Review of Grays GX6000 Scoop Xtra Hockey Stick

 

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Cost: Around £100. Dynabow profile. This was an impulse buy. In the sports shop with it in my hand, the ‘scoop xtra’ head appealed and seemed to cling to the ball. According to the Grays website  it is ‘ideal for hitting and 3D skills’. It also features ‘the new Quadrex Blade Profile to give improved drag flick momentum to the Dynabow shape’.

I was excited to use it, but from the start it just didn’t feel right in my hand. Yes, it gives quite good control when receiving and moving the ball – but it’s no better than my favourite GX8000 Midbow which I love. However, and for me it is a big however, the scoop stick seemed to have a much-reduced power when hitting compared to my other Grays sticks. Grays GX8000 Midbow I used it in training a few times, but it didn’t even make it out of my bag on match day. Just really didn’t like the feel of it. I totally agree with the customer review on Barrington Sports which says they haven’t quite been able to find the sweet spot on it.  It’s probably a personal thing, but I now just keep it in my office for messing around with between work assignments. It’s extra stiff and supposed to enhance your drag flick. Well, I’m not a drag flicker and it wasn’t obvious in the sports shop that I bought it from that it was designed for drag flicking, or I would never have bought it. Not for me.

Customer review on Barrington Sports

 

 

Hockey stick review: Grays GX8000 Midbow

GRAYS GX 8000 Mid Bow Hockey Stick

2014_Grays_GX8000_MidBow_HS_Micro_Composite_Hockey_Stick

I wanted to try a heavier, straighter stick so I thought I’d test out the GX8000 Mid Bow from Grays in a medium weight. I’m a devoted Grays stick fan so decided to choose from their range.

Yes it makes a massive difference compared to my previous light Grays Dynabow and Jumbow sticks. My hit is much, much more powerful, presumably because there’s more weight behind the hit. However, I feel this is at the expense of ease of stick skills, 3D and backstick shots.

The spec actually says this stick is good for these but I have to disagree and I prefer the lighter sticks for the 3D and the Jumbow for tomahawk shots.

Unfortunately, you have to buy a stick before you can really find out whether it works for you or not. No stick can do everything so it’s always a compromise between bow shape and weight and so far I haven’t found the perfect answer.

Crucially, what’s also not evident until you get this stick in your hand is that it has a ridge effect on the shaft which I loathe – and wouldn’t have chosen if I’d seen it in the flesh. If you are thinking of buying I advise you to enlarge the sales image and take a close look at the shaft of this stick. In the hand I found it  uncomfortable and more difficult to turn in your lower hand to do stick work with.

This Grays GX8000 Midbow also seems to slap hit better – with more power. Again maybe it’s having more weight behind the impact. The spec does say it’s good for slapping.

Update: Spotted a team mate using this same stick on Saturday. She agreed it was less easy to turn the stick in your hand with the ridges. However, she felt it had dramatically improved her jinking and lifting off the ball (she is a defender) and agreed it was fantastic for hard hitting.

My verdict: Uncomfortable to handle, really hate the wide ridged feel, and not the best for nippy stick skills in my opinion because the stick feels harder to turn in your hand. Amazing for supercharging your hits and slap hits.  

Here’s what they say about it on the Barrington Sports website…

GX 8000 Mid-Bow HS
New Mid-Bow HS model for 2013
Featuring new Tri-Tec carbon construction
New IFA on the surface of the head to improve control
New Energy Reduction Handle construction
Featuring new Abrasion Resistant heel protection and PP Enhanced Low Backhand Zone

MICRO Headshape
Excellent head profile for both drag flicking and 3 D skills.
Ideal head thickness for hitting, combined with thinner toe profile ideal for skills of lifting the ball using 3D one handed skills.

MID-BOW
The Mid-Bow blade profile shape has been repositioned more in the mid section of the blade at 30cm from the base of the head. The curve height is 24.75mm. The uniform bow is shaped and contoured continuously along the handle to the head and is especially contoured to improve the angle at which the stick head comes into contact with the ball – it will help give players the technical edge in performing todays 3D hockey skills. Easily identifiable by its own unique new graphical design, the Mid – Bow blade profile continues to become increasingly popular amongst a new generation of players who have learned their skills exclusively on synthetic pitches.
– Help control flat, sweep and slap hitting techniques.
– Help extend the reach zone over which you can dribble the ball freely using both forehand and backhand.
– Improve the first touch control when stopping the ball at full stretch.