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CCM E-Flex 4 Goalie Stick Review
What if you could have a lightweight composite stick, with the puck feel and soft flex profile of a wood stick? CCM asked the same question, and the result is the 2019 CCM E-Flex 4 Composite Goal Stick. I was lucky enough to get my hands on one for some testing, and I was incredibly impressed.
Availability
April 26, 2019
Pre-Order starts
March 29, 2019
CCM E-Flex 4 Goalie Stick Review

By: Sam Gotowiec

What if you could have a lightweight composite stick, with the puck feel and soft flex profile of a wood stick? CCM asked the same question, and the result is the 2019 CCM E-Flex 4 Composite Goal Stick. I was lucky enough to get my hands on one for some testing, and I was incredibly impressed. First, let's touch on the composite v. wood debate and see how CCM addressed the issue. As another spring season quickly approaches, I have seen composite goal sticks continue to grow in popularity. From NHLers to kids, most goaltenders today are switching into lighter, more responsive composite sticks, thus abandoning their old, heavy wood and foam-core sticks. Along with being on the heavier side, the main downside of wood goalie sticks was that they lacked responsiveness and would progressively get softer over time.

Despite some of the downfalls of wood and foam core goalie sticks, they were a staple in the NHL, even still being represented today. So why was that? Wood and foam core sticks offered excellent vibration dampening and puck feel when making saves and had a certain flex to the stick when playing the puck that was hard to replicate in anything else. CCM has taken this idea and created the E-Flex 4 goal stick. As the first composite stick under the E-Flex line, the team at CCM goalie developed a unique type of composite construction, working closely with NHL goalies to combine the benefits of composite and wood goal sticks. Let’s dive into the tech and my first impressions of the stick.

CCM E-Flex 4 Goalie Stick

Flex Profile

The CCM E-Flex 4 introduces a brand-new flex profile for a composite goal stick; one that is intentionally soft in the paddle while keeping the same consistency that is expected from the composite. This additional “whip” that can be felt in the stick allows you to put more torque into your shot, essentially creating a crossbow effect, something that player sticks have long been able to take advantage of.

CCM achieved this construction by the use of Innegra fiber throughout the paddle. Innegra is a high-performance composite fiber that allows the paddle to flex the way it does, while remaining lightweight and strong.

CCM E-Flex 4 Goalie Stick

Shaft

Having been involved in the composite goal stick market since 2016, CCM has quickly improved upon issues with previous models; namely durability in the shaft. Sharing the same DNA as the Premier 2, the E-flex 4 carries a new shape in the durable Sigmatex-compacted shaft.

Sigmatex is a spread-tow carbon composite that is extremely lightweight while being very strong due to its high-tension weaving process. While sharing the proven Sigmatex shaft makeup with the Premier 2, the E-flex 4 utilizes a brand-new shaft geometry for CCM. Instead of having the traditional squared-off dimensions, the E-flex 4 possesses a more rounded shape. After taking some shots with the stick, I found the rounded shape gave me an improved feel while gripping the stick, while being more conducive to puckhanding because of the overall control that it gave me.

Carrying over from the Premier 2 stick, strategically-placed StikTak grip is used on the grip area of the stick. StikTak is a tacky material that is placed where you will grip the stick in your stance, while the rest of the shaft has no grip for easy transitions when poke-checking and playing the puck. I find that StikTak allows for superior grip and control over traditional tape, though other tapes and grips can be added on top for goalies wanting a different feel.

CCM E-Flex 4 Goalie Stick

Puck Feel

With the wave of new composite technologies making their way into the hockey world, vibration dampening and the overall feel of goalie sticks are always a topic of discussion. As a goal stick that aims to combine the upside of composite, while staying true to the feel and flex of wood, the E-flex 4 does not disappoint. I have gotten used to composite sticks over the last few years, though I still gravitate towards sticks that have minimal vibration when making saves and playing the puck. Keeping the same ZeroFlux technology from the Premier 2 stick, the implementation of this composite structure helps to diminish vibrations and allows for greater control when making stick saves.

Throughout the paddle of the E-Flex 4, while also playing a role in the flex of the stick, the use of Innegra fiber also helps greatly reduce vibrations in the paddle. Along with being very light and strong, Innegra also has great vibration-dampening properties, and is used for that purpose in other areas requiring high-end composite applications, such as automotive and aerospace industries. After getting the stick on the ice, I was pleasantly surprised with how well pucks felt off the paddle and blade when making saves. Shots felt similar to how they feel when hitting a wood stick, while I was carrying around a modern lightweight composite.

CCM E-Flex 4 Goalie Stick

Weight

Weighing in at an impressive 674 grams, the E-flex 4 puts itself into the conversation as one of the lighter sticks on the market, all the while having excellent traditional flex and feel.

This weight, or lack thereof, is attributed to the mix of composite technologies that also play a role in the feel and flex-profile of the stick. Along with their other properties, Sigmatex, Innegra, and ZeroFlux composite materials are all extremely lightweight and strong, which make the E-Flex 4 feel extremely light and balanced in the hand.

CCM E-Flex 4 Goalie Stick

Graphics

I believe that the graphics and appearance of a goal stick can if done right, perfectly tie together a goalie’s setup. With a white-based minimal striping design, the E-flex 4 looks sharp. Underneath a clear-coat on the paddle and shaft, you can see the exposed Innegra and Sigmatex technologies, which I think is a great look.

Off the shelf, the E-flex 4 will come in a white/red and white/black colours. If you want to add a bit more colour, or different curve and size options, CCM will be offering custom packs with a minimum order of 3 sticks.

Final Thoughts

In the new age of composite goal sticks, I think that differentiating “Soft” (E-flex 4) and “Stiff” (Premier 2) goal sticks, rather than giving goalies only one option for a lightweight composite is very smart. With player sticks having a range of flex options, and them having been able to fine-tune their flex for decades, it only makes sense to take this thinking to the goalie side. As someone who has used composite sticks for a couple of years now, The E-flex 4 was able to be that high-end lightweight stick that I want to use, while keeping the benefits that I missed about my old wood sticks. Whether you are a goalie like me that wants a lightweight stick with a unique flex and feel, or somebody that is looking to get on board with composite sticks, I think CCM’s newest composite goal stick is definitely worth checking out!

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CCM E-Flex 4 Goalie Stick Gallery

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