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!)
Back in 2012, CCM announced a multi-year partnership with Taylormade who is an innovative-leader in the golf industry. The original CCM RBZ Stick was the first product to be come about from this new partnership and it was immediately accepted by NHL’ers; including Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Fast-forward two years and CCM is now preparing to release their third generation RBZ stick, named the CCM RBZ SuperFast.
Just over two years ago on June 25th 2012, Bauer made serious waves throughout the hockey market when they released the Bauer RE-AKT Helmet. It was the first of its kind, strategically designed to better protect players from the lesser known and less researched rotational energy impacts. Public opinion and feedback reassured them it was a huge success, so they immediately went back to the drawing board wanting to continue elevating the level of protection Bauer helmets can offer. Fast forward 24 months and the second generation of Bauer RE-AKT Helmets are here with a big statement to make.
Enter the Bauer RE-AKT 100 Hockey Helmet. It features an updated Suspend-Tech 2 System, an improved VTX Foam base liner, Seven+ Technology in the rear (from Cascade helmets) and a new Moisture-Management System that helps to keep sweat out of a player’s eyes. All in all, it’s quite a big design renovation on the previously most protective helmet Bauer had in their line-up.
While long-time hockey fans are excited to see the name “Tacks” back on hockey skates, CCM has also introduced the Tacks name into the stick market. The philosophy behind the Tacks Sticks is very similar to that of the Tacks Skates, explosive power. All models in the CCM Tacks Stick Line (which includes the Tacks, 5052, 3052 and the 1052) are constructed with a traditional mid-kick point. This specific flex profile is a pro-favorite and it’s geared for the player who aggressively leans into and loads up on big shots. Mid-kick sticks are capable of storing and releasing more energy than low-kick sticks, which is why they’re recommend for heavy shooters.
Back like they never left, CCM will be reintroducing the Tacks Skates this summer. With a name this legendary, CCM made it a point to dot their i’s and cross their t’s in the performance and the looks categories.
Attack Frame™ Quarter Package
The majority of performance a hockey skate provides comes from the quality of the quarter package. CCM’s goal was to design a skate with the most explosive acceleration in hockey, which directly translated into the most explosive first 5 strides on the market. CCM uses their all-new Attack Frame™ Quarter with a new T6 Pro Core. The Attack Frame™ is constructed of a lightweight, stiff carbon twill which is strategically positioned for precise, explosive acceleration. The T6 Pro internal core gives the Attack Frame™ the pro-level support pro-level players need, plus it heat molds extremely well to the foot for a true customized fit.
It’s been just over 8.5 months since the Vapor APX2 Stick hit the shelves and took the hockey market by storm. Since then, the APX2 has been seen in the hands of some of the most premier talent in the NHL, with none other than Patrick Kane leading the way. But now the signature black and red Vapor color scheme will receive a limited edition facelift.
While most are awaiting the return of the legendary CCM Tacks name that will be reincarnated in the form of new skate and stick lines, the CCM Resistance Helmet will be there sharing the spotlight. During these 2014 NHL Playoffs, many of the top players have been rocking the new bucket; LA King’s captain Dustin Brown, Philly’s Vinny Lecavalier and Chicago’s Marian Hossa are just a few of the many.
Marian Hossa & Duncan Keith in the CCM Resistance Helmet
The CCM Resistance has done quite well being adopted and accepted by NHL’ers, especially since the previous Vector shell was the most popular shell in the whole league. The shell shape is an evolution of the previous Vector but it has a clean, updated and aggressive look. The ventilation has been significantly increased with the use of more ventilation ports with strategic placement. The vents on the top of the helmet show off the protective Impact Pods in the liner, giving it a distinct look that really stands out on TV after you’ve see it once.