Over the past few months, our friends at Reebok gave us the opportunity to review their latest stick, the RibCor. I had the opportunity to play with it while playing inline hockey as well as a couple drop-in sessions on ice.
Specs: Reebok RibCor, P40 blade curve, 100 flex. The stick weighs 430 grams prior to taping/modifications.
Modifications: Cut 1.5 inches off the butt end.
Design and Construction: The RibCor has a unique feature compared to its competitors. The vertical ridges that are on the bottom half of the stick is designed to be in tension constantly to allow increased power transfer from the hands to the puck. As for the shaft, the fused one-piece composite material features Tri-Matrix technology which keeps the ideal fiber orientation at 45 degrees on the forehand and backhand to store and release energy and a 90 degree middle for strength and stability. The stiffness of the stick gradually increases as you get closer to the blade which is supposed to deliver the power with less effort.
Feel: Checking in at 450 grams fully taped up, this stick was the lightest I’ve ever reviewed. I thought the vertical ridges would become distracting since my right hand is close to it, but that wasn’t the case. I tend to prefer sticks that don’t have tacky forms of grip, and the RibCor has small nubs between the vertical ridges and the top of the shaft. It led to perfect bottom hand placement when carrying the puck and preparing to take shots.
Shooting and Accuracy: Shooting is where the RibCor was excellent. I was first skeptical about whether or not the ribbing would provide extra pop or not. Boy was I wrong. The RibCor was especially powerful on slapshots where I was able to score many goals from the point or teeing up a slap shot when on a odd-man rush. I do give much credit to the blade, which their SXX blade goes from stiff to stiffer as you progress from heel to toe. I found that there wasn’t many places where I wasn’t accurate, meaning that the blade has a larger sweet spot than most other sticks I’ve reviewed. The stick was so good, it played a role in the stick breaking just above the blade (which I will get into later)
This was the second stick I’ve used with this type of curve. I feel that this curve is the best for me as it optimized my strength of crisp passing and booming slap shots from the point. As for accuracy, I felt that the stick favored a little to the left (or right if you’re a lefty shooter). While it was easy to get the puck in the air quickly, it was rather difficult to keep the puck hard and low. And by hard and low I mean low enough to force the goalie to get into the butterfly and make a save with his pads.
Durability: This is where the RibCor lacked. I was able to use the stick approximately a dozen times in roller hockey and twice on ice before the stick snapped just above the blade prior to a game. I’ve reviewed many sticks in the 4+ years since we started Hockey World Blog, and this is the first one I’ve broken. And I felt that I lost a partner because I was loving the stick so much. Fortunately the stick broke low enough to where I am able to salvage the shaft and utilize a replacement blade should I want to.
Overall Impressions: Overall, I loved this stick. This stick was a favorite of mine because of how light it was and the amount of pop I was able to get when taking slap shots. I even had goalies come up to me after games asking how did I have such a hard shot. I simply attributed it to the stick I had more so than my own skill. I loved that I was able to keep my shots lower than the cross bar, which led to increased scoring and less shots flying over the net. But I was disappointed that a stick that is $259.99 at Inline Warehouse didn’t last longer.