Archive for 100% Graphite

Long Term Review: Winnwell GX-8 Hockey Stick

Posted in Equipment Reviews with tags , , , on November 18, 2011 by prostocknation

It has been a little while since our last gear review but rest assured we have not forgotten about them.  4 months ago we were introduced to the Winnwell GX-8 one piece composite hockey stick.  The specifications of this stick were very impressive; it’s made of 100% graphite and it weighs less than 500 grams…all for under $100.  Here is our original post with our initial thoughts: (https://prostocknation.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/what-is-100-graphite-sub-500-grams-under-100/)

After using this stick over the past 4 months I have a pretty good sense in how it performs and holds up over time.

Weight:  The GX-8 is very light.  Other manufacturers offer sticks at the same price point but they are much heavier due to use of inferior materials like glass and fibreglass.

The balance of a stick has always been a higher priority for me as most people will not notice an extra couple of grams in weight, but they will be bothered if the stick is blade heavy.

Performance:  Pucks pop off the blade quickly and the puck feel is very good.  I would compare the performance to sticks I’ve used in the $175-$200 category.

Durability:  The stick has held up very well and the blade has remained stiff.  The only issue we have experienced is a small split in the carbon fibre on one of the corners towards the bottom 1/3 of the shaft.  We contacted Winnwell regarding this issue and they assured us it was only cosmetic and not structural as the split was very shallow.

Price:  At $99 it outperforms pretty much anything close to this price point.  It is advertised as one of the biggest bang for the buck sticks and it does live up to it’s name.  Not to mention it also comes with a 30 day warranty.

Personal Preferences:  I prefer to use sticks without grip coatings of any kind, whether it be textured or not.  The GX-8 is clear (it has no grip) and that is exactly how I like it.  The shaft profile is a bit boxy compared what I normally use but it doesn’t affect my game too much.

Final Thoughts:  Players on a budget would often ask me what stick they should buy.  In the past I would always recommend buying a top end wood stick over any low end composite because it would perform better.  Things have changed and the Winnwell GX-8 has been at the top of my recommendations list in recent months.

We will periodically check in on the status of this stick.

Winnwell Hockey:

Website: http://www.winnwellcleanhockey.ca/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Winnwell-Hockey/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/winnwellhockey

– M

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

Posted in Equipment Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2011 by prostocknation

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