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Monday, November 8, 2010

Equipment Review - Adidas John Grant Jr Stick

The most unexpected item in my Adidas box was a John Grant Jr stick. More accurately, the Henson Group sent me a JGJ shaft and unstrung head. Considering that everything else I received (shoulder pads, shoulder liners, arm pads) was from the new 111 line. The JGJ line was released last season; the Michigan Wolverines made extensive use of the JGJ en route to their third consecutive MCLA title.
As I removed the stick from the box, I could tell that it was not quite as light as the Krypto Pro that I have been using for the last two years. It was not much heavier, but noticeable. Part of that weight may have come from the beefy butt cap. Unlike the smaller tapered units on Warrior shafts, the JGJ boasts an octagonal rubber end that is over an inch long and terminates in a wide base.
The head came out of the box as a featherweight. Despite its weight, the JGJ head is fairly stiff and felt strong. I attempted to squeeze, twist, and otherwise mutilate the head before taking another step. It also boasted about a bajillion stringing holes, which proved quite valuable.

The head's shape is nothing revolutionary, but is solid and functional. The pinch is as tight as possible under current NFHS and NCAA specs. Ball retention is superb and scooping is as good as anyone could want.
My first issue with the JGJ stick came when I tried to attach the head to the stick. Usually the screw holes line up perfectly when the head and shaft are produced by the same manufacturer. Unfortunately for me, the screw hole on the stick was down the shaft about half an inch too far. No matter what I tried, the holes did not line up. However, the provided me an opportunity to test the strength of the magnesium alloy shaft. I first tried using the self drilling screw included with the head, but had no luck. I then tried a standard drill bit; it barely scratched the surface before breaking. My cobalt drill bit finally pierced the hard metal in the proper location.
Once the head was strung and mounted on the stick, I decided to weight it. It came in at less than pound: 14 5/8 oz. By comparison, my Krypto Pro with a Mojo and the same stringing weighs 13 7/8 oz. The JGJ is incredibly balanced; it is clear that Adidas designed this stick and head to be used together.
My second issue with the stick arose when I started wall balling. Most sticks have a glossy finish or graphics that provide some grip; since I despise tape, those treatments usually work perfectly for me. The JGJ stick has a satin finish that is silky smooth - there is no grip until you hit the butt end. Since the graphics are under the satin coat, they add nothing to the grip. At first this was a hindrance as my hands slid too freely, but I quickly adapted to it. Tape fans will barely notice...
I previously mentioned the strength of the stick when I broke a drill bit trying to get the head on. The practical strength is also amazing for such a light stick. I have used it in both field and box games since receiving it and have also had shorties and d-poles take open swings at it - baseball and samurai style. I have yet to see a scratch, let alone a dent. The satin coating provides aesthetic protection over the super-heroic magnesium alloy.
If not for the fact that I have become very attached to it, I probably would have come up with some far more abusive "tests" like running it over with a garbage truck...
The head performs as well as any other head. There is nothing too spectacular about its design. Stringing makes the biggest difference in regards to passing, shooting, and even cradling; as I strung it the same way as my Krypto Pro, I noticed no significant differences in this avenue. The sidewalls are fairly thin, but incredibly strong. They have some flexibility, but are not what that malleable. I would definitely put it in the same class as the best heads in its price range: 9k, Viper 2, or Evo.

Weight: 10
Strength: 10
Durability: 10
Grip: 6
Overall: 9 out of 10

Release: 9
Retention: 9
Weight: 10
Strength: 10
Durability: 10
Overall: 9.5 our of 10
Complete Stick: 9.3 out of 10

Tribe 7