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About the_sock

  • Birthday 03/26/1980


  • Skates
    Bauer Total One 6EE
  • Stick
    Easton Stealth RS Matte 85 Hall; Reebok A.i 9 Grip 85 P87A; Reebok 9K Pro Stock Grip 100 Wick
  • Gloves
    Eagle X65i 13" Navy/Yellow; Warrior Surge LE 13" Navy/Yellow/Carolina
  • Helmet
    Reebok 4K Large Navy w/ Oakley VR904 Half Visor
  • Pants
    Bauer Supreme TotalOne Navy/Gold Large
  • Shoulder Pads
    VIC Heritage Medium
  • Elbow Pads
    Bauer Pro Medium
  • Shin Pads
    Bauer Pro 14"
  • Hockey Bag
    Warrior Pro Bag Custom

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Calgary, Alberta
  • Interests
    The ladies, hockey, snowboarding, mountains, computers.

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
  • ICQ
  1. the_sock

    Easton Stealth RS

    Easton Stealth RS Flex: 85 Curve: Hall (Sakic/P92) Matte (candy cane tape, I usually use a grip but beggars can't be choosers) Time Frame of Use Since October 2011 Aesthetics What can I say, it's the best looking stick that I have used or seen. I like the two tone color and the yellow lets you know that it's an RS on the ice. Although it may have been after the T90 Undercover's pioneering color scheme, it's still the sexiest stick on the ice. 10/10 Weight and Balance I haven't used the S17 or the S19 extensively, but I have tried them out shooting around and I find that the RS feels much more balanced then the previous generations. Less blade heavy then the S19, overall light weight, on par with the APX. I switch between the RS and the A.i 9 and the RS is the lighter of the two by far. Good job by Easton taking out weight from the joint and the blade. 9/10 Blade Easton changed the blade by moving the rib higher so the puck is no longer knocking against it (problem with the S19, eventually the blade would break from repeated impacts) and by using a mix of foam and honeycomb materials to balance weight and feel. However, the feel from the blade is much less than other sticks I've used, it's much more "pingier". It's a bit of a stiffer blade and it's great for shooting but not much for puck handling and receiving passes. 6/10 Shaft and Flex Shaft is smaller diameter than more sticks and has square corners with straight walls. This is what the pros like because it's built similar to pro stock (apparently, what the rep told me). I have smaller hands so I like the smaller dimensions and the corners for really holding in my hands when passing and shooting. The flex is more true to stated, the S17 where overly soft and the S19 where overly stiff. It's a bit softer than the A.i 9 and the CL. Great job fixing the issues from the previous Stealths. I could go on about what Easton did but I'll leave that for you all to find the post I made regarding this. 9/10 Stick Handling and Passing Hmmm...this is where I find the faults with the sticks (along with the blade). This stick is not the greatest feel for the puck and it's a shooter's stick. If you want the best puck feel and passing, this may not be the best stick. However, this stick is probably not designed for this header but read on... 4/10 Shooting ...and this is why you use an RS. This stick gives me a shot. A real shot, I don't have much of one but with this stick my teammates have noticed more of the puck flying from me. It's almost like you want to shoot every time you get the puck. Being a Flames fan, it makes me less Tanguay and more Iginla. The puck MOVES. It's like a laser. When I say laser, think of Dr. Evil. Every co worker who plays with this stick laments the puck feel but is won over with the shooting. Just image the net is a 10 point buck and your RS is the shotgun; Deer Hunter that mesh. I actually broke a puck today shooting with the RS. 11/10 Durability Perhaps the dumbest thing I see on YouTube are young kids with no sense of money, value or hard work, get their equally dumb or lazy parents to buy them a pro stock RS and watch them break the stick on the second shot. I have worked in the hockey industry for a long time, used many sticks, seen some break in the first time and others never break (I'm lucky to be part of the second group, I can't break a stick if my life depended on it), durability means almost NOTHING. Hence forth, I will no longer give a score for this because there are too many factors that are involved. I have used a CL, EQ50, RS and A.i 9 in the last 8 months while a teammate has gone through 8 sticks (all broken). -/- Conclusion This is a great stick, for those snipers or shooters, it will elevate your game. Pay no attention to the pros, they have a different dynamic that doesn't affect us mortals. Good looks, strong shooting characteristics, bareable puck feel, spend the cash if you think you need that extra "umph" to get you that extra 10 to 15 goals a season. Cheers
  2. Easton Synergy EQ50 Clear Flex: 75 Curve: Hall Height: 5'11" Weight: 222 pounds Position: Left Defense Time used: Since April 2011 Flex: fairly soft, used an ST and T90 in 75 and I find that it's mid ranged between the two. Shaft stiffness has gone down to the point that it has lost its pop (but I have been using a stick that is too soft for me). Blade has kept it's stiffness in the life, softer than the ST. In order to stiffen the shaft I cut it down to accommodate a 4" Bauer Vapor composite extension which should make it about a 80 flex. 8/10 Feel: great feeling stick, never got to try out the SE16. Good puck feel, great at taking passes, never bounced off the blade. My issue with losing the puck when starting a rush from my end with the CL never really happened. The weights do work as advertised as far as I can tell. Shooting isn't the best, very "mushy" feel, blade flexes a lot so I didn't really have an accurate shot. Sub part slap shots, okay snap shot, good wrist shot. Shaft is squared corners with straight wall shaft. 9/10 Balance: this stick with the adjustable weights in the butt end allows you to customize the balance point. I found with 3 weights in it was the best for me, making the stick balanced once I added the tape and wax on the blade. Technically this stick will always be perfect by changing the weights so hard to judge score, but I like the idea. 10/10 Aesthetics: I like a clean look and this is the best. Simple logo and model on the stick. Having the visible weights in the blade gives the stick a bit of a "bionic" look to it, ups the coolness factor a bit. Heard some people's weights have popped out, mine has cracked the surface around the weights so this is a big issue. 8/10 Durability: Kevlar in the shaft helps with chips and impacts in the shaft. The blade has been fairly durable, big chips in the toe due to digging out the puck but not deep enough to damage the blade. There is a crack around the hosel area around the fuse point, but that seems to be only on the surface. Hacked and slashed my way through summer leagues and it's held up. 9/10 Overall: Great feeling stick, understand why many NHLers liked the SE16. Good for the puck handler/passer, not so much for the shooter. Mid flex with a soft blade won't put a zip in the puck when shot. Butt end plug is prone to cracking and breaking so protect it with a layer of tape.
  3. the_sock

    CCM U+ CL

    CCM U+ CL Grip 2011 Retail Curve: Ovechkin (Hall/P92 "clone") Flex: 85 flex Sticks used: 1st Generation U+ CL, Sherwood T90, Synergy EQ50, Synergy ST, Stealth RS Height: 5'11" Weight: 222 pounds Position: Left Defense Using since August 2011 Flex: been a while since using a 85 flex, so it was hard to judge. Seemed stiffer than the RS but softer than the A.i 9. Has broken in and I find it very manageable, retained its stiffness in the shaft, however, the blade has gotten very soft, I tend to give hard passes, rarely shoot slap shots and mostly snap shots. That was a surprise since the first generation CL had a very stiff blade. 8/10 Feel: it has a very dull feel with the puck, I had some trouble with knowing where the puck was on the blade when puck handling. I lost the puck many times when starting to rush out of my end. I find that the lightness of the stick allows for a quicker hand movement for puck handling but still the lack of puck feel doesn't overcome that. Rounded corners with concave shaft walls dimensions. 7/10 Balance: blade heavy, but not by much. Overall lightness compensates for blade heavy feel, I had no problems with this issue stick handling, passing or shooting. 10/10 Aesthetics: I really like the graphics on the stick, a fan of silver and red. Lines look clean but also give enough to notice out of a crowd. Stick is covered with a layer of gloss over the graphite which chips over time but doesn't take away from the look. Grip is not over grippy like the Sickick line of Griptonite, good balance which allows for the hands to move up and down the shaft. 9/10 Durability: The top layer gloss chips often and easily, but there is no damage below on the graphite. Grip coating does not peel or flake. Blade has been chipped and cut but that has not contributed to the softening of the blade. Shaft is very durable, overall a match to the CLs of the past generation. A friend has the same stick but in matte and he has a half inch gash missing in the corner of the stick but he still uses it, so I'd say it's freakishly strong. 8/10 Overall: Pretty damn light stick, constant flex in the shaft and a pretty good zip on the shot. A good snap shot stick, but not the greatest for puck handling. Very durable (not a guarantee) stick so far and will be a good stick for that Iginla type of player, quick snap, tight quick puck handling.
  4. Product: Bauer Flexlite 4.0 6EE Height: 6' Weight: 200 Foot Size: 8EE Foot Shape: Narrowish heel, high instep, medium arch (doesn't fall), wide forefoot. Duck feet but without the flat arch and instep. Level and use: 3 to 6 times a week in winter, A/B men's rec hockey Previous Skates: Bauer Supreme 5000 6.5EEE, CCM Vector U+ Reloaded 6.5E Background: I've always had ill fitting skates, due to my feet. From my first pair of Daoust skates (handed down from my dad), to working in hockey shops and going through different skates through the years, never had a skate where I didn't have pain in my forefoot, my arch or severe lacebite. I've tried all the big vendors (CCM, Reebok, Bauer and Graf) and never was able to really find a good fit. I got these Flexlites based on a recommendation from a coworker based on my feet, I was one step away from getting a custom made pair of Bauers. Fit: Flexlite fits very differently than any other skates I've tried. The skate is made on the Bauer E last, similar to the Supreme skates. The heel is narrow, generous volume in the boot, very wide forefoot and a medium toe box width and high toe box hight. The heel fit works perfectly with my feet, my old 5000 were almost wide enough in the forefoot, but my heel was way too sloppy that I wore holes in the liner. Tons of room in the boot, so much that I actually pass the pencil test. The width is big, so much that the quarter material just behind the toe box seems to have material taken out to give more room, and is reinforced with a protective support on the outside of the boot. The toe box is narrower than the Vapors or the Supreme, I was more comfortable in the Supreme toe box, it presses against my small toe a bit on my right foot. I used to have Superfeet in the skates but found with the heel lift, my ankles were too high on the padding and I was getting nasty lace bite. Once I put in the stock footbed, both issues were gone. 10/10 if you're foot is like mine Blade/holder: TUUK Lightspeed 2 holder with LS2 runners. Great setup, broke my right holder but that's because I use my right foot a lot to kick the puck to my stick (bad habit). The extra hight on the holders gives a better forward body position than the older TUUK+ from my Supreme 5000, feels much more stable on turns and stops than the E-Pro. The LS2 runners are good, no rust issues like my Performance runners on the U+. Would run them on any skates. 10/10 Weight/protection: Not light but not heavy. From skating from the Supreme 5000s to the U+, I was amazed on how much weight there was in older skates. Found that the Flexlites are in the middle. Protection is a bit of an issue for me, being a defenseman that the puck always finds on shots, I have gotten many shots off the feet and they hurt. Because of the materials used in the skate, there is no hard layer to disperse impacts. This skate is soft. I have gotten skate fenders to help protect my feet now. 3/10 Protection 8/10 Weight Durability: I've skated on these boots for a year now with heavy use (3 to 6 times during the winter and 2 to 3 times in the summer). The skates are soft to begin with but they haven't broken down to the point that they've lost all support or pop. Liner shows wear where the tongue rubs but hasn't been a detrimental issue. The quarter material is made from a weave of fibers and there is some areas where the stitching is coming loose. The molded lace bite protection is worn through to match my lacing but I don't have any issues with lace bite. If you're a light use skater, this will last you a long time. If you skate as much as I do, then it will last about two years. Don't quote me on that. 7/10 Intangibles: Great quality control on the skate, haven't found one issue where the boot has shoddy manufacturing processes. Very good quality in materials used for the price, it easily out classes other manufactures in the same price point. Great look with an all black boot with a bronze jewel on the tendon guard. Could have used a thicker ounce felt on the tongue. Great fit story, new version coming out in 2012, going to pick it up once released. Conclusion: I have seen a few inquries on this skate, thought I may put in my two cents. I love this skate, if you have feet like mine, like a softer boot to flex better and don't want to spend $850 on the top end Bauer skates, great skate. Fit is the most important thing with this boot, if you're feet don't fit into the group of people this skate is made for, you may not like the experience. If you tried a Vapor but found the forefoot too narrow but the heel a bit wide or the Supreme and the forefoot close or narrow but the heel too wide, than this may fit well. Overall 9/10 for me and my feet.
  5. the_sock

    CCM V08

    CCM Vector V08 Helmet size Medium with Oakley Pro Straight half visor Fit: Surprised that a medium helmet fit me as I have used all larges in the past (4500, 5000, 5500 and 8K). I have a wider head, so I found the temple area a bit snug but after installing the half visor it widened a bit and feels better. Good fit around the back of the head around the occipital bone and the helmet fits well around the top of my head. Good contact around my head. 8K was too wide of a helmet and 4500 and 5000 were good fits but old at the time and needed replacements. 8/10 Ventilation: I find the helmet has good ventilation compared to any Bauer helmet but a bit less than the 8K. However, I can feel a good breeze and the many ventilation points on the top and back of the helmet help dissipate heat from the noggin. 10/10 Protection: I like this helmet because it comes down lower on the back of my head. The helmet seems to fit me well and sits lower than the 5100 or the 8K. Had a few head on head hits, two pucks and three head bangs on the ice and it has protected me so far. 9/10 Weight: It's a light helmet, no real difference between some other helmets in the same class. Heavier than the 8K and the S19 which are my other helmets but I don't really feel anything different between the three. 8/10 Durability: Seems well constructed, however, the only gripe I have is that the front and back shell move and shift a lot. Not just a millimeter, but almost a half centimeter both ways. I'm quite concerned that in the future the tool less adjustment could wear down and loose the locking ability. As with many VN helmets, as it absorbs sweat it is starting to harden a bit on the forehead area. Nothing uncomfortable yet. 7/10 Conclusions: Good helmet for the price. I bought this helmet because I wanted to go away from the EPP foam helmets because I sweat a lot and it was too hot and sweaty after 10 years. It's comfortable, ventilated well and passes the mirror test. If you're looking for a good helmet for rec hockey or because you can't go on the ice without one, this is a good choice.
  6. 2010 Easton Synergy ST matte finish 85 flex Iginla curve Cut to 58" (85 flex), added 1" wood butt end Rec hockey A division and pick up, 3 to 5 times a week Height: 6'0" Weight: Around 200 pounds Position: Defensive defenseman (there's a net on the other side of ice?) Time Frame: Used for last 4 months Other stick: Sherwood T90 grip 75 flex Statsny curve (current 1st stick) Background: Got the stick from Easton to try out through work, not my curve or flex of choice but beggars can't be choosers. Been using it along with my T90 during games and pick up. I use soft flex sticks, shoot snap and wrist shots mostly, not many slap shots. I use the stick a lot on stick and poke checking so I tend to get a lot of wear on the hosel/blade. Aesthetics: I like the graphic update from the 2009 model, good use of colour accents of orange and white. Not sure why they put the orange strip on the bottom of the blade, maybe to help identify the stick like the ONE95 with the yellow stripe. Very clean graphics and easy to identify from distance. 10/10 Weight/Balance: It's heavy. Advertised at 460ish grams, could be more. However, because it's a more durable construction (extra layer of carbon) it's a trade off for the extra durability. Balance is definitely blade heavy, cut it down an extra bit to add a wood butt end to help balance the stick better. Could put in that new weight system from the EQ50 if you don't want to cut down too much. After using many different sticks for the past year, I find that it's a bit too heavy especially with putting in the wood butt end. After using the T90 and the 11K, it's relegated to the back up stick after 3 months of hard use. 8/10 Blade: The new resin properties (Shox technology) do help with the puck not bouncing off the blade, but I find that it's a small difference than Easton may advertise. I use the Sidelines grip and I find that helps with the the super stiff blade when receiving passes. However, my shots are accurate as it doesn't flex as much when shooting. As stiff as the CL blade or the 11K, however, it's much thicker of a blade in general. It's starting to chip a lot on the toe of the blade but I use it heavily against the boards. 8/10 Shaft/Flex: Love the matte finish, I would have like it better if it had a bit more grip like the Warrior AK Velvet grip. However, it's not as slippery as a normal clear shaft with sweat and moisture involved. I have used many Easton sticks in the past and I'm a huge fan of the Kevlar layer. Definitely helps dampen the vibration and I've never had an issue with any type of shaft breakage. With a compression molded shaft, you'll definitely feel the shaft flex consistently vs other mid to lower end sticks. More of a "power" shaft dimensions, tradition shaft with a small bit of concave on the shaft and rounded corners. Good for loading slap shots, a bit less responsive on the wrist and snap. Flex is always a crap shoot with Easton shafts, I find that my 85 flex is stiffer. My last Easton was an 85 but was more like a 75. I tried two different 75 flex sticks (both ST) and one was stiffer than the other. 9/10 Stick Handling/Passing: Stick handling is pretty good with this stick, the Kevlar in the shaft helps dampen the vibration from the stiffer blade. Good puck feel and I found excellent passing with the combination of the shaft stiffness and the Iggy curve. Good for spreading the sauce all over the rink. 10/10 Shooting: Great clapper with this stick but I found a lacking in wrist shots. This is harder to determine as the flex and curve have more of an effect on shooting (and technique). If I had a 75 flex with a Sakic/Hall curve, my shot would definately be better, no fault of the actual stick I use. 9/10 Durability: This is where the stick shines. I use my stick a lot, as Pierre MacGuire would say, a very active stick. Poking, slapping, checking, going for opponents hosels, it has taken it all. Just paint chips and nothing more. Other sticks I have used end up with deep grooves in the carbon just asking for breakage. One pick up I played, got tripped by the blue line and in a desperation move, tried to swing at my friend who was laughing and skating by with the puck. He stepped on my stick and put two blade groves, one on the blade and one on the hosel. I've continued to use the stick for two months after and no failures where others would have broken. Great tough stick, no wonder many pros use it still. 11/10 Final Thoughts: If you're looking for a stick that will last for a long time, this is a good choice. Not only this current generation, but many previous were tough as nails. It's a good value as well, it may not have the top of the line technology as the Torx hosel or the Perimeter Weighted System, but at least Easton prices it accordingly. All the materials with this stick that are comparable against the SE16/EQ50 and the S19, so you're getting a well constructed stick. MUCH better than some of the competitors around the same price points. The ST has become my back up stick to the T90 based on the weight difference and the flex, but I would definitely buy one if I had the opportunity with the right flex and curve. UPDATE I received another ST, Hall curve in a 75 flex. Cut down to 58.5", Command grip sand red put on and taped up. Wow, what a difference. Having the proper flex has made my shot even more powerful on top of faster. The curve allows me to raise the puck better. Upgrade shooting from a 9 to 10. Same great feel, weight is lighter due to no wooden butt end in my previous ST. Balanced still a bit blade heavy. Unfortunately this stick beats the T90 for my top stick. Cheers
  7. Product: U+ Pro Reloaded 2009 6.5E Ht: 5'11" Wt: 200 lbs Foot Size: Size 8 Foot Type: Normal heel, very very wide forefoot Level and Use: D/C league rec league, about 4 times a week in winter Previous Skates: Bauer Supreme 5000 6.5EEE, tested many...many...many skates for work Fit: This skate is made to be molded. The whole quarter package is thermaformable so you have a lot of leeway with your foot size. Technically the skate is supposed to be a wider fit than there previous CCM skates (excluding the older Tacks) but not as wide as the Supreme ONEXXX skates. Once molded, I found that the skates fit great in the mid foot, but my feet are very wide at the toes, and the stitching between the quarter and toe cap dosen't mold. This causes a huge amount of pressure on my toes/outside of my foot and it's very painful. The heel is a marked improvement from the original, but I find the material packs out way too much and there is nothing but the plastic heel cup. I also find there is still heel movement, the heel lock hasn't been dialed down yet, as the material just above the heel doesn't mold well around the lower ankle and achellies tendon area. The ankle is another matter, I found it didn't even mold around my ankle area and I have to crank the laces just for it to wrap around for support. Another issue is during the baking process, you can pull the sides of the skate together very close on the top four eyelets when tying up your skates, which once cooled, forces you to over crank that area for the skate to wrap around the ankle. This has caused me to over tighten my skates which causes more foot pain and I'd rather leave the top eyelet untied...but not with these skates unfortunately. 9/10 for mid to fore foot, 5/10 for heel and ankle area Blade/Holder: The E pro holder is fine, works just like a TUUK. I prefer the exposed bolts to hold the runner, as my previous Bauers were a pain to work on. The runner I find is super soft for stainless steel: it rusts, gouges easily and loses the sharpening easier than my previous skates. The scalloped blade is interesting, it does lighten the skate a bit compared to a full runner. 8/10 Weight/Protection: Coming off my old Supremes, these skates are like clouds. My skating has actually changed from moving from cement blocks to these skates. Although not as light as the first generation, they're still super light compared to the Reeboks and Grafs, on par with Vapors and Supremes. The syrlyn is fairly tough, although I have a gouge due to a skate cut. Took a few shots off the skate and although they hurt, no visible damage of the skate occured. 10/10 Durability: So far so good! Liner material shows some wear, but it's holding up well. Syrlyn is a good material, weights it down a bit but protects very well against cuts. Other materials of the skate show normal wear and tear, but nothing is breaking down too quickly. 8/10 Intangibles: Proper baking is the most important part of this skate. Not enough will make them feel like boxes on your feet and too much will break it down prematurely. Looks are good, I don't mind the graphics of the skate. Easy to spot who is wearing them. Conclusion: Good stepping skate for CCM. I think that they fixed many of the blaring issues with the first generation, but still haven't solved the total problem. For me, the skate still is too narrow on the toe box and the fit around the heel and ankle is still too loose. Great light skate with good protection and materials. They have the right materials, just gotta fine tune the fit. OVERALL: 7/10
  8. the_sock

    RBK 8K Helmet

    RBK 8K Custom Pro L Midnight blue with silver inserts Fit - The fit is somewhat normal, I'm a large with most helmets. I found that this helmet does have more volume around the top of the head plus around the temples. Being a wider head, it fits me just perfect around the temples. Circumferance wise, it's smaller than the 5500 L I've been using. I find the dial does absolutely nothing for me. It's either broken or not effective with the one I purchased but I wouldn't use it anyways. Ventilation - I found the Bauer 5500 has almost no ventilation, I was sweating like a sauna with it on. One of the reasons why I went with the 8K is the ventilation and it's leaps and bounds better. I can actually feel air going around my head which is the main selling feature to me. 9/10 Protection - This is an interesting question...does it do a better job than the competitors? No. Do the carbon inserts give any kind of protection bonus? No. Is it like any other EPP helmet on the market? Yes. 7/10 Weight - Do the carbon inserts help with the weight? Sure...I guess. It's one of the lightest helmets I've ever worn, only second to the S19 and Gretzky's Jofa. 10/10 Durability - I find that the shell scratches fairly quickly. Some of the carbon inserts are starting to move a bit on the inside. Dial doesn't work. EPP foam is a rock...good so far. Gel pads are quite soft, but I find that the back panel is starting to wear...not good. 7/10 Intangibles- Great looks, you can get different colour options or even stickers for the inserts if you want different options. Conclusion - Good ventilation and very light, the two reasons why I bought it (well, that and I got it for dirt cheap). The "features" that are supposed to make this helmet a higher end have failed in my opinion and it's price way too high for the quality you get. If you find this helmet for around $100, I'd buy it, but you can find some similar quality helmets for cheaper.
  9. the_sock

    CCM Vector U+

    Background: 29 y/o 5'11" 190 lbs. Defense Last Used Stick(s): RBK 6K Shaft w/ Easton Elite blade Easton Z-Bubble Shaft w/ Easton ST blade Stick Reviewed: CCM Vector U+ Grip, 85 flex, Lecavalier, cut 2.5" Time Used: Three months (average 3 hours ice plus time on the pond) Feel: Feel is like no other stick. The hollow heel allows me to have more sensation with the puck, I can tell more if the puck is touching the blade. Very responsive, I don't have to look down all the time to see if the puck is on the stick now. Coming from a two piece which deadened the feel of the puck, this is the only OPS that made it feel different than my two piece. It converted me to OPS. 10/10 Weight: Fantastic. Light even with taped blade and handle, lighter than my roomies ONE95. 10/10 Durability: Great stick, bad durability. A few inches up on the shaft from the heel the graphite layers started to chip away, peeling slightly. Taped it down, but so far not contributing to the performance. Could be an issue if continues to peel as it is a weak point if I get the right slash there. The heel cover popped out of the blade, and even though I don't really miss it, I does make a difference cosmetically. Don't like paying $279 for a stick that the best feature of it looks like it's the weakest part. The grip material is peeling on the corners, but that is natural of most CCM/RBK sticks. 5/10 Shooting/Passing: Wrong flex, so shooting and passing are a bit harder. Being the 85 flex, it's too stiff for me. Hard to judge, but my clappers are great, snappers are not as good. Can't be a good judge. If it was a mix flex 75, probably be best for myself 8/10 Looks: Grapically, it's a lot on a stick, but not the worst. I prefer the cleaner look of the ONE95. Overall: This stick converted me to OPS, after not seeing much difference between my tapered two piece setup. Light, somewhat durable, great feel and good clappers. I just picked up a CL, so let's see how well CCM did to fix the first gen U+. 8/10
  10. the_sock

    Easton Z-Bubble

    Background: 5'10" 185 pound defenceman Shaft: 2007 Easton Z-Bubble Grip 85 Flex Blade: Was Easton Hybrid Lami (blech) and now 2008 Easton ST (heh heh...alright) Initial Impressions Ooo...I like grip. My first grip shaft (besides my 2000 TPS Rubber) and I love the burnt orange colour. Burnt orange makes you shoot 5% harder. Weight/Balance Hmmm...weight was suprisingly low, thanks to the 85 flex. Felt nice and light even though it had a butt end. With my old Hybrid blades, the balance was nicely even, however, when I picked up the ST blade, felt off. I may have to find a composite but end to make it near a OPS, but it's fine for my back up stick. Still heavier than a OPS. 8/10 Shooting/Passing/Stick handling WOW. This stick, before I got my tapered two piece, made my slapper and snapper ROCKET. Like the Bowie song. I couldn't believe how well it made my shot improve, like over 200%. With the shaft flexing below the tapered part, it made a great improvement on my velocity...aim still sucks, but that's due to my stone hands. Passing is fine, same as most sticks, but it's got a bit more zip. Stick handling is fine, a bit more sluggish than my light RBK/Easton setup. 10/10 Durability Hmmm, good question. I've seen many Z-Bubble shatter at the point where the taper flares out to accept the blade, but I must say that they either: 1. slap shot too much 2. taken too many hits/chips in that area 3. replaced the blade too often that it weaken the area. My stick has had no problems, replaced the blade a total of 3 times. I'm very careful not to use the stick until the next day, and I Toe-Pro whenever I get chips. I got a big one, and still the stick is in one piece (knock on wood). But, I do find that the area below the grip texture gets chipped more often, which is why I love my RBK shaft better. 8.5/10 Conclusion Great shaft. I wish it was a long shaft, so I didn't need to use a wooden butt end. A great performance boost from the Ultra-Lite shaft (500 times better) and a good choice for those of you who don't want to find tapered blades (that can be a pain in the arse!). Awesome, but it doesn't replace my tapered two piece in performance. 9/10 Cheers
  11. the_sock

    RBK 6k Shaft

    Background: 5'10", 185 pound defenceman, fourth time around for shafts, can't afford to keep buying OPS Previous shafts: TPS Rubber, Easton Z-Bubble (backup), Easton Ultra-Lite Shaft: RBK 6K Pro Feel Taper Shaft Blade: Easton Pro Stock Synthesis -Styles curve Weight/Balance What I love aboot this shaft was that it was a long shaft without a butt end. All my other shafts came with one, but added weight, although previous blades were all wood or hybrids, so it helped make my old shafts non blade heavy. When I picked up the RBK, I put on the Easton Synthesis and found that the weight was pretty darn close to many OPS. Cut off aboot 1 inch off top. Added Tacki-Mac grip which helped balanced out a bit more less blade heavy. Totally lighter than my Z-Bubble set up just because of the wood butt end on the Easton. 10/10 Shooting/Passing/Stick handling Shooting is great with a low kick taper shaft/blade setup. Better velocity and heavier shot than my Z-Bubble (my aim sucks cuz...my aim sucks). Passing I find is very similar to other sticks, it may be more of a technique thing then the stick. However, with this setup I find stick handling is great because of the overall less weight (similar to OPS) and great balance. Much better than with my Z-Bubble. OPS performance in a two piece. 10/10 Durability RBK used a graphite sock onto the mold vs using a sheets, so there is no seam. Does it make it stronger? I guess so. Can't tell. But I do like the finish of the shaft, it's taken a lot of hits, scrapes and dings and it's looking better than any of my Easton sticks. I find with the grips on the Eastons end somewhere closer to the end of the shaft, and this allows the shaft to take more damage. The whole shaft grip makes the shaft a bit heavier, but protects it better. 9/10 Conclusion Will this stick make you a better hockey player? Sure, why not, it's all in your head. Will it make you shoot/pass/stick handle better? Uh, I think your level of skill is more a determining factor. Tired of buying OPS and ruining your blade and thinking, "now if I can only replace the blade and git back on the ice"...then this is the shaft for you. 9.5/10 Cheers
  12. Synthesis Pro Stock (similar to Synergy II, but a bit heavier, 145g vs 130g, and thicker) Lidstrom/Styles Curve (used both) On RBK 6K ProFeel Taper Shaft Weight Again, using Synthesis, which is heavier at 145g. Moved from Hybrid Lami blade to this, and found a HUGE difference in weight. My current set up is comparable to a full Synergy OPS. Balanced is spot on to a OPS, used a Synergy on and off and it's very little difference. 10/10 Stick handling/Receiving Passes Took a bit to get the handle on receiving passes, had to adjust from the Hybrid blade. Once you get used to it, pucks don't bounce off. Stick handling is so much better, as the whole stick is lighter and no longer blade heavy as my old Z-Bubble/Hybrid blade setup. Balance is great, no longer blade heavy, feels like using the Synergy Elite OPS. 9.5/10 Shooting Dang! What an improvement from the Hybrid. Shots have a better velocity thanks to the stiffness of the overall blade and with the short hosel allows for a lower and faster kick. 10/10 Durability Hmmm...like my old Synergy, had problems with the heel of the blade. Like most full composite blades, it wears pretty quickly and I've had a chipping problem (same like my ST blade on my Z-Bubble). Since the blades cost a bundle...it hurts to buy more. I've helped solve the problem by using Toe Pro on the bottom of the blade (it was recommended by a guy on my team) and retaping the blade often have solved the problem. Could be a problem for those of you who aren't as anal as I. 7.5/10 Intangibles Overall I've liked this blade. I've used some other blades on friends sticks, Warrior has problems (breakages EVERYWHERE...but great shafts), RBK has some blades that last or some that shatter (pretty even...quality control issue?). I hate the Z-Bubble blade, and a guy on my team has gone through so many breaking in the middle of the blade. With finding a great deal for pro stock Synthesis, I now pay a third for the blades compared to the Synergy II/Elite blades. It's a great deal to pick up the pro stock instead of retail. Conclusion Find pro stock blades. Cheaper. Same performance. Great blade if you don't want to spend a bundle on new OPS all the time. I'm not buying OPS anymore, just these blades (or Syn II or Elite pro stocks) from now on. If you take precautions like retaping often or using Toe Pro (I highly recommend it) along the bottom and toe of the blade, you'll have good times. Or sexy parties. 9/10 Cheers
  13. Easton Hybrid Lami Blade Easton Z-Bubble Shaft 85 Flex Stick Handling/Receiving Passes Love the blade on both fronts. Coming from a whole wood blade, I wanted to have the best of both worlds. With the composite blade, found stick handling easier with the lighter blade, had to learn a bit with receiving passes, but with the lami hosel, it wasn't that much of a change. Still have a bit of give. 10/10 Weight/Balance Being lighter than a whole wood blade, but heavier than composite which is good on two fronts: easier control than whole wood AND doesn't make a shaft too blade heavy. Found that my Z-Bubble was better now it wasn't too blade heavy, but not too light that it was hard to adjust. 9/10 Shooting/Passing Wow. Just wow. Just the great increase in shooting ability is worth the price of admission. More velocity with the composite blade, and even better passing without the over flexing of the blade. Can't believe how much change from a total wood blade. 10/10 Durability I've used two generations of the Hybrid, and the first generation had a huge split (read shattered) where the blade meets the hosel. Since then, Easton introduced a new interlocking feature, and since then, never had a problem. Old problem however, the composite blade at the toe splits...quite easily and often, there is no reinforcement there (Easton shaves all the fiberglass off when doing the toe shape) and I've gone through many blades because of the splitting. Too often that I've recently moved to the ST full composite blade. Very, very disappointed because of my love of this blade. 4/10 Intangibles - ...loved this blade because of the construction, use of both materials for a good blend of performance and because they were ALMOST indestructible. The actual blade rarely wore down before splitting at the toe, and it actually improved my performance from a full wood blade. Price was good. Availability was good. Just durability was an issue. Conclusion - if you want to upgrade to a composite blade, but not a full composite, it's a great transition blade. Just the one durability issue with the toe, but if you apply Toe Pro to it, you can protect it from splitting. 7.5/10 Cheers
  14. the_sock

    Bauer 5000

    NBH 5500 Helmet Size Large Oakley Pro Straight half visor Fit - the oval size fits better for more rounded heads (vs the old CCM HT2 which were wedge). There is more room around the temples vs the CCM 1052 or the Mission Intake. Sizing is completely different than their 4000 range, so I'd recommend trying on if possible if upgrading. The gel padding is comfortable, and much better attached then the first generation of 5000's. 8.5/10 Protection - with the EPP and the gel comfort pads, there is ample amount of protection guarding the old noggin. I've taken a few hits to the helmet and fallen hard a few times (that stupid blue line tripped me) and so far, no head trauma. Whenever you take a hard hit to the head, double check the EPP for cracks, don't want a complete failure of the foam to put your head in trouble with the next hit (similar to bike helmets). I also like how the rear of the helmet comes a bit lower than other helmets and protects the back of the noggin better. 10/10 Weight - not as light as the Mission Intake, RBK 8K (which is like a cloud) or the new Easton, but still a light helmet thanks to the EPP. 8/10 Durability - me not likey the old foam on the 4000 series. It degraded and became like cement after a few years. Love the EPP foam (except when it cracks after a REALLY hard hit like my old 5000), but the overall excellent considering my old 5000 lasted me 5 years and my current 5500 is 2 years. 10/10 Intangibles - love how Bauer upgraded to the brass female screws in the front, and using a better epoxy for the gel pads (my old 5000 had a few problems). Very strong helmet and a light feeling. Only issue is the ventilation, I get hot during play and it's not as efficient as other helmets like the Intake. Also, they're still using a plastic female screw for the dome screw behind the ear...don't like that. Too easy to strip (saw a sales associate who screwed up a helmet when he didn't realize that). 8/10 Conclusion - good helmet considering price now compared to the 8500, 9500, Intake, Easton and 8K. Similar features and a lower price. Give 'er! 8.5/10 Cheers
  15. the_sock

    Nike/Bauer 4 Roll

    Nike Bauer 4 Roll Glove Review Fit - with all the new "flashy" space gloves out there, I found a hidden gem in the 4 Rolls. I do prefer the older style gloves, meaning high volume within the glove with the traditional look (some of the gloves look "out of this world"). There is ample room in the glove for wrist mobility. The fingers are shorter than other gloves, and are thinner too. I have smaller hands, yet the 14" glove fits my finger length. Double check if you have big fingers. 9/10 Weight - I find they are as light as some other competition, thanks to the use of the knit material. Even though not as light as some Eagles, MIA and Warrior gloves, they're not as bad as some full leather gloves. 8/10 Mobility - lots of room for wrist movements, very, very generous volume. Not your style if you need protection around the wrists or there are many hackers around you. 9/10 Break-in - Quick. Damn quick. With the clarino palms and the knit material, there is not much needed to break in the glove. In fact, you may find that it breaks in too quick that you will not think of the glove after the first game. 10/10 Protection - With extra poly inserts throughout the glove, plus use of high density foam, it's a very strong glove. You may not want your friends to hack you to see...but I did. Worked great. 10/10 Durability - Knit works well, although watch out for cuts, as it will unravel. Clarino palms are great, doubled layered, but it will wear faster than other synthetics or real leather. I love kangaroo leather in my old gloves, and with the Australian government culling some of the population, I may upgrade with that in the future. 8/10 Intangibles - I'm a traditionalist with the looks of my hockey equipment, so finding this glove with the level of protection and quality of make made me smile. Plus, since I work at the store, I gots me a discount. Love the breathe ability of the glove with vents in the 4 rolls area, plus the extra mobility in the thumb with the Flex-Lock thumb. I love dry-fit material from Nike, and the glove feels like a cloud on my hands. The vented materials (almost like mesh) around the fingers make the glove so damn airy. I play defense and take a lot of hacks and haven't had problems. If you, like me, are looking for a traditional fit glove with a great construction and materials...you could aways buy these gloves. If not...try the CCM Vector 10...I couldn't even put them on without pain. 11/10 Conclusion - great glove. Love the protection, breathe ability and the fit. Final score - 9/10 (10/10 if I could take off the Nike Swoosh) Cheers
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