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Mission Helium 550 2005 Hockey Skate Review

By Matthew Mokrzycki 10/30/2006

 

Mission Hockey is a company renowned for their innovative hockey skates… In 2005 they continued this tradition by releasing the Mission Helium Series of indoor inline hockey skates.

I purchased these skates for exactly that reason, to play indoor hockey. The Mission He550 skates are middle to upper end of the ’05 skate range and serve very well for intermediate to advanced levels of skating/play.

The Boot

I love the boots, they look and feel great. They have a Stiffness Rating of 6:4 (6 Refers to Heel & Ankle, 4 refers to Forefoot & Arch), but the break in time is surprisingly quick thanks to the “Skate Bake” (Thermal Heat Fitting), where they heat the skates so that they mould to your foot shape very quickly.

While I’m still on fit this is where I find the Helium series comes into their own, Mission’s new DNA™ Eyelet system use injection moulded eyelets as well as the Single Eyelet Lace Locking (SELL) system seen in previous models; this, when combined with the DNA™ Anatomically Correct Heel Pocket makes for one of the most comfortable skates on the market and after playing on them for several hours I’ve not got one blister to show for it…

Another thing about the boot is what Mission calls their “Helium” technology. The use of Polyurethane Inserts, SoftSkin Upper, Sensory2 Carbon Outsole (as against ABS plastic on some previous models, or heavier carbon fibre on others) and a new way of constructing the boot makes it lighter and stronger than any other boot before it. My pair of Size 9’s only weigh 1.38 Kilograms.

My Mods

(Note: This is not a recommendation. Copying this is your own choice)

On my skates I have used a dual lace system with the last pair of injection moulded eyelets and the three pairs of SELL eyelets at the top on one lace and the bottom four pairs of injection moulded eyelets on another lace. This gives me even more tightness and control and makes any heel movement completely impossible.

The Chassis

The chassis is a 6000 series, stamped, extruded Aluminium HiLo Frame, this little sentence of jargon basically means that the chassis on these skates are make from one piece of Aluminium (per skate) which has been stamped out of a large piece of aluminium (like a cookie-cutter), cut into shape (extruded) and then bent to form the connection points that connect to the boot. The 6000 series refers to the alloy of Aluminium; this particular alloy is very strong and highly suited to the rough treatment these skates receive in a game of inline hockey.

As with all mission skates after (about) 2002 the chassis are HiLo, with flush mount axles, and a ten point attachment system between chassis and boot.

Wheels and Bearings

The Factory Halo wheels that the He550 skates come with are the first Non-Labeda wheels I actually like; they grip the rink extremely well and give great fast stops and direction changes (without sacrificing too much speed). The durometer rating on the wheels are 74a meaning these are for rink/indoor use only.

Now to the bearings; the bearings in them are ABEC 7, these ABEC 7 bearings are lubed with oil meaning they are not for outdoor use, but once again great for the rink. Mission bearings have come a long way in the past couple of years and provided they are used for what they are intended for (ie: not used outside) and get the proper maintenance, these bearings will last a very long time…

Conclusion

These skates can be summed up in one word… Brilliant. The boots are extremely strong, supportive, light and they fit perfectly, the chassis are strong, light and can really take a beating, and the wheels and bearings are made for hockey; making these the perfect skate for Intermediate to Advanced levels of play.

Also with the ’06 models out and the ’07 coming very soon these skates can be picked up for a very reasonable price (Approx: US$199), meaning great skates without the huge crater that’s usually left in your hip-pocket.

 

 

 

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