Written by: Landon Foley
The Super Tacks AS1 hockey protective lineup replaces the previous generation Super Tacks, an incredibly popular line that raised the bar when it came to combining high-end protection and fit in hockey equipment. The AS1 lineup, however, improves upon the near perfect original Super Tacks, providing the elite protection the Tacks line has become known for while offering better adjustment and customization options. Let’s jump right into what CCM has done with their premier protective line.
Super Tacks AS1 Shoulder Pads
The Super Tacks AS1 shoulder pads incorporate many of the great features of the original Super Tacks shoulder pads, but with improved protection and adjustability. Dual Core high-density foam shoulder caps reinforced with CCM’s premier protective foam, D30 Smart Material, return in the AS1 shoulder pads, providing pro level protection that is also very lightweight. The 2-Piece Floating Bicep, meanwhile, offers strong protection along with custom adjustment options, allowing you to extend down or raise up each individual bicep piece, a neat innovation by CCM.
One area that I thought the original Super Tacks shoulders were lacking in was having quality protection around the kidneys; the AS1 fixes this issue with HD foam around the torso, providing excellent coverage and protection for an area that is often neglected when it comes to shoulder pads. Another excellent upgrade by CCM was increasing the amount of D30 foam in the sternum, while also adding it to the molded floating spine pad, giving the AS1 pads great protection in all areas of the upper body.
With an anatomical 3D design, the AS1 shoulder pads were designed to keep protection close to the body, and boy does it ever. When I initially tried it on, the first thing I noticed was the dual layer stretch base jacket which provides a snug wrap around the torso and is really comfortable. CCM also introduced length adjustable straps in the AS1 shoulders, allowing for further customization in order to perfect the fit of the pad.
CCM Super Tacks AS1 Shin Guards
Building off of an extremely high-quality shin pad in the original Super Tacks, the Super Tacks AS1 shin guards are that much better at protecting your game. D30 Smart Material is again found in the knee caps, which CCM has reinforced this year with the addition of the JDP cap construction design, allowing for pro-level protection and for the force of impacts to be dispersed away from the knee. CCM continues the theme of providing unmatched protection with the inclusion of D30 foam to the calf of the AS1 shins as well.
Similar to the improvements made to the Super Tacks AS1 shoulder pads, CCM has incorporated the length adjustable strap to the calf of the AS1 shins. This allows for a more customizable and tighter fit. I found that the AS1 shins actually had a much snugger fit around the shin than the previous generation Super Tacks, providing a more comfortable fit. As always, the inner padded liner is removable, allowing for easy cleaning, and the lower shin padding is detachable, providing further customization options.
An interesting addition to the AS1 shin guards is the implementation of a “tape groove” below the knee cap. This is just a groove in the pad that serves as a spot to wrap tape around, supplying a better way to keep the pad locked in. I’m not too sure exactly how much of a difference the groove will make, but props to CCM for continuing to look down all avenues in order to improve their products.
CCM Super Tacks AS1 Elbow Pads
The Super Tacks AS1 elbow pads incorporate all of the great features of the previous generation Super Tacks elbow pads, with a few major adjustments made. The trademark feature of the Tacks line, D30 Smart Material, is again found in the JDP cap, which is situated right over the elbow, creating a lightweight pad that supplies great protection. The forearms of the AS1 elbow pads also contain D30 foam, while the addition of premium HD foams has further improved shock absorption, giving you greater protection from slashes across the forearm.
CCM has also redesigned the bicep for the AS1 elbow pads, creating a dual layer piece that offers extended coverage up the arm. However, if you are worrying that this increased protection might sacrifice mobility, fear not! The specific construction of the dual layer bicep piece allows for movement of each of the individual layers, ensuring that the pad offers excellent mobility.
The big upgrade to the Super Tacks AS1 elbow pads that I am most excited about is the attachment system. The AS1 elbows once again incorporate the reinforced lock strap, which we saw in the original Super Tacks, but the new addition is the length adjustable forearm strap. This strap system offers a 360° wrap around the forearm and is easily adjustable, allowing the pad to be strapped on as secure as possible. While the reinforced lock strap allowed the previous generation Super Tacks elbow pads to give a snug fit, I found that there needed to be something more in order to prevent the pads from slipping during the physical moments out on the ice. Hence, you can see why I am thrilled with the fact that CCM added the new length adjustment strap to this year’s model.
One thing I did find with the AS1 elbow pads was that they tend to fit a bit smaller in size than other elbow pads, so that may be something to keep in mind when trying them on.
CCM Super Tacks AS1 Pants
Succeeding the popular Super Tacks pant may sound like a tough job, but the Super Tacks AS1 pant is built to do just that. The AS1 pant combines the elite, pro-level protection that helped make the original Super Tacks so popular with improved comfort, customization options, and that classic anatomical fit Tacks pants are known for.
The AS1 pant is absolutely packed with high-end protection, with D30 Smart Material found in both the hips and the spine protector of the pant. PE foam and HD caps in the thighs provide further pro level impact protection, making the Super Tacks AS1 pant one of the superior pieces of equipment out there when it comes to protecting the lower half of the body.
Improved adjustment and customizability is one of the big themes of the Super Tacks AS1 protective line, and the AS1 pant is no different. CCM has introduced an inner belt system around the waist of the pant to improve adjustability and comfort, while the pants also have the ability to be lengthened by one inch, perfect for any players who are still growing or are just really tall. The floating spine protector is also adjustable in terms of height, allowing players to raise it or lower it to their preference.
CCM has really outdone themselves with the Super Tacks AS1 hockey protective lineup. They retained (and even improved upon) the many great protective features that made the previous generation Super Tacks protective equipment so many players loved, while making some nice changes to improve the adjustment and customization options offered by each piece of equipment. Being a player who uses a lot of the original Super Tacks equipment, I am pumped over what has been done with the Super Tacks AS1 protective gear; CCM has truly turned a great product into a phenomenal one.
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CCM Super Tacks AS1 Protective Gallery