Thursday, October 28, 2021

Hockey Stick Reviews: Best guide on latest sticks to suit your ability

We test out the latest hockey sticks to hit shops in 2021

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Hockey Paper staff
Latest breaking news, previews and match reports written by Hockey Paper staff

Our equipment expert RUPERT BARKER tries out the latest sticks to hit the market and makes his verdict

We provide video analysis for each stick, detailing full product specs and design, and offering our assessment of which sticks are suited to which types of players and budgets

Adidas Kromaskin.1 

Make: Adidas 
Model: Kromaskin.1 
Shape: Choasfury (formerly AX) 
Bow: Ultra Low – 24mm, 200mm from head 
Carbon: 95% premium grade Carbon 
Price: c. £300 

Features: 

Hypetex Kromaskin technology wrapping the stick shaft which enhances power generation and stick durability.  Epoxy core in the head of the stick creates a more consistent structure for an enhanced sweet spot and improved response when passing and receiving the ball. 

Unique carbon lay-up and premium grade carbon are used to create the stiffest stick for ultimate power generation. 

THP Verdict: 
This is a quality stick with good feel on the dribble and outstanding power on the hit and slap as well as picking up nicely on the flick. If you’re a high-level all-round player who likes hitting power combined with a soft touch, then this may be for you. You’ll be in good company too, with the likes of Alan Forsyth and Eva De Goede also using the Kromaskin 1. 

Brabo SW#13 ELB 100 

Make: Brabo 
Model: SW#13 100 (Sam Ward #13 100) 
Shape: ELB (Extreme Low Bow) 
Bow: Extreme Low – 24mm, 200mm from head 
Carbon: 100% high modulus Carbon 
Price: c. £200 

Features: 

The SW13 100 ELB Hockey Stick is designed in conjunction with Olympian Sam Ward. The SW13 has the features of the Brabo Traditional Carbon 100 Original hockey stick, but in Extra Low Bow. The 100% high modulus carbon fibres give the stick maximum stiffness and a lot of power. With this stick you generate a lot of ball speed in an easy and coordinated way, making it widely applicable at any position in the field. 

THP Verdict: 

This is an all-rounders stick with a unique feel. Whatever part of the pitch you play in then this can do a job for you. It will take a little to get used to its feel and profile, but once you have, it represents great value at this price point. 

Gryphon Tour XXI 

Make: Gryphon 
Model: Tour XXI 
Shape: Pro 25  
Bow: Low – 25mm, 250mm from head 
Carbon: 100% Carbon Quotient 
Price: c. £300 

Features: 

The GXXI TOUR Series is a result of years of development to achieve the ultimate level of power and balance for a hockey stick. Designed with superior stiffness to bring the highest quality ball speed and a responsive touch for elite players looking for a crisp feel in their hands. 
 
The composition of the stick creates a lightweight feel with a high balance point for intuitive stick control. Made with Kraibon® Technology which produces a smooth and durable internal construction. The 6K Carbon Fibre provides a slick finish for this elite level stick. 

THP Verdict: 

The 21st Generation Gryphon Tour is a top of the range stick for high level players all over the park. It is hard to find a weakness, it’s just a matter of considering which is the best shape for you and you can check out our shape guide to find out. 

Grays AC-7 (Aerocore) 

Make: Grays 
Model: AC-7 
Shape: Dynabow-S 
Bow: Medium – 24.75mm, 250mm from head 
Price: c. £200 

Features: 

In the new Aerocore collection, every element of the stick has been evaluated and optimised to provide the best performing sticks in Grays’ history. Using Aerocore technology the weight distribution is controlled to create a light pickup. The rear spine increases power transfer down the shaft and new handle technology allows for a stiffer composition without compromising control. This combines with the new Dynabow-S shape which features a reshaped head that is ideal for 3D skills and a thicker low backhand zone which helps to execute passes and shots on the reverse side.  

THP Verdict: 

This is a great looking stick and a good offering for the intermediate player. It makes trapping the ball relatively easy and has a very soft feel. The Low Backhand Zone revolutionises reverse stick hitting, and the AC-7 should be high on the list for those who hit a tomahawk regularly. 

JDH X93 

Make: JDH 
Model: X93 
Shape: Concave 
Bow: 24.75mm, 200mm from head 
Carbon: 95% Japanese Carbon 
Price: c. £300 

Features: 

An updated layup of Japanese Carbon finished with 3K Carbon Twill cloth gives great stiffness and power. The signature JDH Taper Toe design and silica finish on the face allow for excellent touch and control. 

Designed with a concave face for ball speed and accuracy when flicking, this shape is a drag-flick weapon. Updated for 2021, the new Concave mould has been designed in partnership with Australian International, Blake Govers. 

THP Verdict: 

The X93 has soft touch on the control but also provides excellent power on the hit and the slap. For high level players this stick is definitely worth considering and in the concave shape it is a strong choice for elite drag-flickers. 

Kuka Chromium 

Make: Kuka 
Model: Chromium 
Shape: XL 24 
Bow: Extra Low – 24.5mm, 200mm from head 
Carbon: 95% Toray Super Carbon 
Price: £180

Features: 

The superb extra-low bow combined with a very well-balanced shaft allows players to have the edge on 3D, scoop and tomahawk skills, no matter which position you play.  The XL24 features high carbon making it super stiff for high velocity shots. There is Touch compound that helps to keep the ball under control at the head contact point. This is the premium 95% carbon stick, but it is also available with lower carbon to allow access to all levels of players. 

THP Verdict: 

If you like stiff feel sticks, then the Kuka is certainly one you should consider. The touch is good, it’s great to dribble with and the slap and hit are solid. It is also much easier to use than some of the premium offerings so is appropriate for players of all standards and positions. 

Mercian Evolution CKF90 

Make: Mercian 
Model: Evolution CKF90 
Bow: Ultimate Low – 24.5mm, 200mm from head 
Carbon: 90% premium grade Carbon 
Price: c. £160 

Features: 

The 90% carbon lay-up is placed across a fibreglass micro-skeleton giving good touch and feel with the Kevlar increasing durability and laminate bonding. The Ultimate (extreme) low bend is designed to aid drag-flicking, aerials and 3D skills. 

Piezo-electric fibres are included in all the Evolution sticks they are used to ‘harvest’ the vibrations created in these super-stiff sticks and turn them into heat. The result of this is efficient vibration dampening. 

THP Verdict: 

Overall, The Mercian Evolution CKF 90 is a great choice for aspiring players as it is designed to make all-round execution as straight forward as possible. Up and coming defenders in particular who like to focus on clean touch and pickup along with accurate and pacey slap passing should definitely consider this great value stick. 

Otter O90 

Make: Otter 
Model: O90 
Bow: Ultra Low – 24.75mm, 200mm from head #
Carbon: 90% Premium Japanese Carbon 
Price: c. £170 

Features: 

The ‘O’ or Otter range sticks have been crafted to improve 3D skills which are essential in today’s modern game. It is a drag-flicker’s dream with a 24.75 mm bend, at a 200 mm bend point, and has a concave shaft for an enhanced slingshot action, which works by keeping the ball in the shaft whilst drag-flicking. 

The thinned head and toe which allow for improved pickup of the ball when performing 3D skills that are essential in the modern game. Made with Japanese Toray Carbon, the stick retains its soft touch, even with a high carbon composition, whilst maximising your hitting and slapping power. 

THP Verdict: 

The O90 is excellent value. It is an incredibly light stick with nice touch and a solid strike. It is also great on the flick. The feel of stick enables good control for players of all standards. If you’re a touch player who also hits regularly and fancies their flicking skills, then you should definitely check it out. 

Rival Scoop X 

Make: Rival 
Model: Scoop X 
Shape: Concave 
Bow: Low – 24.5mm, 200mm from head 
Carbon: 95% Japanese Carbon 
Price: c. £220 

Features: 

A low bow and concave groove all down the shaft of the stick right to a lip on the slim head make drag-flicking easy. 

95% high quality Japanese carbon and 5% military grad Dupont Kevlar make a stiff and powerful stick. Combined with the GripX, rough feel covering on the head of the stick allows you to control the ball with ease. 

THP Verdict: 

The Rival Scoop X is an excellent offering for aspiring drag flickers, and 3D dribblers. The shape of it means that any deficiencies in your technique are minimised and the result is still good. Also, those of you who like a bit of theatre to their finishing and see the ball in the roof of the net will enjoy this offering. 

Y1 Olympic LTD X 

Make: Y1 
Model: Olympic Ltd X 
Shape: LB 
Bow: Dynamic Bow – 24.5 mm, 200mm from head 
Carbon: 95% premium grade Carbon 
Price: c. £260 

Features: 

Designed with a slightly thinned head profile allowing you to get under the ball more easily. It has the Y1 Dynamic Bow for the perfect slingshot action when drag flicking. As used by Belgium international drag flicker and top goal-scorer in the Dutch Hoofdklasse, Alex Hendrickx.  

The 2021/22 LTD LB X is manufactured with specially enhanced Swedish Carbon to increase the power of the stick to a level above the usual 90/100% carbon sticks, whilst allowing the stick to retain an incredibly soft touch. 

THP Verdict: 

The stiff feel, look, shape and profile of this stick all make it ideal for the flair player. If you’re a forward who likes taking on defenders and using 3D skills before sending the ball rifling into the top corner, then this may well be the stick for you. 

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