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CCM Axis 2 Set - Total Custom Pro - Initial Impressions


ZeroGravitas
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I wasn't planning on writing this originally, but the forum post lamenting the lack of activity on these boards made me want to do something to generate some discussion.

New for 2022 is CCM's Axis 2 line. It was highly anticipated by yours truly because I was interested in how they would incorporate their new knee system - dubbed Dynamic Response System Pro by CCM. Also new for this year is the launch of CCM's new custom program. CCM now offers tiers of custom - Total Custom and Total Custom Pro. We won't talk about All Out here - that is essentially Total Custom Pro with a custom graphic.

With Total Custom, you get reduced custom options at a slight (inflationary?) increase in price over the prior CCM release - the Extreme Flex 5. Essentially, you're paying more for less. Less custom options and less color/material options.

With Total Custom Pro, you get the full custom options that you're accustomed to from prior CCM releases at an additional cost: +$50USD over TC for the catcher, +$50USD over TC for the blocker, +$100 USD over TC for the leg pads.

The big draw with TCP is that your equipment is to Pro-Spec, which includes the lace on the inner landing edge. But a bummer is that you don't truly get all of the custom options. For example, the pros get some custom options with EFlex that us mortals cannot get, such as having options beyond Control Rebound or Max Rebound, or getting Soft/Stiff options for the pad flex.

Even with TCP, you cannot choose a Face Foam Option - you'll be stuck with MaxRebound+. In my opinion, this is understandable as a retail stock option and even as a Total Custom option (should have renamed this custom tier though...), but not at the Total Custom Pro level.

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But enough yammering. Let's get to the gear.

Full disclosure: I am employed at a hockey store and paid less than retail for this equipment. All thoughts are my own, malformed and pulled from my ass, and not my employer’s. As far as I know, CCM does not know or care who I am - though with my obnoxious colorways, I have no doubt they could find me and pee-pee whack me. I have no relationship with CCM beyond working at a retail store and selling their (and other manufacturer's) equipment.

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Leg Pads

Category

 

Retail/Stock Option

 

My Specs

 

Notes

 

Knee Cradle

Recessed Foam w/ Removable Knee Wrap

Recessed Foam w/ Removable Knee Wrap

Changeable with Total Custom Pro only.

Toe Arrangement

HD Toe Bridge w/ Bungee Lace

HD Toe Bridge w/ Bungee Lace

Additional options with TCP. TC has optional skate lace.

Knee Landing

3D Grip

3D Grip

Changeable with Total Custom Pro only (Suregrip).

Flex Options

Pre Curved/Single Break Core/No Outer Break

Pre Curved/Single Break Core/No Outer Break

TC allows same as stock, but with a single external break. TCP allows numerous options.

Knee Strap Option

No (Leather) Strap, 2" Elastic Only

No (Leather) Strap, 2" Elastic Only

TC allows a leather strap below knee. TCP allows a leather strap at the knee.

Inside Leg Channel and Calf Strap Options

Loose FIT QMSS

Tight Fit QMSS

TC allows Loose and Tight fits with QMSS or with 2 leather straps. TCP allows numerous options.

Leg and Boot Channel

Shallow Soft

Shallow Soft

Changeable with Total Custom Pro only.

Boot Strap Options

No Strap

Under Heel Angle

Changeable with Total Custom Pro only.

Thigh Protector Tab

No Lace Tab

No Lace Tab

Changeable with Total Custom Pro only.

I ordered my set as a 33+1.5 with all white weave, except the landing area, which is red weave, and the center zone, which could only be Speedskin or Jenpro. Surprisingly, the CCM customizer let me do tone-on-tone for the logos so I ran with that. I think it came out pretty solid.

I never wore Axis 1, but these pads are stiff. CCM literature states it's approximately twice as stiff as Axis 1 and that the knee landing, with the introduction of the DRS Pro knee, is about 4 times stiffer. Meanwhile boot stiffness is only slightly stiffer than Axis 1.

But even with all that stiffness, rebounds off these pads are nothing like Mach. Sometimes shots seem to die a foot away from the pad, or right next to the pad. Mach seems to send everything away with a vengeance. I've absolutely let goals in that Mach could have saved me from.

That said, I appreciate the S-curve on these pads as it definitely helps me close the five hole better than Mach.

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A big surprise to me was that the boot strap came as a leather strap instead of the QK5 strap that came with older CCM models.

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Here, you can see the mismatch of colors between the white Speedskin and the white weave.

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Below is the DRS Pro knee. Instead of having a wedge integrated with the knee block like Bauer and inserted into the core of the pad, CCM has a stiff wing built into the side of the pad, which is Velcro'd to the knee stack.

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The inside edge of the pad, with the telltale lace in the inner gusset. The foams used on the landing area are very stiff. Sliding is pretty good. I'd say about 70-75% of CORTech sliding. How of that is up to the weave and how much of that is up the stiffened landing area foams? Who knows!

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Catcher

Category

 

Retail/Stock Option

 

My Specs

 

Notes

 

Palm Size

SR/Regular

SR/Regular

 

 

Cuff/Thumb Options (Break)

591 One-Piece

580 One-Piece

 

 

Tee Pocket

Double Tee

Double Tee

Changeable with Total Custom Pro only.

Palm Material

AX Suregrip Grey

AX Suregrip Grey

 

 

Hand Position

No (Leather) Strap, 2" Elastic Only

No (Leather) Strap, 2" Elastic Only

 

 

Pinky Loop

No Pinky Loop

With Pinky Loop

 

 

Stiffness

Game Ready

Pro

Changeable with Total Custom Pro only.

I ordered a 580 catcher. Mostly because I was tired of customers asking me what a 580 was like and not having something to let t hem try on. Closure was, surprisingly very good out of the box. I threw it in a baseball glove steamer and worked it in. It was much easier to use out of the box compared to my Bauer Mach - which also has a pro palm. Using it has not been a big adjustment from the 600-esque closure on the Bauer Mach. The pocket seems huge and it really feels like it just gobbles up pucks. Minor quality nitpick - there is some excess black thread in the tee - you can see it in the first picture below.

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If you opt for any break besides the 591 break, you do not get the new backhand and new strapping system, so I can't comment on the new Cross Form strapping system.

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My custom order seems says that I specced for AX Suede Suregrip Grey, but I seem to have gotten the Beige?

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Blocker

Category

 

Retail/Stock Option

 

My Specs

 

Notes

 

Palm Size

SR/Regular

SR/Regular

SR/XL is available with TCP.

Palm Material

AX Suede W/ Black Palm

AX Suede W/ Black Palm

 

 

Finger Protection

Curved Finger Protection

Straight Finger Protection

Changeable with Total Custom Pro only.

Hand Fit Options

Regular

Regular

Changeable with Total Custom Pro only.

Blocker feels pretty good on the hand. The palm does feel tightened up over prior CCM models, taking a page out of Bauer's book. The palm isn't quite as tight/luxurious feeling as a Bauer palm, though.

Overall, performance so far is kind of middling. It does not shoot out rebounds like a Bauer blocker does.

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The new sidewall construction is very stiff. They have some very stiff foams in the black weave part of the photo below.

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I've been missing the blocker cuff, which Mach eliminated.You are able to change tightness of the cuff by Velcroing both sides of the cuff - the piece that has the Polygiene tag and the opposite side are Velcro'd in.

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Minor nitpicks with the quality, see below.

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Let me know if you any questions or want additional pictures! A long-term review is unlikely to follow.

 

Edited by ZeroGravitas
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6 hours ago, ZeroGravitas said:

My custom order seems says that I specced for AX Suede Suregrip Grey, but I seem to have gotten the Beige?

It might be the same palm material setup as 591 where they use beige in the cuff section but grey suregrip everywhere else. 

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I remember being fairly impressed with the Axis 2 legpads when I saw them in store at first. It felt like the first real departure from the Lefebvre name for them as a company.

Set looks good, aside from that HORRENDOUS black stitching that's barely poking out. 

I'd send them back. ;) 

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5 hours ago, ThatCarGuy said:

It might be the same palm material setup as 591 where they use beige in the cuff section but grey suregrip everywhere else. 

You're right. Beige in the cuff section and grey suregrip where the fingers are. Good catch!

1 hour ago, coopaloop1234 said:

I remember being fairly impressed with the Axis 2 legpads when I saw them in store at first. It felt like the first real departure from the Lefebvre name for them as a company.

I agree and that's why I never bothered to get an Axis 1 set when they first came out. They didn't seem like a true departure from anything CCM/Lefevre had done before - they seemed like a stiffer EFlex with an ugly graphic.

But I guess I'm pretty hypocritical about "departing from a Lefevre design" when I'm wearing a 580 catcher...

Quote

Set looks good, aside from that HORRENDOUS black stitching that's barely poking out. 

I'd send them back. ;) 

My 'tism can't help it!

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Just now, ZeroGravitas said:

I agree and that's why I never bothered to get an Axis 1 set when they first came out. They didn't seem like a true departure from anything CCM/Lefevre had done before - they seemed like a stiffer EFlex with an ugly graphic.

 

That Axis 1 graphic was rough. 

Quote

But I guess I'm pretty hypocritical about "departing from a Lefevre design" when I'm wearing a 580 catcher...

I rag on CCM/True gloves and blockers a ton because I can't stand them, but the 591 just felt so wrong to me. I'd happily use a standard 590 over it. 

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Not gonna lie... when I saw the first picture of the set as a whole... the color scheme you chose coupled with the tonal logos was curious to me... to say the least. But after seeing the close-ups I'd agree it turned out well. Good to see the touch of gold with the embroidery and contrasting stitchwork. 

Your functional specs of course are right in line with what I would have chosen. While the stiffness and rebounds aren't what you've experienced with Mach... I'll be interested to hear how well the stiffness Axis2 does have holds up. My Axis1 set has softened up at the thigh from last year as you'd expect them to, but they're still performing well. 

Also... when will we get a video of @ZeroGravitas with a shaved head and a tie showing us how he uses a baseball glove steamer like this guy?? A carabiner with your keys attached clipped to a belt loop is also an absolute must.

 

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20 hours ago, coopaloop1234 said:

That Axis 1 graphic was rough. 

I rag on CCM/True gloves and blockers a ton because I can't stand them, but the 591 just felt so wrong to me. I'd happily use a standard 590 over it. 

 

I loved the Axis 1 graphic, but mainly because I'm a University of Michigan fan, so I made sure the "M" portion of the graphic stood out in maize and blue.    Naturally, living in Columbus, OH (home of U of M's big rival the Buttguys) I caught tons of crap for it, but that's half the fun of a rivalry.

I haven't tried on the 591, but I've never liked a V style closure.   I get that stingers can be more of an issue with a U style closure, but it's just more natural and easier to close.

 

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14 hours ago, BadAngle41 said:

Not gonna lie... when I saw the first picture of the set as a whole... the color scheme you chose coupled with the tonal logos was curious to me... to say the least. But after seeing the close-ups I'd agree it turned out well. Good to see the touch of gold with the embroidery and contrasting stitchwork. 

Your functional specs of course are right in line with what I would have chosen. While the stiffness and rebounds aren't what you've experienced with Mach... I'll be interested to hear how well the stiffness Axis2 does have holds up. My Axis1 set has softened up at the thigh from last year as you'd expect them to, but they're still performing well. 

Also... when will we get a video of @ZeroGravitas with a shaved head and a tie showing us how he uses a baseball glove steamer like this guy?? A carabiner with your keys attached clipped to a belt loop is also an absolute must.

My Axis 1 curved a little as well on top which I'm not complaining to be honest, I like it.. and rebounds still kick fairly well. My 2s should be in soon, can't wait. 

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On 9/16/2022 at 6:27 AM, BadAngle41 said:

Not gonna lie... when I saw the first picture of the set as a whole... the color scheme you chose coupled with the tonal logos was curious to me... to say the least. But after seeing the close-ups I'd agree it turned out well. Good to see the touch of gold with the embroidery and contrasting stitchwork. 

Your functional specs of course are right in line with what I would have chosen. While the stiffness and rebounds aren't what you've experienced with Mach... I'll be interested to hear how well the stiffness Axis2 does have holds up. My Axis1 set has softened up at the thigh from last year as you'd expect them to, but they're still performing well. 

Also... when will we get a video of @ZeroGravitas with a shaved head and a tie showing us how he uses a baseball glove steamer like this guy?? A carabiner with your keys attached clipped to a belt loop is also an absolute must.

Subtract the tie and it's not too far off from the store uniform. No go on the shaved head though, wife would kill me.

I was messing around with the customizer pre-release and couldn't figure out a color scheme/design that I liked, so I just went all white. I had been wanting to go back to a white-based design for a long time now. I was more interested in getting the order submitted ASAP than I was concerned with anything else; I had heard some horror stories about CCM wait times, plus I had a feeling I wouldn't like them as much as my Bauers. That said, I think I do like the 580 catcher more than the Bauer catcher.

Axis 2 is quite a bit stiffer than Axis 1, so hopefully no one will see any premature breakdown.

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