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07-06-2013, 10:08 PM
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AIREAYE
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CCM RBZ Skates - Long Term Review

First off, thanks to CCM for putting together a great dealer package and for hosting their CCM Skills Camp tour in my city. Great way to get their product out into the hands of opinion leaders and for generating hype and feedback.

Overview

Releasing July 19th (along with their RBZ Stage 2 stick), the CCM RBZs are their latest flagship skates to hit the market. While respecting its history and reputation as a legacy brand, CCM has been refocusing in recent years to promote a new fresher, younger and more cutting-edge image, as well as helping nurture a grassroots movement with its annual skill and speed camps.

Replacing the now 2 year old U+CL line, CCM has continued their 'RBZ' lineup into a full skate line featuring the RBZ, RBZ 100, RBZ 90, RBZ 80, RBZ 70, RBZ 60, RBZ 50 and RBZ 40 at the bottom.

I'll be updating this review page as I skate more on them. At the time of this posting, I have tried on several sizes of the skate, had my pair baked and have skated on them once for about 2 hours total.

I won't go over all of the specs or post some of the basic pictures because, at this point, there's enough of that info out there. As an overview though :

http://ccmhockey.com/en/gear/player/skates/rbz-skate


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOtvOgFYZTo

The Fit

In terms of overall boot fit, CCM is continuing from their U+ CL line in offering a boot that is extremely heat-mouldable. As a result, it should be able to fit a greater range of feet type post-bake, as everything from the new composite quarter package, to the tongue and even that tricky area where boot and toecap meet become very pliable once baked.

However, the CCM boot is once again a wider fitting boot, similar to the U+ CL in that regard, or Bauer Supreme. Depth is similar as well I find. One of the major changes they made was putting in a much wider, roomier and slightly boxier toecap. Issues that people had with a CCM or Reebok toecap before was that the rounder and smaller toebox was too narrow and shallow, such that someone normally fitting well in such wider boots experienced discomfort on the sides of their toes.

The most significant change in this year’s line is that CCM straight up went and put out a whole new skate sizing scale. Simply put, it doesn’t match up with any other brand or skate. I’ve been given the green light by CCM to post their recommended sizing guide (used by dealers when ordering our pairs) :




IMPORTANT : Thus, this is absolutely a skate that you MUST TRY before you buy. Probably moreso than anything else.
And so, don’t ask me what size you might take. I can’t fit you over the internet. For example, my previous skates are Easton S15s in 8.5W, which typically fit a size up from Bauer, I fit decently well into a Bauer Supreme 8EE. In terms of length, regardless of boot, I would probably take a size 8 in Bauer. The guide recommends either an 8D or a 7.5D. I ordered a 7.5EE, which were too big. They were exchanged for a 7EE, which is perfect. I could drop to a 6.5EE and get away with it as well.

The Boot and Baking

To be brief, CCM used a composite-based quarter package, as opposed to their Surlyn (golf ball) quarter in their CL skates. This means that the RBZs are stiffer than the CLs (24% stiffer to be exact), while also being lighter (25% to be exact). The RBZ also has slightly less ankle padding than the CL (or 20K) does, and this was done on purpose to promote a better wrap around the ankles as opposed to simply squeezing onto them. I also noticed that the amount of padding on the arch has been reduced as well.

Other odds and ends – Clarino liner with Nash on the back tendon, felt tongue with U Foam surface and lace bite padding (good mobility here and quite comfortable, the tongue can be heat moulded to form around your leg as well), Comfort edging included

To illustrate the heat mouldability of these skates, here are some photos that I took after baking mine:





The first picture shows exactly how the boot can completely close in on the foot (left is unbaked, right is baked), so don’t be wary of what seems to be a wide upper boot; for those with skinnier ankles (like me), they can wrap right around.

The second and third pictures show different angles. Notice in the 2nd picture the bulge on the forefoot where the red CCM logo is. Even in a EE, the boot has expanded that much to accommodate my wide foot.

The baking times are a little different as well, here they are :



My impressions regarding fit and performance has been positive so far. Since I have a very narrow and bony ankle, I was skeptical in the RBZ’s ability to keep both my heel locked in as well as my ankle bones comfortably secured. The heat mouldability really shone through here, as I opted to use my hands to mould the boot form the outside by squeezing in key areas. From my first skate, I had absolutely no problems with heel lift and the boot felt very comfortable. Stiffness/support/energy transfer was amazing as well. While not as stiff as the ski-boot like top end Supreme or Vapor skates (honestly, perhaps a tiny bit softer), they absolutely offer pro-level stiffness. Good stuff!

IMPORTANT : Since these skates are so reactive, make sure your retailer knows the procedure and request that they be followed. Key points are the bake times, toes go in, one at a time, and do not stand or walk in them when baking.

The Holder and Steel

Their new Speedblade 4.0 holder is 4mm taller, meaning that turning radius is decreased. One does not have to lean as low to catch their edge and hold it. The holder is reinforced with the angled ribs as shown. Holder holes are ‘standard’, meaning that they line up with Tuuks, making switching holders easier for the worker.

Their new steel is a polished stainless, which is supposed to offer a longer edge-life and a better feel. They claim that their steel is a higher quality product compared to Bauer’s LS2, which wouldn’t surprise me.

My impressions of both from my one skate are positive. I found that, when turning, I overcompensated on lean, which is expected since I’m coming from a shorter holder. This means that, once adjusted, my turning radius should noticeably improve. Updates to follow.

The Footbed

CCM put out a new arch-support footbed with 3 (Low, Medium, High) heights. I won’t go too in depth here, so check out these videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DepVnxXuD0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFx7S5bFkiI

My pair came with the Medium insoles, which fit fine without trimming. I inserted them after the skates came out of the oven, so they’ve slightly molded to my foot as well. Once again, I was skeptical as to the effectiveness of these, especially since I’m coming from Superfeet Yellow, which made a world of difference in my skating before. However, aside from some expected arch discomfort as my foot adjusted to them initially, they seemed to feel comfortable. The performance on these will have to be assessed over time.

Feel free to post any questions either here or on the Skate Guide (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh....php?t=1099867).

I’ll be updating this periodically.


Last edited by AIREAYE: 07-12-2013 at 06:03 PM.
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