With the introduction of Alkali’s RPE skate line, the successor to their innovative RPD family, the inline hockey player skate game has changed. Featuring innovative thermoformable materials, an improved fit, and a redesigned boot structure, Alkali has upped the ante by bringing their new technology to every price point. Let’s take a look.
Fit and Form
The biggest improvement in Alkali’s skate line is in the fit. Focusing on a much more traditional, comfort-oriented fit profile, Alkali’s RPE skate line features a high-volume, wider fit profile designed to accommodate the wide-footed player better than the options offered by competitors. For those familiar with CCM’s previous RBZ skates, and Bauer’s Nexus lineup of boot, the Alkali RPE family will feel as familiar as home from the get-go, offering a generous volume to compliment the high instep most players with wide feet have.
For those currently in Alkali skates, never fear! The 9-minute heat-molding process makes the skate of the best custom fits in the game; wrapping the already anatomical boot last for a close-to-the-foot finish to fit a wide range of foot profiles.
New to the RPE line across the board are improved HyperLock L pads and Activ Wick grip liner to improve heel lock and dial in the support in a generous fitting boot. Coupled with a low-profile, hybrid felt/injected foam tongue and an chassis pocket recessed into the outsole, the new RPE skates have been redesigned from the ground up to improve your range of motion and energy transfer through your skating.
The Zenith+ is Alkali’s new flagship skate. A hyper heat-moldable quarter package made from ultra-lightweight Purlyn (a light, thermoformable impact composite) is paired with a stiff, light one-piece Aluminium chassis and Labeda Addiction wheels to provide that pro-level performance, maximizing grip, speed and stability. The Purlyn boot form’s super stiff and super heat-moldable nature maximizes the surface area contact and energy transfer in each skating stride, while Alkali’s recessed chassis pocket, full-composite outsole and all-80mm setup contributes to the balance and stability of the skate.
Clocking in at their mid-price point, Alkali’s RPE Visium+ skates features a pro-stiffness composite boot with Purlyn strategically spaced throughout for a stiff, responsive boot form. The Activ-wick moisture wicking grip liner and Hyperlock heel pads out found in the boot, which connects to a fiberglass outsole that provides the high level of stiffness needed for high-performance or heavier players. Alkali’s Movement chassis is paired with Swiss Lite bearings and Labeda Dynasty wheels for that performance grip and speed, all without breaking the bank.
Despite its price tag, the Alkali RPE Rival+ skate is nothing to scoff at. A lightweight ballistic nylon boot with stiffeners strategically built in provides superb support and performance in this entry-level skate, while retaining the heat-moldability the RPE family has brought to the table. The same Activ Wick moisture-wicking grip liner and HyperLock ankle pads found in the higher end models are found in the skate. The Movement Chassis and Labeda Millenium wheels carry on the balance and speed profile from the top-tier models, making the Rival+ skate an absolutely spectacular performance-for-value skate.
You can check these skates out and more, in-store and online here at Coast to Coast Hockey Shop, located in Vancouver, BC. Our skate experts will help you find your best performance fit.
The Hockey WrapAround Ice is the next step evolution from Hockey WrapAround's original protective wrap - the WrapAround One. Designed to protect the blade of a composite hockey stick while training and playing on non-ice surfaces, the WrapAround became the go-to stick accessory, allowing players to utilize the performance benefits of composite sticks and blades, without wearing through and destroying the carbon fiber construction these sticks tend to have.
While the original WrapAround was successful and very durable, the all-metal construction lent itself to a slightly more dampened puck feel than anticipated, while adding a bit more weight to the bottom-end of the stick (though that's attributed to its purpose as a training tool), sometimes creating a more blade-heavy balance for an already-lightweight composite stick. While that version can be effective for strength training, the new Hockey WrapAround Ice looks to improve on these small caveats by taking the next step up in material and construction.
The new Ice model utilizes a specialized molded plastic construction, built from a similar material as the low-friction off-ice stickhandling boards. This lends the WrapAround Ice to be half the weight of the original metal edition, as well as reducing the friction from the rougher playing surface, and minimizing the dampened puck feel commonly associated with adding an extra layer to your hockey stick blade. The material nevertheless acts as a great layer to help soften those hot passes or deflected shots coming off your stick blade, allowing for better control and helping tame some of the stiffer, pingy blades that can sometimes be found on some top-of-the-line composite sticks and blades.
The new WrapAround Ice's new plastic composition also lends itself to be much more flexible during the installation process, creating a much closer-to-the-blade fit, resulting in an accurate transposition of your actual blade curve to the final form. The new material can also be trimmed, meaning that players with shorter blades or using Junior-sized hockey sticks can now tailor the WrapAround to better fit their needs without the excess material.
The Hockey WrapAround Ice is the new staff-favourite stick accessory here at the shop, with most of us using them to get that composite stick performance in our outdoor games. With the WrapAround also coming in both white and black to match your tape or blade color, it definitely earns a few style points from the boys in store. Check out the Hockey WrapAround and more here at Coast to Coast Hockey Shop, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada; and on the interwebs near you!
Best Pricing when you purchase Hockey WrapAround Ice in bulk
We have added bulk pricing to our WrapArounds Ice page - stack up an order with your team, buddies or on your own to save big on WrapArounds - They will still ship with our super affordable flat rate shipping across Canada. International shipping available - contact us for a quote! email@example.com
Our friends at Alkali Hockey have launched new updates to their RPD line of inline hockey equipment, bringing their products up to date with the current performance and fit needs of the modern inline hockey player. With us being reloaded with Alkali’s new range of equipment, let’s dive into the new pieces that have hit our shelves.
Coming in at Alkali’s premium padded shirt offering, the Visium shirt is built with a 360-degree 3D flex padding that maximizes protection, mobility and comfort. The cell-pattern flex padding situation across key areas in the chest, back, shoulders and ribs provide a non-restrictive pro-level protection. All while being attached via the 16-way Stretch Lycra to an increased-length shirt, an update that keeps the shirt mobile against the body, while constructed to remain tucked-in to your roller pads to maintain a secure, protective fit.
To complement their premium padded shirt, Alkali introduced the Visium girdle. Made of the same 360-degree 3D flex padding foundation, ergonomic foams on the thigh guards and the 16-way stretch lycra round out this high-mobility girdle. A reinforced waistband and stitch lycra seams lock the girdle to the body, providing a secure, comfortable fit augmented with the moisture-wicking properties the materials bring.
For the more budget-minded or traditionally-inclined inline hockey player, the Quantum girdle offers ventilated, single-layer full flex protective padding for a more traditional fit and feel. Updated with 16-way stretch mesh lycra, comfort leg straps and a nylon locking belt; the Quantum girdle brings modern performance to a more traditional protection package, with good coverage for beginner to intermediate play.
Alkali's top-of-the-line offering in their next-generation RPD line uses a multi-directional stretch nylon, maximizing mobility and breath-ability throughout every stride; while providing comfortable-fitting and sleek looking coverage. Dual-layer knee panels ensures a pro-level durability, and a quick and easy dual-cinch setup makes this easy to adjust on-the-fly.
Alkali's value-conscious offering in their RPD pant line features a lightweight mesh body with dual-layered knee reinforcements to provide a pro-level performance pant at an affordable price point - resulting in a lightweight, breathable pant that's built with a better lifespan. A more expansive crotch gusset for increased mobility and stride extension, and vented mesh pant legs for better airflow round out a pant that's offered in two designs - Striped and Chevron.
Helmet and Facial
A classic-fit shell construction with traditional VN foam, the Alkali Visium Helmet provides a familiar fit with improved airflow and tried-and-true protection at an affordable price point. Combined with a steel cage with good visibility and breathability, the Visium helmet provides solid impact protection tailored to the roller hockey player.
Where would we be without the traditional visor? Alkali’s Visium Player Visor is a straight-cut, pro-style hockey visor with anti-fog and anti-scratch properties; a lexan and polycarbonate construction maximizes the optically correct visuals, reducing the vision warp commonly associated with hockey visors. All while coming in at an affordable price point.
You can find all of Alkali’s new products and more with us here, at Coast to Coast Hockey Shop, situated on Main St - Vancouver, BC.
Look forward to our blog on Alkali’s new player skate offerings!
With the winter season in play, a lot of us will be looking for a new pair of wheels to start the season with a new step to our game. For those who have been out of the gear game for a while, or just need a fresh take on skate fit as their old boot just doesn’t cut it for comfort anymore, we’ve put together a few guides that we’ll be releasing.
First up are the fit profiles for Bauer and Mission. With both brands being operated under the same parent company, you’ll find a lot of material, chassis and wheel profile similarities, so let’s take a quick peek at what the fits we’ve got in are.
The line of skates most people in Bauer skates are familiar with, the Vapor family features a narrow forefoot that tapers into a slightly more generous heel for better mobility. This family is Bauer’s answer for those with narrower foot profiles, with a snug, low-volume (foot thickness/instep height) foot last and a V-shaped heel. Vapor skates tend to open up in the heel after the bake, and allows players’ heels to slip deeper into that v-pocket for a more secure heel lock, so don’t be alarmed if the Vapor boot feels a hair too short from the get go – your foot will settle back a bit after a break in or a bake!
Mission’s Inhaler DS family is the predecessor to their current NLS line. But with plenty of stock and a familiar fit, this is still the go-to line for many players who have become accustomed to Mission’s fit process. Built off the same boot last as Bauer’s Supreme family of ice hockey skates, the Mission Inhaler DS family features a more anatomical, 360-degree boot last that a large majority of skaters with average width feet fit into. An anatomical, snug heel pocket that tapers into a slightly wider forefoot and toebox, Mission’s DS skate is slightly wider-fitting than Bauer’s Vapor line, with a standard “E” width sizing compared to Vapor’s standard “D” width.
With Mission’s 2016/2017 update to the Inhaler line of skates, comes a slightly different fit thanks to more advanced materials and foams found in the quarter package. The new Curv Composite, and ballistic nylon formulae and memory-foam like thermo-formable padding found in the liners of the NLS family of skate allows for the same level of protection, durability and custom fit, but with lighter, thinner materials. Fundamentally, the fit still draws from Bauer/Mission’s anatomical foot last, but with a bit more width and volume throughout the skate; planting the NLS line’s “E” width fit in between the old DS line’s “E” and “EE” widths. Nevertheless, the heat-moldability of the skates allows for the skate to wrap around a foot to re-create the old DS fit, but the new NLS line is perfect for Mission skaters who needed to punch out their DS skates just a hair for some comfort.
Naturally, at the end of the day, boot fit is the most important component to skate performance. Being professionally fitted for your skates to best accommodate not only your foot shape, but your skating style, foot issues and biomechanics behind your stride will always yield the best results. For the Vancouverites and visitors, swing into the shop here at Coast to Coast Hockey for your foot evaluation and skate fit today!
Today we're taking a look at the price point skates of Bauer's new 2017 Vapor Skate family. The skates are built from the same boot last as the 1XR, providing a consistent, tapered, snug fit throughout the foot, while offering this pro-preferred fit profile in multiple price points to fit every skater's budgets and needs. Let's dive straight into it!
The Bauer Vapor XR800 Skate features a full Curv composite boot, created from one of the most lightweight, responsible, anatomically heat moldable materials available in the industry. A performance-first approach to skate design ensures that the Curv composite stands out as a hyper-stiff energy-transferring material, improving the fit and finish of every skate.
As with the top-of-the-line 1XR, the XR800 features the new LockFit dual-zone grip liner, with a tackier, grip-material bottom designed to securely lock the foot in place, while the familiar Hydramax 2 liner keeps the skate cool and dry with its patented moisture management properties. The new FlexLock tongue combines a pro-grade felt tongue with a thermoformable smart material that improves forward flex and durability, while maintaining that range of motion through the boot's overall asymmetrical design.
The Bauer Vapor XR600 Skate features a pro-level spec-sheet and materials, while remaining friendly to the wallet. A tech-mesh fiber composite boot provides a lightweight, responsive upgrade from traditional, older tech-mesh, while retaining the new asymmetrical last design Bauer created for this updated Vapor family.
A new one-piece heel and ankle support built into the internal structure of the boot improves stability and fit throughout the anterior portion of the foot, using Bauer's tried-and-tested AnaForm ankle pads and a moisture-wicking microfiber liner to provide a secure wrap and heel lock; all while maintaining a cool, dry boot through ample ventilation and moisture management.
The Bauer Vapor XR500 Skate starts with a reinforced TrueForm Tech PU boot, a material that provides a performance stiffness and responsiveness at a reasonable price. A one-piece, internal heel and ankle support structure is a new feature implemented by Bauer to provide an improved heel fit and secure lock, while increasing the durability of the skate.
An upgraded tongue with an integrated metatarsal guard helps serve as protection from lace bite and minor impact energy, while a heatmoldable AnaForm ankle pads serve as a structural basis for the hydrophobic microfiber internals. The result is a great fit package with moisture-wicking properties.
The one-piece Aluminium Hi-Lo frame is found at this price point, with its seamless construction improving the durability and responsiveness of the skate, while Indoor Hi-Lo Clinger wheels and Abec 7 bearings round out the skate.
The Bauer Vapor XR400 skate is formed from Bauer's PU Trueform Tech Mesh boot, that provides a performance-minded degree of stiffness, durability and impact protection at the recreational price point. The AnaForm ankle pads are heatmoldable to provide a customized fit from the first fitting at the shop.
A standard pro-felt tongue and microfiber liner fill out the internals of the skate, while the Hi-Lo Court wheels, Abec 5 bearings and Ventilator frame provide a solid, stable foundation for turns, strides and glides.
A great option for the casual skater looking for the hockey skate feel, or the rookie player looking to get into the game, Bauer's Vapor boot design offers a secure heel lock and adaptable fit to provide stability and support throughout every stride. Unique at this price point are the Heat-adjustable internal foams, allowing for some heat moldability and fit customization from the first fit at the shop, while reducing break-in time.
Hi-Lo Street Outdoor Wheels, Abec 5 bearings and a Two-Piece Hi-Lo chassis produces an aggressive pitch perfect for maneuverability and maximizing skating technique.
The new Bauer Vapor XR Vapor line takes the best elements of the familiar Vapor skate, and injects each skate with performance upgrades to keep up with the technological and skill advancements in roller hockey. The result is a much better value product at each price point, ensuring that every player is getting the support, performance and fit they need.
See the new inline hockey skates in-store and online here, at Coast to Coast Hockey Shop - your Vancouver-home-grown inline store!