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:
Reebok 20k Skate Review Video
In the past few years, there are few companies who have made bigger improvements to a product line than Reebok has made to their hockey skates. Arguably inferior in skates for a while as recently as 5 years ago, Reebok has improved their skate line so dramatically and now has one of the lighter, most popular skates available with the 20K.
I have been skating in the 20K’s for a few weeks now and I must say that they out performed my expectations. They were much lighter on the ice than I had anticipated. I also was a big fan of the stiffness that the 20K provided – they had a lot of support on strides as well as on quick cuts. They were not quite as responsive as some of the other skates that have come out recently, in things like recoil on strides, but the support was definitely there. In that aspect, they are not the best skate on the market, but by no means will they put any player at a disadvantage.
The first time I used them, they definitely took some adjustments because the cut and fit are a bit different from what I am accustomed to. I had a bit of a squeeze in my forefoot, but one of the great features of Reebok skates is the lacelock, which allowed me to keep the lower section slightly looser, and tighten the upper section. It was a bit uncomfortable the first few skates (often normal with a new boot), not so much when on the ice, but in between shifts there was some soreness. Next came using the pump. The Pump eliminates the negative space in the heel and makes it so that my heel sits very snug and prevented heel lift or sliding. I think the customized fit of the pump is an underrated feature and really does prevent heel movement. Unlike most skate molding techniques, it doesn’t become less formed every time you put on or take off your skates.
The Pro-style felt tongue is comfortable, but not overly thick, and does a great job to prevent lace bite. The biggest issue I had was actually with the tendon guard. It scraped against my calf, through my sock and skate sock. I couldn’t quite figure out why, but it was just rubbing up the wrong way against the back of my leg as I skated.
Overall I was impressed with the 20K and liked them a lot more than I can honestly say I expected to. It performed well, it wasn’t a perfect fit for my particular foot, but I can definitely see its advantages and even with it not being a perfect fit, it was still a great skate. The Reebok 20K is available now online and at all Pure Hockey locations.
By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing
The fall season is always a fun one, the season is starting up, and new equipment is being released left and right. One of the most anticipated sticks of 2012 is the new Reebok 20K.
The first feature you’ll notice when first picking up the 20K is one of my favorites, the new Dual Grip. This gives a matte, smooth finish on the bottom half of the length of the shaft, and Reebok’s Griptonite coating on the top half. What this does, is allows you to have great freedom to slide your bottom hand without your gloves getting stuck on an overly tacky shaft, but still gives you great grip to keep the stick squared on shots creating a lot of torque. I really like this feature, as I feel that I often get caught between the grip models being too sticky, and the clear models being too slippery. This is a great medium.
Reebok also utilizes their Pure Fiber technology in the 20K Stick for 2012. This process is Reebok’s way of constructing the stick to be a true one piece, as opposed to having a fusion point. This reduces the weight in the lower part of the shaft and hosel, by minimizing the amount of composite material needed.
The next two biggest technologies in the 20K are both involving the blade. Reebok’s upgrade to their blade wrapping technique, the Dual Matrix II. This involves angling the carbon fiber on the backhand side of the blade at 45? and at 90? on the forehand side. This causes tension between the sides on shots, creating a slingshot effect to generate what Reebok calls the “Hyper Release”. The other blade feature, and the one I’m excited about is the AccuBlade Technology. The heel of the blade has good stiffness, and the blade gets stiffer towards the toe, effectively eliminating blade torque on shots. Personally, I take most of my shots off the toe half of the blade, so a blade that doesn’t deflect back with shot pressure is huge.
Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing
So a couple of weeks back, we posted a list of some stick weights on high-end composite sticks and we got a really great response, so we are going to continue this over the next few weeks in some different product categories. Today we start with skates in the price range of $599.99 and up (other price ranges will follow).
NOTE: this is not necessarily a list of THE top lightest skates available; not every model is listed, but we feel this is a good representation of what is present on the market. Secondly, weight should not be your only criteria for purchasing a pair of skates! It is definitely a factor in a multi-step process of determining what is best for you. But it’s not the only thing you should be thinking about!
Weights were measured of a single skate, size 7.5D. So, what you see listed below is the skate model, the weight of a single skate in grams and then that weight doubled to represent the pair.
1) Bauer TotalOne NXG —-680g ——1360g ———- $799.99
2) Bauer Vapor APX —-718g ——1436g ———- $799.99
3) Bauer Supreme One.9 —-746g ——1492g ———- $599.99
4) Bauer Vapor X7.0 —-805g ——1610g ———- $599.99
5) CCM U+ CL —-830g ——1660g ———- $599.99
6) Reebok 20K —-833g ——1666g ———- $799.99
7) Reebok 18K —-834g ——1668g ———- $599.99
8) Easton RS —-843g ——1686g ———- $599.99
9) Bauer Nexus 800 —-890g ——1780g ———- $599.99
So there you have it! The Bauer TotalOne NXG’s top the list and the Supreme and Vapor lines follow close behind. Bauer has the top 4 slots! Let us know what you think and what else you would like to see compared in the comments section below, on the our Facebook page
and also at our Twitter page