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CBnCO

Black Sticks

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A friend of mine got a Pro Blackout stick from HSM and said he liked it. So, I started doing some research and in addition to the HSM regular and lite Pro Blackout sticks, I saw No Name, All Black, Twig, and more. All seem to offer a similar product, a 380g to 425g stick for $100 to $150ish and with plenty of good reviews. They all advertise 18K carbon, one piece construction, etc.. I'm trying to understand who actually makes these sticks, are they all from the same factory? And, how to differentiate between these value sticks and brands How good is the value and performance versus "last year's model" big brand name stick on clearance or a pro stock stick, both at similar prices? 

 

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When you say “plenty of good reviews,” are these good in-depth reviews from people who know their stuff and put products through actual testing, or good reviews from average people who bought the stick, and just posting a five star review on the website? 

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2 hours ago, start_today said:

When you say “plenty of good reviews,” are these good in-depth reviews from people who know their stuff and put products through actual testing, or good reviews from average people who bought the stick, and just posting a five star review on the website? 

That's what I meant..the ones on the company's website..not so many in other places. At the end of the day, the question is are these sticks at these prices a legit value (a $300 stick for $150 or less) and, if so, of all the brands which to consider. 

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4 hours ago, CBnCO said:

That's what I meant..the ones on the company's website..not so many in other places. At the end of the day, the question is are these sticks at these prices a legit value (a $300 stick for $150 or less) and, if so, of all the brands which to consider. 

Pro Blackout sticks from HSM are decent. I would however go with a Pro Stock stick at the same price point any day. 

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7 hours ago, PBH said:

Pro Blackout sticks from HSM are decent. I would however go with a Pro Stock stick at the same price point any day. 

Ha..I'm assuming you mean a pro stock CCM, Bauer, etc..and not a prostockhockeysticks.com "black" stick? See how confusing it can be. And, this would be because you believe the manufacturing and design methods of the big brands are superior? Which may be the case; but, go read many of the reviews on hockeymonkey, etc..about people complaining how their CCM, Bauer, Warrior, & True broke after 3 or 4 uses. Sure a $129 Pro Blackout sounds great against a non-discounted $300 stick; but, last's years model and pro stocks can be had for less than $150 and not sure that makes the "black" sticks as much of a value. I think these companies could do better with their advertising to help a consumer clearly understand the differences in the stick construction and tech. Compared to sticks from 15 years ago, they are probably all much better!

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1 hour ago, CBnCO said:

Ha..I'm assuming you mean a pro stock CCM, Bauer, etc..and not a prostockhockeysticks.com "black" stick? See how confusing it can be. And, this would be because you believe the manufacturing and design methods of the big brands are superior? Which may be the case; but, go read many of the reviews on hockeymonkey, etc..about people complaining how their CCM, Bauer, Warrior, & True broke after 3 or 4 uses. Sure a $129 Pro Blackout sounds great against a non-discounted $300 stick; but, last's years model and pro stocks can be had for less than $150 and not sure that makes the "black" sticks as much of a value. I think these companies could do better with their advertising to help a consumer clearly understand the differences in the stick construction and tech. Compared to sticks from 15 years ago, they are probably all much better!

No, I think he means prostockhockeysticks.  There is a recent thread on them and by most accounts seem to be the best of the rest in this category.  Hills did a review of them about a year ago and said they stacked up very favorably against top of the line name brand sticks. 

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3 hours ago, CBnCO said:

Ha..I'm assuming you mean a pro stock CCM, Bauer, etc..and not a prostockhockeysticks.com "black" stick? See how confusing it can be. And, this would be because you believe the manufacturing and design methods of the big brands are superior? Which may be the case; but, go read many of the reviews on hockeymonkey, etc..about people complaining how their CCM, Bauer, Warrior, & True broke after 3 or 4 uses. Sure a $129 Pro Blackout sounds great against a non-discounted $300 stick; but, last's years model and pro stocks can be had for less than $150 and not sure that makes the "black" sticks as much of a value. I think these companies could do better with their advertising to help a consumer clearly understand the differences in the stick construction and tech. Compared to sticks from 15 years ago, they are probably all much better!

By way of clarification, I think that a reference to "black sticks" in this context could mean one of a few things:

1) A stick from prohockeystickes.com, as suggested by krisdrum.  Check out the recent thread - the reviews seem to be pretty strong and my sense is that the big selling point is access to hard-to-find curves.

2) A "blacked out" or otherwise graphics-free stick from hockeystickman, prostockhockey, or some other retailer.  My sense is that these can be a bit of a crapshoot in terms of quality.  I've never purchased one of the sticks, but I have purchased "blacked out" shafts and blades in the past and found them to be relatively disappointing, even at a lower price point.

3) A stick from "Allblackhockeysticks." These are budget-friendly (~$90) sticks that have no graphics or branding and are marketed towards beer league consumers.  I tried a teammate's at some point in the past and found it serviceable, but not anywhere near as good as a pro stock or older model high-end stick.  In other words, it played like a budget-friendly stick.

My sense is that you're talking about #2, but I hope that these descriptions help w/the confusion 

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I play in a league that had some sort of sponsorship deal with All Black Sticks for a few seasons. Each season, a player or two would win a free stick. The people who won these for free didn’t like them, and generally didn’t use them. This is only a sample size of six people or so, but even when people pay for them the best reviews I see are “it’s good for the money” or “I can’t tell the difference.”

If you know where to look and be patient, they aren’t good for the money. These are people who bought a thing, and want to feel good about  it, so they leave a good review. And for people who say things like “I don’t care, I can’t tell a difference,” these aren’t people with nuanced views from whom you want to accept advice. 

I’m overly cost conscious in my typical day to day life. I love a good value, and will spend extra time and energy to save money. I have literally NEVER* seen a stick from a discount supplier that is a good value and worth what you spend on it. Typically, you are getting less bang for your buck. People are charmed by the idea of getting a “good deal,” and focus more on that than whether it actually plays well relative to what you paid. 

*A few people on here who I really trust stand behind the Prohockeysticks.com stuff. I haven’t used or seen one in person. But, for the same $130 -$140 you are paying them, you can probably find a new prostock stick from a big name manufacture that meets your needs. I think the advantage that site offers is being able to order weird curves pretty easily. If you’re fine using a 92/88/28 curve, you should be able to find one fairly easily in the $110 - $130 range. 

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On 11/22/2021 at 4:17 AM, CBnCO said:

Ha..I'm assuming you mean a pro stock CCM, Bauer, etc..and not a prostockhockeysticks.com "black" stick? See how confusing it can be. And, this would be because you believe the manufacturing and design methods of the big brands are superior? Which may be the case; but, go read many of the reviews on hockeymonkey, etc..about people complaining how their CCM, Bauer, Warrior, & True broke after 3 or 4 uses. Sure a $129 Pro Blackout sounds great against a non-discounted $300 stick; but, last's years model and pro stocks can be had for less than $150 and not sure that makes the "black" sticks as much of a value. I think these companies could do better with their advertising to help a consumer clearly understand the differences in the stick construction and tech. Compared to sticks from 15 years ago, they are probably all much better!

Let me clarify. I think a genuine Pro Stock CCM/Bauer/Warrior/etc or a stick from http://prostockhockeysticks.com/ is better option than All Black (brand) stick or HSM Blackout (brand) stick. The quality, construction, balance point, feel, and pop are significantly better. 

Yes, sometimes you get a bad Pro Stock stick (CCM/Bauer/Warrior/etc) and it only lasts a few games, but that can happen if you buy a retail $300+ stick as well. We sell a ton of Pro Stock sticks and the ones that usually have limited life are the latest builds that are super light (FT3 Pro, Trigger 5 Pro, Vapor ADV, etc) and the failure rate of those sticks is no better or worse than the top tier sticks yet the cost if half the price. If someone breaks their stick within the first 30-45 days and it looks like a genuine failure we usually work with the buyer and provide them a new stick at a significant discount. 

Has stick construction changed significantly in the last 15 years? Debatable. Weight has gone down due to flatter carbon weave, less resin and updated procedures but I don't consider these changes to be revolutionary. The Sherwood Rekker EK15 was released in 2014 and its sequel the EK60 both weighed under 385 grams. Thats less than the current Bauer Nexus Geo and Hyperlite.

There is a very limited amount of technology that can be incorporated into stick shafts, you remove weight by using less materials which means less life in the stick. There is no way of getting around that. No fancy carbon weave, layering process, or magical resin is going to change this. Look at the failure rate of low end sticks vs high end sticks and you will see a direct correlation. 

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