Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Add one more roller puck to our selection!

As the idea of hockey started to gain some steam as people started to realize its potential as a fun, competitive, team-oriented sport, everyone was quick to conclude that there was one serious barrier that halted hockey season dead in its tracks:  Any season that WASN'T winter.  When the lake or river unfroze with the changing season, people were completely out of luck.  Its dependence on a cold climate made hockey a very unique but equally challenging sport to create an arena for.

Thankfully, with technology bringing ice rinks to a desert like Phoenix or busy cities like Los Angeles and New York, hockey found new life, being able to be played in ice rinks all across the United States and Canada.  But even still, the ice was the key component that remained constant throughout it all... that is, until hockey made another HUGE adaptation that literally made hockey playable virtually anywhere:  Instead of steel holders and runners, it was metal chassis and wheels... Roller hockey was born.

Equipment had to be tweaked around a little bit to handle the generally "rougher" conditions of roller hockey.  Sometimes you're playing on a smooth concrete, so the wheels needs to act differently.  Sticks would get eaten alive on surfaces like streets, so new ideas went that way.  And of course, there was the puck.  While the 6oz puck we know glides effortlessly on ice, it was horrendously grounded on any surface but that.  Some opted for balls instead, but many felt it truly just wasn't the same.  Then, another breakthrough...

TRON S10 Inline Hockey Pucks
$3.99, 10/$29.99, 50/$124.99
TRON Inline Speedy Puck
$4.99, 10/$39.99, 50/$149.50

Soon TRON will have the Speedy Puck in stock.  When designs initially hit the scene to attempt to create an object similar in shape to the puck, but with greater resistance to wear and tear of hard surfaces, as well as an increased ability to slide on surfaces ranging from grass to asphalt, the design we used for the Speedy Puck was widely regarded to be a gold standard for playing roller hockey on any surface.  Hockeytron’s president had an initial patent on a similar hockey puck in 1995.  The plastic "pegs" raised the puck ever so slightly, but it allowed for a "surface" for the puck to slide freely on, similar to pucks on Ice. The grooved design and holes in the middle allowed for the puck to behave the same way ice pucks did at relatively the same weight.  It was so good, in fact, that when roller hockey had its greatest high, a professional roller hockey league founded in 1993 called Roller Hockey International (or RHI for short), the design used for the puck for that league was almost identical to the TRON one we have coming in.  Professional level construction, professional specs, and a professional look at price even a recreational player can smile at: a mere $4.99 ( buy 10 for $3.99 each).

As most of you already know, TRON already has a roller puck.  The TRON S10 Inline Puck has a similar "plastic peg" system that allows it to glide with great ease across smooth concrete or sport court surfaces.  The design we used for it has been around for quite some time as well.  But, like anything else, there is always room for touches of improvement year to year.  Between our first batch of pucks and our newest batch of the S10 Inline Puck, the key difference was the overall hardness of the puck.  While before the pucks only averaged about 70a (You see similar notation for wheel hardness’s), the new pucks average closer to 90a.  This makes the puck all around more durable to handle the abuse of roller hockey.  It will also glide a little bit better.  You've always known this puck to be $3.99 ( buy 10 for $2.99 each ), and even with an upgrade that assuredly makes it better, you can bet you'll still continue to enjoy that price.

For hockey to evolve from a sport available 3 months out of the year to something able to be done 24/7, basically at will, is truly remarkable, with credit to countless hours of research and testing to find the perfect balance of weight, feel, size, and shape.  You may not think about it when you fire that bad boy 85+ miles per hour as you label it for a corner, but countless hours of research, dedication, and production that was done by many scientists go into the round disk we beat senselessly for the love of hockey.

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