Saturday, May 18, 2024

Best hockey stick reviews 2022: Find the right brand for you

Our equipment expert RUPERT BARKER tries out some of 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

Otter Ltd LB Elite 2022

Make: Otter Hockey
Model: Ltd. Elite
Shape: LB (low Bow)
Bow: 24.25mm, 200mm from head
Carbon: 95%
Price: c. £250

Features:

Carbon bar running down the back of the stick increases the power of hit and slaps.

6mm carbon weave and enhanced sweet spot not only increase power generation but also give the stick a soft touch.

Otter flat edge on the reverse to help with tomahawk hitting power and consistency.

THP Verdict:

Otter keep going from strength to strength and the developments made this year have led to this new stick. The balance of LB Elite is superb, making dribbling and ball receipt a joy, whilst the carbon bar really does make a difference to the hitting and slapping power. It’s an outstanding all rounder with so many strengths and no real weaknesses to speak of. Otter is a growing company, and they deserve their place in the market with quality sticks like this one.

Brabo Elite 1 WTB Forged Carbon Low Bow 2

Make: Brabo
Model: Elite 1
Shape: Low Bow 2
Bow: 24mm, 240mm from head
Carbon: 100%
Price: c. £200

Features:

Wave torsion box along the back of the stick increase strength and stiffness giving the stick dynamic power on the strike.

PowerZone technology ensure spread of power over the entire length of the stick and improves backhand ball speed.

Forged carbon fuses the fibres together and then mould them into the stick shape, once again promoting power in your game.

THP Verdict:

This stick has a nice touch and a soft feel but the new features on this year’s Brabo are all designed for one thing – more power! They do help give more ball pace on the slap and strike, but the most remarkable element is the margin for error. This stick is incredibly easy to generate speed almost regardless of where you strike the ball. £200 represents excellent value for this sort of power and consistency.

Dragon Eclipse 100 ’22

Make: Dragon
Model: 100
Shape: Eclipse
Bow: 24.75mm, 240mm from head
Carbon: 100%
Price: c. £260

Features:
Aerocarbon bonding forms the carbon into honeycombs within the stick giving great stiffness with a light weight.

Carbon bar running down the back of the stick strengthens the strike and slap.

Foam under grip helps cushion the feel on the strike and the receipt of the ball.

THP Verdict:

The Dragon 100 is one of the stiffest sticks on the market. You can almost feel every dimple on the ball as you dribble with it. The balance and slightly thinned handle allow players to Indian dribble and push passes with great immediacy. Despite the extreme stiffness the Dragon 100 still generates power on the slap and the hit. If ball carrying and rapid execution of skills in small spaces is your game, then the Dragon Eclipse 100 might well be the stick for you.

GRYPHON Tour XXII

Make: GRYPHON
Model: Tour XXII
Shape: Samurai
Bow: Low – 25mm, 205mm from head
Carbon: 100% Carbon Quotient
Price: c. £300

Features:
Kraibon technology gives ultimate power combined with great feel for an outstanding balanced stick.

6K Carbon fibre gives incredible strength to the stick which also allows for a crisp responsive feel.

Light feel lay-up creates a durable lightweight stick with a high balance point to allow perfect hand control whilst executing dribbles and hits.

THP Verdict:

The GRYPHON Tour continues to be one of the finest sticks on the market. Designed in conjunction with international player specifications, any high-level player should consider it. The combination of touch and power is truly unique and with the concave face on the samurai model, flicks and lifts are easily executed. Although it costs a little more than some other offerings, you can feel the quality in every touch.

GRYPHON Taboo Blue Steel XXII

Make: GRYPHON
Model: Taboo Blue Steel XXII
Shape: Pro 25
Bow: Low – 25mm, 250mm from head
Carbon: 95% Carbon Quotient
Price: c. £270

Features:
Combination of Carbon, Aramid and Fibreglass creates a super responsive touch with extreme power.

Supreme cushion grip dampens any vibrations in the coldest of conditions and gives the stick great comfort in hitting, slapping, and carrying.

Light feel lay-up creates a durable lightweight stick with a high balance point to allow perfect hand control whilst executing dribbles and hits.

THP Verdict:

The Taboo Blue Steel is another GRYPHON stalwart that has been delighting players for years. It’s slightly heavier than the Tour but also easier to control the ball and move it in the dribble. However, it still provides great power throughout the whole stick. The Blue Steel is

definitely worth a look for mid to high level players and its versatility makes it ideal for all areas of the pitch.

Rival DR 95

Make: Rival
Model: DR 95
Shape: DR (formerly Drag Pro)
Bow: Low – 24mm, 200mm from head
Carbon: 95% Carbon
Price: c. £160

Features:

Super low bow and tapered slim head for ultimate drag-flicking.

GripX – a rough textured surface applied to the head of the stick to make dribbling and control that much easier.

95% carbon reinforced with 5% Kevlar for added strength.

THP Verdict:

The Rival DR 95 feels like a real step up from last year’s model. The touch of the stick is crisp and the power on the strike and the slap are greatly improved. Compared to higher priced models the sweet spot is slightly smaller, but if you find it, the ball will ping off the face. The shape and profile of the DR 95 make it straight forward for flicking and you can really rifle it into the roof of the net. At this price point Rival sticks represent excellent value.

Total Hockey

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Hmm, not sure a stick review that includes two from the same brand and missing the major names could be seen as independent.

    What about Grays and Adidas? Y1, Ritual, Princess and even Korok at the lower end?

    I’m all for kit reviews but do them properly.

    • I agree I’m all for stick reviews. I think it is very important for the sport I understand it may be hard but at least try get one from all the big brands. Other brands include Osaka, Aratac, Mercian and others

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