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.

Summer Hockey Strategy

How to Plan Your Summer Hockey Activities

I am often asked what a player should do to make the most of his or her off season. This can be a tough question, because the answer usually varies from player to player. However, despite the many possible “correct answers,” there are five main objectives that I think should be staples for any player looking to improve this summer––regardless of age or skill-level:
  1. Improve physical performance: The off-season is the time to develop your speed, strength, and size. During the summer months, this should be the primary focus for serious hockey players. Enormous gains can be made by consistently working out in a structured, hockey-specific, strength and conditioning program.
  2. Improve technical hockey skills (on-ice): Hockey players should take the time to develop and fine-tune the technical elements of their game that have been neglected during the hectic playoff push. I recommend getting into a hockey camp that is highly focused on technical skating, puck-handling, passing, and shooting. A slightly laid-back atmosphere is good, as long as proper technique is insisted upon. Remember, the objective of this type of training isn’t to “whip” you into shape, but to correct and reinforce proper form and technique.
  3. Improve technical hockey skills (off-ice): There are a number of skills that can also be developed away from the rink such as stickhandling and shooting. Set up an obstacle course to stickhandle through, and put together a shooting gallery in your backyard and work on your shot back there. You can get hundreds of extra development hours in this way, and its FREE (aside from the initial set up costs).
  4. Develop and maintain general athleticism: Keep your athleticism up by playing different sports in the summer. Generally speaking, the best athletes are also the best hockey players. Developing different types of motor skills and coordination by participating in other sports will help improve your hockey game by improving your overall athleticism.
  5. Stay “game fresh”: Find a way to work in some game time every week or two during the summer. This can be via pick-up hockey, summer league, or the odd tournament over the summer. Make sure it’s a light-hearted environment, and won’t be mentally over-taxing. The objective here is just to stay sharp, and reinforce some of the technical work you’ve been developing as we mentioned in step two. You’ll have plenty of time for high-intensity hockey once the regular season rolls around. Don’t burn yourself out on recreational summer hockey.
So that’s it! Remember, these tips are general recommendations, you’ll need to modify them to fit your own specific needs and schedule. However, planning your summer using these five basic guidelines should help you to have a very productive off-season, and to arrive at training camp primed, well-rested, and ready to have a phenomenal season!