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Chris Gent

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  • Skates
    Bauer Vapor 1X (2015) Pro Stock (11.5D/A w/ 306 holders)
  • Stick
    Bauer 1N Pro Stock (1N 2.0SE) 107 flex
  • Gloves
    Bauer Nexus 1000 Royal
  • Helmet
    Bauer Re-Akt / Bauer Re-Akt cage
  • Pants
    Bauer Supreme One90 pro stock girdle
  • Shoulder Pads
  • Elbow Pads
    Bauer One95 - Heavily modified
  • Shin Pads
    Bauer Supreme Total One
  • Hockey Bag
    Easton Pro Carry Bag

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas
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  1. Chris Gent

    Sparx Skate Sharpener - At home sharpener

    My son is 5'6"-ish and 150ish (not really sure because, well, he's 13 and growing so fast those are probably wrong!) and as I said above, prefers the 1/2 Fire on the harder ice. He likes the glide of the 5/8 Fire on softer ice. What I can say from my own experimentation is that the ROH wheels at each point (i.e. 5/8 ROH vs. 5/8 Fire) have a little (but noticeable) increase in bite over the equivalent Fire ring, along with a little (but also noticeable) decrease in glide. The main accomodation to the lack of bite was something I got from one of the videos the Sparx people did, and that was to make sure I'm getting lower in my stance when skating. It makes a ton of difference to the bite and still gives you really good glide if your edges are really flat. Having my own machine and the Sparx edge checker allows me to be OCD and make sure we're all 100% level. However, I do wish there was a way to check alignment AFTER changing a grinding wheel, but other than busting out a caliber and a fine point Sharpie to label the exact center of each wheel before installing it, I don't know how that might work. However, a few times a month I find uneven edges and doing something like that might more readily allow me check the alignment with the wheel already installed.
  2. Chris Gent

    Sparx Skate Sharpener - At home sharpener

    Definitely sounds like what mine first did when I went from a pair of SB4.0 steel that was old right to a relatively new set of step steel right after the other and did not adjust the height. I thought I'd A) broken the Sparx, and B) was about to catch the garage on fire.
  3. Chris Gent

    Sparx Skate Sharpener - At home sharpener

    I have used 5/8 Fire ring on my skates for most of the last 18 months or so. I am 6'4" and while I'm now 245 or so, I did weigh close to 285-290 in the early summer which made me even slower than I should have been for 45. I'm back to skating a lot better and have stuck with the 5/8 Fire as it gives solid bite with ridiculous glide even on fairly soft ice. On occasion, on some of the ice here in Texas in the summer, the 5/8 Fire is like a 1/2 ROH, but it is still my choice. The notable exception is our newest StarCenter which has, bar none, the best ice anyone in my family has ever skated on, to include rinks in Chicago, Toronto, Minnesota, Colorado, Arizona, New York, Missouri, and Iowa...it's that good. On that rink, the 5/8 Fire feels a tiny bit too "loose", bit I find that if I get really low in my stance and actually bend my knees properly on each stride, that significantly changes the bite I get. Almost all of the time (i.e. unless I'm skating at the new rink and it's also very cold and dry), I prefer the 5/8" to the 1/2". I have done the 3/4 Fire a couple of times in the summer when the humidity was high and the temps were also over 105. Mostly though, the 3/4 Fire gets used as the "cross grinder" since Sparx won't sell me an X-Ring for the home sharpener. My wife is about 5'8" and 130 pounds, and hates not having massive bit, so she demands the 3/8 Fire when hers need sharpening...not that she'd know when that was because I usually just sharpen them every week before we play (best way to not get chewed out for playing hockey on the weekend is to have your wife as your D partner). My 13 1/2 year old is about 5'6" and 150, and wavers back and forth between the 1/2 Fire and 5/8 Fire. On the home rink with the concrete hard ice, he wants the 1/2 Fire (he says it is just like a 100/50 FBV), but at some of the older StarCenters with softer ice, he'll have me do his 2nd set of steel at 5/8 Fire so he can switch after warmups if needed. I've not had as many good skates when I try the various ROH rings as I have the Fire Rings, but I suppose that's because since I started getting the 90/75 FBV, I've been able to tell whether someone gave me a FBV cut or a a similar ROH because at my size, the bite is about the same but the glide from ROH is inferior. As for my Sparx as a whole, I love it. We have VERY few decent sharpeners here, and even the supposedly good ones tend to murder skates on occasion. I haven't used my Sparx as much for others as I would have liked since my older son graduated and his teammates are using the Sparx at the rink to sharpen their skates when they work there, and most of my younger son's team is simply not good enough to be able to tell the difference between new steel and well sharpened steel and wouldn't be interested in compensating me fairly for my efforts. Other than learning to get better at doing custom Kydex shot blockers for my family and a couple of friends, I'm not doing any stuff for anyone other than my 13 year old, my wife, and myself. I'll tell you that while in actual cash spent on sharpenings, I'll probably never break even. However, as soon as you throw in gas, tolls, and my valuable time (estimated at my 1/2 my hourly rate at work is still $40+ round trip per sharpening visit), I'd bet I've already broken even. Accounting for the fact that I never send anyone in the family out without exactly even steel (the Sparx edge checker is really handy for sure), I'm ahead as far as I'm concerned. My next project, since my Sparks is significantly out of warranty, is to figure out how to find a good (but relatively quiet) wall-mounted shop vac and build a vacuum filtration system that mimics some of the features of the Sparx commercial unit, but better because it isn't underpowered. I need one in the garage anyway, so a dual use for it would really make it worth my while. I know this was more than what six501 was asking for, but since I've had about 18 months of lots of use on my Sparx, I figured I'd throw the rest of this in too.
  4. Chris Gent

    Sparx Skate Sharpener - At home sharpener

    That's a darn good idea. Might have to see about that. I'm pretty sure a couple of them are brand new even, because when they offered them, I bought 1 of each trial pack with all the rings.
  5. Chris Gent

    Sparx Skate Sharpener - At home sharpener

    The one thing I notice about Step Steel (had it in the 6.5 Supreme MX3s my son just outgrew) is that it is MUCH more resilient and needs fewer sharpenings...once you get it sharp anyway. It does seem to take a few more passes to achieve good clean edges if they're torn up because the steel seems to be harder. In the end, that all balances out. If I didn't have 2 sets of LS3 steel with this current pair, I'd have switched him out. Overall, I'm sure I'm well in the hole with the purchase of the sharpener and quite a few different rings until we found what all 4 of us like (my wife and I both play hockey too), but I wouldn't go back to a LHS here in Dallas unless my son ended up playing at a the one rink where we have a trustworthy sharpener. The fact that I can throw the skates on the sharpener and trust the machine implicitly to get them right while I tape a stick or pack a bag is the ultimate in hockey parent convenience. I guess if I included gas and time spent, I might get close to break even in another year or 2 in a pure dollars sense, but this is a luxury well worth the capital costs in my opinion.
  6. Chris Gent

    Sparx Skate Sharpener - At home sharpener

    I see the same thing on my sons' skates with our Sparx. One has Vapor 1Xs (10.5D) with LS3 steel and the other has Supreme MX3s with LS3 steel (7.0D). Both sets of steel are about the same height (within 1/16") and both are skating on the 1/2" Fire grind. I always take the blades out and use the steel holder and the included orange clips to ensure the steel is locked in tightly. Both sets of steel went through a 10 pass "clean" cut when coming from 7/16" radius because I found when I did my own skates that anything less was a sort of uncomfortable radius / fire compromise. The alignment is regularly checked and I have not had to adjust it in 2-3 months. Even still, the LS3 steel on the Vapors occasionally shows to be 1 line off level. Other times it's about a half line. The Supreme's steel is always dead even. The tl:dr version of this is that the longer steel seems prone to being bent or twisted, but at a level that is finer than I can see when laying it flat on my workbench to check it. Either way, depending on blocked shots, stepped on sticks, posts slammed into trying to keep a goal out (both are defensemen), etc., the longer steel doesn't seem to stay as straight. I think this is probably what you're seeing, especially with regard to the step steel (very hard) versus mid-range (softer / more prone to bending) steel.
  7. Chris Gent

    CCM U+ 12 to CCM RBZ Size Differences

    So, to update, we tried a bunch of skates on my wife's feet yesterday. She liked the Bauer Supreme 170s in a 4.5D the best, but they were a bit soft and she was worried about the boot being too soft for shot blocking. We are going to try the 180s in a couple of weeks when we have time to go to the other local stores to check on the 180s.
  8. My wife has a pair of U+ 12s in size 5 that are starting to wear out a bit. She wants a pair of skates that are similar in comfort to the U+ 12s, but are more protective for blocking shots. Don't suggest the skate fenders, as she's already shot those down as an option. Thus, I was looking at several different options, one of which was a pair of RBZ skates. I have read in several locations that the RBZ skates run about 1/2 size larger than the U+ line, and thus, instead of a size 5, she'd be a size 4.5. Can anyone confirm that? Also, how close would a pair of Reebok 20Ks compare in size to the U+12s? She has very little room in the toe of the U+ 12s. We are going to try a few places locally in the Dallas area for new skates, but she's had trouble finding her size locally before and I'll probably end up having to order them. Any help would be appreciated.
  9. After sending him the picture above, I received a very reasonable quote from Jake at Jake's Custom Pro Shop and will be sending them there. http://jakeshockey.com/contact-us/ I will definitely follow up with better before and after pictures of the skate. Thanks!
  10. I have a pair of Bauer Total One NXGs on which I need to get the tendon guard repaired. They are for my 14 year old son, and he will need them in about a month as his current pair grows tighter by the day. I opted to go with these skates because the pair of Vapors a friend was offering to sell didn't feel right to him, and he's been in Supreme skates since the One75s back when he was a squirt. Normally, I buy him mid-grade skates, but he likes the "bomb-proof" protection these give him from blocking slappers playing D. He's in a pair of size 6 NXG pro-stocks I got off eBay right now, but as I said, he'll soon need to move from the 6s to the newer size 7s because he's already in an 8.5 shoe and is crammed into the 6s. Since I got them super cheap (like $100 USD shipped in otherwise fabulous shape...almost new), I didn't care so much about the guard since I planned to get it repaired / replaced. However, being in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, I'm not sure anyone can actually do the repair. I'll ask the one shop that might be able to do it tonight, but in case they can't, what I need is a reputable LHS that will let me ship them the damaged skate, do a repair that feels natural and looks somewhat close to stock without the missing piece, and send them back. I have a FedEx account and will generate the shipping labels for both directions to save them the hassle. Thus, does anyone have any suggestions? I'm open to anywhere in the US that can do this for a reasonable price, but would pay a little more the closer to the stock look and feel they can get. If you have ideas for me, you can post here or PM me. Here is a slightly fuzzy phone pic of the skate: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5kUwE1ZrmFza2dRaXlXYmVxdUk/view?usp=sharing Thank you to anyone who can send me in the right direction.
  11. Chris Gent

    Lightspeed 2 Holder on CCM RBZ skates

    Ok, I'll try the template MThockeydad sent me and go from there. Worst case scenario I have to send something back and then keep wearing the TotalOnes for a while until I get these together and on the ice.
  12. Chris Gent

    Lightspeed 2 Holder on CCM RBZ skates

    The RBZs are have 304s on the 11.5D. I have heard that there is no drilling required if the right size Tuuk Lightspeed 2 holder is used, so I'm going to assume that I need a 306?
  13. Chris Gent

    Lightspeed 2 Holder on CCM RBZ skates

    My Total Ones have a 296 holder on them in 11.5D, so I knew that part. My concern is that I have read here and elsewhere that the RBZs are sized about 1/2 bigger, and thus my main question is does a pair of 11.5D RBZs get a 296 Tuuk Lightspeed 2 or a 304?
  14. I recently picked up a pair of size 11.5 pro stock RBZs with a cracked holder. The skates are in great condition otherwise, have nice custom tongue in them, and the price was frankly amazing at $70 for the pair. My dilemma is whether I replace the cracked Speed Blade 4.0 holder with another one, or go to the Tuuk Lightspeed 2 holders like I have on a pair of TotalOnes now. If I do make the change, what size Lightspeed holder fits in place of the size 304 Speed Blade holder? I seriously have spent the past 30 minutes searching Google, this forum, and 2-3 others and have not found a comparison chart. Granted, it's only 8:33AM and I'm lacking caffeine, so it's entirely possible I missed it. Also, just for additional information, I am not 100% sure the 2nd Speed Blade holder is in ideal condition, which is another reason I am considering the Lightspeed changeout. If someone can point me in the right direction (link, forum post, etc), I would greatly appreciate it. In the end, even if I went the Lightspeed Edge route, I'd have under $200 in the skates and even if I don't like them after baking and trying them out, I'm confident I can get that much back locally or on eBay since the boots are in great condition and the holders would be too after the upgrade. Thanks!
  15. Chris Gent

    Anybody get to try the v9 or v9e yet?

    I have used a V9 for about 9 months now. It is a really good stick overall, and at my size (6'4" and too heavy) still has pop on slappers or wrist shots after months of use. I have the E3 / 85 flex / grip model. Most of my teammates have gone through 2-3 V9Es in that time, and I for sure go into areas that are slash-prone more than they do, so the durability has paid for itself. I also had my best statistical season in several years last season, and that's at 40 and the aforementioned too heavy. My passing is way better than the 2 piece sticks I was using before (broken Mako 1 piece w/ Reebok 20K pro-stock blades), and the shooting is in another world altogether, even with similar grip and shaft flex characteristics.