Home HockeyBuzz Register Login
"As it Strikes Me"
Buffalo, NY • United States • 35 Years Old • Male
roccowrusso rwrusso
Someone please explain to me how this works: Stick technology is to the point of composite one-piece sticks. Carbon fiber, Kevlar, graphite, etc. For me and you, these sticks can cost up to $240. I'm sure most NHL players get theirs for free, and I'll assume major college programs include sticks in their budgets. AND YET THEY BLOW UP! You would think these things come with self destruct buttons. So how is it that with all this technology to create lightweight composite one-piece sticks, which generate greater torque, etc., they can't make them just a bit stronger and hold up to a slapper from the point? Is this some conspiracy by the manufacturers to sell more sticks?

Listen, I always liked wood over an aluminum shaft/wood blade. I never liked the flex or kick point of a 2-piece. I played with wood Flarrow sticks for years, and shot harder and more accurate than with any 2-piece, even the newer composite shafts. But I've made the switch to one-piece composite sticks, mainly because in the pickup hockey I play a composite 1-piece will last me a year or so, and I've received a few as gifts. And they are nice. But I'm not out there winding up taking slap shots left and right, wondering when my stick is going to snap in two and lead to a turn over. I understand why Gretzky has commented on not liking these things. You see way too many turnovers and players playing without a stick all because these sticks shatter much too frequently. I understand that players are bigger and stronger, and the loading on the shaft will continue to increase. Maybe wood sticks wouldn't be able to hold up to these increased strains either. But how is it that the technology is there to make these sticks light and "responsive", but not durable? Is it a fair trade off? Is the stick handling/passing/shooting that much better to justify the increased lost scoring chances? You tell me.
Filed Under:   Composite sticks blow up  
April 3, 2008 8:16 AM ET | Delete
I only play inline hockey so my experience might not be relevant to this discussion...but I've found that some of the composite models (most notably Easton Synergy) are more reliable than wood. However I have been told that the cold really influences the durability of these sticks. From a defensive perspective, I think a lighter stick enables you to make poke checks and have greater control over your stick.
April 3, 2008 8:38 AM ET | Delete
I've considered the weight factor, but I'm not buying into a professional athlete not being able to handle any stick, wood or composite. We're talking grams, not pounds. I'm no science of materials expert, but I do believe the carbon fiber fatigues after time with the stress and strain of the loading during shooting.
April 3, 2008 8:43 AM ET | Delete
Yeah, especially with the amount of stress they put on the stick. But I think that in a game being played at the highest level, you're probably doing yourself a disservice by playing with a heavier stick. With the speed of the game these days, I imagine these guys are trying to gain every advantage they can get. And if the players are not paying the $240 a pop, I'm sure they don't care how many they go through.
April 3, 2008 9:24 AM ET | Delete
I agree that the lighter the stick, the easier it is to handle. And that they probably don't care how many they break. But it drives me nuts when you end up with a broken play because a stick blows up.
April 3, 2008 10:40 AM ET | Delete
On Tuesday night, I counted 6 broken sticks at the Canes - Caps game. It always seems to happen at the worst times. I remember Ovechkin's rookie year, he would break at least one stick every two games. I think there are about 12 or 13 guys who still use the lumber.
April 3, 2008 10:44 AM ET | Delete
I watched all the NCAA hockey games last weekend, and couldn't believe how many sticks snapped in half, and yes, always at very inopportune times. Same thing in the NHL. I just wonder what the next step is for the stick manufacturers.
April 3, 2008 10:46 AM ET | Delete
i agree whole heartedly of course i am from Tennessee so what do i know. All i know is that the blade usually goes further faster than the puck. Plus, how many times have you seen a slash break a stick? Way fewer than the composites i'll bet. Something is definitely wrong.
April 3, 2008 11:25 AM ET | Delete
I hate composite sticks. What I'd liek to see guys do is keep some wood sticks for the penalty kill. You CANNOT have a stick break when you're down one man, let alone two. I also don't understand guys who are in a checking role, or defensive defenseman using fragile sticks. Why would THEY need an extra 4mph on a shot that they're likely going to miss anyway???
April 3, 2008 1:17 PM ET | Delete
Still using the Easton Aluminum series shaft and replacement blades since 1990. Not noticeably heavier than the current $150 - $250 composites. Definitely stronger. And I can still get the Montreal brand replacement blades with the "Euro Curve". You know the one. The big left handed banana curve.
April 3, 2008 3:34 PM ET | Delete
Remember the Coffey pattern? On those cheap Sherwood's? That thing was insane. I thought they stopped selling them, but just found it online. Huh.
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to leave a comment.