Easton Mako Hockey Skate Preview

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing
One of the most anticipated hockey skate releases of this year is the Easton Mako skate. The Mako is built from the technology behind the MLX skate, which is now part of Easton through an acquisition. As those who’ve read this blog before know, I’m a big Easton fan and I wear Easton skates. After a couple years of doubt and trials, Easton has taken the extremely customized MLX skate and made it into a viable production model. Easton’s ‘Chief of Speed’ (don’t we all wish we could have a title like that?) Dave Cruikshank designed the MLX skate a few years back when he, as a skating coach, realized he didn’t have the ability to move in a natural, efficient way while wearing a typical hockey skate.


So Cruickshank set off to make the MLX skate, allowing for natural movement in an anatomically designed skate. This idea is the basis for the Mako skate design, giving a new sense of freedom with much less restriction than what you may find in other skates. Basically this is an attempt on Easton’s part to rethink hockey skates instead of continuing the pattern or slippery slope of all the manufacturers competing to just make the stiffest skate imaginable.


As far as features go, the Mako skate is loaded up. Some interesting new things really differentiate the Mako from its competition. The new tongue set-up is a nice, pro style felt tongue with a protective guard, but that’s not really the interesting part. Easton took the tongue and integrated its connection directly into the toe box. This gets rid of any overlap and negative space in the toe box. The tongue itself is also heat moldable, and forms a snugger, more customized fit.


Another great feature is the asymmetric design in the ankle, which allows the skate to fall in line with the direction you’re pushing. This generates power and stability through turns. The Mako makes high-speed cornering much easier, sharper and quicker. The skate also sits on the new CXN holder from Easton and the holder has a very aggressive pitch, working in tandem with the skate’s great range of motion to place you over the front of the skate, without being unbalanced. The pitch creates more downforce into the ice, leading to a more explosive stride and once again more powerful, quicker cornering. The CXN holder is super light and its steel comes stock with a 9 FT radius.


The very flexible Extendon guard promotes a huge range of motion, with very little restriction. The guard itself is actually replaceable with two simple screws. I personaly like this feature. From my time in shops, I saw a good amount of skates come in with a boot in fine shape, but a torn or broken tendon guard. I actually saw this mostly on newer skates with the really stiff guards. Tendon guards – like any other part of the skate – shouldn’t break on their own, but it’s always reassuring that if something happens to one, you don’t need to replace the entire skate. The only potential negative here is that there’s a small crease where the guard meets the rest of the boot (the attachment point) and if you skate barefoot, I see some potential for some abrasion there. But time will tell. It may or may not be an issue – we’ll report back when we test them out.


One of the other much talked about features of the Mako skate is the bake time. The skate is fully heat moldable. I heard someone describe it as the last step before going over to getting a custom skate. This is true. The skate is designed to be an extremely custom fit. It must be heat molded for an unheard of 16 minutes and then you’ll need to sit still in the boots until they are cool. So bring your iPad or a book when you go get these.

 

I think the Mako is really going to be a hit. It feels good right out of the box, and it really, truly feels like a slipper when it’s heated up. Easton has really done a great job with this skate and I highly recommend that you get out and try a pair on. They are well worth the attention they have been getting.


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:


Hockey Glove Weigh-In

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing

There are few pieces of gear more important than a players’ hockey gloves. Having a comfortable, lightweight, protective glove is vital to feeling confident going into a game. While this test can’t address a glove’s comfort or protection level, it will certainly help out with the weight discussion.
Our Glove Weigh-in…..
                                                                             Single Glove (Grams)            Pair (Grams)
Warrior Bully                                                                 269                                          538
Warrior Luxe                                                                 273                                          546
Easton RS                                                                    278                                          556
Easton EQ50                                                               281                                          562
Easton PH E-Pro                                                        285                                           570
CCM U+ CL                                                                 296                                           592
Bauer Vapor APX                                                        297                                           594
Bauer 4 Roll                                                                305                                           610
Warrior Franchise                                                      307                                           614
Bauer TotalOne                                                          319                                           638
Bauer Vapor APX Pro                                                326                                           652
Eagle PPF                                                                   337                                           674
The results: A bit surprising to me that the lightest Bauer glove was the 7th lightest in the group, but again you have to take the weight and the protection into consideration. In many cases, a glove with more padding and more protection is going to be slightly heavier. Not every player wants or needs that much protection so sometimes the sacrifice is worth it.
Good Showing for Warrior, too, finishing with the top 2 lightest gloves, and also for Easton with the next 3 lightest.  All Gloves weighed were 14” inch retail models.
Let us know what you think @PureHockey and on Facebook.

 


Hockey Skate Weigh-In

 

Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing

So a couple of weeks back, we posted a list of some stick weights on high-end composite sticks and we got a really great response, so we are going to continue this over the next few weeks in some different product categories. Today we start with skates in the price range of $599.99 and up (other price ranges will follow).

NOTE: this is not necessarily a list of THE top lightest skates available; not every model is listed, but we feel this is a good representation of what is present on the market. Secondly, weight should not be your only criteria for purchasing a pair of skates! It is definitely a factor in a multi-step process of determining what is best for you. But it’s not the only thing you should be thinking about!

Weights were measured of a single skate, size 7.5D. So, what you see listed below is the skate model, the weight of a single skate in grams and then that weight doubled to represent the pair.

Model
1) Bauer TotalOne NXG                         —-680g   ——1360g   ———- $799.99
2) Bauer Vapor APX                                —-718g   ——1436g   ———- $799.99
3) Bauer Supreme One.9                      —-746g   ——1492g   ———- $599.99
4) Bauer Vapor X7.0                               —-805g   ——1610g   ———- $599.99
5) CCM U+ CL                                         —-830g   ——1660g   ———- $599.99
6) Reebok 20K                                        —-833g   ——1666g   ———- $799.99
7) Reebok 18K                                        —-834g   ——1668g   ———- $599.99
8) Easton RS                                           —-843g   ——1686g   ———- $599.99
9) Bauer Nexus 800                               —-890g   ——1780g   ———- $599.99
So there you have it! The Bauer TotalOne NXG’s  top the list and the Supreme and Vapor lines follow close behind. Bauer has the top 4 slots! Let us know what you think and what else you would like to see compared in the comments section below, on the our Facebook page and also at our Twitter page.