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Found 6 results

  1. I will update this thread as time goes along. Once again thank you to ThinkingJack and Warrior for making me a #WarriorVIP and hooking me up with this stick. I am extremely grateful and appreciate it. I've had a few people ask me about this stick so far and I feel it would be better for me to just make a quick write up about it rather than have to say the same thing over and over again. I have used the stick about 5 times so far on the ice (my league is unfortunately taking a 2 week break or else that number would be higher) and have used it on my outdoor shooting pad. Since I haven't used it enough to talk about the durability of the stick this will not be a full blown review but rather more of an initial impressions and initial performance review and because of that I will not add scores to anything but Warrior Covert QRL 100 Flex W03 Backstrom Stick History: Sherwood 9950 Wood Coffey, Bauer Supreme (Sport Chek SMU) Kane, Sherwood T70 Stastny, Winwell GX8, Easton RS Parise, Warrior AK27 , Warrior DT1LT Pavelski, Warrior DT1ST Grandlund, Verbero PM44, Sherwood Rekker EK60 PP26, Warrior Covert QRL W03 Stick Info: Height: uncut Weight: 409 Grams Grip: Yes Shaft: Gloss Length: 60 inches Usage: 5 Skates Grip: I am not a huge fan of grip sticks and most of the time prefer the non-grip and matte versions to them. With this stick I didn't have a choice in grip vs non-grip and had to go with the grip stick. I was really hoping the grip was going to be similar to my Warrior AK27 and be the velvet style, but it is more of a tacky style of grip. It does have CorTex Grip which is raised edges along the sides of the shaft which I really like. The bottom of the stick has the matte finish closer to the blade and I know I would enjoy using that style of shaft more so than this gripped version... with that said the grip certainly doesn't take away from my enjoyment of the stick and I enjoy the grip used here more than the one on CCM and Bauer sticks that I have tried before. Aesthetics: Warrior has talent when it comes to design good looking sticks that are instantly noticeable and ones you can follow the lines of lineage (Bauer Supreme does a good job at this too). I have a soft spot for orange (one reason I really liked the Sherwood EK60 design) and baby blue and Warrior does an awesome job in using those colours as accents to the black base of this stick. I really like how the bottom of the shaft is orange near the blade and I like how they use the colours to form a background of the word marks (notice how QRL and Warrior are in black with the colours surrounding them instead of just using the colours on the black stick base). I also love exposed carbon fibre weave that is on the blade and up the hosel, I personally wish this traveled all the way up the entire stick since I love that look so much. I understand why they didn't as it would make the black word marks too busy with exposed carbon fibre and the intricate designs around them. This stick looks great from any angle and is immediately noticeable that it is a Warrior Covert. Blade/Curve: Just like the grip I did not have many choices when deciding on the curve options. I choose the W03 since it was the only one available in the shaft flex I wanted. I normally prefer heel curves like the W05 Grandlund as they fit my style of play and are great for passing (which I do before shooting). With that said because of my time with the Ek60 I have gotten more used to curves that are more aggressive and I am so far getting along with this stick pretty well. The first time on the ice I had some hard passes get too much air but I have since adjusted to it. The blade itself is really nice and is very stiff which is great for puck feel and play-ability. The stiffness of the blade has a pingy and lively feel and is really noticeable when receiving a hard pass and stick handling, you always know where the blade is and where the puck is on it and I believe the stiff nature of the blade provides excellent feedback. Stick Handling: With the lightweight and lively blade stick handling with this stick has been very good. Unlike some lightweight sticks in the past I never "lose" the blade of this stick and always know where it is. The stiff blade gives me confidence when handling the puck since it gives great feedback to how the puck is actually behaving on the stick itself. The excellent balance helps the stick feel like a natural extension to your hands and never feels unwieldy. Shooting: This is the shinning point of the Warrior Covert QRL. I cannot recall a time when I felt pucks fly off of my stick as hard and as consistent as they do with this stick. Using it reminds me of the first time I used my DT1LT, except these feel even harder. With minimal effort my shots come off my stick hard with a satisfying and strong kick. I truly feel this stick is making me a better hockey player as I no longer have to worry about the mechanics of my shot to ensure I really release a rocket. I spent time on my shooting board with this and my beloved EK60 and I could really notice the difference in average shots where it felt like the Warrior Covert QRL really did most of the work for me. Out of 10 shots I felt that 9 of them left me completely satisfied without the feeling that I could get more on them, but with my EK60 only a couple out of 10 I was completely satisfied on how the puck came off the blade and ended up. To me the Warrior feels like it never leaves anything on the table and doesn't require you to make a perfect shot, it just kicks hard and launches the puck in a very satisfying manner. Slapshots feel almost dangerous with this stick for how hard they were launching to the point where I wasn't comfortable in taking them on my shooting board to ensure an errant puck off a post wouldn't damage any fences or property. Passing: I am not sure if it was the kick of the stick or the curve which was giving me some issues the 1st time I was on the ice, but a lot of my stretch passes ended up far too high for my target. I have since adjusted my passing a bit and haven't really had any issues since. While the blade isn't my idea curve for saucer passes and passing in general I am not having a difficult time passing over players sticks or cross-ice. Backhand passes will need work because of the aggressive curve but that is something I will just practice and get used to. Durability: So far everything is holding up great and the stick still feels brand new. But with its limited usage I cannot fully comment on this category yet. Feel: I mentioned the excellent and stiff blade earlier already. The balance of the stick is fantastic and it does a good job of being lightweight but still being noticeable. I never feel like the stick doesn't have a blade and always feel in total control of the stick. The lack of weight also helps with making the stick extremely mobile in terms of movement, you never feel bogged down when moving your hands or attempting to move the stick (something I feel time to time when using much heavier goalie sticks). While this stick is slightly heavier than the Sherwood EK60 I really don't notice the difference between the 2 in terms of weight. Closing: If the durability in terms of blade stiffness and shooting kick hold up this will easily be my favourite stick I have ever used. I am unbelievably happy with is so far and am really grateful Warrior and ThinkingJack having given me the opportunity to use it because I really can't get enough of it so far. The Warrior Covert QRL as it stands is the best stick I have used in terms of performance and balance, shots kick off the blade harder than anything I've used and the stiff blade is wonderful for puck control and feel. I absolutely love the carbon wrap visible in the blade. Stick comes in at a respectable 409 grams. Not the lightest stick I have used but it feels wonderfully balanced and I never notice the extra grams compared to the lighter ones. I am a big fan of the graphic package as well.
  2. Hills

    Verbero Vara Pro Stick

    Verber Vara Pro 87 Flex PM44 Stick History: Sherwood 9950 Wood Coffey, Bauer Supreme (Sport Chek SMU) Kane, Sherwood T70 Stastny, Winwell GX8, Easton RS Parise, Warrior AK27 , Warrior DT1LT Pavelski, Warrior DT1ST Grandlund, Verbero PM44, Sherwood Rekker EK60 PP26 Stick Info: Height: uncut Weight: 438 Grams used (paint chips) Grip: No Shaft: Glossy Blade Length: Usage: 6 Months Personal Details: Male, 6'3", 210lbs, 24 years old. Adult B-level. About me: I played hockey my life as a goalie and about 4 years ago I decided I wanted more ice time and that I wanted to skate out as a player. I had no idea what kind of stick I liked as well as what curve I liked and what flex, this was all new to me and my shot was terrible to begin with as expected. Since then I have obviously gotten better and stronger but I am still figuring out what curve/length/flex that I prefer. Review Details: I have used this stick for about 4 months as my primary stick but would end up switching to a longer or different stick here and there. It has about 4 months of 2-3 times a week use. Preface: I got this stick free just like the Vara Pro gloves in my earlier review. I was given these to use and create a review for these products. The reason this review took so long to come out is I wasn’t sure if I wasn’t used to midkick sticks and wanted to ensure the review wasn’t hampered by an issue with my playing style. I told Verbero to send me an 87 flex in an curve with non-grip shaft as I really don’t love grip sticks. I’ve found 87 flex to be a sweet spot for me for certain brands but too flexible in others (eg Warrior) so I figured I’d give 87 a shot here. Grip: While I don’t like grip sticks I have found that I like matte finished sticks. My EK60, Mako and RS sticks all have a matte non-grip finish, which to me gives the stick a high quality feeling and gives a little bit of grip compared to a glossy shaft. Verbero states this stick is offered in a Matte non-grip finish, but I would argue that it is a glossy non-grip. Of my previous sticks the low end Bauer supreme is the only thing similar to the glossy finish that this stick has. To me this feels extremely cheap, which is completely personal preference but the matte painted sticks just have a higher quality feel to them. While the glossy feel doesn’t hinder my performance, I would hesitate to buy the stick if it was next to a stick that uses a matte finish. 5/10 Aesthetics: Aesthetics are completely personal preference, and I have heard some negative things about Verbero’s design directly related to the glove’s plaid looking liner and that has been translated onto this stick albeit with a neutral grey/black design. I think this design looks both unique and really nice, it is understated enough to not be gaudy while also having a distinct look to it across both stick lines. I actually prefered the more white Latigo stick but the black Vara looks really nice as well. The logo is on the lower portion of the shaft and is a silver/chrome design, I actually wish this stood out more and think if it was green like it is on the blade it would make the logo stand out more while still be attractive. Like most sticks I wish manufacturers made it easier to see the curve/flex of the stick, too many times it is too high and covered by tape or too tiny and I wish Verbero made this bigger as well. I think Verbero did a great job with how the sticks look here. 9.5/10 Blade/Curve: Since I got this stick Verbero has revamped their curve chart on a couple of times and I believe this is now the V19 curve on their website. This curve is a big departure from my DT1LT and is much more neutral. My shots were no longer always going high and passing was much easier to control. The Vara Pro blade feels and plays fairly stiff, I’d say it is slightly softer than a new DT1LT but harder than my DT1LT is now, and for my time using it I haven’t noticed the blade get softer whereas my RS blade was already starting to get soft with similar time of use. With the stiff blade I can feel exactly where I receive passes and where you shoot the puck off of. Compared to the EK60 this blade is softer and feels more dampened. One of the issues I found with this blade is the length of it, it feels shorter compared to other sticks with a similar curve. In fact I handed it off to other players and I had multiple people come back to me and say “blade is not long enough” and I agree with their assessment. Too many times I ended up shooting off the toe and flubbing shots, even after 6 months I couldn’t get adjusted to it and really wished the blade was longer. Overall I liked the curve for passing and the stiffness felt great, but the blade length was too short for my liking. 7/10 Stick Handling: Since this stick is a few inches shorter than the Warrior DT1LT I had been using I was right to assume that my stick handling would improve because of the decrease in length. But one thing that was detrimental to my stick handling was the shorter blade. I would simply lose the puck off the toe because I was expecting more blade to be there. This stick is very lightweight coming in at 438 grams at the time of writing this, and that helps the stick feel very mobile in your hands when stick handling. 8/10 Shooting: Since the kick point of this kick is different than my DT1LT I figured there would be an adjustment period like it was when I used the Warrior for the first time, but I was wrong in that. I have real issues with shooting this stick, whether it be snap shots, slap shots or wrist shots the majority of shots I took felt like I could not find the sweet spot. About 1 in 10 shots felt like they exploded off the stick in the matter I was expecting with a “Performance” hockey stick, and even when I made the perfect shot everything felt slower with less pop than when I had a brand new DT1LT. At first I contributed this to not being used to the mid kick flex, then over the summer I got to try a number of mid flex sticks and instantly noticed the majority of shots coming off those being much harder with a faster release. I tested the Warrior HD1, CCM Ultra Tacks, True XCore, True 6.0 and my shots off those sticks felt ridiculously explosive next to the Vara Pro. I find it difficult where I’d equate this stick to in terms of performance/price since it is better than my low end Bauer Supreme and Sherwood T70 but my Warrior AK27 and Winwell GX8 are both too stiff for me and I haven’t used another stick around the $180 price point. With that said all of my high end sticks were considerably less than the $180 this Vara Pro sells for and a quick look around lists the Easton V9/V9E for $140 locally (both of which I feel shoot MUCH harder and better than this). When Verbero releases videos of ex-pros saying it shoots as good as the high end stick I fully expected it, but that is simply not the case here and to say I am disappointed in the shooting performance of this stick is an understatement. 5/10. Passing: With the firm blade and curve I had good experiences with passing with this stick but for long stretch passes I could feel the stick flex a bit too much for my liking. On some sticks with a lot of kick the flexing on the passing helps release the puck quicker, but with this since I never felt a strong kick the flexing of the stick never added to the pass power. Since that is always a tradeoff for sticks that aren’t extremely stiff I can’t really bring that as too much of a negative besides that it didn’t add power like my other sticks did. I did find it slightly harder to give saucer passes with this than it was in my RS or DT1ST but I was able to adjust fairly quickly. The firm blade really helps in regards to passing. 8/10 Durability: This stick has Verbero’s Durotec Resin Coating which is supposed to “High Impact DuroTec Resin Coating that produces a tougher blend for added durability.” Now I am not sure if that coating is below or above the paint but this stick has been chipping pretty significantly, more so than other high end sticks I have used for a similar period of time. The toe is a bit cracked as to be expected with pucks, skates and boards being jammed up against it, but the bottom of the blade itself is where the durability of this stick really shows. The top layer of the blade is cracked and can be pulled completely off, the crack also goes deeper than the paint and I feel the structural integrity of the carbon fibre is mostly gone. With that said the blade hasn’t felt softer when I use it but the results so far have not been promising or give me confidence in this stick. I can’t comment on the stick losing its kick like my DT1LT since this stick never felt like it had a kick to begin with. 6/10 Feel: This stick is advertised as being extremely lightweight and that is one of the first comments everyone has with it, Verbero did make a stick that feels almost featherless and when you put it in your hands it feels lighter or very close to sticks that actually weigh less. The reason being is the balance of this stick where the blade feels like it is non-existent. With other lightweight sticks (EK60) I can always tell where my blade is because the stick feels like it is heavier at the blade. With the Verbero the blade feels so light that when skating it really felt I was using a stick with no blade at all, which takes some getting used to and personally I like how the EK60 feels compared to this (my Easton RS also felt like the Vara Pro in where the blade feels basically non-existent). Now puck handling the stick feels good since I don’t feel the blade is very dampened and you always know where the puck when stick handling or shooting. 7.5/10 Closing: I tried to use this stick as my goto for many months and frankly was really happy when I finally put it away for good. I honestly can’t remember scoring a goal because of an absolutely perfect shot or even creating an opportunity for a goal on a perfect shot. Now I am no goal scorer but I am pretty good at getting fast and low shots off from the point that either make it to the net or are very easily tipped by a forward in front. With the Vara Pro 9/10 times I felt like I didn’t get all of the shot and I wished I was back to using my used and abused DT1LT. In fact during my leagues playoffs I ended up retiring this stick for good as I didn’t want to feel like I could’ve done something better with a different piece of equipment that was sitting on the bench. Now to be 100% transparent I did not pay for this stick, with that said at $179.99 USD I cannot even come close to recommending this stick. The only sticks I have used that this out performed are $60 price point sticks. Needless to say I am extremely disappointed with the performance in this stick. Overall Score: Price I paid ($0): 6/10. Retail ($179.99) 4/10
  3. Sher-Wood Rekker EK15 Sr. Hockey Gloves Size 13 Black/White/Red Length of use: Approx two months Player profile 5'9" 240lbs, 1 beer league game per week Hand type: small hands and fingers Previous gloves used: Sher-Wood Nexon, Warrior Koncept, Bauer Supreme Fit 9/10 The best way to describe the fit of the EK15 is that they have the palm tightness of a Supreme glove, and the cuff of a Vapor glove. In that way, they are quite similar to the Warrior Koncept gloves I had been wearing. The fit itself is also nearly identical to the Nexon gloves. I found that they were quite stiff when they were brand new, to the point where I had a bit of difficulty gripping my stick well. After sweating in them a bit, it was no issue. And then after a couple games they softened right up and now they are SUPER comfortable. Like the Nexon gloves, the inner edge of index finger and pinky finger are solid pieces of palm material, unlike most gloves that have gusset material on the edges. At first it felt a bit weird to not have the stretch there that I'm used to, but once the gloves broke in a bit it felt perfect. Protection 10/10 These are easily the most protective gloves I've ever worn, period. I actually took a puck in the hand last weekend and barely felt it (wrist shot, I'm sure I would have felt a slap shot!) The plastic inserts are a great addition. Weight 9/10 These are about exactly what you'd expect from a top tier glove. A little heavier than some of the mid-range gloves I've worn in the past, but nowhere near enough to really think about it at all while playing. Durability 10/10 No issues to complain about so far. Very little palm wear at all, and no loose stitching etc. The reinforced palm is fantastic. Intangibles 10/10 I really have no complaints with this glove, which is strange for me. Usually there's always SOMETHING I'm nitpicking about, that makes me continuously looking for a new model. With Warrior discontinuing the Koncept, I'm extremely happy I have the Nexon and EK15 a try. Also, the cool-tech liner is fantastic! Conclusion I will absolutely be buying a pair of these in black/white once they are released. I had been extemely happy with the Nexon gloves I had previously, and these are very similar in fit and feel, but with a few minor tweaks. OVERALL SCORE: 9.5/10
  4. After some committed time on the ice with my Easton Mako skates, I'm glad to say that they are working just as well as I had hoped them to. Allow me to expand on my thoughts and experience with them! It is commonplace for hockey players to be creatures of habit that do not welcome change when it comes to the equipment they wear. We've all seen the guys wearing the same shoulder pads and shin guards they had when they were younger, and how people stick with the same brands that they wore growing up unless an endorsement deal sways them. I've come to the conclusion that being a creature of habit can be to a fault though, if you deny yourself something that could potentially allow you a higher level of performance. In my case, I had worn Bauer skates all my life, with the Supreme line fitting my foot very well and performing just as well (I am transitioning from Bauer TotalONE NXG skates). However, when the Mako was announced, it had features that seemed to suit me very well, as it was designed for increased mobility and foot support, while not following the "Super stiff for super performance" mentality. The boot isn't noticeably as stiff as other high end skates, but it is stiff in the right areas when it comes to skating mechanics. That, coupled with the fact that it fits your foot like a running shoe makes it an extremely capable skate only limited by the foot and connected body that inhabits it. There wasn't much of an adjustment period for me with the skates since they were so comfortable, and the more aggressive pitch of the blade was more welcomed than a hinderance. My skating is much more explosive with less effort, and I can turn much sharper and smoother. Backwards skating is an area I didn't expect to see so much improvement though, as quickly transitioning to fast backward skating and matching speed of oncoming skaters was instantly apparent. In my earlier sessions with them I felt like I wasn't moving as quickly, but it was an illusion because it takes less overall effort to get to speed with the Makos. The extra mobility is a tangible benefit to my skating stride, and my ability to corner and change direction has definitely improved. I'm in a place where my skating technique will most likely not change or get better, so the skates ability to extend my toes further at the end of each stride really makes a difference with me. I think with the high quality equipment that is being made by all of the companies in the game, players are really doing themselves a disservice by falling too deep in their habits and not wanting to try new concepts from different brands. Fit I would have never got the skates had they not fit my feet so beautifully. Baking only made things better, and while my fit with my stock NXGs was good, the Mako in comparison felt more like a truly custom skate. I had a little bit of rubbing irritation on the outer area above my left ankle early on, but that is no longer there. I really can't give enough praise about the fit. Blade/Holder I have to admit that with previous Easton skates, I felt like the look of the Razor Bladz was a major detractor. However, they got it right with the CXN holder. On the ice the performance was fine and didn't really stick out to me in any way. The more aggressive pitch on the steel wasn't an issue, although when sharpening them it took a bit more effort to get the edge on them. The steel feels harder than other skates I sharpened, and it holds an edge very well. I only got one nick in them so far, and it was from stepping on a stick I believe. Weight/Protection Going from a really light skate like the NXGs to the Mako, the weight addition is noticed, but only in hand. Once they are on your feet, they are a part of you, and I equate this with comparing a super light stick to another one that is heavier, but feels lighter due to a better overall balance. While also comparing the Mako to the NXG, which doesn't feature a super rigid outer material like the Bauers, I thought it would be a less protective skate, but so far I have been hit with sticks and pucks and haven't felt anything out of the ordinary. Durability Compared to previous Easton skates, the Makos look extremely well made and put together in a fashion that doesn't seem as prone to breaking down. The stitching around the ankle area doesn't look like it's ready to unravel before use (A problem I had with my Bauers), and once they are in your hand you can see that they are a real deal skate. Extending from my thoughts on protection, I've taken abuse in games, be it from sticks or pucks, and they have held up fine, with expected scuffing on the toe cap. Naturally, with extended use I will have a better gauge on the durability. Intangibles Not a whole lot to say other than they perform as marketed and as expected. People have commented on them based on the looks, and they are definitely flashier than what I've used, but they are a good attention getter and are worthy of the praise I give them when people ask me about them. Conclusion Easton has delivered a skate that is not only worthy to stand beside other companies' top level skates, but also a skate that has achieved this while not simply trying to replicate what the bigger brands are offering.
  5. Height – 5’10’’ Weight - 190 lbs Pad size – Medium, used with Bauer Vapor Pro Gloves and Bauer Lightspeed Pro shoulder pads The 9K Kinectic Fit elbow is very similar to the previous 8K Kinetic Fit. From visual observation the new 18K seems the closest thing that Reebok has in the current line of elbow pads. Use: September 2013, playing 2-3 times a week Previous elbows used include: Nike Bauer Vapor XXV (used the last five years), Nike Bauer Supreme One55 (clearance sale cheap back-up set) and Bauer Vapor X40 (discarded) Level of play: Beer League / mixed level pick-up Fit – 8/10 The fit is comfortable overall. It took some time for the break-in to occur, but now I feel the pad forms to my arm very well and stay in place with minimal displacement, with no sliding or rotating. The interior liner is comfortable enough. The strapping system does not have a lot of stretch. While it secures the pad in place it does pinches a bit. The pinching is not enough to be hindrance, but rather an annoyance. In comparison I have been using Bauer pads with their “Y” shaped anchor strap. The Bauer strapping is more comfortable but with the stretch fabric used but it certainly does not feel as locked in and allows for the pads to rotate around the arm by a small margin. Mobility is somewhat restricted as the elbow pads are very solid and tight to the arm, making it difficult to extend an arm completely straight. There are no issues bending my arm or rotating the forearm. Protection: For beer league – 8/10 Protection is better than I had with the three piece Bauer pads albeit at the price of more restrictive mobility. I would prefer the pad to extend further down my arm towards the wrist. Used with my Bauer Vapor Pro gloves there are some gaps in coverage. For the heavy spills I have taken wearing these I have never felt sharp pain in the elbow joint. These 9K don’t flex as much as my older, and worn pads and I suspect that these accounts for the feeling of increased protection. Weight – 6/10 Weight is just a subjective measurement. Certainly there are many newer pads on the market that are lighter on an objective measurement, but these just “feel” heavier. Durability - 9/10 No issues to note for durability so far. The construction seems at least as good as my previous pads, which lasted five years. Intangibles/Other Without intangibles the pads would rate 31/40 (78% or 8/10). The only intangible is on the whole the I would suggest that the 9K should rate higher as “the sum is greater than the parts” Conclusion I don’t think about these pads anymore. Sure they felt awkward those first two or three times I wore them but now I put them on and never think about them until I come back into the dressing room to change out of my gear. That is exactly how I want them to be and I couldn’t be happier.
  6. Foot spec - Wide forefoot, wide heel, small arch Last skate worn - Bauer Supreme TotalONE Size - 10.5D I have tested Supreme skates for Bauer since 2004 - from 8090 to ONE90 to ONE95 to TotalONE to T1 NXG Length of review - since March 2012 Now to the details - Fit - The TotalONE NXG's pattern is identical to the TotalONE. We will address the changes between the two skates, but certainly won't be in this section. The skates felt very good out of the box; I had started out with the Stiff inserts and did not experience any of the initial problems that I did when I had TotalONE. I swapped the stock insoles out for my custom Superfeet that were in my previous skates. What is different this time around is that I a) did not have to do a rebake, which I normally did with every skate I've had, and b) I never had that "take these things off of my feet" feeling that I normally get with skates. Absolutely zero heel slip, which was something I marked the TotalONE down for in the last review. 9.75/10 Performance - When I reviewed TotalONE, I stressed how important it is to figuring out your optimal stiffness for the inserts. However, this time, I already knew what worked so once I got my XS inserts there wasn't a learning curve. HOWEVER - the biggest difference between that skate and this one is the tendon guard. The area around the tendon guard has been notched, and the tendon guard itself has been re-engineered. The difference is 5°, however, that equates to 15% more range of motion...and yes, it is noticeable. I had that "oh, damn" moment on my fifth time on the skates - started to realize how much more I was getting out of my stride; enough to go back to the TotalONE to see if it was there all along; it wasn't. Starts were very good, as well as cornering. At that point, it was fun to push the limits. 10/10 Blade/Holder - The skate comes with a LS2 holder and LS Fusion steel. Initially, I went ahead and put my old Fusion on there, but decided to take them off once I skated; they felt too low. Instead of putting the new Fusion steel back on, I had found a set of regular LS2 steel in my garage that was never sharpened, however cross-ground. I went ahead and just put that on instead; no knock against Fusion; cross-ground steel is exposed to the elements so just wanted to sharpen them before they rusted. The LS2 is a good holder; not my favorite, but it works. 9/10 Weight- On par with TotalONE, which I called "best in class" in my review two years ago. It still applies. 10/10 Protection - When I do reviews for helmets, I mention I'm not a crash-test dummy. The same concept applies for my skate protection; if I'm by my defensive zone hash mark and it's not because I'm lining up for a faceoff, something wrong has happened. I don't get in front of shots. The skates do feel solid though, they have since ONE95 and the introduction of ALIVE/Curv. One thing to note though, the 3Flex Inserts now have extended material - think Always maxi-pads with "wings." What is good about that is that it does offer more protection across the top of the foot against skate cuts and the like. 9.5/10 (.5 more from TotalONE due to the new inserts) Durability - My pair seems to be well-made. Stitching is spot-on, mount is spot-on, nothing alarming. The liner has not shown any issues of wear around the top eyelets (which was an issue due to the tongue construction of the TotalONE. The NXG tongue was changed with that in mind.) 10/10 Conclusion - I really enjoyed the previous iteration of this skate; they really worked well for me. The thought that the skate could be improved wasn't one that I really had - I expected a possible graphics package change but didn't expect that much more of an improvement when the NXG came around. Simply not true - I believe that the tweaks made do make it a better skate. Overall - 58.25/60 = 9.7/10 Shout-Outs - Once again, must thank Keith Duffy, who is the Sr. Skate Product Manager at Bauer Hockey, for supplying me with a pair. As with every manufacturer, I've always had an excellent rapport with Bauer and our discussions and feedback I have provided to them has been warmly received. Please address any questions you may have in my Initial Thoughts thread. Also, if you want to track the progress (the past month hadn't been reported, lots of work on MSH) here is the Long-Term Review on the skate. It will still be updated to reflect any change on the product.
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