Tech & Test Review: Bauer Supreme MX3 Sticks
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!)
New Technology: PowerSense 2 Blade Core
The big difference from the previous NXG to this MX3 is found in the blade materials and how it was put together. Through intense research, Bauer recognized that with the Supreme’s Amplified Mid Kick Point (and it’s intense shooting power), they could fully optimize velocity by getting the puck to “stick” to the blade longer during the shooting process. The longer the puck is in contact with the blade, the more energy is stored in the shaft as it’s loaded up; and once it finally recoils it has even more shot power than ever before.
Enter the new PowerSense2 Blade Core. Bauer used a new, high-density epoxy material that increases puck contact time and offers a dampened feel for stickhandling and catching passes. For better durability and a little more dampening properties, the MX3 Stick features an integrated Sense Layer similar to that of the Nexus 8000. This new additional material is very lightweight and it lines the blade face, toe and edges. It creates an additional layer of protection to prevent chipping or cracking that can happen when players are digging in the corners or getting hacked at during a face off. Players will also notice a big difference in puck feel because the Sense Layer provides a much more direct and precise feel for the puck when stickhandling.
Carry-Over Technology I: Amplified Mid-Kick Point
Besides the previously mentioned PowerSense 2 Blade Core, the Supreme flex profile is what separates the MX3 from the Vapor APX2 and the Nexus 8000. Supreme Sticks feature an Amplified Mid-Kick Point, Vapor Sticks feature an Intelli-Sense Low Kick Point and the Nexus Sticks feature a traditional Tru Mid-Kick Point. The Supreme’s Amplified Mid Kick Point has the highest kick point out of all the Bauer Lines and it provides maximum energy transfer for the hardest shot possible. Bauer was able to engineer this by strategically stiffening up the lower portion of the stick (near the hosel) so that it directly forces the stick to kick higher up. High mid kick sticks like this are recommended for the full-motion shooter, meaning it’s geared for the player who aggressively leans into and loads up on their stick regardless of what type of shot they’re taking.
Carry-Over Technology II: Supreme Shaft Construction
In terms of shaft construction and materials, the Bauer Supreme MX3 Stick is nearly identical to the previous NXG. It uses Bauer’s Monocomp, TeXtreme® and eLASTech Technologies. The industry-leading Monocomp Construction process molds the blade and shaft together as a single part; ensuring top-notch consistency and excellent balance. TeXtreme® Carbon Fiber is a one of the most innovative materials found on the market because it manages stresses 20% better than standard carbon fiber, but weighs 20% less! The eLASTech Resin System is unlike any other company’s resin because it uses micro-nanotube reinforcements that prevent micro-fractures from forming and cracking. eLASTech also extends the stick’s pop life, keeping it feeling newer, longer.
I’ve been able to use the MX3 stick a few different times with the luxury of having a handful of other high-end sticks to test alongside it. One trip, our batch included the CCM RBZ SuperFast, the Reebok RibCor Shadow and the Easton Synergy HTX. Another trip was to the Bauer Experience where they had all three families of sticks out and ready to be shot; so you can imagine the glorious site of stacked racks of Vapor APX2′s, Nexus 8000′s and Supreme MX3′s twigs. So, having tested the MX3 with a majority of the best sticks out (or best sticks that will be out), there are two key distinctions that made the MX3 stick stand out from the rest in certain ways.
- I’ve always chosen the Supreme Sticks over Vapor or Nexus for as long as I can imagine. The main two reasons are the mid kick point and blade that’s more on the lively side. Like we discussed earlier, the flex profile is unchanged from the NXG and it still has the Amplified Mid Kick Point. I’ve shot my share of mid kick sticks in my day but this kick point standouts as one of the most responsive and reactive from the bunch. It seemed as though it was always ready and waiting to blast-off a rocket-like shot. Some of the other sticks just seemed to take longer to fully load up where as the MX3 felt like it was just waiting for the opportunity to bomb a hard shot.
- The other key distinction that set the Supreme MX3 Hockey Stick apart from the rest was the very dampened blade feel. Like we discussed, for maximum power (which is Supreme’s mission statement), Bauer wants the puck to stick to the blade longer during the shooting process. With the new blade core and the additional Sense Layer, it gives the blade a heavily dampened puck feel that certain players love and other certain players don’t. I’ve said in the past, I’m all about a “hot” or “lively” blade face, which was another big reason why I previously liked the Supreme family over Vapor and Nexus. Needless to say, I’ll be reminiscing on the “good ol’ lively Supreme blade days” but I totally understand why Bauer did that. The MX3 sticks has one of the more dampened puck feeling blades I’ve ever used. Not to over use the expression, but the puck seemed to slightly stick to the blade when stickhandling. I felt more careful and more controlled, especially during quick turns or panic moves. It’s not my preference on the dampened feel but I definitely was reminded of the great benefits of having a blade that is.
At the end of the day, I think Bauer did a great job of not only filling the previous generation of NXG’s big shoes, but they continued to grow and elevate the entire Supreme Stick Family as a whole. While we only spoke about the MX3; the rest of the line consists of the Supreme 190 stick, the Supreme 180 stick, the Supreme 170 stick and the Supreme 150 stick. Each and every model are significantly improved and have better performance features than the previous run.
As per usual, Inline and Ice Warehouse will have all of the awesome, exclusive content you won’t find anywhere else. We just have to wait until Bauer gives us the green light and we’ll have the best in-depth product descriptions, product review videos and insight video talks with Bauer’s product manager when the time’s right. Just make sure you keep checking back!