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  • Writer's pictureThe 2nd Time Around Team


There's no mistaking that Pickleball has skyrocketed in popularity. It is after all America's Fastest Growing Sport the last 3 years running, but the demographics will surprise you, and it's not just the older generations low impact new sport of choice. It's far more than that.

Of course Pickleball and another sport experiencing a tremendous growth spurt DiscGolf, are navigating the same issues that all sports go through. Governing Bodies jockeying for position and control, Rules being revisited and changed, and Facilities and Manufacturers trying to keep up with the demand for Court time and Product while still maintaining a Price that keeps assuring the sport remains inclusive to all.

In January of 2023 of the roughly 37 million people playing Pickleball at the time, 45% said they planned to play more pickleball in the next 6 months than they did in the prior 6-month period and that held true as current 2024 numbers show a whopping 50 million adult American's are now playing.

 Amazing numbers, but there is a general misconception that Pickleball is a sport for an older demographic. That it is a sport for Retirees, so it surprised us to learn who exactly is picking up pickleball. According to USA Pickleball numbers the Largest Age Bracket of Pickleball Players is actually ages 18-34. Almost 30% of Pickleballers currently dinking away on courts across the land are below the age of 35.

 While the sport is relatively easy to learn and is considered low-impact, making it appealing across age groups, Athletes recovering from Injuries in other sports and those who don't often consider themselves Athletes looking for a Healthy and Fun form of Exercise alike can still participate. Pickleball not only fosters a sense of belonging and camaraderie among players, going back to the inclusive nature of the sport, but it is taking a downright hip direction with Tattoo Artist Paddle Designs evening making an appearance as Pickleball smashes it's way into mainstream culture.

 There's a wide price range of Paddles to satisfy players at every level and they are becoming more specialized by playing style (there are even paddles better suited to players coming over from Tennis with slightly longer handles) It's still possible for you and a partner to pick up a set of introductory paddles and balls like the Champion Rhino Wood Set for around $45 and start playing the same day. Of course Gearheads will love Innovative new products specific to the sport  like a Pickleball Retriever and Storage Tube, Colorful Handle Wraps and Pickleball Footwear.

As the Pickleball Market develops into a close to 300 million dollar industry, not only Pickleball Specific Brands but big names like adidas have aggressively entering the fold. 

According to a Business Insider Article in August of 2023 over 25,000 new pickleball courts are needed to keep up with current demand. With more Courts popping up in Towns and Cities Nationwide growth of Pickleball as a sport for all ages shows no sign of slowing down. Just don't pigeon hole it as a sport for your retired Aunt in Arizona. I don't know about you but mine's pretty cool and I'm sure she can probably Rip that Overhead Shot by now. 

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  • Writer's pictureThe 2nd Time Around Team

CCM and Bauer are two of the world’s most famous and well respected hockey brands, so it’s no coincidence that they also happen to be two all of the oldest.Both companies have a long and intricate history, from Canadian Cycle and Motor Company (CCM) when four prominent cycling companies amalgamated in 1899 after the collapse of the bicycle market, to Bauer’s origins at the Western Shoe Company, the first hockey company to begin producing hockey skates in which the blade was permanently secured to the boot. Between ownership changes, technology innovations, branding successes and some stumbles, there is a rich history attached to each company. Their Consumers are loyal, extremely loyal and this is especially true when it comes to hockey skates. One brand is the ruler of Canada (CCM) one is the ruler of the North East region of the United States (Bauer). Whether it’s on the phone, or in one of our stores it’s extremely common to hear “I swear by CCM!” or “I can’t wear anything but Bauer!” on an almost daily basis.

The main reason (and a quite substantial one actually) in which these claims are based is for decades the common truth was if you had a NARROW foot: You wore a Bauer, if you had a WIDE foot you wore a CCM. Today Technology and the urgency for both of these legendary brands to expand their reach has necessitated they change this antiquated way of thinking. While traditional Rink Store owners or armchair coaches might argue otherwise it is now a fact that, there is now a variety of fits spread across both brands that players can choose from either Brand and still find the skate feel they are searching for.

As 2020 approaches each brand has a skate that can work for your foot. It’s a Brave New World for Hockey Players. These seemingly forever rivals ironically have evolved to a similar point when it comes to the line of skates they put out on the market. In this case, their need to succeed makes winners of skaters everywhere.

Three Skate Lines > Three Different fits >Three different options to get you in THEIR skate.

CCM Jetspeed vs Bauer Vapor

CCM Tacks vs Bauer Supreme

CCM Ribcor vs. Bauer Nexus

These head to head match ups mirror each other with their fit profiles and what kind of player they are attempting to target. Let us take a brief look at the sizing in specific areas of the foot provided in each line:

CCM Jetspeed and Bauer Vapor Hockey Skates provide a tapered fit, most noticeably in the bottom of the foot. This design provides a fit ideal for the fleet of foot forward looking to make sudden changes in direction, creating your own space on the power play or cutting left when the defender is going right. Essentially providing a tighter more responsive fit is what these lines are all about.

Bauer and CCM Skate Sizing has changed
The Name is No Longer the Name of the Game when it comes to Model Fit..

CCM Tacks and Bauer Supreme Hockey Skates provide a tight heel lock and a foot bed area slightly more open than their Jetspeed or Vapor counter parts. The heel lock is all about power striding, giving the skater a firm base to launch from. Ideal for the up and down the wing forward looking to finish checks and scoring plays off the rush or the two-way defensemen looking to shut down and push the pace the other way. These lines are the “Hybrid” of the skate world.

Ribcor and Nexus Hockey Skates both have an open fit profile that is more of a form fitting custom fit in other words your fit is much more equal across the entire profile of the boot, there are no areas that fit tighter than others. This comfort gives players the confidence to have an amazing overall performance. Again with this line the emphasis is on space and comfort.

This is not to say that these skates produced by the individual Brands are clones of each other. Each brand brings specific specs outside of fitting that could sway you to either company. There are differences in the overall feel and weight balance, as well as differences in technology in boot construction, ankle protection, footbed style and comfort, blade holders, Steel, and of course the look.

These different specs are all explained in the product listing on our online store at Exclusive Photos will show you the technology and look of each skate as we make sure to hone in on the details that hockey players like us want to know more about. Be sure to check them all out HERE

So don’t be sold on the Name of the Hockey Skate Brand anymore. You have multiple options in both brands. We have hundreds of players and parents talk with us about what skate is the right skate. Not surprisingly, a huge percentage of folks were going on the old information that their choices were limited, but they aren’t. Consequently, the “other brand” may be your dream skate. One thing is for sure, whichever brand it is, we will have it.

Please feel free to come in and see us and have a conversation about skate fitting, we love talking skates and we’re always ready, willing and able to take in all your experiences with skates and break down what brand, model and size may best suit your needs and offer the lowest price to boot.

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  • Writer's pictureThe 2nd Time Around Team

When I'm not helping you get the very best deals possible, you can most likely find me at the rink. I play hockey 3-4 times a week. Once every couple of months it never fails, I break a skate blade. Another 60 dollars blown just to know it will keep happening again the following month. Repeatedly replacing skate blades was my regular routine until we were approached by Byonic Steel and the way I thought about Skate blades changed forever.


Byonic Steel is built to last. We are sure to field test (or in this case, ice test) a new product like this before bringing it in and I was issued a demo pair of the $99.99 Speed Blade polished steel to fit my CCM + 4.0 Holder version. This was 6 months ago and they are still going strong. After taking pucks off the blade regularly, sharpening once a week and skating hard on them, they haven’t broken. This is a completely new experience for me when it comes to replacement blades. I could not be more satisfied with the way they have lasted. Whenever I do need new steel (which doesn't seem like it will be anytime in the near future) I will be getting Byonic Steel.

I have spent almost 10 of my 26 years sharpening skates, both my own, teammates, and thousands of customer skates and these truly hold an edge. What do i mean by hold an edge? I mean that when you get these sharpened the sharpness will last longer, its much less likely you'll blow out an edge or get small chips in the blade. This means less sharpening , which means less times you lose blade, and of course less money spend with frequent trips to your local sharpening joint.


Surprised as I was in the longevity of the these blades, I was just as pleasantly surprised to find out the benefit it had on my skating. The materials used give you an edge with great bite but also allows a good glide off on each stride. Quick cuts are smoother and easier to handle at top speed and maintaining that straight away speed is made possible by a greater blade profile. I can push the pace without worrying about losing my edge. They give me added mental confidence, which in hockey is everything.


Replacing steel with the stock company steel (That steel I keep breaking) costs $59.99 roughly. The polished high level Byonic steel is listed at $99.99. That’s $40 more for piles of peace of mind and more importantly a product that will easily save you that amount over 4-6 months. Here is the kicker, These Blades come with a One Year Warranty through Byonic in the US. From a hockey skate steel perspective that's just insane.

Byonic Steel is available in the “SpeedBlade” for CCM Skates and the “Edge” for Lightspeed Edge Tuuks found on Bauer Skates. Installation is quick and easy and on par with changing Stock Skate Steel.You can learn more about Byonic HEREor see the complete collection on our BYONIC PRODUCT PAGE

So do the issues with Steel sound familiar to you? Get yourself set up with a pair or two and be set for your season. As always If you want to ask any specific questions I'll be glad to assist you via Phone, Chat or Email on our CONTACT PAGE

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