Gear Insider: Sticks for Skills

Welcome to an exciting edition of the Gear Insider. In this article, I will be exploring the vast expanse of sticks available to players today.

I often get asked by people, “what stick should I get”? My response is always the same, “how long have you been playing”?

If you have just started out doing development academy or similar, I would usually suggest a fairly cheap stick. There is no point in picking up an ultra expensive, top of the line stick when you are not using any of the features to better your game.

I would recommend having a look at getting on of the following sticks if you are starting out:

  • Bauer Nexus 400, 77-87 flex in either the PM9 or P106 curve.
  • Bauer Vapor X3.0, 77-87 flex in a PM9 or P106 curve.

I recommend these sticks as they are both inexpensive yet sturdy. The curves I have recommended are good overall for both puck handling and basic shooting. The high flex will assist with shooting but is stable enough to promote good puck handling and feel.

If you have been around for a while and are now competent at both shooting and passing, it is probably time to look at some sticks that will help improve your shot and speed up that puck movement. For this, I would recommend the following sticks:

  • Bauer Vapor X6.0, 87-102 flex in either a P106 or P14 for the forwards looking to get a big toe drag and dangle combined with a deadly shot.
  • Bauer Supreme One.6, 87-102 flex in either the P02 or P08 for the defenceman who wants strength, control and a better slapshot.

You may be wondering why I have chosen Bauer sticks so far. I have done so as the range of Bauer sticks offers the best choices for beginner to intermediate players.

If you have been playing for a few years now, you’ve reached the next level of your game. You want to have the gear to match your skills. It is now that we start looking at the top of the line sticks to really showcase your skills.

I think its important to offer options for both the forwards and defence. When you start out, its hard to differentiate between the skills of a forward and the skills of a defenceman. As we progress as players, we find that having lightening fast hands and slick deaks and dangles isn’t that advantageous as a defender. The same applies for the forward who has a snipers instinct on the slapshot and a solid sweep or poke check on the back.

Below I have listed 3 sticks. 2 for the forwards, and 1 for the defence.

Forwards:

  • The Easton RS 2 stick is the latest in super quick hands and lightning fast shots. Lightweight and precision balanced, the RS 2 feels comfortable in the hands. The low kick point allows the user to get that quick release shot into the back of the net.
  • I recommend the P7 curve for the best results and I would suggest the 85 flex to get that perfect mix of strength and whip.
  • The Bauer Nexus 1000 is the latest evolution to come out of Bauer. It combines the balance you want with a quick, powerful shot. An 87 flex is perfect to whip off the quick shot or bury that rebound.

The optimal curve for the complete forward would be the P14. Arm yourself with the ultimate weapon in the fight against defenceman and goalies!

Defence: You may wonder why I am only listing one stick. Simply, there is only one stick you should be taking out with you to shut down the opposition.

The Bauer Supreme TotalONE or TotalONE NXG. Powerful, light, accurate. This devastating weapon provides the ultimate feel, shape and construction to give you a hard, fast and accurate slapshot, big sweep check, and durable as you dig players out of the slot.

The recommended curve is the P02. Take to the ice with the confidence you will write history with this stick.

Please note that I am writing in mind of adult players. If you are looking at beginner for women, I would recommend using a lower flex such as a 57-67 flex.

The 67 – 77 flex is best suited for women in the intermediate to advanced category.

I have selected to review with Easton and Bauer products due to its availability across Australia from local skate shops, Rink and pro shops, and Skaters Network here in Sydney.

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