Change for the better.

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In my previous blog post I talked about NBA synthetic basketballs. The result of them was that it didn't work out for the NBA. The idea of having all the balls be the same but the execution and results were poor. Though in the NBA a synthetic piece of equipment didn't work out it's a different case for the sport of field hockey.

            A couple years back the sport of field hockey started seeing less and less wooden sticks on the field. They have been quickly replaced with what are referred to as "composite sticks." They are made up of mostly carbon, aramid, and reinforced with fiberglass. Just like the NBA's synthetic balls the idea of the composite stick is that they are all alike. Granted within the realm of composite sticks you can buy sticks with different ratios of the three components but they all follow a "mold." The result of these newly invented sticks has been insanely positive. Wooden sticks are almost unheard of anymore. They are used at a beginner level because they provide good feel when dribbling and receiving the ball.

            After reading about the success of these composite sticks I wanted to know more about why. I went on to a stick info page on Cranbarry's (field hockey manufacture) site. It has a complete breakdown of all you would need to know about composite and wooden sticks. As stated above it explains the composite sticks are made up primarily of carbon, aramid, and fiberglass. Carbon provides a sense of stiffness to the stick. The fibers in it allow for a more powerful hit than the original wooden one. Aramid is used to dampen the vibration of the ball coming in contact with the stick. Wooden sticks tend to have a hard vibration due to no self-dampening system. Lastly, the fiberglass serves as the reinforcement and durability during playtime.

            The overall draw to these sticks and what I concluded from the info was that composite sticks have a better feel and with the right skill set can improve a player even further in the game. It also has really changed the pace of field hockey. Field hockey now is played at a very rapid pace, which is greatly due to these new sticks.

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Tennis racquets are another piece of sports equipment that switched over from wood, but that happened a long time ago. I wonder why it is taking other sports so long? Now tennis racquets are mainly made of graphite and some have foam injected in the center. check this video out on how tennis racquets are made.

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