Mercian Stick Bends
The Standard Bend that you find in the Genesis 0.3 models in this year’s Mercian Range have a 22mm bow with the maximum bend positioned at the mid-point of the shaft. The balance point has been moved up the stick towards the handle to enhance the key playing characteristics of these sticks – the higher balance point means less head weight, an easier turn-over and therefore assists skill execution. This standard bend exists in the junior Genesis 0.3 model and importantly the 30 – 32” models also feature a mould that has been reduced in all dimensions, not simply the cut-down versions of adult sticks that exist in the market, which offer poor balance and pick-up.
The Mercian Pro Bend incorporates a near maximum 23.5mm bow positioned just below the mid-point of the shaft, approximately 250mm from the bottom of the stick. The shaft has then been shaped to give a thinner proﬁle under the right hand and a balance point that favours the head end of the stick. This gives a combination of great stick turn-over due to the shape but enhanced hitting power because of the balance point and sweet spot, the hitting power is also enhanced because the head is 1.5mm thicker than the ultimate bend.
The Mercian Ultimate Bend is the most aggressive low bow that we have ever made, with the bend of the stick effectively cupping the ball. The maximum bend at this lowest legal point enhances drag ﬂicking and aerial skills with the balance point of the stick adjusted to also favour 3D dribbling skills. Whilst the shaft weighting aid sticks head speed it still provides power and balance for the slapping and pushing associated with elite level skill execution.
The DSH face is available on the Evolution 0.4 and 0.7 models. The concave face shape ‘cups’ and cushions the ball to help with close control, 3D skill execution and lifted passes but is obviously within the FIH 4mm deviation guidelines. To create the concave face the head is 2mm thicker than the Ultimate bend and therefore also offers a head weighted bias which aids hitting and slapping power. As an additional extra, the Evolution 0.4 has an EVA undergrip to enhance vibration control from this super-stiff composite model.
The new innovative HEX bend is a hybrid model combining a lacrosse style handle and a conventional hockey shaft. The 6-sided grip means a player can feel the sticks position in the hand without looking and the shape speciﬁcally helps locate the extended ﬁnger associated with ﬂicking along the spine of the stick. As the hexagonal handle shape merges into the hockey shaft it creates a ﬂattened spine that increases the sticks stiffness. The edges then are also ﬂattened to give a speciﬁc backhand hitting zone with a surface designed to aid both power and control on the reverse side. The shaft then also has the ultimate bend with its maximal curve to further enhance ﬂicking and overhead skills.
The Mercian mid-bow has a 22mm bend situated 300mm up the shaft. A majority of players are still looking for a low or extreme low bow stick that helps with drag flicking, aerials or 3D skill execution. However, an increasing number are looking for a straighter stick, this Mid-bend aligns the hands more with the stick face and so it assists accuracy with hitting and slapping. With some people considering that the primary skills for defensive players are distribution using hitting and slapping, this stick is perfectly suited for that purpose.