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JR Boucicaut

Super Tacks pants

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Huge thank you to JR and CCM for sending me these pants to use and review!

Here is the initial look at the CCM Super Tacks pants. I go over a few details that are on the pants and features.

Personal Details
Male
6'3”
225 lbs
Forward/Defence
B-D level hockey
Pant History:
Bauer Supreme One75 Large, Reebok HP70 Connecticut Whale Pro Stock XL, Bauer Supreme TotalOne NXG Girdle XL, CCM Super Tacks XL

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I am extremely excited to be reviewing a pair of pants as I have never done a review on pants before. I’ve been in my Reebok HP70 pants for 4+ years and my NXG Girdle was an experiment that didn’t last long because of size issues. 

Initial Impressions: Taking the CCM Super Tacks pants out of the box had me amazed at how light they are compared to my older and Pro Stock Reebok HP70s. I am also excited with the height of the hip padding and spine protection as I am someone who favours protection of mobility and like when I play goalie I like to tuck my shoulder pads into my pants. The material on these pants is a different and bumpier nylon than the Reebok pants I currently have, these feel more similar to the shells that came with my Bauer Supreme NXG girdle. The inner thigh zipper which expands the lower width of the pants is thick and tucks into a small pocket.

The “Embroidery Friendly Construction” won’t benefit me personally but is a great feature for players on teams that are required to have matching pants. This feature allows team logos to be embroidered onto the lower right leg by having the inner liner split to allow it to be pulled away from the padding in the pant thigh. This could remove the need to purchase a shell or team matching pants. Again with me playing non-competitive adult leagues this is clearly not an issue for me, but it is a nice feature.

The CCM Super Tacks pants have a fairly understated design with no detailing or branding below the belt area of the pants. The CCM logo on the hips is made up of an interesting material with accent lines pressed into the material, which is then sewn onto the pants. This is a nice small detail that gives the CCM Super Tacks a premium feel. On the back belt area Super Tacks is screen printed onto the pant and is the only sign of the level of pant on the outside. Directly above the Super Tacks text is the high spine protection with a jeweled Tacks T logo and a D3O tag. This area also has the hard foam that can be found on the shoulder pads encompassing orange D3O smart foam underneath that can be seen through slits in the hard foam. On the ab protector found on the found of the pants is the Tacks brandmark. The majority of logos on these CCM Super Tacks pants should be covered by your jersey, something that is important for some players who like the more minimalist (equipment with less branding) look of pro stock products.

Moving on to the inside of the CCM Super Tacks pants and you’ll instantly notice the yellow accents along the tailbone protection and the adjustable spine protection as well as the large orange D3O foam along the upper hips. I assume the D3O is located here as this location would take the brunt of the force from body checks. On the inside you’ll also notice the Tacks design on the inside upper waist protection and the on inside of the ab protection, this design is similar to how the original Tacks Armour was layered on the Ultra Tacks protective with a triangular based pattern. This kiner material is softer to the touch than the rest of the liner material on the pants, I am curious as to why it doesn’t continue to near the D3O on the hips. The tailbone protection is a yellow material and the padding is actually thinner than the entire width of the yellow piece. The tailbone protection on the CCM Super Tacks starts out larger at the portion towards the lower back and gets smaller as it goes towards your tailbone. The adjustable spine protection can be raised or lowered (or removed completely) by attaching it with Velcro to the tailbone protection. I decided to attach it as high as possible so it maximises lower back protection while ensuring the sticky side of the Velcro on the adjustable spine protection is not exposed so it won’t catch to my jersey. The adjustable spine protection also has the inner belt run through it to help keep it in place, something I find interesting is that the material that the inner belt runs through is navy blue nylon rather than matching black nylon of the pants.

A few things I would like to note about these CCM Super Tacks pants is that this will be the first time I will use a pant that has an inner belt and a pant that has a zipper to extend the length of the pant legs. The extendable pant legs is something I was curious about as my only experience with it was on a broken pair of CCM Premier goalie pants on a teammate and I never understood the real need of the extendable pant leg. XL pants for me in the past seemed to work for me length wise while being a bit wide width wise, from putting these pants on once I noticed they would be a bit short and end up a few inches above my knee. The extendable zipper allows these pants to properly fit me in length and allows for a more custom fit, needless to say I am instantly a fan of this feature.

I’ll add some photos of these pants on me to show off the waist coverage and the difference in the extendable leg length in the near future.

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Inner thigh construction and expandable zipper which tucks away nicely.

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Embroidery Friendly Construction means you can embroider a logo on the shell without having to make an modifications or worry about damaging the foams underneath.

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CCM logo with an interesting texture.

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Zipper extends the length of the pants by 1 inch.

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Front 6 pack protection.

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Inside of the front 6 pack protection.

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Solid and high lower back protection.

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Spine protection can be raised or lowered.

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Showing off the adjust-ability and the interesting navy for hooks.

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I tried to keep as little of the sticky velcro side exposed as possible.

Edited by Hills
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Unfortunately my league takes a few weeks off in the summer as the rink takes out the ice and does maintenance, so finding time to play with these new CCM Super Tacks pants has been a bit of a challenge. Regardless I have had 3 ice times with them.

While I have always worn XL pants, I didn't wear them for the room in the waist rather for the extra length as I like to wear pants relatively higher up to cover my ribs a bit more. The extra room causes me to really crank the waist belts on my pants to keep them snug and this causes the material on the inside of the belt to bunch up as it gets scrunched together. All of the pants I have worn in the past have had an external belt system which would act as a barrier between the scrunched up material and my body, these Super Tacks have an internal belt system so when I cranked the tightness the smooth interior material that houses the inner belt system would begin to bunch up on my body. This isn't a very comfortable feeling and I have been adjusting the pant's tightness to try and find a solution, while I can deal with it, the feeling does make the pants less comfortable than I'd prefer.

The belt tightnes also affects the spine protection, if cranked tight the bottom of the spine protection feels like it is pushing out into my lower back. It is not coming undone from the velcro, but feels like it is pulling away from it. This can be remedied by loosening the belt, but this makes me wish the tailbone and spine protection was a single piece of material and not adjustable.

I have taken a few pucks to the pants so far which have ended up with mixed results. Directly to the outside thigh and I felt nothing, but a weak shot hit the upper part of the femoral triangle (upper thigh area on the inside of the leg) and I definitely felt it. I know most pants aren't padded extremely well in this area, but it was suprising coming from my pro stocks which had a layer of soft foam on the inside which would've helped prevent this. I also too a puck on the hip bone that seems to have got under the padded outer belt that stung a bit as well.

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Personal Details
Male
6'3”
210 lbs
Forward/Defence
B-D level hockey
Pant History:
Bauer Supreme One75 Large, Reebok HP70 Connecticut Whale Pro Stock XL, Bauer Supreme TotalOne NXG Girdle XL, CCM Super Tacks XL
 
I have worn these pants for an entire summer season and partially into the winter season. I apologize for the tardiness of this review, while I have my reasons it shouldn’t have happened.
 
My Pant Details: I have always had slight issues when it comes to finding a pair of pants that actually fit well. I don’t use suspenders and prefer to wear my pants very tight against my waist while at the same time I try and pull my pants up high to get more upper hip and almost side rib protection.This can cause pants to be short on the thigh and expose the upper part of my knee, so it usually takes a few skates to dial in where exactly to wear the pants on my waist. Most retail pants now have zippers that extend the length of the pant leg. Usually I am not an XL pant in terms of width, so when I tighten the pants I get material bunch up along the strap. I was hoping the internal belt would mitigate this issue in the CCM Super Tacks pants. The extended spine protection on these pants had me excited to try a pant model like this, my previous pants were lacking in this area and I am always looking for more protection. I put the spine protection on these pants connected so I’d get as much protection as possible.

 

Fit: I pulled the pants on I immediately realized I would have to crank the straps and belly pad lacing to get the CCM Super Tacks to fit as snug as I wanted. Since these pants have an internal belt I instantly felt the lining on the belt bunch up, tightening the belly pad laces doesn’t have much effect on overall tightness of the pants. 
 
I first tried the CCM Super Tacks pants with the expandable zipper done up to see how much space the pants take up in their smaller form. The length felt shorter than what I was used too, so I quickly unzipped the zipper extension to get the extra inch in length on the thighs, even after adding the extra inch the pants still felt like they were smaller than what I was used to. Wearing them confirmed this thought as for the first time in years the top knee protection on my shin pads would get caught up on the thigh of the pants. I don’t believe the pants are actually shorter, but in order to get the Super Tacks pants to sit on my waist the way I prefer I have to pull the pants higher on my waist than my pants in the past. I found putting the pants any lower was uncomfortable because of the internal belt system, as well asthe tailbone and spine protection.
 
The thighs fit smaller than I was expecting in an XL pant, I have larger legs but they aren’t monsters. The thighs on the CCM Super Tacks pants fit and felt wrapped tightly around my legs, unlike my pro stock Reeboks, the Super Tacks pants have only a single thigh piece and not segmented into two pieces. The crotch area fits tighter than my pro stock pants but is not restricting, the pants really open up on the hips.
 
While I feel these pants fit true to size, because of how I had to wear the pants on my waist I am not satisfied with the overall length of the pants. 7/10

 

Protection: The CCM Super Tacks pants are the “protective” and bulkier line of CCM products, which is evident with the inclusion of D3O foam. While I currently wear a pair of pro stock pants, I never had protection issues with my Bauer Supreme NXG girdle. To say I am disappointed is putting it lightly…

The lower thigh protection is thick at the front and pretty solid. The outer lower thigh protection is actually thicker than my Reebok pants and surprised me since this is a spot I felt shots and falls before. The two piece thigh pad on the Reebok pants causes the outer piece to wrap around the side of the leg much more than the single piece on the Super Tacks. While the very outer piece of material on the Super Tacks is much thicker than on the Reebok pants, the second segmented (and much more protective) piece on the older pants ends up covering the area of the side padding on the Super Tacks.
 
Directly above the lower thigh padding is a segmented piece of thin and soft foam. The idea behind this is to allow the foams to bend with your body and so this piece doesn’t get in the way of the thick thigh padding. While this area is padded more than my Reebok pants, from my on ice experience this foam has little effect and shots that hit that area are quite unpleasant.
 
The upper thigh and hip protection on the Super Tacks pants is fairly thick and contains CCM’s D3O foam located on the hips. This area is a bit thinner than my Reebok pants but contains a layer of hard foam, softer foam for padding, and D3O. The Super Tacks pants were solid in the thicker areas which reside around the D3O on the hips. My issue with the upper thigh and hip protection is how it feels like it tapers off towards the inside of the legs and the back of the leg. Like the lower thigh protection, the upper thigh and hip protection doesn’t wrap around far enough and simply doesn’t cover enough area. The padding is too thin towards the inside of the leg and again getting a puck in that location is not very comfortable. My other issue here is that the pants are unforgiving when falling. Since the pants don’t wrap very far around the hips if you don’t fall “correctly” your thigh and ass take the brunt of impact on the ice. These are the first pants I have ever worn where I had pain after a night of spills. I’ll be the first person to admit that I am not the best skater on the ice, but everyone falls or hits a rut and these CCM Super Tacks pants are simply not protective enough for that. I could almost excuse the lack of padding if this was the lightweight and mobile offering for CCM, but that is simply not the case here.
 
Above the upper thigh padding is an outer belt like piece of foam that wraps around the entirety of pant and is designed to cover the separation of the lower and upper portions of the pants. This piece of foam is substantially thicker than the piece on my Reebok pants and does a good job adding extra protection if it gets hit… but from my experience that is a big if. With the pant expansion unzipped only the soft and thin foam from the upper thigh pad covers the inner pant loop and your body. Ideally the thicker outer belt like piece would cover this area, but with the extension it doesn’t reach far enough down to cover the gap. A puck has slipped into this gap fairly frequently, where I was almost expecting it to happen every few skates. I’ve never experience a gap in this location before in my previous pants.
 
The lower rib and upper hip protection on the CCM Super Tacks is fairly thick and solid while being tall enough to cover a good portion of the lower side ribs. The lower back protection is made up of the same closed cell foam that is found on the Super Tacks shoulder pads with D3O peaking out from underneath. This feature and design is a big reason why I have been looking for a different pair of pants than my Reeboks, while I am not trying to be like Ovechkin, I do enjoy double layers of protection and having more padding to help with the lower back cross checks you get when in front of a net.
 
The ab protector continues the trend in these CCM Super Tacks pants of being too thin to actually be effective. The ab protector is also never high enough or in the proper position to really be effective. I put the front lacing through the hook on this piece, and the ab protector would always end up slipping down into the pant. This lacing method was how the pants were out of the box, perhaps putting the belt through that loop would solve the problem of the ab protector sliding down.
 
Finally we get to the tailbone protection, which is made up of a thin and segmented soft foam top layer and thicker harder foam pads underneath. The segments allow the tailbone pad to roll up and follow your body when you aren’t standing straight. At first glance the tailbone piece on the CCM Super Tacks pants feels thick enough to offer solid protection from falls, but from my on ice experiences that is not the case. The soft padding is simply too thin to really cushion hard falls and too skinny to ensure your butt will be covered on a fall. Again these are the first pants I have worn that I had pain after skates on my thighs and buttox after hard falls. 4/10

 

Comfort: The CCM Super Tacks pants feel very snug around the thighs because of the one piece design, but their tapered design really opens up the hips for a looser fit. I mentioned earlier that I like to wear very tight pants and tend to crank the belt of the pants to ensure they stay put. With my Reebok pants, when tightened to the max I can feel the material of the pants bunching up. Because the material is thick and the liner is so soft between the belt and my body it was never really an issue in terms of comfort. Since these Super Tacks have an inner belt, there is considerably less material between my body and the bunching up of material or the nylon belt.
 
When tightening the pants to my designed level, I could immediately feel the thin piece of material between the belt and my body. When this issue occurred, it was immediately uncomfortable compared to my Reebok pants and it caused me to make constant adjustments. Since these pants have a decently high side rib protection I would preferably wear the pants a bit lower on my hips, but in order to keep them feeling like they are sliding down I would have to crank the strap and thus causing bunching up of material and causing me to adjust the pants. The end result of this was me pulling the pants up higher so the belt would sit above my hip bones (thus causing my length issues with the thigh pads).
 
The lower spine protection is velcroed onto the tailbone protection and can be adjusted to sit higher or lower (high meaning it covers more of the lower back). The inner belt goes through loops in the back of the spine protection, and when pulled tight would pull the bottom of the spine protection out and the hard nylon binding would start to push into my lower back. I feel like the spine protection should have been on the outside of the tailbone protection, which would have allowed overlapping protection and helped remove that seam.
 
The D3O foam also felt hard against my hips, and I feel like it it should’ve been more on the outside of the pant rather than right against the body. I would personally prefer a soft foam and a liner between the harder smart foam.
 
I could never get the CCM Super Tacks to really feel comfortable when wearing them, I would have to constantly adjust how they sat on my hips as well as their tightness and never ended up satisfied with the combinations. Fixing one issue caused another, and I finally decided to wear them looser and higher than desired… which ended up with me having to pull them up every few shifts. 4/10

 

Mobility: The out of the box mobility for the CCM Super Tacks pants was great. I didn’t feel like the pads needed a break in period and they felt more mobile from day one than my pro stock Reebok pants did. The only area of tightness as all was the lower thigh guard being one piece. While it never felt like it got in the way, I feel a two piece set up would add to the mobility by adding a segment in the padding. The segmented inner leg parts flex with your body well. 9/10

 

Weight: The CCM Super Tacks pants feel ridiculously light compared to my Reebok pants, and while being considerably more material than my old Bauer Supreme pants they felt similar in terms of weight. Never once did I notice the pants in terms of weight while playing with them. 9/10

 

Durability: There are loose threads all over the CCM Super Tacks pants, I am not sure if that is because of poor durability or just fit and finish. I haven’t noticed any seams coming apart so I will give CCM the benefit of the doubt here. 8/10

 

Intangibles: The CCM Super Tacks pants offer a decent amount of customization in terms of fit and feel, and while I couldn’t really feel comfortable with any of the combinations I have to give credit for CCM for giving the options. I like the embroidery area for adding a team logo without having to order custom pants and I like how CCM allows your to completely remove the lower back/spine protection. The extendable length with the zipper is a nice feature even if I again couldn’t take advantage of it. I feel the D3O isn’t utilized well on these Super Tacks pants and it feels as if the foam is used to satisfy a marketing requirement. I do like the Tacks design on the liner on side rib protection, it is smooth and soft to the touch. The softer liner is a nice addition in this area of the pants since if you play shirtless, this area will be most in contact with your bare skin. 8/10

 

Conclusion: I haven’t been as disappointed in a product for quite a while as I was with these CCM Super Tacks pants. I was hoping I would be able to add these pants into my gear rotation and remove the need for some shells. Unfortunately with my protection and comfort issues this was not the case, and I was starting to regret wearing these pants as I figured I’d either be fiddling with the fit or I’d fall and end up with a sore thigh or ass the next day. I was looking forward to using a pair of pants with the extended spine protection, but if you end up sacrificing protection anywhere else it isn’t worth the switch. From all of my past experience with pants (including a much lower level One75 pair) the CCM Super Tacks have been the most frustrating and painful to use. I don’t believe these should ever be marketed as a protective line in CCM’s repertoire as I felt more exposed in these pants than the slimmer Bauer Supreme NXG girdle I wore in the past. I suffered more bruises and pain in the CCM Super Tacks pants than I have ever before playing hockey as a skater, I also felt pucks in places I didn’t think were possible while wearing player pants.
 
For a top end pant in CCM’s offerings, and marketed as the “protective” model I simply can’t recommend these pants to anyone especially at the top end price point. 5/10
 
Photos of the areas I talked about will be coming soon.

Edited by Hills
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When I tried these on I immediately noticed a few of the same issues you are experiencing. The internal belt is not very comfortable once you tighten it up. The floating spine protector velcro kept coming apart when I slid them on and off. We all know how well velcro holds up after multiple usages. The "six pack" protector doesn't sit high enough, unless you run the belt through it, but then its in a weird position. IMO these are a major down grade from the previous version of the ST pants, which I also wore. 

Always love your very thorough reviews my man, with accompanying hi res pics, well done!

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Here is a video showing off some of the comparison pieces I mentioned compared to my Pro Stock pants.

 

Here is the images that go with the video and the written review.

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Showing how the segmented leg pieces on the Pro Stock pants create a larger protective surface.

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Showing the differences in thickness between the protection on the back of the thigh, the Pro Stock pants wrap around further and at least have a small piece of foam there while the CCM Super Tacks pants have no protection besides the pant shell.

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The thigh on the CCM Super Tacks Pants is so thin that it is see-thru, it is thick and protective on the Pro Stock pair.

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Showing thickness between the front inner thigh padding, the Super Tacks padding is basically non-existant compared to the Pro Stock's.

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The internal belt feels like it pinches your body when pulled tight because of the material bunching up and no padding between the belt and your body. The Pro Stock pants have the belt on the outside, which distributes the belts force on your hips and is extremely comfortable.

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The tailbone protection on the CCM Super Tacks pants is thinner in depth and width making it easier to miss the padding when you fall. I found it wasn't padded enough when falling either, you feel next to nothing in the Pro Stock pants.

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The gap in protection when you unzip the length adjustment, I have a few pucks squeak in this area. CCM should've created a larger belt wrap to cover this gap.

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This seam along the tailbone protection and the spine protection really digs into your lower back when you pull the pants tight and is uncomfortable. This could've been a simple fix by attatching the tailbone protection on the inner side of the spine protection.

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