CCM RBZ Hockey Skate 360 View

Have you seen CCM’s latest top-of-the line offering in the hockey skate department?  Either way, be sure to check out the CCM RBZ hockey skate from every angle in the above 360 degree photo.


CCM RBZ Hockey Skate Preview

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing

 

For the second time in under a year, CCM is making a huge splash with the launch of a new product.  Last year it was the RBZ stick, this year it is the RBZ skates.

One of CCM’s goals with the RBZ skate was to leave a lasting first impression by creating a skate with the best out of the box comfort available. With the RBZ, CCM added a true ankle lock and heel counter, this allows your foot to sit more comfortably and stably in the skate from the start. In previous models – U+ Pro and U+CL – neither of these features existed, relying on the skate’s highly moldable foam to create a snug fit. For some players it worked great, for others it didn’t. The new build ensures that all players will sit correctly in the back of the skate, and then still be highly moldable for an even better fit.

 

The quarter package is called CCM’s Speed Core and is made from their Action form foam. It is extremely moldable for a truly customized fit while still providing pro level stiffness. The skate inner liner is a pro comfort Clarino leather. The material is comfortable, dries quickly and is non-abrasive while skating. The liner is also constructed to overlap at seams to create smooth edges and not leave any potential spots for discomfort.

The RBZ also includes the new CCM custom support insoles. These are designed with 3 different arch heights – low, medium, high – to create the perfect support for each individual player. CCM created a device that can determine the arch height needs of each player, based on their foot. The purpose of these is to create full contact between the foot and the skate. This improves speed on the ice through improved foot reaction speed. It also helps to properly align the body, reducing the risk of injury and increasing performance.

CCM also did some creative things with the lacing system. First the top eyelets are made of brass; this makes them stronger and more durable to reduce the risk of failure. The eyelet pattern itself is closer in the forefoot, allowing for a better foot wrap and more snug fit. In the top half of the skate, the eyelets are a bit stiffer and wider, providing adequate space for forward flex in stride. The RBZ tongue is made from pro-style white felt with injected foam. This helps to prevent lace-bite and the tongue will actually mold to your foot through heat molding and during the break-in period.

One of the biggest moves from CCM this year is the introduction of the Speed Blade 4.0 holder.  The holder features industry standard holes, so no re-drilling if you ever want to put the Speed Blade 4.0 on another manufacturer’s boot. The SB 4.0 is 4MM higher off the ice compared to CCM’s previous holder. This added height increases turning radius by 10%, giving you the ability to be more aggressive when turning without the risk of “bottoming out” the holder. The Hyperglide steel runner is a polished steel runner. It is designed to increase glide on the ice and reduce friction. Less friction combined with the harder steel provides longer edge life, meaning less lost edges.

The CCM RBZ Skates are up for pre-sale now on PureHockey.com and will be available in store on July 19th

 


Easton Mako Hockey Skate Preview

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing
One of the most anticipated hockey skate releases of this year is the Easton Mako skate. The Mako is built from the technology behind the MLX skate, which is now part of Easton through an acquisition. As those who’ve read this blog before know, I’m a big Easton fan and I wear Easton skates. After a couple years of doubt and trials, Easton has taken the extremely customized MLX skate and made it into a viable production model. Easton’s ‘Chief of Speed’ (don’t we all wish we could have a title like that?) Dave Cruikshank designed the MLX skate a few years back when he, as a skating coach, realized he didn’t have the ability to move in a natural, efficient way while wearing a typical hockey skate.


So Cruickshank set off to make the MLX skate, allowing for natural movement in an anatomically designed skate. This idea is the basis for the Mako skate design, giving a new sense of freedom with much less restriction than what you may find in other skates. Basically this is an attempt on Easton’s part to rethink hockey skates instead of continuing the pattern or slippery slope of all the manufacturers competing to just make the stiffest skate imaginable.


As far as features go, the Mako skate is loaded up. Some interesting new things really differentiate the Mako from its competition. The new tongue set-up is a nice, pro style felt tongue with a protective guard, but that’s not really the interesting part. Easton took the tongue and integrated its connection directly into the toe box. This gets rid of any overlap and negative space in the toe box. The tongue itself is also heat moldable, and forms a snugger, more customized fit.


Another great feature is the asymmetric design in the ankle, which allows the skate to fall in line with the direction you’re pushing. This generates power and stability through turns. The Mako makes high-speed cornering much easier, sharper and quicker. The skate also sits on the new CXN holder from Easton and the holder has a very aggressive pitch, working in tandem with the skate’s great range of motion to place you over the front of the skate, without being unbalanced. The pitch creates more downforce into the ice, leading to a more explosive stride and once again more powerful, quicker cornering. The CXN holder is super light and its steel comes stock with a 9 FT radius.


The very flexible Extendon guard promotes a huge range of motion, with very little restriction. The guard itself is actually replaceable with two simple screws. I personaly like this feature. From my time in shops, I saw a good amount of skates come in with a boot in fine shape, but a torn or broken tendon guard. I actually saw this mostly on newer skates with the really stiff guards. Tendon guards – like any other part of the skate – shouldn’t break on their own, but it’s always reassuring that if something happens to one, you don’t need to replace the entire skate. The only potential negative here is that there’s a small crease where the guard meets the rest of the boot (the attachment point) and if you skate barefoot, I see some potential for some abrasion there. But time will tell. It may or may not be an issue – we’ll report back when we test them out.


One of the other much talked about features of the Mako skate is the bake time. The skate is fully heat moldable. I heard someone describe it as the last step before going over to getting a custom skate. This is true. The skate is designed to be an extremely custom fit. It must be heat molded for an unheard of 16 minutes and then you’ll need to sit still in the boots until they are cool. So bring your iPad or a book when you go get these.

 

I think the Mako is really going to be a hit. It feels good right out of the box, and it really, truly feels like a slipper when it’s heated up. Easton has really done a great job with this skate and I highly recommend that you get out and try a pair on. They are well worth the attention they have been getting.


Bauer Vapor APX 2 Hockey Skate Preview

Bauer APX 2 Skate Preview

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing

For the spring of 2013, Bauer is releasing the next iteration of its Vapor skate line, the APX 2. It will continue to be Bauer’s “tapered fit” model, with a narrow V-fit in the heel, and a wider fit in the toe box. Other aspects of the skate carrying over from the original APX are the Hydra-Max 2 liner and the Form-Fit+ footbed.

Beyond the new design aesthetically, the boot is made of CURV Composite –the same material as TotalOne NXG skate- an upgrade from last years Alive composite upper, but will keep the X-Rib pattern, providing structural support and stability. This support maximizes acceleration and makes for quicker turns. Another addition is the pro-style 52 oz. felt tongue. a lot of guys were sitching out the stock FormFit 3 tonuge for something a little thicker on the APX, so this year Bauer took care of that for you.

The new injected stability lacing system is a one-piece construction that maximizes energy return. It also increases the stability, and consistency of performance for the life of the skate, preventing individual eyelets from having more pressure than others, and stopping them from breaking down faster. The system reduces the amount of energy lost, and gives a tighter wrap on the footmaking you quicker on the ice. Bauer has shifted to a more pro-style felt tongue. This increases comfort, while adding protection with the built in guard.

One of the most talked about changes is the switch from the LightSpeed 2 Holder, to the new LightSpeed Edge Holder. The feature on the Edge that most people already now about is the trigger system. This is a HUGE feature for players who often travel for tournaments, or go on road trips where you are away from your preferred sharpener, or a sharpener at all. The system allows you to switch steel in seconds, without taking the skate off. Aside from players travelling, it is also excellent feature for peace of mind. Keep a spare pair of steel in your bag, and if you break a runner, or lose an edge mid-game, you likely won’t even miss a shift swapping them out.

The other advantage to the LS Edge Holder is the additional height. Bauer added 3 MM of overall height, giving the skate a more aggressive attack angle. This also allows you to get lower, and turn harder without bottoming out to the plastic and spinning out. The APX 2 comes standard with Bauer’s LS Fusion runner, made of fused steel and aluminum, reducing the weight by 27% compared to other a standard steel runner.

The APX 2 are definitely a skate to keep an eye on, and absolutely one to make sure you try on! Check them out at Pure Hockey stores and PureHockey.com starting mid-April.