Blue Ice Hockey has been kind in giving Hockey World Blog the chance to review their newest stick, the Nano Pro-Tek, which is the second generation of their popular NANO Professional stick. I have had some time to use the stick, allowing me to point out the finer details of what this stick has to offer.
Blue Ice Hockey is a Canadian company looking to offer the Mom and Pop like customer service mixed with up to date technology built into their hockey sticks. Further more, the team provides all of this at an incredibly affordable price.
Specs: Blue Ice Nano Pro-Tek, 90 Flex, P1 Curve (similar to Lindros, Kane, Iginla, Datsyuk)
Appearance and Design: Consider the stick going from a bargain suit to a tailored one. What was once a predominately black stick with gray accents has transformed into a black base with blue and white accents. The accents have a road runner like head while a Canadian Maple Leaf is proudly outlined behind a bolded Nano Pro-Tek. Considering what they had before, the changes are big jumps to attract your attention; that of which they do.
The stick is made of carbon nano particle technology, it is designed for all players, but aimed for advanced level players. A unique shaft design and an optimal composition of graphite makes the Nano Pro-Tek ultra-light resulting in increased hand speed, shot power and blade-to-puck control. A radical carbon weave throughout the shaft provides a better feel for puck handling, passing and whip-like shooting. The unique concave structure of the shaft provides assists in hand comfort, strength and flex control. The blade features a distinctive honey-comb weave, for durability and maximum shot velocity.
Weight and Balance: When you pick up the stick you definitely can tell it is a one-piece aimed for top level play. We do not have an exact weight measurement, but you can tell it is not quite as light as per say the Easton Mako, but it is lighter than what would be considered the second level of top tier stick lines.
The Nano Pro-Tek, like it’s first edition Nano Professional, feels solid throughout the stick. Not heavy on either point, but a consistent balance throughout.
Stick Handling/ Feel: What is a good thing for one may not be for another. In my testing I have noticed that when it comes to playing roller hockey, for one reason or another, the puck doesn’t come as natural as ice. For example, when collecting a pass in roller, the puck jumps on end after it hits the stick. Perhaps the lighter, smaller puck creates such a reaction. But when you take the stick to the ice, not only does this problem not occur, it feels like an entirely different stick.
It goes without saying that a stick is always easier to stick handle when it is cut down a little bit, but even me who keeps the stick pretty much as is, I find it relatively easy to maneuver the puck where I want it. There is, like many sticks, a bit of a getting used to, but I would rate this near my top three that provide a in-tune feeling from the start.
Shooting and Accuracy: When it comes down to it, despite that you typically do not take as many shots as you would passes, everyone wants a stick that can snipe like none other. Is the Nano Pro-Tek that stick? I would say in time. There is some struggles of seeing an open corner and having it go a little to one side or the other, not the pin-point spot of what you had hoped. A positive though, if you take a little time only focusing on your shot, you begin to notice your spread starts narrowing down to what it should be. But don’t misunderstand me, I’m definitely not the best of snipers, but I am saying will take a few times on the ice to really get the performance you are looking for.
Throwing roller out the door because of the light puck, the thing I absolutely love about this stick is the slap-shots. I used to use an extremely stiff shaft, over 100 flex, jumped down to an 80 flex, I worried going up to a 90 flex would be too stiff. Not at all a problem, actually the perfect flex for me at 190 lbs and 5’ 11”. While taking slap-shots you feel stick flex as you hit the ice, a slight pause, and then it snaps the puck producing not only a powerful slap-shot, but without the strain on your arms and shoulder. Think seeing a slowed down replay of the pros and how glorious it looks, and yeah, you get that feeling.
Overall Impressions: For many, you may not take a second look at the stick as you immediately label it as a non Bauer, Easton or whatever big name company you use. They’re going to miss out. The others, who want to give it a shot, I do highly recommend it. The stick is built for ice hockey, and although it will perform well with roller, something about the lighter puck just doesn’t play well with the Nano Pro-Tek. Combine the overall performance of the stick, the fact that the first generation Nano-Professional I reviewed is still kicking strong after a year’s plus usage, and the suggested price of only $125, you really cannot beat Blue Ice Hockey’s Nano Pro-Tek. Top-level players will be pleasantly surprised while beer leaguers looking to get a decent stick at a bargain price will question why they spent so much on a brand name before.
Have a question or interested in purchasing the Nano Pro-Tek stick? Contact Ron Sherkin at Ron@blueicehockey.com or 647-982-2972.
Have a question or comment, email at EB@hockeyworldblog.com or contact on Twitter @HWBEB.