Performance is not just power, it is perhaps even more so touch and feel, i.e. when the ball and stick come together how does that connection feel through your hands.
We make the touch and feel you get on the ball a variable feature of all Gryphon sticks. Across our Tour and Taboo models (our international level performance sticks) the potential power will be much closer by comparison than the feel, which will vary greatly. This means you do not have to worry about power, all Tour and Taboo models will give you that capability, but instead consider how that power will feel in your hands.
Tour and Taboo Blue Steel have an instant and very responsive touch, meaning that you feel contact with the ball in your hands straightaway. With Tour we add Kraibon (an energy absorber) to the mix to give a more cushioned touch on the ball whereas Taboo Blue Steel is purely built on a carbon, aramid and glassfibre blend for an instant connection and a more personal feel. Taboo Striker has a more cushioned touch by virtue of adjustments in these materials in the lay-up.
The weight range of Gryphon sticks is typically from 510g to 540g. You want a stick that is heavy enough to maximise power but not so heavy that you can’t manoeuvre it well to perform other skills.
The balance point determines the weight distribution. The midpoint of a stick as far as balance goes is 400mm and that means the pick-up is even as the weight is evenly distributed. Below 400mm (max depth 380mm) gives you a lower balance and a stick that is weighted towards the head, potentially making it less comfortable and slower to move.
Above 400mm (max 410mm) means a stick that is weighted to the handle and picks up lighter in the head, potentially making it more manoeuvrable.
The best way to evaluate this and get your best combination is to dribble the ball from side to side. If the stick and ball stay together and all feels good then your combination is right. If the stick is getting away from the ball then the weight is too high and/or the balance is too low as you are not moving the stick quickly enough. Conversely if the stick is getting away from the ball then the weight is too low and/or balance too high as you are moving it too quickly.
You don’t have to get too hung up on this, it’s important but differences are minimal - for example, shut your eyes and have a 15g weight put in one hand and a 20g weight put in the other, will you be able to detect 5g difference? So usually it’s best to keep it simple and say to us “light, really light, bit heavier” for the weight and “even, low, high” for the balance and we can do the rest.
There are 6 shapes to choose from at the top of the Gryphon range but not every shape is available on every model of hockey stick.
Think of a sliding scale where at one end you have the basic skills of the game (trapping, pushing etc) and at the other the more dynamic, such as 3D skills, overheads and dragflicking. Each shape features somewhere on this scale to give you assistance in its area, while you have to adapt to do the rest (if you want to). You and the stick are a partnership, the stick will help you but you have to help it also.