After trying my hand with a couple hockey sticks designed for play makers and puck handlers, I wanted to sample something from the other side of the spectrum, a one-piece composite stick engineered with shooting in mind. So as a followup to using a Bauer Vapor X:20 for a few months, I’ve been playing with a Bauer Supreme One20 recently, sticking with the same brand, and the same of level of product to get the best impression of the differences between these two models.
And do you know what I learned?
I’m no shooter.
Now, this didn’t actually come as a huge surprise to me, as I’ve always been more of a passing and wrist-shot kind of guy, but what did jump out at me with the Bauer Supreme is just how different the feel and dynamics of the stick are in practice.
The flex point on the Supreme is more towards the mid-point of the shaft, whereas with the Vapor series it’s closer to the blade. This reduces the amount of play one has with the puck when receiving passes or under normal puck handling situations, but does provide the opportunity to really load up the shaft with potential energy when taking a slap shot. Based on my experience in messing around with this stick during warm-ups, it can really deliver a return on investment for the player who puts their all into a shot; that just isn’t my game, however.
For someone like myself who uncorks a slapper once a month or so, a stick like this feels overly stiff – I had to remind myself to keep my hands relaxed and pay special attention when picking up the puck so as not to fumble it away. That strength came in handy during puck battles however, and I did appreciate that when playing defense. For example, when trying to knock the puck out of harm’s way or clear the zone, there was no hesitation or lack of response at all.
To sum up, it was remarkable just how differently the Bauer Supreme One20 performed on the ice compared to the Vapor X:20. This speaks to the level of engineering and design that goes into modern one-piece composites, and the ability that individual players have these days to select equipment that’s tailored very closely to their style of play.
So if firing slap shots and one-timers is a major component of your game, I would definitely recommend checking out one of these Supreme twigs. If not, you can also look through my feature comparison of Bauer’s Vapor series, and see which model might fit you best over there.