The owner of Beikou Hockey, Adam (@Craggsy), sent me the stick in order to test/review for the Forum. The plan was to test the stick and give Adam some feedback. The plan changed slightly when I got hold of the stick, started training with it and realising how great the product was. It promptly knocked my Ritual Velocity 1 off top spot in my stick bag and prompted the ‘Can I keep it?’ message to Adam and then subsequent Sponsorship discussions. Gratefully Adam agreed to sponsor me this year too!
The Pro 90 is a top of the range, high carbon stick with the number ‘90’ directly relating to the carbon content of the model (90%). The Pro Bow shape is widely regarded as the new ‘all-rounder’ shape for the modern player. The bow starts lower down the stick aiding with pushing/flicking and dribbling skills, whilst still maintaining a straight enough profile to execute powerful hits without too much change to the hitting technique. Comparable shapes to the Beikou Pro mould would be Gryphon’s ‘Pro’ mould, Gray’s Dynabow, Adidas’ Adibow and Ritual’s Velocity – although I feel the Beikou Pro mould is unique in ‘hiding’ it’s lower bow when hitting and feeling more like a mid-bow with accentuated pushing and flicking ability. This is not a ‘Jumbow’ style low bow mould, however there are specific sticks in the ‘90%’ carbon range that do accommodate a later bow (Drag 90 and Low 90) if that’s what you’re looking for.
Looks and Design don’t usually feature high up on my list of attributes when purchasing a stick. However the things I do look out in terms of looks are whether the finish is professional, classy and uncluttered. The Beikou Pro 90 meets this criteria and then some! The ‘90’ range is separated by different colour on the head of the stick and the ‘Beikou’ logo on the front and the rear – the Pro stick is printed in a light blue colour. There is a unique pattern that is printed at the bottom of the grip (in silver/grey) and on the rear of the stick head (in light blue) which looks great. The stick really stands out from the crowd and has received lots of praise for club/team mates.
Ok, this is where the Pro 90 really wins me over. The touch is firm as you’d expect with a 90% carbon stick, but has a superb amount of dampening that makes the balls ‘stick’ the face of the stick when receiving a pass etc. I spent the whole of last season using the Ritual Velocity 1 and the touch on this is good, but doesn’t have the same level of finesse as the Beikou. For a company in its first year of stick production this is a huge achievement! I’ve used this stick for every game and training session since the beginning of September and so far haven’t seen any mis-traps or adverse rebounds from the stick (other than my own fault! Ha!). The best comparison I can make is that the touch and feel is similar to the old black and white or black and green Adidas HS1 sticks from 2008/09/10 – these were my all-time favourite sticks and there is no higher praise from me!
Fantastic! Absolutely love playing with this stick. It’s a joy to use each time I step out onto the pitch! The bow is slightly more pronounced than my old Ritual and I’ve seen solid improvements in pushing and flicking speeds. My stick has a nice high balance point meaning the stick feels lighter at the head end and again aids with pushing, flicking and moving the ball around. The head shape is similar to a Grays Maxi and has a nice ‘open’ toe which creates a larger surface area for receiving the ball and assists with stopping of the reverse stick side. Hitting is consistently firm and I’ve yet to mis-hit a shot or pass. The power is superb and the hit comes off the stick effortlessly. Slapping is the only area where I feel the stick doesn’t excel as much as it’s other aspects. I still get hard, flat and consistent slaps, but with the balance point being slightly higher there is less assistance from the stick for this. This is no problem for me as I prefer to push or if needed, hit my passes/shots/etc.
The stick comes with a layer of foam around the grip handle which will assist with the dampening when receiving a pass. With the standard PU grip that comes with the stick I felt that this was a bit too thick, especially when adding a chamois or something similar on top of this. The resolution was a simple one – replace the grip. I removed the standard grip and added the free chamois grip you get with the stick purchase directly to the foam underlayer. This in conjunction with the rubber end cap gives the grip the perfect thickness for me and doesn’t affect the sticks playability.
What can I say! The stick is revelation! A lot of manufacturers seem to be getting the ‘feel vs power’ balance right these days, but the Beikou is the first stick I’ve used in the long time that doesn’t feel overly stiff or unforgiving whilst still maintaining a thunderbolt of a hit! So much so that I practically begged Craggsy to keep the stick after testing! Ha! If you’re looking for a lightweight, hard hitting, hard pushing stick that maintains a superb level of feel, then the Pro 90 is perfect for you. This is a perfect all-rounder stick for the modern player!
(pictures to follow this evening)
- Beikou Hockey
- Pro 90
- Bow Type:
- Mid/Low bow (200mm - 250mm)
- 90% Carbon 10% others
- One Weight (Light)