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wox33

CCM EF4 Initial Thoughts *Updated* Mid term review

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Posted (edited)

So I just got my new Eflex 4s in and was able to use them the night they came in so I figured I would throw up a quick initial thoughts post so I can do a full review after some more ice time.

I ordered these through Goalie Monkey on April 8th and they took exactly 10 weeks to show up at my door. I don't think I would go with them again for a custom order but to their credit everything came in the correct specs and colors. 

Pads

In the past I have worn 34 whenever I was using a Lefevre product but on these I decided to go with a 33+2 and I am glad I did. I was falling off low in my Vaughn's and with these I hit dead center on the stack and never slipped off either way. I went with single internal/single external with the deep soft boot. I wish you could do straight angle with the Eflex instead of precurved but these aren't too bad and I like the look of a single external break the best. The strapping is the stock elastic with the tight leg channel. I did get the removable outer flap and the behind the ankle removable boot strap just so I had the options just in case. 

These took me about 20 mins on the ice to get fully comfortable in but they are much closer to what I like compared to the Vaughn PVE's I was in. They are super easy to move in and seal to the ice amazingly and the rebounds were closer to what I wanted compared to the PVEs. Can't comment on the speedskin as the ice was awfully sloppy as it was humid out but it was still easier to move than it was in the Vaughns.

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Glove

Glove is a 590 break with game ready palm. Seriously considered going back to the 580 since it seems everyone is jumping back on that train and I used one back in high school but I recall having issues shooting with that break and I didn't want to hate something that cost as much as this. Went with the stock double t with skate lace and the standard wrist strap. Also did the intermediate insides on this one and I really like the snug feel of it over my Eflex 3. Break in was okay but it still needs some work as I used it mainly just to block that first night but it will break in and be fine like every 590 I've used prior. I did like that they moved the hand straps on the inside to much more comfortable positions so you can really tighten it without causing discomfort.

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Blocker

On the blocker I went with the straight finger protection which I personally feel is the best option they have as it protects well and doesn't get in the way like the curved used to for me. If I could do it again I would go with the half cuff instead of the full as I really don't feel like you can get it open enough. Otherwise the blocker is great and feels a good bit lighter than the Premier 1 I have been using. I also got it with binding since I think blockers look the best with binding.

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Edited by wox33
added review
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What were you wearing before?

Eager to hear your thoughts. I'm liking mine a lot!

With you writing a review, I'm less inclined to do one myself. 😀

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2 hours ago, ZeroGravitas said:

What were you wearing before?

Eager to hear your thoughts. I'm liking mine a lot!

With you writing a review, I'm less inclined to do one myself. 😀

I was in a full set of Vaughn PVE Carbons that I ended up swapping the gloves out for CCMs as I just didn’t like the Vaughn’s. Before that I was wearing a set of Vapor 1X. The EF4s seem to be a nice happy medium between the two hence why I was comfortable going custom with these. 

I’d say write it up as there are never enough reviews and different view points on pads out there. 

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16 minutes ago, Peter36 said:

Will you write another review after you have used them for a bit?

Yeah I plan to give them a couple months since I’m only on the ice at most 2 times a week. 

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11 hours ago, ZeroGravitas said:

What were you wearing before?

Eager to hear your thoughts. I'm liking mine a lot!

With you writing a review, I'm less inclined to do one myself. 😀

Kind of my thoughts as well.   I'll just chip in impressions once I've worn mine enough to have some.

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So, it's been about three months and 30+ skates so I figured it would be a good time to do a quick update to my initial review and update the durability and playability of my Eflex 4 set.

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Pads

Overall these pads are a good fit for my game but there are a few things that I don’t like about them.

Pros :     Lightweight – this is the lightest CCM pads I have ever used and when on the ice they don’t feel all that much heavier than my old 1X set

                Construction – these are put together extremely well and there are a lot of small details didn’t exist on previous versions that really make it feel like a top-level pad

                Seal – the reduction in those squeaky goals compared to the Vapors I used previously has been noticeable and I always feel stable in the butterfly

                Boot flex – I really like a soft boot and a stiff upper pad and these are about as perfect of a combo as I have used. The boot flexes like a Vaughn but still holds its shape in the thigh rise

Cons:     Strapping – This isn’t a major complaint and most of the strapping is good but the placement of the RRC style strap is too low and goes straight across the calf instead of behind the knee and I really don’t like it. I also would’ve liked if they extended the loop for the nylon strap out a bit from the side of the pad, so it was easier to thread through

                Rebounds – I would’ve liked if the Max rebound stuff they used in the Premier line was available on these as I do like a livelier rebound than these offer

                Sliding – In my opinion Speedskin doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t make it any worse but 2 mins into any skate and they slide the same as regular Jenpro

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Glove

No real complaints with the glove other than it took a bit longer than expected to break in with a game ready palm but now that it is it feels great. Didn’t have a chance to put it on a scale compared to my EF3 glove but it feels similar. Only palm stinger I’ve had was a close-range shot caught me in the crease of the palm down by my pinky otherwise palm protection has been great. Nothing I would change about this glove though I would like to give a 580 break a go since I used one of those back in high school.

Blocker

Lefevre blockers have always been a personal favorite and this one is no different. This is my first one with the fingertip protection and I’m glad they finally added it as it has saved me a few times. The new wrist strap is also great and much better than the old Velcro one. I don’t like the full cuff option and if I could re-order, I would just do the half as it feels a bit tight. I would also like to see them offer a layer of something in the board to make shots pop off a bit harder.


Durability

So far I have no real durability concerns. There is a tiny spot of wear on one of the knee landings and one of the eyelets on the face of the glove has a small rip in it. Otherwise if I cleaned them up they would look close to new.

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Final Thoughts

This set has been very close to what I would consider a perfect set as any issues I have had are minor and nothing is game changing on the ice. I can confidently say I if I went back in time, I would order these again. If you want a pad that plays softer without ever feeling sloppy or mushy then I don’t think you can go wrong with these.

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Glad to know you are liking this gear.  I personally think you are in the running for best looking set on the forum. 

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20 minutes ago, seagoal said:

Glad to know you are liking this gear.  I personally think you are in the running for best looking set on the forum. 

Agreed... I wasn't a fan of the blocker binding at the outset but its grown on me and I like the set.  I think a lot of your concerns are echo'd by longtime CCM users.  Especially the speedskin thing.

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I've been itching to pull the trigger on an EF4 set on Sidelineswap but I can't quite find the perfect one which is basically this set, minus blocker binding. 

So. Many.  Leather. Straps.  Ugh.

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1 hour ago, seagoal said:

I've been itching to pull the trigger on an EF4 set on Sidelineswap but I can't quite find the perfect one which is basically this set, minus blocker binding. 

So. Many.  Leather. Straps.  Ugh.

No kidding. Every set that I see on there has multiple leather straps. I get that most of them are pro returns and those guys don't like change but I feel like eliminating useless straps is a no brainer especially when you can get new elastics whenever you want at those levels

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1 hour ago, cwarnar said:

Agreed... I wasn't a fan of the blocker binding at the outset but its grown on me and I like the set.  I think a lot of your concerns are echo'd by longtime CCM users.  Especially the speedskin thing.

And realistically I knew most of them were going to be there when I ordered. I just could never get comfortable in the new Bauer stuff and I was less than impressed with the Vaughn set I had so going to something I knew worked for me was my biggest want even if there were some minor shortcomings. The new Axis line has me intrigued even though I will need to keep these in play for a couple more years or I might get smothered in my sleep.

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Seems like you've had the same experience as me with them. Huge fan of the new core and boot in them, but the fact that the Quick Motion strap is ON the calf instead of just above it was a huge bummer for me. Never anchored on my leg right. I also found speedskin slid worse than regular jenpro after the first 10 or so mins of chewing up the crease. Almost like it gets stuck on the snow before it slides.

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So the location of the strap isn't adjustable at all and fixed in place?  It's adjustable on my VE8 pads.  There's a tab with holes aligned vertically for 3 or 4 different positions.

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2 hours ago, seagoal said:

So the location of the strap isn't adjustable at all and fixed in place?  It's adjustable on my VE8 pads.  There's a tab with holes aligned vertically for 3 or 4 different positions.

You can make it tighter or looser but it doesn’t go up or down. It’s really bad placement as @Aquilzz stated right across the calf. I started wearing it looser and as low as possible and it’s been fine. It just doesn’t anchor the way the RRC does. When I first wore them I had it tight and it was really uncomfortable but now I don’t even notice it. 

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@wox33 How do you like the single internal/single outer? I've been debating going with a double internal/no outer or one of the single internal/single or no outer options. I'd say my butterfly is narrow to average and flexibility won't be getting any better so I'm not sure the best route here. Any suggestions?

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3 hours ago, litt said:

@wox33 How do you like the single internal/single outer? I've been debating going with a double internal/no outer or one of the single internal/single or no outer options. I'd say my butterfly is narrow to average and flexibility won't be getting any better so I'm not sure the best route here. Any suggestions?

I would say my butterfly is pretty average as well and it hasn't been an issue. Honestly I really like straight pads so if they had the no precurve option like they do on the Premier 2 I probably would've gotten that. Double break pads just get too flimsy above the knee for my liking and I like how single outter break pads look more than anything.

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