Brand new for 2017, Bauer has totally redefined what a “Hybrid” goalie stick really is. The Vapor 1X goal stick has a perfect mixture of the style of a composite stick, with the added feel of a Balsa Core which provides the same characteristics of a foam core stick. The specs of the stick we will see here is:
- White/Red color
- 25 inch paddle
- P31 Curve
When I first saw the stick, I immediately saw the classic composite finish that Bauer has become known for in the composite goal stick category. The visual pop and shine on the stick reminded me of the old Vapor X:60 sticks which, in my opinion, were the most visually appealing stick to date. As soon as I picked the stick up, I knew this stick had a different feel than I have experienced before and that was all due to the creative build.
The internal core of the stick has a mixture of the Innegra fiber that Bauer is known for. The Innegra is found in the top of the stick down through the paddle where it becomes mixed with a Balsa core than continues down to the blade. The blade is finished off with the Aero Foam III technology, which is the same on the Supreme 1S model. On top of all of these internal features is Bauer’s control zone. The control zone has strategic ribs and patterns with a grip to allow the goalie to have the best grip on the stick, but allow for transitional movements in and out of passing. In the below photo, you will see a small amount of grip that I use on the handle of the stick which is actually a few wraps of Renfrew grip tape. I need to use some padding and grip there from callouses that have built on my hands.
The final feature of the Vapor 1X stick comes in the new Arch Paddle Geometry which gives the front paddle of the stick a very large, flat surface. I found this paddle to make the stick look wider in my stance and allow for a very predictable rebound pattern. With other models of goal sticks, the standard diamond shape can pose an issue when pucks come off of the paddle, but when using this stick, I noticed a reduction in the funky rebounds come off of the stick.
During my usage on the ice, the 1X stick feels incredibly comfortable and has an above average weight, but not quite as light as the 1S model. My first few warmup shots came directly off the blade and the pucks rocketed off to the corner with absolute ease whereas shots off of the paddle reacted exactly how a foam core would play. Next, I gave a few attempts to making some passes and clearing attempts where the stick flexed and responded exactly how composite sticks flex. I had a very light weight in the blade and did not feel like I was pulling around more weight, like how foam cores can feel.
Overall, I was a little skeptical of the new “Hybrid” style stick but was ultimately blown away with the combination of characteristics. With how I tend to play, every aspect of the Bauer Vapor 1X catered to my style and design that I want in a stick. I want a stick that is very light in transitional movements from my stance to shooting/passing, able to give very predictable rebounds off of the paddle and blade, and exhibit durable characteristics to handle the beating that I put my sticks through. Be sure to check out GoalieMonkey.com for all of the new Bauer Vapor products, including the Vapor 1X stick which will launch May 19th, 2017.