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How to avoid stick breakage?

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Old
04-22-2010, 08:05 AM
  #1
night-timer
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How to avoid stick breakage?

I have only ever used one-piece wooden sticks, and cheaper ones at that. Players are telling me to avail myself of newer stick technology, but I am also hearing lots of stories about stick breakage.

I have been advised the best approach would be a carbon stick with a wooden blade. Is this correct? What is the best way of upgrading my sticks yet avoiding regular replacement costs?

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04-22-2010, 08:34 AM
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Well this reminds me of our goalie who bought a stick for like $200 because he wanted a stick with a high durability. His stick broke in the 2nd game he was using it.

I don't know which are the best sticks, but I tend to buy cheap sticks for like $50-80 because it doesn't hurt me that much if they break.

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Old
04-22-2010, 03:34 PM
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Badger36
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Learn to sweep the puck off the ice instead of hacking at the ice. Beyond that, learn to accept that fact that breaking sticks in a part of hockey. I dont care if you have the cheapest wooded stick or the most expensive graphite stick on the market: they all break.

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04-22-2010, 03:38 PM
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Honestly, speaking of this... Im curious to hear from others if they have had issues with their Eastons breaking. I play inline, not really that phsyical as many would say. Ive broke 4 sticks since Christmas. Prior, maybe 4 sticks in 4 years. One was flukkey and piss poor luck on my end; 3 werent.

Anyone having problems?

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04-22-2010, 03:52 PM
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Hockeyfan68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by night-timer View Post
I have only ever used one-piece wooden sticks, and cheaper ones at that. Players are telling me to avail myself of newer stick technology, but I am also hearing lots of stories about stick breakage.

I have been advised the best approach would be a carbon stick with a wooden blade. Is this correct? What is the best way of upgrading my sticks yet avoiding regular replacement costs?
We have been through this in this forum a lot which is good .... wood always loses and the closest it comes to winning anything is puck feel and it loses there as well with the good sticks. Some goober using a $60 cheapie composite that has the feel of molded plastic which has NO feel whatsoever will come on here and blab about how the composite sticks do not have feel and I am wrong .... well use a good composite.

Wood sticks are more expensive .... now before you laugh your ass off and make fun of me with that hear me out. Wood will cost you more.

I am copying and pasting a previous comment I left in another thread. Just take your time and read it and try to see what I mean about the issue.

35 year wood user here by the way before switching for good to compos.

This is an old debate that wood loses every time, we have threads about this here already. AS STATED I've used wood for 35 years and a side by side test isn't necessary.

My good 2 piece composites last about a year before I have to buy a new $40 blade, the shafts are still fantastic. $40 vs the $250 for 10 woodies isn't much of a selling point for wood. I would break a wood blade sometimes in one shooting session in an hour. In one year I would probably buy a stick a month for wood. Wood also because it is organic is inconcistent with flex and feel. Composites are the exact same stick always. My Harrow sticks feel as good as wood. I am sure there are many good compo sticks that also feel as good as wood. Finally composite blades are new until they ultimately break and wood is not, after a few shots it loses the lead in its pencil makes them subpar.

Your compare you suggest is while the stick is a fresh brand new wood stick off the rack .... come back in 2 weeks if the woodie is still going and then compare it to the 2 week old composite stick. The contest won't even be a close one for accuracy and zip not to mention a crack in the blade the height of the puck from shooting and making passes. There is also a moisture issue of the fiberglas wrap springing a leak and the wood splitting, compos don't do that either.


Well I am sure more can add to that but whatever.

I remember this blade here in the photo, used in another thread but is usable here too to demonstrate what ONE single day of practicing onetimers does to a wood blade when you can shoot well. A composite does not do this at all and stays new until it does break eventually.

I have broken just 2 composite blades in a year and a half and both broke from odd puck contact. one catching a one timer on the toe which was a knuckling flutter puck and the other was from blocking a slapshot, the puck hit on the heel causing a crack in the hosel a couple of inches down from where it inserts into the shaft.



I will also add to answer your main question in your first post is that getting a stick flex that matches your strength and weight will save you a lot of money because the most common thing that breaks composite sticks is the fondness of using whippy sticks meaning a flex too light for their body weight and strength.

You see NHL guys who break sticks a lot using light flex for their strength and body weight. Cammaleri, Kessel, Wideman, Ovechkin etc.

Your flex should be around half of your body weight approximately.


Last edited by Hockeyfan68: 04-22-2010 at 04:03 PM.
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04-22-2010, 04:24 PM
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I've broke about 4 sticks in the past 5 years and I play on average 90 games a year (3 leagues total).

2 of those sticks I broke over the crossbar in rage (but since have controlled myself so that hasn't happened in years)
1 of those sticks broke on a face off
1 broke when I slashed someone.

I have replaced another 4 sticks though in that time as well because they start to chip away(from slashes usually) and the integrity of the sticks gets compromised and the shots aren't as strong or the puck bounces a bit more off the sticks.

So i think i've been pretty good when it comes to stick breakage considering I have a great shot and I don't break my sticks on shots.

BTW I've been using a Easton Synergy ST for those 5 years, and still have a bunch in stock that I will continue to use for the next 5 years.

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04-23-2010, 12:48 AM
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If you have good shooting mechanics and you use a proper flex you won't have issues with your stick breaking. Plain and simple.

It can still break from being slashed or through some other odd occurrence, but odds on, if you use the appropriate flex and you don't make contact with the ice like a foot before the puck, you should have no problem making a good composite last PLENTY long. I've had composites last 2 months (I'm guilty of using a light flex and I play in leagues where its fairly aggressive and not uncommon for sticks to be slashed or tangled and broken in some manner) and I have composites sitting in my garage that I picked up 3 years ago. I rarely break sticks just by shooting, even with a 77 flex (I'm about 175). Switch to composite; you'll come to love it.

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04-23-2010, 09:21 AM
  #8
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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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04-23-2010, 09:30 AM
  #9
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My first composite hockey stick (Easton Stealth S5) was one of the longest lasting hockey sticks I have ever owned.

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04-23-2010, 10:20 AM
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I think it really depends on the level you play at. I'm an "E" level, so I never break sticks, wood or composite, because my shot sucks. I hardly ever see anyone break a stick in my games.

If you're a much higher level, with a hard shot, then yea, you may break them more often.

If I were you, I would buy a $80 composite, and alternate between wood and composite, and see which one lasts longer, and which one you like better.

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04-23-2010, 10:38 AM
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Wood blades and sticks last me about 2-3 weeks at the most. I get months out of composite sticks and I only use high-end composite sticks. I've only had one stick break in the warranty period, the stick I got to replace it I used for two months and sold it because it became waaay too whippy for me to use.

I tried low-end composites a long time ago and they all broke from shooting and I'd heard little cracking sounds every time I took a wrist shot. It was probably the sound of the fibreglass breaking as it flexed.

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04-23-2010, 11:08 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zetterqvist24 View Post
If you have good shooting mechanics and you use a proper flex you won't have issues with your stick breaking. Plain and simple.

It can still break from being slashed or through some other odd occurrence, but odds on, if you use the appropriate flex and you don't make contact with the ice like a foot before the puck, you should have no problem making a good composite last PLENTY long. I've had composites last 2 months (I'm guilty of using a light flex and I play in leagues where its fairly aggressive and not uncommon for sticks to be slashed or tangled and broken in some manner) and I have composites sitting in my garage that I picked up 3 years ago. I rarely break sticks just by shooting, even with a 77 flex (I'm about 175). Switch to composite; you'll come to love it.
I agree with the flex part for SHAFTS...but as for blades thats a different story. If you enjoy taking slappers blades will go on ya at a decent rate. The wear and tear on the bottom just adds up over time not to mention trying to really get some power behind the shot puts even more pressure on it.

If someone just takes wristers/snappers(although a really good snap shot does put a good amount of pressure on the stick above the blade) I can see sticks lasting very long.

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04-23-2010, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by bluenote View Post
I think it really depends on the level you play at. I'm an "E" level, so I never break sticks, wood or composite, because my shot sucks. I hardly ever see anyone break a stick in my games.

If you're a much higher level, with a hard shot, then yea, you may break them more often.

If I were you, I would buy a $80 composite, and alternate between wood and composite, and see which one lasts longer, and which one you like better.
This is extremely true. I play at the highest level available here in Montreal, and the guys have all played at least AAA, most had a taste of the Q. These guys know how to hack just in the right place to snap a stick if you're in the clear.

That being said, I've only broken three sticks in the last two years. Broke an Easton Stealth CNT after 14 months (love it), broke 2 RBK 7K SicKick Pro Stocks (got a big shipment, played through em). Broke one getting a slash, and one snapped in the middle my first game using it, from a hit on the boards. The third one was just horrible luck, the stick got caught between our bodies and snapped from the pressure.

So even playing at a really high level, the composites DO hold up a long time. Know how to shoot properly, and you won't ding your stick up too much! Sometimes bad luck happens though, and bang, you're out 200 bucks. Part of hockey!

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04-23-2010, 11:49 AM
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My motto is "No Slapshots, no Problem". So far, it's been holding true. I only practice slapshots with my wooden sticks now.

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04-23-2010, 12:02 PM
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sticks rarely break on just shots, it has a lot to do with the condition of the stick before the slapper. for roller, go with shaft and wood blade combo. wood blade gives you good puck feel and cheaper to replace and shaft usually will last a while if you don't play against players that are slash happy.

i don't know how any of you can switch from comp to wood, once you go comp you just don't go back.

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04-23-2010, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CuteHockeyBunny View Post
My motto is "No Slapshots, no Problem". So far, it's been holding true. I only practice slapshots with my wooden sticks now.
Something is wrong here, composite sticks should absolutely not break all the time to force you to do this. Something is not right here, either you are using a flex that is way too stiff or one that is too whippy. You could be hitting the ice way too early and driving the force into the ice and breaking sticks.

if you shoot well, have good mechanics and the correct lie and flex you should absolutely not have issues with shafts breaking or blades for that matter.

Shooting as hard as I do (I shoot hard) and breaking two blades in a year and a half from an oddball knuckle puck off the toe onetimer and blocking a slapshot says a lot.

I play defense also and block shots with the stick as well as whack at the puck lots and lots.

Whenever I see this in here about broken sticks it really sends a siren signal to me that soemthing isn't right with their setup. These sticks nowadays absolutely should not break like that on a regular basis.

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04-26-2010, 12:24 AM
  #17
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So, to get back to my original question, is a composite shaft with a wooden blade the most durable combo?

I have never broken a stick. I use the CCM 1052 wooden one piece wooden. It's the only stick I have, so if I break it in a game, I'm cactus -- no back-up.

Maybe I should buy up a bunch of 1052 sticks and keep playing with them for as long as I can. They have even been used in the NHL and I'm only on a local recreational team.

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04-26-2010, 12:54 AM
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.... Oops, I should add:

I'm 6'1" and I weigh 10 stone or around 64 kilos -- tall and thin.

The CCM 1052 stick I have is a stiff 100 flex.

Is that stick right for me? It's looking a little worse for wear, but it has never broken. My shots aren't the most powerful, either.

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04-26-2010, 01:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockeyfan68 View Post
Something is wrong here, composite sticks should absolutely not break all the time to force you to do this. Something is not right here, either you are using a flex that is way too stiff or one that is too whippy. You could be hitting the ice way too early and driving the force into the ice and breaking sticks.

if you shoot well, have good mechanics and the correct lie and flex you should absolutely not have issues with shafts breaking or blades for that matter.

Shooting as hard as I do (I shoot hard) and breaking two blades in a year and a half from an oddball knuckle puck off the toe onetimer and blocking a slapshot says a lot.

I play defense also and block shots with the stick as well as whack at the puck lots and lots.

Whenever I see this in here about broken sticks it really sends a siren signal to me that soemthing isn't right with their setup. These sticks nowadays absolutely should not break like that on a regular basis.
Oh it's not about my composites breaking. It's just that I payed a lot for them (student) and I don't want to risk them, at all. I'm on my way to a Semin like wristshot .

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04-26-2010, 03:21 AM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by night-timer View Post
.... Oops, I should add:

I'm 6'1" and I weigh 10 stone or around 64 kilos -- tall and thin.

The CCM 1052 stick I have is a stiff 100 flex.

Is that stick right for me? It's looking a little worse for wear, but it has never broken. My shots aren't the most powerful, either.
Try a less stiff stick. If it's too stiff, it'll be too hard to get it to bend, then you won't get the nice whip from the shaft which results in a harder shot. You should be able to comfortably flex the stick without much effort putting your weight down into the shaft.

As a general rule, take your weight in pounds (I'm 170lbs) and divide by 2. I use an 85 and a 90.

Also, the more you cut off the butt to shorten the stick, the stiffer the stick gets.

http://hockeystickexpert.com/hockey-stick-flex/


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04-26-2010, 08:29 AM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zetterqvist24 View Post
If you have good shooting mechanics and you use a proper flex you won't have issues with your stick breaking. Plain and simple.

It can still break from being slashed or through some other odd occurrence, but odds on, if you use the appropriate flex and you don't make contact with the ice like a foot before the puck, you should have no problem making a good composite last PLENTY long. I've had composites last 2 months (I'm guilty of using a light flex and I play in leagues where its fairly aggressive and not uncommon for sticks to be slashed or tangled and broken in some manner) and I have composites sitting in my garage that I picked up 3 years ago. I rarely break sticks just by shooting, even with a 77 flex (I'm about 175). Switch to composite; you'll come to love it.
This is a winning post.

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04-26-2010, 09:07 AM
  #22
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Depending on your level of play, a composite shaft and wood blade could be just fine. Make sure to change the tape after every game so the blade doesn't get soggy and soft. If you find the blade going soft or breaking down, switch to a composite blade, which will likely last much longer. Although I know some lower level players who can use a wood blade for a year or more because they never take slap shots.

At your height/weight (6' 140 lbs), you might be between a 75 and 85 flex...if you're stronger and have good mechanics, an 85 might work better, but if you're just learning to shoot properly, a 75 would be easier to learn on. A lot of times it's best to learn to shoot with a whippy stick and as your form improves and you get stronger, move up in flex.

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04-26-2010, 10:24 AM
  #23
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Guys, thank you very much!

I live in Sydney, Australia - not the world' s greatest hockey town. Most of our gear has to be shipped in at exorbitant postage costs, too.

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04-26-2010, 11:25 AM
  #24
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something that gets overlooked is where you keep your stick

my buddy (who is an ex pro and probably the best player ive played with) went to the bauer warehouse in canada and he said they store all their stick at 75 degrees. he also stores his sticks in teh same spot so the stick is consistently the same temperature as to not disrupt teh composition of the stick

he also likes to buy stick from the manufacturer directly. when the easton rep was in i showed him a stick i knew hed love. the new east st. hes a bigger guy, like 6'1 200, built like an ox, and breaks sticks easily

so he ordered 6 easton sts that are 3 inches longer than normal and a 115 flex. they made that stick new this year longer and stiffer(lol) so hes going to cut it down and it will be lie a 120

anyway, he doesnt like buying sticks off the rack becasue they sit under the lights in the rafters or on the rack in inconsistent temperatures and kids grab them and flex them and stick handle pucks with them

hes got a point though, it may not be the main reason they break, but it probably wears it down a little bit.....

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04-26-2010, 11:36 AM
  #25
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You might also want to take note of where you're breaking your sticks.

If you're constantly breaking the shaft on shots, you may be too heavy/strong for the flex you are using.

If you're breaking the stick on or just above the blade, it could be related to your shooting, but is probably more likely a result of wear and tear from hacking and slashing at sticks in battles for the puck. If you're one of these types, you should probably consider a two-piece stick... or an OPS with a more sturdy blade.

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