Back in 2012, CCM presented us with a radically different stick now known as the RBZ. It was followed by its successor, the RBZ Stage 2 in 2013 and the RBZ SuperFast in 2014; but 2015 is the year of the RBZ SpeedBurner. Each of the first three generations of RBZ have featured a new internal blade design but this year we’ll see the big change in the hosel.
As the graphic below shows, CCM has come out with new Power Hosel Technology. The concept is to reinforce the hosel and lower portion of the shaft to maximize shot speed and durability. CCM achieved this by implementing a support rib that starts just before the heel of the blade and runs into the lower portion of the shaft. With the newfound additional strength, the hosel and lower shaft will not flex or twist when players go to take a big shot. You can think of this as eliminating the low kick point so that it must kick higher. Other benefits include enhanced accuracy with the additional stiffness in the hosel and improved durability since there is more reinforcement through the slash zone.
For those who may not know a whole lot about the CCM RBZ Line, we’ll break down the two distinct RBZ features that really separate them from the rest. First off, the CCM RBZ SpeedBurner (and the rest of the line) showcase a custom kick point. Essentially this means the kick point will change to the location where you place your bottom hand. This way, you’re able to maximize loading because everything below your lower hand will bend, instead of a standard kick point that has a predetermined kick point for either a quick release (low kick) or a powerful shot (mid kick).
The other unique feature for CCM RBZ sticks are their hollow blade cores. Traditionally, hockey sticks will use an internal foam core that dampens vibrations when catching passes and shooting. Thinking outside of the box, CCM decided they wanted to maximize shot power by completely removing the foam core to create a hollow, foamless design. The idea behind this is that the foam core absorbs energy that would otherwise be transferred into the puck, so when CCM removed the foam, players are getting more energy transferred into the puck than ever before. From personal experience, I can honestly say this is a game-changer. The first time you take a slap or snap shot with any RBZ, your eyes immediately light up. It even has a louder “pop” to it that you can’t help but love. Puck feel is a very personal thing, some players like a really dampened feel, others like a real lively feel and some people just don’t care. I’m personally more of a lively puck feel fan and the RBZ sticks are right up my alley.
The CCM RBZ SpeedBurner stick packs quite the punch with the SpeedPocket Blade, the new Power Hosel Technology and the custom kick point. I’ve noticed my style of play will slightly change when I’m using it too, the pop the SpeedPocket Blade gives you is just crazy, so I try to typically stick with snap and slap shots to really take advantage of it. Although CCM classifies the RBZ Line as their power line, when you’re up close to the goalie and need to get a quick shot off, snappers just get up and go. So in my opinion, it offers a solid balance of hard shot power and a quick release. The accuracy was on point but I didn’t quite have the confidence I have when I shoot with the Ultra Tacks, which is why CCM offers three different lines of sticks to choose from. To each their own!
The balance and weight are phenomenal. CCM was able to remove about 10 grams and raise the balance point compared to the SuperFast. This is pretty significant because the SuperFast has an already well-balanced feel in the hands due to the lightweight hollow blade cores. So all in all, I think CCM did a grand job of taking an already great product to the next level although I will be sticking with my Ultra Tacks over the SpeedBurner.