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  1. Tex

    RBK 8K gloves

    I picked up a pair of these 15" 8Ks at my LHS for $100 about a month ago. They've been put through about twelve or so outings. Fit - When I was trying on gloves these just "felt" like CCM gloves. I grew up with a CCM gear bias, and this RBK glove seems to be the evolution of CCM gear. They fit a little tighter than average. It was a big change coming from my 03 14" M1 gloves which were a looser type glove. When I put these gloves on they just felt right. Protection - This is why I went out glove shopping. I had just received another scar on my wrist from some punk hooking at my gloves and catching my wrists instead. These gloves extend up the forearm and overlap my elbow pads even with my wrists flexed. My previous gloves also had a thin palm so that when I caught the puck my hand would bruise ... I haven't had a chance to catch a puck moving fast enough to test the 8ks yet, but so far so good for the palm. I can't recall receiving a direct blow on my hands during a game from a stick. It has probably happened ... I just haven't really noticed or remembered one. This tells me the protection is working well. Weight - These gloves are average in weight. The won't be confused with Synergy 1300s or the other lightweights. Durability - This seems OK so far. After twelve games there is some minor marking on the palm from gripping the butt of the stick and there is a tiny "nick" on one glove where the color has been worn off (but the leather has not been penetrated). Intangibles - I bought a first pair of these gloves, and during my first game wearing them stitching came out of one of the pads so severely that the pad started falling out. I returned the gloves to the store and they replaced them with no troubles. The second pair has had no such issues. The sales guy told me later that there were more and more quality issues like this happening in the past year ... probably due to manufacturing being moved away from Canada and the States. These gloves seem to collect moisture more than my previous gloves (Mission and CCMs all included). There was a lot more ventilation in my previous gloves, probably because they fit much looser. My hands felt noticably warmer while playing in the 8ks, but it has become the norm as I don't notice it any more. This is the only place I'd like to see these gloves improved ... better ventilation. Conclusion - It is all about personal fit. These gloves just felt right to me when I put them on. This is probably because I wore CCM gloves for most of my youth. I'd buy them again. ***************************** The end of the gloves - It is March 1st, 2009, I've had them for 3 years playing ~2 games per week and I will be replacing these gloves shortly. The palm on my high hand came all the way out. My full palm plus my midle three fingers is worn away. Outdoor duct tape kept them functional for an extra few months but the time is now. I will end up buying another pair of RBK 8k (9k now?) gloves or a pair of Warrior Dolomite or King Pin gloves. No hand or wrist injuries were sustained while wearing these gloves. *****************************
  2. Tex

    RBK 8K Helmet

    7 5/8" hat size Fit I spent seven years wearing a CCM HT200 before purchasing this helmet. After trying on most of the usual suspects (Itech 100, Bauer 5000 & 8000, CCM 1052) I kept coming back to the fit of the RBK 8k. This is an incredibly light helmet. It also fits comfortably on bigger heads ... there is adequate space in width and length. The microdial fine tunes the tightness of the helmet mainly stablizing the fit of the width. The tool free adjustment worked great when modifying the fit right on the bench. Wearing this in a game is a refreshing difference from previous helmets. My head doesn't sweat as much (not as much sweat in my eyes or flicking onto the inside of the visor). You just don't notice that you are wearing a helmet (I can't think of a better compliment for helmet fit). The helmet fits a little looser than I'm used to (width), but it was a quick adjustment. I should have tried on a medium in the store for the sake of comparison (used to going straight for size large). The microdial adjustment doesn't tighten my head into the helmet as well as it should. 8/10 Protection I've had this helmet for a month and a half now (play 2 games a week) and have only had two solid collisions involving the 8k. One I came away not noticing anything head or helmet related, and on the second the helmet swiveled a little during contact (not a protection negative). That comes back to the loose width fitting. I've not been aware of any other head contact ... maybe there's been some but I haven't noticed. So far so good ... If I headplant into the boards or get slashed in the head I'll update this review. 10/10 Weight Incredibly light. Lighter than any other helmet. You don't even notice it during a game. 10+/10 Durability This is one of the question areas I had before buying this helmet. After doing all the research on MSH the main complaint was the carbon inserts moving around inside the helmet. Sure enough ... right after game 3 one of the inserts started sliding around. It is only cosmetic and can be moved back into place, but after dropping this kind of cash on a helmet you expect all the details to be solid. I treat the helmet pretty well (don't throw it around and keep it in a pillow case) and it hasn't shown any other signs of wear. Because of the weight of the helmet it feels not quite as solid as previous helmets. The microdial is still functioning (I've heard many people have had this feature break quickly) 8/10 Intangibles Who in their right mind would drop $130 USD on a helmet?? It took me four months of trying on other helmets and finally realizing that only the RBK would make me happy. This seems to be a helmet that has been embraced more by the younger players. I play at a senior beer league level, and there is only one other RBK helmet in the league (so far). About 20% of the HS players seem to be wearing this helmet. The helmet looks great (personal taste deal)! 5/10 Conclusion I was heading to the store to buy a 1052 and tried the 8k on for the heck of it. After trying on the 8k, the 1052 seemed obsolete in fit and weight. It took four months to talk myself into spending this much on a helmet. I'm still very happy with this helmet and would make the same purchase again.
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