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What Are Hockey Sticks Made Of? A Beginner’s Guide

What are hockey sticks made of, first and foremost?

Ice hockey sticks have traditionally been made from wood, but in recent years, sticks made of more expensive materials such as aluminum, aramid (brands Nomex, Twaron, Kevlar, etc.), fibreglass, carbon fibre, and other composite materials have become common.

For more information, keep reading.

Hockey Sticks Evaluation

Numerous materials have been used to make hockey sticks over the years. Here are the three main types of hockey sticks and how they are constructed.

Wood Sticks

In Nova Scotia, the indigenous Mi’kmaq carved the first hockey sticks used for commercial purposes from a single piece of wood. Hornbeam wood, also known as “ironwood,” was used to make hockey sticks in the 1800s because of its high durability. With the disappearance of hornbeam trees, yellow birch replaced it as the preferred stickwood. These single-piece hockey sticks were referred to as Mic-Mac sticks. Prior to the industrialization of the manufacturing process in the 1930s, the Mi’kmaq were the main producers of hockey sticks. Around this time, two-piece hockey sticks with a separate blade and shaft became popular. Manufacturers of wooden sticks began covering them in woven fiberglass in the 1950s.

Hockey sticks made of wood are more durable, more expensive, and heavier than other types of sticks. Wooden hockey sticks are excellent for fighting for a puck, but because of their weight, most professional hockey players no longer use them.

Aluminum Sticks

Wayne Gretzky’s endorsement of aluminum-shafted hockey sticks helped them gain popularity in the 1990s. The shaft of aluminum hockey sticks is made of aluminum, while the blade is made of wood. Due to its high level of durability and resistance to wear and warping, aluminum was favored. Following the introduction of composite hockey sticks in the early 2000s, the popularity of aluminum sticks declined.

Composite Sticks

The most common hockey sticks today are composite ones. These hockey sticks are constructed out of sheets of carbon fiber that have been impregnated with partially hardened resin. Up to 15 layers of carbon fiber sheets are fused together using epoxy resin to create composite shafts. For maximum strength, sheets are laid out in opposition to one another. Manufacturers of hockey sticks have access to a variety of resins, each with special qualities. A strong plastic resin is applied to the shaft after the stick has dried and hardened.

The blade of a hockey stick is mostly foam. Every foam core is covered with carbon sheets and resin. Because it makes hockey sticks feel springy, epoxy foam is preferred for blades. In a mold that angles, curves, and bonds the blade to the shaft, finished blades are put.

Because composite sticks flex and feel like vintage wood hockey sticks while being just as light as aluminum sticks, they are a player favorite. Professional players can also alter the weight, flex, curve, and shape of composite hockey sticks to suit their individual preferences.

Hockey Stick Parts 

The shaft and blade are the two parts that make up a hockey stick. Here are a few of the fundamental characteristics of each hockey stick part.


The majority of hockey players in the NHL use sticks with shaft lengths of 63 inches or less. The maximum hockey stick length for players over 6 feet 6 inches is 65 inches. Round, rectangular, and tapered shafts are just a few of the numerous shapes that they can take. Professional-grade hockey sticks frequently have different textures along the shaft to improve grip.

The amount of force a player applies to the puck directly affects how flexible a shaft is. For wrist shots, passing, and stick handling, forwards typically favor more flexible shafts. Defensive players generally prefer sticks with less flexible shafts.


Hockey stick blades must be between 2 and 12.5 inches long and no taller than 3 inches, per NHL regulations. The first hockey sticks were straight, but Stan Mikita of the Chicago Blackhawks popularized the curving of the blade. With the aid of door jams and hot water, Mikita and teammate Bobby Hull bent their blades. These days, composite blades are curved using a mold that has been customized for a company or player.

Players may gain an advantage on the ice by using a curved blade. It is advantageous for wrist shots and puck movement if the blade curves at the toe (end). Many defenders favor a blade with a curvature at the heel, which is the area closest to the shaft. Blistering slap shots are made possible by the blade’s heel curve. Three-fourths of an inch is the NHL’s maximum curve depth allowed.

What Are Hockey Sticks Made Of A Beginner's Guide
What Are Hockey Sticks Made Of? A Beginner’s Guide

Differences Between Pro & Amateur Hockey Sticks

Based on what the pros use, the majority of amateur hockey players will use a stick that is available off the shelf and can range in quality. But don’t mix the two up. Despite having the same name and similar appearance, the professional model stick used on the ice by the NHL is a different animal than the one you can buy at your neighborhood hockey shop. To fit the game he plays, a pro will completely alter a hockey stick.

In a different section of the factory, a professional hockey stick is produced. They are produced in small batches and are not a regular part of the output. They’ll have additional special customizations like a specific type of tack applied to a specific area of the shaft in addition to having a custom blade curve, lie, and shaft flex. They are designed specifically to satisfy the requirements of one person.

None of this implies that a hockey stick purchased off the shelf won’t be of high quality. You can purchase a hockey stick with many of the same features as a pro, including the same high-end, cutting-edge materials. The consistency, however, might not be the same. A professional will receive 20 identical sticks, but 20 sticks purchased off the shelf may have minor differences that an amateur is unlikely to even notice. Off-the-rack sticks come in a range of flexes, such as 85 and 100, and you can choose the one that best suits your needs. A pro stick might have a specified flex of 96. An amateur simply cannot access the same level of customization that the professionals do.

There are variations in hockey stick durability and quality as well. A professional stick is probably stronger and will likely last longer because of the thicker shaft wall. Many amateur hockey players simply won’t subject their sticks to the daily beating that a professional stick is meant to endure. Amateurs might skate once or twice a week, whereas professionals skate much more frequently. See more about How To Stop With Ice Skates For Beginners?

Rules Related To Hockey Sticks

The maximum length for hockey sticks is 63 inches, and the blade can only be up to 12½ inches long and 3 inches high at any point. For safety, the blades must be beveled.

A broken stick is subject to an intriguing hockey rule regarding sticks. If your stick breaks while you’re playing, you must put it down right away. When holding a broken stick, there is a risk of checking or being checked. It is considered an equipment violation when a player continues a play while using a broken stick. A player needs to go to the bench to get a fresh stick, or another player can bring a stick to the player. When play is stopped, goalies who have broken sticks are not allowed to go to the bench to get a replacement or they will be penalized for game delay. A teammate must deliver another stick. Additionally, broken sticks cannot be replaced by throwing new ones onto the ice. A player can receive two minutes in jail for slashing if they break another player’s stick with their own.

The Bottom Line

The most common sticks today are custom, one-piece composites, which are typically made of graphite but can also contain exotic materials like Kevlar and titanium. Nickel-cobalt coatings are also occasionally used to increase the strength of these sticks.

The shafts of two-piece sticks made in the laminate style are made of layers of glue and wood, fiberglass, or graphite, or a combination of wood, fiberglass, and graphite. That’s a far cry from the first commercially available sticks, which were hand-carved, one-piece chunks of hornbeam, created in the late 1800s by the Mi’kmaq people of Canada.

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