Every day it seems to be getting more difficult to find the perfect composite stick. With so many colors, patterns, features and new technologies to choose from, the process can get confusing quickly. Some questions we found customers asking us were “How do I know what features are important to me?” and “Which stick is going to help me improve my game?” as well as “What am I really getting in exchange for putting down all this cash?”.
We reviewed these questions as a team, and one day this past summer we sat down and attempted to cut through the bologna by creating a stick that had apparent and obvious answers to those questions. We determined that there were three crucial components which contribute to a quality composite hockey stick; weight, durability and puck control/feel. Now that we had these crucial components down, it was time to design something that satisfied each appropriately.
The much-anticipated Bauer APX2 is almost here! Slated for a September 13th launch date. Some big improvements have been made in terms of weight, durability and feel.
The Vapor continues to be Bauer’s versatile stick line, with the Intelli-sense technology dual flex zones. Depending on your hand positioning, the stick will flex differently. On a wrist or snap shot, when your bottom hand is higher on the shaft, the stick flexes at a low flex point for a quick release and more accuracy. When you take a slapshot with you hand lower on the shaft, the stick flexes at a higher point for more energy loading and a more powerful shot.
The biggest improvements have come in the blade. The new Aero-Sense Core is not only more durable, but provides significant increases in feel. The blade core is the Aero-Foam 3 with an energy absorption quality. It is lighter and less brittle than previous iterations giving it better feel and durability.
The new blade core is more pliable than in the past, which allows the blade to give more catching hard passes or taking impacts and making it less susceptible to cracking internally. Think of it like the glass on a cell phone screen, it has some give to it, so as to not crack too easily on small impacts.
Its that time of year again! Stick release time! It really should be a national holiday. On August 23rd Easton is releasing the new Velocity series of sticks. In a major break from industry conformity, this line will have two flagship sticks, the V9 and V9E. The V9 will feature a traditional square taper on the shaft, while the V9E will continue the Stealth lineage with an elliptical taper, hence the “E” in the name.
A lot of innovative thinking went into this stick line, like with many of Easton’s newest products. Easton sat down and examined the mechanics of effective shooting styles. After looking at some of the best shooters to ever play, they designed a stick built to shoot as effectively as possible.
When they released the Mako II, Easton introduced the idea of Dual Lie blades, originally featuring it on the E28 curve. They have expanded that technology to the E3 and E36 patterns as well. It is designed to in effect create two blades with distinct purposes. The heel of the blade sits flat when the stick is away from the body to catch and make passes, as well as handling the puck. The toe is flat against the ice when the stick is pulled close in a shooting motion.
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