Hockey Sticks

Topics: Composite material, One Piece, Ice hockey equipment Pages: 3 (1103 words) Published: January 3, 2012
The hockey stick, the most basic piece of equipment, is also the most confounding. While other pieces of gear either fit or don’t fit, the stick defies such a simple categorization. It’s more like buying a pizza. Size is the easy part—options are where things get tricky. Stick technology has come along way from the days when players found a nice piece of hickory and started whittling. Sticks today come in a number of materials that in themselves can be overwhelming. These range from wooden shafts with ABS plastic blades, to traditional wood and fiberglass, to full Kevlar and Carbon Fiber. Prices can vary by a factor of ten, with a very simple stick costing around $20 and top end exotics surpassing the $200 mark. Today’s stick market has as much variety as the grocery store’s breakfast isle. The three main kinds of sticks are: Wooden Sticks, Two-piece sticks and blades, One-piece composite sticks

The Wooden Stick
The wooden stick has been around since the inception of hockey. Despite the many improvements in this most basic piece of hockey gear, there are still a few NHL pros using wood sticks. Still the numbers are dwindling from about half the league using wood several years ago, to just a handful now. Another reason some players still prefer wood might be feel. One thing that technology hasn’t improved is the feel. If you cannot catch a pass, or stickhandle through the defense, there isn’t much point in being able to shoot an extra ten miles per hour. Many Pros are now using a composite shaft with a wood blade as a compromise between the best of both worlds. Beyond the obvious issue of having the plainest stick in the locker room, the negative of a wood stick is simple durability. Even if you are like me and don’t break many sticks, wood will wear out. Shooting the puck hard requires flexing the shaft and getting a good pop, almost like a bow releasing an arrow. The fibers in wooden sticks break down fairly quickly and the spring that you need in releasing...
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