Since joining his new team and leaving his old linemate Evgeni Malkin behind, James Neal has thrived at finding the back of the net. While we all know a new stick isn’t going to make an amateur snipe like The Great One, sometimes picking up new pine can be a quick and effective confidence booster. Especially if you find success early and often with the new pick up.
As seen in the picture below, Neal is using the Easton V9E Elite stick, which is just one of the two limited edition Easton Velocity Elite Edition Sticks. The V9E Elite is the flagship LE stick that’s followed by the V9T Elite Stick. Both models showcase the signature elliptical taper that has proven to be one of the quickest releasing twigs on the market. Besides it’s release, I really like the enhanced puck feel it provides, to me it’s a significant difference and improvement from the standard taper that’s found on the V9, V7 and V3 sticks.
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.
Easton, the leader in composite hockey sticks, is once again taking composite sticks to the next level. Building off Easton’s popular SE16 stick Easton will introduce the customizable EQ50 composite stick.
Easton’s SE16 stick offered the player one of the softest touches in the game with its Focus Weight Technology™. A process that places weight in key areas in the blade and the shaft to improve the balance and feel. Easton has built on this technology in the EQ50 stick. The EQ50 will feature a fine-tuned, exposed weight system in the heel of the blade. Redistributing the weight in the blade to the heel dampens the blade in the key impact section, allowing the player to cradle passes easier improving puck control.
To offset this redistributed weight in the blade, Easton precisely adds weight to the end of the shaft. Weight at the end of the shaft counter balances the blade for optimal swing weight. This Focus Weight Technology™ delivers a truly balanced feeling stick with enhanced puck control. And it gets even better. The Easton EQ50 stick allows the player to customize the balance of the stick, by adding/subtracting removable weights in the end plug. By adding/subtracting one or more of the 5g metal discs the player can fine-tune the balance of the stick to meet their preference. As a guide Easton provides a chart on the stick to calculate the recommend number of disc based on the length of the stick.
The rest of the Easton EQ50 stick is constructed of the highest level of materials and specs that Easton is know for. Like Compression molding for a precise, consistent feel, Kevlar® wrapping for added durability, and Multi-Rib™ blade construction that ensures a stiff, accurate blade.
The Next Big Thing… The Easton Stealth S19 Z-SHOCK helmet. Easton is gearing up to revolutionize the helmet market just as they did the stick market with the introduction of a one-piece composite stick back in 1999. The Stealth S19 Z-SHOCK is a one-piece composite helmet. That’s right! The S19 laminates EPP foam and the plastic polycarbonate shell as one unit. This construction delivers new higher levels of protection at nearly HALF the weight of current hockey helmets.
The increase in protection and reduction in weight is achieved from the one-piece design which allows Easton to replace air gaps created by layers of plastic found in traditional two-piece helmets with protective EPP foam. Since they can fill these gaps with protective foam they can actually use a thinner layer of the foam throughout the helmet to achieve the required protection level. And since the components of the S19 helmet are laminated together acting as one solid state, this design allows the helmet to absorb impacts better increasing the level of protection beyond two-piece helmets.
Since the S19 helmet is a one-piece design a performance fit is achieved through 5 different shell sizes, oversized comfort pads and a micro adjustable back strap.
The S19 helmet definitely passes the mirror test with at minimum a 20% reduction in the overall outer dimensions when compared to other popular high-end helmets on the market today. It delivers that sought after slim, non-bubble head look that has made Bauer 4000 and CCM 652 styled helmets so popular for years yet in a more protective and lighter helmet. That’s why NHL players are referring to it as the Next Big Thing. And I would have to agree.
Easton is planning on showcasing S19 in the upcoming 2010 Olympics and delivering it to InlineWarehouse.com and IceWarehouse.com in April. The first delivery will consist of black, white, navy and red color ways, with 10 more colors to be released in June. The helmet will only be available in a helmet only version and the MSRP will be $169.99. Easton will sell separately a Stealth S19 wire cage that will pair up nicely with the helmet. The S19 cage will offer rectangular shaped bars throughout the mask for enhanced vision and a dual density, moisture wicking chin cup.