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SkateWorksPNW

Are low kick sticks just hype?

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As I am watching all of the highlights from yesterday's games I noticed many forwards, most recognized for getting off quick shots, fast release, are all seemingly using sticks that are not in fact low kick. For example, Barzal and McDavid use Tacks.  We all know Kane uses a Supreme wrapped as a Vapor, but many others such as Kucherov, Pasta, Marner, and such all use a medium/variable kick stick. I know Crosby and Mackinnon use a low kick, RIbcor, but it seems many players are moving away from low kick point sticks to either a mid/hybrid kick point (Nexus/Alpha/JetSpeed) or a higher kick point, such as Nylander, Barzal and such. 

So, that makes me wonder. How many players are using low kick sticks when they really should be using a mid, variable, or stick with a higher kick point? 

Edited by SkateWorksPNW

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Matthews has one of the quickest releases in the game and he has always used a mid-kick.  Honestly, I've always thought low-kick was just a gimmick.  I've tried both, and while I don't have an NHL calibre shot, I do have a very good shot, and don't notice much difference in release speed.  I have much more powerful shots with a mid-kick.  Low-kick might give me a little more speed on a shot that I just kind of flick my wrists at, but I can't even say that definitively.

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I've always loved the way mid-kick sticks kick in terms of flex, but I seem to lean the way of low-kicks because I prefer the blades more on low-kick sticks. Ideally if I could have a Nexus shaft/kickpoint and a Vapor blade, I'd be all for it. But I'm not about to buy customs.

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I def notice a diff in lag when using a high to mid kick stick like the 1s vs my 1n and also qrls etc. Does it actually make a diff in terms of velocity and results who knows. But i def feel the lag in the shaft when loading the 1s.  In general I find I do have a better slapshot with mid kick sticks though. Overall I like the feel better of variable and low kick sticks and that's really all that matters. What feels good to u. 

 

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I don’t know if there’s a difference in release speed, but I do notice a difference in feel when loading and releasing. I find it’s a lot easier to shoot snappers with a QRE or Ribcore than a Supreme or Tacks. As for Barzel and McDavid using Tacks, do we know if they’re using the low kick version of the Tacks stick or not? And didn’t Matthews switch to an Alpha for last playoffs because he was having issues scoring?  

 

Edit: I also find if I drop flex with something like a Tacks or Supreme, they take a step towards feeling more like shooting with a low kick stick. 

Edited by puckpilot
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I shoot slower with the low-licks than I do the Supremes and Tacks. But it is way easier to get off quickly and consistently, where as I really have to load the Tacks and Supreme to get a good shot off. But it comes off a few MPH faster.

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I've owned a number of Ribcores (Trigger ASY and Trigger 3D PMT) and Tacks (Ultratacks, Supertacks 2.0). And I don't find it to be hype at all. Between the two, the mid-kick Tacks stuff fits my shooting mechanics much better than the low-kick Ribcores. 

I also own a CCM Supertacks 2.0 Team Stick which really isn't a Supertacks at all but a generic low-kick made for teams, and I think there is a reason why it seems to be generally low-kicks that CCM has been providing the league's they supply. My guess is a lot more pro players are using low-kick sticks than we realize. 

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8 hours ago, Hills said:

 But it comes off a few MPH faster.

Wouldn’t it be Kilometers per hour?

Edited by chikinpotpie

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27 minutes ago, chikinpotpie said:

Wouldn’t it be Kilometers per hour?

with his shot, meters per hour.

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I think it's more about feel, I doubt there's any real world performance differences. For example... if a mid kick stick can bend and then release a shot in .25s vs a low kick in .2 seconds... does that .05s really make a difference on a 80mph snapper from 20ft away?? Probably not. Not sure if that's a realistic comparison but if low kick point sticks were statistically shown to get shots of faster such that they got more pucks in the net, every forward would have one. 

I've never liked how high kick point sticks feel but now after having an FT2 I can definitely see how having my kick point up a touch higher (yes I know it's "variable" but it's still overall higher than low kick) can add some power behind the shot. I feel 0 difference in release time and I just feel like my shots are coming off with a little more umpf. I'm actually somewhat considering a 2n or maaaaybe a Tacks but I did previously use an RBZ and hated it. 

Also, is it just me or do the low kick sticks tend to lose their pop/ feel whippy a little faster? I just used my DT4 the other day for fun and man it felt like garbage. It felt loose and whippy, I took 2 shots with it and put it back on the bench and grabbed my FT2 again. The FT2 is even 10 flex less... feels tighter, more responsive. 

 

Edit: Is gear geek when it comes to sticks the actual stick players use or is it just looking at what the paint job is? The data is interesting. Most popular Bauer stick is the 2N pro and its the FT2 for CCM.  What's the most odd is that defensemen use the Flylite as much as the 2N. Makes me think many of these sticks are dressed up and this isn't too accurate. 

 

Edited by z1ggy

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5 hours ago, z1ggy said:

 

Edit: Is gear geek when it comes to sticks the actual stick players use or is it just looking at what the paint job is? The data is interesting. Most popular Bauer stick is the 2N pro and its the FT2 for CCM.  What's the most odd is that defensemen use the Flylite as much as the 2N. Makes me think many of these sticks are dressed up and this isn't too accurate. 

 

They only report what the graphic is, not what the actual stick is. For example, they list Kane as using a Flylite and he uses a Supreme. 

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6 hours ago, SkateWorksPNW said:

They only report what the graphic is, not what the actual stick is. For example, they list Kane as using a Flylite and he uses a Supreme. 

That's a bit misleading, because it isn't as if he is using the latest Supreme model.  They're using older builds that used to be retail models, and in Kane's case, really old...

This all shouldn't be surprising; variable kick sticks have been the most popular models at the NHL level since, well, they've been around. I've always described those types of sticks as sticks that do any sort of shot decently - unlike a "slapper" stick or a "wrist shot" stick like the high and low sticks play - and that's why they're that popular.  The game moves so fast that they have to be prepared for anything; it's not as if they can put the game on pause, go to the bench, get their slapper stick, press play then bomb one.

The low and high kick sticks have gotten better in terms of versatility but before, they weren't as forgiving. 

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A kickpoint is just a section of the stick that's weaker than the rest of the stick so that it will flex at that section the most when a force is applied right?  Variable kick is just the absence of a kickpoint so that the stick will flex where your bottom hand is at.

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Does anyone definitely know the structural differences of the three stick variants? I thought that a high kickpoint stick has the same stiffnes from the top to the bottom. 

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feel like my snappers come off faster with my 1XL and ADV than they do with my Nexus. I haven’t really noticed a big difference between “power” though. I do prefer the way the mid stick reacts to being loaded, though. In an ideal world I would be using a mid-low stick like the One95, just with updated materials.

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On 11/27/2019 at 1:14 PM, yan said:

A kickpoint is just a section of the stick that's weaker than the rest of the stick so that it will flex at that section the most when a force is applied right?  Variable kick is just the absence of a kickpoint so that the stick will flex where your bottom hand is at.

According to CCM, the FT2 is more like two "weakened" areas with a "stronger" area between them, which creates the variable loading points. I honestly can't feel it, but I also don't rip 90mph clap bombs like they do in the pro's. 

 

Also, does McDavid really use a Tacks or is he using a dressed up one and plays something else?

Related image

 

Edited by z1ggy

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17 minutes ago, z1ggy said:

According to CCM, the FT2 is more like two "weakened" areas with a "stronger" area between them, which creates the variable loading points. I honestly can't feel it, but I also don't rip 90mph clap bombs like they do in the pro's. 

 

Also, does McDavid really use a Tacks or is he using a dressed up one and plays something else?

Related image

 

Yes, he uses an actual Tacks.

cab2473bc87cad06_large.jpeg

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Interesting. Thought maybe he'd be using one of the LK versions that I see floating around. Has anybody ever heard from players on why they'd use the more traditional profile as a forward and not the low kick? Is it purely because they want something for one timers or is it a blade construction thing and they don't feel kick point makes a difference to their snap shots? 

Edit: Not sure if I can post this link or not but this may provide some insight on why players use a certain profile/stick. For example, according to this, even though Nexus is kind of labeled a "mid kick" stick, it plays pretty similarly to the 1x are far as how the profile looks. It's really interesting how quickly "mid kick" point or "clap bomb" shafts change profile but sticks meant more for quick release shots are somewhat uniform comparitively. I wonder if players just prefer a super stiff blade to help keep the face from opening up? Take a look. 

http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/hockeyflexprofiles.php

 

Would seem like my QRL that I thought was a low kick this whole time plays more like a Super Tacks and less like a 1X... interesting.

Edited by z1ggy

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1 hour ago, z1ggy said:

Interesting. Thought maybe he'd be using one of the LK versions that I see floating around. Has anybody ever heard from players on why they'd use the more traditional profile as a forward and not the low kick? Is it purely because they want something for one timers or is it a blade construction thing and they don't feel kick point makes a difference to their snap shots? 

Edit: Not sure if I can post this link or not but this may provide some insight on why players use a certain profile/stick. For example, according to this, even though Nexus is kind of labeled a "mid kick" stick, it plays pretty similarly to the 1x are far as how the profile looks. It's really interesting how quickly "mid kick" point or "clap bomb" shafts change profile but sticks meant more for quick release shots are somewhat uniform comparitively. I wonder if players just prefer a super stiff blade to help keep the face from opening up? Take a look. 

http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/hockeyflexprofiles.php

 

Would seem like my QRL that I thought was a low kick this whole time plays more like a Super Tacks and less like a 1X... interesting.

Most players do not prefer super stiff blades. In fact, with Bauer, the 2N Pro blade , which has a lightweight, stiff foam core with a thick dampening layer is the #1 Bauer blade in the NHL. Apparently they claim its for versatile players that like to handle the puck and be able to shoot in any situation. This makes sense considering how hard NHL players passses are. You wouldn't want a ridiculously stuff blade as it would make it difficult to catch passes and also take one-time shots as well. 

Edited by SkateWorksPNW

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4 minutes ago, SkateWorksPNW said:

Most players do not prefer super stiff blades. In fact, with Bauer, the 2N Pro blade , which has a lightweight, stiff foam core with a thick dampening layer is the #1 Bauer blade in the NHL. Apparently they claim its for versatile players that like to handle the puck and be able to shoot in any situation. This makes sense considering how hard NHL players passses are. You wouldn't want a ridiculously stuff blade as it would make it difficult to catch passes and also take one-time shots as well. 

Makes sense. So do you think players like McDavid/Kane that are using Tacks/Supreme profiles have a different blade in there? CCM says the blade on Super Tacks is pretty stiff. 

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2 minutes ago, z1ggy said:

Makes sense. So do you think players like McDavid/Kane that are using Tacks/Supreme profiles have a different blade in there? CCM says the blade on Super Tacks is pretty stiff. 

That's really tough to say, Unless you know the very specifications they have selected it would basically be guessing. I know this much, many of the pros using the Supreme 2S aren't using the blade with the "renew core" technology. Usually pro stock sticks are a hodgepodge of different specifications and the entire stick is made of bits and pieces of various stick technologies. 

With retail, the manufacturer has assembled what they feel is best for the average player vs the player dictating what they feel works best for themselves. 

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6 minutes ago, SkateWorksPNW said:

That's really tough to say, Unless you know the very specifications they have selected it would basically be guessing. I know this much, many of the pros using the Supreme 2S aren't using the blade with the "renew core" technology. Usually pro stock sticks are a hodgepodge of different specifications and the entire stick is made of bits and pieces of various stick technologies. 

With retail, the manufacturer has assembled what they feel is best for the average player vs the player dictating what they feel works best for themselves. 

Right, well I know with CCM in particular, you can get some interesting combo's going on. You can get a low kick point version of a Super Tacks, you can get the Spear Variable shaft in a Jetspeed, and so on. But none of the MPN codes designate blade construction (at least I don't think?), pretty much as you said. 

 

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1 hour ago, SkateWorksPNW said:

With retail, the manufacturer has assembled what they feel is best for the average player ...

and for their own bottom line.

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