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Are hockey players more susceptible to marketing?

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I've basically come to the conclusion that hockey equipment is among the most predatory marketing schemes in sports equipment.  Maybe because there is so much of it, but nothing else comes close unless we're talking about really expensive sports like golf.  Most gear is just cosmetically different stuff that has gone fundamentally unchanged for 15-20 years, but is always marketed as "revolutionary."  

The problem I see is that most guys just eat this up.  Adult rec league players legitimately believe that $200 shin pads or $160 elbow pads actually make them a better player.  Because CCM and Bauer told them so.  Which, to clarify, if you do in fact believe that, you have brain problems.  

Not to mention the quality of the gear has gone down if anything.  Fancy foams with trademarked names doesn't really mean much when your expensive gear starts falling apart in a few years.  

Sorry if this feels like an unfocused post, but this just really bothers me.  I wouldn't be on this site if I also wasn't particular about my gear, but there generally does seem like there is something uniquely wrong with hockey players in this regard.

Anyone have any thoughts?

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True to an extent.  While what you said is common, the reaction to it seems to be almost unique to hockey players.

Let me use an example from another hobby of mine.  I build computers.  Custom high end gaming stuff.  That's an industry where marketing is equally ridiculous as it is in hockey, but the difference is the reaction of the intended base.  Most guys who build computers don't buy any of the hype.  It's a CPU.  It's a power supply.  It's whatever, it has objective qualities to it.  Plus, it's not like these companies slap a different colored heat sink on the same stick of RAM every year and say "YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THE ReVoLuTiOnArY PERFORMANCE YOU WILL GET OUT OF OUR EXTREME PRO 2 FOR PRO RAM!"

Not with hockey gear.  CCM tells you their new stick is .0003 grams lighter and calls it "EXTREME PRO 2 FOR PRO" and people line up to drop $300+ on it "because."

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I don't think hockey players respond differently than any other consumer base.  To use your PC building example, I know plenty of folks that fall for "this new Nvidia card can run Duke Nukem at 4 gazillion FPS".  So they spend $2k on a video card to play DOTA or something similar.

Some people will spend thousands on designer clothes thinking it will make them more attractive, when in reality they're often made in the same factory in Bangladesh that made the Walmart knockoff.

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No, it’s not unique to hockey players. Same in the photography world with cameras and lenses (this camera can shoot at ISO 1,000,000,000,000!!), football is similar with helmets and shoulder pads, running is the same with more cushioning or less cushioning being the best thing to reduce pain and increase your PRs, etc, etc. 

 

One thing I will agree with is quality of gear even over the last 5 or so years. I feel like the Bauer APX and 1X lines were great, but from the 1X lite to today’s 3x, the quality and materials of protective pads and gloves has gone down dramatically. Same goes for Warrior with the QR1/QRL to whatever the hell number the QR gloves are at now.  Even the latest Alpha LX elbows are a downgrade from the DX they’re replacing. Sadly people do fall for the hype because it’s newer, so it must be better. 

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3 hours ago, boo10 said:

I don't think hockey players respond differently than any other consumer base.  To use your PC building example, I know plenty of folks that fall for "this new Nvidia card can run Duke Nukem at 4 gazillion FPS".  So they spend $2k on a video card to play DOTA or something similar.

The real irony is a lot of these types of people don't even have a monitor that can display framerates that high, so their money is totally wasted.  

In any case, these people are acting like teenagers, or are in fact that young, and in some sense I can understand that.  When you're young you want the latest and greatest and you have no real filter for bullshit marketing quite yet.  Grown men, often 30+ years old, acting like overpriced, bad quality gear will get them noticed by the non-existent scouts in the stands at their rec league games so they can be the fourth liner/"enforcer" of their dreams though?  That a different level of sad.

29 minutes ago, Westside said:

No, it’s not unique to hockey players. Same in the photography world with cameras and lenses (this camera can shoot at ISO 1,000,000,000,000!!), football is similar with helmets and shoulder pads, running is the same with more cushioning or less cushioning being the best thing to reduce pain and increase your PRs, etc, etc. 

 

One thing I will agree with is quality of gear even over the last 5 or so years. I feel like the Bauer APX and 1X lines were great, but from the 1X lite to today’s 3x, the quality and materials of protective pads and gloves has gone down dramatically. Same goes for Warrior with the QR1/QRL to whatever the hell number the QR gloves are at now.  Even the latest Alpha LX elbows are a downgrade from the DX they’re replacing. Sadly people do fall for the hype because it’s newer, so it must be better. 

I see your point, and I agree, it isn't unique to hockey players, it just seems worse to me somehow.

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It seems to be with newer players as opposed to veteran players. Most of the players I skate with have found the gear that they like and have stuck with it. 

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On 9/14/2021 at 5:30 PM, Meta said:

I've basically come to the conclusion that hockey equipment is among the most predatory marketing schemes in sports equipment.  Maybe because there is so much of it, but nothing else comes close unless we're talking about really expensive sports like golf.  Most gear is just cosmetically different stuff that has gone fundamentally unchanged for 15-20 years, but is always marketed as "revolutionary."  

The problem I see is that most guys just eat this up.  Adult rec league players legitimately believe that $200 shin pads or $160 elbow pads actually make them a better player.  Because CCM and Bauer told them so.  Which, to clarify, if you do in fact believe that, you have brain problems.  

Not to mention the quality of the gear has gone down if anything.  Fancy foams with trademarked names doesn't really mean much when your expensive gear starts falling apart in a few years.  

Sorry if this feels like an unfocused post, but this just really bothers me.  I wouldn't be on this site if I also wasn't particular about my gear, but there generally does seem like there is something uniquely wrong with hockey players in this regard.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Well, the pricing has been like this for decades. You have actual professionals who need highly protective gear and you have beginners who don't need as much protection and everything in between. Manufacturers build gear for various levels of players and price them accordingly. Your adult rec league player could wear high end shin pads or could wear beginner shin pads. Everyone has the free choice to buy the low end gear, the high end gear or something in between. Even playing ice hockey is an option.

As someone who has played goalie and as a player, it's nice to have options. I really don't care if gear claims to make me a better player. If it doesn't fit well, I don't care if it's made with carbon fiber and weighs one ounce, I'll get the gear the fits right and weighs a pound. STX is going in an interesting direction with direct-to-customer sales approach. If you play forward, they are worth checking out if you want something that isn't $200+.

As for quality of gear, when it comes to goalie gear, it seems like pads and gloves are made with a "it's going to be trash in a couple years" mentality. Back when gear was made with real leather, it could be used for quite a long time and patched if necessary. Artificial leather seems to wear down much faster than leather at high-abrasion areas. I guess you can patch it with a pad wrap material. Now, the internals of leg pads are made with nice lightweight foams, which break down. If the foams in the pads are gone, they are gone. Of course, foam leg pads are much lighter than animal hair-packed leg pads, I wouldn't suggest going back. 

If you really want to play a cheaper sport, go ahead. You will see marketing of some sort where pro-level equipment is highly expensive and mid to beginner level equipment is cheaper.

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caveman27 summed it up nicely so I won't repeat what he said.

My input is I don't see the guys I play with act like this, most guys have older gear, replaced when it wears out or whatever.  Some guys are hanging onto stuff that should be taken out and shot.  Lastly, at this point in my life, if I want to blow money on a top end stick or skates I don't give a rat's ass what other people say.  I don't, but if I did it's up to me.  Same with music, I know there is diminishing returns on instruments over a certain price point, but if for some reason I wanted an expensive guitar or amp or whatever, it's nobody else's business.

 

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42 minutes ago, caveman27 said:

Well, the pricing has been like this for decades. You have actual professionals who need highly protective gear and you have beginners who don't need as much protection and everything in between. Manufacturers build gear for various levels of players and price them accordingly. Your adult rec league player could wear high end shin pads or could wear beginner shin pads. Everyone has the free choice to buy the low end gear, the high end gear or something in between. Even playing ice hockey is an option.

As someone who has played goalie and as a player, it's nice to have options. I really don't care if gear claims to make me a better player. If it doesn't fit well, I don't care if it's made with carbon fiber and weighs one ounce, I'll get the gear the fits right and weighs a pound. STX is going in an interesting direction with direct-to-customer sales approach. If you play forward, they are worth checking out if you want something that isn't $200+.

As for quality of gear, when it comes to goalie gear, it seems like pads and gloves are made with a "it's going to be trash in a couple years" mentality. Back when gear was made with real leather, it could be used for quite a long time and patched if necessary. Artificial leather seems to wear down much faster than leather at high-abrasion areas. I guess you can patch it with a pad wrap material. Now, the internals of leg pads are made with nice lightweight foams, which break down. If the foams in the pads are gone, they are gone. Of course, foam leg pads are much lighter than animal hair-packed leg pads, I wouldn't suggest going back. 

If you really want to play a cheaper sport, go ahead. You will see marketing of some sort where pro-level equipment is highly expensive and mid to beginner level equipment is cheaper.

I can't stress enough how completely you missed the point of my post.

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20 minutes ago, Meta said:

I can't stress enough how completely you missed the point of my post.

Yeah. Sorry about that.

 

I've basically come to the conclusion that hockey equipment is among the most predatory marketing schemes in sports equipment.  Maybe because there is so much of it, but nothing else comes close unless we're talking about really expensive sports like golf.  Most gear is just cosmetically different stuff that has gone fundamentally unchanged for 15-20 years, but is always marketed as "revolutionary."  

Downhill skiing and snowboarding is pretty expensive with models catering to world cup-level skiers to beginners.  High-level equipment touting better grip, performance, speed, or whatever other attribute. It's very performance based or "predatory marketing scheme" based. Is the gear just cosmetically different year-to-year? Pretty much. The last big revolutionary change was shorter but wider skis. Every year is just different colors.

 

The problem I see is that most guys just eat this up.  Adult rec league players legitimately believe that $200 shin pads or $160 elbow pads actually make them a better player.  Because CCM and Bauer told them so.  Which, to clarify, if you do in fact believe that, you have brain problems.  

Well, the lowest division beginner wearing $900 Bauer skates but uses the stick as a balancing crutch is a joke. But, part of it, if someone has the money, they can buy whatever they want. If he really thinks it makes him a better player, well, he may be deceiving himself. Most guys have played for years. Some played at a very elite level. These guys want certain equipment at the pro level because they push it to the limit, like skates. The mid to beginner level skates don't cut it in terms of support and performance. Yeah, they could wear beginner skates, but they will wear out early or nor provide adequate support. 

 

Not to mention the quality of the gear has gone down if anything.  Fancy foams with trademarked names doesn't really mean much when your expensive gear starts falling apart in a few years.  

Not necessarily. D30 foam is pretty modern in how it reacts to impact. It's expensive too. In terms of modern HD and LD foams, they are a step up from foams used in the 1980s. I don't think anyone is using Rubatex anymore, if you wore Cooper stuff back in the day, it was used in the helmets like the SK2000.

 

Sorry if this feels like an unfocused post, but this just really bothers me.  I wouldn't be on this site if I also wasn't particular about my gear, but there generally does seem like there is something uniquely wrong with hockey players in this regard.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Well, it sounds like you are complaining about the marketing schemes of hockey equipment manufacturers. And, there's nothing wrong with hockey players.

If you want to buy a better product, you have the "option" to do so. If you want to buy an intermediate or beginner model, you also have that option. I think you are "focused" on how people in your sphere of hockey behave. Where I am, yes, there are guys who like to buy the latest and greatest or pro stock gear. Then, there are guys with vintage equipment and don't always buy the latest and greatest. Some guys wear their roller hockey gear on the ice, like Mission-brand gloves... how dare they!  Marketing of the latest and greatest to improve one's performance doesn't make everyone buy the top of the line.

 

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You're a Boomer, aren't you?  That's some A+ thick-skulled Boomer unwarranted condescension right there.  Hats off to that level of just "not getting it" my man.  

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5 hours ago, Meta said:

You're a Boomer, aren't you?  That's some A+ thick-skulled Boomer unwarranted condescension right there.  Hats off to that level of just "not getting it" my man.  

Well, you've made a lot of assumptions that I don't agree with. And, I'm not a Boomer so that would add to your list of assumptions.

Secondly, you weren't able to intelligently respond to any of my comments. You turn to insulting me and sarcasm. That's your reputation now.

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9 hours ago, Meta said:

You're a Boomer, aren't you?  That's some A+ thick-skulled Boomer unwarranted condescension right there.  Hats off to that level of just "not getting it" my man.  

Calling someone a boomer is 1) THE laziest argument around and 2) one of the most pathetic forms of condescension there is.

You posted an opinion, not a factual argument, and people disagreed with you after you asked for their thoughts.  You don’t like the opinion so you attack the person.  That’s some A+ immaturity right there.

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Meta,

There are a lot of people who have been on here a long time and get along to make this place worthwhile to visit.  Many bring experience from the hockey equipment world you aren't going to find anywhere else.  While every once in a while things get misinterpreted or people may cross the line a bit, it is an extremely rare occurrence.  This is not like the majority of places on the internet where people treat each other like garbage from behind their keyboards.  I would suggest if you want to take part in the discussions here and have people take you seriously, stop calling people names and acting like you have in this thread.

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