November 19th, 2008, 11:56 AM #1
New skate eval - Rbk 9K
My Graf G3's (with a Lightspeed II blade - 9' radius I believe) had about 4 years on them and at this point were causing some discomfort on one of my feet. They have some decent life left in them so I came to the conclusion that it was either play these until they fell completely apart (and just take the painful issues) or jump into a pair now and have what's left in my G's as a back-up Dun the break-in. So with that, it was time to get a new set of skates. When I got my G3's I loved them and pretty much liked them for as long as I used them.
So it came time for that dreaded choice, no I'm not talking about finding a new wife, but its close (joke).
I have a wide foot and a decent instep so that's kinda kept me away from allot of Bauer stuff (I tried them all though).
I also tired on a baked set of the U+ from CCM and they were pretty good except one of my feet was still a bit wide but also a bit too stiff for my liking. Since the U+ has a foam based shell they can remold them for the next customer without damage to the skate. Every other skate you have to but to heat-mold. They were a close consideration, and they weigh about as much as a 12 in turkey sandwich from Sub-way. They are like NOTHING in weight.
Easton S15's were too narrow and very stiff. I really wanted to check out the S16's but could find any in my size to try on. They are supposed to be a wider skate that also has a much higher comfort and since foot pain was one of chief issues this was pretty interesting for me.
Tried on Graf G'3, G5, G35. They all had some pluses and different fit issues. One thing that kinda steered me away from being a repeat Graf guy was that they just seem far too stiff to me, and I recall that it took me a pretty long time to get the break-in that I was happy with on my G's. Hey, I'd be the first to tell you that this should be the first skate you should look at and would be happy to sill have these.
When the skate guy told me I should check the 9K out cuz they fit a pretty wide foot I didn't take him very seriously. To me the whole pump thing and all of that left thinking these were too "gimmicky" and I am after all Mr Old School so. The standard blade has a 10' radius, I know its definitely lager over my LS2s. But after I tied them up and moved around in them it became obviously pretty dam fast that these were something I was going to have REALLY look at. Here how I seemed for me:
- the lace lock it completely awesome, I can have a fairly tight lace set-up low to the hinge point (holding my heel perfectly where it needs to be, and then have to top laces set fairly loose so I can get that aggressive ankle positioning that I have to have.
- the kicker was that all I have to do is throw a few pumps in there and it gives my ankle a full connection to the boot with a still very large amount of motion.
Skating: So since I hadn't been able to play for 3 weeks I was really chomping at the bit to get back and play in my Sunday night league. Problem was that my honey-do list kept me missing any ice time opportunities. I just showed up with my new skates (after baking) out of the box and played. I will add that this is not the smartest thing to do and I would CERTAINLY NOT recommend it. I figured I was in for pain during the game of after (with my old skates) so I just made the jump.
It was pretty damn good (I scored one of our teams 2 goals) and felt strangely like I had MORE stamina and clearly higher top end speed over my Grafs and NOT having played for 3 solid weeks?
I played my weekly pick-up once and still no expected hindrances that I might have had with a new unknown set of skates.
I'm still have allot of work to do to get comfortable crossing over carrying the puck skating forward and backwards, but these skates are REALLY nice. I can cover that in a month or so of stick times every week.
They allow allot of ankle motion (if that's what you want or not) while giving you a pretty high-end stiff boot. And for me they have been the most comfortable skates I've ever used on my feet (and that's a BIG thing cuz I have almost constant foot pain issues).
Bottom line is that you can really never tell about skates unless you actually skate on them. You can try on allot of types and brands (AND YOU SHOULD) if they work for you only can be found by skating on them. The fitting is most important, but the dynamics of HOW the will WORK is always a bit of a guess (and an expensive one at that).
So I did all of my homework and tried on everything I could find - but skating in the 9K's is REALLY cool; more speed, less pain, very light skates. Durability is now the big question.
My Reebok 9K's are some pretty cools stuff.
November 19th, 2008, 12:24 PM #2
You will miss your grafs....
But thanks for the skate review.
November 21st, 2008, 10:13 AM #3
my friend loves his 9k's. if they fit good w/o the pump, it'll be even better just pumping it up a little to make sure you have a tight fit everywhere.
and when i moved to my one90's from my grafs i missed them too. i still miss them, but it's time to move on. maybe i'll check out the newer ones later in the future.