Easton Stealth RS Review: Initial Impressions

Easton continues to make impressive strides with their sticks as they look to make light weight, yet durable models to satisfy the needs of players of every caliber, and the Easton Stealth RS appears to be no exception. Tons of buzz surrounded the stick in recent weeks leading up to the anticipated release date this past weekend. Thanks to Easton hockey, the members of Hockey World Blog were able to secure a Stealth RS to determine if the product can deliver on the hype.

Specs: Easton Stealth RS, Grip finish, Iginla curve, 100 Flex

Modifications: Cut two inches off the butt of the stick

Appearance and Design: Plainly put – this stick is sexy. Perhaps no Stealth model to this point has so successfully implemented such a “stealth” look. The stick is almost completely black on the outward-facing side of the shaft while the inward side has blocks and lines of yellow graphically implemented throughout. The butt-end of the stick also features yellow with white letters spelling “Easton Stealth RS.” The blade is mostly black with a strip of yellow beginning on the bottom of the blade at the heel and fading as it moves toward the toe.

Like most one-piece sticks now, the Stealth RS features a tapered shaft. And like sticks in the Stealth line, the RS includes the elliptical TORX shaft on the taper to help improve durability at the lower end of the stick where it’s most susceptible to breakage from serious slashes. The RS also presents newer materials throughout to help maintain durability while decreasing the overall weight of the stick.

The RS also has a dual finish. Most of the shaft is the normal glossy finish, but the gloss fades into a matte finish on the lower-third of the stick and even onto the blade.

Easton Stealth RS Blade Blemish
A small manufacturing blemish on the blade of our new Easton Stealth RS

Unfortunately, my model had a few manufacturing flaws on the lower portion of the shaft and the blade. The toe of the blade had a raised bump of excess material dried on. It could easily be sanded off no problem, but still a minor flaw that I didn’t expect to see. There also appeared to be some small holes on the bottom of the toe of the blade presumably from popped air bubbles. Most of them are pretty small, but hopefully it doesn’t affect the blade’s durability in the long run.

Balance: The RS has real solid balance with very even weight distribution throughout the entire shaft. In fact, the weight distribution is so good that after using the RS I picked up another stick that I took with me to the rink and could feel a noticeable difference in that stick’s balance compared to the RS. Plus, the balance and even weight distribution help give the RS a more “solid” feel where the shaft doesn’t feel like paper mache that could break on the first hard slash.

Feel: The light weight and even weight distribution allows for a pretty good feel for the puck on the blade. Honestly, I didn’t feel like stick handling ability was the best thing about this stick and I’ve played with other sticks that I think offered a better feel for the puck during stick handling and passing – especially some sticks that are a little more blade-light and seem to send more vibrations up through the shaft when the puck impacts the shaft.

One real positive was how the blade absorbed the energy while receiving passes. I was very impressed with the RS’s ability to take a hard pass. We all know how to cradle a pass, but for testing’s sake I allowed a few hard passes to smack into a firmly held blade and the stick absorbed the pass very well without the puck bouncing all over the place. It was a pleasant surprise.

Bear in mind that for this initial review I was using roller hockey pucks which are incredibly lighter than ice hockey pucks. I think most anyone who purchases the stick will be happy with how it feels stick handling, passing and shooting.

Shooting and Accuracy: Let me preface this section by stating that my only prior experience with Easton’s Stealth line was with the S17 a few years back. While I liked the feel for the puck the stick provided, I had a lot of issues achieving fast, accurate shots with the S17. Comparing that stick to the RS, the RS is a huge improvement.

A lot of people have already described this stick as having a lot of “pop.” This is a pretty apt description. The puck seems to release from the stick quicker and faster shots can be achieved with seemingly less effort. I was really impressed with the stick’s performance on wrist shots. Again, pucks seemed to release quickly from the blade with more energy. Sometimes I had trouble placing my wrist shots high in the corners with the S17. That wasn’t an issue at all with the RS. The solid build of the stick allowed me to place shots high or low with ease.

My accuracy was solid with wrist shots, but less so on slapshots. I was generally able to get my wristers where I wanted them without any trouble. Any issues that I did experience I chalk up to the curve on the stick, which is an Iginla when I am used to using something closer to the Cammalleri curve. Still, I was generally pleased with the accuracy of my wrist shots.

My slapshots, however, were a little tougher to control. I had the same issue with the S17 when I used that stick. Although I can’t be certain of the cause, I attributed my issues to the elliptical TORX shaft on the stick. The RS has the same elliptical shaft, and I experienced some of the same issues. Initially, everything seemed to go about six inches left of where I was aiming. As my session on the rink progressed I found myself better able to control my shots without a loss of power, but it still wasn’t to as high of a degree of accuracy that I have experienced with other sticks. This is definitely something that I will keep an eye on for future reviews to see if it improves as the stick breaks in a little more.

Overall Impressions: After my previous experience with the S17, I was cautiously optimistic about the Easton Stealth RS. Needless to say, after about two hours of messing around with the stick on the rink, I’m impressed. The RS feels solid in your hands and offers a good feel for the puck. But this stick really excels at shooting where the puck really pops off the stick. Accuracy is good on wrist shots but less so on slapshots. Overall, I think most hockey players will be pleased with this purchase.

Although our review starts here with our initial impressions, follow us in the weeks to come as we put this stick to the test in game situations to see how it holds up as we continue to put it through the grind. We will continue to assess many of the areas we have covered here and also get a better feel for the durability of the stick. Keep checking back for more!

If you’re thinking about purchasing the Easton Stealth RS, head over to Inline and Ice Warehouse to grab one. You can get the clear or grip Stealth RS version for only $249.99.

One comment

  1. NIce stick very good shot. I got a 100 flex but it DOES NOT feel like a 100 more like a 87. Overall very nice stick!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *