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JR Boucicaut

2011 Warrior AK27 Shaft

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As far as first impressions go, this shaft makes a great one. I am using the grip model, 100 flex, with a Warrior swizzle blade(Kovalchuk curve).

Aesthetics:

Pictures of this stick do not do it justice. From afar, the design is fairly simple. The closer you look at it, the more you realize how much pride Warrior took in developing the graphics on this shaft. The grip version has some gold lettering on it that is almost like gold leaf. While the Kovalev-themed motif may not impress everyone, it sure impressed me. All a matter of personal taste I guess.

Grip:

The grip isn't overly sticky, if that makes sense. I immediately thought of the old Rubber shafts when I felt it, although its not that exact feel.

Durability:

I should be on the ice within the next 3-4 days (skates still in the shop). I can give a little bit of my thoughts on this topic then.

Performance:

Also hard to comment on this, but the flex profile seems a lot different from my old sticks, almost consistent regardless of hand placement. It feels pretty well balanced (slightly blade heavy). The blade I have is a tank, so that is definitely a factor. Blade heaviness can be a somewhat subjective assertion due to variance in blades, so I'm waiting to use it a while before I can thoroughly comment on that. There will definitely be more to come on the topic of performance.

Shaft Shape:

The dimensions and shape of the shaft are great too, nice round corners (not boxy at all) and a fairly concave shape. A welcome change from the notoriously boxy shafts I have been using for the past 2 years.

In conclusion, I like what I have seen in this shaft so far. I am definitely looking forward to trying it out on the ice. I will be using the shaft at least 4 times a week (2-3 practices, 2 games) playing Div. 2 club hockey. Being a big guy (6'4"), the 54" length was perfect, just cutting off about 3/4 of an inch.

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So far this stick has been very reliable. I laid into a few slap shots from the point tonight, and they definitely felt a little heavier than usual. Balance is good, and the flex is such that I can still get off great snap shots, and pull off the ever important "michigan". I don't use it a lot, but thought it might be worth noting. My passes are really crisp as well. As far as any complaints go, I felt the blade wiggle a little about halfway through a 45 minute scrimmage. That issue is more operator error than anything, as I can wrap the hosel of the blade with some tape before insertion, which is not an uncommon procedure. Durability with the shaft has been great, I had some good battles for the puck in the corners, took some hacks (as usual) and it is definitely no worse for wear aesthetically. Thanks again to the good people here at MSH and the folks at Warrior for facilitating this review, it has been a real treat so far.

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Now that I have some tape around the blade tenon, the blade wiggle has stopped. I think I have finally gotten used to this stick, and I like it better than any stick I've used. Very responsive, consistent flex, and durable as far as I can see. The only cosmetic wear I can see so far is some of the grip coating peeling down around the hosel. I will be able to give a more thorough review after playing some real competitive games.

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I spent a good hour last night stickhandling and shooting at open hockey. I probably took about 30 slapshots at least, and the stick held up just fine. The thing that struck me the most out of this session was how this shaft didn't seem to deaden any of the puck feel. It felt as good as any one piece I've used. There's a noticeable deadening effect to the other shaft I use, with the exact same blade. Also, the shaft kicks quite a bit, which is always good. It also doesn't seem to be softening at all yet, unlike my old shafts that would get more flexible over time. The same thing will occur eventually with this shaft I'm sure, but it seems to be taking longer. Graphics are also holding up well, even after a few good puck battles.

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After about two hours of playing two nights ago, I noticed some more peeling of the grip coating on the corners, and a few scratches in the graphics. Nothing structural to note yet, I'm liking this shaft the more I use it. The flex is still consistent, and I'm using it all the time. Updates may be a little less frequent in the coming weeks, school is starting to pick up.

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The shaft is starting to "break in" a bit i think. I can tell there has been a slight decrease in stiffness over the past week or so, but nothing major. Also, some genius decided two handers at pick-up are cool now, so I've got a decent chip in the graphics, but no visible structural damage. All in all, this shaft has been a consistent, durable, performer.

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The shaft is still holding up well to regular use. The grip coating is almost shot, but that's fairly run of the mill for grip coatings. I'd say warrior's grip coating on this one lasted about the same amount of time as that of a z-bubble or ultralite. It still hasn't lost much of its kick, and the graphics are holding up great considering the beatings this shaft is taking.

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After really consistent use, I can honestly say I couldn't be happier with this shaft. Still performs well with wristers, backhanders, slappers, and snapshots across the board. The kick that I initially liked about this stick is still there. The more I get used to it, the more I feel the puck. There's really no "dead" feel to it at all, which has been common with some of the shafts I've used. All in all, it's been a steady performer,and it's all I use. I might have to buy another one when they are for sale. 100 flex has been plenty stiff for me, and I'm a big guy (6'4", 240 lbs).

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All is well with the shaft. I've been going to stick and puck a lot more often, and it seems that these sessions yield the most objective results for me, as far as determining feel goes. It really gives me a chance to slow down enough to evaluate how the stick feels when I do something, and really pick up subtle differences. I still haven't quite figured out exactly where the kick point is on this shaft, but it's in the right spot for me, that's for sure. I really can't say enough good things about this shaft. It has also given me a reason to refine my hands a bit more, which is never a bad thing. There's really nothing that stands out as undesirable with this shaft, besides the grip coating peeling almost entirely, which is expected. It performs consistently, and the feel hasn't changed as time has gone on so far. Also, its cool to see the new graphics in the hands of pros now, I really do like the graphics package on these.

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Now that I've finished up with finals, I will be using the shaft a lot more, and updating more. We've had some good weather for pond hockey the last few days, and it looks like there will be more pond hockey weather for a while. The feel of the shaft really hasn't changed much at all since I last commented on it softening up a little bit, and it still kicks about the same. however, the grip coating is entirely shot, as to be expected. I may start using a ball of white tape, adhesive side out, to put a little grip on it. Even without the grip coating, it still isn't that slick. No more chips or cuts to report yet. If I notice any difference in feel while playing outside in colder conditions, I will be sure to mention it.

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The shaft is still holding up well. I'm playing center once in a while now, so it has been getting beat on with some frequency. I redirected a few slapshots the other day, and one of them went off the shaft, very near the blade hosel. I was half expecting to see some sort of damage, at least cosmetic. To my surprise, I couldn't locate where the puck made contact at all. I thought this was a fairly good test of durability, as it was a hard shot. As for outdoor use on ponds, or in very cold arenas, I did notice a bit of a "pingy" feel that made its way up the shaft when stickhandling or receiving a hard pass, but it wasn't very pronounced or anything. This could even be due to the blade I'm using (Warrior Swizzle) hardening up a bit with extreme cold.

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Quick update on the shaft. I had a guy that was about 6'5" 330 pounds playing defense against me on Sunday, who was not very mobile, to say the least. He absolutely hammered on the shaft with two-handers in the slot, as he really couldn't keep track of me. The shaft held up great, not a mark on it, and it got me 2 one-timer goals.

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I'm still only using this shaft and its holding up great, especially considering the near daily 2 hours of pond hockey in my backyard. I'm probably due for a new blade soon though, might try a wood blade with this shaft so I can comment on the feel and kick with a wood blade. If anyone has any questions about the shaft or things that they would like me to address about it, shoot me a pm. I'm trying not to re-hatch the same ideas over and over, but the consistent flex this thing produces is really different than any stick I've used before this one. I'm not usually one for brand loyalty, but Warrior is winning me over with this shaft.

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status quo for the shaft, ive been taking it to open hockey every other week, which is about as often as possible with my school schedule right now. nothing different since the last post, although i might try a wood blade in it soon for a feel comparison. ive been working on the one-knee onetimer (ie brett hull), taking at least 20 of those each time i skate, and they all come off about the same, with no problems from the stick. that it can take my 240 pound frame repeatedly leaning into it like that speaks wonders for durability. im probably rewarding myself with another one after finals.

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As a quick update, the shaft is holding up as well as can be expected. Grip is worn off the corners, and it is starting to soften up a little bit right below where I normally put my bottom hand. It took a nasty two hander Wednesday night and is no worse for wear. One thing I must say about this shaft is that the durability of the finish is above par. Aside from cuts and the grip wearing off, which show on any stick, the color and finish of this stick is still in remarkable shape. As always, feel free to PM me with any questions. It may take me a while to get around to it, but I would be happy to lend any insight that I might have. Also, it was cool seeing my idol Chara use the same shaft as me for a while.

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Slight update here. I will be using the AK27 shaft with an Easton Lami wood blade after Jan 12 (when I go overseas). I'll have some good updates then, but until then im saving the shaft for the big games when I get there.

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Landed here in Austria on Friday night, and played less than 24 hours later. The shaft survived airline travel from chicago to copenhagen to vienna (unbelievably). Shaft felt a little odd with a wood blade at first (easton lami), but then again I have been using composite. The extra flex down low wasn't too bad, and I felt that I handled the puck better towards the end of the game. No slap shots yet, just a few passes and wrist shots. The level of play is pretty good on this team, even though it is just a bunch of mostly college aged guys playing for fun. I will update this in a few weeks when the wood blade starts to go soft.

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Shaft is softening up a little bit, but I suspect this may be due to the beating it probably took on the plane. Also, a general (and obvious) note to wood blade users, your wood blades will not last very long in a shaft with this flex profile. The stick will strain the most at the weakest point, and that will be your blade. Alas, I got my first goal in Europe tonight, so this soft wood blade I'm left with will make a good memento as opposed to a puck (which I did not manage to get). The graphics are pretty shot by now, and the grip coating is worn off in the highest wear zones (i.e. where my lower hand usually sits). Still performs well though.

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Shaft bit the dust Saturday night. It lost quite a bit of its stiffness before breaking, about 6 inches from the bottom. You could definitely tell there was a weak spot, probably from a slash or maybe just shooting. I've been playing the opposite D on powerplays, so I was taking quite a few slappers every game. I'll definitely be picking up a new warrior shaft or stick when I get back to the states, as the performance was unrivaled by anything ive used before. Thanks again to JR and the fine people at Warrior for letting me review the shaft. It helped me get my first goal in Europe (big slap shot from the point, goalie never saw it!).

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