By Tyler Roy, Pure Hockey Berlin, MA
When you pick up and play with the Bauer x:60 stick you might think, “well, this is nice, but how can Bauer make this better in any possible way?” I was thinking the same thing, having used the x:60 multiple times and having some solid success with it. I did, however, finally get my hands on the new Bauer Vapor APX stick and somehow it feels even better than the old x:60 does. Its stronger, feels lighter, has a better puck feel and – in my opinion – looks better.
Now, the APX is going to keep a lot of the same great technology as the x:60. You’re going to see the same Intelli-Sense flex profile, that means depending on what shot you take and the way your hands are positioned, the shaft is going to flex accordingly. You’re also going to have the same Micro Feel 2 shaft – a slightly smaller shaft with rounded corners and concave sidewalls. But internally it’s a much different stick.
You will notice that the blade on the APX stick feels different than the x:60. That’s because Bauer has made a hybrid of the TotalOne blade foams and used it on the APX. This is the same blade makeup that most of Bauer’s NHL players are using. This new foam set up is going to give you a much more solid puck feel but also keep your blade closed when you’re shooting. Bauer also added a nice “pro style” blade texture, so if you have used a pro stock stick before, you more than likely know what I’m talking about. It’s basically a sandpaper like finish on the blade that gives you an enhanced feel and your tape will grip to this texture better as well.
Moving to the shaft of the APX, this is a true one-piece stick, again just like the x:60. As mentioned previously, the APX stick is going to be using the same shaft dimensions and round corners with concave sidewalls. But on the inside, Bauer flips the switch with a new resin system, which makes the stick lighter but – more importantly – stronger. The APX stick is 15 grams lighter and a stronger, more responsive stick – sounds awesome, right? The grip system is also a little different; Bauer is offering the traditional grip tac grip (tacky grip feel), but also a matted grip as well. Other elite-level sticks such as the Easton RS and Reebok Ai-Nine will feature this softer matted grip, too.
The Bauer APX is due out 10/6 at all your local Pure Hockey stores and you can pre-order them right here as well.