Appreciating the Bauer One100 goalie skate

Image Credit: Bauer.com

Image Credit: Bauer.com

Since the Rangers have been kind of bumming me out recently (last night’s domination notwithstanding), I thought I’d take a look at a relatively recent development in goalie equipment and how it has revolutionized the industry.  In the skate department, that innovator generally tends to be Bauer.  On both the player and goalie side there have significant landmark products that change the landscape of how skates are constructed, utilized and improved.

Starting back with the original Vapor line, Bauer sought to reduce weight, while increasing stiffness and quality of the materials used in skate construction.  In 2003, Bauer had its biggest breakthrough in skate technology, the Vapor XX.  This skate was the lightest skate ever built at the time, and absolutely took the hockey world by storm.  I was working at a pro-shop at the time, and remembered thinking they had lightened them up to the point they felt like a running shoe.  It was insane.

The point of the history lesson is that, traditionally, goalie skates have tended to lag behind their positional brethren when it comes to technological innovation.  I don’t have the exact date, but the TUUK goalie cowling was in place from at least the early 90’s to about 2010.  This brings us to the One100 skate.

Goalies hadn’t had much problem getting around on the ice with the old (or other company’s) cowlings, but the One100 was a game changer.  With this product, Bauer completely reimaged the function of the cowling on a goal skate.  In the past, the primary purpose for the cowling around the boot was protection.  While this was still a major consideration with the One100, it was met with equal priority in weight reduction and increased attack angle and lateral movement capabilities.

Photo Credit: Bauer.com

Photo Credit: Bauer.com

As you can see from the photo above, there is a dramatic angle in which the goalie can lower their skate to the ice, while still having full control of the edge of the blade.  This has two predominant effects; it allows for goalies to utilize a much wider stance with the same comfortable mobility, and starkly decreases the angle in which a goalie has to raise his push leg into order to grip the ice for executing a butterfly slide.

Over the last few seasons we have seen a huge increase NHL tenders being able to execute insanely fluid, quick and accurate slide-based movements.  The Rangers connection here is that these are the skates Henrik Lundqvist switched to prior to the 2010-2011 season.  Coincidentally, Hank had his two finest NHL seasons directly after the switch.

Wide stance

Wide stance

As you can see, Hank naturally has a very wide stance.  Since the skate switch, he has been able to maintain his balance better and increase his lateral explosiveness since he doesn’t have to pull his leg in as close to his body to grip the ice on the push.

Photo Credit: Washington Post

Photo Credit: Washington Post

As evidenced above, Hank’s push foot is barely above the normal butterfly level, but he has a flush blade surface to push from.  Other cowling models require a much higher/closer lift of the push leg to acquire the proper angle to grip the ice.

It’s easy to forget just how far equipment has come in even the past twenty years.  Every once in a while though, its easy to spot a game changer.  Henrik Lundqvist’s play over the past two seasons is living proof as to just how valuable and revolutionary this product really was.

10 Responses to “Appreciating the Bauer One100 goalie skate”

  1. Dave says:

    And people say equipment doesn’t matter. Hah.

    Great writeup.

    • Justin says:

      Thanks, Dave. Even after being put out to the men’s league pasture, I will still spend the money on pro-level gear because there is such a huge difference in performance.

  2. Rockdog says:

    Really great article. I feel like this site helps increase my knowledge of the game.

    • Justin says:

      Much appreciated Rockdog. That’s what we try to do here at BSB. With goaltending especially, there are so many nuances that are never analyzed in-depth unless you actually play the position. It’s a little on the dorky side, but I like to get into the minutia every once in a while.

    • Gary says:

      That’s a great way to put it really does enhance hockey knowledge, you guys blow other blogs away. Thanks

      • Justin says:

        Thanks for the kind words, Gary. Much appreciated.

        • Walt says:

          Justin
          Ditto to Gary’s post, great read. After seeing the game where Hartnell got hit in the foot, and broke a bone, do you see any of this new technoligy being incorporated in the non goalie skates??? In the photo from the side view, it appears that the skate is safer, or is it just me??

          • Justin says:

            Thanks, Walt. The specific technology I was referring to in the post is about the actual plastic cowling used to surround the boot on a goalie skate, but there are a few guys in the show (especially shot blocking guys) who wear a plastic guard over portions of the boot.

            Newer player boots are incorporating unibody carbon wrapping around the outside of the boot, which increases stiffness and should be a little more protective as well. If these types of injuries continue or increase, you can bet the equipment industry will respond.

  3. Hatrick Swayze says:

    Justin, a real enjoyable read and fully on point. I have a somewhat deeper knowledge of goalie equipment than I should because my brother grew up a tender. It is insane how quickly the equipment landscape has evolvedin recent yrs. I was aware of nuances in newer pads and glove/blocker construction, but the totalone goalie skate flew under my radar. The pictures you selected (namely the 2nd) do a great job of translating the actual benefits these skates provide.

    Good for goalies… because it is insane how much more performance players have gotten out of the composite 1 piece sticks and other equipment. I feel bad for goalies, reluctantly, so its nice to see you guys get some help too : )

    • Justin says:

      Thanks Hatrick (still think that’s the best commenting handle on here). You make a good point about the advancements in player equipment. Goalie’s do get their fare share, but the problem is the NHL keeps taking them away. The list of equipment the NHL has outlawed in the past 10 years is staggering.