Part 2 of a 2 part blog post.
So we’ve associated a style with each pad model, but this is still quite vague. Let’s get technical and dive deeper into each of the features that set them apart.
The main differences in the three different lines of pads lies in the core construction. Each of the Reebok (Premier), CCM (Extreme Flex, aka ExFlex), and Koho (Revolution) pads will feature a solid core and while this may seem like a similarity, the solid core remains incredibly versatile with the ability to change the performance of the pad through the boot and knee breaks.
The Premier pad will feature the stiffest core of the three. Available custom in nearly any combination of external and internal breaks, a goalie can achieve the perfect flex for their playing style. The Premier core is complimented by the stiff face construction, providing lively rebounds intended to be directed to the corner for easy recovery. The progression of the Premier series has seen an increasingly softer boot design, with the newest XLT featuring the new Flex Core, allowing for deep, explosive pushes.
The ExFlex core will feature the softest feel of the three. Designed to meet the needs of the hybrid style goalie, the CCM pad will offer softer knee breaks with a completely redesigned boot break. The ExFlex features a true 90 degree boot with an even softer break, allowing for full range mobility and additional square coverage for scrambles in the crease. To complement the hybrid style of play, the Extreme Flex series of gear is constructed with a soft, low density front face foam, keeping rebounds closer to the goalie for easier covering.
Lastly, the Koho core combines the best features of the Reebok and CCM cores, resulting in a pad with a Reebok angle boot with a CCM stiffness. At the knee, a single internal, single external break is stock (custom alternatives available), oriented towards goalies with a wider butterfly and allowing for greater lower net coverage. The Revolution series utilizes a similar stiff face as the Premier line, providing lively rebounds to be directed to the corner, however, transitions to a slightly softer thigh rise front face foam. This transition allows for the goalie to accurately predict where the rebound will be and stay square to the shooter; pucks off the thigh rise can be quickly covered and those hitting the lower portion of the pad will be swiftly directed to the corner.
At the knee, each pad is very similar to one-another. With a wide open knee lock, Lefevre has designed his pads to offer exceptional rotation for a solid seal on the ice every time. Minor variations are noted in the materials, with the Extreme Flex series utilizing Ultima Dry material for exceptional grip and the Premier XLT using black Nash for a softer feel while retaining an element of grip for better control. On the contrary, the Revolution 589 series takes a different approach. With Ultima Dry lining the front of the knee, the knee block itself is lined with high abrasion nylon, allowing for quicker, effortless rotation and movement, working especially well with large knee protection.
The Leg Channel:
Known for their wide range of custom options, the Lefevre family of designers have specifically equipped each pad with a different leg channel to suit nearly any style. The Reebok is designed to fit the loosest of the three, with the stock option being the wide leg channel. This will allow the pad to essentially ‘float’ on the goalie’s leg, following their movements to provide maximum coverage. On the contrary, the CCM features a tight fit leg channel to compliment the hybrid style of play. This leg channel will allow the pad to sit closer to the goalie’s leg, working to mimic the leg movements in a fluid manner.
The new Revolution 589 leg channel combines the best of both worlds. Featuring a revolutionary (no pun intended) tapered leg channel, the boot will feel secure with a tighter fit, while the calf and upper leg will experience the rotational benefits of a looser fit. The tight fit boot allows for more pad control with the skate, with the loose fit calf allows for incredible rotation. While each of these leg channels have been optimized for the particular pad style, some goalies find different leg channels to be better suited to their style of play. For instance, a common custom option is the extra tight leg channel on the Premier line, offering better control in a butterfly style of pad. With custom Lefevre options, nearly any goalie can find the optimal pad to fit their style of play.
The last feature that sets apart the Reebok Premier and KOHO Revolution pad from the CCM ExFlex is the medial roll. Taking note from generations of success of Lefevre design, the Premier and Revolution utilize a rounded medial roll. The rounded roll minimizes contact surface area on the ice, translating to more effortless pushes and quicker slides across the crease. On the contrary, adhering to the preferences of Carey Price, the Lefevre designers were convinced to include a square medial roll on the ExFlex pads, resulting in a better seal on the ice, however slightly decreasing the sliding performance of the pad.
Overall, the CCM Extreme Flex, Reebok Premier, and KOHO Revolution families of pads represent arguably the most popular on the market. While from the outside, they may appear very similar in performance, the core and backside features are what set them apart. The Premier series is Reebok’s flagship line, offering unsurpassed performance in butterfly while offering exceptional coverage in net. The CCM Extreme Flex family of pads is oriented more towards a hybrid/reaction style of play, utilizing a tighter fit leg channel and softer core for a pad that can be controlled easier in tight situations. With its unique tapered leg channel, the new KOHO Revolution series offers the best of both worlds with its soft, controllable boot and its looser fit upper leg channel.
So the question may remain… Which line of pad is best? The answer is completely subjective. While many goalies will find very little difference in play style, each will offer its own benefits for the goalie looking to fine-tune their gear to their playing style.
The secrets are out. Which do you choose?
Be sure to leave your comments below on why you like a particular pad over another!
|Core||Knee||Leg Channel||Medial Roll|
|Reebok Premier||Solid multi-density core, stiff face with soft boot. Various knee break options available.||Black nash liner with medium density landing.||Loose fit stock, tight fit available custom.||Round|
|CCM ExFlex||Solid multi-density core, soft face with extra soft true 90 degree boot. Double internal break, double or single external available.||Sure Grip liner with stiff landing foam.||Tight fit||Square/Flat|
|KOHO Revolution||Solid multi-density core, stiff face with extra-soft Premier-style boot. Single internal, single external knee break.||Medium density landing with high abrasion nylon||Tapered fit||Round|