Easton Mako Hockey Skate Review

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

EASTON MAKO HOCKEY SKATE

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…

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Easton Hockey: Invention vs. Improvement Part 2

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing

After learning about and using the Mako skates during our demo day, our attention turned to the Mako II stick and more specifically, the idea behind the E28 curve. Easton brought on former NHLer and Olympian Scott Bjugstad and he looked at the way the top shooters were shooting and then he designed a stick for them where the energy loads in the shaft AND in the blade. It is designed for you to shoot off of the two, contrary to what many of us were taught coming up through the hockey ranks. The E28 is designed with a dual lie, one lie from the heel to the midpoint, creating an area to touch the ice when catching passes and handling the puck. The second lie goes out from the midpoint to the toe, with this area designed to be flat on the ice during shots.

Shooting off of the toe has two major benefits. The first is power based off of the puck position. Think of a diving board – the closer to the end you hit to jump, the higher it sends you flying. Shooting a puck works in a similar vein. The second benefit is control. The less the puck moves on the blade as you shoot, the more accurate it is, the more powerful it is and the puck is more likely going to do what you intend and expect it to. Shooting by rolling the puck from your heel is giving away control as you shoot, as well as being a much slower release.

Another great benefit of this curve and stick is that is helps young players learn to shoot. How? The first time any little player has someone on their team able to lift the puck up, they want to do it too, no matter what. This leads to them picking up bad habits just so they can lift the puck, even if it means they are flipping it not actually shooting. With this E28 pattern, if a young player tries that, what will happen is that the puck is pretty much going nowhere, forcing them to shoot the correct way and it improves their shot in general.

A lot of worry with this technique is this: will a blade hold up with this kind of stress on it? Easton designed the stick with this shooting style in mind. Instead of continuing to design the blade from the heel out, they built it from the toe back in. This keeps the toe and the blade in general from softening and it increases the sticks consistency over its life. Time will tell on that part.

Overall, Easton hockey is doing some incredibly innovative stuff, I highly recommend getting out and seeing both the Mako Skates and the Mako II Stick and see for yourself.


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.


Composite Hockey Stick Weigh-In

Stick Weigh In

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing

Over the course of the past few years, the battle to produce the lightest composite stick has raged on between all the major hockey manufacturers. During this time, companies have all looked for ways to tip the scales – pun intended – in favor of their own sticks. So how is it possible that all the manufacturers produce graphs, pie charts and lists that their sticks are undeniably THE lightest on the market? Somebody is right. Right?

Well, in light of that,  we decided to have our own little weigh-in with some of the top model sticks, using a Dymo Digital Scale. In all, we took 9 top-end sticks, all in the same 85 flex and all in a comparable blade pattern. The attempt was to give our customers an even and fair basis for stick weights. Let me note that stick weights should not, by any means, be your only criteria for choosing a stick. But we DO think this will be helpful piece of info for you.
So without further ado, here are the results, from lightest to heaviest:
7.Easton Mako 464 g

Click here to see our entire selection of composite sticks.

 

So as no real surprise, the Bauer Vapor APX came in at the top spot as the lightest stick, with the new Nexus 1000 just 1g heavier. Now, just to ease your mind, the difference between #9 at 474 grams and #1 at 420 grams shouldn’t really alarm anyone here – in my opinion, only the most discerning could probably pick up a stick and really feel the difference in weight. Still, it’s fun and interesting to do these exercises from time-to-time and a lot of people ask us about stick weights, so we think this is helpful.

 

My biggest surprise was the Sherwood Nexon 12, coming in 3rd – and only four grams heavier than the APX! With a price tag of only $189.99, the Nexon 12 is a great, light stick for the money. I wonder if Sher-Wood was mad when Bauer launched Nexus, given Sher-Wood has had the Nexon sticks out for a good while now? Hmmmm.