This Tempest DRN Demon has a full legal lowbow, three core channel design and a bright yellow and green paint job. The stick has a composition of 91% carbon, 5% kevlar and 4% glass fibre. It features a touch compound on the face, a twisted toe and a groove channel in the shaft. The one I have for review is an extra light and weighs in at 549g (571g with grip and tape).
The stick feels very light in your hands. The balance point is very high up the stick as well, this gives the stick a super light head which is excellent for performing fast skills. The stick is very stiff (possibly because of the triple core design) and so when the ball is on the end of the stick you can feel every movement of the ball, you also get feedback from the stick when the ball is fired into you to control. This feedback makes it excellent for quick drags and sudden changes in direction as you can feel exactly when the ball leaves the end of the stick and when you make contact back with the ball, so you can take you eyes off the ball and look where the opponent is trying to tackle from. It is also great for mid air changes of direction as you can better control to the amount of power you apply to the ball to move it into a gap with more control. The head shape is ok for performing spins from left to right but is not as good for right to left spins so you have to take extra care when you stop the spin so the ball stops dead, I found often then was a little movement left on the ball when I tried to stop sharply from spins so I had to take an extra touch to control the ball.
Because the stick is so stiff and light several people who picked up the stick commented that they felt it was fragile. Another issue with the stick I found because of the lightness is that there is not a lot of resiliency for riding heavy tackles, meaning that when a defender swipes at the ball (because you have done a quick skill to get past them) it’s very easy for them to knock the stick away from the ball and the ball to then run free. This is not something that won’t happen with another stick but because this stick is so light and has a high balance point, it seemed to be happening more often with this stick then with any of the others.
When you catch the ball flush in the sweet spot to the ball really shifts. You can pick out corners leaving goalkeepers swiping at air as the ball sails past them. To really get this power you have to commit to hitting the ball and have faith that even though the stick may feel ‘fragile’ it the stick is solid and follow through the ball. When you miss hit the ball because the stick is so light and stiff, you do get some feedback from the stick but since I put a BFH Pro grip on I haven’t noticed any of note, so the feedback is something that can be dissipated with either a new base or overgrip on the stick.
When slapping the ball I found the sweet spot on the stick to be a little bit tricky to get through the centre of the ball to get the ball to really ping off. Once you get used to where this sweet spot is, you can start to do more fancy stuff with your slap passes, but it does take a little getting used to. Once you have got the hang of it you can start using the groove to add whip to the ball as it rolls down your stick before swinging through with the sweet spot to hammer the ball down the pitch, sometimes you can also get a little swing on the ball too.
The reverse edge is not too thick and not to thin but it is an OK reverse edge for tomahawks. Don’t get me wrong as long as you have good technique you will be able to hit the ball well on the toma but this is not a stick that will cover up any shortcomings in your reverse hitting. I found it very easy to lif the ball when hitting reverse if you twist the stick till the head is flat to the ground then it will lift. When hitting flat you need to focus on the angle of the stick so that you don’t hit the underside of the ball and hit through the middle. Once you get the hang of the angles its very easy to hit the ball into the corners of the goal, I do think that the reverse edge is a little bit softer for hitting then on the front of the stick, this might be down to the placement of the supports for the 3 core structure. As I have mentioned earlier the stick features a twisted toe, this makes it easier to pick the ball on your reverse stick on incoming passes. You can use the shape of the toe for full stretch control without any risk of the ball lifting because of the angle of the face. The twisted toa also makes it easier to hit a good upright hits on reverse as it gives you a 90 degree angle to hit the ball.
This stick has a Low bow, which is very good for flicking. It makes it easy to get under the ball so that you can lift it into the corners or over a flat stick The head shape is very nice for lifting the ball for 3D skills on both the open and reverse stick, combine this with the super light head it makes it very easy to accelerate the head of the stick to do very quick lifts to make a last minute evasion of an incoming tackle. This light head and the shaping of the head means you can lift the ball either straight up or at a 45 degree angle into space to run onto meaning that you can use a variety of 3D skiiles very easily. This is equally easy on reverse, with the twisted toe you can rotate the stick in your hand and can give yourself a nice angle for tight lift on the ball back across your body or forward into space. The stick is also excellent at playing a lifted pass to teammates over a defenders stick and into space. This stick really shines when you are flicking a shot at goal, because of the light head and low bow you can really whip through the ball, you can get additional power if you roll the ball u the stick a little bit but because of the light head you can get exceptional power even when firing off a quick flick in and around the keeper.
Dragflicking is what Tempest have tailored this stick towards. The bow profile is quite aggressive and features a groove in the shaft so allows you to add a lot of power late on in the flick, this makes it easier to use more disguise when flicking. Even though the profile is very aggressive, with the placing of the groove the ball travels very smoothly up and down the shaft, this means it is very easy to transition through the pick up to the release, because of how aggressive th bow is you have to focus on the direction during the release of the ball most as this is where a lot of power is added. I also found that the positioning of the groove was really good for holding the ball during an extended drag, such as when you drag right around the first runner or left a across the top of the circle to change the angle. The head of the stick is also slightly twisted forward this makes it very easy to get the hook over the ball so that you can keep it low when flicking to the post for a deflection
This stick is excellent for aerials too as you can easily get the ball to roll up into the groove so you can add power to the ball as you release meaning you can get really good distance. Because a lot of the power is added at the end of the flick that means that you have to practice to get the accuracy down so you can drop the ball onto the end of a team mates stick, but this does take practice, I don’t this it will take long but don’t expect it to be perfect on your first overhead.
In summary this is a really nice stick, but it is a marmite stick (UK-ism there). I think players will either love the super light head or hate it. The benefits to the light head are quick whipping through the ball to generate a lot of power but the negative is that when hitting you don’t feel like you are putting a lot of meat through the ball and second guess how hard you are going to hit it. Personally I liked the light head I think it mean my swing speed through the ball when hitting was higher and I could fire off shots with a smaller backlift in tight situations. It also dragflicked like a dream, it was so smooth to flick both high and low. Definitely a great specialist stick but maybe not a stick for everyone.