It may come as no surprise that the high end hockey equipment that is the most popular with the National Hockey League players is also the most popular with the general public.
This is precisely why the equipment manufacturers pay lofty figures in the form of endorsement deals to elite NHL players in order to wear and promote the newest equipment.
Here is a breakdown of the 10 most popular pieces of hockey equipment on the market today.
1.) Bauer One95 Hockey Skates – Bauer has long been a popular choice with professional hockey players and the company continues be on the leading edge of hockey equipment technology.
2.) Bauer Vapor XXXX Stick – Along with their incredible skate technology, Bauer continues to improve on their development of composite stick technology as well.
3.) CCM U+ Skates – The CCM U+ skates entered the market on a relatively quiet note. There was not as much hype as is typically seen with a product launch by Nike Bauer or Easton, but these skates are quietly becoming very popular with professional players and are certainly worth consideration if you are in the market for a new pair of blades this season.
4.) Easton Stealth S17 Stick – The Easton lineup of sticks has been favored by many elite hockey players since they began producing Aluminum sticks a couple of decades ago. The Easton brand name has been synonymous with leading edge composite technology and the S17 Ellipse stick is no different.
5.) Bauer Vapor XXX Lite Stick – Even with the advent of the Vapor XXXX, the Vapor XXX Lite has retained it’s popularity with pro players. This stick was the first in a lineup of composite sticks to weigh in at less than 420 grams, the lightest stick ever produced by Nike Bauer.
6.) RBK 9K-O Stick – This is the stick that has created the most “buzz” and hype over the last couple of years with arguments stemming as to the actual effectiveness of the holes in the bottom of the shaft which RBK claims reduce wind drag during slap shots. Pavel Datsyuk has used this stick with great effectiveness and several other pros have endorsed the technology as well. Scientists, on the other hand, argue that the physics of the claim has little if any merit. Test it out and see for yourself.
7.) Easton Stealth S17 Helmet – Easton partnered up with a great cycling helmet company in GIRO that has assisted them in developing one of the most form-fitting and lightweight helmets on the market, all without sacrificing protection. One of the unique features of the helmet is that is allows for adjustment of the size without requiring any tools. We first saw this feature back in the 1980′s with the Cooper XL7 – luckily the Stealth S17 isn’t nearly as ugly as the old Cooper!
8.) Vaughn Velocity 3 Goal Pads – Vaughn is the premiere manufacturer of goal equipment and the Velocity line-up of pads continues to improve each year. The Velocity 3 was first seen worn by Miikka Kiprusoff and have been a favorite of many Vaughn supporters ever since.
9.) RBK 9K Pump Skates – The popularity of these skates is most influenced by their use by Sidney Crosby and the development of a much better “pump” system than we saw when CCM introduced their ultra-heavy version of the Pump skate back in the 1990′s.
10.) RBK Edge Jersey – While this jersey lacked some functionality that made it less than desirable by players, the marketing brass at the NHL’s head office made these new jerseys fan friendly and rolled them out with tremendous suspense and excitement.
I have personally come to love online shopping after spending a few years wondering about the security, the shipping, and the quality of goods. Most recently, I have found many online retailers offering free or discounted shipping with reliable providers such as UPS or FedEx and the prices are often much better than my local stores.
With the traditional busiest day of the shopping season, Black Friday, now behind us we searched some online hockey stores to find the best deals on hockey equipment.
1.) Hockey Giant has a great holiday sale going on right now on some of the best equipment including jerseys, hats, T-shirts, skates, and sticks offering up to 75% off by using the Code “HOLIDAY08″ on checkout.
2.) Total Hockey is offering free shipping on all orders over $99.00. They are featuring customized skates with colored blade holders as well as the Warrior Dolomite composite stick on sale for just $99.99 (Reg. $179.99).
3.) Hockey Deals is the place to buy hockey equipment for youth players. The clearance center at Hockey Deals is packed full of drastically discounted youth hockey skates, sticks, and protective gear. On top of that, they are also offering free shipping on orders over $99.00 and a Lowest Price Guarantee.
4.) Ice Jerseys is the premiere provider of customized jerseys and apparel for any hockey fan. They are currently offering free shipping with UPS Ground on orders over $85.00 and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
5.) Ebay is of course the place to find the perfect gift for the hard to buy for hockey fan. Most recently there have been some excellent auctions on vintage memorabilia from the days of the original six. If you have an old school hockey fan on your list, don’t buy their gift without checking on Ebay. You never know what you might find.
6.) Blade Tape is a revolutionary new option to traditional hockey tape that last for 15+ ice sessions. They are currently promoting a great holiday 3-for-2 sale. For every 3 of the same item that you add to your cart, one of them will be free on checkout! I have personally been using Blade Tape for over a year and highly recommend it. They also offer free shipping on orders over $50.00.
Don’t Forget The Clearance Sections!
Most online stores also have a clearance section where you may be able to find even further discounts. Many of the clearance equipment items are old models or odd sizes, but the discounts tend to be very steep. So, if you’re an odd size or don’t mind using last year’s model make sure you check out the clearance section at these online stores!
Feel free to share your online shopping experiences with any of these stores in the comments. Other readers certainly welcome the feedback for peace of mind in helping to overcome their hesitation with online shopping. I know customer experiences certainly helped to change my view of online shopping!
Even with the release of the Vapor XXXX stick, the Bauer Vapor XXX Lite continues to be one of the most popular sticks among professionals and amateur players alike. The main reason for its continued popularity is certainly that at 420 grams, it is simply the lightest stick ever produced by Nike Bauer.
The Vapor XXX Lite compares favorably to the Bauer Supreme One90 and the Easton Stealth S17. The availability of the Stick ‘um grip coating makes it a good choice for those players considering the Warrior Kronik, which uses a “Nipple Grip” technology and the double concave shaft walls increase control and comfort while stick handling.
The pure flex profile and N-blade technology allow the Vapor XXX Lite to offer a quick release and a true flex pattern with a remarkable kick. The Vapor XXX Lite is a very well balanced stick that offers a 30 day warranty and is currently a great bang for your buck when it comes to high quality composite sticks.
While the stick may soon be phased out by Nike Bauer, it offers us the great opportunity to purchase a great composite hockey stick for a reasonable price.
Where to Buy The Vapor XXX Lite
Most online stores have marked the Vapor XXX Lite down from nearly $160.00 to about $130.00!
Total Hockey.net has the Vapor XXX Lite priced at $129.99
A little while back, we had a request to compile our hockey skate reviews into one article.
That has turned out well and we have received a great deal of feedback from readers saying that they appreciate being able to find what they are looking for by comparing the top models and brands all from one article.
Therefore, we have decided to bring all of our hockey stick reviews into one place as well. We hope that you find this collection of reviews useful.
You can find good deals on these and other hockey sticks at Total Hockey.net
What to Do With Your Old Sticks
We would also like to remind you that there are great ways to recycle your old hockey sticks.
Of course, if you don’t like mini-sticks, you could always try to pick up the world’s largest hockey stick in Duncan, British Columbia!
But, ff you want a great deal on the real RBK 9K stick, I suggest checking out Total Hockey.com