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djsalerno

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About djsalerno

  • Birthday January 4

Equipment

  • Skates
    Bauer APX2
  • Stick
    Warrior QRL and QR Edge
  • Gloves
    Warrior QR Pro
  • Helmet
    Bauer 4500
  • Pants
    Bauer TotalOne MX3 Girdle
  • Shoulder Pads
    None
  • Elbow Pads
    CCM U+ Crazy Light
  • Shin Pads
    Reebok 8K Pro
  • Hockey Bag
    New England Sports Sales canvas.

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Seattle, WA
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    029384716

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    instagram.com/djsalerno

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  1. djsalerno

    Warrior Alpha QX

    Background: I play all positions (D and F) depending on what's needed, but my overall game is about speed. I'm not often going to put a puck through a defenders' triangle but I'm going to wheel around guys and weave through them. My legs create space. In terms of shooting I mostly use snapshots and wrist shots. I'm about 5'8" and 165. My sticks have consistently been cut to between my lips when standing in socks. Previous Sticks: Warrior QRE Warrior QRL Warrior HD1 True A6.0 SBP CCM Super Tacks Easton CX Easton V9E Easton V9 Stick Specs: 75 Flex Grip P28 Preface: It's possible you've read my other stick review about the Warrior QR Edge stick, but if not I'll start this by saying that I'm a loyal Warrior hockey stick patron. Please keep that in mind when reading through my review as I want to be forward that I do really like Warrior sticks. I will certainly try to keep things as impartial as possible, but my bias might sneak through every once in a while. The stick line I've been consistently using for the last few years has been the Warrior Covert line. I've used a Widow for a very short time, the DT1, the QRL. That said, every once in a while I've tried out some mid/high kick sticks as well as I've had some good experiences with the way they shoot and overall solid feeling (Bauer Total One, 1st Gen CCM tacks stick, Easton Synergy HTX before the blade fell apart, Warrior HD1) Blade: I think that this blade has some really great characteristics; To me it feels like it's livelier in terms of it's pop and spring, but manages to have a bit of a dampened feel to it. Where I feel that if you were to fire a puck at a Covert blade it might go pinging off, the blade on the QX might be able to absorb a bit of that energy and hold onto the puck. The interesting part is that it uses the same HardcoreX foam as the QRL (The QRE uses a SoftcoreX foam). It might just be my perception, but I could also see the responsiveness of the low kick taper contributing to the lively feeling of the blade. A mid kick, with all of it's characteristics about maximum energy loading through the middle of the shaft, could work the same way while receiving energy from the alternative end, the blade. Not sure if my hypothesis is even close to having an effect, but it's just my gears working. The blade has some great stiffness to it, it certainly feels like it holds up during loading and allows your blade to stay true. For me, the slightly dampened feeling (again, this is how I felt the blade to be) contributed to some lost handles while weaving through the neutral zone. I'd overskate or just lose feeling for where the puck was on my blade. If I had committed myself to getting used to the feeling of this stick I'm sure that it would be fine, but I was certainly fighting it for the 3 months I was exclusively using this stick. The stick felt more natural towards the end of my usage with it, but after going back to a Covert I had the same sloppy stickhandling when going back to the QX. Stickhandling/Receiving Passes: As explained above, I had some trouble at first getting used to this blade. I do, however, think that this blade will suit a lot of people. It's stiff, true, and overall helps contribute to positive characteristics of this stick. Receiving passes is relatively easy with this blade. I didn't have to cradle the puck as much as I would have to with a Covert stick. Actually, the puck feel and pass reception remind me a lot of the Easton V9. It had a soft feel, but certainly not a Bauer (non vapor) soft feel. In terms of overall stick feel while stick handling I think it felt solid in my hands. I know the Saber Taper is supposed to act as not a pure mid kick, or a pure low kick, but somewhere in between the two where you get more power and stability through the taper. I think you can feel this while stick handling. I've heard the criticism that certain low kick sticks feel frail in the hands. The combination of thin, responsive taper and lively blade may create the "wet noodle" effect where the stick is almost flexing while stick handling or receiving a pass. There's a certain consistency that I associate with more solid feeling sticks. You know what your'e going to get out of them, you how that stick is going to feel when you get a pass, you know when you lean on it in around the boards that it's not going to fold, or brace, or react in any unexpected way. I think, if I were to characterize the feel while stickhandling I'd describe it as consistent, and I mean that in the most positive way. Shaft/Flex: Warrior describes the shaft dimensions of this stick as concave sidewalls with rounded corners. I've heard the term "dogbone" thrown around as well and I find that to be pretty accurate. The corners round out but the middle of the shaft(front and back) sinks in, giving you a comfortable, almost ergonomic feeling in your hands. It's not quite like a vapor shaft dimension where it's rounded and, to me, feels a bit smaller in your hands, but I could see how someone could make a comparison. Moving down the shaft you'll find the Saber taper which, to my understanding, is not as low as a Dagger taper, but still should provide a quick release while allowing for increased power and stability when compared to the former. From my stick experience, this reminded me of the Easton V9. From what I remember the stick was called a mid-low kick where it was not going to be as low as a V9E, but it was not a true mid kick either. It would allow you to load in to your stick but could still provide a quick, responsive release. Really, that's what attracted me to give this stick a try as I had fond memories of my V9. Shooting: While I think we all understand that puck feel and stick handling are a huge part of judging a stick, I think the "sexy" characteristics are in how the stick is going to shoot. Goals and scoring are marketable. Unless your Dan Girardi or Kris Russell I doubt any kid imagined blocking a shot in game 7 of the SCF to win. I'd like to start by saying that I think that this stick, in my hands, did what it advertised. It felt as though it loaded well, and gave me a bit more stability while loading all of that energy into the shaft/blade. It felt like I could still get a shot off quickly when I needed to. It felt like I could count on this stick to hold up while digging around the boards to retrieve a puck. I say all of this while saying it does not necessarily suit my game. I found that the stick really shined when I had time to get my hands and body over the puck and lean into a snapshot. Unfortunately, that doesn't often happen for me and most of the time, it felt like I was using the stick to 80% of it's potential. I don't want this to come off as, "unless you have time to dust the puck off you'll never shoot well with this stick". In fact, I'd like to dispel that right now. I just felt like it didn't work out for me. I think a lot of it comes down to my shooting mechanics and the types of situations I find myself in during games. If i was a "heavy" shooter looking for a more responsive stick I think I'd really enjoy this. If I felt like I could "overload" a low kick or dagger taper, I'd probably like the shooting characteristics of this stick. I am, however, neither of these things so it always felt like I was using a butcher knife to peel a carrot; It'll get the job done but in my hands, it's the wrong tool. Weight/Balance: The QX is listed around 410g. I've said before that most top end sticks hover around the same place and I put a bit more stock into the balance of a stick contributing to how/why certain sticks will feel lighter in your hands than others at the same weight. I like blade light sticks as I think it contributes to my perceived and preferred "crisp and responsive" blade feel. The QX feels balanced in my hands but I don't quite think it felt as good in my hands as the QRL. Again, that's my preference and the QX is a light stick with a good balance to it. From my experience I think that Warrior hockey does a great job of making their sticks light enough, while giving the right balance to make sure that they don't feel too blade or handle heavy. I know some defensive guys who really like having some weight (perceived weight through actual grams or balance) behind their sticks/blades for poke checking. Same applies to heavy shooters as Force = mass x acceleration (please, physicists don't kill me over that, it makes sense in my head haha) I think I'll bring it back to the idea that the QX just feels solid in your hands. The weight and the way it's distributed adds to the "story" of this stick line. I think for players who like having a stick that just feels consistent, the weight and balance of this stick help contribute to that. I think if the weight was distributed differently it might feel like you can't depend on the stick to perform during heavy actions, ie battling in front of the net, digging for rebounds, battling for pucks in along the boards, taking faceoffs, or lifting sticks (or getting your stick lifted or slashed). Durability: I have never had an issue with Warrior sticks in terms of their durability. That being said, it's possible I'm just lucky. I'm not particularly hard on my sticks in terms of leaning heavily in to them, or digging around in the corners, or jousting with players in front of the net. I've found the QX blade held up nicely; the blade kept its' stiffness, responsiveness, and didn't split anywhere. The shaft, and importantly the taper, have held up well only showing cosmetic blemishes. It hasn't "whipped out", and the stick shows no signs of failure any time soon. Intangibles: N/A today. Conclusion: I'll focus more on the story the Warrior Alpha QX is trying to tell and whether or not I feel that the stick lives up to it. To me, the Alpha line is meant for someone who wants a stick that can be a bit of a workhorse but has some finesse as well. It can handle being heavily leaned in to but can also be responsive enough to beat a goalie who gets a clean look at your shot. It can battle behind the net but also score the game winner. I'm waxing poetic but if the Covert is the sniper, then the Alpha is your captain. It has a specific profile, but it's an all around stick that does a lot of things well. I think it loads well without sacrificing quickness. It is, and will stay consistent in it's feel. This stick wasn't the right tool in my hands, but I think that there's a large portion of people out there who will benefit from the characteristics of this stick. If i'm scoring this stick, for me it's 7 only because it just never felt right. I was fighting the stick. For reference, the QRL is a 10, the A6.0 SBP would be a 7, the HD1 would be an 8 (I preferred the blade feel of this stick), the V9E would be a 9, the Super Tacks would be a 6. I want to be very clear though, these numbers have nothing to do with performance, it has to do with my performance with the stick and it's match to me...NONE of these are bad sticks(in my opinion), they just don't fit me.
  2. djsalerno

    Warrior QR Edge stick

    Background: I play all positions depending on what's needed (F and D), but I'd certainly say my game is about speed, and shooting pucks from the tops of the circles and in. Almost exclusively snapshots and wrist shots, but there are some half clappers stuck in there from one timers. I'm about 5'8" and 165lbs. My sticks have consistently been cut to between my lips while standing in socks. Previous sticks: (recent) Warrior QRL (Really Like) Warrior Alpha QX Warrior HD1 True A6.0 SBP CCM Super Tacks (Did not like) Easton CX (Did not like) Easton V9E (Really Liked) Easton V9 Stick Specs: 75 Flex Grip P28 Preface: For a lot of this review I'll be directly comparing the QRE(dge) to the QRL and the QX as they're the sticks I've been using most recently, and there's a commonality and continuity between the lines and manufacturer. I've consistently been playing with some form of Warrior Covert family stick for the last few years, dating back to the DT1 and even trying a Widow for a very short time. Disclaimer: I did receive this stick after winning a code from MSH on an IG contest to be part of the VIP program. So thank you to MSH and Warrior for the chance to try this stick out. Blade(Crisp/Lively): This is what I love about Warrior Covert style sticks and has kept me in the brand consistently. To me, the blades feel crisp and lively. Switching between the QRL and the QRE it feels as if the QRE is slightly dampened comparatively to the QRL, but it still sits in the livelier end of the spectrum. To me, the QX felt/feels the most dampened in the brand. For a bit more reference, I really enjoyed the blade feel of the Easton V9E and the old Bauer X:60s when they were the top of the line with the aerofoam blades but without the sense layer that they added on the APX. I enjoy this style of blade for stick handling, puck reception, and passing/shooting. Crisp is the word I use the most when describing these style of blades. In terms of durability I've never had any issue with any of my warrior sticks through history. I'm also not doing a lot of stick work or digging hard into corders. Stickhandling/Receiving Passes: Again, the word I use the describe the Covert style blades is crisp. Specifically, with the QRE, I didn't feel like there was a huge learning curve coming from the QRL, even though I did feel it was a bit more dampened. This is where I'm sure some folks loving the blade on something like a Bauer Supreme will probably be discouraged from trying a QRE. The blade is lively, but I'm very used to it. In terms of stickhandling it feels like there's a direct line from my hands down to the blade. I'm guessing it's a combination of the True1 construction, Carbon fiber/molding processes and efficiencies, and the blade materials. In terms of receiving passes the blade has a bit of jump, but most folks will be able to adjust. It's not a blade that you can have someone rocket a puck to you and have it stick to your blade without having a bit of cradle to it. If you know what kind of blade feel you like then I'd certainly say this is a livelier one, and it comes through in the stick handling and puck receiving. From my experience, I wouldn't think that there would be any surprises coming in to the QRE if you have experience in a livelier, crisp blade. Shaft/Flex(Easy Loading): The shaft has rounded corners with straight sidewalls and is consistent from what I felt in the QRL. I could see someone feeling like it's a "boxier" feel, especially compared to the QX that has a "dog bone" shaped shaft. To me, it feels very comfortable in my hands and has some slight tactile/raised grip on the upper portion of the shaft. Moving lower down the shaft is where the standout feature is. The Edge taper is aesthetically different from any other taper on the market today. To me, it reminds me a bit of the Easton elliptical tapers of old. It has a bit of a diamond shape where it's a thin taper, but the sides (east to west) are wider. From my understanding this adds to the stability and power of the taper, but still allows you to quickly load and release with ease for a quick and accurate shot. I have always been in a 75 flex stick, and to me the QRE feels a bit whippier than the QRL does. I noticed it when really leaning in to a snapshot where it felt like there was a bit more loading happening before the release of the puck. I wouldn't say it's a bad thing, it's just a bit different and took me some getting used to. I'm not going to go out and say it's "the best of both worlds" but it's pretty good, and it's definitely as advertised. There feels like a perceived whip to the stick, possibly through the easier loading, and the stability really does help keep the blade closed more during the stick deformation when loading. Shooting(Easy Loading, Quick Release;Bread and Butter): Another reason why I've stayed in Covert sticks for so long are the shooting characteristics of the stick. To me, this stick matches my game. It amplifies what I already do since it's suited to me. I'm never going to be a big shooter, really leaning in to my shots. I'm a smaller player that uses speed and a quick(ish, heh) release to beat goaltenders. The QR Edge still lives and breathes by it's shooting characteristics. Now, with the Edge taper, expect a stick that loads easily, and releases quickly while keeping the strength and accuracy. Pucks feel clean, crisp, and lively coming off the blade. On a good shot, you'll feel all the technologies working in unison. I'm not going to say this stick is going to make you shoot like Laine, but, if it matches your game it will help amplify, or reinforce your abilities. Weight/Balance(Light): I remember listening to the Warrior Hockey podcast where they talked about sticks having a threshold in terms of their weight and how light they are. it got me thinking a bit about balance, distribution, and what feels comfortable. The QR Edge feels light, but more importantly it feels good in my hands. I'll be honest that I've never been a blade heavy fan. To me, that always made it feel "clunky" and added to the "dampened" feel of blades. I suppose what I'm saying is that at a certain point, all high end sticks will be around the same weight. At that point, it comes down to the balance of the stick and what you prefer. Me; I prefer a lighter feeling blade, so I'd rather have the weight closer to the top of the stick. For some people, they might not like that. In my opinion the QR Edge feels light, and balanced towards the top. Someone else could pick the stick up and say they feel the balance is neutral, or it's more towards the taper. This is one of those categories where you 100% should feel the stick and judge for yourself. Durability(10): I've been using this stick, exclusively, for about 3 months. Every few sessions I'll mix my QRLs back in just to compare. I have never had issues with Warrior sticks and their durability and this is no exception. The blade has held up, and so has the taper. I'm not heavy on my sticks at all so if they did start to break down I'd be quite disappointed. There's some cosmetic chips here and there, but it's not like the graphics, or grip coating, are falling or flaking off. If there was ever an aspect that I might be hard on my sticks it's blocking/deflecting shots. In that regard I'm very happy with the internals of the blade. Like the QRL, the blade has kept it's stiffness, it's shape, and it's pop. I see zero signs that it's going to start to get soft on me (knock on wood). Intangibles: I hated the graphics at first, but when I actually got the stick in front of me I thought the colors were fantastic. It's clearly got a lineage and a history. To me, you can see the orange and blue and know it's a Warrior. You know it's a Covert. It reminds me of old Dolomite sticks. The asymmetrical graphics are certainly interesting. I don't know why but I prefer having the larger Warrior logo up by my hands and the Covert logo at the bottom. I'm a righty so I get the Warrior Logo at the bottom and the Covert up by my hands. Really though, should I care? Conclusion(10): Warrior hockey has won me over the last few years with their Covert line. If you've made it through this review I'm sure you're seeing that I'm quite fond of these sticks, so please, take my review with a grain of salt and search for things that I've said that can be a bit more concrete. I think this stick has a livelier feeling blade. This stick loads very easily, but also has a lot of stability through it's taper. It's a quick release style stick. It's light, and regardless of your preference for weight distribution, has a nice balance to it. If these things speak to you then I'd recommend trying a friend's QRE out, or go to a store and pick one up and see how it feels in your hands. If you like it after that, and you think this stick suits your game, then I'd have a hard time telling you not to invest in one as it will respond positively. Conversely, if you've made it through the review, and you feel that there are characteristics of this stick that do not suit your game you might be shoving a square peg in a round hole. Like any other stick, if you're fighting it and wanting it to be something it's not, you'll surely be disappointed.
  3. djsalerno

    Easton V9

    Stick Details: Easton V9 Grip 75 Flex E28 Righty Stick has been cut down appx 4" (close to a 90 flex) Used a sticky roll to add some tackiness to the exposed portions on the heel of the blade without tape Personal Details: Height: 5'8" Weight: 170 Level:B level men's league Position: Winger (but occasionally wherever they need me..you know, men's league, heh) Recent Stick History: Bauer X:60 Bauer APX Bauer TotalOne NXG Warrior Covert DT1 Easton Mako II Easton Stealth RSII Intro: After a long and very happy marriage to Bauer sticks I have gone on a little bit of a tangent and tried out some other manufacturer's twigs. This has taken me from Bauer, to Warrior, back to Bauer, to Easton, back to Warrior and to Easton. Through all of these sticks I have started to tweak what I really like in my sticks and hopefully I can give you a better idea of what the V9 brings to the table. I play in a pretty high level men's league as well as a few pickups during the week and have had a chance to put this V9 through the ringer. I have probably been using the V9 for about 5 months now. *NOTE:I have also used a V9 with a different curve as well(E3). Blade: One of the things that kept me away from Easton sticks for a very long time; the stigma that they all go soft in the blade after use. I can say that I am extremely happy with the way that the blade has held up over time. Not sure if it's the use of the hypertoe or stiffening rods in the blade but it gives it a very solid feel. I am not sure/can't tell if the hypertoe technology on these velocity sticks really makes a difference when shooting (off the toe) but I can say that it makes the blades feel a lot more solid to me. One of the things that I used to love about Bauer sticks that eventually made me switch was their "soft" puck feel. After switching companies to Easton I enjoy the feel of a blade with a little more crispness to it. Stickhandling/ReceivingPasses: Coming from Bauer sticks over to Easton there was a bit of an adjustment when it came to catching a pass. The Bauer sticks would allow me to just let it hit the blade with barely any deflection, like a magnet..when first using the V9 there puck would bounce slightly off but this is something that most folks can adjust to over a small period of time. As noted before I add some stickiness to the heel of my blade using a sticky roll...any pass i catch on the back 1/3rd of my blade will stick pretty well because of it. The more solid feeling blade gave me a better sense of where the puck was (I feel like this is extremely personal though as there are plenty of people who love the Bauer feel)...what I feel is less personal, however, is the fact that this stiff blade has a lot of pop to it. Shooting/Shaft/Flex: This brings me to the area I feel this stick excels at. First and foremost, I am a shooter. I use mostly snap shots and wrist shots and rarely use a slapshot(even my slapshot is a half clapper usually just to get it off quickly). One of the things that I have come to realize over time is that I do not like a super low kick. I like to be able to feel a stick flex below my lower hand. Before I cut down the V9 to it's current length i stick handled a little in my garage on a pad and flexed the shaft...at 75 flex you can really feel it whip..when i cut it down to it's current height it felt more like what I'm used to. When i bare down on the stick I can feel the shaft flex below my lower hand, but it's stiff enough where it's responsive and gets the puck off the blade. Even when shooting in stride coming down on a rush the puck comes off the blade clean, the shaft has power, and the accuracy is very good. I do not feel any blade deflection, I do not feel any distortion in the lower portion of the shaft. I love the way this stick shoots plain and simple. In contrast, I have used an RS2 and found that I do not like the eliptical taper(totally opinion)...The release is definitely quicker and the puck comes off with a lot of pop...I did not feel like I was getting nearly as much on my shot however. Using Bauer sticks I felt like I could feel the stick load, but sometimes it would "overload" and there was some lag to my shots..like i was losing some power into the shaft. Weight/Balance: The V9 isn't the lightest stick out there but it's certainly light enough. With Easton having a fuse point I can see how it feels a little more blade heavy than a true one piece, however that's not to say that this stick feels blade heavy...it's just compared to some other high end sticks it might. I like that it has some heft to it and I feel like the particular balance of the stick gives me a little more feel when stick handling (ie if it was blade light I wouldn't necessarily be able to feel the puck as well). I do not remember much about before I cut the stick down when it comes to the weight although i'm positive it would make a difference in the feel of it. Durability: A Note:I am not very hard on my sticks...I do lean into my shot a lot but I'm not one to go digging in the corner, slashing sticks, or really treating it like a 2x4...I respect my investment and try hard to keep them in as good of shape as I can. As I've said before there was a stigma with the Eastons that they went soft in the blade...I can say that with this stick I have had zero problems...the blade is still going strong and has tons of pop and life in it..the shaft has zero cracking and the only chips are strictly cosmetic and should be expected from 5 months of use. I've been bouncing around stick companies for the last year or so and can say that this is the first stick that has given me everything it promised, as well as everything that I look for in a stick. I have zero complaints about it.


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