Price: $130 + $15 shipping Canadian
Length: 29 inch
Curve: Heel (Alternate with sloped shoulder)
Stick History: Heaton Helite IV, CCM Heaton 8, Simmons Pro Series 6, Torspo Surge 421, Warrior Swagger, Vaughn 7600, Fischer GF750, Reebok Pro Return, Infinity Exosphere
Weight: 856 grams
Usage: 2 Months
Sizing Note: For paddle lengths I am going by the Infinity/Passau measurements.
Shaft Length Note: I was informed that my stick had a shaft length of 27.5 inches compared to the usual 30 inches. Infinity’s shafts will always be 30 inches unless state otherwise.
I reached out to Infinity Goalie, which is a branch of Kaleido Sports (they sell jerseys and have made the Reddit r/hockey jerseys in the past), to see if they were interested in working with me to do a review and write up of one of their sticks. Luckily for me John liked the idea and told me to pick one of their in stock sticks and it would be sent out. Their main website is http://www.kaleidosports.com/ and their custom team jersey website is www.JerseysMadeEasy.com.
Thank you to Infinity Goalie for sending me this stick to use write a review for.
Picking the stick:
- Exosphere or Stratosphere
- Most of my goalie sticks have broken or split apart on the heel and blade of the stick rather than breaking on the shaft or paddle. For this reason I decided to look at the Exosphere for carbon laminate wrapped blade, the carbon laminate wear bar and finally and most intriguing is the bus bumper material that runs along the bottom of the blade itself (where usually fairly exposed foam core sat).
- My stick history has been a very colourful one, where I try many different curves and sizes which revolved around me choosing a stick based on the best value I could get at the time. This also means I have experimented with different paddle lengths and have learned the pros and cons to a longer or shorter paddle, I believe I have found a happy medium of around 28-30 inches.
- My previous stick was a mid curve, and I never felt like I had the control or ability to shoot off the glass with it compared to my old Simmons stick which had a Miller (called BU30) heel curve. Just like my player sticks, I prefer a heel as I find it easier to saucer pass and put the puck off the glass with my shooting motion. Infinity offers 2 different heel curves:
- Heel (Classic) which has a standard shoulder angle and a square toe which is said to be equivalent to a RASK curve or P34.
- Heel (Alternate) which is based off of the increasingly popular Price curve and has a sloped shoulder angle and a round toe.
- I’m not picky when it comes to matching equipment and just try to find something that will fit me best or work best. While I prefer natural coloured goalie sticks to show the more intricate details of the stick and so the paint doesn’t have a chance to rub off on my pads (which was an issue with previous stick, but I obviously can’t comment on the paint on the Infinity sticks).
- Final Choice
- I ended up searching through their stock sticks in a 28-30 inch paddle length, since my previous stick came in at about 29 inches I figured I’d try to get as close as possible for comfort sake (and I liked the length). Wanting a heel curve left me with an LA Natural in 28.5 inches for the Heel (Classic) and 29 inches for the Heel (Alternate), I decided to go with the 29 inch LA Natural Heel (Alternate).
First Impressions: Pulling the stick out of the box it felt lightweight and well balanced when playing with it in my hands. The curve is an aggressive heel curve and I was extremely excited to use it again. Since this is my 1st stick with a shorter shaft length I was curious if it would have a negative effect on my play, or if I would notice the difference at all.
The stick is covered with a nice gloss layer that shows off the carbon insert reinforcements and the exposed carbon laminate blade wrap (which I think looks amazing). The paint seems to be well done with little bleeding on the edges and the silver used is a beautiful metallic colour. I like how the graphics on the front and back of the paddle differ, something other stick manufacturers have started and to me is just a nice touch, the different graphic and the lack of carbon strips on the back of the paddle make for a very interesting contrasting look between the front and back of the stick. I noticed this when editing video of my first game with the stick, so clearly it does its job getting the attention of the eyes.
Construction: The shaft is made of a aspen and birch laminate. The paddle is a urethane foam core with carbon reinforcements on the shooting side of the stick. Putting the carbon on only the shooting side is said to add more kick to the stick when you shoot and load it. The blade is a urethane foam core with a carbon laminate wear bar on the lower middle portion of the blade. This wear bear is not very visible but you can feel it when you run your fingers along the face of the blade. An additional layer of carbon laminate is wrapped around the blade and finally bus bumper material is woven into the bottom of the blade for even more reinforcement. The purpose of the bus bumper material is to stop the foam core from crumbling or splitting at the bottom of the blade (see my How to Fix a Broken Goalie Stick post to see what I am talking about).
Weight: This particular Infinity Goalie Exosphere stick has a shorter shaft than most sticks, so it will end up weighing slightly less than other Exosphere sticks. With that said my stick came in at 856 grams which is more than longer sticks I have used in the past. The reason for this is because of the extra reinforcement in the blade, which for me is a completely acceptable compromise if the blade keeps holding up as well as it has. While this stick isn’t overtly heavy, because it is shorter and heavier than other sticks I have used it does get docked a few points. 7/10
Shooting: Since I usually buy sticks on clearance it is harder to get the curve and specs that I actually want, with this stick I was able to select my favourite curve and try to reproduce my love for my old Miller curve sticks. The problems I initially had (and sometimes still do) is with the length of the shaft, since my top hand is now lower to the ice I had to adjust puck position (lie) and my shooting motion to compensate for the shorter shaft. This adjustment has caused some issues when I try to quickly get a shot off, I have flubbed shots from having the puck on the wrong part of the blade or from having the blade on an awkward angle on the ice and slipping out when I try and load the stick. This isn’t inherently the sticks fault, but rather my unfamiliarity with it and the fact that I haven’t had the time to really practice shooting and work with the stick since my ice time with the Infinity Exosphere has been late season games, tournaments, and playoffs with no shinny nights or practice time available.
I will base this section of the review on how I feel the stick shoots when I do get off a proper shot, because if I had more time with the stick I am confident my shooting would be more consistent. I have found I have been trying to make more cheeky slower saucer passes with the heel curve (like I would as a player) but have found that I don’t have the lower hand control to pull this play off as I can’t grip the stick nearly enough with my catching glove. With that said backhanding with this stick has been much easier compared to my previous ones because of the heel curve and the stiff feeling blade. The curve allows the puck to easily ramp up the back of the stick and raise it allowing me to chip it off the boards and around and above forechecking player’s sticks.
When I do get off a good shot I have found that the stick plays very consistent with a stiff blade, which is something I love in player sticks as well. The curve allows me to quickly get the puck off the ice without any effort, the puck simply slide along the blade and raises in the air. With the Infinity Exosphere I have regained my confidence in being able to shoot the puck hard and away from danger. With some sticks I found that I would have to drag the puck into my body before letting off a shot in order to get off a proper shot, with the Exosphere that extra motion isn’t needed and I simply have to load the stick and shoot. I am a stay at home goalie, I don’t venture out of the net much and I do not play very aggressive which translates to me not playing the puck all that often. But, with the Infinity Exosphere I have completed long breakout passes to my team at the red line or opponents blue line trying to force a quick counter attack. While these plays have not resulted in an assist, I blame my team’s lack of scoring ability more so than anything I did wrong (no, not anyone on the Tigers).
The Infinity Exosphere has simply been the best shooting foam core stick I have ever used. I am looking forward to using it in the upcoming season and improving my puck playing abilities. 10/10
Performance: This stick isn’t the lightest stick I have ever used, but the shorter shaft allows it to be more mobile and changes the balance of the stick making the paddle and blade feel lighter than they really are. When using the Infinity Exosphere I have found that I am not more active with my stick, swatting at loose pucks in the air and blocking (or attempting to) block backdoor passes. The other benefit of the shorter shaft length is that the stick becomes more mobile because of the lack of length, what I mean by this is that the stick ends up getting caught up in the net or post less. Below is an example of when the stick did get caught up on the net, but because of the shorter length I was still able to get over and make the save with my blocker. With older sticks I have had to drop my stick because of the shaft getting stuck in the net. While the shorter shaft of this Infinity Exosphere won’t stop it from happening all the time, it has happened enough that I’ve noticed it. A downside to this shorter shaft though is that it is harder for me to tap my posts to ensure my angles are correct and to help with positioning. When I am at the top of the crease on my blocker side I have to reach back more now to actually touch the post, where as before it would be a simple wrist motion and the shaft would hit. Simply put, the Infinity Exosphere is the best performing stick I have used to date. 10/10
Feel: The blade on the Infinity Exosphere plays very stiff with its carbon insert and carbon laminate wrap, but the urethane foam core dampens vibrations on hard shots so you rarely feel vibrations in the stick and they aren’t jarring or uncomfortable. The paddle is similar in its vibration dampening abilities and the stick does a good job of managing stiffness and puck feel while reducing uncomfortable vibrations. 10/10
Durability: I have only used this stick for 2 months, but it was the busiest 2 months of hockey I have ever had averaging more than 3 times per week and was exposed to the highest level of hockey I have ever played. This stick has gone through abuse and hopefully that is visible in the video and in the pictures. Any changes to my comments on durability will be updated in a new post and reflected here as well.
Going over my Infinity Exosphere and I can see an array of damage from normal use. My high wear areas of all sticks are the bottom of the blade, the top of the blade which connects with the paddle, the edges of the paddle, and the shaft from contact with the post (for finding my position). I suggest you watch the video to see for yourself.
Running my bare hands along the shaft of my goalie sticks is a risky venture, on the majority of sticks this will lead to at least one sliver, that isn’t the case with the Infinity Goalie Exosphere. The Exosphere is still smooth to the touch with the outer gloss coating holding up well, you can feel some dents along the faces of the shaft where pucks have impacted, but there are no cracks to be found and the dents haven’t punctured the outer coating exposing the inner aspen and birch laminate. Along the edges you can certainly see and feel more damage, along the inside edge of the shaft you can see the red paint transfer from my constant post taps. On front edges you can see the black puck marks and dents from those lucky shaft saves (I mean I totally meant to stop the puck with the tiny shaft and not my blocker!). Again with the dents on the edges there is still no splitting of inner materials and the gloss coating has held everything together very nicely.
The paddle of the shaft definitely shows some wear, with some significant dents along the front face and the edges. I can still run my fingers along the face and edges of the paddle without getting them caught up on wood or the inner foam core (so no splinters), but I can feel areas where the urethane core feels exposed and there is a crack in the outer face coating next to a significant dent. I believe when talking about the paddle the important part is that there is no evidence of any paddle delamination and I am happy with the Infinity Exosphere paddle has held up so far.
With the added bus bumper material the blade on the Infinity Exosphere was the piece of the stick I was most interested in, since the majority of my durability issues with sticks in the past has been on the bottom of the blade and starting at the heel. I believe the heel spends the most time of the blade on the ice, and it usually shows with premature wear of the exposed inner foams breaking down. The bus bumper material is supposed to remedy this issue and so far seems to do just that. Along the blade and toe there is no visible signs of wear and I can’t feel any while running my fingers along the edge. There is some wear on the heel of the stick however, a very small section of the bus bumper material is chipping off, but even after peeling it away there is more bus bumper material covering the inner urethane core. Besides that very small piece the rest of the bus bumper material is feels and looks brand new. There is some chipping and wear with the outer carbon wrap which shows in the exposed white weave material showing beneath the carbon weave. Running your fingers along this edge will pull up some of the white weave and carbon wrap leading me to believe this damage could get worse in the future but I do not believe the integrity or strength of the blade has been negatively affected so far. I do perhaps wish the bus bumper material wrapped around on the outside of the carbon weave, but that might not be possible to do from a construction standpoint.
The top of the blade which connects to the paddle is another area that has shown some wear with chipping of the carbon wrap, to the point that a small piece has completely come off. This area tends to be a high impact area for me where pucks usually significantly dent this edge on the top of the blade. While the Infinity Exosphere shows denting in this area it has held up well overall, but it does feel like the urethane foam core has been exposed here. This is an area I wish was also covered with the bus bumper material for extra reinforcement.
The face of the blade feels perfectly intact on the front and back sides with no cracks or visible signs of damage or weakness.
So far the Infinity Exosphere stick has held up fantastically with a few minor areas of wear that I’ll keep an eye on. I do wish the bus bumper was applied in more areas and wrapped the carbon outer layer on the bottom of the blade, but I currently have no complaints in regards to durability. 9/10
Overall: Simply put the Infinity Goalie Exosphere stick is the best foam core goalie stick I have used to date. With a good balance, weight, durability I can’t wait to get more time with the stick. The design is attractive and the performance is excellent and if my next stick was going to be a foam core I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase an Infinity Exosphere. 9.5/10
While I also hate to promote my other things, it has become evident to me it is important to get a viewer base that will help me continue doing reviews like this (I can’t afford to always buy new equipment!).