Category Archives: Hockey Stick Reviews and review current hockey sticks and provide insight on new stick releases.

Bauer Vapor Stick Comparison: 2015 1X vs. 2016 1X vs. 2018 1X Lite

With the much-anticipated arrival of the Bauer Vapor 1X Lite Stick this past October, we decided to look back and compare all three of the Vapor 1X models and how they stack up against each other.


The original Bauer Vapor 1X stick made a big splash as it was the first Vapor stick to veer away from the long-standing Intelli-Sense dual-flex profile that players had come to know and love. Bauer introduced their new Quick Release Taper Technology that utilized a much more aggressive lower shaft geometry that drastically lowered the kick point for a quicker shot release. In fact, the 2015 Bauer 1X could load 20% quicker and recoil 28% quicker than the APX2. This was not all mumbo jumbo either, we took both sticks out to compare and it was a night and day difference. Bauer struck gold with the QRT Taper in terms of a deadly quick shot release but it seemed to lack the same level of durability as its predecessor and consumers let that be known. The QRT Taper also caused some controversy in the hockey market since it has a similar shape to Dagger Taper that Warrior had been using on their successful Covert QR1 stick line.

  • Launch Date:  February 2015
  • Price: $269.99 (senior)
  • Weight: 429 grams (senior)
  • Upgrades: 20% quicker loading and 28% quicker recoiling via QRT Taper (vs. APX2)

Sequels can be tough, especially when it is priced $30 more (in senior) than the previous generation but Bauer wanted consumers to know that it was worth it. They took the resounding feedback from the hockey community that the QRT had an amazing release but it had to be stronger and last longer. They did just that but it is not as flashy as introducing a visual change to the stick. Bauer’s R&D department took a look inside the stick, well inside the layers of the 1X, to see how different fiber orientations affect not just durability but responsiveness too. Still today in 2017, fiber layering is the hot topic as most of the major innovations in sticks have been well played through. Bauer found that with a new fiber layup pattern, they were able to increase the QRT’s durability by 30% while removing 10 grams of weight, compared to the 2015 model. Just like with any stick, no matter how durable, there will be times that circumstances will break a stick regardless of how strong it just might be. With that said, Bauer went after and handled the only real glaring weakness of the first-generation 1X while reducing weight simultaneously, the $30 price hike did kill some of the hype around one of the quickest releasing sticks that got a big boost in the durability department.

  • Launch Date:  July 2016
  • Price: $299.99 (senior)
  • Weight: 419 grams (senior)
  • Upgrades: 30% more durable taper, slightly quicker release and a 10g weight reduction via new carbon fiber orientation


The third time is a charm, right? This 1X Lite is a significant and noticeable step up from the 2nd-generation 1X and adding “Lite” to the name of this sub-400 gram stick just feels right. The two key technologies we will focus on is the Advanced Carbon Layering technology and the improved QRT+ Taper. The ACL (Advanced Carbon Layering) Tech utilizes 13% thinner carbon fiber layers with optimized fiber placement that sped up the shot release by 11% while removing around 7 grams of weight from the blade. Blade weight is the biggest driving factor for stick balance so while 7 grams doesn’t sound like a whole lot, the perceived weight saving makes this 397-gram stick feel even lighter than it already is.

One of the more common complaints about the first two Vapor 1X sticks was that the hosel wasn’t stable or torsionally-stiff enough. This problem would surface when you go to take a heavy shot or attempt a long stretch pass and the blade would feel like it would twist or torque. This immediately affects accuracy which is why Bauer set their sights on eliminating this issue once and for all. The QRT+ Taper now boasts reinforcing layers of asymmetrical carbon fiber throughout that make it 20% more stable than the 2nd-gen 1X. This has a ripple effect that improves its overall versatility; the 1X Lite will no longer need to sacrifice shot power for its quick shot release. As we all know, Vapor has always been geared for the quick shot release and quick-motion shots, but this year its been upgraded to have more hard pop for the one-timers or big slap shots.

  • Launch Date:  October 2017
  • Price: $299.99 (senior)
  • Weight: 397 grams (senior)
  • Upgrades: 11% quicker release and a 20g weight reduction via ACL (Advanced Carbon Layering), 20% more hosel stability and better versatility via QRT+ Taper


Sherwood Rekker EK60: A love story

Love is a mysterious and beautiful thing. It can cause wounds to heal and nations to take up in arms. Men and women have died, all in the name of love. It can also make you bardownski, top cheddar, and nip corners like none other.

Hockey players all have their favorite twig. The shape of the shaft, curves of the blade, and weight of the stick all make up what different players find attractive. It may take awhile to find the one; but when that happens its true love between player and twig.

I am a forward by nature and love that low kick to give me a quick release. Also, I really like a stick with a lightweight feel, so that it is almost effortless to dangle defenders and goalies alike. For those slick sauces and sizzling snipes, my go to curve is the P88, or Kane curve.

Took me 20 years to find, but I have been fortunate to discover such a love. I have used almost every top of the line stick on the market from big names like Bauer, CCM, Easton, and Warrior. However, they never fully satisfied me. There never was really any spark or passionate connection. Don’t get me wrong they all make great sticks, but just not for me.

Twas by chance that I met her. I told my brother, who worked for IW at the time, to hook me up the best twig on the market. He then presented me with what would be the best thing has or would ever happen to my hockey career: The Sherwood Rekker EK60. She wasn’t the prettiest of sticks, but it’s what’s inside that truly counts.

Once I got to know her, her flex point, and general feel, I fell in love. Not only is the EK60 the lightest stick on the market (385 grams), but the biggest bang for your buck. While other top of the line sticks at priced at nearly $300, Sherwood offers the EK60 Rekker at about $200. Not only does she win you games, but also saves money.Containing graphene, the EK60 is one the strongest sticks out there today. Graphene is known to be 200 times stronger than steel and thus makes her strong in will as well as durable. 

She and I have been together for the longest relationship I have had with a stick in a while: about a year. Usually I break sticks every 6-8 months. I have never been happier with any other stick. The EK60 is definitely a great buy and will make you fall in love.


CCM RibCor Trigger Review – Hills Hockey Review

Stick History:

  • Sherwood 9950 Wood Coffey,
  • Bauer Supreme (Sport Chek SMU) Kane
  • Sherwood T70 Stastny
  • Winwell GX8
  • Easton RS Parise
  • Warrior AK27
  • Warrior DT1LT Pavelski
  • Warrior DT1ST Grandlund
  • Verbero PM44
  • Sherwood Rekker EK60 PP26
  • Warrior Covert QRL W03,
  • CCM Ribcor Trigger ASY P29


screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-10-22-42-amStick Info:

  • Height: uncut (60″)
  • Weight: 423 Grams
  • Grip: Yes
  • Shaft:  Gloss
  • Usage: 1 Month




My preference for grip on sticks is quite frankly, the opposite of what comes with the CCM Ribcor Trigger. Which is comprised of a glossy grip with lots of bite. My usual preference is non-grip and matte sticks. One part of this stick that really surprised me was the raised square texture along the shaft. When wearing my CCM QuickLite QLT gloves (which have very thin palms), the raised texture gives just a bit extra feel to the shaft. While the Trigger’s grip doesn’t match up with my preferences, the grip never got in the way of actually playing and does offer a good tactile surface ensuring your hands never slip. 8.5/10



CCM did a remarkable job with the Ribcor Trigger in terms of design and branding. The slight
green accents scream that this stick belongs to the Ribcor line and the contrasting white CCM letter and green Ribcor logos give an understated but distinct look to the stick. Upon closer inspection, CCM added a green hue to the carbon details at the top portion, further promoting and highlighting the Ribcor line. My favorite detail of this stick is probably the most overlooked since it is located on the bottom of the stick. The white arrow design with black and green outline gives a bit extra detail that really stands out to anyone looking for a bit more detail. I must also thank CCM for placing the flex and curve ratings low enough on the stick (and on the top and bottom) so it doesn’t get covered up by tape. Since I am someone that tests and looks at numerous sticks, this is a savior when trying to figure out exactly what you are using. The CCM Ribcor Trigger has both an understated but distinct design from far, and yet features striking details up close. The CCM Ribcor Trigger is my favorite looking stick to date. 


In the past, heel curves have been my go to curves. Since ccmp29-lg
they are going the way of the dodo I had to adapt, unlike our extinct friends. I got a chance to use the P29 this summer when I demoed a CCM Ribcor Trigger in 75 flex, and while the stick was too whippy for my liking I quickly picked out the P29 Crosby as my curve of choice for this stick line. Even with my previous experience with Warriors W03 curve, using the P29 has taken a bit of a learning curve. Without careful placement, whenever I really let a shot go they always fly just over the crossbar. I feel this is partially because of how quick the Ribcor Trigger’s release really is, but also with my relative inexperience with this particular blade pattern. While the P29 made my shots fly over the net, it also means it allows for me to get the puck up high quick. One of the big reasons I preferred heel curves was for the ability to easily saucer passes with very little effort. With the P29, getting nice and flat saucer pass has taken a bit of work. I’ve learned that the starting point for the pass is much more centered on the blade compared to heel curves. What I have also come to realize is that this actually makes quick passes easier because it doesn’t require you to place the puck on the heel before making the pass. Back handed saucer passes are another story and something I am still trying to master with this more aggressive curve.



CCM introduced the new Ascent 2 blade core in this Ribcor Trigger, which softens the blade for better puck feel while keeping the toe stiff for the quick release. Stiff and pingy blades compared to softer dampened blades both have their advantages and disadvantages. The Trigger’s blade does a good job of combining both a stiff blade and a dampened feel. I love the softer heel portion of the Ascent 2 blade when receiving and making hard passes. Hard passes feel like they magnetically stick to your blade, compared to a stiff and pingy blade where the passes feel as if they bounce off of it. In my previous experiences with  softer bladed sticks, the blade felt like they would open up on hard shots. But with the toe stiffness in the Trigger, shooters can still shoot hard snap shots off the toe without that opening up feeling. My one complaint about the softer blade is actually in stickhandling. When stickhandling I prefer a stiffer blade to really translate exactly what the puck is doing on the stick. With this softer blade I have found having doubts of where the puck is and how it is moving while stickhandling. 8/10



While the CCM Ribcor Trigger is not the lightest stick on the market, the balance is very good. I’ve never noticed the weight hindering movements on the ice or creating issues while stick handling, and the blade has enough weight to it that the Trigger does not end up feeling like you are just playing with just a shaft. During my playing time, I have been able to easily knock pucks out of the air and poke pucks away while playing defense. Movement with the Trigger is fast and nimble and I’ve never felt bogged down when trying to move my hands while using this stick. I would rate the flex profile to be comparable to other brands, this 85 flex Trigger feels similar to my 85 flex Sherwood and older model Easton sticks. 9.5/10



The weight and balance of the CCM Ribcor Trigger help create a stick that is very easy to maneuver for stickhandling. But the dampened blade gives me doubt of where the puck is while doing so, which causes me to look down for the puck more than I’d prefer. While the shaft of the Trigger and overall balance are great, I would prefer a stiffer blade for better feedback to my hands while moving with the puck. When I used the 75 flex Trigger in the summer, I had issues stickhandling because the stick feeling like it was flexing whenever I tried to make a move. Moving to the 85 flex completely solved this issue for me, and the shaft feels solid while moving with the puck. The stiffer toe section of the blade compared to the heel has caused me to alter how I play and handle the puck. I feel like I have more feedback with the toe area and have found myself using the toe more than I have before, which is completely because of my preference of a more lively blade. 8/10



I have been using low kick sticks since I purchased my first high-end stick years ago. The CCM Ribcor Trigger is the quickest releasing stick I have ever used, all while taking minimal effort in doing so. Previously coming from the Warrior Covert QRL, the Trigger was up against stiff competition. When shooting the two sticks back to back I notice that the Trigger is easier to get off a fast release and takes less effort to do. To get the quickest release with the QRL, I had to ensure I really put my weight into the stick to get the wanted kick. With the Trigger, I have been getting faster releases with less effort.

The Trigger is a stick that feels as if it is doing the work for you. Without worrying about proper balance, the low kick of the stick allows me to get off quick and fast wrist shots. While I am not quite Phil Kessel, shooting off the wrong foot mid-stride has never been easier.

While playing defense, the Ribcor Trigger’s flex point and kick allow me to get off very quick slap shots and snapshots with very little windup. This allows me to drive pucks from the point through legs in a split second while not allowing the other team to set up positionally.While the CCM’s RBZ line is considered the “Power” line for sticks, I’ve never felt the Ribcor Trigger to be lacking in shot speed. The Trigger plays perfectly to my playing style and slap shots launch ridiculously fast off the blade. Even after a month of use the Trigger constantly gives me “Oh wow” moments every time I step onto the ice.

The CCM Ribcor Trigger is simply the quickest release stick I have ever used. My shots have never been as consistent and hard until I picked up the Trigger. 10/10



With some low kick sticks making a stretch pass can be difficult. Putting force into the pass can cause the low kick to load, which ends up firing a shot off rather than an actual pass. CCM has managed to create a stick that shoots like a low kick and passes like a mid. In my hockey league the forwards like to leave the defense alone, so I am used to making a lot of stretch passes ranging 2 zones on the ice. Not once have I had the stick flex too much, every pass has been hard and exactly how I wanted it. While the curve had an adjustment period for me, once I got comfortable with it I am able to saucer pass easily and never feel like the stick if fighting my intentions. I have made note earlier in this review of my preference of a stiffer, more pingy, and more lively blade. But when it comes to receiving passes, the softer and more dampened feel of the RibCor Trigger is perfect. I can take a hard pass with this stick without worrying it will bounce off as the blade dampens a bit of the impact (yes, soft hands do that too) and the shaft never flexes under the receiving force. These features make the Trigger an excellent stick for completing one-touch passes as well as throwing and receiving hard cross ice passes across the blue lines. 9.5/10



Since I have only used the Trigger for just over a month I cannot fully comment on the durability of the stick yet. Currently, there are no signs of cracks, the blade has no chips, besides the scuffs from sticks and pucks the stick looks and more importantly feels brand new. The shaft and blade have not gone soft and do not feel like they are going to either. The Ribcor Trigger is still crisp and continues to release the same way it did when I got it, very fast and consistent.



The CCM Ribcor Trigger is the first CCM stick I have used as a player, and it has instantly become my favorite stick ever. Launching shots quicker than anything before it, the Trigger can really be an offensive weapon on the ice. With it’s low kick and ASY design shots come off faster while requiring less effort. The Ascent Blade 2 is dampened towards the heel, which increases puck feel for passing while still having a stiff toe allowing players to continue to quickly release snap shots. Before using the Ribcor Trigger I was a believe that true 1-pieced sticks were superior to fused 2 piece ones, and CCM proved me wrong with the performance of the Trigger ASY. While I personally would prefer a stiffer and more pingy blade, the Trigger is a stick that will work for sniping forwards to defensive defenders and is one you should seriously try out. 9.5/10


2016 Low-Kick Point Stick Breakdown & Buyers Guide

What’s up everyone, we’re back again to break down this year’s top of the line low-kick point hockey sticks. We’ll cover unique specs and upgraded features for each model and then I’ll throw in a few personal thoughts from my experiences playing with it. We’ll start with the sticks that were actually released in 2016, the Warrior Covert QRL and the second generation Bauer Vapor 1X, and I’ll wrap up with a recap of the 2015 low kicks, the Sherwood Rekker EK60, the CCM RibCor Reckoner and the Easton Stealth CX.

As a quick refresher, the kick point or the flex profile of a stick is where the stick flexes most, which drastically changes how the shot is released. Mid-kick sticks are for players who really lean into and load up on their shots whereas low-kick shooters primarily generate quick power with their wrists, they commonly shoot of the inside foot or often shoot in stride.  For all of the mid-kick shooters out there, a mid-kick point stick breakdown and buying guide will be up next week! If you’d like to learn more about what truly makes a low kick stick, a low kick stick or if you’d like to better understand the differences between low kick and mid kick sticks, make sure you check out our in-depth blog here. For everyone else, let’s get this thing going eh?

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Sneak Peek: Bauer Supreme 1S Stick

As 2016 winds down, next year’s gear is starting to make its way into the NHL. The big three we see using the new Bauer Supreme 1S stick right now includes Ovechkin, Eichel and Galchenyuk. While Eichel and Galchenyuk aren’t doing too hot right now; Ovi’s been plugging along with 25 points in 26 games, ranking 7th in goals, 1st in shots and 6th in +/-. So enough about stats, let’s get into the nitty gritty!


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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!

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2015 Limited Edition Bauer Vapor Sticks & Skates

As per usual, Bauer is back with their limited edition colorways in the Vapor Hockey Stick and Skate Lines.

Bauer Vapor 1X Limited Edition Hockey Stick

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. Continue reading

CCM RibCor Reckoner | the Next Generation of the RibCor

Here it is – the third installment of the RibCor series. The original Reebok RibCor and the CCM RibCor 40K both utilized a unique construction that holds the fibers in tension, meaning that they are pre-loaded and able to get quick shots off faster than other sticks.



I’ve used the CCM RibCor 40K  (seen below) for quite some time and it has been a personal favorite because of how easy it is to get a strong shot off with very little effort. So when we got our hands on the latest CCM RibCor, I was eager to try it out.


Coming in October to Ice Warehouse, is the CCM RibCor Reckoner. The CCM Reckoner stick sees a substantial change to the design of the RibCor series, though with the same end goal of providing the quickest shot.

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Q&A with the Warrior Stick Guy: Dynasty HD1 Stick

Ice Warehouse Warrior Dynasty HD1 Stick

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.

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CCM RBZ SpeedBurner Stick – Test and Tech Review

CCM RBZ SpeedBurner Stick - Ice Warehouse

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.

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