Once again thank you to ThinkingJack and Warrior for making me a #WarriorVIP and hooking me up with this stick. I am extremely grateful and appreciate it.
I’ve had a few people ask me about this stick so far and I feel it would be better for me to just make a quick write up about it rather than have to say the same thing over and over again.
I have used the stick about 5 times so far on the ice (my league is unfortunately taking a 2 week break or else that number would be higher) and have used it on my outdoor shooting pad. Since I haven’t used it enough to talk about the durability of the stick this will not be a full blown review but rather more of an initial impressions and initial performance review and because of that I will not add scores to any of the categories.
Warrior Covert QRL 100 Flex W03 Backstrom
Stick History: Sherwood 9950 Wood Coffey, Bauer Supreme (Sport Chek SMU) Kane, Sherwood T70 Stastny, Winwell GX8, Easton RS Parise, Warrior AK27 , Warrior DT1LT Pavelski, Warrior DT1ST Grandlund, Verbero PM44, Sherwood Rekker EK60 PP26, Warrior Covert QRL W03
Stick Info: Height: uncut
Weight: 409 Grams
Length: 60 inches
Usage: 5 Skates
Grip: I am not a huge fan of grip sticks and most of the time prefer the non-grip and matte versions to them. With this stick I didn’t have a choice in grip vs non-grip and had to go with the grip stick. I was really hoping the grip was going to be similar to my Warrior AK27 and be the velvet style, but it is more of a tacky style of grip. It does have CorTex Grip which is raised edges along the sides of the shaft which I really like. The bottom of the stick has the matte finish closer to the blade and I know I would enjoy using that style of shaft more so than this gripped version… with that said the grip certainly doesn’t take away from my enjoyment of the stick and I enjoy the grip used here more than the one on CCM and Bauer sticks that I have tried before.
Aesthetics: Warrior has talent when it comes to design good looking sticks that are instantly noticeable and ones you can follow the lines of lineage (Bauer Supreme does a good job at this too). I have a soft spot for orange (one reason I really liked the Sherwood EK60 design) and baby blue and Warrior does an awesome job in using those colours as accents to the black base of this stick. I really like how the bottom of the shaft is orange near the blade and I like how they use the colours to form a background of the word marks (notice how QRL and Warrior are in black with the colours surrounding them instead of just using the colours on the black stick base). I also love exposed carbon fibre weave that is on the blade and up the hosel, I personally wish this traveled all the way up the entire stick since I love that look so much. I understand why they didn’t as it would make the black word marks too busy with exposed carbon fibre and the intricate designs around them. This stick looks great from any angle and is immediately noticeable that it is a Warrior Covert.
Blade/Curve: Just like the grip I did not have many choices when deciding on the curve options. I choose the W03 since it was the only one available in the shaft flex I wanted. I normally prefer heel curves like the W05 Grandlund as they fit my style of play and are great for passing (which I do before shooting). With that said because of my time with the Ek60 I have gotten more used to curves that are more aggressive and I am so far getting along with this stick pretty well. The first time on the ice I had some hard passes get too much air but I have since adjusted to it. The blade itself is really nice and is very stiff which is great for puck feel and play-ability. The stiffness of the blade has a pingy and lively feel and is really noticeable when receiving a hard pass and stick handling, you always know where the blade is and where the puck is on it and I believe the stiff nature of the blade provides excellent feedback.
Stick Handling: With the lightweight and lively blade stick handling with this stick has been very good. Unlike some lightweight sticks in the past I never “lose” the blade of this stick and always know where it is. The stiff blade gives me confidence when handling the puck since it gives great feedback to how the puck is actually behaving on the stick itself. The excellent balance helps the stick feel like a natural extension to your hands and never feels unwieldy.
Shooting: This is the shinning point of the Warrior Covert QRL. I cannot recall a time when I felt pucks fly off of my stick as hard and as consistent as they do with this stick. Using it reminds me of the first time I used my DT1LT, except these feel even harder. With minimal effort my shots come off my stick hard with a satisfying and strong kick. I truly feel this stick is making me a better hockey player as I no longer have to worry about the mechanics of my shot to ensure I really release a rocket. I spent time on my shooting board with this and my beloved EK60 and I could really notice the difference in average shots where it felt like the Warrior Covert QRL really did most of the work for me. Out of 10 shots I felt that 9 of them left me completely satisfied without the feeling that I could get more on them, but with my EK60 only a couple out of 10 I was completely satisfied on how the puck came off the blade and ended up. To me the Warrior feels like it never leaves anything on the table and doesn’t require you to make a perfect shot, it just kicks hard and launches the puck in a very satisfying manner. Slapshots feel almost dangerous with this stick for how hard they were launching to the point where I wasn’t comfortable in taking them on my shooting board to ensure an errant puck off a post wouldn’t damage any fences or property.
Passing: I am not sure if it was the kick of the stick or the curve which was giving me some issues the 1st time I was on the ice, but a lot of my stretch passes ended up far too high for my target. I have since adjusted my passing a bit and haven’t really had any issues since. While the blade isn’t my idea curve for saucer passes and passing in general I am not having a difficult time passing over players sticks or cross-ice. Backhand passes will need work because of the aggressive curve but that is something I will just practice and get used to.
Durability: So far everything is holding up great and the stick still feels brand new. But with its limited usage I cannot fully comment on this category yet.
Feel: I mentioned the excellent and stiff blade earlier already. The balance of the stick is fantastic and it does a good job of being lightweight but still being noticeable. I never feel like the stick doesn’t have a blade and always feel in total control of the stick. The lack of weight also helps with making the stick extremely mobile in terms of movement, you never feel bogged down when moving your hands or attempting to move the stick (something I feel time to time when using much heavier goalie sticks). While this stick is slightly heavier than the Sherwood EK60 I really don’t notice the difference between the 2 in terms of weight. The one thing I’d make note of is that this stick plays considerably less stiff than the Sherwood EK60 or even other sticks I have used in the past. This 100 flex QRL plays about the same as my 86 EK60 and 87 Easton RS.
Closing: If the durability in terms of blade stiffness and shooting kick hold up this will easily be my favourite stick I have ever used. I am unbelievably happy with is so far and am really grateful Warrior and ThinkingJack having given me the opportunity to use it because I really can’t get enough of it so far. The Warrior Covert QRL as it stands is the best stick I have used in terms of performance and balance, shots kick off the blade harder than anything I’ve used and the stiff blade is wonderful for puck control and feel.
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