A-B level hockey
Usage time: 6 Skates
Price: Demo set
Retail: $450 Canadian
Hand Placement: Center
Weight: 949 grams, 2.09 lbs
Blocker History: Simmons 994 Blocker, Warrior Messiah Blocker, Smith 6000 Retro Blocker, Reebok Larceny Pro, Simmons 997, Vaughn 7600, Bauer Reactor 6000 Bryzgalov Pro Return, CCM Eflex 3, Bauer Od1n 1X Vapor.
This glove was part of a demo set I got from a local store. It is a bone stock retail glove.
Initial Thoughts: I always wanted to try out and use a CCM/Koho/Reebok Lefevre style of blocker. Since they were relatively unchanged since the RBK Premier 2 days and used by so many people I figured they must have done something right. I at one point had a full right set of RBK Premier 2 gloves for an experiment I did many years ago, but since I never played good hockey with those gloves I could never really tell how they played (not to mention I was wearing them on the incorrect hands).
Quickly inspecting this glove and you can’t find many differences between it and the CCM Premier line besides the Speed Skin material, which isn’t really going to affect performance for this piece of equipment. Nothing really stands out in the CCM Eflex 3 blocker.
Fit: The blocker has just 1 adjustable strap around the wrist as well as lacing on the cuff that can close the cuff a bit tighter. The adjustable velcro strap does allow you to tighten down the wrist. Since I don’t wear my blockers very tight I have never really had the need to tighten this strap. My hand in the CCM Eflex 3 feels snug and my hand doesn’t feel like the palm is too loose or there is any extra material that can bunch up. The finger length is fine for my hand size and I had no complaints about the sizing of the blocker. The backhand padding is thick and plush and helps keep your hand snugly in place. 10/10
Comfort: To me CCM/Reebok/Koho blockers always felt a bit like a marshmallow on your hand, which is a great thing in terms of comfort. The thumb pillows are thick and the same can be said for the backhand padding which creates a soft overall feel inside the glove.
Since this glove was used before me the palm did have a bit of wear and started to develop the crusty feeling so it wasn’t as comfortable as the new retail CCM Eflex 3 blockers would be. The suregrip palm material isn’t as comfortable as a pro beige nash and it would’ve bit nicer to have the suregrip as a palm overlay on top of a softer nash material. The finger gussets are a ventilated mesh which offer some breathability and airflow. There is a small amount of padding on the top of the fingers which helps with a bit extra comfort and combined with the thick soft padding on the finger protection creates a soft and comfortable shell around your digits. The D3O smart foam that is added on gusset area of the index finger is stiff to flex and gets in the way when closing your hand. The connection point of the index finger to the finger protection also causes the index finger of the clove to close at an angle and not straight down. Overall the CCM Eflex 3 blocker is a very comfortable glove with stiff index finger because of the D3O padding which might take a bit of use to get used to. 9/10
Protection: The marshmallow feel and the wide usage at pro levels had me pretty confident in the protection levels of the CCM Eflex 3 blocker. The thumb board is thick and well padded as well as the sideboard. I felt no pain when taking pucks to the inside of the hand along this area. The blocker board is thick and protective and works well with the thick band hand padding. The index finger protection on the side of the blocker protection is very solid and might be the best design on the market.
The top finger protection consists of 2 separate pieces that are a hard foam with thick softer foams underneath, these pieces are solid unlike the Simmons 997 I reviewed in the past that could be bent in half. Along with the padded top of the fingers, the protection for the top of the fingers is fantastic in case a puck slips under the blocker board.
The outside finger protection is a very large piece of hard foam and covers most of the outside palm when in the closed position.
The fingertip protection is where CCM and Lefevre blocks are lagging behind the competition. On the index finger CCM has added a layer of D3O foam for added impact protection from shots or sticks. I believe adding D3O foam here is a smart addition but I don’t like how it wraps all the way around the finger tip because of how the smart foam doesn’t like to follow the natural movement of your index finger when you close your hand. I have my index finger out on the paddle of the stick when I play, but I still noticed the D3O when playing and felt I couldn’t move my index finger as much as I’d like too. Personally adding it just along the outside edge of the finger would’ve added a bit extra protection from pucks incase they ramp up the stick and hit or sneak under the finger flap on the side board. CCM does put a piece of hard foam off the end of the finger top protection for covering your fingertips, but it just covers the index finger leaving the rest of your fingers exposed. I think even having the D3O segmented in this area rather than being one solid piece would’ve lead to a better design. My gripe about the protection on this glove has to do with the lack of fingertip protection for the remaining fingers. This is a feature the majority of glove manufacturers now have, and it is a much easier piece to remove if you really don’t like it compared to adding it yourself. My other issue is that the elastic straps that connect the fingers to the top of finger protection is a bit too long and loose so the protective piece doesn’t follow your fingers closely enough. If it was closer than the need for fingertip protection diminishes, but the way it is currently implemented it leaves your fingertips exposed for the sneaky pucks or the quick jabs from sticks on a scramble.
The protection on the CCM Eflex 3 blocker is extremely solid all around until you come to the fingertip protection, and it is a piece that is so easy to implement it leaves a sour taste in my mouth that CCM still hasn’t made any changes in this area for multiple iterations. 8/10
Weight: The CCM Eflex 3 blocker comes in at 949 grams, which is about 80 grams heavier than my Bauer Vapor 1X blocker. That difference in weight isn’t much and not something you can really feel on your hand when playing. With that said I don’t find the CCM Eflex 3 blocker to feel extremely light weight just like the rest of this set, it isn’t heavy but it isn’t anything special either. 7.5/10
Durability: CCM now offers their blockers with a completely bindingless design around the face, while that is aesthetically pleasing to some it also removes some wear spots on the very bottom of the blocker when it makes contact with the ice. Besides that I do question some of the design choices CCM has decided to make near where the stick rests and rubs along the thumb and sideboard. Consistently one of the first spots of wear on a blocker is the binding on the sideboard and thumb area that ends up constantly touching and rubbing against your stick. CCM’s sideboard design removes the need for wear patches on the sideboard itself but the thumb itself has an exposed binding that is in contact with the stick constantly, this same spot has an extra layer of jenpro on the Bauer Vapor 1X blocker and it is something I would wish CCM would go slightly move above and add that piece. The protective piece that stops pucks from jamming the index finger against the stick paddle is bindingless, but the nylon material on the inside of it will be in contact with the stick at all times especially since this protective piece angles along the stick. On the demo glove there is a slight bit of fraying on this nylon piece, and again I wish CCM added wear patches here to help the glove last a bit longer. 8/10
Performance: Many people say blockers are blockers and there isn’t much difference between different brands or models, but in my experience I have found I prefer certain models and features or at the very least how they are implemented. Out of the box this CCM Eflex 3 blocker is ready for game use, the excellent puck ramping protection on the side of the glove is protective but never hinders movements or needs to be broken in. That specific feature on both of my Bauer Vapor 1X gloves required the blocker to really be worked in first before I had full stick dexterity.
Hand positioning in blockers is largely subjective, lower had position helps keep the blocker high while higher hand position helps cover shots right above the pad. The CCM Eflex 3 has a centered hand position, and while I love my Bauer Reactor 6000 (which has a lower hand position) the CCM felt great and I stopped a couple shots down low I wasn’t sure I would’ve got in my other style of blocker. The balance of this glove is fantastic, while it isn’t the lightest blocker on the market the excellent balance of the CCM Eflex 3 blocker helped activate my hands. The blocker never felt cumbersome and I really felt like my hand was a bit more active than my normal blockers. Rebounds were pushed away with minimal cushioning on the face of the blocker, one shot I saved was deflected into the netting without even a pushing motion on my part. 10/10
Intangibles: CCM has a solid custom program and allows their blockers to be customized between their two model offerings, but like the pads and glove the CCM Eflex 3 blocker is fairly barebones in terms of special features and materials. While it does feature Speed Skin and D3O foam on the index finger, the Speed Skin won’t affect your hand speed and the D3O seems more like a marketing gimmick than a truly useful feature. I do really like how CCM allows you to order a Eflex 3 blocker with a higher hand position, multiple palm material and sizing offerings, Premier curved finger protection or Eflex stock straight finger protection as well as an option to add older school blocker binding. CCM allows you to customize the Eflex 3 blocker to your liking, and it is something I with Bauer still did as well. 9/10
Conclusion: The CCM Eflex 3 blocker is still the same tried and tested Lefevre design that has been around the NHL for years and has loyal followers. It isn’t a fancy blocker with crazy new tech while trying to be extremely light weight but it gets the job done. After using this blocker for a short period of time I understand why some goalies prefer this older style design and don’t want to stray away from it. If CCM attached better finger protection for the Eflex 3 it would easily be at the top of my list even to the point of replacing a matching set’s blocker for it. While I would recommend the CCM Eflex 3 blocker, the missing fingertip protection makes me look at the competitors. I have simply had too many shots or sticks jam my fingers in the past to go without this feature again. 8/10
While I also hate to promote my other things, it has become evident to me it is important to get a viewer base that will help me continue doing reviews like this (I can’t afford to always buy new equipment!).