CCM has done really well in the skate category over their last three skate launches. Starting with the return of the legendary Pump on the RibCor 50K skates, followed by a much improved tapered fit on the JetSpeeds, and now the revolutionary Super Tacks skates with their most anatomically fitting boot to date, thanks to the radical one-piece quarter package design. Now that I’ve been on these for approximately four months now, I can safely say the hype is real and is more than warranted. So let’s get this review underway!
As per usual, Bauer is back with their limited edition colorways in the Vapor Hockey Stick and Skate Lines.
Bauer Vapor 1X Limited Edition Stick
Starting us off with sticks, the 1X LE stick features a quite unique 3-zone graphics package that stays true to the Vapor Family. The upper portion of the shaft features a bright splash of red while the silver TeXtreme Carbon Fiber adds some serious pop. The dark lower portion makes up the third color zone and utilizes a traditional black TeXtreme Carbon Fiber through the blade. Specs wise, the Limited Edition 1X has everything the original has; including a low kick point, the new QRT Taper that releases quicker than any Bauer stick to date, the new Aero-Sense II Blade, true one-piece Monocomp Technology and eLASTech Resin. Continue reading
After countless years, the signature Pump™ feature will be making its big return home to CCM, meanwhile Reebok’s RibCor Skate Line was sent to CCM in a blockbuster deal just before the trade deadline. It looks like CCM has the “win-now” mentality, aiming to go deep in the postseason. They were looking to add another powerhouse name next to their already stacked lineup; consisting of legendary, veteran presence in the Tacks and the rookie-sensation, JetSpeed skates that will be making their professional debut sooner than later.
Okay all jokes aside, you’re here to read about the CCM RibCor 50K skates. I’ll start with my overall thoughts and impressions after having used them for a few months, while interweaving the tech aspects at the same time.
All sale pitches aside, the Bauer Vapor 1X Skates are Bauer’s most advanced, retail skate to-date. Their 3D lasted Curv® Composite Quarter Packages have always been a cut above the rest because they allow Bauer to form skates that are as anatomically correct as they get. (This essentially means the quarter package is as correctly shaped to fit around an actual foot as closely as possible). Besides how the Curv® material is 3D lasted; it’s just lighter, stronger and more rigid than anyone else’s, so you’re basically getting the ultimate trifecta. But wait, there’s more! *Billy Mays voice*. Let’s start with technology that is totally new, to even Bauer, before we get into technology we’re all familiar with.
The new RPD + Skates just hit the shelves and are look to push Alkali to another strong year of growth and prosperity in the roller hockey game. While the product’s name change is minor, the innovation and update each model features is not. Alkali’s goal with this new line is to improve and elevate on their previous RPD Line, which had been their biggest success in the skate market to date. Today, we’ll be highlighting significant upgrades and key features on their top two price points; the Alkali RPD Max+ ($649.99 for a senior pair) and the Alkali RPD Shift+ ($399.99 for a senior pair).
As the year comes to a close, Bauer is once again offering sweet new Limited Edition colorways. Unlike previous LE skate launches that generally would feature the 2nd price point skate (i.e. the Bauer Vapor X100 LE Skate), this year the top of the line Bauer Supreme TotalONE MX3 skate is getting the limited edition treatment.
The Bauer MX3 LE Skate has a much more dark and blacked out color scheme compared to the original. The Curv™ composite material is the base color that has black “Supreme” graphics wrapping around the bottom half of the boot. For the price-sensitive consumer that wants to get in on these limited edition looks, they will also be releasing a Bauer Supreme 160 LE Skate. It has a very similar design and look as the MX3 LE Skate, featuring a dark carbon base color with black Supreme graphics that line the bottom of the boot for that aggressive, murky look.
Besides the graphical changes on the quarter packages, both the Supreme MX3 and the Supreme 160 Limited Edition Skates feature the exact same performance and fit technologies as the non-LE versions. Regarding fit, they’ll have the standard Supreme fit.
For everyone who has played roller hockey, you know how hot it can get out on the rink after playing just a few shifts, as we don’t have the luxury of playing on COLD ice in a COLD building, especially during the summer where temperatures are a bit higher than we’d like. Well, we’re in luck because Mission’s popular Inhaler series is at it again with their second generation of roller hockey gear, debuting brand new skates, gloves and roller hockey pants. They are calling it the Inhaler DS and by the looks of it, they’re going to do a fine job at keeping us cool out there. Today, I’ll taking a closer look at their lineup of skates, which are represented by the Inhaler DS1, DS2, DS3. DS4, DS5, DS6 and DS7, which is a whole lot of skate and lots to talk about so lets get started.
Recently I picked myself up a pair of the Nexus 8000’s. Excited for my newly discovered perfect fit in the Bauer line. Over the past 20 years of skating I’ve used many brands, fits and profiles. None have come as close to anything I’ve experienced with this skate.
First I’ll give you a little background into my experience with Bauer skates. Having the Vapor and Supreme dynasties dominating market I constantly would try on each new release in hopes of getting that perfect fit that so many players got. However being in this industry for so long and to be quite honest being extremely picky, as a lot of us gear hounds can be, neither line was ever quite right. Having a rather narrow heel, average width forefoot and average arch; I would find myself squeezing into narrow profile skates in order to avoid heel slip. Heel slip was ALWAYS my problem. Then I finally learned that a great way to prevent heel slip is to get the boot as short as possible. In order to achieve this I decided to find a wider forefoot skate and go 1/2 size shorter. Tested with great results in my Mission AC3’s.
Then comes the newly designed, narrow heel area, medium-wide across the top of the foot and a medium-wide toe box Nexus line! What’s known as a “traditional” fit felt like a gift from the hockey gods! Now with the added room in the forefoot I was able to go even shorter that I normally did, I ended up 1 full size smaller than my previous skates. All to get into the tightest fitting, but still comfortable skate.
The CCM Tacks ice hockey skates are shipping out on Friday, July 18th and the return of the legendary Tacks skates are exciting people everywhere! Well, almost everywhere… Roller hockey players have been sitting back and watching the ice players eagerly receive the return of their beloved skate line. Here is a public service announcement: ATTENTION ROLLER HOCKEY PLAYERS; the Tacks are coming back to you too.
CCM Tacks Inline Boot
For the most part, the CCM Tacks inline hockey skates mirror the Tacks ice skates in terms of boot construction. The CCM Tacks ice hockey skates are designed to give a player the fastest first 5 strides in hockey. Just like the ice skates, the CCM Tacks roller hockey skates feature the AttackFrame technology in the quarter package for explosive acceleration. This AttackFrame uses carbon fiber stiffeners in key areas to maximize energy transfer, resulting in explosiveness. The quarter package also has an aggressive forward pitch that comfortably places you foot on the balls of your feet, which sets you up in the fastest stance. Internally, the Tacks Skates use a Formula T6 Pro Core that creates more support, stability and stiffness for the boot. Turning the skate over, CCM puts the finishing touch on the boot with their extra stiff carbon fiber outsole.
CCM knew if you can’t be comfortable in your high-performance skate, then it might as well be the lower end… This is why they use their pro-spec Dual Zone Clarino Liner that can take a beating while also keeping your feet dry. The Clarino helps to prevent foot slippage inside the boot and it protects the heaven-like, heat-moldable foams that house your feet.
Aesthetically speaking, the CCM Tacks roller uses the same look as the ice hockey skates, with the exception of an extra protective layer on the outside of the forefoot to protect against the normal wear and tear of playing roller.
So many skates, so many decisions. It’s understandable to be overwhelmed by how many choices you have when it comes to picking a new skate, especially when you may want to try something new but you don’t know how the fit will compare to your old skates. That’s what I’m here for. I’m going to break down the fit of each skate line from every company (with my own opinion mixed in) so you can expect what a particular skate is going to feel like when you put it on for the first time. These skate companies carry the same fit from their top-of-the-line skates all the way down to their entry level skates so everyone gets the same feeling top to bottom. While companies do have a “style-of-play” per each family, ALWAYS get the best fitting skate over the style-of-play description. You can have the best, most expensive skate on the market but if it fits improperly, it’s worthless to you!