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CCM Axis: First Thoughts & Living Review


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These arrived this past Friday. Pretty sure a few on the board have ordered as well, but I thought I'd start up an Axis review.  I'll also be putting together a comparison with @Chenner29 and his Lefevre 20.1. Hopefully try and answer some of the questions about how the two products are similar and where they differ. 

Long winded background on how I landed on Axis. This time last year I was welcoming a True Design set of 2X, and while I really liked the pads and blocker, I just couldn't get used to the glove. Tried to sell the ones I had on their own figuring I'd pick up an UltraSonic skinned with the same True Design, but having hard time selling one off gloves I parted with the entire set and the second unused glove. While the new tech of Ultra Sonic initially tempted me, I reminded myself why I sold 2X; I'm a 580 guy (who is also pretty OCD about matchy matchy.) So Bauer was out. This left me with Lefevre & CCM. As some of you may know I'm a huge fan of vintage looking gear, but also fell in love with the performance of 2X (over my previous EF1 pillow.) My first attempt was to reach out to Lefevre to see if I could mash a L87 skin on an L20.1 core and strapping, but as expected it was declined. (Worth noting is how fantastic Lefevre's customer service is. I had all my inquiries responded to quickly and thuroughly.) Not overly detoured, I started messing with their customizer upon its launch and wondered if  I could either be happy with L87 perfomance or L20.1 graphics. 

Meanwhile, more details were coming out on Axis as well as their customizer. The more I played with it, as well as started exchanging notes with everyone's best friend; Rance over at The Goalie Crease, the more I liked Axis. Strapping is very similar to what I ended up modifying my EF1s to. MaxRebound on the face. Improved blocker options (sneaky great improvements.) Of course the all important 580 break. And lastly... (in part due to the exchange rate) the Axis set with 2 gloves for the same cost of a Lefevre set and a single glove. 

I'd like to also remind everyone that this is the first non-retro tan/leather print pads I've had in quite some time... and I've always been a minimalist in that way. Consequently, it's more than fair to say I did not maximize the available color zones. In fact, you could argue I watered them down to the bare minimum. But I did take advantage of some accents where possible.

Only had one slower skate with them the following morning, so this first write up will be a general overview with specs and a few images to start. More details to come with closeups of features and nuances as I get more skates in. 

Initial Design (GoalieMonkey Customizer)

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Day 1 Pics

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Also picked up a pair of HPG14A... couldn't very well wear the Hershey Bear brown HPG13A with the new setup. More to come on those as well as I was surprised how different they felt from the HPG13A.

Specs:

Leg Pads:

  • Size: 33+1
  • Knee Cradle: Recessed Foam No Wrap
  • Toe Arrangement: Jen Pro/HD Foam Bungee Lace (already have Pro Laces Armour TGN Spec in and Armour Hybrid on order.)
  • Flex Options: Pre-Curved/ Single Break Core/ No Break Outer Roll
  • Knee Strap Options: No Strap (2" Elastic Only)
  • Inner Leg Channel & Calf Strap Options: Tight Fit - QMSS + Lower Strap
  •  Center Leg Channel: Nylon
  • Leg & Boot Channel: Shallow Soft
  • Boot Strap System: Removable Under Heel Angle
  • No Thigh Protector
  • SpeedSkin on Sliding Surface

Catch Glove:

  • Cuff/Thumb Options: 580 One-Piece
  • Game Ready with D3O (a first for me, always had Pro Palm previously)
  • Palm Size: Senior-Intermediate
  • Wrist Options: Webbing
  • Glove T: Double Straight Tee (also a first for me)
  • Palm Materials: SureGrip

Blocker

  • Palm Size: Senior-Intermediate
  • Palm Position: Centered
  • Palm Materials: SureGrip
  • Cuff Options: One Piece Cuff
  • Finger Protection: Straight with D3O
  • Blocker Face Edge: Bingingless
  • Hand Fit: Tight (FINALLY!!!)

image.png.57ad639c73d881c47f50953647b56076.png

Initial Impression:

Leg Pads:

These things are solid! Literally. The boot break softness rivals my 5+ year old EF1 Retroflexes... but move up from there and they are stiff. That stiffness is carried throughout the pad and results in a very stable yet light pad. I noticed when taking pictures that while most pads will lay on the landing surface and not roll over... very few do the same when flipping them onto the outer roll. Axis do and that speaks to how well they're balanced and how square all of the surfaces are too. 

LegPads01.thumb.jpg.036dafdaca6761ae4a2d90357e1239c8.jpg

The sliding surface (covered in SpeedSkin) is firm and flat. In the images below you can see just how well all of the surfaces line up. Note as well... these were all taken with the pad laying on the outer roll with no additional support... balance.

IMG_2969.thumb.JPEG.c9db265b251247670a90b4cc64053306.JPEG

IMG_2974.thumb.JPEG.9c896b5020a785538af22a0e827ed638.JPEG

The addition of the molded pillow to the calf landing is one you'll definitely notice not just because it's color matched to the attached strap either. In the few skates I've had in these thus far my knees and hips can attest tthe benefit of firm foam her instead of a soft pillow sandwiched between the you and the landing. They don't feel nearly as stressed with the molded foam helping push down onto the ice for a solid seal. Anything in that department is welcomed... I have the joints of someone nearly twice my age. 

IMG_2949.thumb.JPEG.fa579fee87865b027ea9f54b76592995.JPEG

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While I think the fit and finish on these is top notch... I did find one place that seemed like and afterthought and that was the optional lower calf strap. It's sewn into the seam on the calf wrap and lacks the rubber tabbed finish of all of the other straps. I understand it's a custom option... but would have been nice to see that finished off the same as the rest of the straps. (Truth be told in the two times I've worn them so far, I'm not sold that this strap is doing anything for me at all and may remove it later on.)

LegPads02.thumb.JPEG.c7236844108436c3caad512f9cba2610.JPEG

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Weights:

Leg Pads: 33+1 w/ Lower Calf Strap & QK5 Boot Strap

  • 4lbs 8.9oz
  • 2067g

IMG_2910.thumb.JPEG.7309e10276510db874a51c1dba603382.JPEG IMG_2911.thumb.JPEG.e157d06fdac8ad6d24b6f32970eb860f.JPEG

Catch Glove: Game Ready w/ D3O, Split T w/ Skate Lace Pocket, Senior-Intermediate Size Palm

  • 2lbs 8.9oz
  • 1157g

IMG_2922.thumb.JPEG.cfb7ebbc3a6e928e71f440f5514acfc4.JPEG IMG_2923.thumb.JPEG.13db7f3c1533fdcb2e7d1ed260f83b0e.JPEG

Blocker: One Piece Cuff, Senior-Intermediate Size Palm, Straight Finger Protection, Tight Hand Fit

  • 1lb 14.1oz
  • 852g

IMG_2914.thumb.JPEG.aec88f99cefa89cf3647d09d67920e33.JPEG IMG_2915.thumb.JPEG.e9fead6dbe15b787a032d17ec5b3c46f.JPEG

 

Additional Initial Pics Placeholder

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2020/08/21...

Blocker: 😍 Tight fit and light weight. Great punch for rebounds to the corner and controlled. Maybe I'm alone on this, but no sure why this piece isn't get more air time.

image.png.90410e0e669c0995b7aea4af5f09f603.png

Glove:

  • Break in with the Game Ready D3O has been faster than their traditional Pro Palm... but by no means actually game ready. Absolute vacuum when the puck is shot glove side though.
  • Split T does lend itself on the 580 to incomplete closure compared to a single T. Been steaming/ clamping when doing the usual glove break in routine with wrap/stretch.

GloveClamp01.thumb.JPEG.5acb5ba8560fd580cc0b3dec58d488d8.JPEG

  • I do feel a little pressure at my finger tips. Not bad at all... just like its a strap that is done firmly. Right under the panel where the Axis logo is embroidered. 👇 TBD if it loosens up over time. Again, not bad, just feels tight.

GlovePressure01.thumb.JPEG.aaf78784c070f563bfaf9a9c86df5df5.JPEG

Leg Pads:

  • Still dialing in the strapping. I think when I went from EF1 to 2X the strapping system made me embrace a fit that was more loose than I had worn previously. But when going from my EF1 to Axis I'm still trying to attach them the same way but they just need to be loosened up.
  • Ditched the stock toe attachment almost immediately. Slapped on TGN spec Pro Laces Armour and while they work well, I'm a man who values symmetry and consistency on both legs. So I put on a set of Armour Hybrids instead. Little more stack than I gave myself with TGN spec (although it can obviously do as much as I want) and equal slack on each leg at that. Trying them in the AM. 
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41 minutes ago, BadAngle41 said:

What do you want to hear about or see is more detail next?

Chenner went with the half-piece cuff on his L20.1 blocker. Could you show a picture in a similar position to his that demonstrates how the one-piece blocker cuff differs from the half-piece? 

The toe attachment on the Axis pads is centered - was your 2X set this way, also? The stock setting for Bauer appears to have the toe attachment offset medially. Also, how does the soft Axis boot compare to the soft 2X boot?

Why the switch from the single-T to a double-T?

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On 8/18/2020 at 2:22 PM, Teezle said:

Chenner went with the half-piece cuff on his L20.1 blocker. Could you show a picture in a similar position to his that demonstrates how the one-piece blocker cuff differs from the half-piece? 

The toe attachment on the Axis pads is centered - was your 2X set this way, also? The stock setting for Bauer appears to have the toe attachment offset medially. Also, how does the soft Axis boot compare to the soft 2X boot?

Why the switch from the single-T to a double-T?

Blocker Cuff: Axis one piece cuff has a small velcro attachment on the inside and small elastics in the new molded foam piece. 20.1 looks to be more wide open, but so far the flexibility the Axis provides gives as much range as the wide open 2X cuff I had before  

F4571A38-9282-4242-90B2-DE9E8FAA4A14.thumb.jpeg.5896e0888fa7792b2da8a0ba62c7a3d6.jpeg

Toe Attachment: It is centered on Axis, and does not have an offset option. 2X did have offset as stock, but I opted for centered. Additionally, I found the stock Bauer bridge were pretty flimsy and allowed for more play than I like, so I added a piece of HD foam to the 2X bridge when adding ProLaces Armour Hybrids and they worked out much better for me.

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Boot Flex: The Axis is MUCH more flexible at the boot break (I do have the standard Shallow Soft) than 2X. 

T Switch: I dunno, just wanted to try something new. I love how the pocket presents itself as a double T... looks massive and is a vacuum. I know I'll be losing that single T snap, it's still my beloved 580.

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47 minutes ago, mr_shifty1982 said:

His is cooler, sorry. Looking at those Lefevre just doesn't do anything for myself. Can't wait for my Axis 😉

You've made 720+ posts on the forum and you never mentioned an issue with your vision... 😁

  • Haha 2
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14 hours ago, mr_shifty1982 said:

His is cooler, sorry. Looking at those Lefevre just doesn't do anything for myself. Can't wait for my Axis 😉

To be fair, they both look like ass.

But what do I know, I use Fisher Price Pads

 

 

 

I jest

Edited by coopaloop1234
  • Haha 1
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Now I really want to dissect a couple of doggy squeaky toys and mod the squeakers into the knee blocks of my buddy's new set of G5s.  We've got a tournament next weekend and I'm already dying laughing at his face when he drops into the butterfly and it sounds like he's playing with his dog.

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On 8/18/2020 at 5:52 PM, Chenner29 said:

Why didn't you buy Lefevres and why is my gear cooler than yours? 😀

Axis is all classy with the science and tech to perform. 😎🤓
Anxious to hear how intuition alone works out for you. 🤪

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On 8/18/2020 at 12:31 PM, BadAngle41 said:

Weights:

Leg Pads: 33+1 w/ Lower Calf Strap & QK5 Boot Strap

  • 4lbs 8.9oz
  • 2067g

IMG_2910.thumb.JPEG.7309e10276510db874a51c1dba603382.JPEG IMG_2911.thumb.JPEG.e157d06fdac8ad6d24b6f32970eb860f.JPEG

Catch Glove: Game Ready w/ D3O, Split T w/ Skate Lace Pocket, Senior-Intermediate Size Palm

  • 2lbs 8.9oz
  • 1157g

IMG_2922.thumb.JPEG.cfb7ebbc3a6e928e71f440f5514acfc4.JPEG IMG_2923.thumb.JPEG.13db7f3c1533fdcb2e7d1ed260f83b0e.JPEG

Blocker: One Piece Cuff, Senior-Intermediate Size Palm, Straight Finger Protection, Tight Hand Fit

  • 1lb 14.1oz
  • 852g

IMG_2914.thumb.JPEG.aec88f99cefa89cf3647d09d67920e33.JPEG IMG_2915.thumb.JPEG.e9fead6dbe15b787a032d17ec5b3c46f.JPEG

 

Additional Initial Pics Placeholder

Do you have memory of what your 2X Pro set was for reference

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25 minutes ago, TheGoalNet said:

Do you have memory of what your 2X Pro set was for reference

Axis vs. 2X Pro Weight comparison... Axis wins overall. More strapping on the Axis and its still marginally lighter.. but Axis blocker of all things is significantly lighter 2X pro .in spite of appearances given the thinned out 2X. Those thinner but materials end up needing to be more dense to deal with the same impacts.

  • Leg Pads: Axis lighter by .7oz (21g) (take off lower calf strap and boot strap like retail and you'd be even lower)
  • Catch Glove: 2X Pro lighter by 2.2oz (59g)
  • Blocker: Axis lighter by 3.9oz (112g)

2X Pro Weights:

Leg Pads: No Boot Strap

  • 4lbs 9.6oz
  • 2086g

Catch Glove: Pro Palm, Senior-Intermediate Palm Size, Reinforced T, Skate Lace Pocket

  • 2lbs 6.7oz
  • 1098g

Blocker: Senior-Intermediate Palm Size

  • 2lbs 2oz
  • 964g
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13 hours ago, Chenner29 said:

You sound like an anti-masker

Ha. Quite the opposite mi amigo. I am supporting global trade which in this case included products designed & laboratory tested in Canada... and manufactured in Vietnam. You on the other hand... North America only... and without real data to support anything. I mean... that's another path I suppose. 😷 vs. 🤒

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After a Saturday morning skate... had very similar experience to @Chenner29 in that the loosening the strapping seems to bring these pads to life. To my previous note, I think when I went from EF1 to 2X the strapping system made me embrace a fit that was more loose than I had worn previously. But when going from my EF1 to Axis I was still trying to attach them the same way but they just need to be loosened up.

Additionally, I swapped out to a set of Hybrid ProLaces for a bit more slack. Felt really good. So a pair of Hybrid ProLaces that match the pads are now on order. Went with 1.5" toe tie length based on current set (bit of skate lace stretch from being well worn.)

image.png.b1a4b20f8c6e28d80defd37228e8fd5c.png

image.thumb.png.9021789e56fbdccaaf2164c97a928d10.png

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On 8/24/2020 at 10:00 AM, BadAngle41 said:

After a Saturday morning skate... had very similar experience to @Chenner29 in that the loosening the strapping seems to bring these pads to life. To my previous note, I think when I went from EF1 to 2X the strapping system made me embrace a fit that was more loose than I had worn previously. But when going from my EF1 to Axis I was still trying to attach them the same way but they just need to be loosened up.

Additionally, I swapped out to a set of Hybrid ProLaces for a bit more slack. Felt really good. So a pair of Hybrid ProLaces that match the pads are now on order. Went with 1.5" toe tie length based on current set (bit of skate lace stretch from being well worn.)

image.png.b1a4b20f8c6e28d80defd37228e8fd5c.png

image.thumb.png.9021789e56fbdccaaf2164c97a928d10.png

I've been using the hybrid TGN prolaces (DIY skate lace attachment) and was previously at like 3/4" slack on the skate lace. I'd been researching on here and saw a few pro setups (Price, Saros) where they were using at least 2" of skate lace slack at the attachment. Huge improvement for me last night so kudos to figuring that out as well! The pads just moved so fluid in crouch and bfly with a tighter seal too. 

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