2013 Bauer Gear Preview: APX2 Skate and IMS Helmets

A couple of weeks ago, the IW Crew got the chance to venture out to Palm Springs for the much anticipated unveiling of the new gear that will be released in 2013 at Bauer World. Bauer World is a week long event that gathers the world’s biggest Bauer retailers so that we can get to see and use never seen Bauer gear before it hits the shelves next year. It was also a great learning experience being able to personally interact with the very insightful product managers, picking their brains about the most specific details possible. The most exciting part of the trip was testing out the 2013 products, seeing and feeling the how the new technologies can enhance your performance.

The headlining product for next year is the Bauer Vapor APX2 skate. With an all-new Tuuk Lightspeed Edge holder with a quick “trigger” release and a brand new lacing system, expect this skate to make some noise in the industry. The Tuuk Lightspeed Edge holder is going to add versatility and reassurance to players everywhere with this quick release option. By compressing the trigger and using a wedging tool to pop out the end of the runner, it takes no time at all to do a swap especially compared to the traditional way that can take a player completely out of their game. This quick-release mechanism gives a player peace of mind knowing that if a runner breaks in a game that they won’t miss a shift. The Lightspeed Edge Holder gives the player an option to carry runners sharpened for different ice hardness too, elevating the level of preparedness just that much more. The holder is overall 3mm taller to provide a sharper and tighter turn by preventing the player from “bottoming out” when the boot meets the ice. While 3mm does not sound like much, after skating Easton RS’ and Bauer Supreme ONE100 LE skates a few days prior, the APX2 skate felt like it was the most aggressive skate of the bunch. Extremely tight turns were possible without much effort and leaning cross-overs felt much more gravitationally-assisted than usual. With the gain in distance you can lean one side or the other, it does take a little more distance to recover to a neutral stance but I definitely believe the positive outweighs the negative. The injected stability lacing system is an all new one-piece design that helps to maximize energy return and stability. Unlike the traditional design, this one-piece construction reduces the amount of energy lost providing more power through each and every stride. The one-piece eyelet system is built out of the same material found in the Tuuk holder making it much more durable and stronger than a single-eyelet system.

Earlier in 2012, Bauer made a move to purchase Cascade helmets in order to continue to expand and grow. While Cascade was leading the lacrosse market, their newer hockey department, which includes the M11 helmet, was co-developed by NHL legend and 6 time Stanley Cup winner Mark Messier. Bauer’s acquisition of Cascade brings Mr. Messier on board as well, which will continue to be an exciting journey for both parties. Mark was at Bauer World, hanging out and answering questions like the product managers.  The IW Crew got the chance to shoot some pucks and small talk with him, reminiscing on past times and getting excited for what’s to come.

The first helmets Bauer will release stemming from Cascade will be the IMS 11.0 and the IMS 7.0. These new helmets will have a more streamlined look than the original Cascade helmets with the addition of some of Bauer most popular foams. The IMS 11.0 is essentially Bauer’s spin on the Cascade M11 Pro helmet that uses the adavanced Seven Techonolgy™ along with the addition of Bauer’s Poron XRD™ foam that was seen in the Re-Akt helmets. The IMS 7.0 also incorporates the Seven™ Technology but not the Poron XRD™ foam and doesn’t have as much of a low profile as the IMS 11.0.

That was a quick peek at the 2013 Bauer gear, when it gets closer to their respective launch dates be sure to check back for even more detailed analysis and reviews of all the new gear coming out. Next week look out for more unreleased sneak peeks!