Joe Casasanta of Oggie was kind enough to send a few grips for the following review for Schoolyardpuck. I would like to personally thank Keegan and Joe for allowing me to do this review and I am honored that they respect my opinion enough to listen and share my thoughts with you.
The Oggie Ergo grip is a curved grip that is meant to take the strain off of your wrist by allowing your wrist to sit in a more natural position. The grip is also designed to flex which may provide a solution to an overly stiff stick or possibly adjust a stick to an ideal flex. Other benefits have been mentioned by users such as: enhanced power on poke checks and better stick balance.
Nano-composite Enhanced Flex grip; I was told this is the standard retail Oggie Ergo grip. This grip is black in color, it’s a hair over 6 ½ inches long and weighs in at 127 grams. The rubber coating is soft but sturdy. The grip feels very high quality, the seams on the tenon are clean, the entire piece is smoother with crisp lines. The handle itself is oval so it fits in the hand better. The knob tapers out to help keep the hand in place. Although the grip is distinctly curved it remains somewhat in-line, much more so than I originally expected.
You will likely have to cut your stick to use the Oggie grip. This is a lot to ask to try a grip but if your stick is too stiff it may be worth the risk. I found that the way I held the Oggie grip compared to the way I hold my normal stick differed. Originally, I expected to take six inches off my stick, but it was closer to four. Your results may vary. I’d recommend trying 4” first and adjusting from there.
If you’ve ever used a two-piece stick or used an extension plug, you know how to do this. First do a test fit. If the plug slides in to a room temperature shaft you’ll need to shim it. To shim it, put cloth tape along the tenon over the end of the tenon and back down the other side, you may want to repeat the process over the narrow sides also. Taking a heat gun or hair dryer you heat up the stick end you want to insert the plug into. It should be hot to touch but not to the point that the paint is burning/smoking. After you slide the plug in, let it cool and you are ready to go.
I put this stick into a cut down 100 flex Easton Ultralite with a Montreal M95 blade. The stick balance was quite good but obviously it wasn’t the lightest stick in the world. The adjusted balance may be an issue to some, it will also vary with the stick it is being used in.
This is what Joe really wanted me to focus on as it is most helpful from his standpoint. I was pleasantly surprised with the plug installed the stick felt less stiff. It actually feels like the stick, as a whole, was less stiff. It feels much more natural than expected. Shots were flying off as if it was a lighter flex and it kicked hard. Slap shots, snap shots, wrist shots were all comfortable and required no real adjustment period. I did not notice increased power from poke checks, I feel as though that was more of an issue with the weight of the stick compared to the much lighter one-piece sticks I’m used to. With the stiffer grips I was given, the characteristics of the stick changed as if I was using a completely different flex stick. It was actually really cool, in the long run this technology could be very good at dialing in that perfect performance you’re looking for.
Handling the puck was a big issue for me. Feel for the puck went down severely; even with the M95 blade the feel was rather lackluster. The absolute biggest issue, by far, was actively puckhandling. For shots or simple side-to-side movements the ergo grip is fine and comfortable. When trying to go wide out of the forehand to the backhand or wide backhand to forehand it feels awkward. Also toe drags are extremely awkward because of the hand position, this was very troubling to me as it’s a move I use frequently. It seems as though it really forces your hand to hold it a certain way which may or may not be an issue depending on how you’d normally hold your stick. Personally, I just couldn’t use the ergo for games, luckily Oggie offers a traditional version grip that is straight.
I cannot directly comment on the durability as a product like this takes a long time to break down. There is a one-year warranty on every grip which should be enough to satisfy most users.
I feel that this is a great concept and innovation. This is your ONLY option to make a stick less stiff and it does the job it was designed to do. The consistency of the grip in feel and ease of installation are certainly benefits over a standard tape job. Before you try one keep in mind that you have a couple options, classic and ergo. For my preference, I think the classic grip would be more ideal over the ergo because of my playing style and use of larger rocker blades. For $12 a piece (icewarehouse.com) it might just be worth it to try both.