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STX Surgeon RX2.1

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Stick specs- STX Surgeon RX2.1, 85 flex, X88 pattern

Reviewer Background- 6'2, 215 lbs, limited experience in ice hockey (1 year playing on a team in 1988-1989). I have played a bit of street hockey (very informal/ casual 2 v 2 mostly, sometimes with a goalie, in the front yard when I was a kid). I played some inline hockey- more than ice, way less than I played street. Took up ice hockey again in August 2013, after a long layoff (I played 3 months of pick up, in 1995-1996). I have used this stick 2-3x/week for about 5 months.

I bought this stick for 2 reasons: 1) I wanted to try the PureGrip shaft design, and 2) I thought this to be an excellent value stick. The RX2 weights 425 grams, this one weighs 455 grams, for about half the price, with the same blade. So, seems to be a no brainer, until someone else tells me that they want to sponsor me and buy my sticks. 

Blade - The blade has a nice feel to it. It is thinner than the last blade that I was using (a BASE Hockey blade that I had connected to a shaft), which I like. It seems strong and stiff, but I assume it flexes appropriately when I shoot. I never tried to flex it with my hands; no need to compromise the integrity of it I suppose. The blade itself is neither dampened nor lively. The blade does feel easy to stickhandle with, but it is hard to say if that is due to how easy it is to handle the PureGrip shaft, or the blade itself. The puck does not seem to come off the blade terribly "hot." It is ok, I have scored my share of goals, but I attribute it more to accurate shots (on the occasions that I actually have hit the target) and goalie screens, than to me blasting shots by goalies who are made inefficient due to my blistering shot. The blade has held up well, durability wise. So, although there is nothing about the blade that has me saying, "This is the best blade ever!," I also cannot find fault with it. Score: 8.75/10

Shaft/Flex - This is where it gets interesting. PureGrip technology is epic, for a guy who has mostly played street and inline hockey. One of the more difficult aspects of the game to adjust to for me has been squeezing the shaft to receive passes and shoot. This is not necessary in street hockey when one is using the rubber ball. So, for the first year or so of my comeback, I did not even know about this necessity of squeezing the shaft when working with these aspects of the game. Still, I often do not squeeze the shaft hard enough, even when I remember to perform this action, when using a traditional shaft, as evidenced by the stick deflecting in my hands to flub shots and pass receptions. However, with the PureGrip, I no longer have these issues. I pretty much successfully receive all passes now, unless I mis align the blade, or the puck is bouncing, but neither of these items are the fault of the stick. 

The dual kick point is another "interesting" feature. I am not yet as sold on it, as I am on the PureGrip. Sure, I score goals, get shots off quickly, and get hard shots- usually not all 3 at the same time though (and I am faaaaaaaaaar from a good player, just saying I have experienced some limited success). It seems that in order to get this aspect of the stick to work with the user, one would need a ton of reps to figure the sweet spots in hand placement and shot type. Regardless, it works well enough, while just using it in an intuitive manner. Although it does not kick as quick or hard, usually, as my Warrior Covert QR Pro, it does, on occasion, kick similarly, when I apparently use the stick in the manner it was meant to be used (or when I get lucky or whatever is happening). 

Flex is a bit stiff. I was in an 85, and am moving into a 75 tomorrow. Perhaps this is more me than the stick, and I am just coming to awareness of where I ought to be (after having been confused by a number of factors- such as the Oggie Ergo grip adding so much flex when I had previously installed it on other sticks, and since I used a chippy stick previously anyway- the Warrior Covert QR Pro). Score: 10/10 (I am now pretty useless when I use other sticks, as the deflection factor is now more pronounced when I try to take big shots, and receive hard passes.)

Stickhandling/receiving passes - like butter, as described above (due to the shaft geometry working seamlessly with the contour of the hand) Score: 10/10

Shooting - Shooting is just ok. I have great control with the shaft, but the kick just seems ok. This could be due to my being in a curve that I have just recently found to be a bit crippling (P88). I am moving into the P28, to be able to shoot off of the toe. Perhaps this will improve this score in the future, and is actually no fault of the stick. So, figure this score to be somewhere between a 7 and a 10; we will see how the next 6 months go.

Weight and balance - For the price? 10/10. However, since value is not factored into these ratings, the stick does feel a bit heavier than my QR Pro- nothing enormous, but noticeable. The weight is nicely balanced, though. Score: 8/10. 

Durability - I have blocked some pretty hard shots at the neck of the stick, thinking as the shot hit, “Why the heck am I blocking shots in pick-up with a $160 stick, in a country that does not sell this stick?” To my surprise, no damage. I have noticed some nicks, that I have filled with epoxy to reinforce. Score: 9.25/10

Intangibles - I cannot go back to standard shaft geometry (again, unless someone wants to sponsor me and try to pry me away from the PureGrip). Score: 10/10

Conclusion - Love the concept, and looking forward to trying a new flex (75) and pattern (X28) in this stick (STX Surgeon RX2.1). I have a vision of my leaning on this technology to bridge the gap between myself and more skilled and experienced players. It may be a fantasy, maybe I am giving too much undue credit to the stick? Perhaps, I will provide another update in 3-6 months. 

Score:   56/60 Granted, a lot of this close to perfection achievement is due to how much I appreciate the PureGrip. If you have been playing a ton of hockey, are used to the box shaft geometry and may find the new feel to be distracting or unhelpful, then I would not advise this stick. If, however, you are a bit of a newb or more accustomed to street/inline hockey with a lighter puck (ball), then do yourself a favor and pick this stick up (just sample it; but do not buy unless you are feeling it) at the pro shop, and see if you like it.

Edited by Cosmic

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