Athletics Engineered: Hockey sticks, a material issue

A player’s stick is right up there with their
skates as far as being one of the most important things that they have. If it doesn’t feel
right, sometimes it goes back on the rack and you end up picking another one until you
find the right one. A lot of times you gotta break them in to get the right flex and right
level of snap on them so that you can fill the net the right way. The flex for sure matters. I use a 67 flex, so it’s a bit less because I’m not as strong
as the big guys I guess. It depends on how high you want to raise the puck. So if I use
the higher flex I might not have as much whip on the puck as I’d like. I went through a
lot of sticks this year because I used a different stick last year and I wanted to try something
new. I’ve probably gone through 100 sticks since the beginning of my hockey career The evolution of the stick kind of began in its early days in a very basic plain wooden stick, and kind of evolved into a 2-piece stick with aluminum and wood blades to a graphite stick, which was 2-piece composite, now to a 1-piece composite, which allows for a lot greater flexibility in choices of models and types of things that players need to execute properly I think players are always looking for an edge to find a more consistent tool to be able to play the game at the highest level, and manufacturers are catering to that. Because if the highest end players are using the best stuff then that’s what the kids want too. Making it light and strong, that’s the same thing you want in airplanes, hockey sticks, automobiles, all of that. It all comes down to manufacturing materials, and really the shape that goes into it, and all those things are going through subtle evolution all the time Ohio State really has a lot going on in the area of manufacturing and design, putting things together and we’re always working with manufacturers in finding new ways of shaping things, new ways of joining things to enable lighter, cheaper, better products It’s really fun to be an engineer because you actually get to learn what you’re using Every single aspect of sports in general really dwindles down to how it’s engineered what the performance is, what the best thing you can make is It’s just really sweet to be able to control what you’re going to use in the future. I love being a Buckeye Engineer!

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