Despite the fact that there are so many different hockey sticks available, whether they are fiberglass, composites, wood or anything else, wooden hockey sticks still remain the best sticks available for most players. Hockey sticks are generally constructed of a variety of types of wood, that are laminated together into an extremely high quality plywood. Then, the stick is coated with a very thin layer of fiberglass or plastic. There are some manufacturers that use fiberglass or laminate in between the layers, to add strength and stability to the stick. For many, the primary advantage of using a wooden stick versus a composite hockey stick is quite simply the cost and durability. Most wooden sticks are extremely inexpensive, compared to the hundreds of dollars that you could pay for some composite hockey stick varieties. This makes wooden hockey sticks an extremely popular choice for amateurs as well as younger players, because not only are they extremely durable, they are inexpensive.
In addition, wooden hockey sticks were the original hockey stick, and still have an extraordinary reputation of having an excellent feel in comparison to other composite sticks. Wooden sticks were used since hockey was invented in the 1850s, and were continually used up until the 1980s. Wooden sticks still maintained their popularity into the 90s, partly because of Wayne Gretzky's use of an aluminum hockey stick that had a wooden blade. Although the primary disadvantage of wooden sticks is the irregularity of construction, because of the woods tendency to warp over time. However, with the proper care, your wooden hockey stick will last many years. Some players complained that the fact that wooden hockey sticks are not as responsive as composite, but many players still enjoy using wooden hockey sticks over composite for the simple reason that wooden hockey sticks are the true original, and it was on the basis of wooden hockey sticks that the NHL was built.
Although many people increasingly feel that composite sticks are better than wooden sticks because of their weight, composite sticks are actually much less reliable than wooden sticks. The reason for this is, composite hockey sticks tend to break much more easily than wooden sticks, and a very small indentation on the stick can actually result in a hockey stick breaking apart during a slap shot attempt. Conversely, wooden sticks are much heavier, and can handle a larger workload, and offer increased durability. What's more, most people simply have the misconception that wooden sticks are not as good as composite sticks for slap shots. This is untrue, particularly when it comes to slap shots, because wooden sticks are extremely similar to composite, and many players notice very little if any difference between a wooden and a composite hockey stick, particularly when they do not know the construction. Although wooden sticks are much better than composite sticks for a variety of reasons, many players still want to use composite hockey sticks, because of the claim that the power and lightness of the composite is more valuable than the chance of them breaking. However, wooden sticks still maintain exemplary reliability, durability and feel, and are a fraction of the cost of composite.
~Will in Denver
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