Our friends at Silverback Hockey provided us with a stick to review in February. After using it for over two months, here is a review of their top stick, the Chrome.
Our testing focuses on shooting and accuracy, feel for the puck and durability. This stick has been used both for roller and ice hockey, with 85 percent of usage occurring inline.
Specs: Silverback Chrome, 90 flex, Columbus curve (similar to Kane, Iginla & Savard)
Price: $179.99 with free shipping.
Modifications: Cut down 1″.
Design and Construction:
Like I stated in my initial impressions review, this stick has a similar look and feel to the BattleAxe BX7. The Chrome has a solid look to it- a white shaft with a black blade. Silver and blue trim the stick as well as the writing alternating blue, black, silver and white colors depending on the contrast of the background.
I’ve handed this stick to several of my teammates who were not familiar with the brand and they raved about the look of it. How it’s a clean look without the loud colors seen in other sticks. The stick comes in a 62″ length for the senior stick.
Weight and Balance:
At 428g, this is one of the lightest sticks I have ever used. The weight is similar to a Bauer Total One or Reebok 11K stick. The balance is evenly distributed throughout the stick. It’s not too top-heavy not does it feel like a sledgehammer when shooting. The four-sided concave walls increase grip and handling while decreasing weight.
The stick feels great when passing or shooting. As a defenseman, this stick has allowed me to lead my team in assists this season. I am able to make quick, sudden passes with this stick and have confidence it will reach the tape of the man I am passing the puck to. When receiving passes, the feel is solid and crisp without the puck sliding under my stick or vibrating. I am able to receive passes on both the forehand and backhand without the puck bouncing off the blade. I am able to quickly cradle the puck as I am skating up the rink and can set up a pass or shot towards the net.
Shooting and Accuracy:
I haven’t scored as much as I have in previous seasons, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had the chances. When taking slap shots from the point, I am able to keep the puck under the crossbar. Some sticks I have used in the past would make the puck sail too high, like I am kicking field goals in football and not scoring goals in hockey. When we conducted our stick test a short time ago, the Chrome was among the best performing among the sticks I tested and tried out. With both wrist and slap shots, I found this stick to be pretty accurate when I was trying to pick out a corner to shoot at.
My shots while being rushed and under pressure have been accurate and on net. When shooting, it goes pretty accurately where I am aiming, instead of shots being fired too far to the left or too far to the right. Some sticks are known to have the lie angle biased to the left or the right. The Chrome is pretty straight forward. During warm-ups prior to games I always try to hit a post and majority of the time I hit the post I was aiming at.
This is the area where I am most impressed with. I play in an inline league that tends to get pretty chippy with the stick work. I have seen players using sticks made by major manufacturers and get upset when someone goes for a stick lift and chips their blade. I am happy to report there are no chips on the blade from being hacked from other players. In addition, there are no signs of out-of-the-ordinary wear on the heel of my blade as I leave that area of the blade exposed (similar to how Alex Ovechkin tapes his sticks). The only sign of wear on the blade is at the tip of the toe where there is a small chip, mostly because I play defense and I use a round toe instead of a square toe (see Silverback’s Lincoln curve for a square toe) while battling for pucks along the boards. For as long as I’ve used this stick, it’s one of the most durable I have used as there are no visible cracks in the shaft.
The graphics are pretty cool with their gorilla logo both on the heel and toe of the blade. I’ve taped the stick three times in the couple of months of having it and the paint of the large gorilla has not peeled.
There are signs of chipped paint along the corners of the shaft. This mostly comes from blocking shots and general wear and tear. There are no major gashes to report that could affect the integrity and performance of the stick.
This is a solid stick for the price. If you want a stick that performs as well as the higher priced (over $200) sticks with the price of the second-highest tier, the Chrome is worth the look. It is one of the lightest and most durable sticks you will find on the market. They have a generous and fair Warranty Policy, so if your sticks break within the time-frame stated, they will gladly replace your stick per the terms on the website. My only regret was cutting a little too much off the top when I made a 1-inch cut. I could have been better off leaving it as-is or taking 1/2″ off. I would recommend this stick to anyone.