After releasing their first cowling-less skate last year, the Jetspeed FT2, CCM looks to further improve their position in the skate market with the Tacks AS3 Pro goal skate. With a ton of new design elements, CCM has improved this year’s Tacks skate line from all angles.
The one-piece design is popular among NHL goalies because it results in less power being lost through the layers of the skate which leads to more efficient energy transfer. Another benefit of CCM’s proprietary one-piece boot construction eliminates excess weight caused by screws and glue, resulting in a lighter skate. We’ve found through staff usage and customer feedback that a one-piece boot fits closer to the foot, promoting a more reactive skate that allows you to achieve quicker movements and stronger pushes.
CCM AS3 Pro skates boast their RocketFrame Composite material. This material improves the durability of the skate due to its strength while also adding more power to each push by limiting the flexibility of the skate. CCM maintains the same flex profile as the FT2, with the AS3 Pro rated a 195 on their scale, the cheaper models are more flexible for those who don’t want an ultra-stiff boot. Why does the material matter? By using stiffer materials, there is minimal transfer energy lost resulting in much stronger and consistent pushes.
Despite all the new tech and specs, the improved fit of the AS3 Pro is probably the big story of this review. CCM keeps their anatomical fit which is designed to create a 360-degree fit around the entire foot. While this makes the skate fit and wrap really well, it should also fit a wider range of feet than the Jetspeed FT2 which was a narrow fit. The FT2’s fit limited the number of people who could wear the skate comfortably. The extra few millimetres of width should accommodate a wide range of foot fit types without feeling too loose and allows for a more customizable feeling when molding and tying the skates.
Asymmetrical Flex Stance
The AS3 Pro goal skate offers a lower cut boot collar designed to accommodate a deep flex for faster butterfly drops, quicker recoveries, and speed to each push. This feature complements the fit because with how stiff the boot is, allowing this improvement in mobility will result in the perfect balance of mobility and control. One thing we’re anticipating is that due to the AS3 Pro’s pro-level stiffness, it’ll likely take a few ice times to break the boot in enough to really notice the flex benefit.
Memory Foam Tongue
One of the most noticeable improvements on the AS3 Pro compared to the FT2 is the tongue. The AS3 Pro introduces a new memory foam tongue with molded lace-bite protection. Most of us have experienced lace-bite before and know it can be quite painful and disrupt performance too. CCM has been very aware of this issue in recent years, including a stiff and beefy tongue on the FT2 skates. While it may have prevented lace-bite, the tongue hindered mobility and made it hard to get in a low stance in tight due to how beefy it was. The AS3 Pro skates adapted to this challenge by using a redesigned tongue that features the lace-bite protection while offering the comfort and mobility of memory foam, further improving the 360-degree fit.
On the interior of the skate, the goal was to maximize comfort while remaining a top performance skate. CCM’s TotalDri Liner with Durazone Abrasion Protection brings comfort, durability, and performance into one package. The TotalDri liner enables the skate to dry out quickly before your next ice time and keeps your feet from overheating. The Durazone Abrasion Protection is designed to ensure that the liner won’t rip from wear or rubbing, extending the lifetime of the skates and guaranteeing comfort. The foams used on the interior of the skate enable an amazing molding fit after the skates have been heated, something that has always impressed me from CCM.
As for the footbed of the skate, CCM includes their Pro insole to maximize the 360 degrees fit they’re pursuing. While most skates have a flat insole that doesn’t do anything more than cover to rivets, CCM includes their Ortholite Insole that enables a customizable arch with three optional heights. This is a major bonus as most people are required to buy orthotics such as SuperFeet through the aftermarket. Why should you care? By providing an insole that promotes different arch heights, the fit of the skate is improved by completely surrounding the foot in support, leading to less foot pain, a more custom fit for different feet and helps prevent flat feet, something we see happen to a lot of goalies due to poor arch support in previous skates.
Speedblade XSG Holder
CCM includes the cowling-less holder that was first introduced on the Jetspeed FT2, the Speedblade XSG which features a quick-release blade function. This dial-like release mechanism is easy to use, and a very convenient feature. All the individual parts of the holder are replaceable, meaning if a piece of your holder breaks, you don’t have to buy a completely new holder. The height of the holder has also been increased in comparison to the previous Tack model, allowing goalies to get lower and have a better attack angle in their stance.
Speed Blade XSG1 Black Steel
CCM gives the AS3 Pro goal skates one final improvement by pairing the skates with the new XSG1 Black Steel. Not only are these blades now 3mm, but CCM has also added height to the blade, providing longer overall life and a greater attack angle. These runners are coated with an oxide treatment to promote longer life between sharpening and added resistance to corrosion.
Custom 3D Scan
CCM will also be offering two custom options, 3D-Fit, and Total Custom Plus. The 3D-Fit being a custom mold that you can receive in 10 days, much faster than the current custom skate offerings. This custom skate offers a 360-degree scan of your foot allowing no gaps between your foot and the skate walls. At a higher price point, ideally for those with unique requirements, CCM is offering its Total Custom Plus option similar to others on the market in a four-week time-frame. This option will include all the options from the Total Custom program as well as special boot volume options, extra liner, and extra padding.
After having worn the FT2 skates for the past year, the AS3 Pro skates were a breath of fresh air. CCM improved on each issue I had with my Jetspeed FT2 skates by introducing a much-improved tongue and a more universal fit. After using these skates on the ice during the demo, I was most impressed with the mobility I had and hoe the flex stance allowed me to get low while the new tongue contributed to an improved ankle bend. The blades and holder gave me an improved attack angle and strong, consistent pushes which improved my confidence in each save. Lastly, the improved stock fit enabled me to fit in a D width whereas my Jetspeed FT2’s felt tight even in a wider EE size. This greatly improved the comfort from the moment I tried on the skate. As a current CCM skate fan, I am excited to get my pair of CCM AS3 Pro skates and highly suggest trying it on the next time you’re skate shopping. Make sure to follow us on social media, by Liking us on Facebook, and following us on Instagram and Twitter!
Written By: Jono Holloway