How to avoid stick breakage?
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04-23-2010, 10:21 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St Paul, MN
I must have forgot to hit send on my post, but I agree pretty much with HF68 on this one.
Wood blades tend to wear out at the heel/bottom and go soft quickly...and if you are strong the shafts can go soft. Conversely if you're short/not strong and need a light flex, the intermediate wood sticks suck because the blades are flimsy. I've had brand new intermediate sticks that shot wimpy slappers way off net because they weren't stiff enough at the blade.
Composites are far better. You can get the flex you want, you can interchange blades, if the shaft or blade breaks, you can swap it out, you can experiment with patterns, mix and match brands, etc.
The blades are incredibly stiff and usually last a very long time, and if you're not in a league with a lot of slashing, you can usually get a lot of life out of shafts.
Personally, in four years of playing as an adult, I've broken three shafts, one was defective and snapped on the first shot, the other two I broken on the bench out of frustration. I've broken a few blades, but usually only after several months of use, and honestly the blades today are way better than they were a few years ago (except Easton).
As for technique, most people who know way more than me on hockey boards attribute frequent breakage on shots to poor technique, mainly hitting the ice way too early, which places too much stress on the stick. At the pro level, they are way stronger and harder on sticks, and I'm sure they break because they're being slashed and stressed far more. I only see a few sticks a year break at the rec level.
Furthermore, companies offer durable sticks, like the Harrow I use, which are heavier but thicker, and they last a lot longer than the super thin and lightweight pro stock sticks.
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