Last fall, CCM unveiled their latest foray into the roller hockey market with the RBZ line of roller hockey skates. The top of the line RBZ roller hockey skates looked much like their ice counterpart, but would they perform the same on the rink? With some minor adjustments to suit the roller hockey game, including chassis and wheels, we were curious to see how great these skates could be. Fortunately, the folks at CCM Hockey sent us a pair to review. Read on for our full CCM RBZ roller hockey skates review.
Design & Construction:
For the RBZ roller hockey skates, CCM has primarily used the exact same boot as the ice skates with some subtle differences for the roller hockey game. For example, the toe cap on the RBZ inline skates is vented to allow for additional airflow. With roller hockey being a played in a much warmer environment, this small change was made to help provide some necessary cooling.
Just by looking at the boot, however, you’d likely think it looks the same as the ice skate. The design is still nice, and the RBZ roller hockey skates feature the same custom footbeds that you can get on the RBZ ice skates. It was great to see CCM carry over a feature like that from their ice line.
However, I wish that CCM would have chosen the white design from the RBZ 90 to feature on their top of the line skate. I think the look of that fits roller hockey very well, and both the boot and chassis look far better on the RBZ 90 than the RBZ.
Beneath the boot, CCM has chosen to stay away from their tri-di chassi and continue to utilize the Labeda Aluminum chassis and Labeda Addiction wheels. While the Labeda chassis is definitely an upgrade over their previous chassis, I’m still not very impressed with it. The chassis looks solid and feels that way too, which can be both good and bad. In terms of the chassis construction, the frame itself has far less cutouts than other chassis, which means its going to be a bit heavier. So despite the boot being light, you’re going to get some extra weight with the frame.
I have been a fan of CCM skates for quite some time now. The fit of the CCM V08 skates were nearly perfect for my foot, and baking them only made it better. Since then, CCM has continued to tweak and adjust the fit of their skates, searching for something optimal to stick with. It seems that more adjustments have been made to the fit of the RBZ skates as well, but for the better in my opinion.
One of the biggest changes made with the RBZ compared to their previous models is in sizing. What was once a 9.5, now becomes a size 9. You can expect to fit into an RBZ boot about a half size smaller than what you’re typically used to. So for me, having fit into a size 9.5 in CCM skates before, the size 9 demo we received offered the perfect fit.
Additionally, the RBZ skates are going to provide a medium-high volume boot, along with a medium ankle area. They have widened the forefoot area in the RBZ skates, and have provided a medium toe box. Of course baking the skates will help to minimize any pressure points, and provide a more customized fit for your foot.
When I first tried the RBZ skates on, the experience was very reminiscent of trying on those V08 skates. The RBZ roller hockey skates felt great, despite coming right out of the box. The addition of the medium support footbed and baking have yielded even better results. These skates definitely provide great comfort and fit.
Based on my experiences with the CCM RBZ ice skates, I was very excited to use the RBZ roller hockey skates. They have a great boot, solid look, and great fit.
When I used the skates for the first time, my excitement started to fade a bit. The RBZ roller hockey skates felt heavy on my feet. I definitely noticed I had an inability to push off as well as I’m used to on each stride. The additional weight coupled with the straight 80mm chassis left me less agile than I was on my previous skates, a pair of Mission AC3 skates.
I was happy with the straight line speed I was seeing on the RBZ skates, as I have been any time that I’ve used a straight 80mm chassis. To me, however, having the increased agility is very important, especially playing on a smaller roller hockey rink. But where some skates feel can feel just like an extension of your feet, the RBZ skates did not. It was noticable that I was lugging around this pair of skates on my feet. It was also highlighted in my inability to move as well as I’m used to, no matter the direction.
The protection offered by this skate is pretty great, however. In taking a few errant shots and passes off the boot, I rarely noticed what had happened and was able to maintain my focus on the play rather than any pain.
While I haven’t used the skates for long, I was impressed by the durability that they did show. Both boot and frame have held up quite well to the punishment they have been put through. I’m confident these skates have the ability to hold up to very competitive level play for more than a couple of seasons. I think you’ll be pleased with the skates until the next best thing comes out and you want to upgrade again. In other words, these skates should outlast your needs.
I love what CCM has done with the RBZ boot. It features great materials, a great look and great construction. Additionally, it bakes well to form to your foot, and provides a great fit overall. At $649.99, the CCM RBZ roller hockey skates are matching well against the Alkali RPD Max for skates with a straight frame.
However, I think that CCM still has a lot of work to do when it comes to the frame itself. Using the Labeda frame is fine for lower end skates, but I think a top of the line skate should have something a lighter, such as magnesium. Mission’s AC1 skates use a magnesium chassis, as does the RPD Max from Alkali. Mission and Alkali also continue to innovate and make their frames lighter with additional cutouts, but the Labeda frame on the RBZ does not seem to do that.
At the end of the day, this is still a solid skate release from CCM. But at a price point of $649.99, I would personally consider the Mission AC1 and Alkali RPD Max in addition to this skate.
If you are looking to upgrade your roller hockey skates and want to check out a pair of CCM RBZ roller hockey skates, head over to InlineWarehouse.com. As I mentioned, these new jets will set you back $649.99. If you’re ready to take a look or order today, click here to head to IW and check them out.
Have additional questions about the RBZ roller hockey skates, or want to share your thoughts or your own review? Drop us a note in the comments or send a tweet to @hockeyworldblog or @matthwb.