Product Review: Easton Synergy EQ50
Blogging has always been fun for me, but some days the enjoyment of it kicks up a couple of extra notches. The day (about a month ago) when a large, rectangular cardboard box showed up at my front door was one of those days.
You see, the packing slip attached to the outside of the box was from a little hockey company called Easton; you know, the inventors of the Easton Aluminum, one-time sponsor of my hockey-hero Wayne Gretzky, and general hockey technology innovators/changers of the hockey stick world’s landscape. I had been in touch with them via Twitter ( I suggest you follow them too @Easton_Hockey) and at my request, they had agreed to send me a Synergy EQ50 to review on this very blog. I since have unsheathed it from its cardboard capsulation, and used it a number of times. And this brings us to now, where I get to tell you what I think of it.
I didn’t want to play only one game and give you an opinion, as hockey players know it takes time to get to know a new stick. As summer hockey games can be sparse, I took my time and played 4 good games in June with it before offering this assessment, which I believe to be objective in fact, and subjective in feeling.
The first thing I noticed about the Synergy EQ50 was that it is light. Now I know that’s a pretty obvious thing to say about a composite hockey stick in 2011, but considering that I was coming out of a Bauer Supreme one95, an extremely light stick itself, I think that is saying something. The adjustable, weighted counterbalance system installed in the removable butt-end is intriguing. It features 4 removable weights that you can interchange to find your ideal butt-end weight, to assumably balance the added weight in the blade (more on that later). I never thought this was a point of concern with my sticks before, but they pay smart people good money to come up with ideas like this, so let’s entertain the notion. My theory was that since my last stick didn’t have such an option, I would keep all four in while I played to see the maximum effect. Truth is, I can’t say I really knew what the difference/improvement was, other than the stick felt perhaps slightly heavier in my top hand. All four weights are still in.
Where I did notice a difference however, was in the stick’s blade, which also features afore mentioned counterbalance weights; which are in contrast, permanent fixtures. In making and receiving passes, the blade feels much thicker than say a Bauer or CCM product (which, from my personal experiences, seem to push thin blade technology). I’ve heard that a thinner blade helps you “feel” the puck more, but while using the EQ50, I truly felt I could control passes noticeably better (no matter how errant the passer had made them), and in return I could send a much crisper and solid pass right back. My assessment is that the added blade weight had a lot to do with that.
Shooting-wise, things only seemed to get better. There is an adjustment period to any new stick, but once I had the EQ50 dialled in, I can truthfully say I was shooting pucks better than I ever have. I’m not going to lie and say that it increased my shot speed by 20km/h or something insane; that kind of improvement can only be made by the stick’s operator. The main instance I noticed shot improvement-wise was in my one-timer. Admittedly, one-tee’s have never been a shot to boast about for me, but in lining a few up with the EQ50 and its thicker blade, I found my stick absorbing the pass like never before, and thusly return cannon-firing them at the net like never before, ala Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion (every action has an equal and opposite reaction). Where I might have fanned on the same shot before, I felt like the EQ50 was far more forgiving and responsive. After seeing the results, I was looking and calling for as many one-timers as I could to bomb. One even managed to sneak over a goalie’s shoulder and go top cheese, which was, to say the least, fun J I believe the weighted blade lowers the stick’s kickpoint; another plus for noticeably better shooting, in my opinion. Hey, the NHL/world’’s hardest shooter Zdeno Chara and his 105.9 mph slap-bombing Synergy EQ50 can’t be wrong, can they?
Cosmetically, after 4 games, the EQ50 seems to have the same condition that my previous Synergy had; the outer grip layer seems to be flaking off for some odd reason. It doesn’t affect the stick’s performance in any way, however.
Now that you’ve read what I think, here’s what Easton’s website says about the EQ50:
- Own the puck with the ultimate combination of balance and control
- Visible Focus Weight Technology™ (15 grams) redistributes weight to the impact area to control hard passes and keep the puck on your blade
- Customizable weighted end cap for optimal balance with adjustable swing weight
- Kevlar® wrapped shaft for impact protection and vibration dampening
- Multi-Rib™ and Micro-Bladder™ blade
FWT- Focus Weight Technology™ is used in the blade to provide an incredible feel for handling the puck and in the shaft to counter balance the stick for added control.
CONTROL: Engineered to keep the puck on your blade to control the game
PASS: Redistributes and focuses weight in the ultra-light blade to catch the toughest passes
SHOOT: Delivers more power and velocity making your shot unstoppable
BALANCE: Weight at the end of the stick counter balances the blade for optimal swing weight
CUSTOMIZABLE: Weighted end cap is adjustable to optimize balance at any length. Fully customizable from 6.5-26.5 grams
I can’t say that I think any of these statements or claims by Easton are at all erroneous. This stick delivers on its promises, and would be a great investment for any player in the market for a new stick. I personally saw improvement in my game with it, and I have no reason to think it wouldn’t do the same for you.