Silverback hockey, makers of the Silverback Gorilla hockey stick we’ve been testing, have released their own brand of stick wax. Silverback was kind enough to send us a package of the wax to test out and review. Since none of us have ever used wax on our blades before, this review may not go as in depth as some may like. We will, however,offer an introduction to the wax itself and our share our experiences with it.
Design: The Silverback stick wax looks much like you would expect. It comes neatly wrapped in plastic packaging which features the Silverback logo. The wax itself is about the size of a credit card, but is roughly half an inch thick instead. The wax also has a great cinnamon type smell too it, reminding me of Big Red gum. With such a great smell, you can keep the wax inside your bag knowing that it might help to mask the odor of your equipment. Of course the packaging reminds you that “while the product may smell good, do not eat the stick wax.”
Performance: As I said before, this is my first experience with stick wax, so I have nothing to compare this product to. However, I am aware of the basics of stick wax and that it is designed to prevent snow build-up on your blade, and help prolong the life of your tape.
Diving right into the most important part of the the wax, preventing snow build-up, I have to say I am moderately pleased with what I experienced. Snow build-up on my blade has always been an issue for me, and something I wanted to try to do something about. I never took the time, however, to research stick wax and buy some.
Immediately after stepping on the ice and beginning to handle the puck, I noticed a difference in control. The wax provided additional grip or tackiness, helping to preven the puck from sliding away from me. I noticed the grip more as I fooled around and began picking the puck up on my forehand and backhand. This is where I would typically notice the puck sliding away, but the wax allowed me to scoop more efficiently. Keep in mind that this was just during warm-ups, and most of it was just fooling around.
As I moved into game action, I began to pay more attention to snow build-up. At this point, there was no real difference in shooting, stickhandling or catching passes, so I wanted to think about what this product is really supposed to do. Early in the game, the wax worked as expected. Snow build-up was kept to a minimum on the blade and I was pleased. At the same time, snow build-up on the rink is pretty minimal at this point as well, so less snow on my blade is not really a surprise. Late in the game, when snow build-up was at it’s highest is when I did notice it still building up on my blade. The snow was not as bad as it typically is, but it still happened none the less. To me, this is kind of an inevitable thing and would happen with or without the wax. When you’ve been skating on a rink for an hour, there’s going to be a lot of snow out there and it can be hard to keep it off your blade.
When thinking about the other purpose of the wax, prolonging the life of your tape, my feelings are mixed. The first few skates I had with the wax were good, and my tape seemed fresh each time. This past weekend, however, I had a fresh tape job for our testing skate and was disappointed to see my tape beginning to unravel and fall off as our ice time was winding down. So as its second main function, I have had both good and bad experiences with the wax.
Everyone tapes their sticks differently however, and while I like to keep my tape on for as long as I can, some players tape their sticks before each and every game. For a player like this, using wax to prolong the life of the tape seems almost meaningless. You would not see the benefit of it if you’re just going to remove it after each game.
Overall: At the end of the day, I’m pleased with how the Silverback wax performed in terms of keeping snow off my blade. I think the eventual build-up I saw would have happened regardless of what type of wax I was using. However, to be extremely satisfied with a particular brand of wax, I would like to see it keep the snow off my blade through the entire skate, especially at the end when puck control or shot accuracy can be most crucial.
As I mentioned before, my feelings are mixed on the wax prolonging the life of your tape. I think you should re-examine your priorities if that’s why you are buying stick wax. Buying another role of tape would be a better investment than buying wax to help your tape last longer.
If you’re interested in picking up a package of the Silverback stick wax, head over to the Silverback hockey shop on their website. At $6 per package, it is more expensive than other brands of wax, but is still not a huge investment.
If you’ve used Silverback’s new stick wax, or any other brand of wax, let us know how it has worked out for you by leaving us a comment below.