The following is an opinion piece. No research studies were conducted, it is my opinion and I’m just a player who has spent his life in the game and around the gear industry.
There’s a lot of talk about in sports in general nowadays about head injuries and it seems there are many more concussions being reported. In my opinion, it’s a product of a few things. First and foremost, what we know and understand about head injuries in general. The medical community has shown the severity and consequences of concussions, leading players and coaches to take them a lot more seriously and make decisions with far more caution. Gone are the days of getting hit, sniffing the smelling salts and jumping back out for your next shift. This is for good reason – coaches, parents and players are beginning to make smarter decisions regarding concussions.
There are obviously more concussions being diagnosed today, partially because fewer concussions are being ignored and part because there are more occurring. I don’t believe that there used to be fewer and now there are a ton. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. I’m going to totally make up some numbers here, but hey, that’s the beauty of blogs – I get to voice my opinion! If there were 100 concussions that occurred back in the day, I’d guess 30-40% were reported and diagnosed. Today there’s more concussions happening and I’d guess 75-80% of them are reported. To the naked eye, it seems like there’s 3 times as many concussions happening, but I don’t believe it’s as huge as it seems.
In my own opinion, one of the problems is the advances in equipment. There have been some amazing, great advances in protective hockey equipment that have elevated the game. It’s a faster game, players are bigger (see: John Scott, Zdeno Chara, Tyler Myers), they hit harder, skate faster and shoot harder. Players are much more protected than in the days of leather elbow pads, tiny shoulder pads and no helmets, which is great!
The flip side of that coin is that the players are much more protected, which might be a bad thing! The protection level of modern day equipment gives many players a sense of invincibility. The attitude becomes “it doesn’t hurt me, it must not hurt him.” I say this because I believe in my heart of hearts, most hockey players have enough respect for the game and opponents that they don’t look to intentionally injure another player.
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So it’s that time again, a bunch of fancy new composite hockey sticks have been released, so it’s time to weigh-in. Another weigh-in, another clean sweep for Bauer, says a lot about their composite technology. All sticks weighed were 85 flex, and P92/E3 pattern or the equivalent.
And the lightest stick this fall is…..
1) Bauer Vapor APX2 419 Grams
2) Bauer Nexus 1000LE 420 g
3) Bauer Supreme TotalOne NXG 424 g
4) Reebok Ribcor 426 g
5) CCM RBZ Stage 2 429 g
6) Easton V9 432 g
7) Sherwood T100 441 g
8) Easton V9E 442 g
9) Warrior Covert DT1 LT 467 g
10) Sherwood 5030 641 g
Just for fun, we weighed a Sherwood 5030, one of the more popular wood sticks ever. The 5030 weighed in at 641 g. Almost 200 g heavier than the heaviest stick on the list for this weigh in. That’s almost a HALF POUND!!!
So at the end of the day, Bauer is still champ, taking the win, place and show for this weigh in, but Reebok and CCM kept it extremely close and had an excellent showing themselves. Another surprising stat was the two Easton models being 10 grams different. The Warrior Covert DT1 LT came in last, significantly heavier than the rest, but keep in mind that Warrior sticks are built about 3-4” taller than most other brands.
By Tyler Roy, Pure Hockey Customer Service
With 2012 wrapped up for stick releases, I was thinking it’s probably high time that I talk about what should be on your “must-have” list. How does the Reebok 20k stack up? Is it a must-have or just another good stick? Let’s take a look!
There’s a new blade system here called the “accuBlade,” which is made to reduce blade deflection and give you better accuracy for getting shots ON net and not NEAR it! Reebok’s new and exclusive stick blade is made to get stiffer from the heel to the toe. Interesting. Also, this blade is also Reebok’s lightest to date and they moved the balance point up a few centimeters, creating a much more balanced stick. Personally, I love a stiff blade at the toe as I’m more prone to shoot from that area anyway. I did get a chip on the toe in the first few weeks of using it but nothing has happened since, so it appears to be run-of-the-mill wear and tear that you see with all sticks. Bottom-line: this blade out performs any other Reebok blade and it has some real life and good snap.
The good thing about the Reebok 20k hockey stick is that it’s a true one piece stick, defined by Reebok as “pure fiber technology.” In English, this means the same fibers that are in the top of the stick run all the way to the toe of the blade. Being a true one-piece also removes all the overlapping materials and glues that often times create an unbalanced stick. Reebok also used a new weaving system in the shaft where the fibers on the backhand are angled on a 45 degree and 90 on the forehand. This is designed to create tension when the stick flexes during a shot. That, plus the lowest kickpoint in hockey, equals a slingshot effect when shooting. This stick shoots all types of shots very well, the low kick really snaps the pucks off quick and fast. I find it easy to snap off a quick shot right under the bar and have the ability to fire off a hard slapper too.
My favorite innovation might have to be the new grip Reebok has used on the 20k. The new “duel grip” features a smooth matte grip on the bottom half of the shaft for hand movement and a sticky grip on the top half to lock your hand in when your ready to shoot. Quite interesting feel and still hasn’t worn out after a month or two of use.
All this stuff put together makes a really solid performing stick, much better than the 11k from my perspective. Only chip on the stick is right on the toe, as mentioned, but that’s quite minor. The balance on the stick is really good as is the response you get with snap shots and slap shots. Should you get this stick? Well that’s for you to choose, but I like it quite a bit. You can buy it right here and try it out for yourself.
You can also see a video here from my co-worker Kyle Stevenson, where he gives his thoughts on it: