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Color D-90 Review by BossFHockey
The feel on the ball with this stick was fantastic. You could feel the ball moving about on the end of the stick as you dragged from left to right or lifted the ball over a flat stick, this feel on the ball gives you alot of confidence when using close skills in a 1 on 1 situation. The head shape means it easy to perform tight spins and sharpe turns.
Hitting is probably where this stick falls a little short. The stick has a good sized sweet spot and with a clean hit you can generate a very good level of power. Because of the bow it is very easy to lift the ball when hitting,this is excellent when shooting at goal as you can easily put the ball into a top corner, but also makes it very easy to get under the ball when playing passes to team mates.
Slap hitting was also very nice with this stick. You can easily put a good level of power onto the ball sending it to straight to where you are aiming. If you can get the ball to roll down the grooved shaft of the stick you can get a little extra oomph onto your passes and also add alot of disguise to the pass. But if you connect with the wrong part of the stick, specifically the groove in the shaft then it is very very easy to lift the ball accidentally.
This stick really shines for flicking. The low bow and grooved shaft allows you to really whip through the ball and fling the ball into the corners. If you can get the ball into the groove the extra oomph is really noticeable. You can easily launch the ball into the roof of the net, if you don't concentrate you can also fire the ball height or wide with the added power, but once you have it reigned in you can easily fire the ball into the corners.
Using the stick I was also able to lift over a stick to a team mate with ease. Controlling the ball's pace was something that you need to be aware of as it's easy to put a little too much on the ball.
The reverse edge of this stick is not the thickest, but when you connect properly with a good technique you can really ping the ball into the goal. You can easily control the ball height when hitting a tomahawk shot, with a minor rotation of of the wrist you can put the ball completely flat to the ground or raise the ball into the netting. With bad technique it is very easy to lift the ball accidentally so getting the right technique is vital.
It is one of the sticks strongest areas. As mentioned already this stick has a low bow and a groove in the shaft, which combined makes it really easy to put alot of power into dragflicking and pick where you want to put the ball. If you get the ball to roll right from the groove to the head you get a satisfying sound and the ball shoots away towards the goal at amazing speed. It's also really easy to keep the ball flat and smooth to the deck for deflections on penalty corners but also easy to launch the ball into the roof of the net.
Aerialling the ball with this stick is simple with the low bow. You can get under the ball and chuck the it 25 yards to a team mates stick. If you can get the ball into the groove the additional power will help you put the ball further down field with what feels like the same amount of effort.
If close skills and flicking are the main elements of your game then this is definitely a stick worth looking into, it is great value and really nice to use
I would always recommend trying a stick your self if possible before buying so get in touch with exclusive hockey to see when and where you can give this stick at go.
BossFHockey has recently tested and reviewed the SKT Ninety hockey stick, please check out the review below:-
The guys over at Exclusive Hockey have sent me some more sticks to test. I had the SKT Ninety and the Color D-90. My first review is from the SKT.
This stick has a Tri-Core technology to which means it has a 3 core construction, this gives the stick an excellent level of stiffness. This stiffness doesn’t negate any feel on the ball, the feedback from the stick is superb. I found it very easy to dribble with the stick and found that it was responsive enough to know where the ball was on the stick at any time while playing. The stiffness of the stick also made it very easy to use 3D bounce skills to lift the ball over flat sticks in close play. The stick also has a soft touch compound on the face that was a little worn on the test stick I was using, I do not know how much this tester stick had been used previously but want I will say is that after some wear on the head the touch compound still aided in cushioning the ball when hard passes came in.
Hitting is where this stick excels, as mentioned already this stick is very stiff thanks to the 3 core system. The added stiffness means that you can really get some power on the ball. The added internal ‘wall’ in the stick means that the face has stronger support to the face and so the transfer of energy to the ball is amazing. This is a low bow profile of the stick allows you to get under the ball really easily and lets you fire it into the top corners of the goal. I found it really easy to hit flat and into top corners but did struggle a little with controlled lifts when shooting. Because this stick transfers so much energy to the ball when hitting it is easy to put ‘too much’ on the ball and lifting it over the bar if you are not concentrating. With practice it becomes really controllable but it is something to keep in mind.
This stick is also amazing to slap hit with. Getting down low and sweeping the ball hard across 30 yards to a team mates stick or firing the ball low for a deflection on a penalty corner, the force that you can transfer off a small back swing is truly impressive.
This is where the stick does fall a little short in my opinion. While the stiff construction of the stick definitely aids in directing the ball when flicking the lack of flex in the stick makes it feel like a very 'heavy' stick to flick with, as there is no flex to add additional power to the flick at the point of release. This maybe to some players liking but it isn't to mine. That being said if you put in the effort then you can easily pick your spot in the goal, but you can feel all the power you put into the ball through the stick.
As with hitting on open stick hitting upright on reverse, it’s very easy to get power on a clean hit. Unlike on the open stick it is not as easy to control hits when hitting upright reverse, this is because of the shape of the head and the angle of the face. When hitting it’s easy to fire the ball more to the right then you are aiming. When it comes to tomahawks the reverse edge is quite thick and the stiffness of the stick means that you can really tank the ball hard and flat if needed or lifted into the roof of the net. As is always the case with hitting reverse the control of the shot is always dependent on the arch of the swing with the hit, but with the right technique it is very easy to place the ball into the corner of the goal or to a teammates stick.
As previously mentioned flicking is definitely a weaker point for this stick. That said it is still a max low bow meaning that with proper technique you can throw the ball hard into the corners off the goal. Again because there is no flex to the stick it means you don't get that extra 'kick' from the stick as you finally release the ball this means you have to keep pushing right through the flick. While in training this morning so not too bad at the end of a 70 min game when you're tired and it's 0-0 and an added time short corner, this extra energy requirement might be the difference between scoring and the shot being saved.
The same is true of aerials, with the right technique you can easily launch the ball 30+ yards down the pitch to a team mate, but you have to put every ounce of energy into the ball to get it that far. And if you are throwing 20+ over heads per game they could start getting shorter and shorter everytime.
It you do alot of hitting and slapping then this is a stick for you to look into, and if you can get your hands on.
I was testing this stick at the same time as the Color D-90 and I think both suffered a little in comparison, as ones sticks weakness was the others strength and so the weakness looks weaker and the strength looks stronger. I think I have amended the scores accurately but I do want to make a point of this.
Beikou Drag 90
The drag 90 stick that I had had a really high balance point, coupled with super light head, it made the stick beautiful to dribble with, small lifts, v-drags and spins all felt effortless. I was weaving with the ball one the end of my stick and throwing mid air v-drags round my little dribbling course for fun. And I do mean fun the fell on the ball was superb and it made dribbling round and doing tricks a real laugh. The stick is quite stiff which is my personal preference I like the responsive feedback you get through the stick (and as I have mentioned in other reviews the stick to give me a bit of a kicking when I mess up).
the head the is nice and thin meaning it's really easy to get under the ball, which made it really to put height onto passes or shots. It was great for just firing the ball at the goal from the penalty spot, (may have tried the Blake Govers' 3 posts with 1 ball challenge, was pretty close, just couldn't get the ball back to me off the crossbar). Getting under the ball for small lifts was also super easy, even at pace, dinking the ball over a stick or cones was easy (may have pulled out "the ramp" trick on one of my teammates in a friendly game which just shows how easy to lift and control the ball is with this stick).
When I was hitting I found it really easy to get power across all types of hits from clip hits to slap hits to "desperately trying to knock the spots off the ball so it will knock the keeper into the goal of they get in the way" (my go to hit in a game). It was easy to control the lift on the ball so obviously because I was shooting into an empty goal everything was put into the roof of the net. It was also easy to keep the ball dead flat the ground (with proper technique this is a low bow) it felt like it was on a slight flick of the wrist to hit flat or into the roof of the net (Even BossFHockey senior agreed it was easy to control the lift and he still believes that 25mm mid bow is a bit bendy).
The reverse edge is a bit on the on the thin side meaning it is really easy to get under the ball, but if your hitting a reverse tomahawk staying low you get so much power. I found it easy to pick out both side nettings of the goal but found it hard to say it will be this height and hit it, I don't know if this is down to my knee not holding steady enough to hit through smoothly for a controlled reverse or if I'm just getting worse at reverse stick (its probably both) but I was able to control when it would lift and when I wanted it to stay flat with ease. I nailed a few off the underside of the crossbar while people were looking which is the most important bit. I only had a few attempts at firing long passes on reverse (a skill I very rarely brave in games as I have been playing defensive midfield/sweeper for about 4 seasons and its not a risk I want to take around my own 25) but they were all flat and went straight to the other players stick, once had a little back spin on which they said was nice as the ball almost controlled itself, Im not sure how this was worked into the design of the stick but its an very nice feature. I actually found the graphics helped me as I found the reverse sweet spot to be around the gap between E and I on Beikou which gave me a good visual representation to aim for when hitting the ball.
The groove on this stick is a little bit shallower then on other drag flicking sticks that I have tested in the past, but it is deep enough to get some real whip on the ball when you "get into the groove". Its really easy (with proper technique) to get the ball to roll into the groove and direct the ball where ever you want, I had some issue at keeping the ball flat at full pace but this is down to a slight knee injury and I couldn't stay low enough long enough to keep it flat at full speed (disclaimer incase I post any video later with my review). I also found it easy to perform a long drag, as if to go round the first runner, really easy keeping the ball around the groove before firing the ball towards the goal.
Aerialing with this stick was also very nice. Getting under the ball with the thin head was easy and if you can roll the ball up to the groove then you can effortlessly chuck the ball 30 yards, I really got hold of one and put it over the fence, over the fence to the next pitch and it hit the far end of the next pitch wall on a single bounce (and scared the footballers on there who were luckily all at the end closest to me and could just watch it over). But it was easy to lift the balls straight to a player 20 yards away straight to their stick.
This is a great drag flicking specialist stick, with excellent all round usability in other areas of play. I would usually not recommend using a specialist stick like this is you are not going to be using it for what its made for, which is throwing long overheads and firing drag flicks from top D goal wards on PC at some point. That said if you want a stick with great feel and a thin head for using 3D skills then this would be a great stick for you too. It is a dream to dribble with with the light head and the stiff feel and still packs a punch when you are smashing the ball towards goal. With the groove being shallower then other specialist sticks I have reviewed