Hockey Stick FAQ

Everything you wanted to know about hockey sticks

1. What's the first rule of buying a hockey stick?
A - The first rule in buying a hockey stick is to realize there are no rules. The height, weight, curve and lie of your stick are totally up to you, so is the hockey stick brand that you buy. You must use a stick that is comfortable for you and the style of game you play. There are tips dealing with sticks but don't let anybody tell you what stick to use as it may hinder your game.

2. Is a composite stick better than a wood stick?
A - Both sticks have their pros and cons. Wood sticks are cheaper but heavier and they tend to chip. Composite hockey stick featuresinclude that they are lighter and more flexible but they also tend to break. However, the sticks used by the pros are custom made and are built more for quickness and flexibility not for strength. The composite sticks you buy off the shelf at the local sports store are usually stronger than the ones you see breaking everyday in the NHL.

3. How many NHL players use wood sticks and how many use composite?
A - Ten years ago it was estimated that 70 per cent of NHL'ers used wood sticks. Today, it's estimated that at least 85 per cent of players use composite hockey sticks.

4. Can you shoot harder with a composite stick?
A - Many players believe they can shoot the hockey puck at least 10 mph faster with a composite stick. However, art a recent NHL All Star skills competition Al MacInnis won the hardest-shot event for the seventh time with a 98.9-m.p.h. shot using a wood stick. The other seven competitors used graphite composite sticks.

5. Why is silicon or foam injected into the blades of composite sticks and goalie sticks?
A - The silicon and foam help deaden the blade, creating better puck control.

6. What are composite sticks made of?
A - Today's sticks can be made of graphite, carbon, Kevlar and titanium. They can also be made of a combination of any of these materials. Generally speaking, the lighter and stronger the material is means the more it will cost you.

7. Are composite sticks made the same way as wood sticks?
A - There are three types of composite sticks. There are one and two piece sticks. A two piece stick means the shaft and blade are sold separately and you place the blade into the shaft. Some one piece sticks are actually separate blades and shafts that are then glued or fused together. A true one piece stick is when the blade and shaft are molded in one piece.

8. Does taping my stick really make a difference?
A - Hockey tape on the blade of your stick will give you better puck control as it will stop the puck slipping off the blade and will deaden the vibration when the puck hits your stick. Tape will also keep some of the moisture off of your blade.

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