How often do sticks break/wear out?
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04-02-2013, 12:21 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St Paul, MN
Originally Posted by
The husband has been playing since November. He's already broken through 2 wooden sticks and a 3rd is on it's way out. He's got a pretty hard shot and it just wears the blade out. He does have a composite stick that doesn't show as much wear, but that's likely because he doesn't use it as much as the others. He plays D and likes to take hard slapshots at the net from the point (and they make it to the net for the most part).
Myself, I've never worn out a stick in over a year of play. I've replaced them due to wanting a different flex or a different curve, but never had one just flat out break on me.
Are wood ones generally sturdier than composite? Since it's his blades that are wearing out and not the shaft, would it be a good thing to consider moving towards a two-piece set-up? If composite wear out more quickly, I'm going to tell him he'll just have to stick with the basic wood sticks and replace them every 5 weeks or so - no way is he getting a composite at that rate!
It depends on a lot of things.
I find wood sticks don't last very long. They blades are soft and will get flimsy and splinter and fall apart. Whenever I've bought a Sherwood 5030, the blade lasts maybe half a dozen skates and then it's too soft to use anymore.
Also with wood, they break down quicker than composites, and while they might not break in half or shatter, they will likely splinter and crack maybe not as visibly and need to be replaced.
Mario Lemieux used to prep four new wood sticks for every game: one for each period and one for warmups. They just broke down too quickly. Not to mention some guys would only use one or two sticks out of a dozen because they were so inconsistent.
Composites, well it depends on your level of play and strength. No offense, but as a woman, you're probably a little smaller (i.e. not 6'2 and 225) and putting less torque and pressure on your stick, which means less chance to break them. That's a good thing! Unless you're getting them for free, it's better to make the stick last! FYI, same thing applies to us short guys too.
A lot of high school and college kids (and probably pros) really lean into their shots and take a ton of ice to load up the stick as much as possible on their slappers. It does add some power when done properly, but really stresses the stick and makes them break. These are the kids who go through 15-20 sticks a year and complain about nothing lasting very long.
Another factor is the level of play. In college and pros, guys are very strong and slash each other's sticks which cracks them and makes them likely to break either right away or when they next shoot. This doesn't really happy nearly as much in beer league. That could be the difference between a stick lasting one game versus twenty right there.
At first, composite sticks were made for pros and sold to us rec leaguers. Durability was not a concern, just light weight, big kick to them, and good puck feel. So we had those Easton SL's that would snap after 30-60 days and the blades wore out after ten skates. Paying $175 for one of those was not fun. So the manufacturers have done a better job of reinforcing sticks and changing production methods so sticks will last 6 months to a year while still being light weight with good feel. But they are more expensive now...
So for me, looking at the costs...I'd have to buy a new wood stick every month or so, and they aren't cheap anymore, $35. $35 x 12 months is $420 per year on wood sticks. That's two high end sticks at full price. Last high end stick I bought lasted me one calendar year, bought it at the end of the regular season, used it from the playoffs, in Spring clinics, Summer league, and then winter league the next year, broke the last game of the season. No brainer for me, especially if you're buying clearance sticks for $100-125 a pop.
Originally Posted by
Can I take this to a bit of off-topic? How many sticks does an average player use in a season (say, NHL players if otherwise goes too hard to answer)?
A lot of NHL players go through 100-200 sticks in a year. Usually these are the star players who use super light sticks that are prone to breaking. I think some teams equipment guys will ask their depth players and rookies to use more durable sticks so they don't break as easily, but guys like Ovechkin can get whatever they want.
Originally Posted by
One time I used a wood stick for literally one stick time. I took a clapper and the shaft shattered in half. It was really disappointing because my shot was rocketing off that thing.. Needless to say, I have permanently switched to composite.
Same thing happened to me!
Last wood stick I purchased, well kind of a funny story. My ex was running around on me and I got SUPER pissed one day after she was lying about it. A local rink has an outdoor shooting range and a pro shop. So I'm driving around and last minute think I'll go shoot a bunch of pucks. I get there but forgot my stick (I had a bucket of pucks and spare gloves in the car). Went into the pro shop and picked up a Bauer One55, which was their $25 wood stick at the time and tape it up.
So I start just blasting pucks at the net. And I had a BOMB of a shot with that stick. They were FLYING off and I got kind of excited. I mean, wood sticks have great puck feel, they are cheap, and now I have a hard slapper (which I never have)? But an hour into it, the damn thing completely shatters:
Yes I took a picture because earlier that week there was a huge debate about wood sticks vs composite and why "waste" money on graphite sticks that break? The previous wood stick I bought lasted two games for me, the blade broke in warmups. And this one broke first time I'm using it. So yeah, I'm done with them.
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