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By Abraham Simpson
We picked-up a couple of 2X Pro sticks this summer, as well as a (much less expensive) X2.9 to be used exclusively for practices. Both have had some decent use, so it’s a good time to examine their durability. For fun, we also compare them to some other sticks we had lying-around. All the Bauer sticks below have a 25” paddle, P31 curve and similar tape job.
I weighed each stick using a kitchen scale. Weights are a bit higher than official numbers due to the weight of the tape, which probably adds 20-30 grams.
The sticks, from left to right, with weight (in grams) and retail price (in C$):
1. 2X Pro (unused); 700g; $299
2. 2X Pro (used for about 50 hours of ice time, both games and practices, over two months); 700g; $299
3. X2.9 (used for about 30 hours of practices over the last month); 800g; $179
4. 2S (heavily-used over four months; has a broken blade); 750g; $229
5. S190 (used sparingly over 18 months); 775g; $150
6. 2003-vintage Koho 580 foam core, with 26” paddle (used mostly for road hockey with plastic pucks and balls); 825g; $50
WEIGHT: Advantage 2X Pro
The 2X Pro is 100g lighter than the X2.9. Surprisingly, the X2.9 is almost as heavy as a 16-year-old foam core stick. Clearly, the ACL technology in the 2X Pro paddle has a lot to do with the weight difference.
PADDLE DURABILITY: Interior issues?
When new, the 2X Pro made a sweet TWACK! whenever the puck hit the paddle — it almost made people in the arena jump out of their seats. After about 20 hours of ice time, however, that sweet sound was dampened. We suspect there must be a small crack inside the paddle, but thankfully it hasn’t (noticeably) impacted the stick’s performance. To be safe, and to prolong the life of the 2X Pro, we picked-up a X2.9 for practices, since the shape and feel of that stick is very similar — albeit in a heavier package.
In terms of exterior durability, both sticks have the usual puck marks and scratches, so no concerns there.
BLADE DURABILITY: 2X Pro is aging quickly
The second picture below shows the heels of the 2X Pro (black) and X2.9 (white). Admittedly my kid is rough on his heels, but the blade of the 2X Pro is starting to crack in a way that the X2.9, 2S and S190 have not. If water continues to seep in there, we expect this particular 2X Pro stick will have a short life.
The 2X Pro is definitely a good stick, but among all the Bauer sticks my kid has used, it seems to be wearing-out the quickest. The lightweight blade and paddle seem to have durability issues.
In terms of overall durability, the 2X Pro is still a lot better than the 2S Pro (we’ve seen a lot of those break after taking a puck off the shaft), but in terms of value for money, the 2S seems to be a good compromise among Bauer offerings: It’s $70 less than the 2X Pro, only 50g heavier, and overall more durable (ours only broke after 200+ hours of use when a skater stepped on the blade). This probably explains why it was so hard to find a 2S stick for a while earlier this year, since a lot of the stores we visited had sold-out.
With the recent passing of one of my pro stock NXGs (lasted ~6 months w/ 3 skates a week) I'm down to two NXGs and one 2S Pro. The NXGs as I said are a pro stock w/ a paddle height of 27.5" (actual measure is just north of that at 27.75") and the 2S Pro is a 25" (actual measure 27.125") so a slight variation between the two. Purely for messing around I started using the 2S Pro again and while the NXG is great... the 2S Pro is so damn light I find myself being FAR more active with my stick (and maybe that 5/8" of length makes it feel more maneuverable)... and now has me planning for when the next NXG moves on to that receptacle accustomed to seeing tape balls and spit cups.
Both are P31 pattern now... which is fine... but I do find significantly more wear at the heal of the stick than anywhere else and has led me to wondering if a lower lie might get that spread over more of the blade. That said... Bauer is only offering a lower lie on the 2X Pro (P20 pattern.) While I need work on my puck handling (to put in mildly)... my focus is stopping shots here... so I'm less concerned about the blade curve and more concerned about making sure I keep more blade on the ice.
Anyone out there who can speak to their experience using 2S Pro vs. 2X Pro in general? Weight Feel (Balance) Anyone use the P20 pattern and can elaborate on it? For those who don't want to click 50 times.. I've grabbed all of the Blade Pattern options available for both lines on Bauer's site...