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Alkali Hockey 2011

November 15th, 2011 Casey Comments off

New for the 2011/2012 hockey season is Alkali Hockey, a roller specific brand, aim specifically at designing, manufacturing, marketing and selling roller hockey targeted products. For their debut line up of gear they are focusing on the essentials including skates, sticks, roller hockey pants, gloves, girdles, padded vests, and bags. And from the look of things we reviewed, Alkali Hockey went all out in making sure every level of hockey player was getting a great product.

Cofounded by roller hockey legend Joe Cook and designer Justin Hoffman in early 2011, together they bring over 20+ years of roller hockey industry knowledge to the table. Using what they call “Lithium Science” in the design and construction of all their products, they aim to bring the most advanced materials and construction techniques to maximum the energy yield by each and every player.

Skates

The biggest release from Alkali Hockey this year will undoubtably be their skate line. Alkali started from the ground up when developing their skates, to come come up with a truly unique and sleek design. Their top of the line performer is the CA9 skate, which is one of the meanest looking skates we’ve seen in awhile.

Alkali CA9 skate

Read more…

Bauer Vapor APX Ovechkin Hockey Stick Review

October 13th, 2011 Tyson Comments off

OVI and his new twig of choice...APX Stick

Easily one of the most recognizable names in the game today, Alexander Ovechkin has become the go to player when his team needs a goal or a great play to get his team and crowd pumped up. Starting this season Ovechkin will be using a new stick, the Bauer Vapor APX.

Bauer Vapor APX OVI Edition

The Bauer Vapor APX OVI Edition will feature the actual curve used by Alexander The Gr8. The Ovechkin curve will be referred to as the P08 curve. The P08 curve is as unique as OVI himself. Ovechkin’s curve is a large, open toe curve great for technical puck handling and sniping water bottles.

Bauer APX OVI Stick Grip and Non Grip

The Bauer Vapor APX stick is the pinnecle of Bauer’s player inspired research and development. Bauer has taken the foundation of the X60 hockey stick and combined it with exceptional puck feel of the TotalOne stick to create a stick that captures the best of both worlds. The difference between the APX and X60 sticks are the use of high-grade TeXtreme carbon fiber, a monocomp design for true one construction and Intelli-sense shot technology for increased stick versatility.

The Bauer Vapor APX OVI stick is available at www.icewarehouse.com

Categories: Hockey Stick Reviews

Easton Stealth RS Hockey Stick

September 15th, 2011 Tyson Comments off

The Easton Stealth RS stick is the latest and greatest stick from Easton hockey.  Easton has a long history of pushing the envelope on hockey stick performance, and has continued that tradition with the Easton RS stick.  The RS stick has evolved from the foundation of the former S17 stick and S19 stick.  Moving from the S17 to S19, Easton wanted to improve durability and increase the “pop” on shot release, so they stiffened the elliptical profile and re-engineered the blade. Moving from the S19 to RS, Easton wanted to really fine tune the flex profile and perfect the overall stick feel.

Easton Stealth RS Hockey Stick

Prior to designing the RS stick, Easton wanted to re-visit what their overall goals were for the new stick. What it really came down to was, “making the most out of your opportunities.”  In a typical hockey game your team might get around 30 shots, and each player may only get a couple of opportunities to get a good look at the net.  As a result, Easton really wanted to make a stick that players can trust that has high-end performance and a predictable feel.  When your opportunity comes in the game the RS can help you capitalize on it. When Easton fine-tuned the flex profile, they were able to make it smoother and more consistent, while increasing the “pop” to the shot release.

Easton RS Stick

Easton has also introduced some new materials in the Stealth RS stick that has decreased the overall weight while not sacrificing durability at all. The Easton RS stick features slightly different shaft dimensions than the S19 stick. According to Easton a large majority of their NHL pro players were all using the same shaft dimensions, so they decided to take that as a sign and apply those shaft dimensions to the retail version of the RS stick. The new shaft dimensions have straight sidewalls, and rounded corners.  In comparing the RS shaft dimensions to the S19 it is a slight difference but seems like the RS is just a little bit narrower.

Easton RS Stick

I was fortunate enough to get my hands on the Easton RS stick, and have been extremely happy with its performance. First, just on appearance the stick looks nasty!  The black on black look is mean, and iconic. Also, the matted finish is a nice touch.  The RS stick has an extremely light feel.  It may not be the lightest stick on the market but it certainly is in that category. As far as the shot release goes it felt amazing.  Has a really snappy feel, and felt like the puck was just jumping off the blade.  The RS stick excels most on wrist shots and snap shots, but don’t let this shy you away from taking clappers from the point or one-timers in the slot. All around I have been very impressed by the RS stick, and would definitely not have a problem recommending it.

The Easton Stealth RS hockey sticks are available at IceWarehouse.com and InlineWarehouse.com with free 2-day shipping and no handling fees.

Categories: Hockey Stick Reviews

Warrior Dynasty Stick Review and Warrior Mojo Stick Review

August 17th, 2011 Tyson Comments off

This holiday season Warrior Hockey will be coming out with a couple new hockey sticks, the Warrior Dynasty and the Warrior Mojo hockey sticks. The Warrior Dynasty hockey stick will be replacing the Warrior dolomite that had great success for several seasons.

Warrior Dynasty Hockey Stick

The Warrior Dynasty stick will have some similar features to the Warrior Dolomite stick such as: the same top of the line carbon elite material, Multi-Bias fiber placement to improve impact durability, fused one-piece design that offers a more forgiving feel, and the precision taper that focuses the majority of the flex in the lower quarter of the shaft.

Warrior Dynasty grip hockey sticks

The most significant new feature on the Warrior Dynasty stick is the Axy Sym technology. The Axy Sym is the reinforced construction on the back side and bottom of the shaft. Compression fibers have been added to the back side of the shaft, and when the stick is loaded, this causes the front to stretch more. More stretch equals more release. The puck is released faster with no energy loss. Left and right  sticks are built different to spring the force directionally.

Warrior Dynasty Hockey Stick with Axy Sym Technology

When I had the chance to check out the Dynasty stick you could actually feel that the when flex the stick in the regular direction it had stiff snappier feel. Then when flexing the stick on the backhand it felt softer. Another new feature on the Warrior Dynasty is the Slick Grip which according to Warrior “…ensures proper hand-lock/nonslip during high-load shots.  By adding extra grip on back hand and bottom of shaft with Nipple Grip raised edges, Slick Grip allows for easy movement in fingers for up-and-down shaft stick handling and transitions between shots. So basically, the slick grip is the nipple grip coating on two sides of the shaft.

Warrior Slick Grip stick coating

The Dynasty hockey sticks feature the same blade core found on the premier Warrior Widow hockey sticks, the D-Lite blade core. Using an internal polymer core, D-Lite technology allows for a very stable heel and base area which transitions to a very light and springy mid-toe area. The center of gravity of the blade is also moved closer to the heel area, which makes the blade feel lighter but does not affect stability at impact. Taper hosel area is hollow, allowing for more weight savings.  Additional aramid internal blade cap helps impact durability and prolongs blade life. Warrior has also introduced the X-Weave in the blade. X-Weave fiber matrix allows for increased strength on back side and bottom of the shaft and blade for increased recoil forward into the shaft.

Warrior Dynasty Blade Close-up

Warrior is also introducing the Mojo hockey stick that is at a lower price point, but shares many of the same features seen on the Dynasty. The Warrior Mojo hockey sticks feature the same Axy Sym technology, X-Weave fiber matrix, precision taper, and slick grip. The biggest differences between the Warrior Dynasty and Mojo stick is material (Mojo features carbon deluxe), and blade core (Mojo features a soft core blade rather than the D-Lite blade core.

Warrior Mojo Hockey Stick

The Warrior Dynasty and Warrior Mojo hockey sticks will both be available for pre-sale 9/15 at IceWarehouse.com and InlineWarehouse.com

Categories: Hockey Stick Reviews

Bauer Vapor APX Hockey Stick Review

August 15th, 2011 Tyson No comments

Bauer is getting ready to unleash, yet again one of the most highly anticipate hockey sticks of the year. The Bauer Vapor APX Hockey Sticks will be available 9/06/11 for pre-sale and have estimated in store delivery of 10/06/11.

Bauer Vapor APX Hockey Stick

The Bauer Vapor APX hockey stick picks up where the X60 stick left off, and takes the Bauer Vapor stick line into a whole new stratosphere.  So to start it off let’s go over what Bauer has kept the same on the APX as the X60 stick, both sticks feature: the high-grade TeXtreme carbon fiber, monocomp design (true one-piece construction), Intelli-sense shot technology (flex profile), Micro Feel II shaft dimensions (slightly smaller and rounded shaft dimensions).  The picture below graphically shows the softer and stiffer portions of the stick. The yellow areas are softer and the red areas are stiffer. So from this picture you can see the APX stick will have the same low kick shot release as the X60.

Bauer APX hockey stick

One of the areas where Bauer wanted to improve on was the blade core and puck feel of the X60 stick. Bauer felt they had really nailed the ideal puck feel with the TotalOne sticks and wanted to duplicate it in the Vapor stick line, although they ran into a problem. Since the Vapor line has the lower kick point the heavier blade core was making the blade deflect too much which they did not want. So to get around this they used the heavier dense Power Core III material on the lower portion of the blade where the puck has contact. Then on the upper half Bauer utilized the Aero Foam II which is a much lighter material. This way they were able to decrease the overall blade weight while, capturing the same puck feel as that the TotalOne sticks have, and eliminating the blade deflection.

Bauer Vapor APX grip hockey stick

The other feature that really sets the APX stick apart from others is a new resin they are using.  According to Bauer the new resin helps extend the life span of the stick in a few ways. First, this resin is suppose to help the stick maintain its pop throughout the sticks life. In my trip to Bauer’s head quarters in New Hampshire they mentioned that one complaint on the one95 stick was that it lost its pop after a while, and they wanted to address this issue. In Bauer’s lab testing the APX with the new resin has far surpassed any other stick they have ever made. Another way this resin really helps is in the sticks overall durability. Often a player with take a slash or block a shot with their stick during play and it will not break the stick but it will cause a very small fracture in the stick. Over time this crack will spread much like a crack on car’s windshield.  Till one day that play takes that “magical” shot that just destroys the stick and it breaks. The new resin on the Vapor APX stick helps prevent those small crack from growing and spreading over time.  According to Bauer the Vapor APX stick will be the most durable top of the line stick they have.  So what’s the catch right? Well that’s its…there is no catch, the new resin is not suppose to add any weight or have any other notice attribute to the sticks feel or play.

Bauer Vapor APX Stick Blade

The Bauer APX stick will have a sticker price of $249.99, and of course the Bauer Vapor APX sticks along with the rest of the new Bauer Vapor line will be available at IceWarehouse.com and InlineWarehouse.com.

Categories: Hockey Stick Reviews

Warrior Widow SE Hockey Stick Review

August 12th, 2011 Tyson No comments

For the 2011 Holiday season Warrior is releasing the Warrior Widow SE hockey sticks. The Widow SE hockey sticks will have the same great performance, features, and materials as the standard Warrior Widow Stick but with new fresh graphics. The red version will be a matted non-grip stick and the blue version will feature the nipple grip coating. The Warrior Widow SE stick features the dagger taper that offers an extremely low kick point with excellent pop and a whippy feel.

Warrior Widow SE Hockey Stick

Warrior Widow SE grip hockey stick

Categories: Hockey Stick Reviews

Reebok A.i 9 Hockey Stick Review

August 5th, 2011 Tyson No comments

For the 2011/2012 season Reebok will be introducing the Ai (Advanced Innovation) stick line. The Reebok A.i 9 hockey stick will be the premier stick in the new line from Reebok.

Reebok A.i 9 Hockey Stick

The biggest difference between the Ai stick line and the SicKick stick line will be the flex profiles. As many are aware the hockey sticks in the Reebok SicKick line has focused on an extremely low kick point for a quick shot release. This type of shot release works especially well for wrist shots and snap shots.  Reebok has designed the Ai stick line with a mid flex point, instead of the low kick like on the the 11K stick.  With a higher flex profile the shot release is not quite as fast, although, it allows the stick to store more energy and can deliver a more powerful shot.

Reebok Ai.9 Stick

Reebok recently invested in a new machine that scans every inch of a hockey stick and produces a report with the exact specs of the entire stick, including flex profile, carbon weave, and so on. Using this technology Reebok selected several different NHL player hockey sticks and found that 60% of them were using sticks with a mid-kick point.  The R&D process also showed that many NHL player sticks had stiffer top and bottom walls then the two side walls. To further expanding on this design Reebok has introduced the 2:1 Power Taper Ratio.  The 2:1 ratio is that the top and bottom walls are twice as stiff as the sides. According to Reebok this design allows for effortless loading and maximum power transfer/stability.

Reebok Ai 9 Hockey Stick

Reebok has continued to use their Pure Fiber technology, which is Reebok’s process of creating a true one-piece hockey stick that was featured on the 11K hockey stick. This construction process eliminates the need for additional over-laps in material, where the blade would be fused to the shaft. As a result, Pure Fiber Technology allows for a lighter, more balanced stick. A true one-piece stick will also have a more responsive feel because there is less obstruction between a players hands and contact with the puck. A new feature from Reebok on the Ai stick line is the Tactile Griptonite™ stick coating, which takes the Griptonite™ coating and adds some additional texture, for increased stick control. Adding texture to the hockey stick shaft appears to be a growing trend, with almost every manufacturer having their own variation.

Reebok Xlerated Blade on the Ai9 Stick

Reebok has also added a new blade core to the Ai 9 stick which they are calling the Xlerated Blade. The Xlerated Blade is a new highly reactive foam bare combined with an added layer of extra stiff carbon on the blade surface provide more direct power. Another tip Reebok learned from their NHL players, is that they want a stick that is dark toward the blade to make it easier to pick up on the puck. Apparently, some of the Reebok pros included Datsyuk would spray paint the bottom of the stick black to increase visibility.  As a result Reebok has used a matted black finish on the lower portion of the stick. The bottom and sides have the red graphics and flash but from the players perspective it is very dark and clean.  The matte black was a big hit with the pros, although Reebok was a little concerned the matte black blade would not receive the same response from consumers.  Reebok added a window on the blade to show that they are still using the high-end carbon fiber weave through out. You can also see that on the Ai 9 stick Reebok is using the same Dual Matrix weave that features a different weave on the front and back of the stick for increase pop.

Datsyuk and his Reebok Ai 9 Hockey Stick

Datsyuk apparently has become a quick fan of the Ai 9 stick and is said to be using this stick next season, and actually took a couple shifts with it in the Sharks and Wings series in last years playoffs. As a result looks like Dats will be the poster boy for the Ai line while Crosby will remain as the face of the SicKick series. The Reebok Ai 9 stick and rest of the Reebok Ai stick line will be available for pre-sale 9/1 and has an estimated in store arrival of 10/15 at IceWarehouse.com and InlineWarehouse.com

Categories: Hockey Stick Reviews

CCM U+ Crazy Strong and CCM U+ Crazy Light Sticks

June 21st, 2011 Matt Ward No comments

CCM U+ Crazy Light (CL) stick

For 2011 CCM has divided their “crazy” stick line to 2 completely different models. I’m sure many of you were familiar with the Crazy Light stick. Due to popular demand CCM has brought this model back, as well as introduce the Crazy Strong Stick. The Crazy Strong has more husky structure, built with grinders in mind. If you’re not looking for the lightest stick, but a stick with solid performance and great durability, the Crazy Strong may be for you.

The main reason the U+ CS stick is “Strong” is because of its unique carbon fiber construction. CCM added extra layers of impact resistant carbon fibers to the entire CS shaft. These fibers offer solid performance while adding impact resistance. The CS weighs about  448 grams, which is only 31 grams heavier than the Crazy Light.

CCM U+ Crazy Strong (CS) stick

The blade on the U+ Crazy Strong Stick offers accuracy and a large sweet spot. The blade features a dual-bridge construction to enhance the sweet spot from the heel to the toe. The CS blade core includes dual density foams for an amazing puck feel.

The other models in the “Crazy” stick line are the Crazy Light, and the limited edition Crazy Ovie. The Crazy light is the lightest stick on the market at about 417 grams. It features the same dual bridge blade construction as the Crazy Strong.

The U+ CL matted version is covered in a less pronounced sandpaper texture compared to previous Crazy Light models. The Crazy Ovie features the exact same construction as the Crazy Light Grip stick but is equipped with Ovechkin’s unique toe curve.

You can get your Crazy light, Crazy Strong, or Crazy Ovie sticks at InlineWarehouse.com or IceWarehouse.com today!

Categories: Hockey Stick Reviews

Bauer Supreme TotalOne Limited Edition Stick

May 24th, 2011 Tyson No comments

Bauer Supreme TotalOne LE Hockey Stick

Bauer has done it again…made another sweet lookin’ Limited Edition hockey stick, and this time with the red hot Total One stick. Bauer has kept all of the tech specs the exact same on the TotalOne stick but with an eye catching translucent red paint.  So that includes the TeXtreme carbon fiber, power core 3 blade core, pure shot blade profile, tac-spiral shaft texture, and amplified mid kick point. One addition to the TotalOne LE stick we did not see with the X60 LE stick is that the TotalOne LE comes in a grip and matted non-grip. The design of this stick actually came from the Patrick Kane winter classic special make-up stick. Which was a one95 stick with translucent paint making the white graphics red.

Patrick Kane Winter Classic Stick

The Bauer Supreme Total One LE hockey stick has June 15 deliver at Ice Warehouse but is available now for pre-sale.

Categories: Hockey Stick Reviews

Warrior Widow Hockey Stick

January 4th, 2011 Tyson No comments

Warrior Widow Hockey Stick 2011

Warrior Hockey is about to unleash its latest and greatest hockey stick…The Warrior Widow Hockey Stick.  The Warrior Widow stick will be taking over the top of the line spot from the former king of the Warrior stick line, the Kronik stick. Warrior has used the same true one-piece construction process on the Widow that they used with the Kronik. The combination of Warrior’s carbon elite carbon and the one-piece construction process results in an impressively light, and balanced feel, with great energy transfer and power.

Warrior Widow Hockey Stick

The Widow stick also brings a new taper and flex profile to the Warrior stick line. Warrior is calling this new taper the Dagger Taper Technology. Essentially the Dagger taper technology is a process of tapering the shaft even more aggressively to about the width of the blade along with softening the flex in the upper handle to create additional flex. According to Warrior this allows the stick to have a greater overall flex for better pop on slap shots, wrist shots, and snap shots.

Warrior Widow Hockey stick with Dagger Taper Technology

Warrior has also introduced a new material for the Widow hockey stick. The Blade on the Widow Hockey stick features the X-Stitch. The X-stitch is based off the carbon elite material, but adds aramid stitches to increase the overall strength and puck feel. Aramid is a Kevlar like fabric material that offers great strength properties. The Warrior Widow hockey stick also features the evolution of the Double D blade core, which is refereed to as the D-Lite blade core.  The D-Lite blade core offers a similar double-density internal polymer core as the double d.  However, Warrior has also added a Durable cap wrapping the parameter of the blade to help further increase durability.

Warrior Widow Hockey stick blade close-up

The stick length has been extended on the Warrior Widow stick.  Warrior has added 3″ to the shaft to help make heavy end plugs unnecessary.  According to Warrior if you cut the stick within the 3″ area it will not change the flex of the stick.  Personally, I think any time you cut a hockey shaft the flex will has to be somewhat altered, although that change will not be the exact same for all sticks. So, I think Warrior has designed the stiffness of that part of the stick with a carbon weave that will have a minimum impact on the flex of the stick when cut. Which is nice to not mess with an end plug that will add weight and change the flex.

All in all I think Warrior has a winner here, and has certainly raised the bar from where the Warrior Kronik stick left off.

Categories: Hockey Stick Reviews