Today marks the launch of one of the most highly anticipated hockey sticks in CCM’s history. The company partnered with golf club manufacturer Taylor Made to combine technology from golf clubs and hockey sticks to make a truly unique product. Thanks to the good folks at CCM, we were able to get our hands on the new RBZ prior to its release. Below you will find our initial impressions on the new stick.
Specs: CCM RBZ, Grip finish, Landeskog curve, 85 Flex
Appearance and Design: When we first saw the CCM RBZ used in NHL game action, it was an all white stick. In fact, the only coloring on it appeared to be the “powered by Taylor Made” slogan and logo near the blade. It wasn’t too much later, however, that CCM released the stick to NHL players with the final graphics package on it.
What you notice immediately is that CCM stuck with the white, but kept it in the lower third of the stick. The blade is a flat matte white, which looks and feels incredible. Moving up the shaft, the powerful white meets an exceptional blend of black and red graphics. While we saw Easton maintain the all white design with their Mako, CCM did an incredible job on the design of the RBZ and made sure to include the recent trend of white, but also maintain their brand image with reds and blacks.
Of course the white design of a stick does have its drawbacks. As many of you surely saw with Easton’s Mako stick, the amount of black puck marks or slash marks on your stick and blade after even a single game is hard to believe. When using a darker stick, you sometimes don’t notice how beat up a stick can get after a few uses, but the white blades and sticks open our eyes to that. The visual appeal and attractiveness of a white blade quickly goes out the window when you see how bad it looks with black marks all over it.
Balance & Feel: Combining balance with a light weight stick can be a challenge, but CCM has nailed it with the RBZ. When I first picked up the stick, weight distribution was not even on my mind because the stick was so well balanced. In addition to being well balanced, the stick felt strong in my hands too. It’s rare that I really get the feeling of strength out of a composite stick, but I have high hopes for the RBZ. After a couple skates, the stick has held up well to everything that I’ve thrown at it.
The main thing I’m keeping in mind when reviewing feel is that CCM is using new technology in their blade. A typical composite stick generally has a foam core to absorb energy. The CCM RBZ, however, is using its patent pending Speedblade technology. With the Speedblade, CCM has replaced the traditional foam core with four speed channels which are engineered to increase velocity without sacrificing control or durability. Despite this new core, the CCM RBZ still provides a good feel for the puck. The puck can still be controlled very well and there are no pucks bouncing off of the blade when catching passes.
Shooting and Accuracy: For my initial impressions, I cannot give much feedback on shot accuracy. However, I was able to take some slapshots and wrist shots during warmups and I am impressed. The puck does seem to rocket off of the blade on slapshots. Now I can’t honestly say yet whether or not I am shooting faster with this stick, but my slapshots definitely feel good. At this point, it would be a toss up between the Mako and CCM on which has given me the best slapshot. As far as wrist shots, I only managed a couple during our warm ups, but the puck is moving quick as I would expect, and going where I want it to.
Overall Impressions: I’m happy to say that things are going great with the CCM RBZ thus far. It’s my first time using a CCM stick since the Vector series, and boy have they come a long way. Their partnership with Taylor Made on the Speedblade technology just goes to show how much time and effort they are putting into creating a great product for the players. At $249.99, I’m disappointed to see that they couldn’t beat the competition on price. I think would have given this stick an extra advantage, much like the Reebok Ai9. Regardless, with my experience thus far, it’s definitely living up to the early hype that has been created.
If you followed our CCM RBZ giveaway contest which ended last week, you’ll know that we gave away our lefty RBZ. Well, we have received feedback from our contest winner about the stick as well, so I’ll close out my initial impressions with his review below.
Here is a quick review of the CCM RBZ as promised
Ok guys, here is a review of the new Taylormade powered CCM RBZ as promised. First off, this stick is amazingly light weight. I’m not talking by a little bit thats maybe slightly noticeable, I mean strikingly noticeably different. Aesthetically the stick has a nice look to it and isn’t overdone with flashy colors or weird designs that seem to beg attention.
As you get into the functionality of the stick it does perform just as promised. After reading about speedblade technology and what it is (essentially the blade has hollow chambers rather than being filled with foam like current composite sticks) I was worried the stick would have a “hollow” feeling, that it would vibrate in your hands when taking a shot or receiving a hard pass. The stick in fact was very solid, sturdy and surprisingly because of the weight of the stick, you could feel the puck on your blade much easier.
As for Passing and shooting this stick is by far the best stick I have ever had the opportunity to use. The progressive flex technology in the shaft( your bottom hand is always the flex point, traditional composites have a pre-determined flex point) allows you to always get everything into the puck that you want. The puck comes off the blade with a ton of initial velocity but while still allowing control. During my game last night I managed to get 3 shots on goal. The First was a bad angle shot that sniped over the goalies shoulder near side. He never even reacted to the shot because it came off blade so quickly he couldn’t react. The second was a snapshot from the blue line that ended up in the back of the net. The third was a wrist shot from between the circles that almost literally took the goalies mask off. I was able to get alot more pace on my passes than I was used to which helped with breakout and stretch passes.
I couldn’t find any cons with the stick other than the weight being so significantly different does take some getting used to. I found that when stick handling my hands had a heavy touch because I was used to flailing around a heavy piece of lumber.
Overall the new CCM RBZ does everything it promised it would do and definitely gets the red light cely from me.
For answers to any more questions you may have about the new RBZ and how it performed you can find me on twitter @ItsBO_NO
If you’re thinking about purchasing the CCM RBZ, head over to Pure Hockey to grab one. You can get the CCM RBZ today for only $249.99. Be sure to include the coupon code HOCKEYWORLD when you check out to save an additional 10% on select items from your order!