Easton Hockey has been kicking out updates to their sticks like mad recently, trying to keep their hottest sticks with the latest technology in your hands as soon as possible. After releasing a Stealth RS II stick, it was no surprise when Easton followed it up with the Mako II. Our friends at Easton sent us their latest stick to run through our review process, and below you will find our initial impressions on the second generation Mako.
Specs: 100 flex, Cammalleri curve
Appearance and Design:
While it may not look too drastically different, the Easton Mako II has had its fair share of upgrades over its predecessor. Beginning with its exterior design, Easton continued with the white and grey color scheme on the Mako II. While those two colors stayed the same, they switched things up by adding a black blade, and orange accents throughout the shaft. The orange accents really pop in person, and really help to complete the look of this stick.
New to the Mako II is the textured shaft, which covers a good portion of the middle of the shaft and will particularly benefit your bottom hand on the stick. The shaft is contoured for the palm and fingers, while the subtle ribbed texture will help to keep your hands where you want them on the shaft, without giving you an overly grippy feel. If you need the additional grip, Easton does offer a grip version of the Mako II stick.
The shaft on the Mako II is also going to use Easton’s Uni-Carbon technology. The uni-directional fibers in the shaft will provide more strength, and will do so with less weight. In fact, the Mako II has slimmed down about 30 grams from the previous model, and should come in at around 430 grams. The Mako II maintains its mid kick point, but the Uni-Carbon technology is going to kick harder, and do so with less effort than before. What this means for you, the shooter, is that you’re going to have an extremely lively stick and get even more pop on your shots than with the previous Mako.
Moving down into the blade, we see that the Mako II features Easton’s micro-bladder blade process, and multi-rib blade construction. This is going to make for a lighter blade, with increased stiffness, which will ultimately be more durable. Easton has also brought back the non-skid blade coating, which we saw on the original Mako as well.
Balance and Feel:
The Mako II feels solid and well built. You will notice that as soon as you pick it up. Shedding those 30 grams from its predecessor will help you to move your hands even quicker as you handle the puck. The stick itself feels well balanced while the textured shaft is a welcome addition to a non-grip stick, and feels nice to hold.
Newer blade technology has done nothing to decrease the feel of the puck on the blade, in fact, I would say the feel has improved. I find myself much more confident skating with the puck on my blade with the Mako II than with the original.
Shooting and Accuracy:
The one thing that seems to be pretty consistent with Easton sticks since the release of the original RS is the amount of pop you get on your shot. That has only improved with the newer technology, and shots with the Mako II feel good. The uni-carbon technology does a good job of improving the pop on shots, although an 85 flex may have given me an even better kick and more powerful shot.
Shooting and accuracy has always been a prime area of focus for Easton, even more so recently, and with that they are trying to focus on getting players to shoot correctly with their sticks. Rather than loading the puck on the heel, as many players do, Easton is trying to teach us to catch passes with our heel and shoot from the toe. Leaving the heel of the blade off of the ice a bit, you’re able to generate more flex in the shaft, and thus more power on your shot. This is also going to allow you to be more accurate when picking those corners.
Fortunately, there has been no transition on my part as I’ve been shooting this way for a number of years. While Easton’s new E28 blade pattern is supposed to be the best positioned in terms of lie and curve for this shooting style, the Cammalleri curve we have certainly does a good job of it as well. Using the Cammalleri pattern I find shots feel good, kick off the stick extremely well, and are more accurate for me than with any other blade pattern.
While most of the above is just from observation or basic shooting and stick handling, the Easton Mako II stick seems to definitely be an improvement over the original Mako. The updated technologies all provide key elements such as increased kick and shot power, improved feel, or better overall strength and durability. These are items that certainly required some fine tuning, and I think Easton has done an impressive job in taking the constructive criticism from their pro players and retail buyers, and using it to make improvements all around.
We haven’t had enough use out of this stick yet to really comment on its long term use or durability, but if you’re leaning towards picking up one of these guys tomorrow when it becomes available, we don’t have anything to say right now that should stop you from doing that. If you’re on the fence and plan on holding off a little while longer, check back with us for our longer term Easton Mako II review.
Ready to buy one right away? Head over to PureHockey.com and pick one up for $249.99. Be sure to use the coupon code HOCKEYWORLD when you check out and receive 10% off on select items from your purchase!