When you’re buying a Pro Stock or a Pro Return stick, you never really know what you’re going to get… unless you’re aware of some clues to look for. We’ll focus our attention on Bauer sticks because the information provided on the name plates are the easiest to read out of all the manufacturers and they drop hints as to what the stick really is under all that paint.
Looking at the name plates you’re provided with 4 pieces of information:
SEDIN (The player’s name, sometimes on more generic sticks with retail patterns, the pattern name will be here such as “P92″ or “PM9″)
2638-4 (The pattern)
G3 (Flex profile; How the stick is constructed)
We’re comparing these two Bauer sticks made for the Sedin twins, one has ONE95 graphics and the other has Total ONE, but is it really what it claims to be? The name plates on both sticks are practically identical (with the exception of the pattern number after the dash on the “Total ONE” as it is a newer batch.)
G3 = “Custom Flex Profile” which means the pro has requested special adjustments made to the stick (ex. different kick points among other things.) On a real Total ONE, built to retail specs, the stick should read “R26″ for the flex profile.
Our tester stick has “TEST-A” as the pattern, which turned out to be a P92, and it’s an 82 flex. Also take note of the Tac Spiral grip (the angled raised ridges on the corners) of the stick, these may or may not appear on a Pro Stock/Return depending on what the player has ordered. I’m not a huge fan of any sort of Tactile Grip but we’ll save that discussion for our review.
Other than deciphering the name plates, the carbon weaves on the shaft will help identify what stick you’re actually getting. Notice how the the weaves on both sticks are identical? If you haven’t already guessed, both of these sticks are ONE95s, but one has a Total ONE paint job.
Take a look at a real Total ONE and see how much fatter the weaves are. They’re almost as big as the width of the shaft, just like the Vapor X:60!
So why do players and manufacturers do this?
Players are very superstitious about their equipment, (see: Martin St. Louis), and they like to stick with what works. From a manufacturer’s point of view, they don’t want the top players to be using outdated equipment. They want these players to use the latest and greatest in order to help them push their new products.
There’s a pretty good thread on ModSquadHockey.com regarding Pro Stock Bauer Codes if you have any further questions or if you’re looking for help in reading about your stick: http://www.modsquadhockey.com/forums/Index.php?/topic/52411-pro-stock-bauer-codes/
We’ll bring you more examples from different manufacturers in the coming days because we don’t want to single out Bauer and make it seem like they are the only ones conducting this practice.