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.
The new RPD + Skates just hit the shelves and are look to push Alkali to another strong year of growth and prosperity in the roller hockey game. While the product’s name change is minor, the innovation and update each model features is not. Alkali’s goal with this new line is to improve and elevate on their previous RPD Line, which had been their biggest success in the skate market to date. Today, we’ll be highlighting significant upgrades and key features on their top two price points; the Alkali RPD Max+ ($649.99 for a senior pair) and the Alkali RPD Shift+ ($399.99 for a senior pair).
Bauer is dishing out another round of sweet limited edition twigs, this time coming in the Nexus 8000 and 4000 sticks. As per usual, the Nexus 8000 and 4000 LE Sticks will have the exact same performance features as the originals. This Nexus Family features a Tru-Mid Kick Flex Profile, ideal for the players who are looking for a balance of a lightning quick shot release backed with a lot of power.
Bauer Nexus 8000 Limited Edition Stick
The Nexus 8000 LE features the premier TeXtreme Carbon Fiber that is one of the lightest and strongest of it’s kind on the market today. Bauer reinforced the 8000 LE with eLASTech Resin that keeps it feeling newer, longer. eLASTech also helps to keep microfractures from spreading or growing, greatly increasing the overall durability. The PowerSense Blade Technology is a big upgrade from the previous Nexus 1000. PowerSense provides players with a much more enhanced feel for the puck while also preventing chips from forming on the edges after digging in the corners or given a quick ice-tap celly.
After years of Reebok and CCM running alongside each other as separate brands, Reebok products will begin transitioning to CCM Hockey. The CCM RibCor Stick Line is the first of many product lines that will resurface with the longstanding CCM logo attached to it. So for those who were Reebok-loyalists, it’s time to become a CCM-loyalist. The beauty is that your “brand” conversion will be seamless because it’s literally just a name change, plus I think you’ll be stoked with the new improvements in the newly rebranded CCM gear.
With all of that aside, let’s talk about CCM’s newest family of hockey sticks, the CCM RibCor’s. Leading the charge is the top of the line CCM RibCor 40K Hockey Stick. The main difference between the previous Reebok RibCor and the CCM 40K RibCor is in the Technora® aramid fiber reinforcement.
With all of the great sticks on the market right now, it can be difficult to even begin to decide where to start looking. It can be confusing and possibly even frustrating because the market is flooded (in a good way) with new technologies and varying kick points. The best place to start your search for a new twig is to figure out which kick point will benefit your shooting mechanics and playing style best. You can your likes and dislikes of past sticks you’ve used, but you can also base it off of the information we’ll supply you with today. This write-up is the second part of our top-end hockey stick breakdown and will be covering unique characteristics of the Warrior QR1, Sher-wood EK15, Easton V9E and the Bauer Vapor APX2. At the bottom of this blog, take our poll so we all can see which low kick stick hockey players are looking forward to most!
If you want to check out the “Mid-Kick Stick Breakdown” with the CCM Tacks Sticks, the Easton Synergy HTX Sticks, the Bauer Supreme MX3 Sticks and the Bauer Nexus 8000 Sticks; click this link!
Typically speaking, low kick’s are geared for the “finesse” shooter who generates shot power with their wrists. These low kick, finesse shooters generally look for a quick load and a release on wrist and snap shots hoping to surprise the goalie with a fast shot. These players differ from mid kick shooters who are “power shooters” that heavily lean into and load up on big booming slap shots and one-timers.
As the year comes to a close, Bauer is once again offering sweet new Limited Edition colorways. Unlike previous LE skate launches that generally would feature the 2nd price point skate (i.e. the Bauer Vapor X100 LE Skate), this year the top of the line Bauer Supreme TotalONE MX3 skate is getting the limited edition treatment.
The Bauer MX3 LE Skate has a much more dark and blacked out color scheme compared to the original. The Curv™ composite material is the base color that has black “Supreme” graphics wrapping around the bottom half of the boot. For the price-sensitive consumer that wants to get in on these limited edition looks, they will also be releasing a Bauer Supreme 160 LE Skate. It has a very similar design and look as the MX3 LE Skate, featuring a dark carbon base color with black Supreme graphics that line the bottom of the boot for that aggressive, murky look.
Besides the graphical changes on the quarter packages, both the Supreme MX3 and the Supreme 160 Limited Edition Skates feature the exact same performance and fit technologies as the non-LE versions. Regarding fit, they’ll have the standard Supreme fit.
It’s safe to say we’re in a golden era of twigs; the revival of legendary names, sub-400 gram stick weights and technological advances that make you wonder what if some of the all-time greats had these in their arsenal. There are so many great weapons on the market right now, ranging from different companies with different kick points for different shooters with all sorts of different technologies in them. While some players go for the “latest and greatest” on the market, the best thing to do is to figure out which flex profile matches your shooting mechanics, and roll with that. If you know you’re a mid kick or a low kick shooter, it’s totally OK and actually recommended to try out different sticks with your kind of kick point. Today we’ll be breaking down unique key features of the CCM Tacks, Easton Synergy HTX, Bauer Supreme MX3 and Bauer Nexus 8000 so that you can decide which of these mid kick sticks sounds the most suitable for you. At the bottom of this page, we have a poll you can take so we can see which twig players everywhere are looking for or like most!
As a general rule of thumb, mid kick hockey sticks are for the player who heavily loads up and leans into big booming shots. These players are looking for maximum power and generally tend to look for slap shots and one-timers. That’s not to say they don’t shoot snappers or wristers, mid kick shooters generally put a lot of lean into these for blazing shot velocity. Bauer recommends that players who tend to use a full motion shooting style should go with a mid kick, whereas the quick-motion shooter should use a low kick stick. The low-kick’s are for the “finesse” shooter who tends to generate shot power primarily with their wrists (rather than heavily leaning into the stick), thus resulting in a quicker load and release. We’ll breakdown the top low kick twigs in the next blog.
With the release of the Bauer MX3 Skates earlier this year, it was quite easy to connect the dots and assume the release of the MX3 sticks was not far behind. Fast forward a few months, the MX3 Ice Hockey Skates are still one of the hottest set of wheels on the market and now the Bauer Supreme MX3 Sticks are looking to do the same thing in their category.
Today, we’ll be thoroughly breaking down the new and the old technology these flagship MX3 Sticks have in them. Then we’ll finish with my own closing thoughts on how it felt to shoot the MX3 alongside a handful of the best sticks currently on the market (not to mention a few that aren’t even out yet either, but we’ll keep that between us!)