First of all, this is a bit of an odd review, as I am reviewing two versions of the same stick, that are in fact very different!
Allow me to explain...
Rofy is a brand that is not yet really well known - it's kinda new in the Netherlands. They advertise the Aphrodite model as the lightest field hockey stick on the market (at 500 grams). It's a 90% carbon stick with a low bow shape. I ordered one and paid 180 Euro for it (at discount, the regular price is 249 Euro).
So the stick arrives, played with it, but the build of that particualr stick was really sub-par. I could hear the sound of loose carbon chips inside the stick core after my first session. Hence, I send the stick back for that reason and the online retailer (www.hockeyspullen.nl) send a new version to me, no questions asked (kudos!).
Although I received another Rofy Aphrodite model, this one was actually quite different! I thought about sending it back, but decided in the end to give it a try. Hey, who dares wins, right!
Surprisingly, there are major differences between the two stick versions, hence the reason for reviewing them separatly here. I suspect that the XL version that I had might have been last years version, but I don't know for sure...
The XL version (indeed 500 grams, put it on a scale to validate) had a white grip. The 'regular' L version has a black grip and weighted 560 grams.
THE L VERSION REVIEW (black grip @ 560 grams)
So the 'regular' (light) version is a very different stick when you compare it to the XL (extra-light) variant. It's a stick I would specifically recommend for attacking midfielders, but really would cater to anyone with good skills. Visually really nice with the 'all black' looks. It's a very stiff stick so that's something to think about if you like a lot of 'feel' (whatever that means, I like stiff sticks much better, LOL). The overall balance versus the weight of the stick is really nice. The balance point is 58 cm (measured from the top of the grip). For me, this really felt nice and comfortable, yet it allows for great energy transmission into the stick.
The L performs well on all dimensions. Pushing and disguised pushing was great. Hitting gave excellent results, powerfull, large sweet spot and zero vibrations (tested at 5 degrees celcius outside temperature, no overgrip, but was wearing thin gloves). Slap hitting: very nice, good all round results with high ball speeds. Dragging and flicking was no problems due to the low bow, although obviously not an expert stick like the Adidas DF24, etc. Scoops went airborne with ease. The reverse hit is also really really really powerfull. But the low bow obviously requires extra good technique, as the balls can become airborne much quicker than with a mid bow.
So all in all a very nice stick. The head shape is not as perfect as the Mazon-360, but still pretty decent, and not to thick. The grip on this version is also much better than with the XL variant. I really liked the feel. The shaft is definitly not as thick as with the XL. Personally, I would really choose the L version above the XL version. If you are a pure attacker with great technique, and slap hitting is rare in your game, than the XL may be considered, as it brings a very light stick to the table. Otherwise, take this version, as it is easier and predictable to play, more versatile and delivers allround power.
THE XL VERSION REVIEW (white grip @ 500 grams)
This variant has a white grip and is extremely stiff. The balance point is very nice, very 'neutral', you really hardly notice the weight. The stick is in fact so low weight that my 40% carbon indoor (!) stick actually felt "close too" in terms of observed weight. The stick has han above average thick shaft / grip, so think about this before you buy. Smaller hands may not like it too much. For me it felt on the thick side.
Pushing and dribbling is really good as you may expect from such a low-weight stick. Disguised pushing is also easily done. Hitting is good, but the sweet spot is a bit too small for my liking. You need very good technique for this stick. The low weight also means the energy isn't optimally transfered. Reverse back hand (aka tomahawk) hits are really sweet. Nothing to complain there. Flicking and dragging execute fine too. There is enough bow, although it does not compare to the performance of a specialist drag flick stick. Slapping is a major disappointment though. It's really a bit of let down in my view. Again, the low weight means you must put far more energy in your slap than with other sticks to get proper results. I am pretty decent at slapping, but found it difficult to get good results. Very unpredictable. It delivered consistent sub-par results. Think easily 'half the power' that you would normally get from a slap hit, almost embarassing sometimes.
So this is definitly a stick that will typically suit strikers best. Midfielders and defenders that slap hit often will probably not like this stick, unless they have a strong body and arms so they can compensate with brute force for the lacking energy transfer of this stick.
A point to make is that I didn't really got to like the head shape in the session that I did. It's not bad or anything, but it won't let you perform 180/360 low turns as easily as for example a Mazon 360. The ball doesn't naturally connect/glue inside the head shape. It's just 'normal', but I am a bit spolied with the Mazon 360. If you adapt your technique a bit then you will still pull of your turns. It's just that some sticks like the Mazon 360 have these head shapes that seem to have an 'automatic' lock on the ball. It's a bit of a nag, as in practice I hardly ever do low turns in matches, but still... I also thought the head was just a bid to thick for my liking. Personally I like them just a bit thinner.
So, all in all it's a bit of a mixed bag with the XL version. If Rofy can improve some of the XL stick issues than they will have a real winner. My main criticism is the thickness of the top shaft and it really needs improved energy transfer mechanisms, especially in slapping. If Rofy is able to fix these aspects, and retain the extremely low weight, than it will have an absolute top stick. The current XL model is recommended only for strikers with a high level of hockey technique and mastery.