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.
IW just received the the Wrap Around Hockey Stick Protector! You can find it online here.
It’s about time that someone invented and mass produced something like this. Concrete of all kinds are known for eating composite sticks alive. All hockey players can now take to the streets with their good sticks without fear of delaminating, cracking, or otherwise breaking the blade. Outdoor training is a great tool for improvement; but using a heavy shaft with an ABS blade just is not the same. The Wrap Around protects the blade from the (reasonable & expected) dangers of the outside world. With a strong metal alloy construction, it covers the heel of the blade all the way to the top of the toe.
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.
Here we are, right in the middle of summer and we’ve made it this far without the NHL or your competitive hockey season… For a lot of us, it has meant countless trips to the golf course, hours on hours of NHL ’14, beer league hockey games, thumb twiddling, and work. As I’m writing this during the latter, I’d like to pass along some tips for how to pass the rest of the off-season productively.
1. Growing up, one of my buddies had a net and SportCourt in his driveway. The net was backed up by the garage door and the garage door initially worked before he set everything up. We used to go out there, throw the shooter tutor on and play a game we called “5 corners.” While trying to pick corners, often our shots sailed high or wide and nailed the garage door over & over & over. Eventually the automatic garage failed and the door itself stood there battered and bruised. It looked like Phil Kessel had a go at it with his axe. There was also a broken window incident, but it wasn’t me :).
Available at http://www.icewarehouse.com/descpage.html?pcode=EZGOALCOMBO
The off-season essential here is something my buddy didn’t have (besides foresight and accuracy). I’ll let the picture speak for itself. Unless your shot is super incredibly inaccurate, the EZ Goal with Backstop and Targets is a solid investment to protect anything that you and your neighbors may not want struck by errant clappers.
For everyone who has played roller hockey, you know how hot it can get out on the rink after playing just a few shifts, as we don’t have the luxury of playing on COLD ice in a COLD building, especially during the summer where temperatures are a bit higher than we’d like. Well, we’re in luck because Mission’s popular Inhaler series is at it again with their second generation of roller hockey gear, debuting brand new skates, gloves and roller hockey pants. They are calling it the Inhaler DS and by the looks of it, they’re going to do a fine job at keeping us cool out there. Today, I’ll taking a closer look at their lineup of skates, which are represented by the Inhaler DS1, DS2, DS3. DS4, DS5, DS6 and DS7, which is a whole lot of skate and lots to talk about so lets get started.
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!)
Recently I picked myself up a pair of the Nexus 8000’s. Excited for my newly discovered perfect fit in the Bauer line. Over the past 20 years of skating I’ve used many brands, fits and profiles. None have come as close to anything I’ve experienced with this skate.
First I’ll give you a little background into my experience with Bauer skates. Having the Vapor and Supreme dynasties dominating market I constantly would try on each new release in hopes of getting that perfect fit that so many players got. However being in this industry for so long and to be quite honest being extremely picky, as a lot of us gear hounds can be, neither line was ever quite right. Having a rather narrow heel, average width forefoot and average arch; I would find myself squeezing into narrow profile skates in order to avoid heel slip. Heel slip was ALWAYS my problem. Then I finally learned that a great way to prevent heel slip is to get the boot as short as possible. In order to achieve this I decided to find a wider forefoot skate and go 1/2 size shorter. Tested with great results in my Mission AC3’s.
Then comes the newly designed, narrow heel area, medium-wide across the top of the foot and a medium-wide toe box Nexus line! What’s known as a “traditional” fit felt like a gift from the hockey gods! Now with the added room in the forefoot I was able to go even shorter that I normally did, I ended up 1 full size smaller than my previous skates. All to get into the tightest fitting, but still comfortable skate.
The CCM Tacks ice hockey skates are shipping out on Friday, July 18th and the return of the legendary Tacks skates are exciting people everywhere! Well, almost everywhere… Roller hockey players have been sitting back and watching the ice players eagerly receive the return of their beloved skate line. Here is a public service announcement: ATTENTION ROLLER HOCKEY PLAYERS; the Tacks are coming back to you too.
CCM Tacks Inline Boot
For the most part, the CCM Tacks inline hockey skates mirror the Tacks ice skates in terms of boot construction. The CCM Tacks ice hockey skates are designed to give a player the fastest first 5 strides in hockey. Just like the ice skates, the CCM Tacks roller hockey skates feature the AttackFrame technology in the quarter package for explosive acceleration. This AttackFrame uses carbon fiber stiffeners in key areas to maximize energy transfer, resulting in explosiveness. The quarter package also has an aggressive forward pitch that comfortably places you foot on the balls of your feet, which sets you up in the fastest stance. Internally, the Tacks Skates use a Formula T6 Pro Core that creates more support, stability and stiffness for the boot. Turning the skate over, CCM puts the finishing touch on the boot with their extra stiff carbon fiber outsole.
CCM knew if you can’t be comfortable in your high-performance skate, then it might as well be the lower end… This is why they use their pro-spec Dual Zone Clarino Liner that can take a beating while also keeping your feet dry. The Clarino helps to prevent foot slippage inside the boot and it protects the heaven-like, heat-moldable foams that house your feet.
Aesthetically speaking, the CCM Tacks roller uses the same look as the ice hockey skates, with the exception of an extra protective layer on the outside of the forefoot to protect against the normal wear and tear of playing roller.
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.