One of the more customizable pieces of sporting equipment is the hockey stick.
If you’re an avid hockey player, you know everyone has their preferences when it comes to the blade’s curve and shaft’s flex.
You may even have a unique way of taping your stick.
But have you ever thought about what your hockey stick is made of?
The technology has advanced over the years, but not all hockey sticks are made the same.
While there are only two main types of hockey sticks, several materials can be used to make them.
Types of Hockey Sticks
There are a couple of common types of Hockey stick, let’s take a look at them below.
Wooden Hockey Sticks
The world’s oldest known hockey stick, now at the Canadian Museum of History, is believed to have been created using wood from a sugar maple tree in the 1830s.
It’s a bit clunkier than its modern counterparts, but the hockey stick’s shape hasn’t changed.
Before shifting to other materials because of further development, wooden hockey sticks were the standard in professional hockey.
Wooden sticks are still mass-produced today, but they’re no longer preferred among high-level hockey players.
Hockey sticks made of wood are more often used recreationally for street hockey and on outdoor rinks.
Due to the lower price, wooden hockey sticks could be a better option if you’re a new player.
Some people find it’s a more natural feel using a natural material.
On the other hand, you’ll also find that wooden hockey sticks are quite heavy compared to others.
Wood tends to be inconsistent, meaning your overall feel for a wooden hockey stick will change over time.
The durability is there, but not the performance.
Composite Hockey Sticks
The transition from wooden to composite hockey sticks began with a hybrid of the two.
In the 1990s, two-piece composite sticks were adopted at the professional level.
Most hockey stick blades were wood at the time, while shafts were made with fiberglass.
With a two-piece composite hockey stick, you’re able to combine your preferred shaft flex with a blade curve to your liking.
These are much lighter than one-piece wooden hockey sticks, upping the performance while largely maintaining the durability.
By the mid-1990s, one-piece composite sticks were introduced.
This further increased the flexibility and decreased the weight of composite hockey sticks compared to wooden sticks, but their durability is a concern given the considerably higher price tag.
Nowadays, most high-level hockey players opt for a one-piece composite stick.
It’s not as durable as its predecessors, but the performance is too difficult to ignore.
As listed below, there are a handful of materials that can be used in one-piece composite sticks.
Hockey Stick Materials
In addition to being multiple types of Hockey Stick, there are also different materials used.
In the mass production of hockey sticks, carbon fiber (or fibre – depending where you comn from) is the new wood.
This has completely revolutionized the sport.
Most one-piece composite sticks are fully made with carbon fiber, while others are a combination of carbon fiber and a second material.
For hockey sticks entirely made with carbon fiber, you’re paying the highest price compared to any other wooden or composite stick.
If you’re serious about your performance on the ice and aren’t on a budget, you’ll want one of these high-end sticks.
During the shift from wooden to composite, manufacturers initially began using fiberglass in the production of wooden hockey sticks.
It serves as a laminate for the wood, but these are not as popular with the advent of carbon fiber hockey sticks.
However, fiberglass isn’t completely out of date or obsolete, as it’s also combined with carbon fiber in some composite sticks.
If you’re looking for a hockey stick valued between wooden and carbon fiber, a carbon fiber stick with fiberglass might be for you.
The top manufacturers don’t produce aluminum hockey sticks anymore, but it remains significant in the hockey stick’s history.
Aluminum was the first non-wood stick material used by professional hockey players in the 1990s, most notably by Wayne Gretzky.
Similar to two-piece composite sticks, it consisted of an aluminum shaft and a wood blade.
It featured the lightweight of a composite stick, but the shaft didn’t give players much flex.
If you can find one, it’s not recommended for use given the better options.
Final thoughts on Hockey Sticks
Although technology has developed in the mass production of hockey sticks, it hasn’t led to major alterations to the hockey stick’s features or overall shape.
The materials have continued to change, prioritizing high-quality performance over durability.
We hope you’re now more aware of what hockey sticks are made of, but feel free to share your hockey stick preferences!
If you have any other questions about the production of hockey sticks, please leave us a comment below!
References / Further Reading
Biomechanics of Ice Hockey Slap Shots: Which Stick Is Best?
The History of the Hockey Stick