2015 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!
As per usual, Bauer is back with their limited edition colorways in the Vapor Hockey Stick and Skate Lines.
Bauer Vapor 1X Limited Edition Stick
Starting us off with sticks, the 1X LE stick features a quite unique 3-zone graphics package that stays true to the Vapor Family. The upper portion of the shaft features a bright splash of red while the silver TeXtreme Carbon Fiber adds some serious pop. The dark lower portion makes up the third color zone and utilizes a traditional black TeXtreme Carbon Fiber through the blade. Specs wise, the Limited Edition 1X has everything the original has; including a low kick point, the new QRT Taper that releases quicker than any Bauer stick to date, the new Aero-Sense II Blade, true one-piece Monocomp Technology and eLASTech Resin. Read more…
Last week, I got the chance to chat with Warrior’s Brand Manager, Keith Perera about the new Warrior Dynasty HD Stick Line. Read below for some great, exclusive info on Warrior’s newest line of power-unleashing, mid-kick Dynasty HD Sticks!
The big change this year is all about your new HyperDrive Kick Point. What sorts of R&D (Research and Design) went into making it?
Keith Perera: Our partnership with the leading composites theory lab at a University in the USA has given us access to technology and design systems no other company has access to. This Lab has figured out a way to model composite material shapes/designs in computers and test them in a computer environments before even making a first part. This is a technology that allows for the FEA method. An engineering method that revolutionized the golf business and allowed physicists and engineers to push material and design concepts to the very limits of performance. Many don’t know that this was the real revolution in the golf business and is propelling Warrior to new horizons in technology. The University used these computer models to test load and durability on aerospace and defense composite projects, so hockey sticks was a new challenge to their group that they embraced.
Back in 2012, CCM presented us with a radically different stick now known as the RBZ. It was followed by its successor, the RBZ Stage 2 in 2013 and the RBZ SuperFast in 2014; but 2015 is the year of the RBZ SpeedBurner. Each of the first three generations of RBZ have featured a new internal blade design but this year we’ll see the big change in the hosel.
Coming late 2015, we’ll see the debut of the third generation Nexus Stick Line, with the Nexus 1N leading the charge. Players such as Anze Kopitar, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Dougie Hamilton, Chris Kreider and Brad Richards have been caught with the 1N in their mitts. The Nexus 8000 is one of my current favorites in my rotation, there’s a lot to like about such a well rounded kick point. The Tru-Mid Kick Point, as Bauer calls it, provides a low-kick-like quick release because it doesn’t take much to load it up, but then it still supplies more than enough power when you really need to crank out a hard shot.
After countless years, the signature Pump™ feature will be making its big return home to CCM, meanwhile Reebok’s RibCor Skate Line was sent to CCM in a blockbuster deal just before the trade deadline. It looks like CCM has the “win-now” mentality, aiming to go deep in the postseason. They were looking to add another powerhouse name next to their already stacked lineup; consisting of legendary, veteran presence in the Tacks and the rookie-sensation, JetSpeed skates that will be making their professional debut sooner than later.
Okay all jokes aside, you’re here to read about the CCM RibCor 50K skates. I’ll start with my overall thoughts and impressions after having used them for a few months, while interweaving the tech aspects at the same time.
All sale pitches aside, the Bauer Vapor 1X Skates are Bauer’s most advanced, retail skate to-date. Their 3D lasted Curv® Composite Quarter Packages have always been a cut above the rest because they allow Bauer to form skates that are as anatomically correct as they get. (This essentially means the quarter package is as correctly shaped to fit around an actual foot as closely as possible). Besides how the Curv® material is 3D lasted; it’s just lighter, stronger and more rigid than anyone else’s, so you’re basically getting the ultimate trifecta. But wait, there’s more! *Billy Mays voice*. Let’s start with technology that is totally new, to even Bauer, before we get into technology we’re all familiar with.
Aiming to ring in the new year with a blast, the Bauer Vapor 1X Hockey Stick is making quite the impact in the 2014 World Junior Championship tourny. While we have seen a few key players in the NHL using the next generation Vapor stick, cough cough Patty Kane, it seems like just about every team has at least one player using Bauer’s new 1X stick. And for good reason.
I’ve been using the Vapor 1X for awhile now and I’m still loving it. Like I said in the on-ice review video below, I’ve typically been using CCM and Easton sticks the last couple of months. My ideal stick has a quick, almost “snappy” release with a lively puck feel in the blade and the HTX and RibCor 40K hit those key points for me. To me, Bauer’s haven’t had that lively feel or an overly snappy release; until this Bauer Vapor 1X stick. And now I’m hooked.
It’s been one of the most competitive years in the hockey stick industry, which players everywhere have greatly benefited from. Now the only thing better than having a huge variety of sick twigs available, is being able to pick up your favorite stick in a sweet new color scheme. So today we’ll be taking an individual look at all of the limited edition twigs that are available, plus we’ll touch on a few key features per stick.
Since joining his new team and leaving his old linemate Evgeni Malkin behind, James Neal has thrived at finding the back of the net. While we all know a new stick isn’t going to make an amateur snipe like The Great One, sometimes picking up new pine can be a quick and effective confidence booster. Especially if you find success early and often with the new pick up.
As seen in the picture below, Neal is using the Easton V9E Elite stick, which is just one of the two limited edition Easton Velocity Elite Edition Sticks. The V9E Elite is the flagship LE stick that’s followed by the V9T Elite Stick. Both models showcase the signature elliptical taper that has proven to be one of the quickest releasing twigs on the market. Besides it’s release, I really like the enhanced puck feel it provides, to me it’s a significant difference and improvement from the standard taper that’s found on the V9, V7 and V3 sticks.