There’s nothing quite like the launch of a new pair of Bauer skates to peak excitement levels – so we jumped at the chance to get our hands on a pair and see what’s new.
Bauer’s Vapor 1X is the most heavily research and development-based skate they’ve ever made – so the 2X has got a lot to live up to. We’ve put it through its paces to see if it’s a skate you should be looking to get your hands on when it’s released later in 2019…
Our test skates
We tested the Vapor 2X in a 8.5D – and they’re light. Testing restrictions mean we could put them on our scales and give you an official figure – but, we’re happy suggesting that they at least meet the lightweight standard that’s been set by the 1X.
The new 2X is super light and super stiff – as well as looking fantastic. The carbon style detailing that was a highlight on the 1X now covers most of the quarter package – and the detailing makes these look like a fast skate even when it’s sitting on a bench! The red detailing we saw on the 1X returns – and there’s a flash of yellow that signifies an upgrade to Bauer’s new DYNAFLEX system through the quarter package too (more on that later).
Vapors are a narrow fitting skate – and the 2X follows this form. Interestingly, Bauer seem to have mirrored the changes that we’ve recently seen in the CCM Jetspeed FT2 – retaining the signature slim design – but developing a skate that’s got a bit more natural movement where it’s needed.
On the ice, the 2X is extremely light, incredible nimble and feels like every ounce of power that’s put through them turns into explosive energy. Acceleration is outstanding as a result – and the combination of Tuuk Lightspeed Edge holders and Yuuk LS5 Carbon steel runners let you turn sharply without glancing the ice.
Heat Mouldable: Yes
Quarter Package: 3D lasted Carbon Curv Composite with X-Rib pattern
Ankle Padding: Memory Foam with Comfort Edge padding
Lining: Lock-Fit PRO liner
Outsole: Vented Carbon Kevlar composite
Tongue: Recoil PRO – mixed density foam with moulded felt outer and injected metatarsal guard
Blade Holder: Tuuk Lightspeed Edge
Runner: Tuuk LS5 Carbon coated stainless
The Bauer Vapor 2X experience
The 2X Pro feels phenomenal on the ice – and while there’s some secrets that Bauer are keeping under wraps for now, we can shed some light on some of the standout features…
DYNAFLEX quarter package
One of the most notable upgrades that we’ve seen from Bauer in quite some time comes in the form of the DYNAFLEX system. Essentially, Bauer have paired anatomical studies with computer aided design to create a quarter that’s perfectly twinned with your foot.
The original Vapor 1X was outrageously stiff (some would argue perhaps a little too much so) and that stiffness was tempered only by the Total Edge Comfort padding that lined the boot.
With the 2X, Bauer have taken a slightly different approach; rather than relying on the liner to give you natural movement – the DYNAFLEX system allows for slight movement through the quarter – so you’ve got a skate that’s 100% secure on your foot – but with the flex that you need to prevent fatigue and cramp on the ice.
Frankly, DYNAFLEX feels like a complete overhaul of the experience you get skating in top of the line Vapors – and it’s a comfort and performance upgrade that doesn’t appear to come at any expense of weight. We’d expect to be seeing DYNAFLEX making a big impact on the Bauer range moving forward…
Asymmetrical toe cap and box
An increased number of elite skates we’re seeing are coming with asymmetrical features – from the standard ergonomic cut of the quarter package we’ve got used to, to the heels and tongues that have started to appear on recent CCMs. Here, Bauer take a step further, introducing an asymmetrical toe cap and toe box area in the boot.
Is it instantly noticeable when you pull the skate on? Well, it’s not really – but that’s a good thing in terms of comfort. Instead, Bauer say it’s part of the overall DYNAFLEX system and contributes to a skate that’s cut to maximise power transfer.
There’s absolutely no question that this is a skate that feels incredible on when you’ve got it on – so the sum total of these tiny little changes appears to add up to an extremely high-performance experience on the ice.
The fine detail
Holding the 1X and 2X side by side, there are some definite differences to the finer detail that you’ll see on the skates. The new Recoil Pro tongue looks like a upgraded feature – but at this stage all we can tell you is that it’s a moulded felt body with an injected metatarsal guard with the usual lace bite protection – again, it’s another little feature that adds up and makes a skate that just feels ‘right’ on your foot.
The Tuuk Lightspeed Edge holder and Tuuk LS5 carbon steel blades are a fantastic combination that you can push and push without any fear of them letting you down. Without getting the ruler out, it’s fair to say there’s a fraction more clearance between outsole and ice as a result too – obviously allowing for more aggressive performance.
At this stage, the 2X is yet to be released and reviewed widely, so there’s some limits to what we can share – but I’m happy to tell you that this is a skate that truly represents the next stage of development when compared to the 1X.
That’s quite a claim too – the 1X is still an outstanding skate, but, even if you’re stepping straight into the 2X from its predecessor, I’m convinced you won’t be disappointed. This is an even more natural feeling experience when you’re on the ice – and one that sees every bit of effort that you lay down translated into explosive movement.
If our initial testing is anything to go by, the 2X is going to be the skate that Bauer needed to knock the 1X from the elite top spot – and usher in a new level of outstanding performance – all wrapped up in a jaw-droppingly good-looking pair of skates.