The First Hockey Sticks
It is believed the first hockey stick was probably made from a tree branch or sapling and was used by ancient civilizations for playing games similar to field hockey. The modern hockey stick, made of wood, was invented in the mid-19th century and has undergone many changes and improvements over the years. The first hockey sticks were made of ash or hickory and were very heavy and difficult to handle. In the 1960s, fiberglass sticks were introduced, which were lighter and more flexible than wooden sticks. Today, most hockey sticks are made of composite materials, such as carbon fiber, which are even lighter and more durable than fiberglass.
The First Hockey Stick Companies
The history of hockey stick companies is a long and evolving one, with new companies entering the market and old companies being acquired or going out of business over time. Here's a brief overview of the history of hockey stick companies:
- Early history: In the early days of hockey, sticks were made by local artisans and blacksmiths using wood from nearby forests. Players would often purchase sticks from local stores or have them custom-made to their specifications.
- Sherwood Hockey: Sherwood Hockey, established in Sherbrooke, Quebec in the late 1940s, is widely recognized as one of the first companies to mass-produce wooden hockey sticks. The company quickly gained popularity among players due to the quality of their sticks and their innovative use of materials and manufacturing techniques.
- CCM: CCM (Canada Cycle & Motor Co. Ltd), another Canadian company, also entered the market in the early 1900s and quickly became a major player in the hockey stick industry. The company was known for producing high-quality sticks and was a popular choice among players of all levels.
- Modern era: In the 1990s and 2000s, the hockey stick industry underwent a significant transformation, with the introduction of new materials such as composites and the growth of global brands such as Bauer, Easton, and Reebok. These companies brought new innovations to the market and changed the way hockey sticks were designed, manufactured, and sold.
Today, the hockey stick industry is highly competitive, with a number of major brands and smaller companies vying for market share. The use of advanced materials and manufacturing techniques continues to drive innovation in the industry, leading to lighter, stronger, and more responsive sticks for players of all levels.
What's the benefit of using a wood hockey stick?
There are a few benefits to using a wood hockey stick:
- Feel: Many players prefer the feel of a wood stick over sticks made of other materials. Wood sticks tend to have a more traditional and "classic" feel, and some players find them more comfortable to use.
- Flexibility: Wood sticks are generally more flexible than sticks made of other materials, which can make them easier to handle and control for some players.
- Durability: Wood sticks are generally more durable than composite sticks, which can break or shatter more easily.
- Cost: Wood sticks are generally less expensive than composite or aluminum sticks, which can make them a more affordable option for some players.
That being said, wood sticks also have some drawbacks. They are generally heavier than sticks made of other materials, which can make them more difficult to handle for some players. In addition, they do not offer the same level of performance as some of the newer materials, which can make them less appealing to some players.
Wood Hockey Sticks Still Being Used Today
Wooden hockey sticks are still used today, but they have become less common due to the popularity of composite sticks made from advanced materials such as carbon fiber and fiberglass. Wood sticks are often favored by some players for their traditional feel and the unique sound they make when striking the puck. Wood sticks are generally used by a smaller segment of the hockey player population, and are more commonly used for recreational play or for those who prefer a traditional feel.
Third Assist Wood Hockey Sticks
Our wood hockey sticks aren't quite like the sticks that were made in the early 20th century, but they try to bridge the gap between history and performance. We create modern construction wood sticks with an ash core and birch veneer, but choose to finish them by hand. We also offer the option for customers to finish sticks by hand as well with a DIY Hockey Stick Kit. Each stick takes about one week to produce: We take raw wood sticks, sand and condition the wood, and then finish and protect them based on customer specifications. For gifts we take them on step further by engraving on the face of the sticks. You can learn more about our wood sticks here or even create your own engraved wood stick on our generator.
Hopefully you enjoyed the history lesson and take the chance to get a wood stick back in your hands in the near future. We're making sure they're not going anywhere.
Special thanks to Taylor Friehl for certain wood stick images (Unsplash).