In today’s world, when most people think about hockey equipment, they think Reebok. Back when I was I playing hockey, it was a different story. I think I started playing hockey in 1995 or 1994. I can’t remember which year it was. All I know is that at that time period in my life, I was a roller hockey freak. I worked my way from cheap equipment that broke easily, to what was the standard for professional players at the time. I also noticed that the more expensive the equipment got, the better my hockey playing was.
I knew a whole bunch about hockey gear back then. I was in all the sports stores every month getting a new stick or some new hockey wheels for my skates. At some point, I can’t remember when, but I saw Reebok skates start appearing. I think it was around the same time Nike came into the sport of hockey with their own brand of equipment. Their were a few big brands that I knew about and so did every other inline hockey player. These brands were CCM, Jofa, and Bauer. In my opinion, those were the top 3. All the stores had equipment by those manufacturers.
Even though us roller hockey players saw Reebok skates and started to see other Reebok gear, like sticks and gloves show up, nobody really purchased it. Eventually, Nike bought the company of Bauer. This was a good move by Nike as Bauer was a trusted hockey company. I had stopped playing inline hockey a few years later. Although I did notice a change when I came back to the sport.
Reebok hockey equipment was everywhere. They were literally all over the sport. They were in use by a whole host of NHL players. Reebok was also the official equipment provider to the National Hockey League. I always wondered how a company that seemed so far behind get to the top? The answer was simple. Reebok followed Nike’s lead from years earlier and bought some trustworthy hockey companies. In 2004, they purchased CCM, Koho and Jofa. After awhile, they phased out Jofa and kept the CCM and Reebok names because they were their best selling brand. My opinion can be summed up in three words, smart move Reebok.