I’ve been asked countless times what type of replacement blade material a player should get for their street hockey shaft. If you haven’t yet read how to select a blade pattern you might want to read that first. Before making a purchase, there are four main factors you ought to consider. Note: If you have a one-piece stick you can still use this info when selecting a stick.
The Surface You Play On.
- Do not use street hockey blades on ice. A lot of people think this wont matter, but I’ve seen guys break their street hockey blades within the first 20 minutes or so on ice. I would HIGHLY recommend not taking any slap shots if you decide to use your street hockey blade on ice.
- If you are playing on a surface like asphalt you may want to consider using a blade that is made of plastic, plastic core, or even use a composite blade.
- If the surface is something similar to an indoor rink or sport court, the material wont matter as much, but it would probably be best to use a wood or composite blade.
- If the surface is smooth or painted concrete, any type of blade will be fine, but wood would be a good choice.
Your Skill Level
- The better you are at skating, the less you will rely on your stick for balance. This will help prevent the wear of the blade.
- The more you play, the more you will know when it is necessary to keep your blade on the ground and when it wont matter as much. Keep in mind, you will almost always want your blade as close to the ground as possible.
- Your stick handling and the way you shoot can also play a role in how quickly your blade wears. If you drag your stick as opposed to “chop” with your stick while handling, this could make the blade wear more quickly. Also, the more you scrape your blade along the surface while shooting, the more your blade is going to wear.
The Amount of Stress on the Blade
- Bigger players may want to consider a material like plastic core or a composite blade. The reason for this is even if you rely on your stick just as much as your more dainty counterparts do, for turning or balance, you will be putting (x) amount of lbs/kgs more pressure on the blade than what it may be built for.
- Slap shots, the more you take, the more of a beating your blade takes. If you are ripping slappies left and right, you are probably constantly slamming your blade onto the surface you’re playing on. This is fine if necessary, but you may want to consider limiting your slap shots if you don’t want to keep replacing your blades.
- Slashers beware, the more you take your anger out on your blades equates to increased anger over having to constantly replace them. Plus, no one likes playing with a hot head. Keep cool and everyone (including yourself) will enjoy the game more.
The Type of Material
- Wood blades are decent, usually last for a good amount of games, are fairly inexpensive and have a good feel to them when playing. One other thing is these blades typically have some type of coating (i.e. fiberglass) to extend the life of the blade. Also, if you decide to take your stick on the ice, there should be little to no worries about the stick breaking.
- You don’t have to waste your money on some fancy composite blade/stick. These cost a decent amount more cash than other blades and this could add up after a while. However, one big advantage to this material is that it works very well on almost every type of surface.
- Plastic/ABS blades are very good for rougher surfaces like asphalt and will last a decent amount longer than almost any other blade on this surface. One of the major setbacks to this material is that you don’t get the typical feel while playing than you would with any other material.
- Plastic core. This material is perfect for any material EXCEPT ice. For some reason these blades are horrible on ice and I can almost guarantee it will break the first time you try it out on the ice.