I’ve had a chance to use the Tovi for over two months now and it’s time to report back on what it’s like to really live with this stick. If you haven’t already read it, check out our initial review here
During that time, I’ve played 11 games and gone to another 8 puck shoots. Having done all that I feel like I can really speak to what it’s like. While reviewing this stick more than 50 people have taken a spin with this Mirage or the Sabotage we also have been testing. The sticks feel very similar to me, slight difference in shaft, but I think more people will end up picking one over the other based solely on color preference.
Does the Liquid Tape Last?
The Liquid Tape was what I was most concerned about personally. It is easily my favorite part of the stick and I was worried about it fading away quickly. It lasted me about 5-6 games before I started to feel like it was losing grip. For context I re-wax every game as I really like a tacky blade and hate snow build up, so 6 games is likely earlier than most will need to reapply.
Tovi sent me a sample of the special stick goo so I was able to re-apply myself when the time came.
Bad news first, this isn’t something you can do just before a game. I was a little heavy handed with applying the liquid tape the two times I’ve done it, so that may have affected drying time, but it took about 2 hours for everything to dry up. Tovi says the expected dry time is much quicker, but still nothing you’d want to do in the locker room before warmups.
The good news, is that it was easy to apply and once dried it felt just as good as it did right out of the box. The liquid tape goes on using an applicator and the color changes to clear once it is dry . The color change makes it easy to know you didn’t miss a spot while applying, and then lets you know when it is dry and ready for use.
How does the stick hold up to the durability claims?
The blade seems bullet proof, I really gave this thing hell during my time with it. I don’t snap shafts often, but I do end up starting to get cracks in the toe or start to feel less pop in the blade after two months. No one has intentionally tried to give it the Brad Marchand stomp, but it’s gotten kicked and stepped on in the corners a few times going for lose pucks. The great thing about the all carbon construction is that it’s taken a beating with no signs of wear. Since there is no foam core to slowly break down, there has been no loss in pop or puck feel.
I don’t know which to attribute this to: the all carbon, the holes, the lack of tape, or something else, but the stick doesn’t accumulate snow… One of the reasons I’m so big on reapplying wax is that I hate snow build up on my blade, with the Tovi a quick slap on the ice or tap on the dashers and it’s all clear.
I still don’t feel like my swing speed is any faster, but it is hard to argue with basic physics so I know it must be quicker through the shooting motion (less drag). Also as stated in the initial review the stick does feel slightly whippier than the advertised flex, but it hasn’t hurt my game.
Earlier I mentioned that we’d been loaning out this Mirage and another Sabotage stick to anyone that asked during the review period and here is my less than scientific findings:
70% liked it and half of those people said they’d be picking one up as their next stick. The 30% that didn’t care for it seemed to have very specific stick preferences “I only use X stick” or said they didn’t like the puck feel.
You will get chirped, it’s not like T blades, a tinted visor, or white gloves, but the Tovi gets attention.
All that aside, if you want a durable stick that has high end puck feel, you can’t go wrong with a Tovi. I rotate through a lot of sticks doing reviews here so I’m not going to say this twig will be my daily driver going forward, but I will be bringing it as my backup. If I have my primary stick break during a game I want to know that my backup is going to get me through the rest of it, with the Tovi I know that won’t be an issue.