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JR Boucicaut

CCM Ribcor 50K

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First of all, I would like to thank JR and CCM for the opportunity to review these skates. It's a great honor to be able to provide a beer leaguers prospective on a top end skate for everyone, and give an honest review of them.

Secondly, I would like to apologize to everyone that this review has had a delayed start. I lost the first month (june) due to a nasty ankle bruise/injury that, although I was able to continue to skate, I didn't think it would be fair to give my first impressions of the skate without ideal conditions for experiment, so I held off. I have had some opportunity to skate on these during the month of July, and plan on doing a lot more here towards the end of August and into September as the Ice is back in my normal drop in spot, and I'm ramping down the inline, and up the ice. I will be quickly crafting up a few follow up posts with photos in the coming days, the rest of this post will reflect the fitting and baking process.

Background- I am what I would consider a pretty average beer leaguer. I started playing regularly again in 2011 after mostly just playing pond hockey the previous 10 years. I currently play in a B/C league where I am a defenseman primarily, but also was in a D/C league where I played forward and often lead the team or was a top 3 goals/assists kind of guy. I tend to be more of a speed guy and less of an agility skater, but that's coming back a bit too, so looking forward to seeing what these skates can do for my game.

Previous Skates- Wore Bauer Supreme 4000 up until 2010, then purchased a pair of CCM V08 in 2011. In 2013 I purchased a pair of CCM U10 skates, but also tried on the Reebok 7k. 2014 had me find a good deal on U10 midnight skates, so I've been using the U10 and midnight in sort of a rotation since.

As a member of MSH however, I've gotten several opportunities to try on/skate in top end skates at events, including the rest of the current CCM line, as well as the recently discontinued RBZ line, and some bauer skates, including Vapor, Supreme, and Nexus.

Initial Hesitations- my biggest concern was in the stiffness of a top end skate. Although I consider myself a pretty decent skater, id never had top end stiffness before outside of a few hours here and there at laid back MSH skates. Of the top end skates I have tried on or worn, the Tacks came closest to giving me everything I wanted, but was just a bit too loose overall. Perhaps after baking, they would have fit better with a better wrap, so I had considered purchasing them and working it out, or going to TH and getting a proper fitting from JR. When this opportunity came up, I applied, and accepted on condition the skates would fit well.

Fitting Process- the shop didn't have a 50K in my size in stock, so JR grabbed what I believe was a 48K, but it could've been a 46. After trying them on, I noticed one thing off the bat, these felt very comfortable. I was a little worried about the heel being possibly too loose at first, but a big feature of these skates is the Pump, so this would give me the opportunity to check the workings of the Pump out, and possibly get the lock I desire!. It didn't take me long after putting them on to accept, they were the most comfortable skates I've put on my feet ever, and this was without baking. JR agreed with the fit, and then I just had to wait for them to arrive.

Baking- The skates arrived in fairly quick order. When I had them baked, I had already sustained my ankle injury, so I can only comment on the left foot. The foams in these skates really seem to press all the right spots very well, as snug but very comfortable was when resulted up front and on the sides. Still a bit of concern in the heel, but the Griptonite footbed (not present on the skates I tried) seemed to help in that regard, and like I said, more time to play with the pump! I was expecting maybe a little bit less initial comfort going to the 50k from the pair I tried on, but this was not the case.

Whats next!- my next post will cover my initial skate in these, which occurred mid July in a drop in. I had initially wanted to get my first impressions at a stick and puck, but I had the opportunity to skate while I waited for vehicle maintenance so I took it.

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First off, my apologies for not keeping this updated. I thought i had posted an update soon after this initial posting but I guess it never went through.


My initial skate in these was pretty good. I had some issues with the heel of the skate in terms of how loose it was, and my skating suffered. One thing I did notice, however, afterwards, is that i only barely touched the surface of how well the pump works on these.  All subsequent further skates I achieved a much better heel lock by pumping more times, and it holds pretty well in between skates. At first i was nervous that the Pump wouldnt last very long, but it has impressed me in how well its performed and held up. This iteration of the pump design is much improved over the last time I used a skate with pump technology. There is an order of customization here that will allow for better fitting to more heel types, a big advantage the system has, if it continues to hold up.


Another thing that was particularly surprising was just how well my feet felt after the initial skate. There was no discomfort, which amazed me based on all prior experiences with new skates. Its a very comfortable boot and ride. I think two factors play into this. The exterior, while stiff, has zones that flex, which improves comfort. While its not the stiffest boot you can buy, its still I feel a great entry point for those who want to jump up to a top end boot that may not necessarily be the strongest skater without feeling too out of their league. Another thing I really like is the footbed and interior lining. The griptonite on the footbed really locks onto the foot well, and the footbed shape seems to match well with my foot. The lining is also comfortable and seems to wick/dry fairly well. considering how many times ive skated in these, smell is minimal.


Performance wise, They are great. I feel that my agility is better with these on, although I may go away from the stock profile and have them profiled soon for hopefully even better performance. The lace lock feature is one of my favorite skate features of all time. Initially i was going to keep the original laces, as i wanted to keep the boot as stock as possible, but after about 10 skates i went to a waxed lace (howies) and my foot seems to lock in even better with less frequent tightenings (upper portion only, the lower always stays locked well. Initially I thought i was going to hate the steel that comes on these due to the coating, and not being able to just run a stone on them, but i have had less issues with the blade getting nicked, not sure if its luck or something with the coating that makes it more resistant to this. The rink i was skating on for leagues is notorious for its poor shape, So i had expected this to be more of an issue than it has been.  I also seem to need sharpenings less often than my previous CCMs, so thats an added bonus.


The holder on these skates is something i much prefer over previous CCM holders. I have to tighten the blade screws a lot less frequently, and it offers better performance and durability than the ones I have used in the past, especially with the issues i had/have with the epro holder and scalloped steel. I feel it helps with tighter turns.


As far as durability and strength, these skates shine here.  Ive taken shots to the foot and barely feel them, especially when compared to my previous skates. i dont notice anything outside of slight cosmetic blemishes on the exterior, which is good for the abuse i have put them through.


As of right now, i would strongly recommend these, especially with the newer aesthetics in the special edition.

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Since we are nearing the next chapter for the ribcor skate, I figure I would update this thread.

The skates are still holding up great. I have in the last few months been rotating with a Mako M8 I got on clearance, and while it is not a top of the line skate, the protection is far better on my 50ks, as ive noticed from two recent blocked shots in the makos. Performance wise, the 50ks are definitely the better skate, although the makos fit my feet better.

Which brings me to my next point: I am glad that CCM is going in the direction they are with the ribcor line. Shifting away from the pump in favor of better engineered control of heel fit and decreased weight is a great step. I often find myself over the time ive had the 50ks either over or underdoing the pump, and have also found that it doesn't hold quite as well as when I first used the skates in the course of a skate, some times needing mid game adjustments.

I am slightly bummed the lace lock will not be standard, but if the skate incorporates a better overall fit, and is truly more adaptable, it may become less of a necessity, plus you can always add them afterwards.

I have enjoyed my time thusfar with the 50ks, but look forward to trying out the next line when it releases, and see if this increased adaptability improves what was already a pretty comfortable ride.

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