This Year In Hockey Gear – 2013

2013 Year In Hockey Gear Review

We live for and talk about hockey equipment here every day. Over the holiday break, I thought that it might be interesting to take a look back at hockey equipment in 2013 – what was released, what we liked, what we didn’t, what the pros were wearing and so on. It’s time for “the year in gear!”

There were some big movements in skates and sticks in 2013, as well as a couple of pretty good trends in helmets and protective gear. Three manufacturers had major stick and skate releases this year and all of them made some significant improvements to their products.

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Hockey gear with two-way protection, a promising trend…

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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Reebok 20K Composite Stick Only $149

Reebok 20k Composite Stick On Sale


Composite Hockey Stick Weigh-In – Fall 2013

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.