Hockey is one of the most beloved sports across North America. If you’re going to start playing hockey, then you will need a few key pieces of equipment: skates, a helmet, and, most importantly, a stick. There are 2 makes of the hockey stick to choose from, wood or composite The better choice depends on the player.
Wood hockey sticks are a better choice if you want to feel nostalgic while playing. If you just purchase a hockey stick for recreational use, wood is much more budget-friendly and will last longer. In comparison, Composite wood hockey sticks are a better option, whether you play a game or participate. They’re built to be more effective, particularly at tournaments. Plays can achieve more power from striking the puck.
You see, some people prefer to play with a wood stick because of the way it feels when they hit the puck. Others prefer a composite wood hockey stick because of the power it provides. If you are not sure which stick is the better choice, we are going to break down the differences to give you an idea.
Your hockey stick is one of the most important pieces of equipment during the game. Don’t think of it as a piece of equipment, instead think of your stick as your sidekick. You’re Batman and your stick is Robin, together you guys will call the shots on the ice.
This is why it’s important that you have the right stick with you during the game. Whether you are playing competitively in a tournament or just having fun on an outdoor rink with your friends, the stick you choose makes a difference in your game.
Before you make a decision on which stick you are going to buy, it’s a good idea for you to know what makes wood and composite wood hockey sticks different from one another. It goes down to more than just the materials that they are made from.
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The Difference Between Wood and Composite Hockey Sticks
The real difference that hockey players notice on the ice between wood and composite wood hockey sticks is the weight. Many players find that composite wood sticks are lighter which is why they are able to get more power when they hit the puck.
However, whether or not the lighter weight makes the composite hockey stick a better choice will depend on the player. The reason why wooden hockey sticks still remain a popular choice today is because of how they feel when hitting the puck, as some players find it easier to work with.
It seems as though generation plays a role in which hockey sticks a player prefers. The composite stick didn’t make an appearance until the 1990s and even then it took some re-working to get right. Originally it came in two separate pieces, which would often break.
So it is quite common for a younger hockey player to prefer an updated composite hockey stick, where someone who began playing hockey before composite sticks became popular might still prefer wooden sticks. Every player has their own preference with equipment.
Why Are Wood Sticks A Better Choice?
How come so many hockey players still prefer wood sticks when they have been updated enough times to be more powerful? It is similar to that phrase, “Don’t mess with a good thing.” Wood hockey sticks have proven to be a hockey player’s trusted sidekick for longer than most players have even been alive.
Composite sticks took many years to become what they are today. They had a bad reputation for breaking easily, which no player wants to deal with during a game. While manufacturers were remodeling the composite stick, hockey players were perfecting their techniques with wooden sticks.
This explains why many seasoned hockey players may prefer wood sticks but why do younger hockey players prefer them? It all has to do with the way it feels when the real wood hits that puck. It may not be every player’s top choice, but for some it can’t be beat.
Many players find that wooden sticks last longer than composite sticks. The design of them has been the same for generations and has always held up to satisfaction.
Wooden sticks are also a more affordable choice. If you have no plans to join a team but like to meet up with friends for a game you can pick up a wood stick while barely doing any damage to your bank account.
Why Are Composite Wood Sticks A Better Choice?
For hockey players today, it seems as though composite sticks are a more common choice, especially for serious players. When it comes to playing competitively, composite sticks allow players to get more momentum with the puck.
Composite wood sticks are made out of materials that resemble wood, only weigh a lot less. This makes it easier for players to get a more powerful hit. They can send the puck further down the ice and end up have better luck during the game.
Many players have noticed that composite sticks are more durable. The newer models of sticks are built to last longer and don’t break near as often as the original models of composite sticks. If treated right, composite wood hockey sticks could actually last longer than wood ones.
Consistancy is another reason some players prefer composite sticks. They know exactly what they are going to get every time. Wood sticks are all natural so manufacturers can’t guarantee they will come out the same way every time. Composite sticks on the other hand are always consistant.
Composite sticks offer more variety because they come in either one piece or two-piece models. Most players prefer the one piece sticks because they last a lot longer. However, the two piece gives players more variety because you can switch up the blade.
Wood or Composite Wood Hockey Sticks: Which One Really Lasts Longer?
Fans of wood sticks claim they last longer but composite stick users say otherwise, who is right? To sum this up, it all depends on the weight. A heavier stick will have a longer lifespan than a lighter stick. This is why wood sticks are known to often last longer.
That doesn’t always mean that wood will last longer. There are different types of composite wood and each one is different from the next when it comes to how the stick holds up. Those lighter hockey sticks that give more power are susceptible to breaking quicker.
Yet, one of the heavier composite wood sticks that is made of fiberglass can last a lot longer. These sticks are known to even have a longer lifespan than a lot of wood sticks. When it comes down to it, the weight of your stick plays a bigger factor in its lifespan than the material.
What Are Composite Hockey Sticks Made Out Of?
When it comes to wood sticks, the title is right in the name. Composite sticks on the other hand are made out of various different materials. This is why there are several different types of composite wood sticks to choose from and why they all are different from one another in performance.
Fiberglass Hockey Sticks
Fiberglass is the material used to make composite sticks that are the most similar to wood hockey sticks. They take a wood stick and reinforce it with a stronger fiberglass coating. This gives hockey players a stronger and more advanced version of the classic wood stick.
Carbon Fiber Hockey Sticks
More experienced hockey players will prefer a carbon fiber hockey stick to fiberglass. The high-end composite sticks are usually made out of 100 % carbon fiber. These sticks have a lot more strength that is provided by the carbon fibers that are woven and fused together forming a hollow shaft.
Kevlar Hockey Sticks
Some composite wood hockey sticks will have a layer of Kevlar on them. These are made out of the same materials as bullet-proof vests. This material can be used to reinforce certain areas of the hockey stick and is typical mixed with other materials.
Aluminum Hockey Sticks
Aluminum was the first form of composite hockey stick that wasn’t wood, but they are still worth a mention on this list. Quite often it will just be the shaft that is made from aluminum, and the blade will still be a composite wood.
The reason why aluminum composite sticks are such a great alternative to wood is because they are a lot lighter. Aluminum shafts cut down on the amount of weight the player is holding and are also a lot stronger than fiberglass.
Can You Cut A Composite Stick?
Another reason many players prefer wood sticks is because they are easy to cut to get to the right size for the player. The right size hockey stick is essential for every player to play their best game. Luckily fiberglass and carbon fiber can still be cut if you have the right tools.
The rule of thumb is that a hockey player’s stick should stand just below their chin. When picking out an aluminum stick you should pick one that is already the right size. When it comes to picking out a composite wood stick, they can be cut down to the right size.
You will need to mark the hockey stick where it needs to be cut. Have someone hold your stick in place, and with a hacksaw make clean and short cuts. Make sure all of your cuts are square as you get through the shaft.
When you’re done, you can replace the end-cap and put tape on the handle. So if you were thinking composite wood sticks weren’t good because you can’t adjust them, it turns out they can hold up against the original type.
Wood vs Composite Wood Hockey Sticks: Price Points
Wood hockey sticks are by far a lot more affordable than composite wood sticks. The average price for a wood hockey stick ranges between $20 and $30. This makes them a better choice if you aren’t a serious hockey player and want to kick around on the ice with friends.
Composite woods sticks could be made out of various materials so each one is different in cost. When it comes to the quality of composite sticks, the better ones are going to cost you. While each stick varies in prices, there are 4 average price points.
$50 Price Point: These sticks are heavier and usually made from fiberglass. They are usually quite basic with no special design to make them a superior choice on the ice.
$100 Price Point: These sticks are much better in quality. They are often made from carbon fiber and usually a lot lighter than the cheaper makes. However, they are purposely made to be slightly less in quality compared to the higher end sticks.
$200 Price Point: Generally $200 sticks are the top-rated sticks of the previous year found on sale. They are some of the best quality sticks, but of course the technology isn’t as advanced as the newer models.
$300 Price Point: When it comes to composite sticks these will be the most update and durable sticks you will be able to get. Every stick in this price point will be a one-piece hockey stick, which allows for a better energy transfer.
Wood vs Composite Wood Hockey Stick: Final Thoughts On Which Choice Is Better
When it comes to the debate of wood vs composite wood hockey sticks the better choice will all depend on how you play and what your budget is. Every player has different needs and now you have a better idea of the differences between the 2 sticks to know which is a better choice for you.
Wood hockey sticks are a better choice if you want a nostalgic feeling when you play the game. If you are only buying a hockey stick for recreational use wood is a lot friendlier on the budget and could last you longer.
Composite wood hockey sticks are a better choice if you are playing on a team or competitively. They are designed to be more efficient, especially during tournaments. Players can get a lot more force when they hit the puck.
Younger players often prefer to play with composite hockey sticks because that is what most of their favorite professional players are using. However, even though wood sticks are less common there are still a few pro players who swear by them.