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Posts posted by MLSman

  1. The month of January was a particularly busy month on the ice. I'm assistant coaching our 14U blue (house) team, joint coaching our 14U white (house select) team, occasionally working with another local travel 12U team, and getting calls to skate in pickup slots when numbers are low (basically on-call because I live across the street from the rink - it's as close to a heaven on earth situation). It's been about a 4 day a week ice time month with my 2X Pros.

    So far, lots of positive things to report on the comfort, agility, and edge-work with the skates. Turning and edge transfer feels effortless. The lack of any negative space makes the boot feel like a pair of Jordan 10s - snug and very comfortable. Heel lock is perfect. This is a very difficult thing to achieve with a narrow forefoot and heel without a custom boot. The fit1 on the bauer boot last is as close to my foot shape as any custom job has been. That's a pretty amazing thing when getting a skate at a fantastic price.

    The thing I find most impressive is how the well the thermoforming maintains the baked shape. In the past, in a short period of time, leaving the skate unlaced and hung to dry out would lead to the quarters widening out, and would then require a lot of pulling on the laces to get the wrap around the ankles I prefer. So far, the quarters on the 2X pro have retained the form, and I barely have to tug on the laces or re-lace to enjoy the tight wrap.

    I'm also impressed by the recoil tongue. It definitely is more responsive, and you can feel it flex with your stride. It's so different than the traditional felt or the APX2 tongue, and it will take a bit to get used to. I find that it takes me a few minutes on the ice to adjust to the recoil - reminds me of the old xstiff flex tongue of the Supremes, but better with the thicker felt. Once adjusted, I really do like the responsiveness it adds to my stride across the entire skate.

    Durability so far is great. Boot still looks brand new. In the interest of full disclosure, I don't play any competitive hockey without wearing Lexan skate guards over the boot. Had a set baked and fitted with these skates. I'm too old not to make a sound choice in protecting my feet from folks that can't control their shots. 🙂  For the cost, it's worth the protection, and the added benefit will be longer durability of the injected lacing system and the quarters of the boot. It's like wearing a cup for your feet. After one of my 14U kids caught me in the jewels, I started to be a bit more conscious of not leaving my long term health to chance with any open or weak areas, and I'd like to keep my feet protected so I can skate as long as my body will allow me.

    From my perspective, Bauer really did a lot right with this skate. I'm concerned with a few things on the Hyperlite (the flex outsole and the tongue), so I'm extremely grateful that I'll have these for many years to come. I'll update my long term review in a few months.



  2. I used to crank my laces tight because of having a low volume foot and very thin ankles to get the boot to wrap to my liking. With my last few skates, the correct baking and compression during the process made a considerable difference.  I barely pull on the laces and don't have to lace them tight at all, and the level of agility noticeably increased. Proper forming of the boot makes a substantial difference.

  3. Parents are what make coaching....suck.

    Last year I had a parent complaining about how her kid hadn't been on the ice in 10 minutes and how the grandparents didn't come to see him sit on the bench...when 4 minutes prior her kid actually scored a goal and was playing every other shift.

    You can't ever win in that department, so I focus on the relationship and the joy I share with every one of my players.  That's the gift that never stops giving.

  4. At 5-6 years old, most if not all time should be spent on skating fundamentals and spacing. Pucks are a whackamole exercise at that age with few exceptions of the gifted kid here and there. I'm happy when a kid that age knows the difference between an inside and an outside edge.  Unless there is that "one in a million" Gretzky kid in the group...the attention span is about the same as a guinea pig, and most time is spent preventing 10 kids bunching in a 5 foot area.

    Unless you have an abundance of coaches on the ice, individual instruction for both extremes of the bell curve (skilled and unskilled) is difficult at best. For the skilled, I chat with 8U coaches to get the skilled more ice time with structured practices that are challenging, and to the parents to get more ice time with jungle/open hockey sessions. For the unskilled, I bring them to learn to skate sessions where I can build more of those fundamentals and help out with the other younger kids. It's a difficult balance when coach constrained.

    If you have enough coaches, splitting the ice to small area games will allow you to have a section of the ice to challenge more skilled players in practice. At that age, the struggle will be to get them to learn to leverage the strengths and weakness of the other players in games vs their desire to skate around everyone and score goals.

  5. It's also "one line missing" strikingly close to the new Meta logo....rebranding of industry leaders these days is getting a little ridiculous.  I guess they have to find a way to justify all the money they are spending in the marketing departments and get all that new logo apparel out. 😛

    I still love rocking my old Nike Bauer wear...and see the puzzled look from the younglings that were born after the sale.

    • Like 1

  6. With the new fit system, it's best to take a trip to the store. In the past going vapor to vapor was easier, but in my experience the new toe caps and volume based fits required a need to try them on...and while you're at it give every brand a try. The CCM FT4 pros are quite impressive in terms of their fit flexibility, and if I didn't get the 2X pros at the price I found them, I might have switched to those.  Best to not be attached to brand and instead be attached to your comfort and performance.

    • Like 1

  7. I coach this quite a bit in 10U through 14U, and is a learned skill that comes from practice on shooting technique and muscle memory. Every kid wants to "bar down" and pop goalie water bottles, but in a game, there is too much traffic and inaccuracy to produce any consistent goal scoring with high shots. Most goals scored in the 8U-14U level are secondary shots coming from low shots that leave rebounds in the blue paint. Young goalies over the last number of years from my observation have become far more skilled with their glove hand to trap the puck, and to use the blocker to deflect the puck out of the crease. The skill I see most challenging that separates the really skilled goalies is rebound control off the pads from low shots.

    The coaching technique I use is to place players at the top of the circles, and have them focus on point of contact with the puck (contact point) as well as the follow through. The contact point should be parallel to the body (slap or snap shot), or behind the body (snap or wrist shot). That gives the player the best angle of contact with the puck and allows the flex of the stick to provide the necessary whip with the core muscle engagement (using the hips vs all arms and hands) to increase the velocity of the shot. The second area of focus is on the follow through - if the hands release high...the puck will elevate. Focus on reducing the release upon contact with the puck, and the shot will travel low. Once those fundamentals are achieved, it's time to bring in shooter tutors and targets to progress to shot accuracy.

  8. I handed off my Bauer 1X skates to my youngest son (yes, my former "little guy" many of you might remember at Summer Jam skates is now 13, 5' 10", and wearing a 9D skate...miracle grow must be in the food supply), so it was time to look at a suitable alternative. I went back and forth looking and had some conversations with JR debating at a Hyperlite custom job...but that $1300 price tag was a tough pill to swallow right now. As luck would have it, I was able to find a pair of new 2X pros in a 9 Fit1 at a great price ($600), so that made it worth the gamble.  I've had the chance to skate in them three times so far, and will maintain a long term review of the skate for those that might be lucky to get their hands on a pair.


    Fit - 10/10

    In order to get a true understanding of the recent Bauer additions of the fit system, you must try all of the sizes:


    C - narrow width

    D - traditional regular width

    EE - wide width

    Skate fit:

    Fit1 - low volume (narrow vapor last)

    Fit2 - medium volume (medium supreme last)

    Fit3 - high volume (full Nexus last)

    I've always had a narrow foot in the past (C/AA), but after gaining 38 lbs, my foot is a D width now with a narrow forefoot. The 9.0 Fit1 was perfect for me. Tossing all the marketeering aside, the asymmetrical toe cap and quarter are the two major contributors to the fit. Feet are not symmetrical, and I credit Bauer for acknowledging that in the 1X boot. The 2X advances that correct fit with the toe cap, and the reduced height in the fit1 configuration removed a lot of the extra space, but my foot is still so narrow that I still required the adrenaline toe insert to eliminate the negative space. After a complete baking (including the OG CCM compression bag machine...man they need to bring that gem of a relic back to life) the skate fits like a sock. I have to say it's the best fit I've ever had, second only to the customs I used to have when my foot was narrower. The liner is another key piece of the fit that I'm impressed to see as an advancement. I always used to custom order the legacy grip liner for the good heel lock in the boot. This new lock-fit pro liner has that grip material right in the heel area, and my heel locks into the boot perfectly.


    Tongue - 9/10

    This is my pet peeve with most retail skates. Every year there seems to be new advancements in this part of the boot, and with every custom order, I stick to old reliable classic traditional thick felt tongues. I have to say that the APX2 had the best retail tongue in recent history, with the thick felt and the lace bite plastic stitched into the middle of it. The 1X lace lock tongue was a disaster. The 2X pro Recoil pro tongue so far has been a pleasant surprise, striking a balance to the thick felt I like with a recoiling injected metatarsal guard. After three skates I like the flex and how comfortable they are. 


    Insole - N/A

    I'm not including this in the total score, because I don't use the insole that comes with skates. I highly recommend using a more rigid thermoformable insole. I use the speed plate 2.0, and I would rate them a 10. I also recommend baking them with the skate for a complete form fit. The rigid outsole makes for outstanding energy transfer and gives the boot that complete single one-piece molded feel.

    Holder - 9/10   Steel - N/A

    The Lightspeed edge has been around for a number of years, and continues to be a winner for me with the simple trigger system for steel removal. While the 2X pro comes with LS5 steel, I'm far too picky about quality steel and it will be hard for me to switch from the superior quality of the Tydan DLC sets I have. I even told the person I bought the skates from that they could keep the steel that was shipped with the boot. I swap my sets twice a year - because a Bouce 90/50 on the DLC lasts 6 months with 2-3 skates a week. That's how amazing the durability of that steel has been for me, and there's no reason to look elsewhere with those results.

    Weight/Protection/Stiffness - 10/10

    Weight is incredible, and amazingly light. Protection is a TBD on the long term review. Since the APX2, Bauer has impressed me with the stiffness of the elite level boot. My customs up to the APX were a stiff (3), but my APX2, 1X, and now 2X pro are stiff enough to my liking at a 2.

    Durability - TBD

    Will use long term review to judge durability. Too soon for that.

    Intangibles - 10/10

    I always liked the vapor color schemes, and the 2X pro continues that pattern with an appealing graphics package. The tendon guard on the 2X pro has moved to the injected plastic tendon guard, and it has a bit more flex than previous Vapor models which were very rigid. It's the one thing I really like about the supreme tendon, and I'm happy to see this advancement in the vapor line.

    Conclusion - 48/50

    This skate is exceeding my expectations, and I hope to get several years of use. With an immediate break-in from a perfect fit and baking, and responsive flex in the tongue, I was able to work tight turns and edges in my first skate with them with ease. Long term durability is yet to be seen, and I plan to post more on that front as I continue to use them.  With pricing under $700, if you can find a pair in your size I would jump on them.

  9. I've been using FBV for some time now...and about 3 years in Tydan steel (black). I get them sharpened 2x a year (shipped to JR), so I would say the quality of the steel makes a bigger difference. I don't lose my edges, but have to sharpen usually because of nics. I can't imagine going back to ROH.

    At Utica College, a good number of the players use FBV because the EQM has a set of wheels, and unless a player is adamant about ROH gets the rest on FBV. In almost every case the difference in the glide is a winner, and the biggest advantage that made me convert as well.

    • Like 2

  10. I stopped playing beer league around 15 years ago, because of the same issues many described in the thread. One bad apple doesn't spoil a whole bunch, but a slew of rotten apples takes the fun out of playing.  Since then, I've played elite level pickup with a bunch of private ice time slot purchased guys, but most of my time on the ice has come from coaching 8U through 14U teams. It's been way more rewarding giving back to the kids and seeing their game elevate over time. It's a lot more fun than playing around a bunch of losers hoping some 'ghost of Christmas past' scout stumbles their way into the rink.

    • Thanks 1

  11. I've been on the FBV for about two years, and could never go back to ROH.

    My personal preference is the 90/50 in the winter when the ice is harder, and 90/75 during the summer months or in a hot building with softer ice. As jimmy said, the hollow cut of the 90/50 still gives you the same glide when the ice is soft, but edge control decreases because the edges are not as steep....so I tend to lose my grip when I lean aggressively on a single edge. I played at the War Memorial (where the Syracuse Crunch play) in the Crunch Classic charity game on a 90/50 and I had difficulties with my edges because that place is HOT and the ice is soft. It makes a difference when you rely heavily on edge control and skating is your biggest attribute.

  12. I have had some issues with the tape rolling inside the grip during the application process. JR showed me how to use the hairspray technique and I have not had an issue since. The key is to use an ultra-hold aerosol hairspray, because the aerosol creates an even sticky surface. The pump sprays can get blotchy and squirt too much liquid. You want a nice even sticky coat...and you want to give it time to dry.

  13. Keep up the good work DP... progress is a good thing. Don't rush getting back...it takes time as Sid showed...but look at how well the end result has been so far. I am sure you are anxious to get back...and we look forward to seeing you playing again.

  14. Here are the custom APX I just got back for my son. I find it odd the way they did the comfort wrap, or lack there of. Also the clarino doesn't appear to go as far down on these customs. We went custom because he has very narrow feet these are C width. Also we wanted the runners moved in to help with his pronation. I notice they did not use a third copper rivet on the front mount? We also had the heel counter "carved out" which I'm told helps reduce the chance of getting Bauer bumps. He loves the fit, its the first skate that completely locks his heel.

    Looks like you might have asked for the minicel foam. I have the same thing on my TOs, and the comfort wrap looks the same. Frankly, the minicel foam is so comfortable that the wrap is meaningless. I have a C/AA foot as well...so I feel his pain there. The 3rd copper rivet is not used on customs unless specified...I have had 4 pair of custom NBH/Bauer skates come that way. Good to hear the fit is working well. Does he wear special shoes/orthodics for pronation? I would have assumed it had been an issue in the past due to an improper fit...a skate too wide would explain pronation. With the proper fit you would want that edge right down the center of the foot. Luckily, you can have that adjusted if necessary.

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