It’s a new era for CCM hockey, as they are releasing their first Premier line under their name. So, along with the new pads, gloves and all the other cool new stuff, there are some new sticks! The new composite line, Premier, has three sticks: Premier Plus, Premier R1.9, and the Premier R1.5. Let’s check them out.
Each year, composite goalie sticks get more and more popular. CCM has noticed this trend and has upped the anti, coming in to the 2016 season. The new Premier Plus was developed with the knowledge and technology that CCM has with their player sticks, as well as nailing down the essentials for today’s goalie.
The Premier Plus’ paddle is made with CCM’s Exofibe Weave composite, and is combined with their new ZeroFlux Technology. The combination of Exofibe and ZeroFlux deadens vibrations up the paddle from making stick saves. The ability to deaden vibrations will, in turn, give you a better feel for the puck.
While you’re directing those pucks out of harm’s way, you’re going to need unlimited control over the stick. For this reason, the Premier Plus features a new StikTak grip that spans from the paddle shoulder to a half-way up the shaft. The layout of the grip on the paddle shoulder allows your fingers to lay across it, so you don’t have to hold onto the stick for dear life. The StikTak ranges up the shaft of the stick to provide a stable place to place your lower hand, when playing the puck…something especially nice for those just learning to play the puck.
The Premier Plus blade takes from the Tacks player stick, with an extremely stiff construction. The stiff construction does a couple things: first, it is great for efficiently directing the puck into the corner, because a stiff structure has no ‘give’ and the puck will sharply bounce off it; second, it is awesome for playing the puck because the blade will not soften up like a wood blade would, and you can make great passes night in and night out.
As a whole, the Premier Plus has a really nice lightweight construction and is easy to move around the crease. I weighed the stick, myself, and it came in at nice 725 grams (26” paddle).
The R1.9 is the mid-range Premier option, meaning you’ll get some pro features but not all of them. This stick is for the goalie that feels they’re most in their groove with a composite stick in hand, but they’re ballin’ on a budget. Like the Premier Plus, the Premier R1.9 has an ExoFibe composite Paddle; however, the ExoFibe is not combined with CCM’s ZeroFlux Technology. The ZeroFlux Technology’s purpose is to serve as the vibration dampening tool. This can be considered the first ‘trade-off’ between dollars saved and product purchased, but what is important is the ExoFibe composite construction. The stick is given a clean look with the matte finish overtop the composite material.
The same StikTak grip on the Premier Plus is also on the R1.9, giving you a superior grip. Having a good control on the stick is something that CCM can’t leave out on the mid-range model, simply because it is vital for the performance of the stick.
The Premier R1.9 also features a stiff blade…just not as stiff as the Premier Plus. The stiffness of the blade is determined by the layering and density of the ExoFibe composite. The R1.9 simply uses a little less composite in the blade, but there is still a polyurethane insert to give a really nice feel for the puck.
Making your first step down the price ladder, the R1.9 trades off further vibration dampening technology and extreme blade stiffness to provide a less expensive version of the Premier Plus. Overall, the Premier R1.9 is a solid stick that is still structurally sound and lightweight. If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, mid-range composite sticks are the go-to because they have a great balance of weight and performance.
The Premier R1.5 composite is your standard entry level model goal stick. This stick is for the young goalies out there, or the goalies who aren’t on the ice a ton, or just want to try a composite stick for the first time.
The paddle construction of the R1.5 is a standard fiberglass build. Fiberglass is a bit heavier than the more advanced composites, like ExoFibe, that are being used today, but it is a major trade-off between money saved and weight. With that being said, fiberglass based sticks are great for those types of goalies I listed above. The R1.5 still keeps the clean, matte finish look that is offered on the Plus and R1.9.
The R1.5 still offers the stiff blade that is essential to performance and identity of the Premier stick line. Using a fiberglass construction and a polyurethane insert, the R1.5 still gives a really nice feel for the puck, and re-directing it into the corners is easy and fluent.
Missing from the R1.5 is the StikTak grip. The StikTak is mainly featured on the Premier Plus and R1.9 for those who are comfortable, or need a little assistance, playing the puck. The assumption is that if you’re buying the R1.5 you are not the most experienced goalie, so puck handling isn’t your first concern. Overall, the Premier R1.5 is a lightweight composite goal stick, and is a great starting place for those that want to give composite sticks a chance.
The CCM Premier Stick line will be available in April, 2016. Hopefully this review will help you decide which one you’re going to buy!
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