The BASE Blog

In-Depth Pattern Review: The Kovalev Pro Curve

Posted on Wed, Nov 16, 2016 @ 11:11 AM

INTRODUCTION:

After a successful community initiative brought the coveted “P10” Shanahan pattern to BASE’s pattern collection as the BC14, BASE Hockey is pleased to announce that we’ll be doing the same for Alexei Kovalev’s pro pattern. This unique new curve will be available in both left-handed and right-handed versions for Senior and Intermediate one-piece sticks and tapered replacement blades.

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NHL users of this unusual curve have included Ville Leino, Fabian Brunnstrom, and David Perron. Interestingly enough, Perron is a big Alex Kovalev fan, which explains why he’s used different right-handed versions of Kovalev’s pattern for most of his career. With Kovalev, Leino, and Brunnstrom out of the NHL, and with Perron recently switching to a “Backstrom-style” curve similar to the BC92, this sought-after pattern is set to become extinct on the pro stock stick market. Thankfully, we’ll still be able to get our hands on BASE Hockey Kovalev-pattern sticks and blades!

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Kovalev himself made some tweaks to this pattern over the course of his career, and the version that BASE will be bringing to retail is the same one Kovalev used in his final years in the NHL as a Florida Panther. Kovalev himself has for a long time trusted BASE to manufacture his standard long-hosel replacement blades, and after using shafts from several different manufacturers throughout his career, he eventually settled on a BASE standard shaft to match. Notably, he used this setup in the 2016 Winter Classic Alumni Game to score a goal for the Canadiens Alumni.

 

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REVIEW

I recently got the chance to try this pattern on a David Perron pro stock stick before its BASE release, so here are my impressions of the pattern.

OVERVIEW

  • Extremely long blade with aggressive rocker means you always get enough blade on the ice, regardless of where you’re stickhandling
  • Slight heel kink, combined with mild toe curve, means you can shoot from anywhere on the blade (heel, middle, or toe)
  • Straight portion in the middle of the blade makes stickhandling, passing, and backhanders a breeze

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FIRST IMPRESSIONS

The Kovalev pattern is definitely very unique. It’s longer than any pattern available at retail (even the BH23 Drury or BC05 Lidstrom), and it has the most extreme rocker I’ve ever seen. As soon as I started stickhandling, I noticed that it felt different from any pattern I’d used before. The combination of blade length and rocker threw me off at first. However, I got used to it quickly, and when I did, I was pleasantly surprised!

A SURPRISINGLY VERSATILE PATTERN

The Kovalev looks so extreme that you wouldn’t think it could be a jack-of-all-trades, but that’s exactly how it feels to me. I can reach for pucks away from my body with the heel of the blade or stickhandle in my feet with the toe without problems. Toe drags are effortless. With a shorter blade, a rocker this aggressive would be a problem, since there wouldn’t be much blade in contact with the ice at any one time. However, because the blade is so long, it mitigates this potential issue by giving you more total surface area. The best way to describe it would be that it feels like you can never ‘run out of blade’ when stickhandling.

The pattern really surprised me when I got to use it in a pick-up game, since I was now getting to pucks I wouldn't usually be able to reach. I use the Perron (right-handed Kovalev) with a relatively long stick, and I favour the heel for stickhandling. I had no trouble stripping pucks from opposing forwards on the backcheck, or catching imperfect passes that would usually zoom right by me. The long, straight blade then helped me fire passes on my teammates' tape or throw sauce over a few sticks and into the slot. For those who prefer a shorter stick (as Kovalev and Perron do), there's no problem - simply cut it shorter and favour the toe for stickhandling.

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ANY SHOT, ANY TIME

In terms of shooting, the Kovalev can do it all. The mild toe pocket, combined with the aggressive rocker and considerable length, means I can load the blade easily by bringing the puck in close, raising the heel off the ice, and snapping it off the toe. It would be interesting to see how much more velocity I could get with a more flexible blade, like the Regular (R) or Stiff (S) offered by BASE, since the pro stock stick I was using had a very stiff blade.

Also, because of the slight ‘kink’ in the heel, the Kovalev has a moderate heel wedge before the toe pocket. This allows the user to shoot from pretty much anywhere on the blade while maintaining good velocity and consistency. The slight wedge makes slapshots easy, and the long straight portion between the heel kink and the toe pocket does the same for backhanders. I was able to get good shots off with pretty much any shooting method I tried.

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HOW TO GET ONE

If the Kovalev curve sounds interesting to you and you’d like to get a stick or blade with this pattern, get in touch with a BASE Hockey fitter near you. For online customers, contact Stephen Parham with inquiries or to order, regardless of where you’re located.



 

Topics: In-Depth Pattern Review

SHOOT FIRE CONTEST WINNER - David Knapman (aka. realknapper on instagram)

Posted on Fri, Apr 1, 2016 @ 10:04 AM

dave.jpgCongratulations to David Knapman, the winner of our BASE Hockey Shoot Fire Contest! David received 357 likes and 2,841 views on Instagram for his awesome video of his big clapper. Everyone on his Instagram account was commenting about how they can't believe he is only 9 years old, but he shoots a howitzer slap shot... must be the stick right?

David has won a custom BASE Hockey Stick. He will get to choose the flex, curve, shaft size and design with his name and number. From everyone at BASE Hockey, thank you David for all your hard work on instagram to show off your BASE Hockey stick and your killer shot... keep shooting fire!

 

Topics: BASE Hockey

SHOOT FIRE CONTEST on Instagram

Posted on Mon, Feb 15, 2016 @ 09:02 AM

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Contest Rules

  • Post a Video on Instagram with You and Your BASE Hockey Stick Sometime Between Today February 15, 2016 and March 31, 2016
  • In the Video, You Must Say "I Shoot Fire with BASE Hockey!"
  • Enter the Contest by Hashtagging your video #ShootFireContest Before the Deadline at 12:00am Pacific Time on March 31, 2016
  • If Your Instagram Video has More LIKES than any Other Contestant... You Win a FREE CUSTOM BASE HOCKEY STICK!
  • Instagram LIKES Will be Tallied on March 31, 2016 from 9am-10am Pacific Time. If there is a Tie, Former NHL hockey Player, Cliff Ronning, will Decide the Winner by Choosing his Favorite Video Between the Contestants that Tied for the Most LIKES.

Here are a couple of examples...

 

#ShootFireContest #BaseArmy #shootfiremyfriends🔥🔥🔥 Like it double tap 💥

A video posted by BASE hockey (@basehockeyofficial) on

 

#ShootFireContest #BaseHockey #hockey #icehockey #hockeymom #hockeydad #hockeystick #nhl

A video posted by Andre Parfeniuk (@andrelepuck) on

Topics: BASE Hockey NEWS, custom hockey sticks, BASE, BASE Hockey

BASE Army Hockey Pool - Kings vs Hawks Showdown Tonight!!!

Posted on Sun, Jun 1, 2014 @ 13:06 PM

The 1st ever BASE Army Hockey Pool comes down to the wire tonight as the Chicago Blackhawks and the LA Kings go head to head in game 7 of the Western Conference Final. The winner of the game might determine who will lock up 1st place in the pool, and a brand new custom BASE Nasty hockey stick!!!

The top spot is currently being held by Bob "BDUB" Woykin from Vancouver, BC, and if the LA Kings win tonight, he will be heavily favored to win the pool during the Stanley Cup Finals. However if Chicago can pull off the comeback, there are a couple of poolers loaded up with some hot Hawks that will eventually knock out Woykin.

BHockey Pool

If the KINGS win tonight...


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If the Kings win tonight, the battle for the BASE Army Hockey pool will be between Woykin and Kyle "HEFF" Heffernan. Although they both share many LA Kings, HEFF has more Ranger Power and Marian Gaborik, who has the scoring power to knock out Bdub single-handedly.

If the HAWKS win tonight...

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If the Hawks win tonight, Zac "ZACHOCKEY" Godbout and Jared "HALLSY" Hall are only 15 points away from taking over the lead with their lineups stacked with Blackhawks. Godbout currently holds the edge over Hall by only a single point, but Hall does have Rick Nash and some Ranger power that could earn him the crown.

Who do you think will win the BASE Army Hockey Pool?

Topics: BASE Hockey NEWS, BASE, BASE Hockey

BASE Hockey SPECIAL OPS Report #008 - Cameron Hender - SUPERNATURAL

Posted on Sun, Feb 24, 2013 @ 10:02 AM

The Special OPS team is continuing the testing of our newest stick The SuperNatural. Cameron Hender from Quesnel, BC is 11 years old and he has made a video with an interesting comparison between the BASE SuperNatural and his old Reebok stick. Here is his report:

BASE-Cameron-Hender"I really like the design.  I don’t like sticks that are too flashy or have too much colour, so this one is perfect.  I also like that it has my name and number on it.

This grip is really cool and I have never seen anything like it before.  I really don’t like the sticky grip on sticks as I find them to grippy and they don’t let my hands slide around.  This grip stays in my hands but doesn’t stick.  It allows me to move my hands up and down. I do think that I can stick handle quicker.  I have a lot more control than I have had with any of my other sticks.  I think it’s because it is lighter.  I can feel the puck easier.

I shoot a lot quicker!!  I love the flex and it does flex with every shot.  Yeah I think I have been getting more accuracy.  I definitely have a lot more power. The stick's weight is perfect!  It’s not too light or too heavy. 

The SuperNatural doesn’t compare to my other stick.  This one is way better.  I feel like this one has a lot more flex than any of my other sticks.  The grip is way better than any of my other sticks.  I feel better and more confident with this stick.  I feel like I am going to get a goal from the blue line using this stick.

I am so happy that my uncle signed me up to be a part of the Special OPS team.  I would love to test any other new sticks that you guys make.  I’m hoping I can make it to one of your fitting sessions one day.

Thank you"

Cameron Hender

 

 SuperNatural Comparisons

How do you think the SuperNatural compares to your old stick. Let us know what you think in the comments!

Topics: Special OPS, BASE Hockey Testimonials

BASE Hockey SPECIAL OPS Report #007 - Brody Stark - SUPERNATURAL

Posted on Sat, Feb 23, 2013 @ 15:02 PM

The Special OPS Stick Testing Team are flooding our inboxes with reports on the SUPERNATURAL. Brody Stark, Victoria BC, has made us a video report with a couple of on-ice shots.

Brody Stark Base Hockey SupernaturalBrody's New BASE

"The texture of the grip creates an easier time controlling the puck your able to grip the stick better which makes the stick a lot harder to knock out of your hand in a game and it feels a lot better than any other stick that I have had...I know I can feel the puck better because I am able to shoot harder and can take one timers a lot better.

I think that the sticks weight is great because its not like other carbon fibre sticks where they are actually heavy unlike this stick. I think that the sticks balance is great and if you look at the stick carefully and put your finger in the center of the stick it is balanced.

Compared to my other stick the SUPERNATURAL is better, more efficient and easier to use. I will definitely be using the Base SUPERNATURAL!"

-Brody Stark, Victoria BC

Leave Us a Comment

Do you have any questions about the SuperNatural? Let us know in the comments below...

Topics: Special OPS, BASE Hockey Testimonials

BASE Hockey SPECIAL OPS Report #006 - Myles Mattila - SUPERNATURAL

Posted on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 @ 20:02 PM

Another SUPERNATURAL report from QUESNEL, BC. Special OPS stick tester Myles Mattila has quite a few BASE sticks under his belt. Let's check out what he's got to say...

Myle-Mattila-Special-Ops"My name is Myles Mattila and I am a 1999 Bantam Rep player from Northern BC. This is the third season that I have been using Base Hockey sticks. To date I have used this stick in two tournaments with excellent results:

  • The Quick release and the unique quality is unbelievable on the ice.
  • This is the best stick that I have used and I recommend.
  • Base - Super Natural Stick - Must Have"

- Myles Mattila

 

Quesnel Hockey

 

SUPERNATURAL VIDEO MAKER

Myles has got the skills on the ice, but he also has some skills on the cutting room floor. Check out this sweet vid he put together with a pretty good look at his brand new SuperNatural.

SuperNatural Sales Start Soon...

SuperNatural is just a couple of weeks away from full production. Are you ready to get one? Let us know in the comments, and we'll make sure you're one of the first to get one!

Topics: Special OPS, BASE Hockey Testimonials

BASE Hockey SPECIAL OPS Report #005 - Tyler Wilsey - SUPERNATURAL

Posted on Thu, Feb 21, 2013 @ 20:02 PM

This is a Special Report done by one of our BASE Hockey Special OPS stick testers, Tyler Wilsey (Head Coach AAA St Croix 97's) in Minnesota. Tyler also captained the Hockey North America Team Summitt National Champs so you can expect a high performance perspective in this article. Tyler gives some great elaborate and detailed feedback over 6 games with some pretty good advice to handle the stick's performance.

Tyler's initial stick thoughts:

Snapz Pro XScreenSnapz086Positive: The yellow graphics are really loud and in your face, and reminds me of the late 80’s Sherwood fluorescent colored sticks. The feel of the shaft is new and amazing. I can’t wait to try it out with the gloves on. The larger Carbon Fiber weave on the blade adds some appeal as well.

Neutral: The name badge uses a red outline vs the same yellow on the other parts of the stick. R&D I would assume would be changed as well once this stick is fully released.

Negative: Flaws in the final coating process on the blade area leaving pores in the resin and lines that appear to be along the I-beam in the blade leave concerns of brittleness.  Smoother finish with no lines would be optimal to avoid customer concerns.  The top also has two different tones to it which raises concerns as well due to lack of uniformity.

First Game Usage Notes:

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Super Natural put to use in a game

Initial reactions by other players and teammates were positive on the looks and feel of the stick.

With my gloves on (Easton EQ50 14”) the stick is totally different on the feel department than I have experienced before. The texture works well for gripping down and takes some getting used to as the gloves move almost too freely on the shaft. I ended up putting a little wax on the shaft to slow my hand movement down on my lower hand a bit. This helped to gain some more control on hand movement in stick handling. I think the shaft texture is a good idea but could be better with a light overcoat of the grip powder matte. When I ordered this one I was told the grip powder matte was not an option. 

Gameplay (1st game usage):

The stickhandling feels better than any stick I have used before. The puck feel on the blade was incredible. Getting through traffic was easier than with my Easton ST and Easton RSII.  I would also say was even better than my other BASE stick from before, the Savoy Special. Passing was solid and accurately went were intended with little to no blade deflection.

Shooting was a different case.

-Snap shot felt good, but with the different texture I found my glove slipping a hair thus flaring the holding flex point. Feel of the puck jumping off the blade was solid with no blade torsion.

-Wrist shot was clean and solid and went where intended with no variance.

-Back Hands were clean and crisp off the blade. I felt that I could confidently go off the front or back on lower body rotational shots or on pivoting movements and in low stability situations.

-Slap shot was an area to be desired in the first few experiences with it. I will be doing some more work on this to get used to where the hands need to be on this shaft. More to come on this shot.

-One timer’s situation the same as the slap shot. Have to do some more figuring out where hands need to be for proper flexing of the shaft. More info to come.

Practice Usage

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Super Natural abilities check

So far I have spent several hours working with this stick and getting used to the differences in feel and flex in comparison to my prior Easton RSII stick. 

Positive: I am getting used to it and have found passing to continue to be predictable and firm. Shots are also continuing to gain prediction and control. Slap shot I have found the sweet spot for holding the shaft better so they have improved.

Neutral: the feel of the stick I am getting used to but still think there may be a need to coat the shaft with a sealant or some type of smoothing compound to increase resistance to abuse and increase shaft feel. 

Negative: After two sessions the exterior on the shaft is showing signs of falling apart. The exterior wrap starting to separate and looks to be braiding coming off like the old Christian Hockey blades where the colored string would start coming out.

Updates to come: Game tomorrow night. Photos to be taken and shown with report.  Video possibly to be done as well.

Game 2 Usage

Date 2/7/13

Super Natural Seal Broken

Finally broke the seal on the goal scoring for the new stick. Picked off a pass and went down 1 on 1 and broke wide left, used D as a screen, fired low, five hole goal. 1 Goal 3 Assists for the night on a win 10-6.

 With new gloves on as well I have found the traction better. I am now using Miken RZ9 gloves.  The feel is much better than my old EQ50 gloves. Have not seen any change in wear beyond what has already been shown. I did some shooting practice in my basement as well to get it dialed in.

Game 3 Usage

2/13/13

Super Natural not so Super shooting

Well the seal is back on it. Passing and stickhandling continue to be solid in both feel and accuracy. 2 Assists tonight. Shots though continue to be misleading the more I use it. Less predictable and the shell of the stick is getting more frustrating without having wax on it to get any grip. It is just too slick. It needs to be coated with something to allow for some traction. Even with full grip and brand new gloves my hands still slide a little during shooting. The stick is slowly showing its talents as a playmaker not a goal scorer.

Game 4 Usage

2/17/13

Super Natural downgrade

A couple assists but several shots falling a part due to hand sliding in mid shot as well as unpredictable release. It appears to be getting worse as time goes on. I switched back to my old Easton Synergy ST and was able to predict and feel shots out much more accurately. I added on 4 more goals and 2 assists after switching back to my Easton. I switched back again to the Base and put together one more goal on a tip in and one more assist.  I have another game this Wednesday and I will be waxing up the shaft to get some more predictable grip on it to see if that is more the issue.

Game 5 Usage

2/18/13

Super Natural Waxed and Ready

Added blade butter to the shaft for my hands to feel a little more resistance and this has made all the difference. Put together a pair of goals and an assist. Getting more comfortable with this and the stick handling is continuing to be predictable and reliable.

Game 6 Usage

2/20/13

Super Natural Found

Re-waxed the shaft again with blade butter and continuing to gain confidence in the stick. 1 goal and 1 assist. Plus broke another players stick on a slap shot. The player wound up and I got the shaft of the Super Natural out in front of his lower shaft and his stick snapped when it hit my Super Natural. Long range saucer passes are dead on and accurate. Even the backhand is becoming more comfortable. 2 solid shots on net with the back hand and a solid long range across ice saucer pass from the backhand to get a 2-1 entry. The key ingredient has been the blade butter on the shaft. This additional resistance has allowed for maximizing the abilities not unleashed yet of the super natural.

Recommendation: Glaze the shaft so it has some resistance or coat the shaft somehow. Without the wax on it the shaft is far too slippery.

BASE Special OPS Strategy

One of the biggest reason why BASE Hockey launched the Special OPS testing team program was to make sure the SUPERNATURAL is ready for full production. We want to thank Tyler for his detailed analysis of the hockey stick and we will take his comments into consideration for any possible issues we need to address before releasing the ctick on March 15, 2013.

Topics: Special OPS, BASE Hockey Testimonials

BASE Hockey SPECIAL OPS Report #004 - Matthew Velonis - SUPERNATURAL

Posted on Wed, Feb 20, 2013 @ 19:02 PM

Special OPS LogoThe reviews are coming in steady from the SPECIAL OPS Test Team. Here's one from Matthew Velonis, Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

"Overall, I am really impressed with what you guys have done in the making of this stick. My first thought when stepping on the ice with the newly taped twig was "Wow this is super light!" I knew right away that this would be a good investment. Within my first few stick handles I knew I'd be a BASE customer for life. The feel of it is unreal. I usually use a grip stick but the sand paper like corner tactile feel of the SuperNatural is awesome. It gives off a nice feel and I had a great feel for the stick right away. I'm a big snap shot type of guy so i couldnt wait to see how the kickpoint felt on this. I was again impressed because the stick gave off a great shot. I've used all the other top of the line sticks (Easton Mako, Bauer Total ONE, CCM RBZ) and this is by far the greatest stick ive used since my VAPOR XXX light back in peewees. I overall love my BASE SuperNatural and ive used it at the college level while playing for Saint Anselm College in Manchester NH. I hope to continue testing products for you guys over at BASE because I am truly pleased on what a fantastic product you guys created. Thank you!"

Matthew Velonis, Saint Anselm College, #8

Topics: Special OPS, BASE Hockey Testimonials

BASE Hockey SPECIAL OPS Report #003 - George Do on the SUPERNATURAL

Posted on Wed, Feb 20, 2013 @ 13:02 PM

Here's another BASE Hockey SuperNatural Report from another SPECIAL OPS stick tester...

"What can I say about this stick?!  Simply amazing.  When you look at the stick, it exudes power.  I love the black look, reminds me of the "Black OPS."  The feel of the stink is nothing I've ever felt.  The kevlar wrap adds a nice grab-like feel.  Its not too sticky or tacky like some, just right.  My stick handling has improved ever since receiving the SuperNatural.  For a beer leaguer like myself, stick handling is everything.  I'm able to feel the puck on the blade better and with more consistency.  The stick feels great in your hands.  Great weight and balance all around.  Not blade heavy at all.  Just right for an ELITE stick.  There's nothing I would change about this stick.  I own the CCM RBZ (don't really like the all white blade, the finish chips too easy), Bauer X60 and Warrior Widow.  These 3 are fantastic, but the kevlar wrap and AXK5 blade on the SuperNatural set this stick about the rest.  I'm sold!  First game out, first line and the ice, I scored 15 secs into the game!  Clip off the boards, dangled around the D-Men and scored 5-hole.  I actually surprised myself!!  So in 3 games, accumulated 4 points, 3 goals and 1 assist.  Remember Im a beer leaguer!!  LOL!"

George Do

Burbank, California

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Topics: Special OPS, BASE Hockey Testimonials