Re: Vater Sugar Maple Drum Sticks
I play SD9s and I have some from Vic Firth, Pro Mark and Vater.
All three brands feel very different, in spite of the actual specs being the same. The Vic Firth sticks feel very heavy for maple, while the Pro Mark sticks are light as a feather, and the Vater sticks in between the two extremes.
I really like the feel of a large stick that isn't too heavy, but maple just isn't going to be as durable as hickory, no doubt. That said, I'm not much of a stick breaker and it takes me forever to wear out a pair of sticks, maple or not. My issue is that the tips go dead and I hear a change in cymbal sound faster with maple sticks because the wood is softer in general.
Most of my own stick wear is in the rim shot area, and if you're a heavy player I would imagine that's the place they'd be most likely to fail. If you're curious I'd get a pair or two to try out so you can see for yourself. Personally, since really getting into maple sticks a few years ago I'll never go back to hickory.