Are composite sticks good for hockey?


| 2 Comments

Over the past century, the science of sports has evolved dramatically. Advances in technology have created different strategies and abilities for the players. In hockey, there has been a complete transformation in the equipment that the players wear and use. The evolution of the hockey stick in the past few decades has created some controversy within the sport. Back in the good old days, players used wooden sticks with no curve of the blade. All the skaters used this stick. Over time, sticks became more specialized. In the 1960's, the curved blade became very popular among players. Forwards used a more curved stick than defenders so they could have get more whip on there wrist shot. The more straight stick used by defenders was better suited for slap shots. The most recent change with the stick was the switch to composite material from the original wood. The new composite sticks have the ability to bend and flex a lot more when taking a shot. images.jpeg

The flexibility from the stick makes shots come off the stick much faster. This has created controversy about the use of composite sticks because they are much more dangerous. Pucks fly off sticks from shots at speeds upwards of 100 mph. Zdeno Chara recently set the record for fastest shot at a speed of 108.8 mph. I have seen instances of players blocking shots and their shin pads snap in half because of the force of the shot. People have broken a foot or an ankle from catching a shot on the skate. Is this good for the sport? The game itself is moving at a faster pace than it used to and players can skate faster and hit harder. Is it necessary to have more of these types of injuries when they are easily preventable by switching back to wooden sticks?

2 Comments

Awesome topic. I've played hockey my whole life starting out with wooden sticks and moving into composite sticks just a few years ago. They definitely make a difference in the game. These sticks do allow for a lot harder of shots, but on the downside they are a lot easier to break as well, which is a definite reason why switching back to wood wouldn't be a bad idea (it'd save us a lot more money). But hockey players are known to be some of the toughest athletes out there, so regardless of what stick is used, they are still going to continue to lay out and block shots. I think the faster pace of the game in general is the reason for the injuries, not so much the sticks.

As time goes on things, at some point must evolve, the older generation who are used to the wooden sticks might argue that with the change in hockey sticks, hockey is no longer what it used to be. The increased violence and injuries might serve as testament to the need to revert to the original form of hockey. However, the newer generation accepts changes much faster and easier than the older generation so this change may not have the same effect as to the older generation. Although this change, may warrant much distaste, the new hockey sticks have increased the entertainment attributed to the sport. Who doesn't love to see people pushing and shoving others around?

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