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JR Boucicaut

Super Tacks shin pads

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I need to start by thanking JR, Modsquadhockey & CCM for letting me take part in this LTR.

Product Reviewed:

CCM Super Tacks Shin pads

Personal Details: 
Male, 5’ 9”, 165 lbs
Forward and Defense
C level mens league & pick up (playing twice a week)

Past equipment for comparison:  
CCM RBZ (current), Easton ST16, Reebok 14k, Nike V10 

Size Reviewed:  14”
14” Super Tacks shin pad fits true to size and is on par with the other brands I’ve worn in the past. There is no need for me to go up a size when wearing shins over my skate tongues.
  
Initial Impressions: 
My first impression after un-boxing them and giving them a good once over was “boy CCM has really upped their game”. Everything about this piece of equipment screams high end. At first they appear a bit bulky and maybe a touch on the heavy side. When I compared them to my RBz’s, weight wise it’s close and they are only a tad bulkier. However, the protection seems to be a step up, so some added weight is to be expected. I’m curious how the ‘Lock Strap’ strapping system will compare to that of the RBZ’s, which I consider the perfect shin pad strapping system. Anyway, I’m excited to get out on the ice and give these things a try. 
 
 Features:
A bunch of new features make up this pad. Here’s the check list, comments in italic.

•    Dual Molded Anatomical Exposed HD Foam
The outside of the cap wrap is heavily protected. Anyone who’s taken a shot of the side of the leg should find value in this (see images 3 & 4).
•    Anatomical Design with D30 Block Shot Protection
Very interesting addition. Seems like a fantastic idea. I'll need some time with the pad to tell if it’s a difference maker or not (see image 3).
•    PE Cap with Reinforced D30 Smart Material
Love this! This just makes sense on so many levels (see image 5).
•    Reinforced Wrapping Lock Strap
•    Anatomical Removable Liner with Segmented Velco Shin Padding and Knee Cut-Out
Very nice liner…. much nice than the liner in my RBZ’s (or any other pad I've owned). The liner has section at the bottom that can be extended or removed completely. I assume this is to be removed when wearing these pads over your skate tongues (see image 6).

I'll be posting updates once I spend some in them. I'm also working on getting a proper weight and hope to include that in my next post.

Image 1 (front)

5D12864D-0F9E-41E7-B2E1-6ADB507E13DA_zpsd0ccp5bx.thumb.JPG.74c39f081bc161b73f38f1aafb582e8f.JPG

 

Image 2 (back, open)

B69CB6B4-7C7D-4C3F-8165-3968D1F12E36_zpsjdmhqgbe.thumb.JPG.930ccab8ff77c2a2b773d9f777a5f3b0.JPG

Image 3 & 4 (side w/shot blocker & D30 knee cap)

E2F6F915-14A6-4353-9731-6EEC2290E9E6_zpssshed0vs.thumb.JPG.1e7f622e6bdf5427e0cd84491d521259.JPG1C8695FC-7164-4A0E-90EE-B869DECBC76F_zpszkchhcjt.thumb.JPG.e41e78396cbb037964ad944f5a12a967.JPG

Image 5 (closeup D30 knee cap)

C0A65AF7-7D35-4C15-B3E1-8422A43FC603_zpswh3ybr5t.thumb.JPG.99d4fd35845c052a1dd4aeafb4346aeb.JPG

Image 6 (removable piece of liner)

9D3FFBF3-C927-4AD6-830B-63E7F5C2BBF1_zpscag0aujd.thumb.JPG.8dd741e9fb7b58ba0c85d87c228f1911.JPG


 

Edited by stick9
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Now that I have skated in them a handful of times, I’m ready to give an update. First, I could not get a proper weight on my own. I did see that IW has the 14” listed as being 650 grams. I trust they did their due diligence so let’s lust roll with that.

 

Overall Fit:

CCM’s Super Tacks shin pad is deeper fitting pad. What’s that mean? It means your knee and leg are closer to the exterior shell. This is different than what I am accustomed to, but it’s a nice change. It gives you sense the shin pad hugs your leg rather than being strapped to the front of it. There is a downside. You are now closer to the things you are trying to protect yourself from so the protection better be good.

I like to wear my shin pads over my skate tongues. The Super Tacks shins are plenty wide enough to accommodate this. They do seem to be a tad longer than other 14” shins. I’d considered switching to 15’s in other models as I find myself adjusting them. I don’t have that issue with the Super Tacks.

The wrap around the back of the leg is ideal for me. The two sides come together without overlapping.

 

Strapping System:

When it comes to shin pad strapping, the CCM RBZ is my bench mark. I was curious to see how the system on the Super Tacks would compare. It’s still a two-strap system, just a different approach. The upper strap is what they dub the “Lock Strap”. It’s is nylon strap with a neoprene mesh sling. You get a nice secure wrap without that uncomfortable strap rubbing on the back of your leg. The lower strap is a 3” wide elastic calf wrap strap. This hps give you a nice wrap around the calf and really locks the pad in place. Two things I want to point out. I don’t want to be overly critical, but worth mentioning.

1.      The calf wrap strap seems a bit short. I personally didn’t have an issue and the strap is elastic. Figured it was worth mentioning for those with thicker legs.

2.      The end of the Lock Strap isn’t very wide (only 3/4ths on an inch). The mating end of the Velcro is recessed into the shell a bit. I find the strap to be a little wider than the recess. So, you don’t feel as though the connection is all that robust. When removing the pads, I feel like I need to dig it out. See Pic.

 

002.thumb.jpg.37da5dbc3098e85b96e556adcbf6499a.jpg

 

Mobility:

As I mentioned in my initial breakdown. At first glance the Super Tacks shin pad looks a bit big. I was expecting it to feel bulky and possibly impact my mobility. I haven’t noticed any negative effects. I can only assume the deeper wrap around fit allows the pad to be bigger and thicker without feeling clunky. There is some added bulk to the outside portion of the calf wrap. Being on the outside of the leg it really has no impact on mobility. And I have been hit there a few times so I am more than willing to deal with the added bulk.

 

Protection:

So far there has only been one issue. The deeper fit seems to come with a bit of risk. So far, any impact to the shin area of the pad is quickly dispersed. I’ve felt nothing…not even a dull thud from the impact. I can’t say the same for portions the knee area. Straight on hits to the knee are much like hits to the shin. The key difference is here you have the D3O with no liner. You’re well protected, but you don’t get the dampening from the liner.

The sides of the knee seem to be an area of concern. During a game, I experienced a noticeable impact just to the inside of my left knee. Enough to where I felt it the rest of the night and enough to leave a decent size bruise. I don’t really recall how it happened other then it wasn’t blocking a shot. From what I can gather, seems as though the inner liner lacks a little wrap in this area. The D3O foam in the knee cup doesn’t extend that far out to make up for it. Could be something I would have felt wearing any shin pad, maybe whatever got me caught me just right.

 

Durability:

This will area take time to fully vet. It’s a very well put together piece of equipment. No signs of flaws or imperfections upon initial inspection.

 

Overall Thoughts:

So far, the big take away has been comfort. It’s something I noticed as soon as I put them on. CCM has incorporated a segmented microfiber liner with antimicrobial properties. I believe ithe liner to be a dual layer design using what feels like UFoam at the base, with a thicker medium density foam on the player facing side. I can’t confirm the use of UFoam. When I examined the liner, it did feel as though there were two different materials, one having a higher density than the other. The shin/calf area of the liner extends out to provide a nice wrap around the leg. When it comes to shin pads, I usually don’t care much about comfort…. or even notice it. This was different.

 

I’ll provide updates to this review on a regular basis and/or when something notable happens. I’ll provide a number grade at the end. Stay tuned…

Edited by stick9
Pic added

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4 Month update

I’ve been wearing the Super Tacks shin pads for almost 4 months now. I really like this piece of equipment. They may be bigger and a tad heavier, but those aspects don’t translate to the ice, least not from what I can tell. When I think about why that may be, I think it’s due to the way the pad wraps around the leg. Think of stick balance and how affects the stick perceived weight, badly balanced sticks feel heavier than they really are. The deep fit pulls the weight in closer to the leg and the wrap helps spread that weight out. All the same aspects translate to mobility as well. That said, I have noticed the size of the pad when kneeling to stretch or after a fall. In those instances, they do feel bigger than what I am used to.

When it comes to weight I curious where the Super Tacks ranked among its competitors. I wasn’t going to bring a scale to a store or buy pads just to weight them. I went back to the specs IW posts.

CCM QuickLite QLT 549 grams

Bauer 1X 572 grams

Bauer 1S 575 grams

Easton Pro 10 592 grams

Warrior HD1 630 grams (15”)

CCM Super Tacks 650 grams

Bauer 1N 685 grams

Roughly a quarter pound difference between the Super Tacks and the lightest pad listed.

I may have been a little premature with analysis of the knee cap protection. I haven’t felt anything wearing these things, except for the incidents mentioned in my previous posts. CCM did an excellent job making sure the sides and back of the legs were heavily protected.

The pad that extends up from the knee cap to protect the lower thigh rubs against the Velcro tabs on my jock. This has caused the material to fray a bit. That little pad is adjustable/removable. I simply moved it down a little. The wear spot does not appear to be getting any worse. NOTE - The attached image was taken after a few uses. 

There are some spots where the graphics are wearing off. Other than that, they look brand new. No smell, and they’re usually dry to the touch the next morning.

Strapping system is still working well after break in. They fit a bit less snug but no movement during play.

CCMsuperTacks.jpg

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It’s been about six weeks since my last update.

So here’s the thing. If you’ve followed this review you know I kind of flip-flopped on protection aspect of the knee cap. Last I spoke on this (August 31st) I said…

“I may have been a little premature with analysis of the knee cap protection. I haven’t felt anything wearing these things, except for the incidents mentioned in my previous posts.”

Apparently, my judgment was not premature. In fact, it was bang on. On September 12th during a mens league game I took a shot directly off the left knee cap. This wasn’t a slap shot, this was a hard wrist shot, a dump-in in fact. Still a hard shot none the less. I felt every bit of that shot. It didn’t affect my day to day activities or prevent my from playing my next game, but it was pretty sore and bruised, see pic.

 

knee.jpg

 

Here’s the thing. A shin pad is supposed to protect me from these sorts of things. CCM went as far as to put a high-tech shock dampening foam (D3O) in this area, so they know it’s an area of concern. Yet this sort of thing happens during normal mens league play. If it was an isolated incident I would have said “oh well, sh*t happens” but this is a reoccurring issue. I don’t want to ding CCM here. I actually like the Super Tacks shin pads. Apart from the knee cap I would even go as far as saying I love them, they fit great and are so comfortable. I get the sense that the D3O foam is simply not enough protection in this design. There needs to be something else after it…or before it for that matter. I wish I was able to test it against other materials and see if there is a difference.

It's not easy being impartial. Part of me feels like if I am too critical I won't be asked to review stuff. But if I'm not entirely honest about my experience than what's the point. Any Jabronie can go online and gush over how great something is.

Edited by stick9

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On 10/20/2017 at 2:22 PM, stick9 said:

It's not easy being impartial. Part of me feels like if I am too critical I won't be asked to review stuff. But if I'm not entirely honest about my experience than what's the point. Any Jabronie can go online and gush over how great something is.

That's the whole point.  I'd never deny product to someone for being critical.

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I’ve been wearing the CCM Super Tacks shin pads for about 7 months now. There’s been some really good and some not so good points. I’m certain that can be said for just about anything out there.

 

Fit:
Not much has changed since I got them. They’ve broken in, but the strapping system manages to keep everything in place. Like I have said, they fit a bit different than other pads I have worn. I like that, though I could see how some may not. It does come with some concerns, as I have mentioned in previous updates. For the sake of this review, I will separate fit from protection even though I think one directly effects the other.

Score: 9/10

 

Comfort:
Big props here to the guys at CCM. This is one area where this pad truly excels. Hands down the most comfortable piece of gear I have ever worn. The Lock Strap with its neoprene mesh sling is very comfortable. The lower strap is very wide and is positioned where it won’t be a bother. You also get a very comfortable inner liner. Combined you get an extremely comfortable shin pad. Think gloves for your legs. 

Score: 10/10

 

Weight: (see chart in Aug 31st update)
At 650 grams, they aren’t feather weights, but they aren’t boat anchors either. Though they are on the high side with their competition. I don’t necessarily notice the weight, but the number is what it is.

Score – 7.5/10

 

Mobility:
 A tad more bulk and bit more weight than what I am used to but that doesn’t seem to have much of an on mobility If it did, it wasn’t a noticeable hit. Mobility has a lot to do with fit. If the pad fits properly and stays in place it shouldn’t limit your movement. Thanks to some nice features, the Super Tacks shin pad pulls that off nicely.

Score – 8.5/10

 

Protection:
You gotta take the good with the bad. Protection has been the one downer with these, as mentioned in previous updates. I believe CCM set out to make a premium product. They loaded it up with some great features and some cool tech (D3O foam). Unfortunately, the D3O foam in the knee caps didn’t do it for me. I think this is easily correct with another layer of foam either between the shell and the D3O or between the player and the D3O. Either way, the foam in its current design just isn’t enough. This really takes away from what I think is a great piece of equipment. The protection everywhere else is top notch.

Overall, I can’t go higher than 5 here, not in good conscience anyway.

Score – 5/10

 

Durability:
I’ve been in them for just about 7 months, wearing twice a week, sometimes three. The pads themselves still look brand new. All stitching seems to be in order and they are free of nasty smells. The only that’s took hit visibly has been some of the graphics. They seem to rub off easily in some spots. I’m going to be a little conservative with my rating since they are only 6-7 months old.

Score – 8/10

 

Intangibles:
The big ones are fit/comfort and the strapping system. While I do think the strapping system in the RBZ’s a bit better, the neoprene mesh sling of the upper strap is a fantastic idea. If you’re someone who wears taller skate socks, you’ll never know it’s there. The overall fit and feel of this pad is fantastic. 


Overall:
CCM really stepped up their game. The Super Tacks shin pad is a serious piece of gear. It’s great seeing them back on their game. When a brand like CCM is back making top tier products, the entire industry benefits. It pushes other companies to up their game.

I have had my issues with it, CCM’s Super Tacks shin pad is still a very solid offering. Overall they are a quality piece of equipment worthy of the Tacks name plate.

Final Score – 8/10
 

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