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Hi everyone, This is my first try for a product review, so if you have questions, or parts of the review are not clear, do not hesitate. I hope this can be of value for our members or to internet visitors that end up here. A little bit of context about the reviewer: I play 2 to 4 times a week in low level competitive leagues (during the main season, I play once a week during the summer), mainly as a D-man but also play as a forward. As for shin guards here is a list of the models I played with in the last years: APX2, Ultra Tacks, MX3, Super Tacks and the Super tacks as1 reviewed here. The model review are the CCM Super Tacks as1 shin guards in senior 16". Those were received as a warranty return for my Super Tacks: as they were not in production anymore, so I received from CCM the Super tacks as1 instead. I have been using the Super tacks as1 shins for an entire season, but I use two hockey gear set so, these were used for half my games (still this gives me around 50-60 games with them) while I used the Ultra Tacks for the other half. APX2 and MX3 were sold, and the Super Tacks are broken, obviously. Fit As for the fit, the tacks line from CCM is the only one that fits me an that I can use without taping my shins and won't end up moving like crazy. This is why the Ultra Tacks and the Super tacks as1 are the only shins that I still have, while I sold the others listed above. Also note that the senior 16" is a little bit longer than the APX2 and MX3 in 16", which is OK for me and my long legs. The calf protection being medium density foam inside and HD foam over medium density foam outside make for a nicely forming protection compared to the usual plastic insert offerings. Also, the inside liner as added padding on both sides of the knee so it helps keep it in the right place. A really nice add-on from previous years in the Super tacks as1 is the velcro adjustable calf strap. For my long and slim legs, I would always end up with this strap lock as tight as it could be, but would never be enough. With this add-on, I can shorten the strap so it fits nicely for me. But the detachable bottom portion of the liner seems like a good idea badly executed for anyone playing with the tongue of their skate under the shin guard (as I do), as the exposed velcro would simply stick to the felt of my skate tongue and remove parts of it... Why CCM would not put the hook side of the velcro on the removable part? . Also, the tape groove gimmick is totally useless. Another small detail that bothers me is the AS1 logo gets in the way of the top strap just enough to bother me, as I would've like to be able to use this part to get the strap tighter. For fit, the Super tacks as1 get 8/10. Protection For protection, they are some of the most protective shins one can get, but with one downside, that is quite important for me. The plastic shells are thick an rigid. D3O for the knee cap does its job for front impacts. The added padding in the liner is a really nice addition as it gives better protection for each side of the knee, parts that are not covered by the D3O patch. This right here is to me the nicest addition compared to the previous top of the line models Ultra Tacks and Super Tacks. I have blocked a countless amount of shots with these and never felt pain or even discomfort. The outside calf protection covers a larger area than the previous Super Tacks while it's segmentation provides a better wrap, making for better protection there. But, the inside calf protection is a simple medium density foam (it was the same with the Super Tacks), as opposed to the Ultra Tacks which have a plastic insert. This really is a negative to me as I play with skate fenders and sometimes open my feet to block shots (bad habit, I know), exposing the inside of my lower leg to a ton of hurt if the shots goes higher than anticipated... For protection, the Super tacks as1 get 9/10. Weight This really is were I was surprised when I received these. They are not that heavy compared to other highly protective shins. At 750 grams a piece, my Ultra Tacks are heavier (825) and my MX3 were heavier by a good 50 grams per shin (you can blame the flexorb for that). Still, one can find lower weight in other offerings. For weight, the Super tacks as1 get 7/10. Durability I have nothing negative to say on that part as they are holding up quite well, as most damage is only cosmetic. Still, there is a stitching that is coming undone in a non important part of the shin after 10 months or so. For durability, the Super tacks as1 get 7/10. Intangibles As for intangibles, I am not going to put a score for that, but I will say that I do not like white protection equipment as it always end up yellowing... But for shins, who cares? Conclusion I really think CCM achieved a nice balance between weight and protection here, while some aspects can still be refined or improved. Yet, this is by far my favorite line of shin guards in the market and this model is my favorite so far with a final score of 8/10.
I purchased the CCM JetSpeed FT1 shin pads to possibly replace my Ultra Tacks shins. The primary purpose was to lighten up my gear; I love my ultra tacks, but they are a tad on the heavy side. So here are my initial thoughts... Aesthetics: 8.5/10 These are very nice looking shins; the black and red go together very well. Unfortunately it doesn't really matter since they are under your socks, but a good looking shin nonetheless. Design: 5 The overall design of the shin was decent, but they definitely felt like cheap plastics to me. That may not be the case, but as soon as I felt them I noticed a HUGE difference in quality between these and my Ultra Tacks. As for the shape, they are a more narrow-fitting pad, almost built like a triangle (the top of the triangle being in front of your shin). Straps: 6 The bottom strap was well-designed with the ability to adjust the length of the strap via a dual-end Velcro system. This is definitely nice as people's calves come in all different sizes. Where the strapping falls apart, is the behind-the-knee strap. In order to show the JetSpeed logo, CCM opted to reduce the width of the Velcro strip that runs along the front side of the shin. This is problematic because, unlike the bottom strap, the top strap is not adjustable. Not only that, but it is extremely long. When I wrapped the strap behind my knee and around the front of the pad, I was already well-beyond the Velcro strip! I basically had to settle for a loose-fit - this was very poor. Weight: 9 The weight of the shins was exactly what I was looking for; they felt great wearing them and I definitely felt a weight difference between these and my Ultra Tacks. Mission accomplished right? Protection: 2 The shins felt OK during normal stick and board work, but the first shot of the game that I blocked definitely didn't feel the way I am used to. I am used to feeling a pressure that is distributed throughout my entire shin pad, but this was more of an acute pain. I would classify the shot as average, maybe 50mph. After the game I took of my shin pad and viola: Overall: 3 Unfortunately, shin pads HAVE to be protective against at least average shots, otherwise what's the point? The lightness of the pads was a plus, but obviously it came at the expense of protection.
Reviewer Details: 36 years old / 5’11 / 180lbs Location: Michigan Position: Forward Playing Level: Upper B and C Men's Size: 15 inch Previous Shins: Jofa 6060's (about 12 years old or so) Fit Coming from the Jofa's the Tacks line is pretty much the same type of fit as the old Jofa and Reebok's so when trying them on, I was very happy with how they felt. The strapping on these is very nice and the spandex lock strap is very comfortable around the back of the knee. The padding seems a bit bulky, but I think that is the norm with the newer shins because it felt that way on the Alpha QX's and the Super Tacks that I tried too. Coming from super old pads, mine are likely matted down from the years of use and I think that anything new I try on would have this same feel. The calf wrap covers the back of the leg very nicely and this was a major selling point for me because I felt that most of the other shins I tried (excluding the Super Tacks) didn't cover much of my calf. The Tacks have a deeper leg channel and that helps to get more of the back of the leg protected. The one downside for me on these was when I put them on for the first time with my skates. I think because there's more padding they sit just a hair more forward than my Jofa's which pushes the pad a little into my tongue. I skate tongues out and it's a little noticeable when I'm standing around, but I don't notice it at all when I'm skating. I'm pretty sure that after a little break in, this will be a non issue. 8/10 (great calf wrap and strapping system, but padding needs to break in a bit). Protection So far protection seems great. I've taken a couple of shots off the leg and haven't noticed anything at all in terms of discomfort. They have a lot to live up too though, because my old Jofa's are still going strong and have been since the day I got them. The cap seems very durable and the shin portion looks almost identical to my old Jofa's, so I'm confident that these will have very similar protection. Although I haven't had to use it yet, I really like the calf wrap on these and it seems that it's going to be a bit of an upgrade to my old shins because of the strapping and larger outside flap. 10/10 (pending longer TOI with them) Weight Ice Warehouse says these weigh in at 657g which is pretty much the heaviest shin around, but they don't feel heavy when you have them on. Plus, I'm fairly certain that they are lighter than my Jofa's, but I'm hoping to be able to weigh them in the next couple of days to see which one is heavier and their exact weight. Also, I tend to block a lot of shots even playing forward and I'd rather have a little heavier, more protective pad, than not. 9/10 because they're listed as the heaviest Durability I can't give an accurate rating at this time, but after I get about another month of them on the ice, I'll be back to post an update on this category. ?/10 Intangibles Feel is the key here. I know that has a lot to do with fit, but I have it as a separate category because there were other shins that "fit" properly, but these just have a great feel to them when you have them on. The Alpha QX Pro's felt bulky even though they are lighter and fit decently and the Super Tacks fit great, but those felt like they had too much padding. These shins just seem pretty natural feeling to me, like they're a part of my leg and not something that sitting on top of them. They allow me to just skate and not have to think about if my equipment in is the right place or anything like that. I don't even notice them when I'm on the ice and that means more to me than weight savings. If the protection is as good as my Jofa's, I could see me note having to buy another pair of shins for another 8 years or so. 9/10 Conclusion So far, these haven't disappointed, but again, I'll be back in a month or so to give a good update on these, especially the durability and protection categories. I'm hoping they still feel just as good as they do now. Also, the price point on these pads are great at $100. You get pretty much everything in terms of protection that you would from the Super Tacks, but at 2/3's the cost. Overall Rating 9.5/10 (Pending longer durability and protecting testing).