Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Equipment Changes for Summer 2015

Evaluating new stick options.
This off season has been the most difficult one I’ve had. I believe it is probably the longest time wise, and there has been a lot going on away from the rink. It has been difficult to plan for anything really with so much in the air. The result is a lot of “day of” plans for preparation. Still, there is no excuse for not being prepared for the upcoming summer season. I like to use the off season to try out some new things and become more comfortable with changes.

Last season, I couldn’t be more pleased. I set a personal record for goals scored, I feel I helped my team defensively and stepped up in a variety of other areas. Toward the end of the season, I got sick. I lost a lot of weight. The last game of the season, my pants were too big, and I had to tuck my jersey in slightly different. I got my stick caught in my jersey at one point. These things never happened before. Additionally, over the course of the season, I broke a couple of sticks.

Lots of time spent on the bike.
I attribute a lot of my success last season to the added strength from previous seasons. I spent a lot of time in the gym and on the bike to make sure that I was in the best possible condition. This off season, I continued the work in the gym, and have focused on adding even more strength this off season. I needed to gain back the weight I lost during the season (18 total pounds, 12 just from the illness at the end). That is a high percentage of my body weight. I’m pleased to report that I’m putting up my own personal records in the gym regularly. People have noticed that I’m visually looking bigger, and I’m back to my target weight. The problem is that I do have some equipment that is still a bit loose. I’m making the adjustments still, and will continue to do so as needed, but I don’t anticipate any major changes in equipment I wear for the summer.

Left is my regular length. The right is my new experiment.
As I mentioned, I broke a couple of sticks over the course of the season. All of my sticks have been set up the same way. I really like the 2012 Easton Mako E7 65 flex stick. They’re incredibly durable, light weight, and couldn’t be more perfect for me.  I’ve used Easton sticks since before I made the transition to ice. I’ve tried Bauer, Warrior, and RBK sticks and I’ve always found something I did not like. Sticking with the stick is an easy choice, but Easton has not made a stick I like since 2013. They’ve seem to fallen in love with rocker patterns, and grip finishes. Easton discontinued my pattern, and I’m running out of backups. I’m considering making the jump now to the Bauer Nexus 8000, and just getting it over with.  I’m also experimenting with shorter sticks for better puck control. I’ve taken old back up sticks that I would never use them in a game, and used them in scrimmages.  It is forcing me to bend my knees more, stay lower, and that’s what I need to do anyway. The verdict is still out for what I do with the stick.

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