How Composite Hockey Sticks Are Made
NHL Hall of Fame forwards Paul Kariya and Joe Sakic pioneered the use of composite hockey sticks during the 1990s.
Kariya and Sakic discovered early on the new technology helped them control pucks better and shoot harder. When it came to wood versus composite hockey sticks, wood got burned.
Skaters of all levels who champion the composite hockey stick cite its flexibility, how much lighter it feels, and how much easier it makes handling the puck.
What makes composite sticks so strong, so durable, so popular? A quick answer is the construction of these high-tech ‘twigs.’ Let’s take a closer look at how they’re made.
The Composite Hockey Stick Manufacturing Process, Explained
Hockey sticks possess three primary elements: the blade, the handle (butt end), and the shaft. A composite stick can be made with separate blades and shafts, or as a one-piece stick, the most popular type of stick among elite players.
The production process begins with a synthetic cloth. Next, graphite—the stick’s main reinforcing fiber—is applied to it, along with small amounts of Kevlar and Nomex. How much stronger do the additives make the products? Kevlar hockey sticks are constructed with bullet-proof vest material, and fire suits worn by race car drivers contain Nomex.
To manufacture the hockey sticks, long sheets of composite materials are wrapped around molds of a blade or shaft, allowing a machine to compress the material until it forms the intended design.
Three Possible Methods for Composite Stick Manufacture
- A shaft-shaped mold wrapped in the composite material is put inside a duplicate split mold. After the outer mold is closed, the composite material inside is compacted by hydraulic pressure.
- Another possible method is similar to the hydraulic press method, but uses vacuum pressure instead to force the composite material against the mold until it takes form.
- Or, an inflatable bladder to be used as an inside mold is wrapped in the composite and put into an outer mold. Then, the mold is inflated to forge the elements into shape.
Later in the manufacturing process, oxygen is added to help epoxy, nylon, urethane, and polyester adhere to the new creation. High-end composite sticks are made entirely of carbon, with a mixture of Kevlar to add strength. They contain no wood or fiberglass elements.
When the newly molded shaft is completed, it is attached to a blade.
At nearly every level, two-piece sticks are becoming virtually non-existent. Elite players, especially, favor the one-piece models because they are lighter weight and have more favorable flex points. At the start of the 2017-18 season, sportsnet.ca reported Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau were the only players in the NHL to use two-piece sticks.
Can You Cut a Composite Stick?
The short answer is, yes. For nearly two centuries, all shafts were made of wood, and players easily rectified the problem with a sharp saw blade. But you can also cut a composite stick, with careful preparation and the right tools.
How to Cut a Composite Stick
Cutting a composite stick can be accomplished in about 15 minutes, following these steps:
- Strip the shaft’s handle of any tape.
- While the best length comes down to personal comfort, a good rule is the stick should come just below your chin.
- Mark the stick with a permanent marker to show the cut line. Some players make a second mark one inch above it, allowing a little leeway when cutting the shaft.
- Take off the stick’s end cap if you can. Sometimes it can be hard to take out, so removing it isn’t necessary.
- Place in a vise or have someone hold the shaft of the stick on a bench or chair.
- Use a hacksaw and make short, clean strokes to cut through the shaft.
- Making sure your cuts are square, continue cutting all the way through the shaft.
- After loosening the vise and removing the stick, check its length. If it’s good, replace the end cap, and then re-tape the handle.
One or two inches likely will not affect the flex of the stick, but altering the size of the stick might make it stiffer.
Why Are Composite Hockey Sticks Better?
Starting with Kariya and Sakic three decades ago, skaters insist composite sticks make it easier to stickhandle pucks with more confidence, and to shoot them harder.
In the wood versus composite sticks debate, composites have emerged as winners in terms of flexibility, so much so that they come with kick point ratings: high, mid, and low. Lightweight one-piece composite sticks generate lower kick points because the tapered shafts and blades are designed to be stiffer.
When shopping for a new composite hockey stick, find one with the right feel. Take your time, do some research, and experiment with different brands. Consider these questions before you buy a new stick:
- What is the correct length?
- Is a round or a square shaft better?
- What’s the best blade curve and lie for me?
- What flex and kick point should I choose?
Consult our hockey stick blade and flex guides for more detailed information. And if you can, visit one of our retail stores that offer a shooting range, so you can experiment with different stick models before you buy.
What is a hockey stick made of?
From Mic-Mac to mishmash — that’s essentially the evolutionary arc of hockey stick construction.
The most popular sticks these days are custom, one-piece composites — typically of graphite, though exotics such as Kevlar and titanium are also used, and occasionally coatings such as nickel cobalt are applied for added strength.
In laminate-style two-piece sticks, layers of glue and wood, fiberglass or graphite — or some combination of wood, fiberglass and graphite — are used for the shafts. That’s a long way from the one-piece, hand-carved hunks of hornbeam formed by indigenous Canadian Mi’kmaqs into the first commercially produced sticks, in the late 1800s.
Going to the Wood Shed
Hornbeam trees, native to Nova Scotia, are also referred to as “ironwood” for the material’s durability and “stinkwood” because of its strong aroma when cut. As the popularity of the game and of Mic-Mac sticks grew, hornbeam supplies grew scarce and yellow birch became the wood of choice.
Those sticks were carved in one piece. By the 1920s, patented designs emerged for two-piece wood sticks, in which the blade is inserted and glued into a joint in the shaft. Wooden shafts were typically laminated birch, maple, aspen, ramin and/or ash, while the blades were usually the same wood as the shaft. Beginning in the 1950s, blades were wrapped in a woven fiberglass material.
Wood sticks typically are heavier than their composite counterparts, a useful trait when trying to dig a puck out of a battle in the corner. They’re cheaper and more durable. However, lighter sticks are widely considered to produce harder, quicker shots — which is why they’ve become far and away the more popular option among serious players.
Briefly, fueled by a 1990s Wayne Gretzky endorsement deal, aluminum-shafted sticks blossomed in popularity. But, by the end of the century, aluminum sticks — usually aluminum shafts with a wooden blade — were supplanted on the pro level by custom, one-piece composite sticks.
A composite shaft more closely approximates the feel and flexibility of wood while retaining the relative light weight of aluminum. A one-piece composite stick can be customized to a dizzying degree, tapering the shaft to lower the kick point (the point at which the shaft flexes), shaft shape (rounded or square), lie, vertical angle and curve of the blade, etc.
Clearly, these are not being carved from a tree. How are they made?
- Carbon fiber threads woven together and coated with plastic resin.
- As many as 15 sheets of carbon fiber fabric are fused together, layered in opposite directions for strength, to form the hollow shaft.
- Blades begin with a hard foam plastic core wrapped in graphite.
- Blades are glued to the shafts.
- A graphite sock is applied to the still-straight blade.
- Several subsequent layers of graphite are glued to the blade.
- A mold — whether custom for professional players or a mass production shape — puts the specified curve and vertical angle on the blade, and bonds the blade to the shaft.
- Excess graphite is removed, and the blades are sanded, buffed, painted and dipped in urethane.
- The graphics are added to the sticks using either decals or silk screens. These may be applied directly to the finished stick, or over a base layer of paint that may be added first to introduce extra color to the stick.
Composite Technology and the Hockey Stick Revolution – USC Viterbi School of Engineering
Over the last decade, the game of hockey has changed significantly, especially due to advances in composite hockey stick technology. This paper discusses the progression of hockey stick composition throughout the years as well as important properties of hockey sticks and how the composition of sticks affects these properties. It also examines the slap shot, the most explosive action performed in hockey, and how it displays these stick properties. Composite hockey sticks are ideal because they combine many of the beneficial properties of other stick compositions, but there is still a significant amount of improvement that can be made to the technology.
Across the sciences, people are always striving to use the latest and greatest technology. The same can be said for the sport of hockey. Composite carbon technology has been used in prosthetics, aerospace, car racing and now in hockey sticks. Material, manufacturing and structural advances in composite technology have allowed manufacturers to combine the best properties of previous wooden and aluminum hockey sticks while still adding new innovations that have made composite sticks ideal for today’s hockey players.
History of Hockey
When the game of hockey was first played on frozen ponds in the nineteenth century, players used sticks made from the wood of hardwood trees. In the 1940’s, laminated wood became the standard material (Fig. 1). These sticks were flexible for striking the puck with great force, yet durable and relatively inexpensive. The average wooden stick cost about $35 . Since the technology and manufacturing practices have hardly changed, the price of wooden sticks has not substantially changed either. The main problem with wooden sticks is that they have a tendency to warp and become too flexible after too many hard shots . When a stick loses some stiffness, it also loses accuracy and what players call “the feel of the stick” is compromised.
The stick’s feel is its ability to translate contact with the puck and the ice to the player’s hands . Players prefer the stick to be stiff and stable when handling the puck because it feels as if the puck is on their finger tips instead of at the end of a stick. If the player can properly feel the puck on the stick, they will not need to look down while stick handling, allowing them to look for a teammate to pass to, an opponent to dodge, or taking a shot (Fig. 1).
In the early 1980s, many players, including Wayne Gretzky, the all-time leading scorer in National Hockey League (NHL) history, experimented with aluminum shafts with wooden blades . These sticks gained popularity throughout the 80s and 90s due to their unmatched durability, stiffness and stability. The shaft was simply rectangular aluminum tubing with a replaceable wooden blade glued in . Some stick shafts were so thick and heavy that they never broke or wore out and only the wooden blade needed to be replaced. Although the aluminum sticks were lighter, stronger, more durable and more stable than wooden sticks, they did not allow the player to feel the puck on the stick as well, which is why many players did not switch to aluminum sticks .
In the late 1990s, full composite sticks were introduced to the sport, changing the game forever . These sticks were made from graphite fibers bound together by polymer resin, which made them extremely light. Composite hockey sticks “have soared in popularity the last four or five years and are used by more than 80 percent of players in the National Hockey League” . Today, very few players in the NHL still use wooden sticks. Composite stick technology is ideal because it combines the flexibility of wood to generate hard shots, the stiffness and stability of aluminum for control and a lightness that is unmatched by wood or aluminum. Not only does the stick feel lighter in the player’s hands, but the player is be able to move the stick faster, which means quicker maneuvering of the stick and quicker release of the puck for passing and shooting . This allows players to catch goalies and defenders off guard because they are able to release the puck more quickly off the blade of their stick.
Properties of the Hockey Stick
One main property of hockey sticks that contributes to shot velocity is the flexibility or flex of the stick (Fig. 2).
Manufacturers list the flex rating on each stick that corresponds to the amount of force (in pounds-force) that it takes to deflect or bend the shaft one inch . For example, it would take 85 pounds of force to bend an “85 flex” stick one inch from its original resting position. The flex ratings of hockey sticks range from 50 to 120 flex, though most players age 16 and up use sticks with either 85 or 100 flex. Flex is important because the bending of the stick is where the shot derives all of its power. When the stick is bent by the player, it is loaded with potential energy, like a spring. This energy is then transferred from the stick into the puck, resulting in a high puck velocity .
When designing hockey sticks, manufacturers use a standard deformation equation to calculate the flex of the stick. The deformation equation,
F = 48EIδ/L3(1)
is used, where F is the force being applied at the center of the shaft of the stick, E is the Young’s Modulus of elasticity of the material, which depends on the type of material being used in the stick, I corresponds to the second area moment of inertia of the cross section of the shaft, δ is the deflection or amount of vertical deformation of the shaft when the force F is applied, and L is the length of the shaft . Flex is especially important when attempting to maximize the velocity of a slap shot.
The slap shot is the most explosive and dynamic move in hockey and it demonstrates many stick properties. It is also the most common source of broken sticks. Many recent studies and research done on hockey stick technology cite a six-stage process for the slap shot which was first established by hockey scientists Pearsall, Montgomery, Rothsching and Turcotte in 1999. The six stages are backswing, downswing, pre-loading, loading, release and follow through (Fig. 3). The first stage of the slap shot is the backswing, where the stick is brought above the player’s head. The next stage is the downswing, where the stick is swung downwards toward the ice. The third stage, pre-loading, is one of the most overlooked stages of the slap shot. Many people who have never played hockey do not realize that the stick strikes the ice about a foot behind the puck before striking the puck. This is how the player is able to apply force to the stick and bend the shaft . In this stage, the stick acts similarly to a three-point bending fixture. The player’s top hand and the ice act as the hinges which hold the shaft in place and the player’s hand that is holding the middle of the stick applies the force to the shaft. This leads into the next stage, loading.
The bending of the shaft loads potential energy into the stick, similar to the way one would load a spring. The loading stage is extremely important to the shot because without the loading of the stick, the shot would be significantly slower, making it much easier to get stopped. Once the stick has been loaded, it continues along the ice until it touches the puck. The next stage is the release of the puck. This is the stage where the stick is in contact with the puck, in physics, this is known as an impulse. The impulse (I) is equal to the force (F)applied to the object multiplied by the total time (∆t) the force is applied to the object:
I = F∆t.(2)
In the release stage, all the potential energy that was stored in the stick due to flexing is transferred into the puck in the form of kinetic energy . This is how the puck is able to fly through the air at such a high velocity. The final stage of the slap shot is the follow-through. The follow-through determines the direction that the puck will travel. If the stick follows through in an upwards direction, the puck will leave the ice and go into the air. If the follow-through is kept low, the puck will stay on the ice or fly a few inches off the ice. Players exploit the flex of the stick to fire pucks at speeds over 100 miles per hour .
Looking to the Future
Although hockey sticks have evolved due to advances in composite technology, there are still issues with composite hockey stick technology that need to be addressed. Such a significant change in technology has resulted in extreme price inflation and extremely short product cycles. A top of the line, year 2011, one-piece composite stick can cost up to $300.00, yet players of all skill levels continue to buy these high-tech sticks regardless of the fact that manufacturers have sacrificed durability for lightness . A 1998 study performed at the University of Windsor and Louisville in Ontario, Canada showed that composite sticks break just as easily as wooden sticks (Fig. 4) .
After many years of innovation and price inflation, composite sticks still have the same life span as a wooden stick at over five times the cost. Hockey stick manufacturers have two ways to deal with this issue. They can either engineer a stick that combines the lightweight, yet flexible properties of present-day composite sticks with the durability of an aluminum stick, or they can develop new, low-cost materials that will have the same performance as composite sticks.
Advances in composite technology have revolutionized the hockey stick and the game of hockey. Today, almost every hockey player, novice to professional, uses a composite hockey stick. Composite sticks are ideal because they combine the feel and shooting flexibility of wood with the stiffness and stability of aluminum. Composite hockey sticks may be the best on the market today, but in the future, there will always be room for new technologies.
Bison Hockey Sticks About Us
Established in 2011 and headquartered in Buffalo NY our mission is simple… to provide hockey players of all ages with a high quality low price alternative to other brands.
Bison Hockey Sticks is a family owned company specializing in the design and production of high performance one piece composite hockey sticks that sell for a lot less than our competition. Don’t pay too much for for a hockey stick, try a Bison Hockey Stick.
Recently we developed a patent pending do-it-yourself hockey stick repair kit that comes with everything you’ll need to repair the broken shaft of most composite hockey sticks. Check it out.
Have a question? Email us at [email protected] and we’ll be happy to assist you.
Our Hockey Sticks
Our hockey sticks are made using high quality composite materials and the latest manufacturing processes. Our mission is simple… to provide hockey players of all ages with a high quality, low price alternative to the other brands. Don’t pay too much for a high quality hockey stick.
We focus on product performance and keeping our prices as low as possible so more players can experience the benefits that pro level carbon fiber hockey sticks offer.
How to determine the right hockey stick for you?
Stick Sizing: Ages 14 & up – “Senior” hockey sticks; 11-16 year olds – “Intermediate” hockey sticks; 5-12 year olds – “Junior” hockey sticks
Stick Length: To determine the appropriate length for your hockey stick consider these general rules. Place the toe of the blade of your stick on the ground in front of you and hold the stick upright. With skates on the end of your stick should come up to your chin. Without skates on the end of your stick should come up to your nose. If you have a big nose or a small chin adjust accordingly.
Fiberglass vs. Carbon Fiber: Most composite hockey sticks are made from fiberglass, carbon fiber or a combination of the two. Layers of these materials are heated and compressed in a mold during the manufacturing process to create a hockey stick shaft and blade. In general the lighter the hockey stick the more carbon fiber (and less fiberglass) is used. Since carbon fiber is more expensive than fiberglass the more carbon fiber used to make a stick the more it will cost.
Flex: The higher the flex number the “stiffer” the stick. Player height, weight and shooting preference all are factors to consider when determining what flex to use. To achieve maximum torque when shooting and passing the stick should flex and re-coil. Many players who prefer quick wrist and snap shots prefer a stick with a mid or regular flex (75-90 flex). Players who have more strength and/or body weight (beer belly) may prefer a stick with a high or stiff flex (90-110 flex). Remember the “flex” of a stick changes when you cut it down. The more you cut off your stick the “stiffer” it becomes as there is now less shaft length to flex when passing or shooting.
Kick Point: The kick point of a stick is the area of the stick that flexes and recoils when you pass or shoot. Sticks with a low kick point flex near the blade. Sticks with a mid-shaft kick point flex further up shaft and deliver the most power. Players who prefer quick release passes and shots might prefer a stick with a low kick point. Players who prefer more powerful wrist and slap shots may prefer a stick with a mid-shaft kick point.
Blade Pattern: Blade patterns, or the curve of the blade is almost entirely a player preference. A very general rule is forwards prefer a blade that is curved in the middle and has an open face. Defensemen prefer a blade that with less of a curve and less of an open face. Please view our Blade Patterns guide to choose the Bison Hockey Stick bade pattern that works best for you.
Lie: The “Lie” of a stick is an indication of the angle that the stick shaft would take when the bottom of the blade is sitting flat on the ice. The more upright a stick is, the higher the lie number. Like a blade pattern, the lie of a stick is a player preference. Most Senior hockey sticks have 5, 5.5 or 6 lie.
What Hockey Sticks Are Made Of
Imagine flying an old wooden biplane into battle. On the horizon you see your enemy in a brand new F-35 fighter jet. How are you supposed to compete when your enemy is using a tool that is more advanced than yours in every way? That’s what it’s like showing up to the rink with a wooden stick these days. Technology has come a long way and hockey sticks are no exception. So, what are hockey sticks made of today? Long gone are the days of birch and maple, since replaced by high tech composites. Sometimes we take for granted how much engineering goes into a modern hockey stick. This article will show you what materials sticks are made out of and how those materials affect the performance of the stick.
Modern hockey sticks are made of fiber reinforced plastic and foam. Fiber reinforced plastic employs the same concept as concrete with rebar. The fiber has high tensile strength and the polymer has high compressive strength. Each material’s strength compensates for the other’s weakness. This creates a durable, high performance material. The best sticks are made with Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer. Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer is a fiber reinforced plastic made using epoxy resin and carbon fiber. Cheaper sticks incorporate fibers like fiberglass, saving cost at the price of performance. The three main components of a quality hockey stick are epoxy resin, carbon fiber, and foam.
Epoxy resin is the glue that holds a stick together. It is a liquid that hardens into a plastic by a chemical reaction called curing. The resulting plastic is called epoxy and has many desirable properties such as a high strength to weight ratio, high adhesion, water resistance, heat resistance, and chemical resistance. There are many different epoxy resins all having different properties. Epoxy resins are chosen for specific applications based on their properties. If an epoxy resin with the characteristics to perform a task does not exist then an epoxy with those characteristics can be designed and created. Epoxy is widely used and has many applications including household, aerospace, marine vessels, electronics, and infrastructure.
Carbon fibers make up the structure of the stick. Carbon fibers are threads that are 5-10 micrometers in diameter. The fibers are lightweight, stiff, and have high tensile strength. Thousands of these fibers are bundled together to form what is known as a tow. Carbon fiber tows can be used on their own or woven into carbon fiber cloth.
Different styles of weave can give the carbon fiber cloth different characteristics. The most used weaves in hockey sticks are unidirectional and bidirectional. Unidirectional carbon fiber is unwoven and all fibers are parallel. It has the highest tensile strength of any carbon fiber cloth, but only in the direction of the fibers. Bidirectional carbon fiber has its tows woven perpendicular to each other. It has strength in all directions, but the criss-crossing of the fibers reduces the tensile strength in each direction. Bidirectional carbon fiber is typically named after the number of strands of the tow used to weave it: 1k, 3k, 12k, 18k, etc.
Hockey sticks use a special kind of carbon fiber cloth called pre-preg that is coated with partially cured epoxy resin. The partially cured resin coating is easier to work with than liquid resin and reduces the chances of defects like uneven layers and air bubbles.
The blade of a hockey stick is primarily made of foam. The foam core is soaked with resin and covered with pre-preg to increase its rigidity. The core of a hockey blade improves the feel for the puck and the pop of the puck off the blade. Different foam cores can give sticks different levels of feel, durability, and performance. The two most used foams are polyurethane(PU) and polystyrene(referred to as epoxy foam). These two foam styles are also the most used surfboard cores. We can learn characteristics of these cores from surfboard builders, and we can apply that knowledge to hockey sticks.
Polyurethane is a large family of plastics with many applications in both solid and foam forms. Low end sticks use PU foam to save costs. PU foam blade cores are heavier, softer, and cheaper than epoxy foam blade cores. They give the blade a soft feel, but can make the stick feel blade-heavy. PU foam blades are able to absorb force from the puck without fracturing due to their softness. The weight of the puck while shooting and passing causes a blade to experience elastic deformation. A PU foam blade will experience more deformation due to its softness. It is also slower to return to its original shape. This increased deformation and low elasticity sacrifices both accuracy and velocity. PU foam blade cores use a different resin than the rest of the stick. The different resins don’t bond together as well as a single type of resin and make it more likely for a PU foam blade to split apart than an epoxy foam blade.
Polystyrene is a widely used hard plastic in both solid and foam forms. When used in conjunction with epoxy resin it is referred to as epoxy foam. Epoxy foam blade cores are light and stiff. They give the blade a lively feel with more pop than PU foam blade cores. Epoxy foam blades experience less elastic deformation due to their rigidity. They also return to their original shape more quickly after deformation. This low deformation and high elasticity gives the stick more pop and accuracy. The stiffness also has a downside. Due to the stiffness of epoxy foam, the blade core will develop microfractures from contact with the puck. Over time these microfractures reduces the pop of the stick and makes it feel ‘dead’. Epoxy foam blade cores use the same epoxy resin that holds together the rest of the stick. The single resin allows the core to bond better to the rest of the stick creating a solid and durable connection. The performance benefits of epoxy foam outweigh its disadvantages.
At Flex Hockey we value performance over profits. Our sticks use an all carbon fiber construction with an epoxy foam blade core. High quality materials gives our sticks top of the line performance and feel, but they’re a fraction of the cost. Here’s more info on our sticks.
Wood Vs. Composite Hockey Sticks (Understanding The Differences)
If you are already into your new season or about to get started, you are probably thinking it’s time for a new stick. If so, will you choose wood or composite?
Deciding on wood vs. composite hockey sticks can be confusing for beginners, so keep reading for a little help understanding the difference.
The primary differences are that composite sticks are lighter, more expensive, and break easier but they offer generally better performance over wood sticks. So you’ll have to decide if the improvement in performance is worth the extra initial cost and the need to replace them more often.
If you are looking for a new stick you can check out our guide to the Best Hockey Sticks by CLICKING HERE.
My two favorite sports, baseball and hockey, seem to be opposites in many ways, but they do share one very important and personal component that sets them apart from other team sports. In both, the player gets to choose their most important piece of equipment.
As a kid, every new hockey season would find me at the stick racks with all the new models. It was almost ceremonial the way I would take each stick and puck handle along the linoleum floor while visualizing the dazzling goal I would score. While my ability never lived up to the potential of any of those sticks, the selection process was always great fun.
Over the decades, the essence of the hockey stick has changed along with technology. When I first laced on skates as a kid, to play on my local pond, the choices were pretty simple. All sticks were wood and all blades were straight. The only real choice you had back then was brand name and whether your stick would be autographed by Bobby Orr or some other hockey hero.
In the late 50’s and the 1960s manufacturers started to cover their wood stick with a fiberglass wrapping to increase “strength” and blades even started to be curved, with initial mixed reviews and ultimately some restrictions. In the 1970s fiberglass sticks, being lighter, became popular. But wooden sticks were still being used by many players at all levels of hockey.
By the 1990s, when my daughter first wound pink tape over the blade of her goalie stick, there were choices in curvature and even in composition, but my daughter’s sticks were always wood. I don’t recall the kind of stick that Manon Rheaume used, but I’m sure that her choice played into my daughter’s selection, as well.
In the 2000s a player could really only choose between the one-piece composite stick and the “wood” stick that had become a mixture of wood, fiberglass, and foam.
By 2010 the “one-piece” composite stick had taken over hockey at all levels except perhaps the NHL where many players stuck with “wood” as it was the kind of stick they grew up with.
Today most NHLers are using composite and only a very few goalies seem to be making stick saves with wood. Even longtime hold-out Eric Lundquist switched over to composite last year.
Twenty-four NHL goalies currently use composite sticks.
Composite sticks are essentially an industry generalization that includes sticks made with graphite, kevlar and even entirely titanium.
Regardless of skill level, the selection process will always be a very personal decision.
Choosing Between A Wood and Composite Stick
So, which stick is right for you?
While composite sticks are currently most popular, keep in mind that fiberglass sticks were all the rage in the ’90s but were soon obsolete. Wood sticks can still be the right choice for you.
The biggest difference between wood and composite is weight. Composite sticks are just noticeably lighter. New composite sticks weigh less than 1.4 pounds compared to the old wooden models that can be 2 or 3 times heavier. That weight difference can increase fatigue during a long shift on the ice. Conditioning, however, might be able to offset that potential.
As of this writing, there are only five NHL goalies that are sticking with wood and who seem to think that they can control and absorb shots better with their current sticks than with composite blades and that may certainly be true for those individual players.
Those players that have switched to composite have stated that the inconsistencies in the foam-core “wood” sticks as another reason for their move to composite. Quite simply, manufacturers working with natural materials such as wood, cannot possibly make every stick feel and react the exact same way during play. The downsides to composite are basically durability, “feel,” and cost. Let’s address each of these issues.
Composite sticks break more often than wood. Ok true, but manufacturers are making them more durable each year.
The good thing is that many composite stick manufacturers are offering warranty replacements on sticks that break in the normal course of play within a certain time period. That may help offset the cost of replacing them more often.
However, be aware that there is no guarantee that you’ll get a new stick every time depending on how the break happens.
“Feel” is a subjective qualifier that players use when describing the way in which their stick receives and releases the puck. “Old school” thought has always been that beginners should start with wood to develop this element of “feel”. But composite stick manufacturers are making headway in addressing the “Feel” issue by altering the blends of carbon fiber and adding dampening materials to reduce shock and vibration. It seems that most of the “feel” issues are ultimately very subjective and I would discount this issue as insignificant.
That leaves cost and which is a significant issue for most people unless you’re a professional. Let’s assume, that you’re not playing in the NHL and you’re just looking for a good stick or two to get you through the season.
Which One Should You Choose?
The case for wooden sticks is simple. They last a long time and they cost way less than composites. Players who have been using wooden sticks for any length of time will often swear that the “feel” they get for the puck can’t be duplicated by any composite stick. While I don’t necessarily agree with the “feel” position, I can’t discount it either.
Finally, kids tend to grow. Sticks don’t. I know every kid and most adults, will want to hit the ice with the same stick their hero skates within the NHL, but if you’re going to be buying new sticks every year or so, the cost may be the ultimate factor. Wood never slowed down Bobby Orr.
Why Are Hockey Sticks So Expensive? Full Explanation Here!
Hockey stick prices have skyrocketed, having gone up 1,000% since the ’80s and early ’90s.
Back then, a hockey player could walk into any pro shop or local sporting goods store to find stick racks filled with Sherwood, Titan, Christian, KOHO, and countless other brands offering wood hockey sticks for $25-$30 apiece.
Nowadays, top-of-the-line hockey sticks run $250 to $300+ per stick.
Heck, Bauer sold a limited release hockey stick last season for $399!!
We’ve heard of inflation but what gives?!
A quick history lesson…
Up until Wayne Gretzky’s endorsement deal to use Easton aluminum hockey sticks in 1990, a vast majority of all hockey players used nothing but wood sticks. And it wasn’t until the 1970s the wood stick was upgraded by being reinforced with fiberglass.
Mario Lemieux using a KOHO wood-fiberglass stick in ‘88-’89 en route to recording 199 points, the highest point total ever recorded by someone not named Gretzky.
“In 1989, Jim Easton, who was a good friend of mine, came to me and said, ‘Wayne, we have this stick for you. It’s a product you’re going to love. We were able to make the stiffness that you like, but it’s only a third of the weight.’ It was a two-piece stick with an aluminum shaft. I loved it. It was still very stiff-a slapshot seemed to explode off the blade. But it was so light that all the weight was in the blade, so you could feel the puck better.”
~ Wayne Gretzky
Thanks to Gretzky’s endorsement and Brett Hull’s 86 goals in the 1990-91 season, aluminum two-pieces took the hockey stick market by storm in the early ’90s… But not for long, as carbon fiber was first introduced for hockey shafts and quickly thereafter for blades in 1995, which Paul Kariya used to score 50 goals.
Then, in 2000, Easton Hockey introduced the first composite one-piece that forever changed the game, the original Synergy.
Luc Robitaille’s game-used original Easton Synergy hockey stick
Given the massive reduction in weight and a significant improvement in flex, shot-release, and velocity, roughly 90% of all NHL players were using carbon fiber stick technology by 2004!
“With today’s whippier sticks, guys can load up quickly and shoot off the back foot, which takes a lot less time… Now everyone is using a whippy stick and using the release to fool goalies into misreading the angle. A guy like Phil Kessel uses his stick like a slingshot.”
~ Wayne Gretzky
Phil Kessel utilizing the flex of his carbon-fiber one-piece hockey stick
Much to the chagrin of NHL goalies…
“What do I think? Ask any pitcher in baseball if he would want Mark McGwire swinging an aluminum bat. Ask me if I want Al MacInnis swinging a Synergy stick. Of course, I’d say no,” Blue Jackets goaltender Marc Denis says. “Everyone’s shot is harder. You see third- and fourth-line guys letting them rip from the top of the right circle.”
Okay, wood and fiberglass through the ’80s, aluminum and carbon fiber in the ’90s, true one-piece carbon fiber hockey sticks in the 2000s, but why are they 10 times the cost?!
Here are the 4 reasons hockey sticks are so expensive:
It doesn’t take an advanced degree in engineering to know, or at least assume, carbon fiber is a lot more expensive to produce and source than wood or aluminum.
We all understand where wood comes from… right?! And processing aluminum isn’t easy or cheap but it’s affordable enough to use for foil and cans.
Whereas, producing carbon fiber is resource and energy-intensive and therefore originally reserved for industries where performance is far-and-away the #1 priority over cost, like aerospace, defense, and motorsports.
And like other materials, not all carbon fiber is created equal.
Discount hockey stick companies source heavier, brittle carbon fiber. Plus, discount sticks are often times supplemented with sheets of less-expensive materials, not made of 100% carbon fiber layers. This results in a heavier hockey stick that lacks responsiveness and durability.
Small sheets of 3k, 12k, and 18k twill carbon fiber – 18k being widely considered the best material for hockey sticks
Elite level hockey sticks use premium carbon fiber: lighter, stronger and most often 18k+ twill carbon fiber. Building a hockey stick from 100% premium carbon fiber delivers a durable, ultralight, and high-performing hockey stick… but considerably more expensive to produce than the discount options.
*Trade secret: some “top-of-the-line” hockey stick companies cut weight by shedding layers of carbon fiber, but the very best source cutting-edge materials. For example, the DiamondLight Carbon Fiber used to produce the HPC X1X was originally designed for rocket ships and Formula 1 race cars, where performance and weight are critical, making the X1X incredibly responsive, durable and lightweight – a senior weighs only 375 grams!
Compared to shaping raw timber or casting molten aluminum, manufacturing one-piece carbon fiber hockey sticks is very labor-intensive.
*Note: this isn’t being written after a little online research… Instead, we (the founders of the HPC) traveled overseas, China specifically (where 95%+ of all hockey sticks worldwide are manufactured), to see the entire process first hand.
Not only were we blown away with the skill and craftsmanship of the workers, but we were also amazed to see how many people are involved in producing just one carbon fiber hockey stick.
Production of carbon fiber hockey sticks can be broken down into three main stages: design, manufacturing, and decoration.
The physical specs (shaft shape, taper, hosel, kick point, length, blade core, patterns, etc.) and aesthetic of the hockey stick are brainstormed, designed, tested, and finalized in the design stage.
Skilled carbon fiber craftsmen expertly bring the physical stick to life in the manufacturing stage, meticulously layering, wrapping, molding, and fusing the carbon fiber into a true one-piece hockey stick.
Last, before packaging and shipping, the one-piece carbon fiber sticks are elaborately decorated over a number of steps, first applying the wrap, then a clear coat, and finishing with the grip.
It is easy to see why one-piece carbon fiber hockey sticks, just between materials and labor, are considerably more expensive than wood and aluminum sticks.
A number of NHL players are paid six-to-seven-figure endorsement deals to promote a brand’s newest model stick. Take for instance Crosby’s 6-year endorsement deal with Adidas (CCM’s parent company at the time) worth an estimated $1.5 million per year.
We’re all hockey players here, no one is mad at the players for getting paid but clearly, endorsements cost the end consumer.
And considering one brand has McDavid, Crosby, Ovechkin, Burns, Tavares, and MacKinnon signed to long-term deals, it’s obvious they have an exorbitant amount of cash committed to endorsements alone. Not to mention the costs of creating the marketing campaigns around these athletes and their massive advertising budgets – all being added to the MSRP of their hockey sticks.
Player endorsements don’t add to the performance or durability of the hockey stick. Instead, all their added cost is used to convince consumers their products are worth a premium. But are they?
Do Sid and Ovi really love their stick more than the next model? How about those million-dollar checks?
4. Retail Markup
Retailers take on considerable overhead expenses (i.e. rent, utilities, wages, etc.) to offer customers the convenience of a product right now (assuming it’s in stock) with only the profit margin of their products to pay the bills.
But if you don’t need a hockey stick this very second, is it worth paying a 50% premium to a middleman?!
Take, for instance, CCM. Their top of the line SuperTacks AS2 Pro retails for $279.99 but cost the retailer $187.00 or even less if they place a large order. Here’s a picture straight out a retail buyer’s guide:
The same goes for the CCM Ribcor Trigger 4 Pro: retail $279.99, wholesale $187.00…
Wouldn’t you love direct-to-you, wholesale pricing too?!
5. Big Company Profits
Hockey, like many sports, is a big business with large companies involved.
For instance, Bauer Hockey, once owned by Nike, was part of a sale (which also included Easton) for $575 million to Sagard Holdings Inc. and Fairfax Financial Holding Ltd. investment firms in 2017.
Similarly, CCM was owned by publicly-traded Adidas before being sold to Canadian private equity firm, Birch Hill Equity Partners for $110 million in 2017.
And nothing turns-on big business investors like the prospect of growing profits. And what’s the easiest way to increase profit? Raise prices.
We see the same dog-and-pony show every year: each big name brand announces revolutionary technology that will turn any squirt or beer leaguer into a bonafide NHL 50-goal scorer.
For only $300 you’ll have a “12% faster snapshot” compared to last year’s model (actual Bauer claim) that gets systematically discounted from $300 to $279 to $249 to $199 over the course of a year.
Apparently, their “technology” depreciates faster than a new car.
Thanks to expenses like $300 hockey sticks, hockey is reserved for affluent families with disposable income. The ideal group of people to exploit on price, as performance and quality are priority #1.
But what about the people who can’t drop $300 on a whim? Or those of us that want an elite-performing stick that lasts but without all the added “fluff?” Who likes wasting money anyway?
Like a great teammate, the Hockey Players Club has your back.
The Hockey Players Club X1X is one of the lightest sticks on the market. A senior weighs only 375 grams. That’s 15 grams lighter than the Vapor Flylite and $100 cheaper. But we didn’t cut weight by shedding material, instead, we sourced lighter, stronger carbon fiber.
Our 18k DiamondLight Carbon Fiber is incredibly light and undeniably durable and responsive.
Our patented Fast Draw Taper technology combines a low kick flex point and tapered hosel optimizing energy transfer from the shaft to the blade for a lightning-quick release.
Our Dual Hybrid Core blade construction features a unique aerospace foam reinforced with two horizontal braids of DiamondLight carbon fiber producing a perfectly balanced stick with a noticeably light and soft feel.
Plus, our Durablade System minimizes cracking and chipping by fortifying the edges of the X1X blade with extra layers of DiamondLight Carbon Fiber, resulting in unparalleled durability and a blade that maintains its stiffness for an explosive release over the life of the stick.
Not to mention all the “little details” like double concave sidewalls and grip punchouts on the shaft, and a 3D sandpaper blade finish — all enhancing the player’s comfort and control of the puck.
But, we’ve saved you all the other fluff…
- We don’t pay any NHL players to use our sticks. Put a Hockey Players Club X1X hockey stick in your hands and you’ll quickly feel it’s the real deal.
- We sell and ship all HPC products directly to your door, cutting out the retail middleman, saving our customers more than 30% on average!
- We’re a small company founded by a couple of hockey players who skate every day. No quarterly shareholder meetings to demand higher prices and profits. We’re proud to serve our hockey family with premium products for a fair price.
That is how the Hockey Players Club delivers an elite performing stick to your door for $100+ less than the other guys.
What are you really paying for??
With a great selection of sticks that ship the same day ordered (if ordered before 2 PM EST), the Hockey Players Club X1X hockey stick can be delivered in 2-5 days anywhere in the United States and ships internationally.
Or, build a custom X1X hockey stick perfectly around your game by selecting your color, one of 6 curves (HPC curve chart), flex, grip or non-grip finish, and customize your nameplate like a pro, all for FREE. Your fully custom X1X hockey stick will be produced and delivered in 8-10 weeks.
Custom HPC X1X hockey sticks can be ordered in 7 different colors.
But don’t just take our word for it, see what customers of the Hockey Players Club X1X have to say:
And what former NHL hockey player, Christian Hanson thought about his new X1X twig:
The Hockey Players Club X1X hockey sticks are wholly designed, tested, used, and distributed by hockey players, for hockey players.
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Hockey stick materials
Traditionally, field hockey sticks were made of wood, specifically mulberry wood. With the development of the game, technologies improved, and later the fields for playing hockey received an artificial backfill covering, which must be filled / watered with water before the game. In connection with such changes, the production of field hockey sticks is also not standing still.
In the 1990s, aluminum grips became popular as they increased the impact force of the club dramatically, but as a result, the injury rate among players increased as well.The International Ice Hockey Federation reacted to this by banning the use of any metal components in the clubs.
Today, some golf clubs have begun using “space age” composite / composite materials such as fiberglass, carbon fiber and Kevlar . Although initially prejudiced against composite golf clubs, their continued development has led to widespread acceptance. Composite materials have been combined with traditional wood (wood) to make the clubs lighter and stronger, and this is achieved only with the wooden components in the club.
Wooden field hockey sticks
Hockey hook made from a single piece of wood: For many years, field hockey sticks were made by hand from solid pieces of mulberry wood, the mechanical properties of which combined strength and flexibility. Nevertheless, as the game developed, the disadvantages of such clubs became noticeable: it was necessary to increase the size of the hook. Attempts to recreate the semblance of modern clubs with elongated or rounded hooks (see.Section Hook Shape) from a single piece of wood in most cases only proved the impossibility of making a monolithic hook that could withstand ever-increasing loads.
Hook making with laminated technology: To address the problem of hook strength, manufacturers have fundamentally changed the technology of making hockey sticks by combining a traditional handle made from a single piece of wood with a hook made using laminated technology. The lamination process, which involves joining several layers of wood, allowed the hook to be given the necessary strength and resilience.The very first models made with this technology were prone to delamination, when the glued layers of wood disintegrated (especially under the influence of moisture). Over time, this problem was eliminated with the help of new gluing technologies and proper care of the club. Thus, lamination technology has been successfully used in the manufacture of modern wooden field hockey sticks.
Strengthening / Increasing Strength: The ever-increasing demands of players for stronger, more durable clubs have prompted manufacturers to search for materials and methods that could meet new consumer demands.The ubiquitous use of space-age materials and their declining costs have encouraged golf club manufacturers to combine some of these new materials in order to make the best use of them in golf clubs. In the earliest models, new materials were used in very limited quantities, for example, in the form of stripes on the playing side of the handle, to give the stick more durability. Modern technology used in the manufacture of high-end golf clubs involves the use of braided synthetic fibers, composed of various polymers of the latest generation, to strengthen the handle of the club.In addition, additional protective strips are glued to the playing surfaces of the club, which increase its strength and wear resistance.
Modern field hockey sticks, both wooden and fully synthetic, use a variety of material combinations and properties to increase their strength and sensitivity. In this section, we offer you an overview of the various materials, their mechanical properties and their possible applications.
FIBERGLASS | KEVLAR / ARAMID FIBER | CARBON FIBER
Fiberglass: Cheap and practical, fiberglass is made from thin strands of glass, often intertwined and held together with rosin, to help increase the strength and resilience of wooden clubs and reduce wear and tear on vulnerable parts such as the hook.
Kevlar / Aramid: This fibrous material is often used in bulletproof vests and sports equipment because it combines strength and elasticity at the same time. Kevlar, or Aramid as it is commonly called, gives the stick more strength than fiberglass.
Carbon Fiber: Thin, expensive and very light carbon fiber filaments are made into fabrics or ribbons.Carbon fiber is very dense and durable. It is used in high-tech industries such as Formula 1 racing because carbon fiber combines strength and light weight. Thanks to carbon fiber, it is possible to increase the rigidity of field hockey sticks, and thus significantly increase the striking power of such sticks. Simply put, the higher the carbon fiber content of the golf club, the stronger it is. The disadvantage of carbon fiber is its vulnerability to various external factors, which can cause damage to it.Therefore, carbon fiber is often used in conjunction with Kevlar / Aramid, which makes the stick resistant to breakage.
Rosin: A range of adhesive substances that, when hardened, turn into a wear-resistant, hard material with high strength. Rosin is used for various purposes. By itself, it provides reliable protection against wear when playing with sticks on backfill and flood surfaces, and therefore it is often used to create a protective layer in the manufacture of both wooden clubs and clubs made of composite materials.Rosin can be used in conjunction with other composite materials such as fiberglass, kevlar / aramid and carbon fiber, and then be an excellent bonding material for the tapes used to glue the golf clubs, or, if the club is made entirely of composite materials, its main constituent material. which holds together the inner layer of reinforcing fiber and the outer layer of fiber that makes the stick stiff.
Today’s field hockey sticks, made of composite materials, differ significantly from their rather heavy and bulky prototypes, and meet the parameters of traditional wooden sticks in these indicators.
Composite sticks are made from a variety of materials that are bonded together using rosin and then placed in a mold to combine all parts of the stick to obtain the desired shape, dimensions and stiffness. After cooling, the clubs are dyed and varnished to make them look good.
The cross-section (see picture on the left) illustrates standard 2-channel technology designed to achieve the ideal strength-to-weight ratio as required by today’s standards.Various combinations of fiber content used in the manufacture of the club allow the manufacture of models with different playing parameters, i.e. the higher the carbon fiber content, the stiffer and more expensive the stick will be; the higher the fiberglass content, the cheaper and more elastic it will be.
Wood or composite stick
For years, the hockey community has argued which is better: a wooden stick or a stick made of composite materials.This section will tell you about the various advantages and disadvantages of each of the above club technologies and will help you make your choice in favor of a particular club.
Misconception: Fédération Hockey (Fédération Internationale) (the agency that sets the rules for the game of field hockey) restrictions do not allow the use of sticks made of composite materials, which have a higher impact force than comparable wooden sticks.
Arguments in favor of wood:
- Wood is cheaper than composites and therefore wooden sticks are more affordable.
- The natural characteristics of wood provide a softer ball feel that will appeal to many players, including professional league players.
Arguments Against Wood:
- Since the clubs are handmade, it is difficult to find two clubs that are exactly the same in terms of parameters.
- The quality of a wooden club depends on the quality of the wood from which it is made, its density and the degree of moisture content in it, all this can lead to the fact that two clubs of the same type will have different playing qualities.
- Without additional protection, the tree is more susceptible to wear when playing in backfill fields.
- Wood tends to absorb moisture, which reduces club impact and increases the risk of equipment breakage.
- Wooden clubs have a smaller sweet spot for impact force.
Arguments in favor of composite materials:
- Sticks made of lightweight composite materials provide the best balance according to the strength-to-impact ratio.
- The physical properties of the composites used in the golf clubs increase the so-called “sweet spot” of the hook and thereby optimize the impact force.
- Composite sticks have a specific weight, stiffness and impact force, so if you use a specific brand of club, you can be completely sure that a similar club from the same brand will have exactly the same playing characteristics.
- The use of rosin as a bonding material contributes to the fact that in the future various products for the care of the club will have a higher degree of impact on its surface, which will prolong its life.
Arguments Against Composite Materials:
- Stiffer incomplete ball feel, although due to the fact that progress does not stand still, this disadvantage is becoming less noticeable.
- The material and manufacturing costs of the clubs make them more expensive than any wooden club with similar playing properties.
(1): “Kevlar” (Kevlar) Trademark for elastic synthetic fiber (strength 5 times that of steel). Developed by scientists at DuPont [DuPont de Nemours, E. I.] in 1965; found commercial use in the early 70s. Bulletproof vests, sports equipment are made of Kevlar fabric, it is used in the production of car tires, etc.
90,000 “Pro Sticks” – Part One.Materials – HockeyScience – Blogs
Hello! We have chosen the skates, now we are choosing the club!
A hockey stick is the main weapon of any hockey player. The production of clubs in the world is constantly improving, experts use more and more new materials, introduce new technologies, which allows us to meet the growing needs of professional athletes. The choice of hockey sticks is huge, for every taste and color. Inexperienced hockey players often find it difficult to choose one model.Let’s try to figure out how to choose the right hockey stick, spending a minimum of money and getting the maximum convenience.
According to tradition, first, let’s watch the video of the Discovery TV channel about how golf clubs are made today:
When choosing a club, you must first of all take into account the age of the player and his weight. Depending on age, all produced clubs can be divided into the following groups:
1) From 4 years old – up to 7 – children’s clubs. The product bears the yth mark.
2) From 7 to 14 years old – teenage clubs (marked jr).
3) From 14 years old – up to 17 – youth clubs (with int mark).
4) Older than 17 years old – adult hockey sticks (with sr marking).
For hockey players weighing less than 70 kg, youth sticks are more suitable.
Next, select the material:
Wooden sticks – quite cheap, but not durable.They are made from several layers of wood, which are glued together and covered with plastic or fiberglass, but in a thin layer. Wooden golf clubs are becoming more and more popular. Their advantage is that they allow good control of the puck. But there are also disadvantages. Wood is capable of bending, deforming and changing rigidity. Plus, they are solid. One-piece clubs cannot be disassembled. Therefore, if a breakdown occurs, you will have to buy new ones. Due to the large weight of wooden sticks, hands quickly get tired and, as a result, the hockey player plays worse.
Wooden hockey stick is suitable for a beginner player. It allows you to better feel the dynamics. With a stick made of wood, young athletes can work out a wrist throw, pass, click, bringing these techniques to automatism.
Sticks can also be compound. In these clubs, parts are purchased separately and connected with thermoplastic glue. These clubs are cheaper to use because they are more expensive to use. in case of breakage, one of the parts can be replaced. Moreover, the hockey player can use hooks of different shapes.Professionals play only with solid clubs, because in quality they are much superior to those that consist of separate parts.
Composite sticks – they are durable, but much more expensive. The advantages of such clubs include a low weight indicator. It ranges from 400 to 500 g. The disadvantage is the rather high cost of the products. This is explained by the fact that currently high technologies and expensive materials are used for the manufacture of composite golf clubs.These include: fiberglass, kevlar, carbon fiber, carbon fiber, titanium.
Fiberglass is the very first composite material used to cover a wooden club. Such clubs are not widely used, because they did not allow full puck control. Currently, fiberglass is used as a joint material for wood, Kevlar and carbon fiber.
Carbon is the most popular material. It is used in the manufacture of hockey sticks, which are preferred not only by amateurs, but also by professional hockey players.Previously, only the handle was carbon fiber, but now the hook and the handle are a single whole. Carbon sticks combine the properties of two materials: wood and aluminum. The hooks have a precise hook angle that allows you to feel in control of the puck. The disadvantages include a rather high cost and fragility.
Kevlar is also one of the components of popular composite putters. This material is known as bulletproof. Kevlar was originally intended to extend the hook life of aluminum hockey poles.In addition, Kevlar perfectly complemented the fragile wood material and carbon fiber. It is especially popular nowadays. Thanks to the use of this material, the durability of the clubs is increased. It is flexible enough not to weigh down the sticks and allows you to exercise control over the puck.
Titanium is also used in the design and manufacture of modern golf clubs. The handle is usually titanium coated. The hook remains wood or carbon. In some other golf clubs, titanium only serves as an additive to carbon or wood.Titanium makes golf clubs lighter, more flexible and more durable.
This concludes the first part of my story about choosing a hockey stick. Thank you for attention.
Read more tomorrow …
Repair of hockey sticks – Prosharp-Ekb
After the repair, the hockey stick adds only 20 to 40 grams in weight, and the characteristics of the hockey stick practically do not change. Of course, the stick becomes stiffer in deflection, flexes by 5-10, but this cannot be avoided.After all, the stick most often breaks precisely in the places where the pipe bends and where the washers are received in the hook. In some cases, breakage occurs from the tearing of the layers of carbon fiber in the club when it accidentally falls under the sharp blade of the skate or the washer falls into the pipe. Sometimes these actions lead to partial destruction of the inner layers of the club, and sometimes to a complete fracture. Therefore, it is important to determine whether there is destruction of the inner layers or not. If there are any, you have to cut them down, otherwise expect breakage over the repair site.
Why carbon? The advantage of carbon over other materials is due to its outstanding properties. First of all, it is light weight and at the same time tremendous strength, as well as high stability and excellent resistance to fatigue. The combination of all these advantages in one material makes it unique and irreplaceable in many industries.
Repair of goalkeeper sticks. The modern goalkeeper hockey stick is also most often made of carbon.Of course, we are talking about top-level goalkeeper sticks. They are made of carbon fiber for minimum weight. Since carbon is an expensive material, the cost of a new goalkeeper stick is very affordable. Therefore, if your goalkeeper stick has fallen into disrepair, do not rush to throw it away. Repairing a goalkeeper hockey stick will cost slightly more than repairing a player’s stick. The goalkeeper’s stick is simply larger and often breaks in several places, which is why the labor intensity and material consumption is higher.The cost of repairing a goalkeeper’s stick is determined on an individual basis, depending on the nature of the damage. Very often, you bring us the goalkeeper’s sticks, indicating the location of the problem and removing the tape only in this place. Most of the club remains wrapped in tape. After the start of the repair, we have to remove the tape from the rest of the club and here we are faced with the fact that the club is destroyed (broken) in several more places. Accordingly, the cost of repairing a goalkeeper’s stick increases significantly and the question arises as to the advisability of such a repair.
Therefore, we kindly ask you, before sending the club for repair, please remove all tape and carefully inspect the club.
This will allow you to see for yourself possible problems with your club.
There are certainly cases when goalkeeper stick repair is not economically feasible. In this case, we will warn you about this before the repair.
Reliability of hockey stick repair. The composite stick is broken – do not rush to throw it away, the stick can be repaired.
Many people think that composite golf clubs bought for that kind of money shouldn’t break at all! We must admit that we thought so too, especially when you consider that the older generation of golf clubs were much cheaper than modern composite clubs. But, having got acquainted with the design, materials and manufacturing technology, we can say with confidence that the stick remained a consumable for playing hockey, despite the cost! The variety of design features suggests that manufacturers sometimes do not know how to increase the life of the club, or do not want to (we must buy new ones).On the other hand, modern aerospace materials and composites are used in the manufacture, but it turned out to be much more difficult to calculate the loads for the club mathematically than the wing or propeller of an aircraft. The loads and influences are too varied. So the new hockey stick is bound to break, the only question is when, how long will it live?
To date, we have repaired a large number of clubs, we have gained a unique experience! The tube connection is so reliable that it almost never breaks at the place of repair!
Types of breakdowns and maintainability of hockey composite sticks. There are a lot of options for breakage of hockey sticks, since each manufacturer uses its own technology and design. Based on the experience of repair, testing of repaired clubs, a more or less clear gradation of breakdowns and their maintainability has developed. Strictly speaking, any club can be repaired, but sometimes it is not advisable from a financial point of view. During the repair, the materials from which the manufacturers themselves make the clubs are used, but the cost of these materials: carbon fabrics, and epoxy systems – leaves much to be desired.All imported materials are very expensive, which makes the cost of club repairs high, however, as well as the cost of a new composite club.
Club repair warranty. 100% guarantee on the inner tube connection means that if you manage to break the tube in the same place where it was glued, we will re-repair it free of charge, and if the stick breaks again, we will refund your money.
Provision of a guarantee for the hook – is negotiated in each specific case by the master, and with a standard hook repair it is 30 days.
This is not a whim, but a forced necessity. The fact is that in the process of using composite golf clubs (under shock loads) so-called “fatigue” failures occur. Each hit of the washer in the hook leads to micro damage – cracks and breaks in the fibers of the reinforcing fabric, which “accumulate” and inevitably lead to breakage in the future. The delicacy of the repair is that you cannot see such damage, but it always exists and inevitably leads to the next breakdown. By the way, it is often such invisible damage that leads to a suspiciously quick breakdown of a seemingly intact hockey stick purchased from professional hockey players. The pros hit the puck the hardest, making the puck more tired.
DIY golf club repair. Many people are wondering how to repair golf clubs with their own hands? It is really possible to repair a hockey stick on your own, but for this you need to find and purchase the appropriate glue (and it costs a lot and is sold in large containers), materials for repairing the appropriate density and structure, and also know the basics of resistance of materials. You will also need a minimum set of tools, a miter saw, a grinder, and overalls.
Important: special attention should be paid to special protection, primarily of the respiratory and vision organs. The dust that is released during golf club repair is extremely dangerous to human lungs, and inexpensive respirators are not able to protect properly.
RELY YOUR STICK REPAIRS ONLY TO PROFESSIONALS!
You can repair your hockey stick, sharpen your hockey or figure skates on professional Prosharp equipment in the multi-purpose workshop “ PROSHARP – EKB ”
Purchase a hockey stick | SkatePro
If you are looking to buy a new ice hockey or quad hockey stick, then you should be guided by your level, height and playing style.The sticks are made of wood and composite materials with different stiffness. In this guide, we’ll help you choose the golf club that’s right for you.
The correct stick affects your play, and it doesn’t matter if you play ice hockey, quads or street hockey. Therefore, it is very important not to buy the first club you see. Keep in mind some criteria when choosing a golf club such as material, stiffness, your height compared to the club, and your dominant hand.
Ice hockey sticks or quad hockey sticks?
The choice of stick size is the same as for ice hockey, quads and street hockey, but you cannot use the same stick on ice, indoors and outdoors.Some sticks are better suited for ice hockey when others are made for quad hockey. Usually, wooden sticks are better for quad hockey as they are more durable and heavier, but you can also use a stick made of wood and composite material with ease. Note that if you buy an ice hockey stick and use it outdoors or indoors, the lifespan of the hook will be significantly reduced due to the rapid deterioration of the wood hook.
Stick Sticks – Wood or Composite
Ice sticks or quad hockey sticks are made of either wood or composite material.A composite consists of several materials combined into one whole.
Sticks made of wood are cheaper, but when the hook is worn out, the whole stick must be replaced. Wooden poles are heavier and stiffer than composite poles.
For sticks made of composite materials (eg materials such as graphite, carbon fiber, Kevlar and titanium) the hook can be replaced. The price is usually more expensive than wooden sticks, but in return you get a stronger, lighter stick.
There are two standard sizes: adult and junior golf clubs.
- Adult golf clubs are intended for older players who are able to control harder golf clubs. These clubs are heavier and longer and have a larger hook. The length of the stick (without the hook) usually ranges from 140cm to 158cm (4’8 “-5’3”).
- Youth clubs are thinner, lighter and more flexible. The length of the stick (without the hook) usually ranges from 116cm to 138cm (3’10 “- 4’7”).
The length of the club is measured without the hook. In the previous section (see size) you can read about the standard club sizes.
Find the correct size by following these two steps:
- With your skates on, place your hand on your side and grasp the end of the club. Bend your arm slightly and continue to hold the club close to you. If the nose of the hook points slightly upwards, then the length is correct.
- Hold the stick upright in front of you with the hook on the floor and the stick pointed towards your chin.You can find the correct stick length:
- With skates on: The tip of the stick does not reach above your chin.
- No skates wearing: the tip of the hockey stick does not reach above your nose.
Long or short stick
Short golf clubs provide better control, while long clubs offer the ability to hit harder and have a wider range. Therefore, many strikers prefer short clubs, while defenders prefer long clubs.
Tip: Some players buy a longer stick because they can cut it to the length they want.
Rigidity – Resilience and Flexibility of the Stick
Stick stiffness refers to the degree of elasticity and flexibility of the stick. Stiffness affects puck control and required shooting power:
- The softer the stick, the more flexible it is.
- The stiffer the stick, the more resilient it is.
Sticks generally range from medium flex (85) to extra flex (110).As stiffness increases, the weight of the stick increases, which gives more power for the throw.
- Beginners are advised to use medium hard golf clubs to feel the puck. The feel of the puck is lost if the stick is too stiff.
- Strong and advanced players are encouraged to choose a harder stick to use and transmit their power when throwing.
The hook or fold of a club is usually made of wood and is sometimes reinforced with other materials such as plastic, fiberglass, or carbon fiber.Quad hockey hooks are usually made of composite materials such as wood / plastic / fiberglass.
Right or left stick?
Sticks marked as L or R:
- L – for players with a hook on the left side of their body
- R- for players with a hook on the right side of their body
Whether you are left-handed or right-handed does not affect buying a left (L) or right (R) putter. The side of the putter depends on which side you drive the puck on during play.
To understand which side is preferred, you can grab the club with both hands, so that it is comfortable for you, and stand in the same position as when casting the puck.
- You should choose the left stick (L) if you drive the puck from the left side and keep your right hand over your left when grabbing the stick.
- You should choose the right stick (R) if you drive the puck from the right side and keep your left hand over your right when grabbing the stick.
Check out our selection of ice hockey sticks or quad hockey sticks.
Hockey sticks and everything you need to know about them
Surely, everyone knows what are hockey sticks. Children and adults will answer that this is a sports equipment used to play hockey. It has the shape of a long rod with a bend and expansion at the end. The part that is driven and hit is called the hook. It can be of different shapes and lengths.
The stick only seems simple. In fact, during the existence of hockey, it has come a long way and has changed a lot.We will try to tell you briefly about this evolution.
What kinds of hockey sticks are there?
Sticks are divided according to different criteria:
- – length,
- – hook shape;
- – the age of the players for whom they are made;
- – the player’s leading hand.
- – flexibility.
- The material largely determines the other characteristics of the club (including appearance). Therefore, it is so important to understand what and how hockey sticks are made.
Let’s look at the main materials and production technologies in this area.
Maple and willow were the first materials for making hockey sticks. Over time, as the popularity of hockey increased, yellow birch and oak were used for hockey sticks. Their wood is also of very high quality, but behaves differently during processing.
Over time, oak has supplanted other types of wood from the sphere of club making.
In the 1940s, the first began to make clubs with a layered handle. Several layers of wood were held together with glue and pressed together. This gave the sports equipment significantly more flexibility and durability.
Twenty years later (in the 1960s), a new leap took place. The surface of the club was laminated with fiberglass and other synthetic materials. This extended the life of the clubs even further, but many players found it difficult to get used to the new product.The main advantages of such a stick are: low price and a good sense of control over the puck. A significant disadvantage is a short service life.
These sticks only had an aluminum handle. The hook was made of wood or composite materials. The fashion for them was short-lived and at the moment about one percent of all professionals in the NHL play with aluminum clubs.
Fiberglass was the first man-made material to be used in golf clubs.Basically, a protective coating was made from it. Experiments have also been carried out with pure fiberglass clubs. But such models were deemed unsuccessful due to insufficient puck control.
Nowadays the most popular clubs are made of carbon fiber and Kevlar. In different models, you will find different combinations of these composite materials with wood and even titanium.
By the way, it is this light and durable alloy that has become an alternative to aluminum in the manufacture of cuttings in clubs.
Here’s a tricky thing – a simple hockey stick.
90,000 Types of clubs and hook bends in table
The main characteristics of a hockey stick’s hook shape are the angle, position and depth of the bend, the curvature of the plane, and the shape of the toe. When choosing the shape of the hook, they are repelled, first of all, from the preferences of the athlete himself.
Hockey sticks are designed for four age groups:
- Children (youth, yth), 4-7 years old. The length of children’s products is 106-114 cm (42-45 inches).
- Juniors (junior, jr), 7-14 years old. The length of the junior garments is 119-132 cm (47-52 inches).
- Teens (intermediate, int), 14-17 years old. Length for teenage garments – 137-145cm (54-57 inches).
- Adults (senior, sr). Adult length 142-157 cm (56-62 inches). Adult hockey players of small stature and weight often acquire teenage hockey sticks.
Left or right
The choice of stick (left or right) depends on the optimal stick grip. It is easy to define it: take a golf club in your hands and listen to your feelings. If you’re comfortable with your left hand higher than your right, get a right stick. If vice versa, when the right is higher than the left – the left.
Wood or composite
Wooden clubs are heavy, not very durable and not very expensive.For their manufacture, aspen, birch, etc. are used. The composite stick is lighter and more durable. But it costs more than wood. Composite products are made of fiberglass, graphite, kevlar, titanium. When choosing between a wooden club and a composite club, start with your budget first.
One piece or from a certain number of elements
Wooden club – one-piece product. If it breaks, you have to throw it away. Composite sticks come in one piece or multi-piece.A broken composite stick can be repaired by gluing the parts together. In addition, if you wish, you can make another bend of its feathers, the length of the stick, etc.
According to the degree of hardness
The stiffness of a hockey stick is determined by the weight of the athlete. Each manufacturer has its own stiffness range, but EASTON is considered the benchmark. According to this system, this value ranges from 40 to 115 – corresponding to the weight of the hockey player in kilograms.
- soft (whip) – 65-75;
- regular – 75-85;
- rigid (stiff) – 85-100;
- extra stiff (x-stiff) – 100-110;
- extra hard (xx-stiff) – 110-120.
In addition, the stiffness of the club must be appropriate for a specific age group:
- Adult Sticks (SR) – 75, 85, 100, 110 or 115;
- teen clubs (INT) – 60 or 65;
- junior and children (JR, YTH) – 50 and 40, respectively.
|AGE GROUP||EASTON||BAUER||REEBOK / CCM||WARRIOR|
|ADULTS (SENIOR)||–||–||XXX-Stiff 60 (120)||–|
|115||–||XX-Stiff 55 (115)||–|
|110||112 Pro Stiff||X-Stiff 50 (110)||110|
|100||102 Pro||Stiff 45 (100)||100|
|95||95 Pro Mid||–||–|
|85||87 Reg||Regular 40 (85)||85|
|TEENAGERS (INTERMEDIATE)||–||75 Int Flex||Mid 35 (75)||70|
|65||67 Int Flex||Light 30||–|
|60||60 Int Flex||–||55|
|JUNIOR||fifty||52 Flex||Jr 20 (50)||fifty|
Hook Bend Shape Options
The main parameters that characterize the shape of the club hook are the angle, place and depth of the bend, the curvature of the plane and the shape of the nose.If you are new to hockey, choose a hook that has a round toe, a 5-6 angle, and a shallow bend.
Before purchasing a hockey stick, you should familiarize yourself with these parameters in more detail.
The value of the angle between the plane of the hook and the handle of the club ranges from 4.5 to 6: the higher the number, the sharper the angle. Usually, the athlete himself determines the angle that is optimal for him: if he is selected correctly, the club will lie on the ice surface with the entire shape of the hook, and the insulating tape on it will wear off evenly.
- During the game, lead the puck in front of you, leaning low on the ice? Purchase a low angle club.
- Keep the puck close to your body and try not to lose sight of it? Your best bet is a high angle stick.
The shape of the toe of the hook is also different: round, square, which is something in between.
- The round toe will allow you to choose the puck “for yourself” and will be the best choice for a striker who is skilled in the stroke;
The 90,089 square toe adds extra comfort to defenders who often play at the boards.
The hook bend is the heel, mid, or toe. Hooks with a curl at the heel allow you to easily lift the puck, a curl at the toe to keep it under control. The center hook is a compromise.
The player’s dribbling and passing accuracy depend on the depth of the hook. A club with a strong hook bend is difficult to play. Having decided to purchase just such, realistically assess your capabilities and think how much you need it.
The curvature of the hook plane determines the speed of lifting the puck, which is especially important when making one-touch shots. Experts recommend purchasing sticks with hooks of large curvature only for players with sufficient experience.
|LENGTH||FACIAL ANGLE||Bend||SOCK||HOOK MOUNTING ANGLE (SR)||HOOK MOUNTING ANGLE (JR)|
|P92 LIE 5||middle||open||mid-toe||round||five||five|
Speaking of this parameter, we mean hockey sticks, which consist of two elements: sticks and interchangeable hooks (for example, Fischer sticks).Each of these parts can be regular or narrowed. A regular hook will only fit a regular stick, a narrowed one – to a narrowed one.
- The tapered hook has a narrow and short stalk. With its help, the deflection point shifts downward and enhances the hockey shot. Tapered hooks are more expensive than conventional hooks, and the choice is limited.
- Some regular hooks are as playable as tapered hooks. Which one you play depends only on your preferences.
The top coat of the golf clubs can be of three types:
- Grip is an anti-slip coating that allows the hockey player to securely fix his hand on the shaft.This coating prevents the handle in the athlete’s lower hand from turning during the throw, so he loses a minimum amount of energy. However, this coverage also has a significant disadvantage – it makes it difficult for the player’s hand to move along the shaft during dribbling.
- Clear – a glossy and smooth finish, thanks to which the lower hand easily glides on the shaft and, depending on the playing situation, changes its position. A strong throw can cause the handle to rotate partially in the lower hand.
- Matte is a matte, rough textured coating that combines the advantages of the first two. Thanks to this coating, the hockey player’s hand glides perfectly on the shaft, but it is securely fixed during the throw. However, there are some nuances: matte provides better glide than clear, but weaker hold than grip.
The hook is wrapped from heel to toe. Preventing its rapid wear is simple: you need to stick a strip of electrical tape on the edge in contact with the ice coating, and then wrap the entire hook.There will be no interference from the additional strip during the game, but the life of the club hook will last several times. The handle of the club is wrapped with a special grip tape: it does not allow the player’s hand to slide.
Named Club Curls
The most famous hockey product (in accordance with the reviews of both professionals and amateurs) of Russian manufacturers are the Zaryad sticks. Denis Zaripov and Metallurg Magnitogorsk players took part in their creation.These products have one feature that attracts hockey fans: each version of the shape of the hook of such a stick has its own designation. For example:
- Zagib Mozyakin is one of the most popular R-92 forwards. Its angle is 5.5, depth is 12 mm, median type. Allows you to control the puck, perform strokes, feints and wrist shots.
- Zagib Medvedev is one of the most popular among defenders of R-02. Its angle is 5.5, depth is 12 mm, calcaneal type.Allows you to pick the puck, play near the boards, perform powerful clicks.
When choosing a hockey stick – the most difficult moment in the selection of sports equipment – it is necessary to take into account many nuances. One of them is the hook bend. Be careful, in no case can you make a mistake!
How to choose the right golf club?
Today we are going to talk about how to choose the right remanufactured hockey stick and what is a remanufactured hockey stick?
A refurbished hockey stick is a stick that was broken in the tube, hook, or had any minor defects (heel and toe separation) and was restored in a professional hockey workshop, it depends on the workshop how well the repair is done, the restoration is done by hand by 70% , therefore, a lot depends on the master and on his skill and understanding of working with composite materials.The market for low-quality services is overcrowded, people often do not know how to work correctly with composites and how important it is to comply with all technical standards when working with them.
How to choose the right golf club after repair and what are the differences between a refurbished club and a non-refurbished one?
Let’s immediately discard the “myth” that the repair of the club pipe is more reliable than the repair of the hook, here, as mentioned above, it all depends on the master and on who is more comfortable with which repairs to play.
1.Hook repair by contact pressing.
-Global hook repair (when the whole hook is made), these repairs include: hook break into 2 parts, long delamination, diagonal fractures. After this repair, the hook becomes stiffer, thicker by 2-3 mm, the weight increases by 40-50 grams (if others promise less, just cock before and after), which creates an imbalance, so for those who play at a high level, this repair will deliver discomfort due to the low information content of the hook and the loss of club balance.
Summary: a hockey stick with this repair is suitable for novice players.
Video instruction “Repair of the hook of a hockey stick RS”
-Local repair of the hook (repair of a part of the hook), these repairs include: repair of the toe, repair of the heel, repair of the part of the hockey stick where the hook passes into the shaft, small chips and cracks … After this repair, the hook becomes stiffer only at the place of repair (when playing it is difficult to feel that the hook has become stiffer), the thickness increases by 1-2 mm, only at the place of repair (experienced craftsmen make it so that the transition from the repair part of the hook to the whole is not noticeable , which allows you to preserve the geometry and, as a result, a comfortable game), the weight increases by 10-30 grams, which does not greatly affect the balance of the stick.
Summary: a stick with this repair will suit all players, without exception.
Video instruction “Repair of the hook of a hockey stick RS”
2. Repair of the RS vacuum hook (the hook is repaired using the vacuum infusion method).
A distinctive feature of this repair: the repair is carried out using professional equipment, highly qualified specialists, the resin undergoes mandatory degassing before infusion (all air bubbles are removed from the mixture), and the vacuum infusion process itself removes all excess resin and air.This is what makes it possible to achieve maximum strength with the use of a smaller amount of binder and reinforcing material, and this allows to reduce the weight of the repair (the balance of the stick is not lost) and thickness (the hook does not lose information content). With a global hook repair, the club will add 25-30 grams, with a local repair 5-15 grams.
Summary: a stick with this repair will suit all players, without exception.
Video instruction “Hockey stick repair RS vacuum”
3.Repair of the pipe RS
The repair is carried out by full casting of the carbon insert in the shaft of the stick. This is the most widespread, simple and not technologically advanced method of club pipe repair from which the era of composite golf club repair began. Repair at the very bottom of the pipe, in this case, the balance of the stick changes significantly, while the pipe almost completely retains its flexibility, this option is more suitable for defenders (who do less dribbling), the weight increases by 35-40 grams, flex by 3-5.Repair at the very top of the pipe, the club does not lose deflection, the club balance changes minimally, the weight increases by 35-40 grams, the flex increases by 3-5.
Repair of the pipe in the center, below and above the center of the pipe, the flex increases significantly by 7-10, the weight increases by 35-40 grams. Under loads, a stick usually breaks below or above the place of repair, since all the energy under loads goes exactly to these places (the place of repair is completely blocked for deflection, you can safely give a lifetime warranty for such repairs, because it does not bend, and therefore does not break ).
Summary: a hockey stick with this repair is suitable for novice players.
Video instruction “Repair of the pipe of the hockey stick RS”
4. Repair of the RS PRO pipe (performed by blow molding)
A distinctive feature of this repair: the repair is carried out using professional equipment, highly qualified specialists. The stick adds 12-20 grams in weight, so the balance during repairs anywhere in the pipe changes minimally, the flex increases by 2-3, the stick retains its deflection properties (bends at the place of repair).