So, i'm starting up roller again after playing until I was sixteen. I was never really obsessed with gear because I didn't have too much money to splurge with, and my parents didn't want to spend it on me. I'm a defenseman who mostly wrists from the point (not too much slap), and doesn't really try anything tricky puckhandling-wise... i'm usually just looking to pass right away.
Hey, I'm a Dman who never shoots and hates handling the puck, too! Why the hell do I have a Synergy? I see some Dmen with a Bauer Vapor XX, they seem to be able to take a beating. If you don't want to spend $100 on a stick, go get...damn it, what's that wood model you people like here? Someone answer this man.
get a composite/wood combo, have it a little whippy for the wrists shots.
I'm using an Easton Comp/Wood (Z-Carbon) and it's working out pretty good and it's been able to take quite a beating as well. The blade is composite while most of the shaft (exterior) is wood, it has a nice feel and comes in a 95 Flex.
The wood seems to chip and shave pretty easy though so you may want to tape it up, that or hope you sliver people on the way by.
If you are after a composite then the old Innovative sticks (now Warrior) have always had a good rep for durability plus they offer good performance too. I've been using an Inno Novius for the past few months and haven't had a single problem with it.
I've also found the RBK 5K shaft was very good for the money, it has that snake grip thing on it which i thought helped a little bit and again gave good performance and seems to last very well.
CCM sticks have a reputation for good reliabilty/duability while having no feel. Honestly I would recommend a Nike Apollo, closeout deals right now for cheap. Nvr used them but cheap composites for like $50, worth a try. I've heard good things about them, and probably can't get any better at $50 a pop.
Don't mean cheap as in quality..these are high end sticks, just cheap cause of closeouts to make space for new models...I'd check 'em out.
Don't know how badly your surface chews up blades, but a two piece stick is usually what I'd recommend for roller hockey players.
I personally like the Easton Cyclone, it's the lightest shaft Easton makes and the shaft shaft is less boxy than others which helps since I have relatively small hands. Shaft will cost around $75. For blades, I personally like the CCM V-20/V-40/V-60 as they wear down very well and they're relatively cheap $20-$30.
The Mission L-2 is another one I've been wanting to try. It's a tapered stick and tapered sticks generally behave the same one piece sticks, but you have the ability to swap blades. The L-2 also comes with 2 blades for ~$170. The shaft alone sells for $100 and each blade is $50. So it's a decent value.
But like the other guys have said, there's nothing wrong with a nice $35 Sherwood woodie. Somebody with noodle arms like me would notice the weight difference, but most guys won't.
If you can hold off for a few more weeks, the 2006 model sticks will be coming in. And there will be some more options in each price range.
I'd suggest going with a decent composite shaft and a cheap *** blade. If it's outdoors I'd definitely look into an ABS blade, it's a sturdy plastic instead of wood which wears down really fast and chips at the bottom. It's been perfect for ball indoors and out and I've been using that blade a lot lately with a puck outside and it shows no extra wear. The only problem I've had is the odd blade the splits down the middle, usually not a big deal since the blade itself costs like 15 bucks and a good one will last a while.
Since you're a defenseman I'd suggest going with a slightly heavier shaft because you're not looking to stickhandle as much as you are to tie up other people's sticks. Good luck, a decent composite shaft should last you about four or five years so while it may be a big expense up front, it's not that bad in the long run.
I got a Easton Ultra Lite shaft on Ebay for like $55 USD. Slap a wood blade on it and you got yourself a decent stick that will take
a beating for less than $80. The upside of the Easton UL's is that
they are crazy light but durable as a mother. I've used the same shaft for 2 sessions now and I love it.