CCM RBZ Hockey Stick Review

As perhaps the most widely publicized and highly anticipated new gear offering of 2012, the CCM RBZ hockey stick set expectation pretty high for players. Thanks to the great people at CCM, Hockey World Blog was able to receive a demo model for review. Check out our thoughts on the brand new RBZ hockey stick below!

Specs: CCM RBZ, 100 flex, Nugent-Hopkins curve

Modifications: Cut two inches off the butt end.

Design and Construction: The RBZ has a very clean, refined design to it with mostly red and white coloring in the shaft that fades to basically all white in the slash zone and down into the blade. The result is a design that’s not overbearing, yet eye-catching at the same time.

CCM teamed with TaylorMade, traditionally a golf manufacturer, to create the SpeedBlade Technology that gives the stick a very hot blade face, making the puck fly off the stick like a rocket. The shaft features a constant flex profile to provide a custom kick point depending on where your hands are on the shaft and the type of shot you’re taking.

As a true one-piece stick, the RBZ is wrapped in high grade carbon fibers to make the stick very light and balanced. The blade also has four speed channels meant to enhance durability and provide increased puck feel. While durability hasn’t been an issue, I found the RBZ to be far from well-balanced. In fact, I thought the stick held most of its weight right in the middle of the shaft instead of spreading it equally throughout the stick. This hindered my feel for the puck to a mild degree for ice, and more so for roller – especially when compared to other high-end models.CCM RBZ Hockey Stick

Feel: Unfortunately, this area was not a strong suit for the CCM RBZ. For ice hockey, the feel for the puck was mediocre and noticeably worse than some of the other high-end hockey sticks that I’ve had a chance to demo recently. That being said, the feel was definitely better with the RBZ on ice than when I used it playing roller hockey. I noticed a big drop in confidence while using this stick for roller hockey. I continuously found myself skating with my head down more, and on several occasions I had big flubs where I thought I had control of the puck and ended up over-skating it. I don’t think this is an issue that will hinder ice hockey players considerable. As I used the stick more, I eventually became more comfortable with how it feels and plays. But when compared with other top-end models, the RBZ is lacking when it comes to feel for the puck.

I think the stick’s weight distribution has a lot to do with the feel for the puck. Again, with the weight seemingly centered in the middle of the stick instead of spread evenly throughout the shaft, there seems to be something lost in translation between the puck touching the blade and me being able to feel those sensations in my hands.

Shooting and Accuracy: Shooting is where the RBZ definitely excels! When you have a tagline for your product like “Strap A Rocket to the Puck,” you’re setting the expectations pretty high. Well, CCM wasn’t kidding.

The very first slapshot that I took with the RBZ was during warm-ups before an ice hockey game. I was amazed at how the puck exploded off my stick, and evidently my teammates were, too. One of them immediately came over and commented about the velocity of my shot. The RBZ consistently out-performed my other sticks in terms of velocity and power on slapshots. The power-transfer was evident on wrist-shots, too, where I constantly felt like the stick was providing more power to my shots—even ones that I didn’t feel where loaded up as well. It’s tough to explain, but it’s definitely something that I noticed when comparing the CCM RBZ to other sticks.

In terms of accuracy, I’m slightly less enthusiastic, and I’ll tell you why. In game scenarios, I tended to notice my shots going a little high and slightly left of my intended target. I think this is a product more of the curve than the stick.

The Nugent-Hopkins curve is definitely bigger than I’m used to and opens a little at the toe. I could never really get used to the curve and settle down my shots the way I wanted to. This was even more evident on slapshots, where I had a lot more trouble putting the puck where I wanted it. Plus, everything I shot went high. I got to the point in rec league games where I held back on slapshots because I didn’t want to be off target and peg someone in the head with a shot. Honestly, I would probably say that the curve is the causeof most of my accuracy issues, so I wouldn’t let this be a major deterrent.

Durability: After using this stick in a lot of different scenarios, I’m pretty impressed with how the blade looks so far. Granted, the blade is pretty scuffed with black marks from pucks, but there isn’t any major chipping or cracking on the blade to speak of outside of a minor chip on the backside in the middle of the blade. But even that chip is pretty self-contained and hasn’t resulted in any additional cracking and the blade still feels strong.

I used another stick to give the RBZ a few good whacks on the blade and in the slash zone and the stick held up well. Even that little test didn’t result in any cracking or chipping. Thus far, the RBZ has held up quite well and proven to be pretty durable.

Overall Impressions: The CCM RBZ is probably one of the most polarizing sticks that I have ever reviewed. While it definitely delivers an increase in power and velocity on shots, it lacks on feel for the puck while stick handling. Overall, I don’t believe that players who primarily focus on roller hockey will be very impressed with what the RBZ has to offer. On the other hand, I think that ice hockey players will find fewer faults in the stick’s feel for the puck and be able to better focus on the stick’s positive attributes overall.

Interested in purchasing the CCM RBZ hockey stick? Head over to Pure Hockey where readers can get a 10% discount off their order by using the coupon code “HOCKEYWORLD”.



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