You may have noticed during the most recent NHL Playoffs that some players in the league were using a new CCM stick that really stuck out. Yes, the red one that players such as Gabriel Landeskog of the Avalanche were using. It is the CCM RBZ Superfast and it is the newest top-of-the-line stick in the RBZ family from CCM.
When it comes to the limited edition hockey skates, Bauer puts itself in a class of its own. Every year we are getting at least one or two limited edition skates from these guys. That’s not to say that Bauer’s competitors don’t participate in the LE game, since in the past we have seen LE’s out of Easton and CCM. Reebok’s even implemented products such as the White K to offer some variety to those who are interested in something less traditional. I’ve never really bought into the idea of limited edition skates, but even I have to say that Bauer has done something pretty cool here with the new Bauer Vapor x100 LE.
The newest limited edition scheme from Bauer is a culmination of smaller good ideas that Bauer has had in the past, pressed into one flashy skate. They’ve ditched the classic “Vapor Red” and moved to an almost Graf-neon-green for the boot’s trim and thread. I think they did a great job of choosing a unique color (since we all know how popular these neon colors have been lately) but not overloading it into the skate. We all know that it looks great, but this being a blog about the skate’s release, I have to hit you with some performance specs about the skates. So if all you’re looking for is a recap of some limited edition skates, scroll down, because its nerd time here for a couple minutes:
Vapor x100 LE Tech Features Breakdown
– The 3D lasted Curv® Composite upper with X-rib pattern…what’s that? Well, in English this refers to the boot structure itself. This feature gives the skate unreal ankle support, which means you’re transferring energy efficiently, and getting as much power as possible in each stride.
– All new this year is the Tuuk Edge Holder. This patented holder has a quick release trigger so that the runners can be swapped in-and-out in seconds. Also, the boot sits 3mm taller than previous models, meant to prevent the skate from bottoming out and improving your turning radius.
– Bauer, per usual, has used the Hydra-Max Liner again. It displays top-notch durability and does more than enough to resist moisture, ensuring that your skate won’t double in weight from sweat. The upper liner is dense and meant to maintain stability and the lower portion has a softer, more comfortable construction.
– One feature I like is the FormFit-3, 52 oz., 3-piece pro felt tongue. This guy is tall and thick and made of felt. Some people thought that last year’s tongue needed to be beefed up a bit. Not anymore. Great lace-bite protection, and no need to search for a custom tongue. It’s made for potation and comfort, and comes ready to “flop”.
– Once again, Bauer uses their Form-Fit+ footbed in the X100 LE. This footbed is meant to grip your foot, not only for comfort, but for your protection also. Working with the built-in heel stabilizer, they ensure that there is no sliding of your foot on the footbed. Any lateral movement within the skate could potentially result in serious injury while making cuts.
With all this talk about Limited Edition hockey skates, I started thinking back to some prior LE’s from Bauer, so here’s a quick rundown of some LE’s from the past….. CONTINUE READING ARTICLE
So a couple of us in the office have been wearing the Easton Mako skates for a while now. Jeff for about 3 weeks and myself for couple months.As with many people considering new skates, it took me some time to even convince Jeff to test the Mako’s out, but once they are ready for the ice, they have a way of making their own case.
Being how different a skate they are in style, design and performance it came up as the subject of an email chain and we ended up discussing our multiple first impressions of the skate. the impression we got upon first being shown the skate, first trying it on, after baking the skate and finally when stepping out on to the ice.
Easton Mako Skates: Out of the Box Impressions
JC: When I first saw them my gut reaction was “what? Are they serious? This is going to come in other colors, right?”
KS: Yeah, when I first saw them, they were really out there. They were just so different looking from anything in production. Not just style-wise, but the shape and cut of the boot. It was clearly something different. I wasn’t a huge fan of the look, as far as the orange flashes and the silver heel, but they definitely stand out, which isn’t a bad thing.
JC: Then after I looked them over in detail, I really had no idea what motivations were behind the whole removable tendon guard and the elevated height on the backend of the holder. It was just visibly…very different and when you get something that is so much different than what you’re used to, I think its just instinctual to have the adverse reaction I did. Remember how different the iPhone was when it was first introduced?
KS: Are you comparing the Mako Skates to the IPhone?
JC: Hah. No. It won’t be that revolutionary! But in terms of how different it was. Kind of a shock to the system.
KS: I know. You can tell when someone on the ice is wearing them! My dislike of their orange, coupled with extreme boredom one night, actually led me to take it upon myself to do a little color redesign on my pair, as pictured here…
I had a package come in a month or so ago and just like always, I made a huge mess ripping the box open from pure excitement. Come to think of it, I never actually cleaned that up. Not unusual! Anyway, inside the package was the brand new Easton Mako 2 hockey stick. The new Mako has an updated look that will catch your eye – hate it or love it, you will notice it on the shelf. Easton is keeping the shaft primarily white again with the intention to hide the flex from the goalie. The back, though, is a different story. Easton went with a very loud orange with white text around the taper section. I have had mixed opinions from everybody about this part – I like the look personally, but as with everything else, to each their own! I think the best part of the new look is the black colored blade. I had problems with the all white blade on the first version having no line of sight, but this black blade really makes it easy to know where the puck is.
The updated look is not the only aspect of the Mako 2, though. The stuff you should really care about is getting the most bang from your buck with durability and the Mako 2 shaft and blade have both been upgraded for performance and durability. The shaft internals have been changed and now use a uni-directional carbon, which means that the fibers of the composite weave tighter and smoother, creating a more responsive stick with improved durability to impacts and slashes. The Mako 2 has felt brand new every time I’ve used it and hopefully it stays that way (that could be a pipe dream, but a kid can dream, right?).
Anyway, this new uni-carbon will lighten the stick by 20 grams and obviously this will lighten up the overall weight, but also help out the balance point. The shaft will also have a few grip updates – it will be a bit tackier and both the matte and grip will have a new textured grip on all four sides of the shaft. This is the best Easton shaft that I have ever used in terms of feel – the grip is perfect and the weight is very light. I’m still getting accustomed to the way the stick shoots and plays but I’m quite happy so far. Blocked a few shots and have had some hacks but the Mako 2 is still holding very strong. So far so good.
On to the blade, I already spoke above about the black blade giving the shooter a better line of sight but that’s not all. The Mako 2 will also have a more responsive, durable and better performing blade. Easton has re-worked the micro bladder, giving you better feel but a larger sweet spot for shooting. This harder shot has to hit the net right? Easton also improved the stiffness so all your shots should be true to the target. The blade still has the pro style sandpaper grip that holds the tape well.
So combine a new look, an improved and lighter shaft and a stiffer and easier-to-use blade and you get a very solid and high performing stick. Comments on the look have been mixed but I feel this stick is worth giving a go. I still see myself as a Stealth guy but I would recommend you check this stick out, it may surprise you.
Kyle Stevenson and I sat down and talked about the new Mako 2 and how it compared to the first Mako. See that video right here: