Firstly I am going to preface this by saying I have not used the CCM Axis mask so I cannot talk about how it plays on the ice and how the protection level is. But I can comment on the materials used and give my thoughts on it compared to the old CCM GL Pro.
I was critical of CCM in the past specifically in the goalie department. I felt they were falling behind the competition and their product offering was very outdated and stale. The CCM Axis line is CCM’s first move after their split from Lefevre. From what I can see the CCM Axis goalie mask is a huge upgrade over the very mediocre last generation CCM GL Pro.
Upgrades include plastic bumpers on the cage to help with vibrations and saving the paint on the shell (although I would’ve liked to see those on the bottom of the cage as well), usage of D3O Lite foam in the cheeks area and as the first layer of foam between the shell, Fi (Fluid Inside) pod matrix, i.Q.SHION GEL foam, and the use of Sigmatex carbon fiber in the shell.
The biggest improvements to me is the Fi pod matrix and the i.Q.SHION GEL as both are a significant improvement over the harder VN foam found in the previous version. While I cannot test the fluid inside the pods, CCM is using this tech in the Tacks 910 player helmet and I am always happy to see companies trying to push the envelope! The gel memory foam can be found in their player helmets already on the market, it is specifically in my FL90 helmet which I love for comfort. So I am pretty excited in the improvements in the foam coming into the Axis goalie mask. While I had a complaint of the I.Q. foam not absorbing sweat and causing it to roll down your face… the goalie mask have sweatbands that should mitigate or completely fix this issue.
Even the chin cup on the CCM Axis goalie mask has been upgraded. It is now evidently made up of 3 different densities of foam including D3O which you can see peaking out of the black foam on the edges. The previous chin cup on the CCM GL Pro is probably the cheapest and worst chin cup I have ever seen on a goalie mask…
I cannot comment on a bunch of the features, the weave looks the same as the previous version even though it is advertised as Sigmatex now. Both helmet feel similar in terms of stiffness so I am not sure if there is actually a change or not or if it is just marketing. I must also admit that the PoronXRD foams found on the Bauer Profile line is still softer and more comfortable than what is in the CCM Axis mask. But I have to give Bauer credit as that foam is the most comfortable foams I have ever felt and is even better than the “gel” foams that are offered from companies like Maltese.
CCM deserves MASSIVE credit for completely overhauling their goalie mask line up and actually coming out with a helmet that compares to other masks on the market. It is great to see innovation in hockey equipment and I feel like CCM is actually leveraging their talents in their player departments and making solid advancements and changes.
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