STATIC AND DYNAMIC CHARACTERISTICS OF ALUMINUH VERSUS WOODEN HOCKEY STICKS

  • G.W. Marino
  • C. VanNeck

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to investigate the differences between aluminium and wooden ice hockey sticks. Specifically, static testing was used to measure stick dimensions and inertia properties as well as the bending characteristics of sticks under external loads applied at various locations. In addition, both velocity and accuracy of shooting using aluminium and wooden sticks was measured in on-ice testing of skilled hockey players. Seventy two professional quality, brand name wooden sticks and ten aluminium sticks were evaluated in this study. Preliminary results revealed that the mean weight of the wooden sticks was 660.5 grams (s = 27.14) compared to 602.9 grams (s = 17.9) for the aluminium sticks. The centre of mass was located 52.7 % of the distance from the top of the stick to the heel for the wooden sticks and 53.2 % for aluminium, Flexibility of each model stick was ascertained by inducing a force of 160 N at each of two locations along the shaft. In the first case a mean shaft deviation of 5.32 cm was recorded when the force was applied at the centre of mass of wooden sticks. This was similar to the deviation of 5.43 cm found for aluminium sticks. When the force was introduced at the heel of the stick, the deviations were 16.6 and 16.53 cm. respectively for wood and aluminium.On ice tests revealed no significant differences between the slap shot velocities attained with wooden versus aluminium sticks. . The mean velocities found were 104.84 and 107.17 km/hr. In summary, although several significant differences in weight and flexibility were found within each of the wooden and aluminium samples, no significant differences were found between wooden and aluminium sticks in any of the flexibility/rigidity tests or in the slap shot velocity tests. Based on the results of this study, it could be concluded that aluminium sticks are somewhat lighter than their wooden counterparts but do not provide an advantage either in shaft flexibility or shooting performance.
Section
Equipment / Instrumentation