All-Black Everything: HyperLite 2 and Nexus Sync Mysteries

By Matt Stathopoulos

02/20/2024

All-Black Everything: HyperLite 2 and Nexus Sync Mysteries
It’s not particularly strange to see custom equipment, graphics, and gear preferences among players in the National Hockey League. From various stick builds to specially designed skates, players often seek to add a personal touch to their on-ice arsenal. However, the sudden surge in the use of all-black custom graphics on Bauer Nexus Sync and Bauer Vapor HyperLite 2 sticks during the 2023-24 NHL season has caught the attention of equipment enthusiasts.

Both the Nexus Sync and HyperLite 2 stick graphics are highly favored among NHL players, with 97 (13.6%) and 113 (15.8%) current users respectively (as of date of publication). What makes this trend particularly noteworthy is the significant number of players—23 from the HyperLite 2 side and 24 from the Nexus Sync end—who have opted for the all-black custom look over the standard designs or their team's unique colors.

Custom stick graphics have been a part of the NHL landscape for over a decade, allowing players to express their individuality while also showcasing loyalty to their respective teams. Typically, players customize their sticks to match their team's colors or to reflect personal preferences. However, the widespread adoption of the all-black look this season has raised eyebrows.

The trend began modestly, with a few players making the switch to all-black graphics early in the season. However, it quickly gained momentum, spreading throughout the league at a noticeable rate. As the regular season has passed its midpoint, observers are left wondering if more players will follow suit, perhaps even during the postseason.

There are several possible explanations for this sudden shift in preference. Some might speculate that players simply prefer the sleek and understated look of the all-black graphics. Others wonder if Bauer is introducing a new stick build that corresponds with these all-black graphics, and these players are early adopters of the prototype.

However, deciphering the true motive behind this trend remains a challenge. NHL players are notoriously particular about their equipment, and any change to their gear is typically met with skepticism. Yet, the widespread adoption of the all-black graphics suggests that there may be more to this trend than meets the eye.

Ultimately, only the players or a select few of insiders themselves would be able to shed light on the reasoning behind these equipment choices. Whether driven by aesthetics, performance, or a combination of factors, the surge in all-black stick graphics has added an intriguing subplot to gear stories of the 2023-24 NHL season.

As the season progresses, the watch for more HyperLite 2 and Nexus Sync all-black graphic users will certainly continue. Until then, fans can only also continue to speculate about the motives behind this unexpected trend. At the same time, hopefully at some point in the near future, more views and information on these players’ sticks will become available. Additional insight could possibly lead to a more concrete answer on why this trend has caught on.

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