In September, the brand new Bauer Nexus 1N hockey stick hit the market. While the Nexus sticks generally haven’t elicited quite the same level of buzz that its Vapor or Supreme siblings tend to, the 1N launch bucked that trend. The much-anticipated stick builds on the popularity of the Nexus 1000 & Nexus 8000 lines from the past few seasons.
Nexus is Bauer’s ‘Mid-Kick Point’ stick, designed for an effortless, natural energy load & release with the best accuracy possible. Nexus is meant to load easily, but still generate a lot of power, great for players who like to shoot on the move.
The most notable changes to the 1N from the Nexus 8000 were the fine-tuning of their ‘Sweet Spot Technology’ and the addition of the Power Sense 2 blade. The ‘Sweet Spot’ is designed to optimize the stick’s efficiency when shooting – Easy loading with less energy lost resulting in more power behind shots. It also helps to give players more room for error when shooting, meaning if you don’t have lots of time to setup or to perfectly position your lower hand – which is usually the case – you can still get off a great shot.
The Power Sense 2 blade is more cohesive than the original but still shares the goal of balancing power generation and transfer with great puck feel. The ‘sense layer’ materials are integrated into the TeXtreme carbon fiber of the blade. This creates a stick that is lighter and better balanced overall while still maintaining the key attributes of the blade.
Several of our key store employees and myself were lucky enough to get our hands on some Nexus 1N’s a few months ago. This wasn’t an hour on the ice goofing around with the stick, each tester had their own and got to go use it on their own playing men’s league, coaching or whatever other real game situation they had coming up.
My first impression of the stick was exactly what I think Bauer was going for – I noticed as soon as I picked it up how light and extremely well balanced it felt. When we weighed the stick, I was surprised by the fact that it was only a couple grams lighter than other similar, recent Bauer top models, coming in at just under 420 grams. I was surprised because from holding the stick, I would have guessed the 1N would have been a bit lighter than the others. This speaks to the improved balance of the stick, even though its only a couple grams lighter, in your hands it feels much lighter.
On the ice, I’ll be honest, it took me a little bit to get used to the puck feel but after a few minutes I really liked it. It only took a couple shifts I got to know the feedback I was getting from the blade as to where the puck was on the face. Considering the rocks I have in my gloves, the fact that it only took a couple shifts to figure it out shows just how impressive the feel on the 1N is.
I have always been a fan of the Nexus line, the mid-kick point is well suited to the way I shoot and I was a huge fan of the Nexus 1000 from the first time I used it (For proof check out the Nexus 1000 hockey stick review from Sept of 2011). The Nexus 1000 was my go-to stick for over a year. The Nexus 8000 was a good stick, but I didn’t like it quite as much as the 1000. I didn’t think the puck feel was quite the same; the 1000 had a great combo of soft feel when stickhandling and blade stiffness to shoot. I felt the 8000 was a bit stiffer when stickhandling and didn’t give me quite the same feel.
As tell you that to say this… I thought the 1N was actually an improvement on the original and was back to being great for both shooting and stickhandling. Soft feel on the puck while still having enough stiffness to be responsive and accurate when shooting.
The blade gives a ton of feedback so I felt that I could really tell exactly where the puck was on the face. Getting that quick, accurate feedback is a huge benefit in my game as it allows me to consistently keep my head up and on the play. Whether I am moving the puck towards to toe as I prepare to shoot, getting it towards the heel to throw a saucer pass or just to protect it from a defenseman, I don’t need to look down as much to position it exactly where I need to on the blade.
As much as I liked the feel of the stick, shooting was equally impressive. The first time I used the 1N, I was able to get out on the ice a few minutes before everyone else, so I dumped the bucket of pucks out in the slot and started testing it out. It took almost no time to get used to the way the stick flexed on the release, which was nice. Pucks jumped off the blade, but the accuracy was what really caught my attention. I felt like it was going exactly where I wanted it and that I could really hit my spots. I didn’t feel any need to adjust my follow-through or aim to compensate for the stick.
It was great that I could shoot hard and accurately when standing still in the middle of the slot, but when was the last time anybody got the chance to do that in a game? Pretty rare I’d guess, so I wanted to see if the 1N performed the same way when I was on the move, shooting quickly and when I didn’t have time to set up. I tested it out that day, moving around and shooting, trying to snap the puck off quickly off the stick handle and saw the same results I saw standing still – hard, accurate shots.
As I used the 1N stick in games and while coaching over the following few months, it quickly became my go-to stick. The things I had noticed that first day continued to stand out. It does exactly what Bauer designed it to – Load energy easily to generate power for a hard shot and be very accurate.
Coming off the stick handle, the 1N is still easy to load and get a shot off. The Nexus line has always been easy to load, which is something I have personally always liked. The way I play, I value the ability to quickly lean into the stick and get a lot of energy loaded into it without much effort and without blatantly tipping off the goalie that a shot was coming. That’s the reason I generally prefer a softer (75-80) flex stick.
The 1N took that to the next level by making the stick easy to load and giving you an equally great shot in any situation.
The last thing I like to look at with sticks is the durability. As mentioned, I’ve been lucky enough to use the stick for a few months now and I have seen no deterioration in performance with the 1N. I have been using the 1N pretty regularly for about 5 months, using it in games and then coaching with it. While coaching, I do a lot of work with my goalies and I’m usually taking about 75-100 shots during an hour-long practice, so the stick has gotten plenty of use. The stick is still holding up and shooting the same as the first few times I use it.
That is the true key to the ‘durability’ of a stick. A lot of people think of a durable stick as one that wont break in 2. The strongest, most durable sticks can break in half if they happen to get hit the right way and others can hold up for years.
What I look for in terms of durability is how the stick performs over the entire life. Does the stick still shoot and handle the same the day it breaks as the day I got it? Whether it breaks on day 30, week 30 or month 30. The 1N does hold up. After 5 months of continued use, its still performing well and if it happened to snap tomorrow, I would have no complaints about its performance or durability.
Overall, I would rank the Bauer Nexus 1N as the best all-around ice hockey stick that is available right now. I think the 1N has the best combination of puck feel and shootability. For my game, there are a couple sticks that may have the 1N beat slightly in one of those areas, but nothing that is better in both. Any of the sticks that are better for either shooting or puck handling, trail the 1N significantly in the other.
That is what I personally thought of the 1N, but here is what a few members of our staff thought about the 1N after using theirs…
Lee Murray, Assistant Manager – Marlborough, MA
After First use…
When first getting the stick out for a stick time session the balance felt great. It didn’t feel as though it was top or bottom heavy. I first started by stick handling and taking a few pucks in a line and getting a feel for the blade. I really liked how responsive the blade was when the puck was on the stick. It felt very solid in your hands while the blade was softer and felt great in your hands. Then i took to skating around and trying cuts and turns to see how it responded with making a pass against the boards and then receiving the pass back. Again the blade felt perfect when receiving and sending passes.
Next I took it to taking some simple wrist shots and small breakaways. When taking my first couple shots i tried to shoot on the toe much like i usually do and had no issues letting them rip. After two or three shots i dialed in my shots to where i was hitting corners and posts exactly where i was aiming. The new larger sweet spot technology is definitely noticeable. After moving my hands a little farther away from my body i could feel the stick flex exactly where i wanted it to. I tried to shoot with my hands high on the shaft and was a very even feel. I didn’t have to put a lot into the shot to really get a solid shot. Normally i don’t take many slap shots and usually stick with wrist and snap shots. After taking a few slap shots, i again was able to dial into getting them where i wanted and really lean on that stick. That sweet spot along with the Power Sense 2 blade are an awesome combination.
During actual game play the stick preformed way better than i expected. I had total control over passes and my shots like no other stick i had ever used. It truly felt like a playmakers stick. I look forward to using it more and really seeing what it can do! I was actually approached from a few kids doing a camp after the skate who asked if i worked at Pure Hockey. After i confirmed that i did they noticed the stick and started drooling over it and were super excited to see it. Ill post more feed back after a few more skates.
After a month of use…
I’ve been using the stick now for just over a month and have to say I really enjoy it but it does have some flaws. I get that no stick is perfect and its really a personal preference. For me I found that as I stated before, this is really a “play maker” stick. I found that making passes is where it really shines. The feel on the blade is great, you really get that softer style feel of making and receiving passes. It is much crisper than my Easton CX St I have.
I love the new sweet spot technology they have incorporated into this years model. I feel as a guy who does a little bit of everything on the ice, I really benefit from using multiple hand positions when shooting and passing. I almost never take slap shots but the few I have taken were hard and accurate.
My only down fall to this stick is the blade when making a quick one-timer or making a hard quick “one-two-three” pass. (catching the pass from one guy and immediately passing it to another) I felt as though it made almost a dull “THWAP” sound and feel. Its only happen a hand full of times and I understand that puck position on the blade has a lot to do with it.
As far as wrist shots though, the stick feels great. I have really been able to dial it in and get the pucks where I want them. Overall I would definitely recommend this stick to anyone looking for that all-around performance stick. I cant wait to see what the future holds for them. Thanks guys.
DJ Pelletier, Manager – Kingston, MA
So got my stick this week and got to try out the new twig today. All in all pretty good stick. First thing I noticed with the 1N was it has a great feel to it and really has a good weight balance.
When I took the first snap shot with it though I was a little surprised with how the blade felt “heavy”, not in weight but the way the puck came off the stick. It took awhile to get used to taking wrist and snap shots with the stick because of this feel. Even my passing, which is usually spectacular, was a little off.
Because of the way the blade felt I decided to try some slappers with it. Being in Men’s leagues I don’t usually take them but figured why not. First shot was, well the easiest way to explain it is — WOW!!!!! Honestly was one the truest feeling slapshots I have ever taken. I took many more slapshots and tried taking a few off center of the blade, more heel or toe, and no matter what the shot came off true everytime. The “heaviness” of the blade makes this an awesome stick for slappers, truly felt like I was a young stud again.
After 2 hours on the ice I got a real good feel for the stick and I am pretty happy with it, honestly can’t say it would be my first choice but think after using it a few more times and getting comfortable with the feel I could really like it though. I think the fact that I had a new stick and also was wearing my brand new, beautifully designed, supper comfortable JetSpeed’s probably didnt help either (head over and read my review on those babies when your done here!!). I still, at this point, like the old Nexus sticks better but again, like I said I think I could get used to it.
Tim Carter, Manager – Danvers, MA
I really like the look of this stick. I agree it is the best looking Nexus to date.
The first impression I got from the stick performance wise was the loading and unloading of the shaft. Currently I have been using the 1X in the P28 77 flex. This is by far one of my favorite sticks I have ever used. The 1N is a P92 and 87 flex. It took a few shots to get used to the curve and flex but I was pleasantly surprised at how it responded. The puck jumped off the blade. The release obviously feels higher but it didn’t feel as drastic as I thought it would.
The blade does seem a little heavier then previous versions but only slightly. It is still an incredibly light stick. I think it feels closer to the 1000 then the 8000. The 1000 to me always felt super light and well balanced. I believe the 1N is very close to that.
Tyler Roy, Customer Service Team
After First use…
Being a big fan of the original Nexus I was pretty excited to try out the newest version of this stick family. I found the 8000 to be a step backwards in terms of performance and feel from the 1000 so I didn’t know what to expect going into the 1N. I found the 8000 to feel slightly too stiff and the shot response seemed to lag. I think both of those issues have been addressed and I was very happy when testing this out while shooting. Felt much more like the 1000.
First time out in a game situation with the 1N. I had another stick that I was testing at the time so I tried that one for the first half then went to grab the 1N. First thing I noticed when I went to grab a puck was that the 1N felt like a two piece with a heavy wooden blade by comparison to the first tester stick. I took one shot and it had a fraction of the feeling the other stick I was testing. Couldn’t use it any longer and had to put it back after one shot. I’m interested to try the 1N again this weekend but use it first just to see if I notice that same feeling or not.
After more use…
Decided to go shoot a few more pucks last night to see if my opinion changed of the stick. The stick shoots extremely well, in my opinion the best feature of the stick. I can see why so many players use the G3 flex profile/construction because it shoots like a dream. Very hard and powerful but has a quicker release than previous Nexus’ which was a draw back that I had with the other models. I feel the balance of the 1N is still too off for me to see this as a “go-to” stick. The shaft is so much lighter in relation to the blade is just doesn’t work in my opinion. I also feel that the blade itself isn’t well balanced, the heel feels heavier than the toe. It would be hard for me to say I would pick the 1N over something cheaper like the True 5.2. This stick still interests me because of how well it shoots but the overall feel of the stick seems rather sloppy and unrefined, surprising coming from somebody like Bauer. Time will tell.
Matt Weeldreyer, Assistant Manager – Bridgeville, PA
Count me as a +1 to those who loved the original Nexus 1000 stick. I skipped the 8000 edition, but the 1000 ranks as one of my favorite sticks (along with the oft-maligned Mako II).
As Tim also mentioned, I’m a fellow E28 lover, but thankfully the mechanical adjustments are minor when using the P92. I also — against all logic and common sense — tend to like a whippier stick, so the 75 range is where I usually live. However, with the true mid flex of the 1N (and previously 1000), I don’t mind the 87 flex. I really do find it very easy to load, something I thought might have been A+ marketing prior to giving the 1000 a go.
The first thing I noticed about the 1N was the light weight and well-balanced feel. As previously mentioned, I felt the 1000 was very well balanced, and the 1N seems to follow suit. I especially notice this with one-handed poke checks; they are very crisp. I also enjoy the squared-off shaft.
I plotted my first ice time with the stick such that I spent a stick time session getting used to the feel, and then followed it up with a two-hour pickup session. During the feeling out phase, I noticed the blade had some incredible pop. Also, and it could have been my goalie hands, but passes seemed to be a little tougher to corral at first, which seemed odd considering the 1N has the softer of the two blade foams that Bauer uses. However, that quickly went away, so I would chalk that up to it just being different than the sticks I had been using.
Shooting wise, I absolutely love the 1N. I take mostly snap shots, and the stick loaded and released responsively and quickly. I noticed an increase in my slapshot velocity and accuracy; the blade didn’t seem to wilt under pressure and remained true. With other manufacturers making their blade stiffness a selling point, it’s nice to see that Bauer hasn’t ignored this aspect.
The 1N stick also blended seamlessly into “game” situations. I felt like I had control digging for loose pucks and, for the lack of a better term, a strong stick on both sides of the ice.
I’m very excited to continue putting this stick through its paces and updating as things move along.
Rob Rochford, Pure Hockey Team Sales
I finally got on the ice with the 1N last night. Wow! I was impressed. Great response to flex ratio. The kick felt solid and blade had some good pop to it. I felt like it had a quicker release than last year’s model. It really has a great weight balance from blade to shaft, didn’t feel bottom or top heavy at all. I cant wait to use it again. I think Bauer really nailed it with this one and cant wait to feel the non-grip version. I will post more once I use it a few more times.
Nick Kaiser, Pure Hockey Neville Island, PA
As a goalie most of what I could possibly say about this stick is dumbed down because well i’m a goalie and that’s what we do. First off, I was using the 1N for inline hockey and it was absolutely fabulous! The shot was just so natural and effortless as well as passes were crisp and on the money. I found that the sweet- spot technology to be very useful and works towards your advantage. With the stone hands that us goalies have this stick helped tremendously when it came to stick handling and having a solid feel for the puck. So far out of all of the player sticks I have used the 1N tops my list of best sticks and next purchase!
Ryan Fuchs, Pure Hockey Neville Island, PA
Just used the 1N for the first time today. Honestly, I wasn’t very impressed with it. I thought the stick had a very good feel to it, and was well balanced, but I didn’t like how it shot. It was accurate, but there wasn’t really any pop to the stick. Don’t get me wrong, I know I don’t have a Shea Webber howitzer, but I know I can shoot harder than what was coming off of the 1N. I use a vapor x800 so I am used to having a stiffer blade, and I think I like the stiffer blade better than the soft one that is build on the 1N. That being said, I did like the responsive feel that the stick had. As far as stick handling and passing goes, the stick was awesome. The sweet spot they build into the shaft allows for a lot of accuracy when passing. The only thing that really turned me off to the stick is the soft blade and how it shot. If they made a version of the stick with a stiffer blade, I’m sure I would love it. A great stick, just not up my alley
Jeff Gingras, Assistant Manager – Danvers, MA
Just tried out the 1N last night and really liked it. Loading the stick seemed effortless in all different situations and I felt like it was very accurate with both shooting and passing. Overall, it just felt easy to pick up and use without having to get used to. The Nexus often gets overlooked by customers but I feel like, in general, it might be the easiest stick for any player to just pick up and use because it is good in all situations.
Evan Gauthier, Manager – Burlington, MA
Overall it was just ok. I felt that the stick was too boxy and the corners made it feel clunky when handling the puck. The blade was responsive and had a good feel to it but I felt that the shaft was reminiscent of the old Easton aluminums. Shots seemed to be real accurate and I hit my spots with consistency but unless I was skating in stride and leaning into the stick, I felt like it lacked the velocity that I get from other sticks. Understandably, I normally use a 77 and this was an 87 flex, but I still feel like it didn’t have that little extra on it. All in all definitely not one of my favorite sticks.
Joe Carlino, Manager – Fairfield, NJ
The first thing I noticed about this stick was the balance. To me, a lot of high end sticks feel somewhat flimsy, but this felt more solid. I prefer the boxier shape it has, but obviously that comes down to personal preference.
Those of you who have had the misfortune of seeing me skate out know that I play goal, and the best description of my stickhandling abilities range from “laughable” to “non-existent.” With that said, the puck feel was nice, and I felt like I had more control with the 1N than I would have with a lighter stick. It also held up just fine after an unfortunate slashing penalty I allegedly committed against a deserving member of the opposing team.
I prefer sticks with a low kick point, and the 1N did reaffirm this to me. With that said, I did like the 1N more than the previous versions of Nexus sticks, as it feels more responsive and I felt like there was more pop on my shots. Several members of my staff have also used it, and those who prefer sticks with a higher kick point liked it a lot. While I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the 1N to someone, it wasn’t for me.
Harris Severs, Assistant Manager – Dover, NH
Finally, after much waiting I got to try the 1n stick. As others have said I was impressed with the new sweet spot and really felt like you could load the stick up and pick your targets. The blade felt responsive and I felt like I knew where the puck was. I still liked the 1x stick better but I am more of a quick shot kind of player so it is not really a surprise. I was overall impressed with the stick and will recommend it to any customer who is looking for a nice mid kick accurate stick