In today’s post, we’re going to look at the new Bauer Supreme skates. I’ve written a handful of other posts on related topics, so I thought it would be appropriate to do a deep dive on the new generation of Supremes that were rolled out in the last few months.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your own skates from an older model, or you’re a new hockey parent doing research ahead of buying your kid’s first pair of skates, you’ll want to be familiar with the differences, as they pertain to skates, between Bauer’s three different lines of equipment.
If you aren’t sure what those differences are, please check out my post on that exact subject. It’ll be helpful background knowledge when we look at the new Supremes in this post.
Something else that might be of interest if you’re shopping for a player between roughly eight and 12 years old is my post about how Bauer introduced updated size/price tiers with the new generation of Supremes. I’ll touch on it again a little bit here, but that post gives a detailed explanation of how this change could save parents some money.
With this new generation, Bauer also is introducing a new way to rate the stiffness of the skate boots, called the flex rating. This is a numerical rating so you can have a better frame of reference for how different models compare in terms of stiffness. It’s just easier to put a number on it than to have a vague sense of “well, skate A is a little stiffer than skate B, and skate B is stiffer than skate C, but not by as much…” The higher the flex rating, the stiffer the boot.
Lastly – and again, I’ll mention this when talking about the individual models – there are five new models of Supremes, but not all of them are made in all size ranges. Specifically, only two of the models are available in the Youth size range, and three models in the Junior size range. The Intermediate and Senior ranges offer all five models.
With that said, let’s go ahead and look at the new models of Supreme skates.
The S35 is the entry-level model of the new generation of Supremes. Offered in the Junior, Intermediate, and Senior size ranges (but not in Youth), it’s intended for beginning and recreational skaters. It has a 3D poly carb quarter that is designed for a more forgiving and flexible fit than the higher-end models. The flex rating is 55, the lowest (meaning the most flexible) of the five new Supreme models.
The skate features a 30-ounce felt tongue with a mesh metatarsal guard, a microfiber liner, memory foam ankle pads, and Lightspeed S stainless steel blades. The S35 is only offered in D width, which is the “regular” width.
One thing to note is that the blade holder doesn’t have the quick-release feature to allow easy replacement of a damaged blade during a game. This is the only one of the five Supreme models that doesn’t offer that feature in Junior, Intermediate, or Senior sizes (neither of the models available in Youth sizes offer it). If you’re considering the S35, that shouldn’t influence your decision, though. If you’re playing at a level where you really need to be able to swap out a blade on the bench, you would be better off in one of the higher-end skates anyway.
Overall, the Supreme S35 is a solid entry-level skate. The skate won’t perform like the higher models, but for the beginner or casual player that doesn’t need that kind of skate, this is a good option.
Moving up one level to the next model in the hierarchy brings us to the S37. This skate is offered in the Senior and Intermediate size ranges. However, unlike the S35, it’s available in two widths, D (regular) and EE (wide). It also is stiffer with a flex rating of 65. That increased stiffness is largely thanks to a fiber composite quarter, and allows for more stability and energy transfer.
Other improvements include a 40-ounce felt tongue with a mesh metatarsal guard, lighter-weight memory foam ankle pads, Tuuk Lightspeed Edge blade holders that let you do a quick blade replacement, stainless steel Power Profile blades, and an upgraded footbed. Most notably, the S37 is thermoformable.
In other words, the S37 has upgrades in just about every area compared to the S35. The microfiber liner is the same, but everything else is different. Granted, you’ll find improvements throughout the skate any time you move from one model to the next one up the ladder with these Supreme skates, but the jump in performance going up to the S37 is especially noticeable.
That’s why this skate is a good one for players that play a little more frequently and/or intensely than the beginner for whom the S35 is intended.
The 3S is one of the two Supreme models that’s offered in all four size ranges. This means that it’s one of two models in the Youth size range; the less advanced of the two, but that’s not a reason to shy away from it. There are some slight differences between the Youth and Junior versions of the 3S compared to the Intermediate and Senior versions, though, so I’ll note those here.
Across the board for all size ranges, the flex rating on the 3S is 70, making it a little stiffer than the S37. However, the Youth and Junior sizes come with a fiber composite quarter, while that gets upgraded to a 3D lasted flex composite quarter in the Intermediate and Senior sizes. The Youth and Junior sizes are built with what Bauer calls Motion Flex. This just means that the skates have a little more forward flex to make it easier for younger players to get into a knees-over-toes position, while still maintaining overall stiffness and support.
When it comes to widths, there are more options as you move up in size range. It’s only available in D (regular) width for Youth sizes; D and EE (wide) for Junior sizes; and for Intermediate and Senior ranges, they have three fits that are based not only on foot width, but volume.
Basically, the three fits mean that Supreme skates can now accommodate players with all foot types: narrow and low-volume, medium width and volume, or wide and high volume. Keep in mind, though, that these three fit profiles aren’t available on all sizes and models of the new Supremes – only in the Intermediate and Senior size ranges for three of the five models (the 3S and higher models, which I’ll cover below).
The Youth version of the 3S has a 30-ounce felt tongue with a mesh metatarsal guard; Junior sizes have a 40-ounce felt with mesh insert; and the Intermediate and Senior sizes have a 48-ounce felt tongue with an exposed injected metatarsal guard.
Around the ankles, Youth sizes have lightweight memory foam padding, while the other size ranges are upgraded to aerofoam padding. Similarly, the Youth version has a basic microfiber liner; the other sizes get a moisture-wicking hydrophobic microfiber liner.
A couple other areas where there are differences are the blade holders and blades. The Youth version doesn’t offer quick-release blade holders, but the other ranges do with the Tuuk Lightspeed Edge holder. The blades for Youth sizes are standard Tuuk stainless steel. The other three size ranges have Tuuk LS1 blades, and in the Intermediate and Senior ranges, these come with Bauer’s Power Profile, where the blade has four different radii from the front to the back of the blade to optimize edge performance.
As you can see, the 3S has a lot of variation in its features depending on the size range. That said, the differences make sense, because the Youth version doesn’t need to have all the same features as the Senior version. Ultimately, the 3S is a very good skate that will offer the same level of performance in all size ranges.
The 3S Pro is the only other Supreme model that’s available in all size ranges. I also want to point out that it’s the most advanced of the Supreme skates offered in Youth and Junior sizes. With that in mind, I’ll get to my thoughts on what makes the most sense for younger players in a minute, but let’s walk through the features of this skate first.
With a flex rating of 80, the 3S Pro offers good stiffness for efficient transfer of energy into every stride. Once again, though, there are some differences in the construction depending on the size range. The Youth range has a fiber composite quarter, while the other size ranges have a 3D lasted curv composite quarter.
Regarding different widths, the options with the 3S Pro work the same as in the 3S: only D (regular) width for the Youth range, D and EE (wide) for the Junior range, and the Intermediate and Senior ranges have the three fit profiles that take both foot width and volume into account.
The tongue is a 30-ounce felt for the Youth version, while the other size ranges have a 52-ounce felt Reflex tongue with heat-moldable composite inserts. All four size ranges feature Bauer’s moisture-wicking Lock Fit liner to keep the foot secure. The ankle padding is memory foam for Youth sizes, and aerofoam+ for the others.
Like on the 3S, the 3S Pro has quick-release blade holders for all size ranges except Youth. As for the blades themselves, the 3S Pro comes with Lightspeed LS1 for Youth sizes. The other ranges have LS Pulse blades, which are coated with a high-polish mirror finish that extends edge life. In the Intermediate and Senior ranges, the blades feature Bauer’s Power Profile and are slightly taller to allow players to attack turns more aggressively.
Given that the 3S Pro is just one step removed from the top of the hierarchy of the new Supreme skates, it should more than meet the needs of most players. The real question, as I alluded to above, is whether younger players in the Youth and Junior size ranges need this model or if they would be just as well off in a less-advanced model.
In my opinion, the answer is usually no, there’s no reason to get them the highest model available. Quite simply, most kids in the Youth and Junior size ranges aren’t doing the kind of skating that requires the top model in their size range.
There are some exceptions, of course. One is if a kid in the Junior size range has wide feet and needs EE skates, which aren’t available on the entry-level S35. Another is if a kid is an especially advanced skater and needs skates to match, but happens to still fit into Junior sizes. Basically, buy the skates that suit the needs.
Finally, we come to the new top dog in the Supreme skate family – the Ultrasonic. Available in the Intermediate and Senior size ranges, it’s the stiffest skate in the line, with a flex rating of 85 for Intermediate sizes and 90 for Senior sizes. This really allows you to maximize energy transfer to get the most power as you skate.
What gives it that unparalleled level of stiffness? Well, it starts with the 3D lasted carbon curv composite quarter, along with the unibody sole.
And of course, this top-line skate is available in the three fit profiles described earlier.
Elsewhere, the Ultrasonic has other slight upgrades over the 3S Pro. These include the Reflex Pro tongue with dual injected inserts, aerofoam pro ankle pads, and a moisture-wicking Lock Fit Pro liner, which prevents the foot from sliding around inside the boot.
The quick-release blade holders are the same (Tuuk Lightspeed Edge) as on the lower models, but the blades are LS Pulse TI. These blades, like the LS Pulse blades on the 3S Pro, have added height so players can turn at a sharper angle, and come with Bauer’s Power Profile. They also have a titanium coating, which improves grip and edge retention.
Obviously, this is an incredible skate, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everybody. If someone is used to skates with a more flexible and forgiving feel, the stiffness of the Ultrasonic might be uncomfortable. At the very least, it’s fair to say that casual players might not benefit much from the advanced features in this skate. However, if you’re a serious player looking for a skate that provides great stiffness, stability, power, and feel, I can’t recommend the Ultrasonic highly enough.
Ok folks, that just about wraps it up. I hope you enjoyed reading about the new Bauer Supreme Skates, and I would love to hear from you!
If you have one of the new models of Supremes, please tell us what you think of them so far, and what skates you had before – interested to hear the perspectives of both long-time Supreme loyalists and people switching from another line.
If you’re in the market for new skates and came across this post while you were researching, it would be great to get your feedback too. What models of skates (whether Supreme or other lines) are you considering, and was there anything in this post that made you consider a model that you weren’t thinking about before?
Please leave your comments and/or questions in the feedback area below – thanks!