CCM Tacks vs. RibCor vs. RBZ Sticks



The October 31st launch of the new CCM RibCor 40K gives CCM their third stick line. As CCM has (re)made a name for itself in the stick market over the last few years, its usage across the NHL, competitive leagues, and beer leagues continues to climb steadily. Now three of the top stick companies each produce three separate lines. Bauer’s lineup includes two mid-kickpoint (Supreme & Nexus) lines and a dual-kickpoint (Vapor) stick line {- click here to read the blog breakdown of the Bauer stick lines -}. Easton’s line carries two low-kickpoint (Velocity V9 & V9E) sticks and one mid-kickpoint (Synergy) stick. CCM joins in the mix with one low-kickpoint (RibCor), one mid-kickpoint (Tacks), and one variable kick-point (RBZ). Also if you are wondering about the differing kickpoints, check out our kickpoint blog: here.

Let’s start off with the CCM Tacks stick that launched earlier in 2014. As mid-kick sticks go, the Tacks line is designed for the player who likes to load up a lot of power and lean into their shots, but still wants consistent shot release and accuracy. Since the design provides a lot of power, CCM had to create a stiff blade to ensure that all the power didn’t affect the accuracy of the shot. The AttackFrame blade features a stiff design around the edges in combination with two support bars across the middle of the blade to keep the blade from opening up during hard shots.
After playing with the top of the line CCM Tacks stick, a couple things really stood out to me. First, the stick was extremely well balanced and provided great feel while stickhandling and shooting. Second, the consistency was incredible. Whether it was wristers, snapshots, slapshots, or one timers, the stick shot consistently. Personally, I prefer the low kick sticks for their quick release, but I really enjoyed shooting with the Tacks stick.

The current CCM Tacks lineup is made up of the top of the line Tacks stick, the Tacks 5052 stick, the Tacks 3052 stick, and the Tacks 1052 stick.

Formerly the Reebok RibCor line, the latest RibCor line was picked up by CCM and launches October 31st. The RibCor line has a low-kick flex profile, which means that it is designed for a quick release shot. This is specifically created for players that rely on wrist motion to put power on their shots, rather than leaning heavily into the stick. In addition to the low-kick flex profile, the RibCor line uses its signature ribbed design to pre-load the fibers in the shaft. The result is that the carbon fiber is always in tension, which means that you don’t have to load up any shots and the power will still rocket off your stick.
I had the privilege to test out the top of the line stick before the pre-sale date and ever since then, I’ve been waiting until the day I can pick one up for myself. Like I mentioned earlier I prefer the low kickpoint sticks, and the RibCor 40K definitely did not disappoint me. With very minimal effort, I was able to quickly fire a hard shot. On top of that, the light weight and great puck feel made stickhandling a breeze.

The current CCM RibCor lineup is made up of the RibCor 40K stick, the RibCor 30K stick, and the RibCor 28K stick.

Now that we have covered the mid-kick and low-kick sticks from CCM, it’s time to delve into the middle ground: the variable kickpoint. Also known as the constant flex profile, this unique design changes the kickpoint depending on where you place your hands. For instance, when you place your hand lower on the shaft when flexing for a slapshot, the variable flex will optimize the power transfer to get the most power out of the shot. On the other hand, when you shoot with your hand higher on the shaft for a quick wrist or snap shot, the variable flex changes to optimize for a quick release. In addition to the flex profile, the top RBZ sticks use a hollow blade design called the Speed Pocket (formerly speed channels [original RBZ] and freak channels [RBZ Stage 2]) in order to create a more powerful shot release. I recommend the RBZ line to the power shooters, or those that like to put a lot of power into their shots. With the Speed Pocket blade technology in combination with the flex profile, the RBZ line makes for the power shooter’s weapon of choice.
As a fan of the original RBZ stick, I thoroughly enjoyed playing with the RBZ SuperFast stick. The shot release was unreal and very similar to the original RBZ. It’s slightly heavier than the RibCor and the Tacks sticks, but still an incredible stick.

The current CCM RBZ lineup is made up of the RBZ SuperFast stick, the RBZ 150 stick, the RBZ 130 stick, and the RBZ 110 stick.

All of these sticks are available at Inline & Ice Warehouse. Comment below and tell us which stick you prefer.