Easton Mako Hockey Skate Review

So a couple of us in the office have been wearing the Easton Mako skates for a while now. Jeff for about 3 weeks and myself for couple months.As with many people considering new skates, it took me some time to even convince Jeff to test the Mako’s out, but once they are ready for the ice, they have a way of making their own case.

Being how different a skate they are in style, design and performance it came up as the subject of an email chain and we ended up discussing our multiple first impressions of the skate. the impression we got upon first being shown the skate, first trying it on, after baking the skate and finally when stepping out on to the ice.

Easton Mako Skates: Out of the Box Impressions

EASTON MAKO HOCKEY SKATE

JC: When I first saw them my gut reaction was “what? Are they serious? This is going to come in other colors, right?”

KS: Yeah, when I first saw them, they were really out there. They were just so different looking from anything in production. Not just style-wise, but the shape and cut of the boot. It was clearly something different. I wasn’t a huge fan of the look, as far as the orange flashes and the silver heel, but they definitely stand out, which isn’t a bad thing.

JC: Then after I looked them over in detail, I really had no idea what motivations were behind the whole removable tendon guard and the elevated height on the backend of the holder. It was just visibly…very different and when you get something that is so much different than what you’re used to, I think its just instinctual to have the adverse reaction I did. Remember how different the iPhone was when it was first introduced?

KS: Are you comparing the Mako Skates to the IPhone?

JC: Hah. No. It won’t be that revolutionary! But in terms of how different it was. Kind of a shock to the system.

KS: I know. You can tell when someone on the ice is wearing them! My dislike of their orange, coupled with extreme boredom one night, actually led me to take it upon myself to do a little color redesign on my pair, as pictured here…

CONTINUE READING ARTICLE


Easton Mako 2 Hockey Stick Review

By Tyler Roy, Pure Hockey Customer Service

I had a package come in a month or so ago and just like always, I made a huge mess ripping the box open from pure excitement. Come to think of it, I never actually cleaned that up. Not unusual! Anyway, inside the package was the brand new Easton Mako 2 hockey stick. The new Mako has an updated look that will catch your eye – hate it or love it,  you will notice it on the shelf. Easton is keeping the shaft primarily white again with the intention to hide the flex from the goalie. The back, though, is a different story. Easton went with a very loud orange with white text around the taper section. I have had mixed opinions from everybody about this part – I like the look personally, but as with everything else, to each their own!  I think the best part of the new look is the black colored blade. I had problems with the all white blade on the first version having no line of sight, but this black blade really makes it easy to know where the puck is.

The updated look is not the only aspect of the Mako 2,  though. The stuff you should really care about is getting the most bang from your buck with durability and the Mako 2 shaft and blade have both been upgraded for performance and durability. The shaft internals have been changed and now use a uni-directional carbon, which means that the fibers of the composite weave tighter and smoother, creating a more responsive stick with improved durability to impacts and slashes. The Mako 2 has felt brand new every time I’ve used it and hopefully it stays that way (that could be a pipe dream, but a kid can dream, right?).

Anyway, this new uni-carbon will lighten the stick by 20 grams and obviously this will lighten up the overall weight, but also help out the balance point. The shaft will also have a few grip updates – it will be a bit tackier and both the matte and grip will have a new textured grip on all four sides of the shaft. This is the best Easton shaft that I have ever used in terms of feel – the grip is perfect and the weight is very light. I’m still getting accustomed to the way the stick shoots and plays but I’m quite happy so far. Blocked a few shots and have had some hacks but the Mako 2 is still holding very strong. So far so good.

On to the blade, I already spoke above about the black blade giving the shooter a better line of sight but that’s not all. The Mako 2 will also have a more responsive, durable and better performing blade. Easton has re-worked the micro bladder, giving you better feel but a larger sweet spot for shooting. This harder shot has to hit the net right? Easton also improved the stiffness so all your shots should be true to the target. The blade still has the pro style sandpaper grip that holds the tape well.

So combine a new look, an improved and lighter shaft and a stiffer and easier-to-use blade and you get a very solid and high performing stick. Comments on the look have been mixed but I feel this stick is worth giving a go. I still see myself as a Stealth guy but I would recommend you check this stick out, it may surprise you.

Kyle Stevenson and I sat down and talked about the new Mako 2 and how it compared to the first Mako. See that video right here:


Reebok 20K Hockey Stick Review

By Tyler Roy, Pure Hockey Customer Service

With 2012 wrapped up for stick releases, I was thinking it’s probably high time that I talk about what should be on your “must-have” list. How does the Reebok 20k stack up? Is it a must-have or just another good stick? Let’s take a look!


There’s a new blade system here called the “accuBlade,” which is made to reduce blade deflection and give you better accuracy for getting shots ON net and not NEAR it!  Reebok’s new and exclusive stick blade is made to get stiffer from the heel to the toe. Interesting. Also, this blade is also Reebok’s lightest to date and they moved the balance point up a few centimeters, creating a much more balanced stick. Personally, I love a stiff blade at the toe as I’m more prone to shoot from that area anyway. I did get a chip on the toe in the first few weeks of using it but nothing has happened since, so it appears to be run-of-the-mill wear and tear that you see with all sticks. Bottom-line: this blade out performs any other Reebok blade and it has some real life and good snap.

The good thing about the Reebok 20k hockey stick is that it’s a true one piece stick, defined by Reebok as “pure fiber technology.” In English, this means the same fibers that are in the top of the stick run all the way to the toe of the blade. Being a true one-piece also removes all the overlapping materials and glues that often times create an unbalanced stick. Reebok also used a new weaving system in the shaft where the fibers on the backhand are angled on a 45 degree and 90 on the forehand. This is designed to create tension when the stick flexes during a shot. That, plus the lowest kickpoint in hockey, equals a slingshot effect when shooting. This stick shoots all types of shots very well, the low kick really snaps the pucks off quick and fast. I find it easy to snap off a quick shot right under the bar and have the ability to fire off a hard slapper too.

My favorite innovation might have to be the new grip Reebok has used on the 20k. The new “duel grip” features a smooth matte grip on the bottom half of the shaft for hand movement and a sticky grip on the top half to lock your hand in when your ready to shoot. Quite interesting feel and still hasn’t worn out after a month or two of use.

All this stuff put together makes a really solid performing stick, much better than the 11k from my perspective. Only chip on the stick is right on the toe, as mentioned, but that’s quite minor. The balance on the stick is really good as is the response you get with snap shots and slap shots. Should you get this stick? Well that’s for you to choose, but I like it quite a bit. You can buy it right here and try it out for yourself.

You can also see a video here from my co-worker Kyle Stevenson, where he gives his thoughts on it:


Reebok 20K Hockey Skate Review

Reebok 20k Skate Review Video

In the past few years, there are few companies who have made bigger improvements to a product line than Reebok has made to their hockey skates. Arguably inferior in skates for a while as recently as 5 years ago, Reebok has improved their skate line so dramatically and now has one of the lighter, most popular skates available with the 20K.

I have been skating in the 20K’s for a few weeks now and I must say that they out performed my expectations. They were much lighter on the ice than I had anticipated. I also was a big fan of the stiffness that the 20K provided – they had a lot of support on strides as well as on quick cuts. They were not quite as responsive as some of the other skates that have come out recently, in things like recoil on strides, but the support was definitely there. In that aspect, they are not the best skate on the market, but by no means will they put any player at a disadvantage.

The first time I used them, they definitely took some adjustments because the cut and fit are a bit different from what I am accustomed to. I had a bit of a squeeze in my forefoot, but one of the great features of Reebok skates is the lacelock, which allowed me to keep the lower section slightly looser, and tighten the upper section. It was a bit uncomfortable the first few skates (often normal with a new boot), not so much when on the ice, but in between shifts there was some soreness. Next came using the pump. The Pump eliminates the negative space in the heel and makes it so that my heel sits very snug and prevented heel lift or sliding. I think the customized fit of the pump is an underrated feature and really does prevent heel movement. Unlike most skate molding techniques, it doesn’t become less formed every time you put on or take off your skates.

The Pro-style felt tongue is comfortable, but not overly thick, and does a great job to prevent lace bite. The biggest issue I had was actually with the tendon guard. It scraped against my calf, through my sock and skate sock. I couldn’t quite figure out why, but it was just rubbing up the wrong way against the back of my leg as I skated.

Overall I was impressed with the 20K and liked them a lot more than I can honestly say I expected to. It performed well, it wasn’t a perfect fit for my particular foot, but I can definitely see its advantages and even with it not being a perfect fit, it was still a great skate. The Reebok 20K is available now online and at all Pure Hockey locations.