This isn’t a paid post either, I swear to god.

I probably won’t do a lot of gear reviews, mostly because I’m too nice a guy to chirp companies that are working in good faith, and also because I don’t want to burn any future bridges in case people want to sponsor BLT.

Gotta protect the brand.

But this will be an exception not just because the ARC dudes were super sweet, but also because I genuinely liked what they’re doing.

So a couple of weeks back I received some new twigs from ARC. All of them are the 440 model, just a couple different blade options. I gave all but one to the boys on my Veterans/Military hockey team so they could give them a spin (and legitimately cause some of those dudes are still using old wooden Sher-Woods), the last one I kept for myself to try-out.

ARC is a relatively newer stick company. They make two models of sticks, the 540 (which is currently sold out), and the 440  (which I was sent), the 540 being their high-end model. They’ve got 5 blade options, and the grip/no grip option. Best thing about ARC? The boys are from New England, THE GREATEST PART OF THIS ENTIRE COUNTRY (except Connecticut. Fuck those New York wanna-be douches).

The 440 will run you $129. The 540 $179.

The sticks are really sleek-looking. 98% matte black with a simple ARC logo on the shaft.

Ok. That’s the boring, but relevant stuff. You want to know what I think about the stick, don’t you?

Honestly? I love it. I really do. First – the stick is well-balanced. I don’t like super light sticks, and while this stick is light, it’s not so light that it feels like it will break on the first clapper.

The puck feel was really solid. The stick was very receptive to puck movement and control. For a dangle diva like myself, knowing where the puck is on the stick without having to keep eyes down on it is obviously pretty helpful. This stick holds up to my significantly more expensive CCM’s in that regard.

Snapshots come off the stick real quick. The still loads up and transfers the energy really well. I’m not sure if I just picked the perfect blade for myself (the A88), but my snapshots seemed quicker off the stick and more accurate than I’m accustomed to.

The only issue, if any that I had is with my slapshot. I don’t know if maybe I wasn’t used to the kick point or something, but it took me a little bit of playing before I figured out where I really needed to be to get the heaviest shot with these sticks. I eventually got it down, but the learning curve was a bit steep.

I’d love to try out the 540 at some point to compare the two, but I can say that the $440 plays well above its price. I’ve only got a couple of games in on it, so I can’t speak to the durability too much – but so far it’s holding up incredibly well and will quickly replace some of the more expensive twigs I play with.