View Full Version : Stick and Blade Question
06-04-2003, 07:24 PM
How do you determine what stick stiffness and blade pattern to use, without buying a bunch of shafts and blades and testing them all out?
I imagine that a lot of it is the test of time; you try a lot of different combinations over the years, and then find something that really works great for you.
I've had a couple of blade patterns that made me miss the net even more than I do naturally /wtimages/icons/wink.gif, so I threw those out, but blades have not really been much of a factor for me unless they're too curved to do backhands with, which are often my money shot.
As for stick shafts, I have a feeling that the ones I currently use don't have enough flex, as I'm not able to get much of a slapshot.
Any and all responses will be appreciated.
Inline Hockey Central
Couldn't resist on this one.
I am a major proponent of "the softer the shaft (carefull now /wtimages/icons/wink.gif), the stronger the shot. One less expensive way of finding your best "shot feel" is to use wooden sticks and plane down the shaft slightly until you feel the flex which seems right. Typically you want to plane them from about 1/3 of the way down the shaft tapering back up to within about 8 " of the heel of the stick. Graduate the removal to where the "flex point" (thinnest part of the shaft) is just below where you place your lower hand on the shaft for a slap shot - go too low or too thin, and the blade tends to twist open when shooting. Better to start with a stiff - even heavy - stick and remove material in smaller increments until you get the feel you want. Only remove material on the wide side of the stick and preferably on the "back side" - it will resist breaking better. Once you play with this enough - you will learn your "shaft feel" (I know someone is going to have a heyday with this post) and after you can tell what feels right with almost any stick - one piece or otherwise. It may take experimenting with several sticks before you get comfortable, but that's still the cheapest way to find out. Just trying different models of sticks can get pretty expensive, because some of them wont be right at all, and if you are like us - end up in the garage as floor hockey or - "only port in a storm when you are broke" sticks. A hand held electric jointer works best - set at even less than 1/64" - for minimum removal on each pass. For the price of a Black and Decker three inch hand held jointer, and three to five good wooden sticks, you will be at about the same cost as one top of the line one piece carbon graphite stick.
Blades are really a feel thing, although a lot of kids I knew playing roller hockey started out with big curves and exagerated lofts to be able to "raise" the ball (assuming anyone still plays ball). This eventually will hurt you as you become more skilled at shooting with a puck and keeping the shot down becomes more important than scoring noisy field goals against the glass. Better to learn to shoot properly with the right flex( meaning as much flex as you can stand without "losing the shot" from the blade opening up), using as neutral a curve and as low a loft as possible. This will always make you more effective with the backhand, and make it easier to hit the low corners, or low five hole with good velocity on the forehand. By not relying on the curve and the loft to do the work, you will become a better technical shooter, and stick handling/passing control will also be better overall.
Let's not forget "lie" either - often overlooked. When you look at the lie in the pro shop and see how it fits your shooting stance - dont forget you will be 3 inches taller on skates. If you go the "planer route" you can always adjust your lie to taste. However when you remove material from the bottom of the stick, the bottom of the blade will tend to ravel faster. Put a good coating of hard epoxy on it before you use it (on the bottom) this will help get you "normal life" out of the sticks if you do plane the bottoms.
Personally I always likes a pretty curved blade bottom which meant you had good slide and feel even at different stick angles. And yes - I am "old school".
06-06-2003, 02:08 AM
"Personally I always likes a pretty curved blade bottom which meant you had good slide and feel even at different stick angles. And yes - I am "old school".
It's called rockering the blade, and most companies do it now, at least sto some extent. As for the flex question, jsut burrow friends' sticks and use them for pickup and find the flex you like. I would recommend then the Easton UltraLite; hard-working shaft that can put any OPS to shame...
Lemieux fan 4 life
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