(Edit: I’ve had an issue with WordPress and the HTML code, where the formatting looks pretty messy right now, I’m going to attempt to tweak it tomorrow)
I’ve been wanting to do a post about the latest hockey gear that’s come out. There’s always been a part of me that’s been really interested in the different makes out there and how the kit differs from one another. Before I go any further, I must stress that this is only based on information and marketing collateral, rather than my own opinion. I would absolutely love to review these products properly, so if any of the manufacturers read this are into the idea, drop me a line.
We start off with Bauer. Bauer has been a staple of the hockey world for, probably as long as hockey has been around. Since getting rid of the Nike Bauer brand, the company has brought out some of the most preferred equipment we see the NHL Pros use.
Bauer has brought out the Bauer Supreme Total One NXG to accompany the APX to its flagship range of skates. The Total One NXG features a new TUUK fusion blade, which has been designed to reduce the weight of the runner by 27%. As with most skates today, a lot of attention is being paid to the fit. The emphasis is on getting the skate as comfortable as possible and the Total ONE NXG features a new insole that supposedly gives a better fit and more responsive skate.
The one big thing that Bauer has brought out is the RE-AKT helmet. The helmet takes its look from the HH4500 helmet. Rather annoyingly I’ve seen some adverts and sites advertise the helmet with the ‘passes the mirror test’ tag, which is just a personal pet peeve of mine. The RE-AKT has been designed to reduce the risk of concussion from direct impact to the head. At impact, the helmet’s SUSPEND-TECH free floating liner should move independently from the VERTEX FOAM liner to should reduce excessive intra-cranial movement. Phew, don’t you just love these terms SUSPEND-TECH, VERTEX FOAM. Wow
While during the playoffs, I have seen many players use a new-ish TotalOne stick I haven’t seen further details of it emerge as yet so I don’t know what to say about it. However, the Bauer Vapor APX stick has been around for a while, but I thought that I’d include it in the round up anyways. Bauer claims that it is the smartest stick in the history of the game. The stick supposedly fits all types of shots and combines the Intelli-Sense Shot Technology and Bauer TotalOne’s blade to give it that soft feel.
CCM has been a brand I’ve been using ever since Koho was swallowed up by the Hockey Company. I used Koho sticks/blades nearly my whole life. For the roundup, CCM doesn’t have a new skate to include as it is going with its U+ CL skate. Perhaps the biggest additions to the range is in the field of the protective equipment.
CCM has expanded its U+ CL range to the protective equipment and should a player wear CL shoulder pads, CL elbow pads, CL shin guards, CL skates, CL gloves (introduced last year) and use a CL stick, the overall equipment weight would be reduced by 25% compared to other manufacturers. Impressive, but my main question is: If it’s that light, will it be any good at protecting the body. There is also the CS, or Crazy Strong, variant of the equipment line available as well.
The CL pads feature CCM’s U-foam caps and molded floating ventilated sternum. The U-Foam has also been utilised in the body of the body of the shoulder pads. The pads look pretty decent, but I’d have to get my hands on them to see what they are really like. There isn’t much else to report on the pad and its features apart from the fact that it contains a lot of U-Foam.
The CL elbow pads feature a 3-piece construction and reinforced caps. The pads come with a neoprene wrap in the liner and also features neoprene in the elbow bed for improved fit. For the forearm and bicep there is U-Foam protection.
The CL shinguards feature vented caps and an anatomical shell design. The thigh guard can be removed for a bit of customisation. I personally don’t like the thigh guard in my pads so it’s good to see that it continues to be a removable feature. The knee bed is segmented with neoprene lock zone, which should ensure that the pads stay in place and provide additional comfort. The pads are attached with cross strapped in the back, which allows for the calf wrap to provide protection to the back of the leg.
The CL stick hasn’t really changed much since the last re-vamp of it. It now carries the name of CCM CL Midnight. Otherwise the features of the stick looks the same. The biggest improvements as far as I can see on paper are in the construction. CCM has introduced something it calls True Spear technology which is supposed to ensure optimal energy transfer for shots.
The other stick is the U+ Pro, which comes weighing in at 455 grams. Like the CL Midnight, it uses aerial grade carbon to make it a lightweight stick. The blade uses PRB Graphite technology to create a similar sweet spot for an accurate shot. Like the CL the stick also includes the true spear technology.
Perhaps the most interesting stick from the CCM Staple is the RBZ, which is set to come out in Fall 2012. We’ve seen pictures of it and know it’s been used by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Gabriel Landesgok and that it’s been designed in partnership with the golf company TaylorMade. That’s all I’ve managed to dig out on the stick so far.
For great deals on top of the range hockey equipment, please click on the image below: