The Advanced Foams and Technologies Found In Today's Hockey Gear


Brandon at IW Hockey
Staff member
Player protective gear is stacked with foams and technologies to help absorb different levels of impact energies and to reduce the risk of player injury. Each protective line boast their top end protection based on the player's style of hockey. For example, D30 Smart Foam is used in CCM's Super Tacks protective line for high mass/low energy impacts, perfect for the body checkers and grinders. In CCM's Jetspeed line, Rocketframe Composite does a great job of protecting players against low mass/high energy impacts like slashes and blocked shots. With so many foams and technologies out there, we decided to list and breakdown each one for you to know!

Let's start with D30 Smart Foam which is CCM's most protective foam to date. D30 is a rate sensitive foam that is flexible in its natural state but upon receiving an impact hardens to absorb and dissipate the energy, then returning to its flexible state.
D30 is a heavier foam so CCM strategically placed it in very key impact areas and is used in their top end Super Tacks line. Essentially anywhere a big impact is going to take place like the shoulders, kneecaps, elbow caps, hips and tailbone, D30 is going to be there. Wanting to provide great quality of protection at their second price point, CCM uses D30 Lite Smart Foam, which is a lighter and thinner version of the regular D30.

Rocketframe Composite, which is highly used in the CCM Jetspeed line, reduces weight of the equipment but boosts the level of protection against low mass/high energy impacts. Rocketframe Composite is mainly found in areas that will most likely receive a heavy slash or blocked shot like the sternum and spine, forearm and bicep guards, and calf wrap. It used to only be found in their skates but CCM has now brought it over into their protective gear.

Another feature in the Jetspeed line is U Foam. It is a closed cell foam that is lighter but more protective than standard foam. Since U Foam is closed cell, that means it does not absorb moisture but rather repel it, so the gear stays dryer and lighter during the game. You'll find areas that require lots of coverage constructed with U Foam.

If you're a Bauer fan, you have most likely heard of Aerolite 2.0 Foam. If you haven't, then meet Bauer's lightest protective foam to date. Aerolite 2.0 is incredibly light yet extremely protective. Found in the Vapor line, it does an incredible job of protecting players in those big impact areas that take on hits like the shoulder caps, elbow cap, hips, and the shins. These areas usually have protection that bulks up and increases weight of the gear, but Aerolite does exactly the opposite!
AeroLite 2.0.png

Let's not forget Bauer's Curv Composite, which started off in their top end skates and is now available in their protective gear. Curv Composite is very strong and increases protection against low mass/high energy impacts, but is really lightweight so it helps reduce the weight of the gear. Just like CCM, Bauer used this material in those nasty slash areas and over vital body parts.

A highly protective and lightweight foam found in the Bauer Vapor line is Hyperlite and Hyperlite HD (high-density) Foam. In most cases, the harder the foam the less mobility it usually has, but with Hyperlite, it's very soft and flexible while maintaining pro-level protection. It will help protect big impact areas like the chest, spine, kidneys, forearm, and more. So while Bauer uses stiffer material like Curv and Aerolite in those extremely vital areas, they make up mobility with Hyperlite in the areas that need it most.
Hyperlite Foam also lends a helping hand in moisture management, repelling water instead of absorbing it. Bauer was able to trickle down Hyperlite Foam into lower price points so more hockey players can enjoy a lighter yet more protective piece of equipment.

In Bauer's top end Supreme line, Curv Composite is paired with PowerLite. PowerLite was inspired by the OD1N project and is a moldable foam that contours closer to the body for better responsiveness and increased protection. Bauer designed the Powerlite foam to be against the body with the Curv Composite shielding the foam and being the first one to take impact energy.

Another foam found in Bauer's lineup is called, FleXorb. It is a memory like foam that does a great job at absorbing high and low volume impacts and is Bauer's most protective foam. It is also closed cell, so it resists water absorption to keep players lightweight and dryer throughout the game. Since FleXorb adds weight to the equipment, it's used strictly in key areas such as in the Supreme 1S shoulder and elbow caps, knee-doughnut, and tailbone.

The Nexus line switches things up a bit and doesn't use any of the foams and composites the Vapor and Supreme line have. Instead the Nexus line boasts IX Foam protection for high mass/low energy impacts. IX Foam was originally designed in Bauer's elite-level helmets and is now being used in some protective gear. It does an incredible job of absorbing impact energy so the joints don't get overloaded and injured. IX Foam is used to reinforce the same areas that FleXorb is found.
IX Foam.png

Vent Armor is widely used in Nexus gear but is also found in the Supreme line and is uniquely designed to help increase airflow, reduce weight, and boost overall protection. Vent Armor helps beef up protection in surrounding areas like the joints and anywhere that will receive high mass impacts.
Vent Armor.png

Other types of foam and protection:
Low/Medium/High density foam - These are the most commonly used foams throughout protection because they are lightweight, protective, and most importantly comfortable. The area requiring the most amount of protection will have a higher density foam, while areas that are closer to the body will usually have a lower density foam for comfort. In order to reduce weight, a commonly found design is dual or triple density foam protection. Essentially this is layered foam with different densities to reduce weight, lower the profile, all while maintaining player protection.

Plastic - One way to improve protection while keeping things lightweight is the use of plastic inserts. Foams can be reinforced by using plastic inserts which reduces the profile of the equipment. In order to get the same protection as a plastic insert, foams would need to be much thicker which would make the equipment much more bulkier, hence the use of a plastic insert. So when equipment uses foams and plastic, it's essentially giving the player a nice balance between comfort and protection.

Smart Cap Technology - Found in the top end Warrior protective, Smart Cap Technology is layered high-density foam with a plastic insert. This design helps to reduce weight of the equipment while giving players pro-level mobility, comfort, and impact absorption.

JDP Technology (Joint Discharge Principal) - Found in CCM's gear, JDP Technology does a fantastic job at deflecting impact energy. This technology is constructed in areas that receive high mass impacts like the shoulder, elbow, hips, and knees.
The design prevents all the energy from going directly into the joint but rather deflecting it into the rest of the surrounding protection.


For more information on the product itself, head over to! If you have any questions, leave them in the comment section below. Are you wearing any of the gear and protection mentioned? If so, we want to know!


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