What Is 100% Graphite, Sub-500 Grams & Under $100?

Today practically every company in the industry offers a composite stick at the $99 price point catering to the recreational level player.  These sticks usually contain little to no traces of graphite and lots of lower end materials.  While it is easy to name manufacturers who sell $99 sticks, try looking for one that is 100% graphite and the list shortens considerably.  Out of those remaining sticks, filter out the ones that weigh less than 500 grams.  There are not many options are there?

This is the Winnwell GX-8 and if you haven’t already guessed; it is 100% graphite, weighs 490g, and costs $99.

This stick is listed at 490g but we decided to throw it on our scale “naked” (without any tape and uncut from the factory length) as Winnwell’s website lists it at 480g.  Our kitchen scale confirms the stick weighs 479g.  There are several factors that could affect the weight of the stick such as blade pattern, grip/no grip, etc. but what we are interested in here is it is indeed under 500g.

We have not used this stick long enough yet to give it a fair test so we will leave any long-term reviews for a later date.  So what are our initial thoughts?

Well, as soon as we picked up the stick it felt nice.  It did not feel like a $99 one piece stick at all.  Normally sticks at this price point feel like bricks and tend to be blade heavy.  While the GX-8 is not the lightest stick in the world it does offer good balance thanks to Winnwell’s precise weight distribution (or Optimum Pro Balance Technology as they call it.)  During a game it will be very difficult for someone to notice a difference in weight when you start talking in grams.  Even though it may be slightly heavier, a well balanced stick will feel and perform much better when you are using it.

After playing with it during my first ice time the blade is very rigid and pucks do ‘pop’ off nicely.  Check out the 12k graphite weaves on the tapered shaft.  I really like it when companies show off what their sticks are made of and not try and hide what is underneath with a cheap paint job.

This stick has been a great surprise so far and looks to be a great ‘bang for the buck’ stick.  I would recommend this stick to both advanced and recreational players.  The only thing I would change is the shaft radius.  It is a personal preference but I do have smaller hands and the shaft is a bit boxier than what I normally use.

Aesthetically the graphics are simple and that is how I prefer my equipment.  Some of my photos may look like they are in black in white but in reality that really is what the stick looks like against the pavement.

I will check back in with this stick in a couple weeks.  In the meantime if you would like to find out more information about Winnwell Hockey or the GX-8 stick, check them out on their website at www.WinnwellCleanHockey.ca

– M

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4 Responses to “What Is 100% Graphite, Sub-500 Grams & Under $100?”

  1. Pat & Bob Mosey - Port Perry, Ontario Says:

    I bought this stick for our grandson who is a dedicated left-winger andplays high school hockey. He tried his Reebok stick during a recent game and had a terrible time with it. Once he changed over to the GX-8, he was on fire and no one could stop him or his line. We’re planning on getting him another one for Christmas. Thanks for an exceptional product.

  2. Hey,
    Nice review ! Do you have any updates on how this stick held up?

    • Yes I am in the process of having one up. I wanted to make sure I had an adequate amount of time with the stick before making any final comments on it. It’s definitely worth considering if you are looking for a stick in the sub-$100 price point. It is better built than any of the price point OPS from most manufacturers.

      – M

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