We recently had a chance to test the new Warrior Covert QRL stick. The QRL is the new flagship for Warrior and is quickly becoming a favorite among many high scoring NHL players. For this review we have only used the stick off ice and done some extensive shooting with it and some stick handling work, so whilst we got a good enough feel for the stick, we have not tried it in game situations.
In terms of the look of the stick, Warrior has always had a knack for designing sticks that standout. The QRL is not an exception and you can make it out from the stick rack, even though it relies on a relatively simple carbon/neon blue and orange decal. What we like about the stick is that it’s less about bling like some other sticks and more about performance. As always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we are fans of minimalistic stick design as long as the stick performs. Ultimately though, something has to draw you to the stick so, Warrior have done a good job here to make sure that the stick does stand out from the crowd.
The stick that we tested was 85 Flex with W03 blade pattern, which is similar to the P19 on CCM or TC2.5 on TRUE hockey sticks. Overall, the Warrior blade patterns do cater for most tastes and every player should be able to find a curve to their liking.
What you will first notice with this stick when you pick it up from the rack is that it is lightweight. The weight is just north of 400grams, which is on par with lightness of most modern top of the line sticks. This means that the stick is easy to stickhandle with and you can get a good feel from the blade. For some reason, the feeling we got when stick handling with the QRL was one of confidence. The blade feels stiff and the puck is not bobbling off of the blade but you have good control of it at all times. Also, as a player who doesn’t have the smoothest of hands, the QRL does make it feel like your hands are in fact a lot softer.
Where the stick comes to its own is when shooting with it. The first shot we took was top shelf and you get a really crisp clean ‘pop’ from the stick. It is a bit surprising as with some other sticks that we’ve tested from the likes of Sher-Wood and CCM/Reebok, it usually takes a while to get the stick to ‘soften’ up to get the consistency of shooting. When comparing it to our current favorite stick, the TRUE X-core 9, the QRL is a worthy challenger when it comes to shots.
We still feel that the X-Core gives you more in terms of shot and velocity when you get everything behind it, but the Warrior is not far off. The two sticks are incredibly closely matched here. During the time that we tested the QRL, we felt that the release is a little bit quicker than on the X-Core 9, but it has to be said that we didn’t have the opportunity to test the two sticks head to head.
Wristers and snapshots are easy to take and feel crisper and harder than on other sticks and we would say that the QRL is ahead of the X-Core 9 here. However, when it comes to slapshots the TRUE and Warrior sticks are on par. The shots feel really heavy and you get a sense of a hard shot with relative ease. You don’t have to put too much torque through the shaft of the QRLand the puck will take off like a rocket. As far as shooting pucks with it, it does leave a smile on your face.
In terms of durability, the QRL has all the signs of being a durable stick and Warrior as a brand is generally quite durable. However, we can’t say how well it holds up in game situations as we had very limited time testing the stick. What would be interesting to learn in a long term review would be to see how long the blade and the shaft maintain their crispness.
So, Warrior have developed a great stick, but with that stick comes a relatively hefty price tag of $270/€239/£177, which is a lot of money to shell on a stick. However, you do get incredible performance for that money. The thing with Warrior Covert QRL is that there are sticks out on the market that do provide similar, if not slightly better performance in certain areas for not as much money. However, if you are serious about your hockey and it is performance that you want out of your sticks, then we would recommend looking at the Covert QRL from Warrior.
We can only list a few cons for the stick, purely based on the fact that we had limited time to test the stick. We are hoping that Warrior would give us one for long term testing and in our preferred flex so that we can give it an accurate and an in-depth appraisal.
· Good balance
· Kick and flex
· Good feel for puck
· In some areas other sticks ahead