, ensuring minimal movement on impact and maximum protection. The fit clips make it easy to adjust and fit the helmet with no tools needed.

Warrior Krown 360
The Krown 360 offers a comfortable fit that is also arguably the most customized on the market. Warrior’s 4-Play fit system allows the helmet to adjust not only front to back, as most helmets do, but side-to-side as well. This creates a secure, custom fit for even the most oddly shaped heads out there. It is adjusted by a single dial in the back of the helmet to keep fitting easy. The padding of the helmet is layered, EPP foam for lightweight protection from high-energy impacts, IMPAX molded foam for protection against low energy impacts and comfort foam pads add stability and cushioning.

Easton E700
The E700 is an extremely lightweight, one-piece shell helmet. Easton (which owns Bell, Giro, and Riddell) took technologies from their other sports endeavors and applied them to the E700. Full coverage EPP foam provides elite protection while the outer PC shell provides impact durability. The fit system, inspired by Giro, is an elasticized stabilizer piece in the back of the helmet. The stabilizer wraps around the back of your head, creating a snug but pressure-less fit which keeps the helmet from moving on impact.  It requires no adjustment, you simply find your size, put it on and it will tighten to your head. The E700 is an extremely comfortable and protective helmet, but it is slightly higher profile in comparison to similar models.

Bauer IMS 9.0
This is an extremely interesting helmet. It combines traditional VN foam comfort, EPP protection and pro-approved styling. The IMS 9.0 shares the same shell design as the Re-Akt, as well as a Vertex foam base, lighter and better impact management than traditional EPP foam. In place of the SUSPEND-TECH liner, there is a thin layer of VN (softer foam, similar to that of the 4500). It has the same tool free, central adjustment, but the occipital lock, which is the piece that locks the helmet down on the back of your head. The IMS 9.0 is also spring loaded instead of self-adjusted and has the memory foam temple pads, as well as PORON XRD for maximum comfort and great impact protection.

Reebok 7K
The 7K has an aerodynamic shell with ventilation designed for maximum airflow to keep you cool. Plastic insert subshell allows for team color customizations. Fit Clips make the helmet easy to fit, and adjust with no tools on the fly. The base is a flexible, floating EPP floating liner with comfort cushions for great protection and a snug comfortable fit.

Bauer 7500
A great helmet in terms of protection, the 7500 features triple-density foam layering. A layer of EPP foam for impact absorption keeps the helmet lightweight and the PORON inserts add a layer of protection as well as a more custom fit. In addition, slow memory comfort foam molds to your head and creates a snug fit. The helmet adjusts easily with two tool-free clips on either side of the helmet and the interior of the helmet is treated with MICROBAN antimicrobial protection to resist odor and mildew.

Easton E600
The E600 features many of the features of its sibling, the E700. It has a full coverage EPP foam, and a High Density PE subshell, and a PC shell for impact durability. The E600 features a Giro inspired fit system that wraps around your head, holding the helmet down and giving a comfortable, snug fit. The plush padding inside gives one of the most cushioned, comfortable fits available.

Bauer 4500
A true classic, the 4500 has been around forever, remaining mostly unchanged. It features a dual density foam setup and a thin layer of slightly denser VN foam, covered by a thicker layer of softer, VN foam. The helmet is adjusted by four screws, two towards the front and two behind the ears.  Its great comfort has made it arguably the most popular helmet ever, but the softer foam lacks the impact management of the more advanced EPP foams.

CCM V08
The V08 has an aerodynamic, well-ventilated shell, with smaller temple pillars for an extended field of vision. Dual Density VN foam manages all impact types and provides pro-approved comfort and performance. Easily adjusted with two tool-free clips on either side of the helmet. Another helmet with low-profile, pro-approved styling.

Reebok 3K (COMING SOON)
The Reebok 3K is a great value at the price. Simple tool-free adjustment via the Fit Clips on the sides of the helmets. It has a sleek, low profile design through an aerodynamic, well ventilated shell. The 3K also provides good comfort at a good value.

Bauer 2100
 The 2100 helmet is a good entry-level helmet at a good price. This helmet is featured in our unique Learn-To-Play Package. Dual Density foams provide a comfortable fit and adequate protection for youngsters just learning the game. The helmet is adjusted with four screws, two towards the front and two behind the ears. Great adjustability allows the helmet to grow with your young player and its comfort keeps them happy as they learn the game.

Bauer M104
The M104 is a one-size helmet, for those players just getting into the game, great for learn to skate programs, or in-house leagues. A one-piece shell with multiple vents for great airflow, the M104 also features comfort padding to provide a great fit and keeps young players happy as they learn to play.

Bauer Lil’Sport
Have a youngster with more winter interests then just hockey? Then this is a great option. The Bauer Lil’ Sport is very versatile. Lightweight with impact absorbing EPP foam, it is a great helmet for hockey, sledding, skiing, or just about any other activity that requires a helmet.

 



0 Comments Posted at 11:00AM on 08/31/2012

Leave A Comment...
Friday, August 31, 2012
Buying Hockey Skates

By Jordan Lalor (Pure Hockey Marketing) and Mitch Donahue (Manager,  Pure Hockey of Dover NH)

At Pure Hockey, we know there are a lot of things to consider when choosing the skate that’s right for you.  Looking at that wall with 50+ skates on it should bring joy, not anxiety.   If you walk into any Pure Hockey location there will be a trained employee eager to properly fit you, but it wouldn’t hurt for you to have a general idea of what you want. Hopefully this guide will give you some added wisdom next time you’re in the market for a fresh pair.

Sizing & Fit
A proper fit should be your primary concern when shopping for skates as skate sizes are not universal and all manufacturers (CCM, Bauer, etc) size differently and will certainly fit differently than a size 9 shoe.  Skates run large, we recommend dropping down about 1 ½ to 2 sizes from your shoes. 

To find the ideal length, tie the skates and stand up.  You should feel your toes lightly touching the toecap of the skate.  It may seem small, but if you bend your knees you should feel your toes slide back as your foot is held in place by the heel cup.  If the heel slides upward, it’s likely too big.

Growth  
Concerned about your child’s growth?  Skates these days are made to last, but you should anticipate buying skates prior to each season.  By compensating for growth and buying bigger skates, you will inevitably hinder your little one’s development.  Trust us, you are better off buying a mid-priceline skate that fits now instead of a high end skate that will fit next year. 

Quality & Skate Makeup
Quality wise, there are four major characteristics of a hockey skate that influence its price: weight, stiffness, moisture management, and blade quality.  While you may certainly spring for a high-end skate at any level, what you “need” is essentially dictated by your level and frequency of play.
     
To beginners or occasional rec-league players, we advise you to look at what we call our "Performance Level" skates, with a softer boot, which gives you more mobility and makes them easier to break in.  At this stage in your game, the additional comfort from a softer boot is worth the added weight and sacrifice in moisture management.

Recommended Performance Level Skates:
- Bauer Supreme One.4

- Bauer Nexus 200
- Bauer Vapor X60

- CCM RBZ Powerline

Intermediates, there is an assortment of "Elite Level" skates to choose from.  A mid-price skate is made with lighter, stronger materials resulting in a stronger, lighter, quick drying skate that is easily affordable. 
   
Recommended Intermediate Skates:
- Bauer Nexus 600LE

- Reebok 12K

- Bauer Supreme One.7

- CCM U+10

At the top of the ladder, "Pro Level" skates are designed for the top end players. These skates use the newest and most advanced materials available to make the skate extremely light, stiff and very hydrophobic.  The skates at this level are made from fully heat moldable materials to ensure a great fit for maximum performance and quick break in time.  You truly get what you pay for.
 
Recommended High-End Skates:

- Bauer Vapor APX2
- CCM RBZ (Coming Soon!!!)
- Reebok 20K
- Easton RS

- Bauer Supreme TotalOne NXG

- Easton Mako



0 Comments Posted at 08:00AM on 08/31/2012

Leave A Comment...