Bauer APX 2 vs. CCM RBZ Skate Side-By-Side Comparison

 Bauer APX2 Comparison  CCM RBZ Skate Comparison

Bauer and CCM both made some big improvements for their respective skate launches this year. CCM has made more improvements to their RBZ skates, but in fairness to Bauer, CCM had a longer road to travel down in terms of quality. The good news – CCM is now right there and has built a skate that matches up with the very best of them.

Both companies focused on a few features to improve upon, releasing a new holder with their respective launches, an upgraded lacing system, a new tongue and an improved quarter construction material.

Boot Construction: Both CCM and Bauer used a material new to their respective lines for this season. Bauer crosses over the CURV composite material (previously seen on the Supreme line) to the APX2 skates. Combined with their X-Rib pattern, the Bauer boot provides your foot with maximum structural support and stability. This allows for the best energy transfer, leading to quicker turns and faster acceleration.

The RBZ, on the other hand, is built from the CCM SpeedCore Technology. This provides pro level stiffness to maximize your foot reaction speed and explosiveness. The boot is 24% stiffer than CCM’s last pro-level skate, the U+CL. CCM also overhauled the actual inner fit of the boot, giving it a wider fit than most boots and giving it much greater contour. This makes for a true heel lock and helps to secure your heel in the boot. Less movement inside the boot leads to more control on the ice. The Action Form Foam core is still highly moldable, but this skate has CCM’s best out of the box feel ever – and far better overall fit than previous models.

 Bauer APX2 Comparison  CCM RBZ Skate Comparison

 

Tongue: Both tongues are new for this year. Both companies took the hint from their pro and college players by putting in tongues that are most requested at the very highest levels. CCM put in a pro-style felt tongue with injected foam to help prevent lace bite as well as give you a little bit of protection from impact. Bauer’s APX2 also went over to a more traditional felt tongue, with an abrasion guard on the front to help stop lace bite.

Lacing: The new lacing system on the APX2 from Bauer is quite innovative. They put in place a one-piece injected lacing system. This maximizes the energy return and transfer in every stride. On top of that it helps retain its consistency throughout the life of the skate, preventing individual eyelets from failing and strengthening the durability of the skate. This feature gives Bauer a large advantage over competitors, as it’s unique and useful.

The CCM RBZ has a lacing pattern which attacks fit and flex issues that many players have voiced. In the fore foot of the skate, the eyelets have a little more give and are closer together, allowing for a better wrap in the lower foot where it is needed. The upper section of eyelets are stiffer and face straight out to give players forward flex as needed.

Holders: Last but certainly not least, both companies released new holders this year, both of which are taller than their predecessors. CCM’s SpeedBlade 4.0 is 4 mm taller and Bauer’s TUUK LightSpeed Edge is 3 mm taller. This is done so that you can get lower to the ice in turns, producing quicker turns and more power exiting turns.

 Bauer APX2 Comparison  rbz-blade

The CCM holder is strengthened using their Speed Ribs, creating less torsion and less deflection. This leads to better control and less energy loss in stride. The SB 4.0 also features industry standard holes for mounting, allowing the holder to be easily mounted on other manufacturers’ skates. The steel itself is the SB HyperGlide, a polished steel runner, designed for less friction and better glide. It is also made from a harder steel, allowing it to hold its edges longer than many other models on the market.

The APX2 features the TUUK LightSpeed Edge holder, revolutionary for allowing players to change their steel in a matter of seconds. The trigger on the holder allows you to change your steel in case of breakage or a lost edge – without even taking off your skates. The steel runner is an updated version of the LS Fusion runner. It is made from elite stainless steel fused with high-grade aluminum, to reduce weight by 27% compared to standard steel runners. Fused aluminum lightens the runner without lowering the sharpening life.

A very nice final addition to the RBZ skate comes in the footbed, as included in the box is CCM’s new custom support insoles. This insole system is designed to be fit to your foot, falling into the category of low, mid, or high arches. The increased support maximizes contact between and connection from your foot to the sole of your skate. This increased connection gives you better control of the skate and an increased foot reaction speed.

In summary, Bauer basically continues on their path of making excellent skates. With each release of their pro-level skates, Bauer consistently finds elements to improve. The two biggest things in our eyes with the APX2 skates are the new lacing system and the ability to swap out your steel and not miss a shift.

CCM has completely revamped their skate line and is now right there with Bauer (or anyone) in terms of fit, quality and comfort. If you’ve previously been averse to CCM skates, now is the time to put them on your feet and give them a try, because the RBZ skate is legit. In a big way. As always, we won’t really recommend one over the other – everyone’s foot is different and it’s ALL about what feels best to you.
 

 


Bauer TotalOne NXG Shin Guard, Shoulder Pad and Elbow Pad Preview

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing

For 2013, Bauer will be launching their newest protective line, the Supreme TotalOne NXG line. The NXG will be the anatomical fit line from Bauer, fitting naturally, and close to the body. A big upgrade to the entire line is the across the board addition of PORON XRD Foam, one of the most advanced impact absorbing materials in hockey.

Starting with the TotalOne NXG Shoulder Pads, there were many upgrades to this year’s model from the previous. Returning to the pad are things like the Free Flex chest, allowing maximum mobility, and the Thermo-Max+ Liner to keep the pad nice and light. Again it will have the removable abdominal pad, for more protection if you need it or less weight and more mobility if you choose.

The shoulder pad got its PORON XRD upgrade in the sternum area, for the some of the best heart protection you will find in any pad. The mid body of the pad was outfitted with Bauer’s Vent Armor foam, for great protection, while still being seriously light. The Vent Armor Foam was also added to the shoulder caps, with a really creative new design by Bauer, wrapping a layer onto the cap. The goal is to make the pad softer, and safer for both the player making the hit, and receiving it. The new cap softens impacts by 25% compared to the previous TotalOne model.

The NXG also has an adjustable, free flex bicep guard, with a sleeve fit, for the most secure and custom fit.
The NXG Elbow Pads have received mostly material upgrades rather than design. Getting the PORON XRD treatment in the inside cup of the elbow, this adds impact protection and comfort, as the foam will contour to your elbow. The cap has a softer outermost cover. The bicep guard and the forearm slash guard are now both made of Vent Armor Foam for added protection and reduced weight. It features the same anchor strap system as last years pad.

The TotalOne NXG Shin Guard comes back again with the F-One Shell, which is a layer of High-Density Foam sandwiched between two layers of hard plastic. The knee donut has been updated with PORON XRD Foam form maximum protection and fit. The shin pads fit naturally and close to the body throughout the kneecap and the shin to be comfortable and low profile.


Bauer TotalOne NXG Hockey Glove Preview

Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing

 

Getting the redesign for the 2013 season are Bauer’s Supreme glove, with the unveiling of the TotalOneNXG. Bauer’s anatomical fit glove, will be a natural, close to the hand fit.
One of the biggest points of emphasis in redesigning the Supreme glove was protection. Bauer added PORON XRD foam into the inside of the backhand of the glove. PORON XRD is one of the most advanced impact absorption materials in hockey. The foam is soft enough that it conforms well, creating a very customized fit inside the glove, and as mentioned has great protective properties.

Bauer also added what they are calling their “Pro-Fluence Palm”. This palm is a single layer construction, with strategic reinforcements. It has bonded PU zones in high wear areas, along with grip sections to maximize your stick control.
Another nice feature on the Supreme glove is the triple-segmented index finger, which adds a lot of control on your stick. The biggest improvement in my eyes was the work done to the glove’s cuff. I felt the TotalOne had a piece running on the inside of the cuff that really decreased wrist movement. The new pro style cuff is much more mobile, and a huge improvement. Look for these at Pure Hockey stores and PureHockey.com in mid-April 2013.


Bauer Re-Akt and IMS 9.0 Hockey Helmets

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing

In this time when concussions, and head protection are such hot button topics not only in hockey but all sports, Bauer is pushing the envelope technologically with their new helmet models.
Bauer made a huge splash last year with the introduction of the Re-Akt helmet. Featuring the highly impact absorbent PORON XRD foam, and their SUSPEND-TECH Liner, designed to manage rotational force. Beyond the technology, the Re-Akt marked another milestone in my eyes, creating a protective, high-end helmet with that is actually comfortable, with great styling, and being low profile, and not so bulky on your head. The Re-Akt will go forward for 2013 and its shell design will be used in Bauer’s new model, the IMS 9.0.

The IMS 9.0 Helmet is a very interesting concept, it continues Bauer’s movement to integrate popular requests their pro’s make, into their retail lines.  The new V2 liner system uses the Vertex Foam, featured in the Re-Akt, as a base. Vertex Foam has enhanced impact management, while remaining significantly lighter than similar density traditional EPP foam. On top of the Vertex Foam, will be a layer of VN foam for comfort. This is a feature often seen in the NHL on other models as players look for a little extra comfort, and its now available to you.
I personally have been wearing the Re-Akt since about a month prior to its release, and I was skeptical when I first tried it but I am a huge fan now, way more comfort than I expected, but I am even more excited for the IMS 9.0, I’ve been a 4500 most of my life, love the Re-Akt, and this at first glance looks to be a nice mix of the best of both. Looks for it at Pure Hockey and PureHockey.com around mid June 2013.