When it comes to hockey, technology might not be the first thing that you associate with it. But technology has changed hockey in recent years, changing the skills needed to play the game and even the way the game itself is played. One of the major changes has been to how hockey sticks are made and used.
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Composite hockey sticks entered the world of hockey about twenty years ago. It took a few years for them to really take hold, but once the technological capabilities of a composite stick were understood, it made complete sense why they became so commonplace.
To begin with, composite sticks have a lot of variety as far as size and flex go. You can even have different points on the blade that flex, giving you a different type of puck feel. There is no right answer as far as the best flex point or rating since it all depends on how you, as a player, can feel the puck.
One of the largest changes that hockey experienced with the introduction of composite sticks is that there are now different shots available than were with the traditional wooden sticks. Slap shots, the most explosive move in hockey, became more powerful and easier than ever before.
Think about when you hit something with a stick. The harder you hit it, the more the impact will reverberate down your arm, causing pain and injury. Hockey sticks used to have the same risk. If you hit another stick accidentally or you hit the wall, the impact would reverberate through your arm, up to your shoulder.
Now, new stick technology absorbs the impact of the hit, making sure that you will not feel the stick. This protects your arm and shoulder from a shot, allowing you to hit as hard as your arms will allow you to. You do not have the same risk of injury as before, making harder hits to become more common.
Composite sticks are more powerful and more capable than wooden sticks ever were. They are also significantly lighter than their predecessors. Skating with a hockey stick, unencumbered by its weight, will give you more freedom to move both quickly and efficiently. Your stick is not going to weigh you down like they would have before the introduction of this technology.
Ultimately the introduction of composite hockey sticks changed the way that hockey is played altogether. Players are faster and can hit with more power with less risk of injury. The sports skills have moved from brute force to a finer and more crafted set of skills that can be built upon and perfected over time. With the right stick, a player can become a force of nature on the ice, using moves that you have never seen.