HockeyVision Training Pucks



Train Yourself to Rely Less on Seeing the Puck

HockeyVision Training Pucks are a great way to train yourself to rely less and less on seeing the puck, which will then allow you to stickhandle with your head up, enabling you to see more of the play.

HockeyVision Training Pucks are white, with a black dot in the middle. The black dot comes in three sizes (large, medium, and small). The idea is to work your way down from the large, more-visible dot to small, less-visible dot, training your eye to not have to see as much of the puck while stickhandling.

These pucks are available in on-ice and off-ice models. The on-ice pucks are made of rubber (same as a regulation puck), and the off-ice ones are made of a high-density plastic (HDPE if I’m not mistaken), which allows them to slide really well on flooring tiles or a skill pad.

Enjoy!


X-Tiles Flooring System



The X-Tiles Flooring System Allows you to Build a State of the Art Hockey Training Center, One Piece at a Time!

I was recently introduced to a new hockey dryland tile that I’m really excited about. It’s called the X-Tile, and it’s made by XHockeyProducts (yes, the same company that brought you the X-Passer, and the X-Deviator).

If you’re familiar with XHockeyProducts, you already know they are famous for designing heavy duty, smart, & functional hockey training equipment… and this product is no different!

The X-Tiles are not only an awesome flooring product to give you a slick surface for stickhandling, shooting, and passing, but they’re also a fully integrated, hockey training system that works in tandem with many other products! In this review I’ll be showing you how the X-Tiles work, and sharing my experiences with them.

Unboxing:

My first impression of the X-Tiles was that they are actually a really good weight. You don’t want a product like this to be too flimsy, but at the same time, you don’t want it to be too hard to move around. The X-Tiles are a durable, manageable weight.

Size:

The next thing you’ll notice about the X-Tiles is that they’re huge (2 feet by 2 feet!). I always say “the bigger, the better” when it comes to flooring tiles because you want to have the fewest seems possible.

Assembly:

The X-Tiles are REALLY easy to put together AND take a part. This is a big feature in my opinion because it allows for a degree of portability, and gives you the option to change configurations if you want (a feature I have made use of a few times myself).

The easiest way to put together your X-Tile set-up is to lay it out first to get an idea of where everything is going to sit, then tap it all together with a rubber mallet. In the video above, I put together a 15 tile set-up in about 11 minutes.

Add-ons:

One of the coolest features with the X-Tiles System is that you can add on various pieces of equipment to enhance your experience and work on different skills. Here’s a quick list of add-ons you’ll want to consider:

  1. X-Deviator or X-Deviator Mini – hockey stickhandling aid that can be adjusted into multiple configurations
  2. X-Tiles Passer – bungee rebounder that snaps into the X-Tiles
  3. X-Saucer – awesome device used to work on saucer passes, also built to snap right into your X-Tile set-up
  4. X-Tiles Pocket – a “pocket” piece that is designed to hold the X-Deviator in place. Again, built to snap into your X-Tiles set-up

Experience:

As you can see in the video, using the X-Tiles System is A LOT of fun! The tiles are very slick, the seams are very flat, and the pucks slide well on them. The add-ons work really well, and are fully integrated with the tile system. I like the fact that you can easily change configurations or add to your X-Tiles system over time.

The X-Tiles are also pretty “kid proof.” I’ve had my boys using these things every day, and they’ve held up just fine. My kids love it!

Conclusion:

This is definitely a product I stand behind. If you’ve got it in the budget, I’d pick up a few boxes of X-Tiles right up front, along with all the add-ons (check out the Weiss Tech Hockey Package XHockeyProducts has put together). It’s a fantastic training system that is unlike anything else out there. However, the beautiful thing is that you ARE working with a budget, you can just as easily start basic and then keep adding to it piece by piece as you have the funds.

Passing: Extreme Passing Kit




The Extreme Passing Kit is a Great Way to Incorporate Passing into your Off-Ice Workouts

Passing is a skill that most players don’t think about working on away from the rink. The main reason they don’t think to work on passing is pretty obvious: because you need a partner to pass to, and to receive passes from… Unless, of course, you have the Extreme Passing Kit.

Overview:
The Extreme Passing Kit is a really cool skill pad & passing rebounder combo, that will let you work on multiple skills such as regular passes, touch passes, and one-time shots.

The Extreme Passing Kit comes in two different models, the One-Timer Model (which you see in this video), and the Bungee Cord Model. The only difference between the two is that the rebounder is removable in the One-Timer Model, and can be mounted onto another shooting pad, or even your dryland flooring tiles. This feature gives you a little more flexibility than you have with the Bungee Cord Model.

On the Bungee Cord Model, the rebounding bungee is mounted right onto the skill pad, making the unit completely self contained (which has it’s benefits as well, in my opinion).

Both models use the 4×8′ roll-up shooting pad (huge!), which is light weight, durable, and portable. You can easily roll it up for storage when you aren’t using it, or pack it in the car to bring it to a new dryland training location.

My Experience:
The Extreme Passing Kit comes already rolled up for you. When I first unboxed mine, it had retained the shape of being rolled up (which is to be expected), and I had to sort of “pry” it open and “reverse roll” it a bit on the ends to keep it from rolling back up on me. I let it sit out on my driveway in the hot sun for about an hour, and it flattened right out.

Once the shooting pad had flattened out, I mounted the rebounder to one end (it just clamps on), and went to town!

One thing you’ll notice about the Extreme Passing Kit is that it works really well with pretty much any type of puck. I’ve used mine with regular black pucks, FlyPucks, and Green Biscuits, all of which slide really well, and stay flat off the rebounder. In fact, the pucks stayed flat enough that I was actually able to work some one-touch passes as well (which actually surprised me a little).

Conclusion:
In conclusion, the Extreme Passing Kit is definitely a worthwhile product to add to your Home Hockey Training Center. It is well built, versatile, portable, and the surface area of the skill pad is big enough to use it for shooting, stickhandling, or passing.

Stickhandling: FlyPuck Review




The FlyPuck is a Great Tool for Achieving an “On-ice” Feel, While Off the Ice!

Over the past few years, a number of off-ice hockey pucks have made their way onto the scene. Initially, most of these pucks were designed to be used for roller hockey, with the intent of using them on a SportCourt surface. Some of these pucks worked ok, some of them not as well… but at the end of the day none of them REALLY did what we needed them to do.

Requirements
For an off-ice puck to be an effective tool for stickhandling development, it has to have the same weight and feel as a real puck does on the ice, and it also has to behave like a real puck does on the ice. The FlyPuck does just that.

The FlyPuck was created specifically as an off-ice stickhandling puck, and is made from a hard plastic that is not only durable, but heavy enough to feel like a real puck. The design features a recessed middle that reduces contact points (friction) with the surface, and allows the puck to slide and behave much like a real puck does on the ice. Every FlyPuck also comes with a DVD, which is a cool little bonus with some drills and exercises you can use on your own.

My Experience
With any stickhandling puck, you’re gonna have the best results on the smoothest surface. I first used my FlyPuck on the Dryland Flooring Tiles I have set up in my garage. The puck felt almost EXACTLY like a real puck does on the ice. In fact, it’s probably my favorite puck when on a good, smooth surface like the tiles because it behaves so closely to the real thing.

After I’d messed around a bit on the tiles, I moved out to the pavement, and was impressed there as well. The FlyPuck did really well for me as a stickhandling puck on the pavement, but I didn’t really like it for working on passing… it tended to bounce too much, and didn’t stay as flat as I would have hoped. The Green Biscuit was a much better puck when it came to passing on pavement as you’ll see in my Green Biscuit Review.

Conclusion
All-in-all, the FlyPuck was my favorite puck on the Dryland Flooring Tiles surface because it feels so much like a real puck. It was about equal to the Green Biscuit for stickhandling on pavement, and wasn’t as good as the Green Biscuit when it came to passing on pavement.

Enjoy!

Stickhandling: Dryland Flooring Tiles




Dryland Flooring Tiles are one of the Most Versatile Hockey Products on the Market Today

In this post, I wanted to introduce an extremely effective and versatile product, HockeyShot’s Dryland Flooring Tiles. The reason I say this is such a versatile product is that you can literally design your “floor plan” to fit your training objectives. This might mean using six or eight tiles as a shooting pad, or it might mean going wall to wall with them in your basement for a fully functional stickhandling, passing, and shooting facility.

Not only are the flooring tiles versatile in how they can be used, but you also get a lot of flexibility when it comes to timeline. You don’t have to outfit your whole room all at once… These tiles are kind of like legos, you can keep adding to them and expanding your training square footage as you see fit!

Pricing
Many people consider Dryland Flooring Tiles to be an unaffordable “luxury item” rather than a necessity for their Home Hockey Training Center. The truth is, price per square foot on these hockey dryland flooring tiles is right in line with most of the other shooting & skill pad options on the market, and it’s an easy way to build a fantastic, multi-purpose training facility in your own home!

Here’s some quick math if you’re interested:

Now, obviously each of these products fits a certain purpose. But if you’re looking for a semi-permanent, HUGE surface, on which you can stickhandle, shoot, OR pass, the Dryland Flooring Tiles are definitely the best option for you.

Durability
HockeyShot’s Dryland Flooring Tiles are among the most durable hockey flooring tiles on the market. The underside of the tiles has a special ribbing system that keeps them light-weight, but super tough. In fact, these tiles are so durable, you can even park a car on them! I know this comes across as a little “infomercial-ish,” but this is actually a really important feature if you want to set up your training center in your garage, but still need to be able to park there.

Slickness
I’ve had a few questions about the “feel” of these tiles, and how well the pucks slide compared to real ice. Regular black pucks slide pretty well, definitely well enough for shooting practice, and some slower stickhandling but they do pop up a bit when trying to work on quick stickhandling. However, specialty pucks, like the Flypuck or Green Biscuit, that were designed SPECIFICALLY for off-ice stickhandling practice, slide REALLY well, and feel almost exactly like real ice!

Versatility
As I mentioned above, one of the features I like most about these tiles is how many different ways there are to use them. There are literally dozens of different combinations you can set up with other hockey training products. Some of the ones I’ve been messing around with are the Extreme Passer, SweetHands, and the Attack Triangle. With my 48 tile set-up, the square footage is big enough that I can do just about anything I want to do!