CCM has an impressive lineup of hockey gear for the 2016 holiday season. I had the opportunity to test two of their latest products to see if they are worthy of adding to your hockey gear collection.
CCM Super Tacks Hockey Skates
CCM Super Tacks are the latest and greatest skate from the legendary hockey equipment company.
Super Tacks are designed with two primary attributes in mind—comfort and performance. The team at CCM created a revolutionary one-piece boot that is anatomically optimized to provide support around the entire foot. According to CCM, the greater foot-to-skate contact increases stride power.
I had the chance to evaluate the Super Tacks over several games, and I am impressed.
I was a bit concerned about the comfort factor when I first held the skates. The carbon-fiber boot is very stiff, and it was easy to imagine the skate uncomfortably crushing my foot in all of the wrong places.
The box had detailed instructions on how to mold the skates, which you can do in your own oven. Simply set the oven to bake at 220 degrees and place the skates in for two minutes. Then lace up the skates as you normally would and sit in a chair for 15 minutes while the T-Form Core molds to your feet.
The Super Tacks include a custom currexSole insert, which you select based on the arch of your foot. Before heating the skates, you simply swap out the standard insole, trim the currexSole to match the shape of your foot (if needed) and insert the currexSole.
This two-step process provides a custom fit on both the sides and bottom of the skate—the latter of which has largely been ignored.
With that said, I was still a bit leery about wearing them for the first time. I figured my feet would be in a moderate amount of pain and I would get a few blisters.
After about 10 minutes of my first game, my feet were slightly sore. However, the skates continued to feel better as the game progressed. By the end of regulation, my feet felt totally fine—which is impressive given how difficult it can be to break in a new pair of skates.
In the past, I've had trouble with the heel and ankle of skates. But the Super Tacks molded perfectly to my ankle and heel, offering excellent support and just enough ankle mobility without sacrificing comfort.
The combination of comfort and support make the Super Tacks feel more like an extension of my feet rather than some foreign object attached to them.
Now for the important part—performance. Did they help me skate faster? After adjusting to them, I have to say yes. It wasn't dramatic, but it did feel faster when I wore the Super Tacks. And every bit of speed counts in the "fastest game on Earth."
The idea behind the Super Tacks is to maximize the transfer of energy to the ice. Your lower body produces tremendous power with each stride, and you want to channel as much of that force as possible into the ice. Any unnecessary movement in your foot, ankle or even your skate reduces stride power.
CCM developed the lightweight Monoframe 360 boot for this reason. The one-piece boot locks your foot into position in a rigid frame designed to maximize energy transfer and minimize energy leaks, which sap power from your stride. Also, the blade is set at an aggressive forward angle, which increases stride efficiency and maneuverability.
I appreciated this technology most when I was accelerating and changing directions. My feet felt like they were pushing backward through the ice with maximum power, and I was able to make sharp and aggressive turns without losing control.
In addition, the skates are constructed with TotalDri liner, which helps keep them dry—an under-appreciated quality that ensures your skates will stay light and stink-free.
Overall, I believe CCM struck an excellent balance between performance and comfort. The Super Tacks exceeded my expectations for a top-of-the-line skate, and I look forward to using them for many years to come.
CCM RBZ Revolution Hockey Stick
Next up is the RBZ Revolution hockey stick. CCM leveraged their relationship with TaylorMade to include golf club technology in a hockey stick for the first time.
The blade features FacePlate technology, an alloy insert that acts like the face of a golf driver. It improves strength and stability of the blade, but most importantly, it improves the coefficient of restitution. C.O.R., a term typically associated with golf clubs, refers to the amount of rebound provided by the face of a driver, or in this case, a hockey blade. A great rebound effect allows for a harder shot.
The shaft features flex technology that lets it bend according to the position of your bottom hand, optimizing the power of the flex for every hand position, which depends on the type of shot or player preference.
The shape of the shaft toward the blade creates a blade that sits flatter on the ice for easier shots, more impressive dangles and a smaller chance of making a mistake.
CCM went through great lengths to reinforce the shaft with Technora Reinforcement. For all the sticks I've broken in the past, I appreciate any effort to reinforce a stick.
So far, I've enjoyed using the RBZ Revolution. The puck feels soft on the blade, despite the alloy insert. And I've been quite happy with my shot. The stick allows for a quick and powerful release on snapshots. My slapshots and one-timers have had some extra velocity, which I credit to the alloy face.
Again, I'll take any advantage I can get. If the stick I'm using gives me even a slightly improved chance of scoring a goal, count me as a fan. The RBZ Revolution definitely falls into this category.
For more info on the CCM Super Tacks and CCM RBZ Revolution, visit CCM.com.
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