Easton RSII Grip
Well, I thought I'd give a decent review of this stick. I usually only review hiking/backpacking/outdoors gear, but I thought I'd give this a go.
Just a small background, been playing since the early 90's off and on, I'd say I'm a low level div 1, upper level div 2 player that's just old and out of shape. Generally I use higher end sticks, and I go relatively easy on them. I don't take the big wind up shots, I don't slash much. Usually just stick handle and set up plays.
I'll break this up into sections to make it easy for people to get the info they want.
Stick for review: Easton RS II Grip 87 Flex Hall RH
So one of the first things that impressed me about this stick was how light it felt. I've owned much lighter sticks in the past, but this one just feels lighter. It's rated at 442gm on average, and I took about 2 and a half inches off the length. The balance of the stick is amazing, it almost feels like you have no blade on the end of the stick.
The grip surface is very sticky and gives a really good response when stick handling and passing. It also locks in tight for those fast shots when you need to. It's not overly grippy, but enough that you notice it more than some sticks. Eastons usually start really sticky and fade over time, so I'm expecting over the next few months for that to wear.
The puck feels really good on the blade, the foam channels really make a difference on this stick, especially with the light blade. It has a pretty soft feel which is great for fast stickhandling and catching passes.
I'd rate this as 4.5 out of 5 stars for stick handling.
This is where the stick shines. I don't really buy into hype much, and I remain rather skeptical when it comes to most manufacturers, but the elliptical profile on the shaft does seem to improve my shots. Compared to the Mako and the older TPS response sticks I've used in the past, I definitely get a better release on my shots.
The lighter, softer feeling blade does kind of throw me off a bit, however for quick snap shots and long wrist shots I notice a definite improvement in my shot.
I give this a 4 out of 5 stars for shooting.
I tend to pass a lot, especially from behind the net or in the corners while I have one or two defenders on me. I like a stick that has good puck feel so I can get the quick pass off on target. This stick definitely delivers in that regard. The Hall curve isn't the best for saucer passes, but I find that my saucer passes still stay on target and have very little wobble.
This stick performs very well with giving and receiving passes. The soft blade feel allows you to really cup the puck on an incoming pass. The light weight of the stick really helps with the give and go as well. This is where the stick really shines for me.
I rate passing as 5 out of 5 stars.
This is a hard to rate section for a hockey stick. No two games are the same, and no two shots are the same either (unless you are ultra consistent). I've been using this stick about 3-4 weeks now. I've used it in two games, and a bunch of morning drop in games. There is slight chipping on the hosel, but nothing bad. The kevlar wrap seems to keep the stick from flaking apart near the heel of the blade. I don't play rough with my sticks and consider myself more of a finese player, so my sticks tend to last a year or more, usually the blades themselves wearing out.
A lot of people have negative things to say about the durability of Easton sticks, however I've yet to see it. My 4 and a half month old Mako looks like it ran naked through Bosnia in 1993, and still works just fine. I have no reason to believe that the RSII will fall apart sooner rather than later.
However, I do have concerns about the light weight blade, the foam channels and the bladder.
Because only time will tell on durability, I will rate this a neutral 3 of 5. I foresee and hope the stick will last 6 months, but I'm not holding my breath.
5. Overall game feel
All the qualities of this stick come together and make this stick really shine. While playing, the light weight and good balance make it feel like there's no stick in my hands. My shots come off fast and powerfully, with almost no effort. My passes are like pin point accurate lasers, fast and on target. My stickhandling is very good with this stick, and my shots are definitely improved in the game. I notice I'm able to put the puck in the small holes that normally I wouldn't be able to take advantage off.
I'd rate this stick 5 out of 5 for overall game feel.
I won't talk about the specifics of this stick, as you can go to any website and get the stats. Generally most people don't understand what the techno-babble means anyways.
I was looking for a replacement to my S19, and missed out on the first RS that Easton released. I'm very happy I went with the RSII. I've been using the Mako for awhile now, and while I really like the shaft of the Mako, I've felt my shots have suffered a bit. The RS II is awesome for me, as it combines the same shaft profile with the elliptical profile of the S19.
I don't like doing a rating based on averages, especially since I'm neutral on the durability. I will give this stick an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. If you play in higher divisions or competitively, this is a serious stick. I'd definitely give it a try.
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