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colins last won the day on September 6 2021

colins had the most liked content!

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  1. The 7092 (model below the Tacks but same line) didn't have the diaper or adjustable pads. It was the better option IMHO between the Super Tacks girdle and 7092 girdle, provided you didn't need the adjustability of the thigh pads and bought the correct size 7092 to fit.
  2. My Sparx is just over 5 years old. It shipped Jul 2016. My two boys were in minor hockey at the time and they now play Jr A and NCAA. I play beer league a couple times a week. I've never had a single problem with the Sparx in that time. I routinely do 2 passes every couple of games/practices to keep our edges always 'like new'. I very rarely do more than 2. I've sharpened everything from Step Steel to stock steel and the Sparx handled them all equally well. When coming home from Jr A seasons my boys' steel was usually destroyed from a profile perspective because of their team equipment managers sharpening on BladeMaster machines. The toe and heels were significantly rounded off from the manual machines. Sharpening on the Sparx (which I have done for my own skates exclusively) has never affected the profile on my steel, so my blades last a lot longer than theirs do. But then again they are on the ice practically ever day vs. twice a week for me. I don't have any experience with the ProSharp unit so I can't offer any comparison head to head. Yes, it would be great if Sparx wheels were cheaper but honestly at the current prices and the way I use my machine, it's simply incredible value to me and our family and has been since the first day it arrived. Russ owns the company so yes take his words with a grain of salt as everyone has their own biases, but Russ is an engineer not a business or marketing guy. Everything I have read or watched (lots of great Sparx history on youtube) from Russ was logical, fair, balanced and very much what you would expect from an engineer with a background in industrial design. I was in on the Kickstarter like many others here, and for that first year or so when timelines kept slipping I'm sure we all wondered whether Sparx was ever going to deliver on their promise of a revolutionary home skate sharpening machine... well 5 years later after their first launch I can say from my own experiences with the product that they exceeded my expectations, and pretty much nailed it right from the first revision of the machine. For a small company like Sparx, that's pretty impressive when you consider what went into getting the first units out the door.
  3. I think the key is that in the NHL today, at 5 on 5, there's very limited opportunity to care about straight line speed. Maybe 15-20 years ago it mattered a bit more. Today's player needs speed through the many obstacles that stands between him as the puck carrier and the goal. Everyone can skate now. You can't just go wide with speed down the boards anymore. That's why linear crossovers are where the game is going. It's not because they are faster in a straight line, it's because they are faster in the non-straight lines an NHL forward has to take to find open ice and maintain momentum.
  4. But now you're talking speed skating vs. hockey. If we're talking skating for hockey, the answer is clear - McDavid's linear crossovers vs. Taylor Hall's deep squat / stride length - one is much more effective in the game of hockey than the other. Effective speed is all that matters. Hockey is not a NHL all-star weekend skills / fastest skater competition.
  5. I agree. I like what Jason is doing as a young enthusiastic guy in this area, and I think if he keeps at it he'll refine his work into something a bit easier to digest. But I reference him mostly for his video, mostly because he pulls out and shows in slow motion the sequences that allow me to see and understand a bit better the mechanics being used by the best like McDavid, MacKinnon and Barzal. It can be learned later in life too I think, look at that recent goal by Leon Draisaitl vs. the Jets. He circles the net with some traditional crossovers to build speed, then does some linear crossovers to blow past Lowry and create separation to receive a pass and score on a nice finish. Just 2 season ago we didn't see this type of speed from Draisaitl, in fact at times he looked a bit slow and was accused of being lazy. Moreso probably because a lot of the big bodied guys have that slower looking type of mechanics in their skating. But there's no denying the effectiveness of this technique being applied in this case: https://twitter.com/TopherScott_/status/1362374406261985283?s=20
  6. Thousands of coaches have spent their entire lives teaching skating without understanding what really differentiates good skating form from poor skating form. You can see a lot of folks are very passionate about the subject, but the amount of alignment in their beliefs is all over the map. Be wary of the anyone that thinks they have it all figured out. Anyone that claims that most certainly knows far less than they realize. Hell, NHL teams even in recent years have had power skating coaches like Laura Stamm teaching players to swing their arms front to back instead of side to side. Mike Bracko has disproved this and taught the side to side arm swing. Anyone talking about knee bend really means hip hinge. If you try to bend your knees without developing the ability to comfortably hinge your hip, you're going to have a bad time. But look at McDavid, the undisputed skating king of the NHL. No one puts fear into opposing D like McDavid. Does it look like he has a deep hip hinge / knee bend and long stride like Taylor Hall? No, not at all. Does he blow past players like they are standing still? Yes. So what's his magic? It's certainly in his linear crossovers and the power he's generating below the knee. His strength to mass ratio and the power he generates on his cross overs puts him in another league altogether. It'll be decades before most traditional power skating coaches catch up to teaching the technique McDavid is using vs. the old school Laura Stamm train of thought. I don't mean to pick on Laura, but her videos are on youtube and show what most traditional 'power skating' coaches have believed for years. I can't comment on ankle strength but ankle mobility is 100% important. People make fun of 'ankle benders', but elite skaters can (in a controllable way) pronate their ankles to achieve more power in their stride. Look up Jason Yee's videos on McDavid's and MacKinnon's stride analysis and watch what their feet and ankles are doing as they accelerate. Also look up Cal Dietz's work on ankle mobility and strength training, he's got videos on youtube. This is a very deep topic. Anyone who claims to know it all is surely wrong. If they were right, they'd have produced piles of players that skate like McDavid. But that hasn't happened. Players can become better skaters. But I'd argue most of what they need to do to get there starts off ice with mobility and speed work.
  7. Biggest challenge moving from P88 to P92 is actually the lie. They are both stamped a lie 6 (in Bauer at least) but the P88 is a lower lie and it's significant enough to take note of. The solution is to go shorter on your P92 stick length than you would on the P88. This will allow the rest of your mechanics to stay similar without putting just the heel of your P92 on the ice when stick handling. I'd estimate you need to go 1-2" shorter to balance things out, but your mileage may vary. The other option is to find a lie 5 P92. They aren't so common. Special order from Bauer. I have seen them in Sherwood, I don't know if the standard P92 is a lie 5 in a Sherwood but a couple I've got from a JrA team are lie 5 and they're great.
  8. Those look awesome. Peak shoulder pad development right there.
  9. Count is tracked on the wheel not the sharpener. There's an embedded rfid tag in the ring and the machine writes to it to decrease the # of remaining passes each time it's used. Check this thread circa July 2016 when Russ the inventor of the Sparx confirms each ring is programmed for 320 passes.
  10. The rings last for 320 passes. You may have miscounted if you only recorded 264 passes. Or someone is running cycles that you aren't aware of. But the ring is coded for 320 passes, that's how many you get before the light goes out. I'm in the habit of doing 2 passes before every 3rd or 4th skate. I don't find I ever need more than that for well cared for / well handled skates.
  11. The paint flaked off in big sections given the shiny/reflective properties but I didn't find the shaft or blade chipped particularly easy. The blade durability was junk though, but most loved the performance up to the point where the blade integrity got compromised. The first gen RS with the oval hosel was brutal for durability, I remember kids in peewee and bantam that were breaking them off it seemed on a weekly basis. But the feel/performance was stellar for those that liked them. It wasn't until the S19 that they seemed to make them hold up a bit better.
  12. SE16 was a great stick, only flaw it had was the hollow core blades would go 'crunchy' and lose their pop pretty quick. The blade wouldn't be visibly broken, but the internal structure would be compromised. I guess that was some of the early days before they had all the foams and internal rib structures figured out for durability. The weight on the back of the EQ50 was a physical 'bump' on the blade and I don't think people liked that. The Warrior Spyne blades also had a non-flat back surface and didn't seem to instill confidence in most people's minds for handling the puck.
  13. Easton was on a huge roll of delivering some of the finest high end composite sticks on the market up to the release of the EQ50 which was a huge flop. The weights in the top of the shaft weren't even that bad but the heel weight insert in the blade was terrible. Whoever was responsible for that release should have been fired. I'm not sure Easton ever really recovered their position in the stick market after that did they?
  14. This phenomenon was foreign to me as a player who as a kid was always a first line offensive type of guy and never had to question my own ability or place on the team. I didn't know what confidence was as I was never in a position up through all minor hockey and highschool to deal with it - I was always top six guy and I felt I belonged there and everything was "normal" all the time. Fast forward 20 years and I'd been away from the game for 10 years after starting a career and family, and as I got back into it I was just playing beer league with variety of skill levels and quickly enough everything was normal again. But then as I started playing again more regularly, I got invited to some more competitive skates, and at one point I'm in a room with a bunch of guys, some ex-pro players, most of whom played at least junior or senior level hockey whereas I pretty much stopped playing competitive after highschool. Now the tables are turned - I'm out on the ice and although we're all guys in our 40s at this point, I'm feeling like my credentials are sub standard vs the majority of these guys, especially the ones that played pro, and I'm doubting myself. For a couple of games, I'm pretty hopeless. Rushing passes, missing easy passes, not feeling part of the flow. Then I have a light bulb moment - we were all pretty much the same players in highschool, I just went a different path and didn't keep at it like most of these guys did, but we're all in our 40s now and old-farts from a competitive hockey POV, and I told myself I belonged on the same ice and to play the way I would if it was just a bunch of my highschool buddies. Immediately everything changed. I relaxed and had fun and made nice plays and scored some nice goals and joked around on the bench instead of worrying if I belonged. So that was my first experience with what a loss of confidence does to a player and it was a real eye opener. Had I not been on the ice with that group at that point in my 40's I never would have understood it, and I had been a decent player and played hockey for 30+ years up to that point. It's a powerful thing.
  15. That's an interesting case then for sure. It's great to hear he's enjoying the process. I would say he's either: 1) Putting too much pressure on himself not to make a mistake. If so, tell him it's ok to make mistakes and use some positive re-enforcement so his mindset becomes one that says mistakes are just learning opportunities and not a bad thing. Second try to structure practice around drills that really emulate actual game situations he struggles with. You say he's given the puck away / panicking, so recreate those same scenarios in practice and have him put himself in those situations over and over and not throw the puck away early until it becomes routine and something he can easily bring from practice to game time. 2) Someone else is putting pressure on him. The car ride home talk scenario. Hard to know sometimes in those situations. Usually the parents are great and mean well they just don't understand the psychological impact trying to help fix the "mistakes" in the car ride home instead of just saying "Did you have fun? I liked that shot on goal you had in the second period. You were working real hard". 3) Back to earlier comments - he could be playing afraid (physical fear of getting hurt). For this one maybe find him a matchup where he's out against smaller / less physical players and see if that changes anything. Hockey is really just a metaphor for life, I think that's why it's so great - if you show up as a leader and show him you care and have an open ear, you can help make a positive impact on that young man regardless of what he's going through.
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