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04-26-2010, 03:01 PM
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Question regarding Graf Skates

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!

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04-26-2010, 03:02 PM
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usually graf wearers have worn them for a while

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04-26-2010, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Ducksgo View Post
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!

Graf is a Swiss company with it's NA business being handled by Graf Canada out of Alberta.

Each area is different. We have a good number of Graf skates here, but the majority of skaters are in Bauers. Having that many stores in the area carry Graf makes me thing the area rep is damn good. I wonder how many models each of those shops are stocking.

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04-26-2010, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducksgo View Post
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!
nothing else? I was just at anaheim ice yesterday, they had bauer, easton on the display wall. I was tempted to go for the total 100's.

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04-26-2010, 03:51 PM
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Graf seems to be dwindling in popularity. I'm not sure how big they ever were, but almost all the guys I know play in Bauer, Easton, Reebok, or CCM. Graf doesn't really spend a lot of money pushing their product with a ton of advertising, flashy design, and introducing new models every year. For the most part, their skates don't have a lot of new technology and features, and that turns a lot of people off.

What they do right is make a good quality skate that seems to last a good long time. Most guys I know in Grafs have them for years and years. When I bought mine, several guys dropped off skates to get them sharpened and gave me a thumbs up on buying a pair. They also are the only manufacturer to offer a variety of different fits at the same level of quality, which is baffling because everyone has a unique foot shape and squeezing them into an average size boot won't work for most people.

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04-26-2010, 04:17 PM
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Graf seems to be dwindling in popularity. I'm not sure how big they ever were, but almost all the guys I know play in Bauer, Easton, Reebok, or CCM. Graf doesn't really spend a lot of money pushing their product with a ton of advertising, flashy design, and introducing new models every year. For the most part, their skates don't have a lot of new technology and features, and that turns a lot of people off.

What they do right is make a good quality skate that seems to last a good long time. Most guys I know in Grafs have them for years and years. When I bought mine, several guys dropped off skates to get them sharpened and gave me a thumbs up on buying a pair. They also are the only manufacturer to offer a variety of different fits at the same level of quality, which is baffling because everyone has a unique foot shape and squeezing them into an average size boot won't work for most people.
That may have something to do with the product coming out of Graf Canada. They don't have a very good rep quality wise and their customer service is less then spectacular.

My personal opinion to why they are dwindling, they always seem to be late to the party. They aren't putting out a new line or updating their current models every few years. It's like they do it when they absolutely have to. Their holders don't help things much either. It's a turn off when you see the same old Graf skates year after year when everyone else is putting out something that cutting edge.

To the OP. In the groups I skate with, not one player in Graf's. Right now the popular brands are Bauer and Easton (had an all Easton line last night), with a few CCM's and Reebok's spread about.

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04-26-2010, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trisgale View Post
nothing else? I was just at anaheim ice yesterday, they had bauer, easton on the display wall. I was tempted to go for the total 100's.
I haven't been to Anaheim Ice in several weeks but last time I was there all they had was Graf. I went to Westminster Ice last night to get my skates sharpened "which is the sister rink of Anaheim Ice" and all they had in stock was Graf, I mean literally no room for any other brand cause Graf was stocked Sky High. And it's the same way at Glacial Gardens.

So it really made me wonder what was up with this brand of skates, I have never heard of em...sure I just got into hockey recently but everyone knows Easton, Bauer, Mission etc but not this brand.

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04-26-2010, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Ducksgo View Post
So it really made me wonder what was up with this brand of skates, I have never heard of em...sure I just got into hockey recently but everyone knows Easton, Bauer, Mission etc but not this brand.
Most people who have been playing for a while will know this brand. If you're not a player you're probably not going to know it because they don't advertise much and don't pay any players to wear their skates. In addition, the only gear they have at the NHL level is skates. No gloves, sticks, helmets or other equipment that would have their logo on them.

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04-26-2010, 04:43 PM
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Where I play, the brands used basically mimic what you see in the NHL, though I think the percentage of Graf is a bit more.

On my team, you have the majority in Bauer, we have a few CCMs, one or two RBKs and about 4 in Graf. In the league, I usually see mostly Bauer, with each team having a handful of CCM, RBK or Graf skates. Actually Easton is probably the least used brand in our league, at least that I've noticed, but not always paying attention to that.

Graf are a little more traditional in design and will always draw the player that wants that type of skate and fit. Not everyone wants or needs the latest and greatest tech. I've been wearing G70s for a few months, unfortunately, I cant get a great fit out of any Graf, the G70, the only one that is deep enough for me, makes my heel on my right foot swim around in it. I like the skate, I like the feel and position it puts me in, but doesnt fit perfect.

So just went to TotalOnes, which fit better. I'll get them profiled to get me closer to the forward Graf feel and then get used to them.

Graf makes a good skate though and has been around a long time. When I was playing 20 years ago, they were around. Not a skate to be afraid of if you want a more traditional style of skate.

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04-26-2010, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Heat McManus View Post
No gloves, sticks, helmets or other equipment that would have their logo on them.
I heard about this before, it was something that Graf didn't want to pay any extra fees for licensing to be approved to be worn in the NHL. Something to that effect.

I used to wear Grafs a couple years ago - the steel on their Cobra holders was terrible, they should have never left Tuuks. It was a partial reason I switched over to Bauers - the steel quality is way better, and I'm not sharpening my skates every 2-3 times I'm on the ice and only sharpening about once every 8 times when using Tuuks and LS2s.

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04-26-2010, 11:31 PM
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Graf skates are expensive. and their lower end skates are usually overpriced. however, if your spending 400+ they are definitely worth getting. SUPER comfortable and just all around great quality skates.

Rbk offers the best bang for your buck tho now a days.

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04-27-2010, 07:44 AM
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Graf skates are expensive. and their lower end skates are usually overpriced. however, if your spending 400+ they are definitely worth getting. SUPER comfortable and just all around great quality skates.

Rbk offers the best bang for your buck tho now a days.
I'd say Easton has it with the S12. For $299, you won't find a better skate.

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04-27-2010, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by stick9 View Post
I'd say Easton has it with the S12. For $299, you won't find a better skate.
Unless he has a narrow, shallow foot with a high arch.


The best skate is the one that fits your foot well. This is pretty much the driving force behind Graf's line. Each model fits a different foot type.

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04-27-2010, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Ozolinsh_27 View Post
I heard about this before, it was something that Graf didn't want to pay any extra fees for licensing to be approved to be worn in the NHL. Something to that effect.

I used to wear Grafs a couple years ago - the steel on their Cobra holders was terrible, they should have never left Tuuks. It was a partial reason I switched over to Bauers - the steel quality is way better, and I'm not sharpening my skates every 2-3 times I'm on the ice and only sharpening about once every 8 times when using Tuuks and LS2s.
Most of the pros will have Tuuks put on their Grafs. The steel is better and it helps neutralize the pitch.

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04-27-2010, 10:26 AM
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Grafs are really nice skates, but not on the cutting edge of technology. The G series isn't nearly as stiff and light as top end Bauer, RBK, Easton, etc.... Also, the stock toe boxes they use are smallish and can be uncomfortable. I know you can get a larger toe as a factory option, but generally who wants to deal with it - why not have it as stock.

I was a long time Graf fan, wore 703's for years, but I switched to a modern skate a few years ago and never looked back. It's just hard to argue with the performance advantages that the new skates provide.

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04-27-2010, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Heat McManus View Post
Unless he has a narrow, shallow foot with a high arch.


The best skate is the one that fits your foot well. This is pretty much the driving force behind Graf's line. Each model fits a different foot type.
That goes without saying. You're preaching to the choir with that one.

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04-27-2010, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heat McManus View Post
Most of the pros will have Tuuks put on their Grafs. The steel is better and it helps neutralize the pitch.
The Graf boot was originally designed to be used with the Custom+ holder.

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04-27-2010, 11:10 PM
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Grafs aren't flashy or gimmicky and they don't pay pros to use/advertise them. However round here an awful lot of top end players use them. They have a great reputation in these parts.

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04-27-2010, 11:51 PM
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That may have something to do with the product coming out of Graf Canada. They don't have a very good rep quality wise and their customer service is less then spectacular.

My personal opinion to why they are dwindling, they always seem to be late to the party. They aren't putting out a new line or updating their current models every few years. It's like they do it when they absolutely have to. Their holders don't help things much either. It's a turn off when you see the same old Graf skates year after year when everyone else is putting out something that cutting edge.

To the OP. In the groups I skate with, not one player in Graf's. Right now the popular brands are Bauer and Easton (had an all Easton line last night), with a few CCM's and Reebok's spread about.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but most of the people I see playing in NYC, at my level and well above, are in Grafs.

There is something to be said for not being a marketing machine, chasing the latest "fashion trend" in what other makers are doing, and focusing their efforts and R&D on product quality. There is a reason why people who buy their skates wear them for a long, long time - so product quality cannot be an issue in those instances.

They are like alot of other companies in other industries, who focus on making the best product they can, and not tooting their horn about it. NHL players come to them for skates, as they do little or no promotion, and that is quite an achievement for a company, unlike say Nike or Reebok, who pay NBA players many millions to wear their sneakers.

Years ago, their customer svce was less than stellar, but it has been significantly improved, as I understand it. Personally, I called them several times, and they were all quite helpful.

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04-28-2010, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heat McManus View Post
Most of the pros will have Tuuks put on their Grafs. The steel is better and it helps neutralize the pitch.
yea exactly, the cobra holders lean you forward way too much i had a pair of 705s and couldnt get used to teh lean so i went back to bauer which was alot more comfortable. teh only nhl player that ive seen that have grafs and still use the cobras is carcillo

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04-28-2010, 12:43 AM
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Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but most of the people I see playing in NYC, at my level and well above, are in Grafs.
Majority of the players in the Elite League at Chelsea were in Bauers. Bauer has the biggest market share by far. From what I see on the ice for all of the leagues (about 12 in all, 100+ teams) at Chelsea most prevalent to least

Bauer
CCM/Reebok
Graf
Easton

I worked for a minor pro team for the past two years. This year we had 2 Reebok. 1 Easton. 1 Graf. The rest were Bauer. Previous year, 2 Graf. 2 Reebok, 1 Easton. The rest in Bauer.

Graf makes a good boot, especially the 7 series. The holders and steel can be problematic though and their customer service is still iffy. In any event Bauer owns the market. NYC included.

As far as Graf not tooting their own horn, there's not much to toot about as far as new products go. They've had pretty much the same product for years. Aside from the sidas footbed (which is pretty badass), they aren't making the leaps that some other companies are. They're not progressive on any type of foam, use of carbon, or anything else. Some people might say this isn't a bad thing, but Graf is kind of having the newer technology leave them behind. I don't see them really being upset about this though as they look rather content about staying small.


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04-28-2010, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunnar Stahl 30 View Post
yea exactly, the cobra holders lean you forward way too much i had a pair of 705s and couldnt get used to teh lean so i went back to bauer which was alot more comfortable. teh only nhl player that ive seen that have grafs and still use the cobras is carcillo
Joni Pitkanen also uses Grafs wih Cobra holder.

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04-28-2010, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Heat McManus View Post
Majority of the players in the Elite League at Chelsea were in Bauers. Bauer has the biggest market share by far. From what I see on the ice for all of the leagues (about 12 in all, 100+ teams) at Chelsea most prevalent to least

Bauer
CCM/Reebok
Graf
Easton

I worked for a minor pro team for the past two years. This year we had 2 Reebok. 1 Easton. 1 Graf. The rest were Bauer. Previous year, 2 Graf. 2 Reebok, 1 Easton. The rest in Bauer.

Graf makes a good boot, especially the 7 series. The holders and steel can be problematic though and their customer service is still iffy. In any event Bauer owns the market. NYC included.

As far as Graf not tooting their own horn, there's not much to toot about as far as new products go. They've had pretty much the same product for years. Aside from the sidas footbed (which is pretty badass), they aren't making the leaps that some other companies are. They're not progressive on any type of foam, use of carbon, or anything else. Some people might say this isn't a bad thing, but Graf is kind of having the newer technology leave them behind. I don't see them really being upset about this though as they look rather content about staying small.
Graf is popular in some areas because of dealers. If a smaller dealer(we're talking non-hockey monkey size) carries Graf, they have to limit other skates they have... and that means pushing Graf skates on customers. At the retail and pro level, graf is a bottomfeeder and Bauer absolutely dominates. At the pro level, you're looking at something like 70% of the NHL is in Bauer skates. Even refs who once were loyal Graf wearers are going to Bauer and some to CCM skates(I don't recall any Easton or Reebok guys, there was a Mission wearer).

Look online for horror stories on Graf customer service, mismounted holders, missing insoles, different sized skates, wrong toe caps, etc... Graf Canada is a joke.

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04-28-2010, 07:56 AM
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Graf is popular in some areas because of dealers. If a smaller dealer(we're talking non-hockey monkey size) carries Graf, they have to limit other skates they have... and that means pushing Graf skates on customers. At the retail and pro level, graf is a bottomfeeder and Bauer absolutely dominates. At the pro level, you're looking at something like 70% of the NHL is in Bauer skates. Even refs who once were loyal Graf wearers are going to Bauer and some to CCM skates(I don't recall any Easton or Reebok guys, there was a Mission wearer).

Look online for horror stories on Graf customer service, mismounted holders, missing insoles, different sized skates, wrong toe caps, etc... Graf Canada is a joke.
Plenty of Graf dealers carry all the other brands. To suggest Graf dealers have to reduce their other brands is crazy.

Bauer etc do make some very good products, but a great deal of the change they introduce in their constant new products are cosmetic or of minor functional difference. They are also heavily into the consumer end of the market, where most kids want something that looks cool has lots of techno-buzzwords and most importantly is endorsed by some superstar player.

Graf is different. They are not a "bottom feeder" as you suggest, they are a niche player. They target the mid to high end player for whom fit, performance and quality are key.


At the end of the day the fit of a skate is the single most important element.

I have two kids that play. One is in RBKs and the other is in Grafs. The one in Grafs won't wear anything else, as the Grafs are the only ones that truly fit well, plus they have held great to a season and a half of rep hockey (5-7 times a week).

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04-28-2010, 09:11 AM
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Plenty of Graf dealers carry all the other brands. To suggest Graf dealers have to reduce their other brands is crazy.

Bauer etc do make some very good products, but a great deal of the change they introduce in their constant new products are cosmetic or of minor functional difference. They are also heavily into the consumer end of the market, where most kids want something that looks cool has lots of techno-buzzwords and most importantly is endorsed by some superstar player.

Graf is different. They are not a "bottom feeder" as you suggest, they are a niche player. They target the mid to high end player for whom fit, performance and quality are key.


At the end of the day the fit of a skate is the single most important element.

I have two kids that play. One is in RBKs and the other is in Grafs. The one in Grafs won't wear anything else, as the Grafs are the only ones that truly fit well, plus they have held great to a season and a half of rep hockey (5-7 times a week).
Most shops aren't very big, if you're in a large city and have a shop bigger than a two car garage you are considered lucky. Typically, that means if they carry Graf, they have to drop Easton and/or CCM/Reebok. Anyone that is smart doesn't drop the industry leader in skate innovation, Bauer.

If you're in Canada or certain parts of the US you have a better likelihood of having a larger shop with a large selection. We aren't talking about stores like Peranis, HM, HG, Great Skate, etc... Most shops are tiny in comparison and they certainly have to drop brands to bring in other brands.

Also, saying that Graf is in a niche for a player that is looking for performance is just BS. Graf has done nothing but put a composite outsole on their skates that are based on a 20 year old design. Bauer and Easton have been doing tons of work in composite skates that are lightweight and are meant to perform(By creating stiffer skates meant to flex and improve power transfer). CCM finally stepped into the game with the U+.

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