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Graf Peak Speed Pro/G Cowlingless Skates


RichMan
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2 hours ago, dualshowman said:

@beanbats If you could, good brother, litter this thread with photos of the skates, we'd all be very grateful. 

THIS! And if you could do a photo and description comparison to your previously used skates please. Thanks

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14 hours ago, dualshowman said:

@beanbats If you could, good brother, litter this thread with photos of the skates, we'd all be very grateful. 

12 hours ago, RichMan said:

THIS! And if you could do a photo and description comparison to your previously used skates please. Thanks

I will take some more photos today and post them later.  As far as recently used skates, I currently switch between Mrazek 1S Pro stock and Leighton True 2 Piece with the Vertex holder, so I've been cowling less for a while.  I will write a comparison (As well as a review) once I manage to get the Graf's on the ice. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

@beansbats Can you please post a picture of the inside portion of one of the skates(not the literal inside of the skate but the side of the skate that would touch the ice during a butterfly push).  I'd like to see an up close look of the scuff guard Graf uses to protect the stitching from wearing down due to possible repeated contact with the ice.

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On 4/3/2020 at 11:17 AM, RichMan said:

Is the toe cap as substantial as the Bauer one? Also, being that the Bauer cap is much more square, how does the pad feel when sitting on the Graf? I know you tried that already, admit it :D

On 4/15/2020 at 2:45 PM, SaveByRichter35 said:

@beansbats Can you please post a picture of the inside portion of one of the skates(not the literal inside of the skate but the side of the skate that would touch the ice during a butterfly push).  I'd like to see an up close look of the scuff guard Graf uses to protect the stitching from wearing down due to possible repeated contact with the ice.

Since there is no ice right now I have been ignoring the shiny new skates.  I just set up some synthetic ice panels and will try the Graf's out tonight and take some more pictures.  I'll also be able to do a compare vs the 1S.  This will probably be the only time on the synthetic with them because I do not have any spare steel yet.  Does anyone know where to get more steel for these?

-steve

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On 4/3/2020 at 11:17 AM, RichMan said:

Is the toe cap as substantial as the Bauer one? Also, being that the Bauer cap is much more square, how does the pad feel when sitting on the Graf? I know you tried that already, admit it :D

On 4/15/2020 at 2:45 PM, SaveByRichter35 said:

@beansbats Can you please post a picture of the inside portion of one of the skates(not the literal inside of the skate but the side of the skate that would touch the ice during a butterfly push).  I'd like to see an up close look of the scuff guard Graf uses to protect the stitching from wearing down due to possible repeated contact with the ice.

On 4/17/2020 at 5:59 PM, GoGriffs said:

How do the new Grafs compare to a True as far as comfort goes? Is the heel cup deeper in the Graf?

I took the Grafs for a half hour test ride on the synthetic ice last night, and they felt great.  I have home baked the skates to start on the customized fit.  My feet are shoe size 12 (Graf size 11), normal width, and really bony ankles.  The one thing I should have done before using the skates was put a deeper hollow on the steel.  They arrived with a 7/8" hollow which is way to slidey.  My 1S are cut to 1/2" and have a good bite on the plastic.  I'll sharpen the Grafs to 1/2" before I try them again.

Round Toe Cap - I did not notice ant difference in how the pads (VE8) sat on the skates, or in the rotation compared to the 1S.  The only point that I'll speculate on is that I think the Graf toe cap will be more protective than the 1S, but I can't confirm this until someone drills me with a puck.

Inside Toe - A pic is attached of the inside toe and stitching.  A far as how it will wear, I have no idea.  I'll pay attention as I put more time on the skates.

Graf vs True Comfort & Heel Cap - My Trues are very comfortable and so are the Grafs.  I don't have enough time on the Grafs to make definitive decision in the comfort battle.  As far as the heel cup, the Graf heel cup is deeper.  I did not experience any slippage while working the movement progressions.

Please let me know if you have other questions.

-steve 

Graf Inside Toe.jpg

Grafpads attached.jpg

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  • 4 months later...
On 9/9/2020 at 1:13 PM, RichMan said:

Any news on these bad boys? Use, comfort, durability and safety feedback?

The rinks have finally legally opened in lower Michigan, and I have put two ice sessions on the Grafs.  I am adjusting to the 3mm steel, and need to put a deeper hollow on them prior to my Thursday skate.  Overall I like the skates.  I can't really speak to the durability yet.  As far as protection, I've taken a few shots off of the toes and haven't felt a thing.  So protection seems good.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

I purchased these PeakSpeed Pro/G from Goalies Plus after a few emails and phone conversations with Mike:

IMG_6660.thumb.JPG.cd806e1074c82986a975e10b4b86ac38.JPG

Mike assured me that the fit exactly like Graf Goaler 750 Pros -this is indeed accurate information and can be taken as fact. After two home bakes (175F for about 8 minutes), a 3/8" cut (with zero regard to rocker and profile), and never skating in them, I played a pickup last evening. The first stride onto the ice surface was like home cooking. 100% confidence immediately.

Details:

  • Size 9 Regular, same exact fit as a 750 Goaler Pro (still own 2 pairs, so I can attest to this in real-time)
  • 272mm holder and runner
  • Boot (marked 8UK?) Made in Canada 
  • Tongue (marked 9R) Designed in Canada
  • Included in box are Graf orthotic-style insoles and a hex wrench for the internal screw that holds the runner to holder

Apparently, the boots are marked in UK sizing which is a whole size 'smaller'. This was confirmed by Goalies Plus, and the fact that there is no way I'd fit into any 8US shoe, let alone a skate marked the same:

IMG_6663.thumb.JPG.0538446496b8208c3612964bb0516426.JPG

IMG_6664.thumb.JPG.d4b8f7d8308492872975ddd48fd8924f.JPG

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Up until last evening, I was losing the battle to a pair of Bauer Vapor 1Xs, Size 8.5EE, with Tydan DLC blades cut 3/8" with a Goalie SAM profile and rocker. The holder and runner are far and away the brightest points of these skates. The boot and tongue started out okay, at best. I was smitten by the drastic weight saving of the Bauers over my previous Graf/CCM cowling setup and simply ignored the pain for as long as I could.

Over time, I have developed lace bite on my right forefoot and, more alarmingly, a sac of fluid on the left inside ankle bone (medial malleolus) that is uncomfortable on its best days. I have never had any foot or ankle issues related to a pair of skates prior to the Bauers. The lace bite issue is easily remedied by secondary means of protection, lacing pattern or a higher quality tongue. Bauer left it up to me to decide between the first two options. The ankle fluid, however, is due to the lack of heal pocket in the Bauers. My pronounced heal effectively pushes my foot forward in boot while in a crouch, and my ankle is then projecting into the eyelets, far beyond any padding in the boot or protection by the relatively narrow tongue.

The Vapor boot is clearly not meant to accommodate the features of my foot, mostly due to the lack of heal depth. The Grafs, by comparison, have a true heal pocket and supportive foam around the Achilles area. You press your foot in and hear a sucking noise from the air trying to escape. The Graf tongue has far more surface area, and it is also multiple thicknesses - thinner around the ankles and general perimeter of the tongue, and thicker down the center where most lace bite issue would occur. 

Perhaps the most important design element of the Grafs in the context of the Bauers is how Graf compensates for the detrimental effects of the extreme stiffness of modern, composite skates and the physiology of a goalies athletic position. Forgive the crudity of the feature lines - Notice in the photo below the symmetrical construction inside and outside eyelet spines of the Bauers:

IMG_6666.thumb.jpg.6a6182a37dc68eff89ecf26a4c46464e.jpg

 

Notice below the asymmetrical construction of the Grafs:

IMG_6661.thumb.JPG.cfb3c213ab6cf75f9251b51f76b9b176.JPG

 

What is difficult to capture in photos is just how much deeper and asymmetrical the Grafs are compared to the Bauers:

 IMG_6662.thumb.JPG.e935db52c3b927e0589e63ca0b2e20b7.JPG 

 

The Grafs wrap around far more, and therefore provide far more support without the need for lacing the skates to extreme levels. My heal is locked into the skate, so edgework and push-offs are more nuanced, powerful and controllable. I could never find a middle ground with the Vapors - every skate was a guessing game as to how tight or loose the skate should be from toe to ankle. One skate would feel clumsy, the next one would feel fine. The one consistent element was some ankle pain and lace bite, and increasingly so. For what is perhaps the second most important piece of gear a goalie owns, this is untenable.

Also of note is that the Graf toe cap is round, inside and out, like a forward skate. In fact, I wouldn't doubt its just the same. By comparison, the Bauer toe cap is large and square, and internally there is far more room than I prefer. Grafs do not fit like Bauers, just as Bauers do not fit like CCMs. Your mileage will vary, so my opinion is merely a data point. However, if you're as confident as I about what size Graf 750 fits your foot, I would not hesitate to order the same size Pro G.

I am reserving any judgement on the runner and holder for the time being. They appear robust enough, but the runner is noticeably wavy along its length. This is inconsequential, really, largely because I have never seen a 3mm skate blade, forward or goalie, that is true along the length. What you lose in rigidity with a 3mm blade, you make up for in weight and agility. The Tydan DLC runner on my Bauers is unbelievably durable in regards to maintaining their edge, although each blade does have an outward bend. I've had them sharpened once in 12 months (100+ skates) because of the amount of post abuse they can take. Prior to this, a once-a-month or two sharpen was commonplace. I doubt the Graf stock runners will yield similar results. I may contact Tyden about the prospect of them making replacement Graf runners.

I am grateful for the monetary resources that provided for a new skate purchase a mere 18 months after the last. What ultimately pushed the decision was the prospect of lingering effects from ill-fitting skates. I'm not inclined to add one more injury to the routine maintenance list. Just as the lightweight of the Bauers was game changing, the new Graf Pro/G was a revelation in just one skate. I'll check in as I accumulate more ice time in these.

Please ask me any questions.

Edited by dualshowman
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10 hours ago, dualshowman said:

I am grateful for the monetary resources that provided for a new skate purchase a mere 18 months after the last. What ultimately pushed the decision was the prospect of lingering effects from ill-fitting skates. I'm not inclined to add one more injury to the routine maintenance list. Just as the lightweight of the Bauers was game changing, the new Graf Pro/G was a revelation in just one skate. I'll check in as I accumulate more ice time in these.

What you describe in the factors that led you to make the change from 1X to the Peak Speeds are nearly identical to the reasons I went from 2X to 9035 w/ XSG Cowling. Not only did I have the similar fit issues in the Bauers but the heel lock and wrap in the Graf are super effective and comfortable.  

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1 hour ago, BadAngle41 said:

What you describe in the factors that led you to make the change from 1X to the Peak Speeds are nearly identical to the reasons I went from 2X to 9035 w/ XSG Cowling. Not only did I have the similar fit issues in the Bauers but the heel lock and wrap in the Graf are super effective and comfortable.  

I had three overlapping pairs of 750s over 12 or 13 years, so I missed the transition to G50s and 9035s. I've read your posts in the Graf/CCM thread AFTER submitting my post here, and I realized that I had done myself a great disservice by not trying harder to find a Graf solution prior to purchasing the Vapors. This is a testament, however, to how consistently great the Graf boot was and is over several generations and model lines. I had really taken skate comfort for granted, and I easily sold myself on 'any cowlingless skate' once I became enamored by the weight savings. What's interesting is that the PeakSpeed Pro/Gs are lighter and more balanced than the Vapors. At least the 1Xs were on clearance by the time I bought them. 

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1 hour ago, dualshowman said:

I had three overlapping pairs of 750s over 12 or 13 years, so I missed the transition to G50s and 9035s. I've read your posts in the Graf/CCM thread AFTER submitting my post here, and I realized that I had done myself a great disservice by not trying harder to find a Graf solution prior to purchasing the Vapors. This is a testament, however, to how consistently great the Graf boot was and is over several generations and model lines. I had really taken skate comfort for granted, and I easily sold myself on 'any cowlingless skate' once I became enamored by the weight savings. What's interesting is that the PeakSpeed Pro/Gs are lighter and more balanced than the Vapors. At least the 1Xs were on clearance by the time I bought them. 

Very well put. I too quickly fell into the cowlingless at all cost camp due to a number of the benefits... but noticing that most every joint from the waist down was consistently more and more sore after each skate (granted I'm no spring chicken) and the foot discomfort on top of it... the choice to go back to what I wore for decades in a Graf boot made sense. The XSG holder with its shorter height and neutral pitch have only added to the comfort and balance.

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Compelled to provide a brief update:

There are not enough superlatives. These are the most comfortable, lightest, and powerful skates I have ever worn. The shorter steel is revelation. Graf cowlings have always had a shorter runner than any competitor, but they stuck with non-replaceable steel for such a long time that I always ended up replacing the Graf cowling with CCM (RBK, Reebok) cowlings when there wasn't enough steel left to sharpen. I just dealt with the longer, heavier runner and tried to not pay it any mind. The length of the Graf runner on the new holder is, again, much shorter than Bauer or CCM. The benefit is felt in skating agility, push-offs, and shuffling. I missed this, and now it's back. 

Edited by dualshowman
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  • 1 month later...

Third Update

I feel like I have a solid amount of ice time in these now: Perhaps 20 hours or so. A few of these sessions have gone 90-130 minutes with no breaks and I've done some back-to-backs. For me, this amount of consecutive playing minutes is usually the acid test for gear like skates, masks and chest protectors with regards to weight and comfortability. These skates are, with no doubt, the most comfortable and lightest skates I have ever owned. That they are so comfortable without getting soft after an hour or more is revelatory. Being completely unaware of my feet due to zero negative sensory feedback is a blessing.

In a previous post, I reserved judgement on the holder and runner. I will say that the holder has taken enough abuse thus far for me to determine it to be very solid. The runner has held up very well against post, and has proven itself to be harder steel than I've experienced with older Graf cowlings. These items are not afterthoughts on an otherwise perfect boot; they are high quality and robust.

I sweat a good amount, so much so that I used to drill holes in the bottom of my cowlings and boots in the days before they were engineered into the skate. Yes, this did make a difference. Yes, its disgusting. These Grafs have a micro-suede-like interior that provides the same amount of locked-in feel whether bone dry or soaked. Zero heel sliding as the game goes on. I've never owned skates that haven't gotten slippery after they get soaked. These skates also dry quickly merely sitting on the floor beneath a ceiling fan. 

More to come.

 

Edited by dualshowman
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6 hours ago, AdamL said:

That's great!  Although you're making me regret picking up a set of DM1080s during the black Friday sales.  Shoutout to Goalies Plus and Vaughn/Graf in Michigan for having those to me in 48 hours.

Yeah, their drop shipping deal is the way to go.

No shame in the DM1080s. I loved everything about them except the fit. It was as if Graf changed their fit profile for the DM series and then went back to their original profile with the PeakSpeeds. Maybe they were attempting to reach out to a broader market.

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13 hours ago, dualshowman said:

Yeah, their drop shipping deal is the way to go.

No shame in the DM1080s. I loved everything about them except the fit. It was as if Graf changed their fit profile for the DM series and then went back to their original profile with the PeakSpeeds. Maybe they were attempting to reach out to a broader market.

You think so?  Granted it's been a few years since I last wore my old Goaler Pros, but compared to my current CCMs these things are an absolute dream.  I'll probably bake them again just for good measure, though, these things are REALLY stiff, but thankfully do still offer a tremendous amount of ankle flexion.

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18 minutes ago, dualshowman said:

They were certainly comfortable to me, but not close enough to 750s for me to take the plunge. In retrospect, I should have made the attempt. The path I took brought me to Pro/Gs, so I'll take it.

Wouldn't be surprised if I end up in a pair as well within the next year.  I'm not sure I'd like being pitched forward, so I wanted to get a pair of skates I knew would feel familiar in case I don't like the newer style holders.  Glad you're loving the skates!  They're a great option, especially in price relative to the custom options from some other manufacturers.

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