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CCM Super Tacks AS1 Hockey Stick Review

Our Rating: 5/5
Availability:

Availability: In Stock Now - Ships Anywhere in Canada or buy in store

Review By: Mike Ball

2018 CCM Super Tacks AS1 Hockey Stick

The 2018 CCM Super Tacks AS1 replaces the Super Tacks 2.0 as the mid-kick option in the Tacks family. The 5th generation Tacks is the lightest stick ever released within the lineup.

That’s a great start, but it might also be the most durable and the most powerful Tacks stick as well. The AS1 is a true mid kick stick built for aggressive and powerful shooters like San Jose Sharks defenseman, Brent Burns.

Few of us can shoot the puck as hard as Burnsy, but we all know how nice it feels to unleash a clapper bar down. We can all lean into a shot with everything we’ve got, but more often than not we don’t hear the ping of the crossbar and or see the glow of the red light behind the net.

Many of us are probably more familiar with the sound of the puck smashing the glass behind the net and watching the puck bounce into the corner. When we wind up at the point, we put fear in the eyes of goalies, refs, the other team, our teammates, fans, and the Zamboni guy. Jokes aside, we all want a high velocity, deadly accurate shot.

The AS1 focuses in on two things: maximizing energy transfer and controlling the shot trajectory. We want to put as much as we can into shots, but we also want to know where the puck is going. It’s a tricky formula, but CCM has produced a stick that should help you pick corners and add a few MPH to your shot.

Before we look at what CCM has done, here’s a quick summary of the Super Tacks AS1 technology and launch details.

2018 CCM Super Tacks AS1 Hockey Stick

Release Details

  • Release Model: CCM Super Tacks AS1 (2018)
  • Predecessor: CCM Super Tacks 2.0 | CCM Super Tacks | CCM Ultra Tacks |CCM Tacks
  • Pre-Order: July 27th
  • Launch: August 24th
  • Price: $319.99 SR |$299.99 INT | $199.99 JR

New Technology

  • Optimized mid-kick flex profile.
  • Optimized vertical flex stabilization.
  • X-Flow molding process.
  • ACU3 blade design.
  • Optimized intermediate shaft geometry and flex profile.
2018 CCM Super Tacks AS1 Hockey Stick

Stick Profile

  • Flex Profile: Maximum Loading Mid Kick Point
  • Blade Profile: ACU3 Blade.
  • Shaft Geometry: Concave Sidewalls | Round Corners
  • Weight: 418 grams (Senior 85 Flex)
  • Senior Height: 59” (85, 75 Flex) 62” (105, 95 Flex)
  • Intermediate Height: 57” (65 Flex) 55” (55 Flex)
  • Junior Height: 52” (50 Flex) | 49” (40 Flex)

Stick Construction

  • Construction Process: Speared 1-piece
  • Shaft Material: Sigmatex | X-Flow
  • Stiffness Profile: Mid Kick
  • Blade Material: Sigmatex | ACU3
2018 CCM Super Tacks AS1 Hockey Stick

MAXimum Loading Mid Kick Point

The mid-kick point stick is all about unleashing raw power into the stick and launching the puck. The challenge when building a flex profile mid kick is finding a balance between slap shots and wrist shots. Max stiffness is great when you lean into a slapshot, but it’s hard to put the same amount of force into a wrist shot. There needs to be a softer area in the stick to get velocity on your wrist shots. Where is this spot?

CCM uses a testing facility called the CCM Performance Lab to find this sweet spot. Bringing in both professional and amateur players allowed CCM to identify the most common hand placements for both slap shot and wrist shots. Wrist shots typically have a bottom hand placement that is slightly above the mid-point of the shaft. Slap shots typically have a hand placement that is at or slightly below the mid-point.

The AS1 features an optimized flex profile with a soft segment above the mid-point of the shaft for quick release wrist shots and increased stiffness from the mid-point to blade for maximum energy loading for snapshots. Overall, the AS1 is a mid kick point stick at heart and is built for booming slapshots and heavy weight wrist shots. Those that prefer a low kick stick would still require an adjustment period to refine their technique if they switched over to the AS1. But this optimized flex profile will be a perfect fit for the true mid kick point player.

Improved Stability and Control

When measuring and tracking shooters, CCM is looking at every detail from every angle. One of those things is vertical flex. Everyone knows about horizontal flex; this is what most people think about when they hear or read the word flex. Vertical flex is the downward flex on the top of the shaft.

We like to think we’re all terrific shooters, but we don’t always have perfect shooting technique. Maybe we’re tired, maybe we’re off balance, or maybe we’re battling an injury. Ideally, all our energy goes toward horizontal flex, but that’s not always the case. Putting some energy into vertical flex does a few things.

  • 1. Torques the shaft.
  • 2. Twists the blade at impact.
  • 3. Possibly breaks the stick.

If you’re someone who constantly breaks sticks, there’s a good chance you have some vertical flex in your shooting technique. Sticks are primarily built for horizontal flex, and putting the extra downward force is a good way to miss the net and snap your stick.

Luckily for us, CCM is paying attention. The AS1 shaft is optimized to shoot true and accurate even if there is downward vertical flex.

2018 CCM Super Tacks AS1 Hockey Stick

X-Flow Technology

The AS1 stick is lightweight and well-balanced. We sometimes take for granted how much work goes into making these sticks feel great in our hands. Blade-heavy is no good. Blade-light is no good. Achieving the perfect balance in your hands takes an enormous amount of engineering and design.

The AS1 shaft and blade are constructed using a new molding process from CCM called X-Flow technology. The idea behind the X-Flow process is to remove excess resin and voids when layering the carbon fiber sheets. This manufacturing method allowed CCM to shave 10g off the previous design while increasing fiber compaction.

Less Glue + More Carbon Fiber = Improved Strength-To-Weight Ratio.

This compression reduces overall weight, improves durability, and provides a higher quality and more consistent construction.

2018 CCM Super Tacks AS1 Hockey Stick

ACU3 Blade

As mentioned above, the AS1 blade is constructed using the X-Flow technology for an improved strength-to-weight ratio. What makes the ACU3 blade unique is a firm stiffness throughout. The blade is very stiff from heel to toe with minimal dampening. There is a tactile surface on the blade face, but that is specifically designed for shot control.

CCM uses their top carbon material, Sigmatex, in the ACU3 blade. The carbon is built to have a stiff outer frame with two support bridges for maximum stiffness.

Why a stiff blade? The stick is built for high energy shots with max loading and launch. A soft blade would torque and twist in ways that make it difficult to control shots. When you’re launching bombs from the point, accuracy is key. Not only so you can hit the net, but also so you don’t injure teammates. The stiff blade allows you to place the puck where you want.

Finally, CCM has added reinforcement to the heel and toe of the ACU3 blade to reduce the impact of wear and tear on the blade. You’ll see this same feature across all 2018 Elite level sticks.

2018 CCM Super Tacks AS1 Hockey Stick

New Intermediate Geometry and Flex Ratio

This might be the biggest revelation we’ve seen from the CCM Performance Lab. How precise is CCM when it comes to shaft geometry? Adjustments of +0.15 mm to the shaft width and -1.3 mm to the shaft height were made to the intermediate shaft geometry.

This change was made using feedback from elite women’s hockey players and a cross section of youth players. The changes help to let those with smaller hands have the stick fit comfortably in their hands with appropriate finger wrap. The result is improved performance overall.

Once the shaft geometry was dialled in, CCM took it a step further. Using the same technique used to find the Senior flex point sweet spot, they identified the optimal point to place the softer flex bump with the intermediate stick. Those that use intermediate sticks have a slightly different lower hand placement than those that use senior sticks. CCM accounted for that with the AS1 and will continue with other intermediate models moving forward.

2018 CCM Super Tacks AS1 Hockey Stick

Final Thoughts

One final note, we will see a new pattern from CCM this year. The P88 Ovechkin. This will be a classic mid-curve which is great in many game situations.

For the mid-kick shooter, you’ll love the slapshot accuracy, and wrist shot release of the AS1. If you do pick one of these up, I’m confident you’ll pick more corners and hopefully avoid the evil eye of your teammates standing in front of the net. If the mid-kick isn’t for you, say your go-to shot is a snapshot, it’s probably best if you look toward the Ribcor or Jetspeed line.

For those using the intermediate sticks, what a treat. I think everyone has had the same thought for years. Maybe the intermediate shaft geometry needs to change? We’re finally able to see what that looks like and give it some real-world testing.

There is plenty to like about the new AS1 stick. It looks great, it’s being used by a bunch of NHL players, and it’s packed with tangible upgrades. The best part is that these upgrades and new technologies are being driven by legitimate analysis at the Performance Lab. After testing it out at some demo sessions, I’m excited to try this stick in a game.

CCM Super Tacks AS1 Offering

Senior
105 Flex – 62” – P28 | P29 | P30
95 Flex – 62” – P28 | P29 | P30 | P88
85 Flex – 59” – P28 | P29 | P30 | P88 | P15 | P14
75 Flex – 59” – P28 | P29 | P30 | P88 | P15 | P14
Intermediate
65 Flex – 57” – P28 | P29 | P30 | P88
55 Flex – 55” – P28 | P29 | P30 | P88
Junior
50 Flex – 52” – P28 | P29 | P30
40 Flex – 49” – P28 | P29 | P30

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CCM Super Tacks AS1 Hockey Stick Gallery

Product Photography by Brandon Alton @Pixelphoto.ca