Question regarding Graf Skates
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05-19-2010, 10:30 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: GTA, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by
First off it's a random question so here it goes.
Is it just me or has Graf been a pretty common skate that players are using? Im not referring to NHL players but the common house leagues and etc. I went into a few Pro Shops here in Southern California a.k.a Anaheim Ice, Westminster Ice, Glacial Gardens etc and all they were carrying was Graf skates, and nothing else.
So the question is why? is it because Graf is a local California brand?, is it because a lot of people find it as the superior of all skates? or is there possibly another reason? Can some of you put insight on this, thank you!
Just a follow up to this thread, trying to explain why perhaps some stores are so invested in Graf.
So my daughter has finally outgrown her youth Graf 301s and now that the rep season is over I wanted to get her next pair. She could still just about wear her current Grafs for Spring hockey and doesn't do too much skating in the summer, so there was no urgent rush. I wanted to take my time, have her try everything thing on with an open mind and get what fits her best.
Over the last few weeks we have tried on the old style Vapors (XXXX etc) the new X-40/60 etc from Bauer, CCMs, RBKs and a couple of Eastons, some were better than others but nothing felt right for her. I was assuming that it would probably end up being Grafs again, but only one local store carry Graf and they were out of her size. So a couple of weeks ago she had a Friday with no school so I took her for a mini road trip to my fave skate shop in Toronto (Source for sports - Just Hockey) for a serious fitting session.
They are great in that store. They measured her up, examined her feet, watched her stand/walk in her current skates and recommended several new skates. She tried a bunch on and had a shortlist of Graf 570 and a pair of Bauer Supremes (cant remember the exact model). She even had both pairs baked and wore them each for a while. She decided they were both OK but she slightly preferred the fit of the Bauers, but I could tell she wasn't 100% convinced with any of them. Whilst we are mulling over which to get, the sales/fitting guy says he has another idea. He comes out with another Graf, a 735, that he thinks might suit her foot. As soon as she put it on, her face lit up. It fit her perfectly, even before we baked it. So after trying on dozens of skates the decision was finally made, her new skate is a Graf 735. She has had them a couple of weeks, played a couple of 3-on-3 games and done a little training on artificial ice and she still loves them.
Anyway, the reason for the long winded ramble is to try to answer the original question and highlight that the main reason people still want Graf skates is because they make skates that truly fit a variety of feet. No other manufacturer seems to do this to the same extent and as far as I can tell that is the reason that Graf are still popular in some areas, despite their lack of mega bucks marketing, pro player paid endorements and techno-features.
Obviously the big names like Bauer make some great products too (as well as some not so great, I might add), but the fact is they don't properly fit a significant proportion of the population. It is also interesting to note that after all the multitude of new Bauer skates over recent years and numerous radical designs, their new, groundbreaking, top of the line skate is an understated plain black skate with a lower cut boot design. Maybe Graf have been onto something all these years.
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