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Sports Equipment: The Sea of Options
Do you know that ice hockey is among the most popular kinds of sports in the world even though it has a high injury rate due to the amount of physical contact between players? Given the size of the sports equipment market, consumers should understand the differences between wood and composite ice hockey sticks to make informed purchasing decisions. This public service announcement leaflet compares two types of hockey sticks and demonstrates the unquestionable advantages of composite sticks, such as durability, high quality, strength, and eco-friendliness.
Why Choose Composite Sticks?
Composite sticks for ice hockey can be called a preferable option due to many reasons. Such sticks are made using a variety of materials, including aluminum, Kevlar, graphite, and carbon fiber, which explains many of their advantages discussed in the leaflet (Coach Jeremy). The key drawbacks of these sticks relate to affordability and, probably, the emotional component of hockey players’ experiences (Coach Jeremy). However, both factors are less important than product quality and durability.
Composite sticks have the following benefits:
- Their use can positively impact the quality of sports experiences – they are less heavy than wood sticks and provide more opportunities for customization (Coach Jeremy);
- The physical properties of materials other than wood make composite hockey sticks more durable and less prone to breakage, which also improves players’ satisfaction (Coach Jeremy);
- From durability considerations, although wood sticks tend to be cheaper, the purchase of a composite stick can be regarded as a better investment.
Can Composite Sticks be Eco-Friendly?
Speaking about both options’ environmental friendliness, composite sticks possess more advantages in this regard. To begin with, their production does not involve the exploitation of natural resources such as wood and does not contribute to deforestation, which is a growing problem today (Coach Jeremy). More than that, considering the strength of the materials used for their production, ice hockey players dispose of composite sticks less frequently, and it has implications for waste processing and related problems.
Wood Sticks and the Decline in Their Popularity
The use of wood sticks can be regarded as a more traditional option associated with nostalgic memories of childhood. There are some professional players who prefer wood sticks, but the majority of ice hockey stars recognize the benefits of the composite ones (Coach Jeremy). The key advantage of hockey sticks made from wood is their affordability (Coach Jeremy). More than that, there is evidence that they have “a 10% higher puck speed” compared to the composite ones (Kays and Smith 245). Due to the price levels, they can be an acceptable option for amateurs who do not play ice hockey on a regular basis.
Compared to composite sticks, the ones made from wood have more disadvantages that are relevant to an average user. In particular, the following drawbacks deserve consumers’ attention:
- Heterogeneity in quality: there can be significant variations in the properties of wood depending on its origin, storage conditions, density, and climate conditions in the tree’s habitat (Karakaya et al. 623). Therefore, even wood sticks produced by the same company can be extremely different in quality.
- Durability and safety: wood sticks weigh more than composite ones and tend to be less strong, which results in more frequent breakages (Coach Jeremy). As these drawbacks are related to the risks of injuries, young hockey players’ parents should consider them before making buying decisions.
Based on the analysis of the two types of sticks, customers are recommended to purchase composite sticks since they provide better sports experiences. Preferring them to wooden sticks, people get equipment made from solid and safe materials that are not heavy or prone to breakages. Due to their advantages, sticks from composite materials are a good option for people who care about the safety of their children and the growth of deforestation.
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Coach Jeremy. “Beginners Guide to Hockey Sticks.” New to Hockey. 2018. Web.
Karakaya, Selda, et al. “Socioeconomic Structure and Analysis of the Demand for Wood Raw Materials in the Poplar Wood-Processing Companies of the Sakarya and Kocaeli Provinces in Turkey.” Journal of Sustainable Forestry, vol. 36, no. 6, 2017, pp. 623-646.
Kays, Brendan T., and Lloyd V. Smith. “Effect of Ice Hockey Stick Stiffness on Performance.” Sports Engineering, vol. 20, no. 4, 2017, pp. 245-254.