2015 Low Kick Stick Breakdown: Reckoner vs. EK60 vs. 1X vs. CX vs. QR1

hockey stick2015 is quickly winding down and throughout the year we’ve had a plethora of great low kick sticks released. For those who may not know exactly what a low kick point is in a hockey stick,  head over to Low vs Mid Kick Point Blog that explains which style of player should use a low or mid kick point. The goal for today though, is to briefly review the key features, technologies and benefits that each of these low kick sticks offer so that you can pick the stick that best suits your preferences and style of play.  At the bottom of the blog, make sure you vote on your favorite low kick hockey stick of 2015!

CCM RibCor Reckoner Hockey Stick

  • Pop Matrix TechnologyCCM did away with the previous ribbed shaft technology and opted for deeply concave sidewalls in the lower portion of the shaft. This new geometry not only delivers an even quicker and more explosive release compared to the 40K, but it actually enhances durability because the shaft corners protect the performance fibers that sit inside of the cavity.
  • Ascent Blade – Unlike the 40K that had a pingy and lively puck feel, the Reckoner and it’s new blade construction offers a much more dampened feel in the heel, which makes it even better to dangle and to receive passes with. So if you’re a fan of a soft, dampened puck feel, this is right up your alley. As you go from the heel to the toe, the blade gets stiffer. This “progressive flex profile” in the blade enhances accuracy and precision by keeping the blade face square to the target during the shooting process.
  • Technora Aramid Fiber – To better protect the stick from hacks and slashes, CCM reinforced the lower portion of the stick with  aerospace-grade fibers that significantly increase durability and longevity.
  • Weight – 414 grams (Senior)
  • Puck Feel – Dampened

Sherwood Rekker EK60 Stick

  • Graphene – Sherwood went big this year by utilizing the strongest nano-material ever used in a composite hockey stick, called Graphene. Graphene is 200 times stronger than steel and reinforces the lower 1/3rd of the stick, providing unparalleled strength and durability in the most common area of breakage.
  • EKore Technology – Completely unique to the Rekker EK60 and the True Touch T120 is the handmade construction process that takes 8 times longer than the mechanized process. With much more attention to detail, Sherwood is able to eliminate excess material and deformities to such a degree that this EK60 and its T120 mid kick counterpart are the only two sticks on the market that weigh under 400 grams. Besides weight, the elimination of deformities results in a much more consistent overall design to even further improve responsiveness, balance and general construction quality.
  • VRF.2 Blade – Carried over from the EK15 is the VRF.2 blade core. It features a carbon fiber stringer that runs heel to toe, providing top-notch rigidity and stiffness. It has a lively foam package as well, so players who like a stiff, lively puck feel will certainly enjoy the VRF.2 core.
  • Weight – 385 grams (Senior)
  • Puck Feel – Lively

Bauer Vapor 1X Stick

  • QRT Taper – This has been the most significant change in the Vapor Stick Line since Intelli-Sense Technology first debuted in the legendary X:60. The new QRT geometry allows the 1X to load 20% faster and to recoil 28% faster than the APX2.
  • Aero-Sense II Blade Core – To better help the 1X stick to load and release quicker, Bauer used a much stiffer and livelier blade construction this go around. They were also able to remove weight from the blade as a whole by directly integrating the “Sense Layer” into the carbon fiber rather than externally wrapping it like the APX2’s blade. This “Sense Layer” does a great job of protecting the edges of the blade from chips and cracks when you’re digging in the corners or taking faceoffs.
  • TeXtreme, Monocomp & eLASTech Technologies – This has been Bauer’s standard for their top of the line sticks but it’s always worth mentioning. The Monocomp true one-piece construction is one of the best on the market. It provides players with extremely consistent shaft walls, it helps to minimize excess material and delivers excellent responsiveness. This also works hand in hand with eLASTech Resin Matrix that reinforces the TeXtreme Carbon Fiber with nano-tubes that help prevent cracks from forming and/or spreading. eLASTech also helps to keep the stick feeling newer, longer.
  • Weight – 402 grams (Senior)
  • Puck Feel – Lively

Easton Stealth CX Stick

  • Elliptical Taper – Now, this has been in Easton’s arsenal since 2008 but I think it doesn’t get talked about enough. Easton’s unique taper shapes provides players with excellent puck feel,  an ultra low kick point that delivers a lightning quick shot release but it also prevents twisting and torquing during the shooting process. Blade’s tend to open up when you make good contact with the puck but the elliptical shape combats this extremely well.
  • ExoRim Blade – This is one of the biggest changes coming from the Velocity V9E. Easton constructed the blade with a stiff, rigid outer frame and a support stringer through the center. The outer frame gave Easton blades a big boost in strength, longevity and durability that they had been lacking a bit the last few years. The foam package also offers a much more dampened puck feel than previous Easton sticks.
  • HyperLite Construction & XTX Resin – This year, Easton switched up their construction process and materials. The XTX Extra Tough Resin Matrix is essentially stronger and better reinforced epoxy, which helps to keep that “fresh pop feel” for a long time. HyperLite Construction removes excess material and limits deformities in the epoxy and carbon. This minimizes weight, improves consistency, enhances responsiveness and offers a well balanced feel in the hands.
  • Weight – 438 grams (Senior)
  • Puck Feel – Dampened

Warrior Covert QR1 Stick

  • Dagger T2 Taper – Warrior took their already proven taper to the next level. Working closely with a leading university, they fine tuned and tinkered with the construction to achieve their quickest shot release to date.  The Dagger T2 aggressively tapers on all 4 sides of the shaft, which results in an ultra low kick point that prevents twisting and torquing very well, similar to the ellipitcal taper on the CX. Warrior has facts to back up their “quickest release” statements too, the QR1’s 76mS (milliseconds) “moment of release” is down from 81mS in the DT1LT and 82mS in the DT1.
  • Corner Impact Reinforcement – Who cares about performance if the stick isn’t going to last? This is why the QR1 utilizes internally reinforced corners offers 2 times higher impact strength than before, without adding weight. CCM uses a similar concept on their Ultra Tacks stick, called SpeedBumper Technology, but I can attest to how big of a difference this makes. The majority of times sticks break, the crack starts or completely fails at the corner. Warrior directly attacked this weakness.
  • Etched 7-Microns Carbon &  Precision Loop – Here we have some fancy names but it really comes down to lightweight, strong carbon fiber and how it’s put together during the construction process. The carbon fiber Warrior used is permently bonded together, which offers better strength per square inch than previous models, and it is then laser-cut in layers then precisely wrapped. This one-two punch helped bring the weight down significantly and it offers premium responsiveness.
  • Weight – 404 grams (Senior)
  • Puck Feel – Lively