In today’s review, I will summarize the test of the Bauer Vapor HyperLite hockey stick, which has become the flagship of the Vapor family.
Vapor Hockey Sticks
Statistically, Vapor hockey sticks are the most popular in the Bauer range, indicating the importance of updating this family for the brand. All this was emphasized by the global idea to hide the design of the skates and the HyperLite stick before the official start of sales.
As in the case of the Bauer Vapor HyperLite, it was possible to get the experience of using the stick in advance, thanks to the Prototype sent a few weeks earlier. The design is similar to Vapor’s flagship 2019 model, the FlyLite. The camouflage made it possible not to attract much attention to the sticks, that were tested by professional players.
There was another version of the HyperLite stick design seen in the hands of Patrick Kane, where the name of the future flagship of the Vapor family lit up.
Let me remind you that the Vapor line includes sticks with a low kick point or, to be more precise, an ultra-low kick point. The main advantage of this profile is the maximum responsiveness of the hockey stick, which allows you to reduce the time of the grip loading/unloading cycle for sharpness and quickness of shot. If we talk about the offers of competitors, then here it is worth remembering the Warrior of the Covert family and the Rekker line from Sher-Wood.
Previous Bauer Models
The 2019 Vapor line of sticks originally included just four models (X2.7, 2X Team, 2X Pro, and FlyLite), but it was later expanded with X2.5, 2X, and Vapor League versions.
The 2021 Vapor lineup will include five levels of sticks: X3.7, 3X, Vapor League (S21), 3X Pro, and HyperLite. Here is a summary of their features and improvements from last season.
The Vapor X3.7 is an entry-level model, but for the new season, it is even more advanced in terms of technology and performance. The stick is 5 grams lighter compared to the X2.7: it weighs 450 grams. An important update is that already in this price category, we see the XE (ellipse) taper, thanks to which the stick has become 5% more responsive.
Bauer uses a new technology – High Performance Mold (HP Mold) to connect the shaft to the blade. It is a more modern way to connect the grip to the blade, which, according to Bauer, is only slightly inferior to the monolithic solution in its properties. It allows you to give your sticks even better performance properties (energy transfer efficiency, compactness and lightness of connection, better feel of the puck). The blade is made with Max Balance technology, improved balance (weighting of the stick) and increased strength by 12%.
One step up is the Vapor 3X, which replaces the 2X Team. It weighs 430g (claimed to be 5g lighter relative to the 2X Team) and is 12% stronger. Improved responsiveness thanks to the XE Taper, Max Balance blade with 15K weave outer layer, and High-Performance Mold (HP Mold) grip connection technology.
The 2021 lineup features the updated Vapor League model. It weighs 410 grams, but apart from that, it has a very advanced set of options:
- the signature Monocomp monolithic design, which is only available in the flagship, as well as the HyperCore blade,
- the grip is made of unidirectional carbon fiber (UD),
- the blade with an outer layer of 15K weave,
- the XE taper.
The Vapor 2X Pro replaces the 3X Pro, the pre-top solution in the 2021 line. It weighs 410g (5g lighter than its predecessor, 5% more responsive, and 10% stronger than the 2019 model.
The stick has a Max Balance blade with an outer layer of TeXtreme top weave, High-Performance Mold technology (HP Mold), and XE taper.
Bauer Vapor HyperLite Design
Below is an informative slide from the catalog listing all available versions of the flagship Bauer Vapor HyperLite stick.
I would like to say a few words about the design of HyperLite. If with the skates my expectations did not coincide with reality, but in the end, I can admit that they turned out to be beautiful. The stick turned out to be quite simple and does not look so impressive against the background of skates.
What catches your eye the most is the new font on the inside face of the grip, with the stiffness of the stick and its curve. I assume that this may be one of the measures to combat replicas: the fakes have already started to come out too high quality, and some changes in the graphics will force underground manufacturers to take time again to adjust to them.
The Bauer Vapor HyperLite, like all Bauer sticks, is made in China.
From the outer end, I took a large photo (above) of stickers with serial numbers, the font of which also often helps to distinguish the original from the replica.
We looked at the exterior of the stick, and now I suggest moving on to the most exciting part – the technical side of the issue. When creating the new flagship, Bauer focused on several core parameters of the stick: its lightness, speed, and durability. Weight changed only by 5 grams: FlyLite weighed 390 grams, and the new one is 385 grams.
These are the official figures, and the results of my measurements are shown in the tables below. I take it positively that Bauer doesn’t aggressively reduce weight but tries to improve the feel of the stick through balance. That way sufficient material is retained for more reliability and durability, and shifting the balance up the handle makes the stick feel lighter than it really is. Increasing the balance by 1″ (2.54 cm) makes the stick feel about 20 grams lighter. So this approach made the hockey stick both lighter and stronger at the same time.
|Model||Bauer Vapor FlyLite||Bauer Vapor HyperLite||Bauer Vapor HyperLite (Prototype)|
|Nominal stick length||149.5 cm / 59″||149.5 cm / 59″||149.5 cm / 59″|
|Full stick length||165.4 cm / 65.1″||165.4 cm / 65.1″||165.4 cm / 65.1″|
|Bend||Р92, lie 6||Р92, lie 6||Р92, lie 6|
|Point of balance||94.1 cm (56.9% of total stick length)||93.4 cm (56.5% of total stick length)||92.5 cm (55.9% of total stick length)|
|Design||True OPS (Monocomp)||True OPS (Monocomp)||True OPS (Monocomp)|
|Structural material||100% carbon + TeXtreme outer layer||100% carbon + TeXtreme outer layer||100% carbon + TeXtreme outer layer|
The schematic below shows the data more clearly.
In addition to durability, the challenge was to extend the feel of the new stick, i.e., to slow down the rate of “fatigue” of the materials. To do this the design of the blade was completely overhauled, and the new technology was called HyperCore. It now integrates two thin longitudinal ribs and uses stiffer and denser foam.
Now the flagship clubs of all Bauer lines have stiffeners inside the blade (Supreme UltraSonic and Nexus Geo). Previously, they were always filled from the inside exclusively with foam with different densities.
Of course, the implementation of the ribs (although Bauer has very compact so as not to increase the weight of the construction) will have a positive effect on the strength, durability and the very feeling of “fresh” blade for a longer period of time. The manufacturer talks about a 20% gain relative to the FlyLite. It will also hold the load better and open up less when you throw the puck, which will improve its accuracy.
The use of the new foam has changed the balance between puck feel and energy dampening, which aids puck handling. It helps with the reception of the puck. Also worth noting is that the blade is slightly thinner compared to the FlyLite, which makes sense. Now two longitudinal ribs help to provide stiffness, and it makes no sense to make it so massive.
On the surface of the blade you can see the position of the stiffeners and the information sticker. It is necessary to look at both of these elements to avoid buying a replica. It is quite possible that the replica will not make it difficult to make the ribs inside the blade, and there will still be inconsistencies in the fonts on the sticker. The surface of the hook is covered with the familiar textured overlay.
Apart from the Vapor League, the monolithic construction (Monocomp technology) of the stick remains the prerogative of the top models. The grip and blade are one piece, which improves both the energy transfer between these elements and the feel of the puck. It also reduces the weight of the lower part of the stick, positively affecting its balance, one of the most crucial parameters.
The Bauer Vapor HyperLite model has a monolithic Monocomp design.
The last generation of hockey sticks in the Vapor line debuted the new XE Elliptical Taper geometry. It made the wrist throw 8% faster and the snap 11% faster. The elliptical taper is a legacy of the Easton brand, which Bauer got the right to use after its takeover.
What is interesting about this technology? In order to maximize the responsiveness of the grip, the deflection point is shifted as low as possible. In this case there is instability on twisting: when you throw, the blade serves as a lever which twists the handle of the stick, which leads to the opening of the blade and decreases the accuracy of the throw.
Easton’s TORX technology uses an elliptical geometry to make the soft zone more stable when twisted. But at the same time, Bauer engineers did not just take a ready-made solution but modified it according to their wide capabilities, making the work of the XE taper even more efficient.
A lot of work was also done on the handle to optimize the handling of the carbon fiber layers. Experiments looked for the best angles of the bundles to increase the key characteristics of the stick.
The strength was increased by 5% and the ease of loading the handle and its response to deflection, i.e. the rate of puck convergence, was increased by 10%.
As in the case of the blade, the goal was to extend the feel of the “new hockey stick”. According to the results of the test, you can see that a lot of work was done because the behavior of the stick in relation to FlyLite has changed very significantly.
The Bauer Vapor HyperLite has all the best Bauer technology currently available for their flagship solutions. The stick is completely modeled from carbon, and the TeXtreme material is used as the outer layer. The weave is of the highest level, for the use of which Bauer has exclusive rights on the hockey market.
This material saves 20% of the weight and makes the stick 20% stronger (compared to the more traditional carbon fiber brand). A real quality solution, well proven in many years of Bauer’s top hockey sticks. TeXtreme resists cuts and other damages perfectly, and when they occur, the material does not crumble or delaminate.
The previous FlyLite model debuted the TeXtreme with a twill weave pattern on the grip. In the HyperLite, we see a similar solution, while the nib also has a twill weave pattern. The manufacturer talks about improved energy transfer, but I tend to think that the outer layer doesn’t have much effect on these qualities.
Yes, twill weave along the handle can be interesting to work longitudinally. This kind of weave is more stable and sturdy, able to retain its properties for a longer period of time and works more effectively in tension.
Carbon is a composite material whose main components are carbon fiber and resin. DuraFlex Resin System is a new technology that replaced eLASTech. I can’t say exactly the name of the resin itself (a certain composition) or just some additive, but it is responsible for the strength of the stick, its durability, flexibility and how long it doesn’t lose them (“doesn’t get tired” under load).
The HyperLite also uses ACL (Advanced Carbon Layering) technology along the entire length of the stick, as it was first implemented in the exclusive Vapor ADV. Another example of how technologies from the hi-end segment are implemented in the mainstream product line (before that we can remember the OD1N project).
ACL technology is an efficient and expensive process of working with composite material that gives the final product high performance properties. It allows a higher density between the layers of material: it reduces the amount of binder needed to impregnate the fiber, which contributes to an additional weight reduction of the hockey stick.
Also, a denser and more monolithic wall is more stable and much more resistant to shock loads, increasing the life of the stick.
The handle features the traditional Vapor family’s compact Micro Feel II geometry with rounded corners and concavities along the front sides, which guarantees better ergonomics, increased palm contact, and a high level of puck feel.
We should also mention a smooth anti-slip coating: a balanced level of grip and a high level of reliability. It does not chip even in the corners and stands up to impacts, in addition protecting the handle’s surface from damage. One of the best solutions on the market.
It’s nice to see that Bauer did not reduce the weight extremely, risking the reliability of the stick. Bauer is doing everything in stages and more to improve the balance of the stick.
In terms of performance the new Bauer Vapor HyperLite is radically different from its predecessor (FlyLite model). The Vapor family is the most popular in the Bauer brand portfolio, and you can see that they wanted to change the stick, making it more appealing to a wider range of users.
Despite the fact that the FlyLite was a stick with a unique set of features, it was quite difficult to use and required a certain technical training from the player.
The HyperLite made a more balanced blade in terms of puck feel and ease of handling, making it easier to handle, allowing even novice players to play it comfortably.
Also, a significant difference from FlyLite is a much more flexible and elastic handle, which simplifies its loading. In general, HyperLite feels better in the hands (due to a slight weight reduction and a significant improvement in balance) and has become more comfortable and “friendly” in operation.