Published on November 21st, 2018 | by Sunit Nandi0
Composite Technology and the Hockey Stick Revolution
Technology, in all forms, has had an impact across every sport around. From football to baseball to hockey, advancements in technology have changed what players use and how the game itself is played.
When it comes to hockey, the technology that has changed how players of all levels play is the introduction of composite hockey sticks.
Composite is a relatively new phenomenon. Hockey sticks were previously made up of wooden handles with a blade attached at the end. They were done in either one or two pieces. In the case of two-piece sticks, if the handle broke, it could be replaced without sacrificing the blade. They were cheap and easy to replace.
Wooden sticks are not found as often anymore and the players who use them are those who strive for a more authentic feel. Composite sticks are new and sleek, but some players crave the authenticity that you get from using a wooden stick.
What is it about Composite?
Once composite sticks hit the scene, it did not take long for them to replace wooden sticks as the most popular type of hockey stick. Composite sticks were one piece, lighter, and offered more power than their predecessors.
Because of how much composite sticks were able to offer, professional players quickly adopted them, working on becoming faster and more powerful than ever before. Wooden sticks were quickly phased out, with composites becoming the preferred choice of competitive players everywhere.
The Downsides of Composite
While composites are the preferred type of hockey stick and the easiest type to be found, they are not without fault.
Composite sticks are more expensive than wooden sticks ever were, manufactured using a variety of products that enhance various features in the stick. The better sticks may be out of the price range of some players and as a result, these players might struggle with their game when others do not, requiring them to work harder to achieve the same skill level.
Composite sticks are also one-piece. This might seem more like a pro, but consider this: when a stick handle breaks on a composite stick, there is no salvaging the stick. It has to be replaced in its entirety. The wooden sticks that were two-piece, had the option to have just the handle replaced, while the wooden sticks that were one-piece were cheaper to replace.
Composite sticks are more durable than wooden sticks, however, so they will need to be replaced less often than wooden sticks. Pros will naturally go through more sticks than less competitive players will.
The Game Itself
Composite sticks have also changed the game itself, opening a world of types of shots that had not been previously explored. Slap shots, for example, are the most explosive move in hockey. Composite sticks have been specifically designed to handle this type of shot, developing six-points along the stick for both shock absorbency and power. As a result, slap shots can move fast and hard without jarring the players’ arms.
A high amount of research and technology has gone into the development of modern composite sticks. The flex, the length, and even the weight can all contribute to how effective you are as a hockey player.
The best part, however, is that sticks have a lot more options that they ever had. Different positions, strengths of players, preference, and even the size of the player themselves all goes into deciding which features you need when looking for a composite hockey stick.
There is no one answer when it comes to the best composite hockey stick, but they have certainly changed the game.