Reebok 20K Hockey Stick Preview

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.
The 20K is available at all Pure Hockey Locations and PureHockey.com


Bauer TotalOne NXG Hockey Stick Preview

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing

 

Always trying to stay ahead of the game, this fall Bauer is releasing their next stick in the Supreme line, the TotalOne NXG. With this much anticipated stick, Bauer is really pushing the envelope.

A couple of the biggest upgrades to the stick from the original TotalOne, is in the durability department. For this year, Bauer incorporated their eLASTech technology, already found in the APX and Nexus sticks. What this does is limits the spread of micro-fractures, from slashes and puck impact, keeping the stick stronger for longer and increasing the “Pop-life” of the stick. In the blade, they have brought in their dual density core. This brings together the Power Core 3 technology, that has unmatched feel on the puck, and Aero Foam II, which provides great torsional stiffness while remaining extremely light. This combination results in a lightweight blade, with great stiffness to prevent blade deflection and keep the face square on shots, while still having great feel.

 

The shaft of the NXG is the Supreme Power Shaft, featuring square, double concave walls, with a taper that is thicker in the hosel area. In coordination with the amplified mid kick, this taper minimizes shaft deflection while loading up for powerful shots to optimize energy transfer and keeps the blade aligned for accuracy. The shafts Tac-Spiral ridges increase sensory connection to the stick. Combined with the Supreme’s squared corners and double concave walls, Tac-Spiral gives a great grip in even the most aggressive stickhandling or shooting situations.

 

The NXG features an amplified mid kick, engineered to provide maximum energy loading and output with minimal effort. It is stiffer in the lower section of the shaft and softer in the middle to easily energy load.
The TotalOne NXG also has many features that have been seen in other top end Bauer sticks, like Bauer’s TeXtreme technology, a carbon that is 20% lighter than conventional carbons without sacrificing strength. Their Monocomp technology leads the industry as a single molding process, increasing consistency. By removing overlapping composite, resin and foam, it balances the stick better and reduces overall weight. The NXG also has Bauer’s Pure Shot Blade Profile, this is an expanded throat, strengthening the connection between shaft and blade, to reduce twisting of the blade, therefore keeping the blade square for more accuracy.

 

The TotalOne NXG is available at all Pure Hockey Locations and PureHockey.com

 


Bauer Vapor X6.0 Hockey Stick Preview

Bauer’s Vapor X 6.0 Stick is the third stick down in the Vapor line from Bauer for 2012. It is behind the APX and the 7.0. Like those two sticks, it features Bauer’s Intelli-sense shot technology for flex profile, and basically what that means is that depending on the shot you’re taking and where your hands are placed, it’s going flex a little bit differently. Taking a slapshot, it’s going to load up and give you a little extra power in that shot; in a snapshot or a wristshot, it will give you a quicker release.

Down in the blade, it features that same Aero Foam technology that you see in the APX and the 7.0. It’s a lighter foam inside, a little bit stronger and will provide a little more feel back on the puck when you’re stickhandling. The connection from the shaft to the blade features Bauer’s Pure Shot blade profile. And what that is, a thickened connection in the hosel, going from the shaft to the blade to strengthen the connection point. That’s going keep the blade from flexing back on shots and deflecting off, and keep the blade nice and square to your target. Along the same lines here is the Vapor Premium Taper, which is a secondary taper along the top and the bottom of the shaft, and what that does is that it will strengthen it out, reduce the torsion of deflections so the blade stays square.

Up in the shaft is the Microfeel II shaft, which is the same as found on the APX. It’s a little bit round in the corners, double concave on the front and the back of the shaft, just for a little bit more comfort and a little more control, and to strengthen the stick. This one has the Grip Tack finish, for a little bit more grip on the stick. The Bauer Vapor X 6.0 stick available at Purehockey.com and all Pure Hockey locations.


Easton Mako Hockey Stick Review

 

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing

So the Easton Mako stick officially comes out this Saturday, April 7th, but I got to use it a little bit early to review it. See all I do for you guys!!?? Okay, perhaps, just maybe, a little bit for myself, too. Ahem. Those of you who are excited about its release, you should be!! Hell, people who have never played hockey should be excited about this stick. Easton has done it again.

As I’ve implied in past reviews, I am a pretty loyal Easton guy – gloves, skates, bucket, sticks – but the last Easton stick I used that wasn’t a part of the Stealth family was a Si-Core, circa 2007. Picking up the Mako, it has a different feel to the shaft than the RS, but I actually liked the way it felt in my hands.
Cut to the ice. The Mako made its debut in our Men’s league championship game last week. First thing I did was grab a puck and just stick handle around a bit, it has great feel to the blade. I really could tell where on the blade the puck was and I liked that a lot. I’m honestly not sure how much the Z-Tac coating  helped (that sandpaper like finish on the blade that people are buzzing about), but I definitely like the way the blade felt. I felt that Easton tried to walk a fine line with this feature; it was not smooth, but also not as rough as you see on a lot of pro stock sticks. Not a bad move by Easton, as it could turn some players off, but I’d prefer to see it all the way or not at all. I will say that passes came off extremely smooth and I felt I had a LOT of control of the puck.

 

The stick is weighted extremely well; Easton’s focus on quickness has definitely paid off. I hate for a stick to be light for the sake of light and I also hate when there’s nothing to the lower end of the stick – it just makes handling the puck a nightmare and it just doesn’t allow the player the needed feel. Those kind of sticks make me feel that there’s just a shaft with no blade in my hands. The Mako was a bit weird in this sense –in the best way possible – handling the puck, it felt very light and I could move the blade very quickly, but it wasn’t so light that I was over-handling or that it felt too light. A true accomplishment by Easton.

 

The next thing I noticed about the Mako with my gloves on was the grip. I loved it. I mentioned in my review of the RS that I felt the grip was way too grippy, and the clear was too slippery. The clear version on the Mako – my normal preference – was not so slick that the stick spun in my hands. A very happy medium.

 

Shooting with the Mako was the real treat. I had a bit of trouble getting used the curve, my demo was Easton’s Cammalleri pattern that I haven’t used in a few years. But I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, want me to try out an unreleased stick? Don’t have my curve? No problem. When I started using it, it wasn’t going where I expected it to, but I could tell it was going where I aimed it. The puck absolutely jumps off the face off the blade. Once I got used to having less of a hook, I was placing the puck a lot better. The stick feels so stable. Super-smooth release and as I tweeted to Easton, the one word to describe the stick is “pop,” — and a lot of it. The puck comes off the blade very true – and very hard. It is a different feel on the release from the RS, the kick point is clearly higher, but I felt that I could really lean into it and release. I could really feel the energy transfer through the stick from my hand to release.

 

Overall I have to say I really have enjoyed using the Mako, smooth passes, a blade that is light but still has great feel to it and shots that feel like they are jumping off the stick. Start getting excited folks.

You can order the Mako right here.