CCM Jetspeed vs. Ribcor vs. Tacks Hockey Skates
A Brief Comparison of Hockey Skates
The main difference between the Jetspeed, Ribcor, and Tacks skate families is their fit, with each skate constructed to suit a different body type and style of play. The distinctions between the models, though, is a little more involved than small, medium, and large.
Originally a bicycle manufacturer, CCM has been one of the world's premier makers of ice hockey skates since 1937. Today, the three families of CCM skates are the Tacks, Jetspeed, and Ribcor lines. Each family offers models at all price points, from the recreational to the professional level, with multiple offerings in between.
Jetspeed vs. Ribcor vs. Tacks—Fit
CCM calls the fit in the Jetspeed line a "tapered" fit. Comparable to Bauer's Supreme skate, the Jetspeed is a medium-volume skate for players with average toe, forefoot, instep, and heel dimensions. Tight at the heel and more narrow at the forefoot, the new Jetspeeds are made to be slightly more snug than the older RBZ generation hockey skates. So, in truth, they're almost a hybrid, medium-to-narrow fitting skate, but they still fall between the Ribcor and Tacks lines, in terms of fit and feel.
The top-line FT1 skate features CCM's RocketFrame composite boot with L1TE frame 360° technology. It's lightweight and very stiff, for the power skater looking for a straight-line, maximum stride.
Ribcor skates are the trackshoes among CCM's skate families. CCM calls the fit in the Ribcor "flexible"—it is a low-volume skate akin to Bauer's Vapor skate. The Ribcor is designed for skaters with narrower toe, forefoot, instep, and heel dimensions. That said, this is CCM's most adaptable skate with the most flexible boot, particularly in the top-end 70K model. CCM maintains that though the skate is measured for narrow feet, the boot's adaptability makes the Ribcor suitable for any sized foot—once achieved in the Ribcor pump, a technology CCM has moved away from.
This is CCM's skate for the agile skater. The top-end 70K Ribcor features CCM's 3D-lasted, composite dual-axis boot design with FlexFrame technology. The premium Ribcor is designed for the speed demons on the squad, accustomed to leaving defenders in the icy dust.
The Tacks skate family offers what CCM calls an "anatomical" fit. This is their higher volume hockey skate, comparable to Bauer's Nexus skate, though it is again somewhat of a hybrid medium-to-high-volume skate with an anatomical heel and a wider forefoot. Skaters with medium- to larger sized toe, forefoot, instep, and heel dimensions should find the fit in the Tacks skate comfortable.
Also a one-piece skate, the top-end Super Tacks AS1 features CCM's MonoFrame 360° technology that wraps around and beneath the foot for maximum foot-to-skate contact and a maximum transfer of energy. CCM's "all-around" skates, the entire Tacks family is great for the two-way player looking for awesome response and maneuverability.
Jetspeed vs. Ribcor vs. Tacks—Skate Design
Aside from the general fit and a handful of structural differences between the families, the main difference between the top-end Super Tacks AS1, Jetspeed FT1, and Ribcor 70K skates is the boot construction: the AS1 and FT1 come in a one-piece boot design while the 70K is a two-piece boot.
CCM introduced the one-piece skate to the market several years ago and the design has become popular in the NHL, with as many as 150 players choosing to wear it. There are three main advantages to the one-piece boot design.
- Weight reduction: the outsole—the piece that connects the boot to the holder—is gone, as are the nails and glue that attach it to the boot.
- More direct energy transfer: without the outsole, energy is transferred more directly to the ice for increased, immediate performance.
- A more complete fit: the boot wraps around and beneath the foot, reducing internal negative space, for more skate-to-foot contact, and creating a more direct feel for the ice.
All these add up to a more direct transfer of energy, and faster, more powerful strides.
The Ribcor 70k two-piece design offers a traditional feel for skaters who prefer a conventional boot construction, including the use of an outsole, albeit a reinforced composite one that's super stiff and responsive. And there's nothing wrong with that—just ask Sidney Crosby.
Which CCM skate is right for you? You'll have to figure that one out. But, we suggest you consider your style of play, your typical position, and your foot size. All these should inform your decision. After all, you should think of a good pair of skates, and particularly the top-end models mentioned here, as an investment you'll enjoy for several years.