History of the Hockey Stick
Let’s take a look at how the hockey stick has changed over the years…
The hockey stick came to be in the middle decades of the 1800's in Nova Scotia. The stick was made from the horn beam tree, which was known for its very strong wood. Other trees, such as the yellow birch, were used soon afterward.
These early hockey sticks looked like modern field hockey sticks. They had straight hands, but the blade was much shorter than the sticks used today.
The early 1900's saw the advent of the two-art hockey stick. Rather than using a single piece of wood, companies began gluing two pieces of wood, which allowed them to have more control over the shape of the blade. Not long afterward, three-piece sticks were introduced.
In the 1930's and 40's, pro teams started demanding very specific hockey stick styles to suit their needs. For example, legendary Maple Leafs owner Conn Smythe made sure that his whole team got heavier sticks since they seemed to last a bit longer.
Around here is when companies began using fiberglass on hockey sticks. The fiberglass allowed the companies to use cheaper, lighter woods since it made them last longer.
In the 1960's, companies and players began to experiment with curved blades. They realized that the curve allowed players to shoot and pass with more accuracy.
Late 1900,s and Today
Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky is to thank for the huge increase in popularity of different hockey stick models. He single-handedly popularized the aluminum stick, which dominated the market in the 1990,s. The aluminum hockey stick gave players an extremely strong stick that happened to also be extremely light when compared to other stick styles.
Today, composite hockey sticks rule the market for local pickup hockey games in the GTA, from house league to rep to OHL and up to the PRO level in the NHL. The blades and shafts can be made of a mix of wood, aluminum, carbon fiber, or even Kevlar. This allows companies to develop unique hockey sticks even though most of them are made up of similar materials.