Players taking their first steps into inline hockey often have a few key questions about gear - especially if they’re coming in from an ice hockey background. We’re here to tackle a couple of those questions and help you take solid first steps into the sport!
While much of your ice hockey equipment is transferable, one element that’s got a little less utility in inline hockey are ice hockey pants. The standard pant and hockey sock combo work incredibly well for the impacts and rigor of ice hockey, but are far too insulating and bulky for inline hockey. Players will find themselves sweating without the cooling effect of the ice, and may find that the bulkier protection limits mobility and agility while you play.
For that reason, we have the inline girdle. Made of a flexible, multi-density foam foundation, the protection is tailored to the needs of an inline player, while providing a solid degree of mobility and breath-ability to keep you cool and comfortable during your games. Hugging close to your body and made of moisture-wicking material, inline girdles also help manage sweat and temperature. A coverall-style mesh pant goes over the girdle and shin guards, providing a bit more protection and a cleaner protective shell over your equipment, made of a polyester and mesh fabric that promotes further airflow, such as the Alkali RPD Quantum pant below.
The fit and finish across brands varies, from Bauer’s tapered fit Vapor pants, to Mission’s generous-fit Inhaler pants. With a large variety of features and styles across a wide range of price ranges, being properly fit is key to maximizing your comfort and performance in-game. Coupled with a high-performance girdle such as the CCM Super Tacks Girdle, a player can really maximize their protection and mobility, drawing from the best of both worlds.
Indoor vs Outdoor Wheels
Most skates come with one or the either, and both have their place. The aim of the game is to maximize your performance and durability, regardless of surface - so here’s the breakdown.
Indoor wheels are made of a softer base material, providing a great deal more grip and control on smooth indoor surfaces, such as sport court or ice court. Without the natural friction and traction from the grit of an outdoor surface and the debris build up commonly found on it, the extra softness of the wheel allows a player to perform all the movements and techniques required without worrying about slipping. The Labeda Addictions pictured below are one of the best-performing indoor wheels available on the market.
The caveat here is that they’re a fair bit less durable than harder wheels, and will very easily get shredded up on rough surfaces. Furthermore, the extra grip coming from indoor wheels will slow you down on the extra grit of outdoor surfaces, reducing both the performance and lifespan of your wheels. For those looking for a value-conscious rendition, the Labeda Grippers are spectacular.
Outdoor wheels are made of a comparatively harder, more durable material. The stiffer wheel provides better energy transfer and speed in a skate, and makes use of the naturally occurring friction on outdoor surfaces. This maximizes the durability of your wheels, making them more resistant to damage and wear. Our in-house brand of outdoor wheels remain a popular option for those venturing into the sun for their games.
On the flip side, the reduced grip of the outdoor wheel means that you’re going for a bit of a slip-and-slide on indoor surfaces, especially polished concrete or sport court surfaces The loss of control and hold makes it easier for you to “blow out” an edge and injure yourself in more aggressive movements. Outdoor wheels such as the Revision Hi-Lo Clinger below are often found on lower-end inline skates, which serves as a great budget-friendly option for those using their skates for other outdoor activities.
Each style of wheel has its place in the sport, and carrying a set of each means that you’ll be prepared regardless of the surface you’re due to be playing on; carry each set with its own set of bearings and spacers to make those frequent changes easier. Nevertheless, even within each category of wheel, there are a large variety in wheel stiffnesses, qualities, and styles - swing into the shop here at the Vancouver-grown Coast to Coast Hockey Shop and be professionally fit for the best set for your needs.
2018 Junior / Youth Roller Hockey Shopping Guide. What to buy: Inline Skates, Girdles, Pants, Wheels & More
There are a lot of products out there and it can be tough to decide on new gear for a new sport(especially online) In an effort to help the parents out we are doing a little write up on our current selection of kids gear to explain the differences.
This might get a bit long... if you want to save yourself time or if you still need help - use the Contact page to let us know about your situation and we'll point you in the right direction as best as we can. You can help by figuring and sending us: a measurement of feet in CM, waist size, player height and desired budget (entry level or performance) we can go from there!
Junior / Youth Inline Hockey Skates
Smallest sizes, Youth (7-13), to larger Junior sizes (1-5.5)
Skates will usually fit 1 size down from shoe size.
Previous season / Discounted models will have random sizes available, unlikely we will be able to get more. Current season skates we should be able to get more of.
High End / Performance Skates (+$300)
You'll get a much stiffer boot, with better comfort, protection in the tongue and great quality Indoor wheels and bearings. Good for the player who is used to a high end boot, will be playing a high level or multiple times per week.
Bauer Vapor XR600 Skates - Narrow fit
Mission Inhaler NLS3 Skates - Wide fit
Entry level / Beginner / Intermediate ($139-$199)
Good support for beginner skaters, starter indoor wheels and smooth bearings. Good for nearly all Junior players playing indoor or outdoor hockey.
Mission Inhaler NLS5 Skates - This season's model - Widest Fit
Mission Inhaler DS5 Skates - Last season's model - Discounted
Mission Inhaler DS6 - Last season's model - Discounted
Bauer Vapor X400R - Last season's model - Narrowest fit - Discounted
Youth sizes ($119+)
Youth skates come with Outdoor wheels - Highly recommend Indoor wheels if they'll be used indoor. Customers are eligible for 25% off wheels when you purchase skates. Available in shop, or contact us to redeem.
Bauer Vapor XR300 Youth Skates - This season's model
Bauer Vapor X300R Youth Skates - Last season's model. (Discounted)
Mission Inhaler NLS6 Youth Skates - This season - Slightly wider fit than Bauer
Adjustable skates ($79-119+)
The more affordable 'adjustable skates' are good for the lightest of skaters, involved in the most beginner levels of hockey. We find the fixed size skates to offer a much better fit and performance. Especially if it's a big kid.
Junior / Youth Roller Girdles
Instead of the Ice Hockey Pants and Socks combo, Inline players will lean towards lightweight Girdle and Roller Hockey Pants which offer a much lighter setup for the hot summer days.
"Hockey Shorts" style:
Mission Core Girdle - Best Coverage - Thicker Tailbone Foam - a bit Bulky
Alkali RPD Quantum Girdle - Thinner foams, lighter, cheaper, better mobility, less protective
"Form fitting" style
CCM 110 Girdle - Junior - Not as much coverage, but a plastic reinforced tailbone protector
Junior Inline Hockey Pants
Bauer Vapor X40R Pants - Most popular pant, good colours, durability and fit.
Mission Inhaler DS4 Pants - Good fit, light weight, thinner materials (less durability)
Mission AC4 Pants- Most Affordable / Very Wide flowy legs
Make sure to get the appropriate wheel for your surface. Smooth Indoor surfaces need soft Indoor wheels. Rough outdoor surfaces need a harder wheel.
Don't use an indoor wheel outside, or an outdoor wheel inside. The Indoor wheel will get shredded outdoor and not perform on smooth surfaces. Outdoor wheels will grip great on the street or asphalt, but slippery on smooth indoor surfaces. If you'll be skating indoor and outdoor, the ideal solution is having a set of indoor and outdoor wheels, each with a set of their own bearings and spacers, to make the swap a lot quicker.
Performance - Konixx Wheels (Pure / Electron) - High end wheels, extra grippy, fast and durable.
Value - Labeda Grippers (Soft / X-Soft, 59mm, 68mm, 72mm, 76mm, 80mm) Best balance of performance, durability and price. Quality Grip and rebound.
Revision / Hi-Lo Clinger Wheels - Longest lasting outdoor wheel. Available in Senior and Junior sizes
Tron Mega Hz Indoor - Good range of sizes in an affordable wheel
Spacers - Standard spacers (required to fit the bearings to the skate axles) are $1 each.
I hope this helps - but if you are more confused than before - give us a shout! Use the contact form, share some details and we'll be in touch pretty quick.
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!
CCM’s new Super Tacks Hockey Girdle marries the protective package of traditional hockey pants, with the mobility, performance, and close-to-the-body fit of roller hockey girdles. Using the NHL-favourite Reebok 9K Pro girdle as a foundation, CCM redesigned the girdle from the base up, using their patented D3O smart material - an adaptive material that reacts to a full range of impacts - to maximize comfort and protectiveness, while slimming down the profile to remove excess bulk. High-density foam thigh guards, molded JDP/D3O hip caps and spine guards, and a Pro-level 400-Denier nylon shell (for those using the pant both in ice and roller) round out the shell, providing elite performance and a 360-degree custom fit.
Being accustomed to the protectiveness of traditional ice hockey pants, and having worn the Reebok 9K Pro girdle for the past few years, I was excited to find that CCM were adding a girdle to their 2017 update to the Tacks line of protective equipment. With Warrior and Easton’s (now-defunct) modern girdle offerings, the 9K Pro ice girdle was a bulky suit of armor, compared to the competition’s slimmer bulletproof vest. Furthermore, it’s ice-hockey-first design meant that it didn’t breathe as well as other girdles that toe the line between the two sports - we were due for an update.
CCM D3O foam never ceases to amaze. The girdle out of the box was a much lighter, slimmer and sleeker rendition of the elite-protection girdle, bringing back the heritage of the 9K Pro girdle in the multitude of velcro straps that allow the girdle to be adjusted in length, width, and circumference around the body. The fit is now much more refined, and much more in line with the compression inline girdles.
Setup took a bit of time to get fully dialed-in to get the length perfect and the desired snugness. But after 15 minutes of work, the girdle held well against my body even without cinching up the waist belts. I was able to walk around the house, and up-and-down stairs with no restriction to my range of motion. Pads held where they were supposed to hold, and slid where they were supposed to slide, all without any gaps in coverage that can often occur when padding shifts during movement - we were good.
The girdle felt secure and mobile, and airflow was significantly better than comparable hybrid girdles I’ve tested in the past. Taking shots, slashes and even a skate blade at one point to the thighs and hip guards, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that I didn’t feel the impacts much at all. The girdle, getting its first run-throughs has held up well and provided that low-profile, elite-performance protection and fit as advertised by CCM.
For the more budget conscious player, the Tacks 7092 girdle is available from our shop. With D3O foam found throughout the girdle, circumference adjustability in the thigh, waist and hips, and the same multi-density foams found on the Super Tacks girdle; the Tacks 7092 girdle is a spectacular option for the performance player.
The new CCM Super Tacks Girdle is a product we are very excited and pleased to offer here at Coast to Coast Hockey Shop. For more information, please contact us or come into the store, and one of our expert staff will find you your best fit.
Thanks for reading. Save a few bucks off Tacks products with coupon code "newtacks"