There are various factors that will determine how long a field hockey stick will last:
- How many times a week you play
- Your style of play
- The surface you play on
- The type of ball you regularly play with
- The design of the hockey stick
Does how often I play affect how long my Field Hockey Stick lasts?
How many times a week you use your stick certainly has an impact on the life of your stick: Of course, if you play two serious games a week and throw in a training session your hockey stick is going to be subjected to more wear and tear than somebody’s stick used once a week in a casual knock about with friends.
If I am a junior player is my Hockey Stick expected to last longer?
As you’re not hitting the ball (or scuffing the turf) with the same power as a grown adult, it’s likely your stick will last longer. That being said, there’s always an exception to the rule. I do know some players who are very choppy in their style, so tend to go through sticks much quicker. In part, because they are forever charging in with heavy tackles, scuffing the ground, and making aggressive mistimed passes.
Does the surface you play Field Hockey on affect the life of your stick?
A softer sand-based pitch will help preserve your stick in the long term. Obviously, if you’re playing on a concrete yard you’re likely to scuff the head and do real damage to your stick. Playing on sand-based pitches is recognized as the best practice for adding shelf life to your stick. The surface is ideal for the sport, as the soft sand won’t cause harmful friction on your hook.
How does the type of ball you use help the life of your Hockey Stick?
The ball you play with is as much of an influence on the wear of your composite stick, as the type of pitch you play on. Top-end balls are better for your stick as they are softer, with a cork centre to absorb more energy on impact. The cheap solid, one-piece hard plastic balls will damage your stick a little each time you hit them.
Sticks these days are very stiff with high carbon fiber, graphene, and other high-tech materials which cost a lot of money. You wouldn’t hit a heavy stone with your new stick, but that is effectively what you’re doing when you use an old or cheap hard ball.
Does the design of the Hockey Stick help determine how long it lasts?
With the demise of wooden sticks at higher levels, it has become apparent that wooden sticks won’t work well on new artificial pitches. If using a wooden stick on turf, they will damage around the toe as the wood will be exposed to water. The toe can bloat, gain weight and eventually break. For this reason, manufacturers have had a hard look at wooden sticks, realizing they are inconsistent with their quality.
With full modern composite sticks, the structural integrity is superior and can be controlled with more predictable results. Modern tech formulations have made the composite field hockey sticks much more durable.
A great benefit of modern composite sticks is that you can choose the weight of the stick. With a light stick offering superior power, durability & structural integrity. That said they still do not last forever and all of the above precautions should be noted.
Does the new material, Graphene make Hockey Sticks harder and stronger?
Graphene is a new material that is very tough, which will make hockey sticks last far longer.
What makes Graphene so strong?
Due to the electrostatic forces resulting from delocalized electrons flowing through positively charged carbon atoms. This difference in charge creates a strong electrostatic attraction that holds graphene together. This phenomenon also explains why it is such a strong conductor. Graphene is more than 200 times stronger than steel, because of its bond lengths. But what’s really great about graphene, is its flexibility. Graphene can be stretched by up to 20% of its volume! This high-tech material is even stronger than diamonds.
How does Graphene work in a stick?
The use of graphene in hockey sticks is meant to redistribute weight, and support it against impact in key breakage areas. Manufacturers claim such the addition of graphene, makes their sticks the most lightweight, durable, and responsive sticks yet.
What are the longest lasting Field Hockey Sticks on the market?
There is no literature providing proof of which model of stick lasts the longest. However, if you’re in the market for a long-lasting stick, you should start with some of the most reputable brands.
Although I’m a strong advocate for being thrifty when shopping, composite durable sticks are not the right place to be waiting for a huge discount. There’s no way to get around it, the best quality sticks, that will last you a long time are going to be pricey.
One such hockey stick, made with Graphene, is the Grays GR 11000 field hockey stick. The name Grays can be trusted, with top quality a hallmark of their products.
The Hockey Hooked Tip of the day: Replace your older stick when it begins to look scuffed with one or two small cracks, but keep the older stick as a reserve stick for the future.
Written by Eddie, field hockey enthusiast.