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CCM RBZ Skates - Long Term Review

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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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07-07-2013, 01:39 AM
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I'm looking to buy new skates, but... those must cost over 1,5 million dollars.

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07-08-2013, 10:45 PM
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Holder holes being standard makes me happy. Makes my life sooooooo much easier.

We got ours in this week. You absolutely have to try them on as they fit like nothing else out there. The RBZ is cheaper than the APX2 and the NXG also.

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07-12-2013, 10:48 AM
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sanityplease
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Great review, thanks.

%24 stiffer, must be a very stiff boot, I find the CL's pretty stiff.

%25 lighter, that's good because the CL's aren't very light compared to the other brand's top end skates.

Adjustable footbed = good, CL's seemed to only fit a certain foot type very well. Even then you had to purchase them fitting 'tight' & somewhat uncomfortable then mold them to your foot (the mold-ability is amazing with the CL's, great if the RBZ's are the same).

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07-12-2013, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanityplease View Post
Great review, thanks.

%24 stiffer, must be a very stiff boot, I find the CL's pretty stiff.

%25 lighter, that's good because the CL's aren't very light compared to the other brand's top end skates.

Adjustable footbed = good, CL's seemed to only fit a certain foot type very well. Even then you had to purchase them fitting 'tight' & somewhat uncomfortable then mold them to your foot (the mold-ability is amazing with the CL's, great if the RBZ's are the same).
Yeah, good points all around. The RBZs have what's called 'Pro level' stiffness, or the degree of stiffness commonly seen in pro skates. They are only slightly less stiff than the top end Bauer skates, which for a many, many people, is a great thing (see: One.9 tongue).

Weight is never a factor and shouldn't be a consideration when looking at similarly-spec'd skates these days. They're all light.

I never found my midfoot comfortable at all in the CLs, the RBZs had better out-of-box comfort and out-of-box comfort was a key thing that they changed.

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07-12-2013, 05:43 PM
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Im very excited about the full moldability. I like how you showed how it conformed to your wide feet after baking.

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07-12-2013, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PS12 View Post
Im very excited about the full moldability. I like how you showed how it conformed to your wide feet after baking.
Yeah, parts that are normally untouchable in other skates (toebox, area where boot meets toebox) get soft enough in these that I would imagine there to be some give in that area if you need it, as wide as it is already.

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07-13-2013, 04:33 PM
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I need new skates, and since my feet are built like a hobbit's I am naturally drawn to CCM again. I have had bad luck with Easton, Bauer, and a few small market blades but have always wondered about Graf.

One question regarding the new line from CCM for those of you with wide feet (3 or 4E) - how do these compare against the 100's, 80's, etc? And any thoughts on how they stack up against Graf would also be appreciated. Thanks.

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07-14-2013, 06:29 PM
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I'm getting fitted for mine on friday. I've always used CCM's, 7.5. I'd heard from several sources that some people need to go down a half size, but either way usually CCM's fit my foot well.

One thing I'm very happy about is that my right foot usually has a hard time with heel lock. the ability to tweak the area around the ankle while baking has my thinking I can fix the heel lock on these ones

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07-15-2013, 10:05 AM
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thanks for the reviews so far. As a fellow S15 user I am encouraged to hear your reports on this skate.

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07-15-2013, 10:19 AM
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TickleMeYandle
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I'm sure it's a long shot, but I'm curious as to how these compare to ST speed skates? I know the guy who designed them comes from ST rather than hockey. I also did ST for several years and loved the fit of my Bont ZX2 - I also loved that the blade was offset a bit to get the lean on crossovers.

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07-15-2013, 01:27 PM
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Short track?

Also, are you referring to the RBZ or to the Easton Mako? I know the Mako has a speed-skate heritage.

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07-15-2013, 01:36 PM
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Yes, short track. I was thinking it was the RBZ, but it looks like it's the Mako.

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07-20-2013, 06:15 PM
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Second, third and fourth skates in them. The 2nd and 3rd skates were 3-on-3 shinnies on a small studio rink. So I got a great idea of how the skate responds to quick turns and stop-starts.

They still feel great, The heat moulding is really quite nice in that I feel less negative space everywhere.

Here are some observations:
- Liking the steel so far, really noticed the smoothness of the polished steel when doing backwards crossovers
- Quick turns and pivots are phenomenal, while I did get my skates profiled, I really do feel that the taller holder setup helps by cutting down that turning radius. Both sharp turns while in motion and while stationary are effortless
- The performance of the arch support insole is holding up, no complaints so far, though I may have to try Superfeet back in them to compare

With their store demo program, 30 day satisfaction guarantee, massive marketing campaign on every platform and giveaways, CCM is really heavily pushing this new skate and stick. I love that they're adopting a 'go big or go home' attitude because they've definitely got something in this skate. Quite reminiscent of the award winning Vapor X:60 skate marketing campaign.

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07-20-2013, 06:42 PM
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Hey so I also got these skates in the CCM package through my work and got them a few days before the came out, I've skated in them a few times and at first and well I still am adjusting to them switch from my Bauer TotalOnes. The RBZ skates are extremely stiff and that's what I keep telling people, as far as the new holder on them I actually like it as my sharp turns and quick stops have improved which is great for when I'm working along the boards.

Although I currently have a huge blister after skating on them for the second time, but hey I guess thats price you gotta pay with new skates :p But other then that I am quite impressed with the RBZ skates

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07-21-2013, 11:50 PM
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I got fitted for these on friday night. I dropped a full size from my U+08's (8 to 7). They felt incredibly comfortable, and my right foots a little smaller, so I have issues with heel lock there, but had no problem with the RBZ.

Very much looking to playing with these, but I have a feeling I'll need a few public skates to get used to the stiffness and the turning

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07-22-2013, 12:07 AM
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How do you think the lower models of the RBZ will compare to the top model? They are out of my price range but seem like a nice new skate to try.

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07-22-2013, 09:17 AM
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I haven't seen the lower skate models in the RBZ line because we typically don't carry them at my store. I'll update the skate guide when I get a look at them at some other place.

We only carry the RBZ Control skate at my store underneath the RBZ, which, now that you mentioned it, I feel is the BEST pricepoint skate on the market at the moment. A fraction of the price of RBZ but with many of the same features. I would imagine the Control to be near the RBZ100 and 90.

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07-22-2013, 04:26 PM
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Is the RBZ Control some sort of special, limited time available skate? I can't see it in their catalog and only few stores seem to carry it. At $450 (from what I have seen) that seems a bit more manageable than the full blown RBZ if it has the key features.

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07-22-2013, 06:10 PM
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AIREAYE
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It's an exclusive skate to Source for Sports and has been running under the flagship model for years now.

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07-23-2013, 12:09 PM
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The Tikkanen
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If they fit like the Supreme's I won't be able to wear them. Really wanted to get these skates, coming from 11K's, I usually replace my skates every 2 years and I'm a couple of months from that now. I'll have to try them on to see if they fit, had instant pain on the top of both feet in the Supreme line.

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08-01-2013, 11:57 AM
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Steel/sharpening holding up very well. Although you can't really see it, the steel is actually scalloped, albeit not to the extent of other steel.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/832/jw4u.jpg

Another aspect which both surprised and impressed me was the moisture management of the skate. The entire system of the clarino liner, the two vents on the outsole and the Arch Support insole seems to eliminate all moisture and sweat from the inside of the boot. In my previous skates, moisture would collect and be visible on the bottom of my Superfeet insoles. No such collection with these skates.


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08-21-2013, 03:07 PM
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frankie56
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I want to get a spare set of hyperglide runners. Anyone have a chart that shows what length steel goes with each size boot. I don't see the size marked on the holder.

Thanks

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08-21-2013, 06:35 PM
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AIREAYE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankie56 View Post
I want to get a spare set of hyperglide runners. Anyone have a chart that shows what length steel goes with each size boot. I don't see the size marked on the holder.

Thanks
It's on the holder. Left skate, left side, back tower.

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08-21-2013, 11:53 PM
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thanks, should wear my glasses

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