CCM Axis 2 Catcher & Blocker Set Review
Whenever any manufacturer rolls out a brand new glove break, it is sure to be the talk of the town. The 591 break is a redesigned 590 break in terms of closure and internal structure, but otherwise, it is the same break as the fan-favourite 590.
We get it if you’re feeling a bit hesitant to try a new glove design. Depending on its feel and fit, the catcher can easily make or break your game and is one of the most important parts of your gear. We can’t determine just through this review what your personal preferences are, but if you’re already a fan of the 590, which is more of an index-finger-to-thumb closure, then this glove could very well be the next step up for you. New internals make it easier to close than previous CCM catchers, and the overall weight reduction improves efficiency in making those clutch saves.
Cross Form Strap
The new anchoring system on the Axis 2 centres around the introduction of the Cross Form Strap. The backhand strap consists of two straps, which are located slightly above the wrist and can be adjusted in multiple locations. It helps connect the other new systems in the glove together, so the Axis 2 can provide the best possible fit to your hand. It works closely with the 591 break and the Form-Fit Finger system to achieve this result.
Form-Fit Finger System
Another major aspect that you will probably notice when first putting the glove on is the lack of finger gussets. These have been sacrificed to make way for the new, Form-Fit Finger system. Thermoformable technology is far from new in hockey gear, but not many manufacturers have entertained the idea of installing thermoformable features in a catcher. The Axis 2 looks to be a pioneer in that regard.
The glove is intended to be baked first, then molded to your hands in the position that feels most natural and comfortable to you. This design also effectively takes a bit of heat off your pinky, which traditionally would have been the main anchor point. It may take some time and a few sessions to completely mold the glove, but once you do, it’ll be one of the closest-fitting and comfortable pieces of equipment in your arsenal.
Lightest Blocker Yet
With the blocker, CCM went right back to the drawing board to assess what worked, what didn’t, and what improvements they needed to make. In the end, they came up with their lightest blocker to date. In combination with the open cuff and the balancing between blocker, catcher, and leg pads, you’ll become quicker than ever challenging even the hardest of shots with this newest iteration in the Axis line.
CCM has redesigned their blocker’s cuff to be more open-concept than before, offering you that extra space and increased range of motion you need to present your blocker out more effectively. The open-concept design also allowed CCM the ability to cut out any excess material from the previous framework, contributing to its overall lower weight. It also comes with the adjustment capabilities to tighten it all up, if you would still prefer a tighter fit. CCM really focused on creating a truly custom fit, whether you buy custom or stock.
Palm & Finger Protection
The padding has been refined on the blocker to offer more protection while requiring less material, making these areas more efficient and much less heavy as a result. The thumb pad has been shifted to the inside for more direct coverage, and the palm was equipped with that more efficient padding design, similar to a player glove.
In both the catcher and blocker, CCM implemented Litecore technology, which is injection-molded padding added to the cuff of the catcher and board of the blocker. In both cases, Litecore greatly contributes to that noticeably lighter construction, helping you be even more quick and efficient in your saves.
Across the board on the Axis 2 gear, CCM made sure that you’re not just feeling and playing well, but also looking great too. Even at stock, the gear’s design looks akin to a custom design, and at custom, CCM provides multiple possible templates for you to personalize to your heart’s content.
When the gear first appeared at the shop, we couldn’t get over just how light it was, in addition to the sick stock design. We’re also quite hopeful about much of the new tech, including the 591 break, open cuff, thermoformable finger system, and Cross Form strap, and can’t wait to see the results out on the ice. If you were a fan of the Axis before, or you use a 590 glove but want to try something different, the Axis 2 will definitely be a step in the right direction.