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Random thought - Why sticks don't wood ends anymore?

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My buddy decided to have a BBQ this weekend and while the group of us are sitting in his game room which is also full of hockey memorabilia and many unique sticks from 1970-2010 someone commented on how most of the sticks on the wall, aluminum, kevlar, and composite, all had wooden ends but current composite sticks no longer have wooden ends. I know some pros still put in their own wooden ends but it seems right around the time period when Innovative was sold that all companies stopped putting wooden ends in sticks. I still put a small wooden end plug in all of my sticks as I like how it makes the stick feel more solid. 

Any idea why this change happened? Was it to just save a few bucks? 
 

Edited by SkateWorksPNW

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While I have no evidence to back up my claims, I'm going to say it was purely a cost saving measure.  A tiny plastic end plug that can be mass produced is way cheaper than wood that is milled to a precise size and shape, and the glue required.  Also, I'm assuming shafts had to be heated to insert the end plugs, which may have been a manual process, which would be labour intensive.

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Probably cost. I can't say that it is definitely pinpointed to the Inno-Warrior move, as I definitely bought TPS sticks after the Warrior buyout and the TPS came with wooden end plugs. Anyway, I agree with you about feel, I usually need an extension and I always use a wooden one and cut it down. I have a teammate that actually puts in a wooden plug and then cuts it down flush with the top of the shaft, just leaving the tenon in. Claims it helps feel the puck better. Idk, but hockey players are definitely weird

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10 hours ago, Miller55 said:

[...] I have a teammate that actually puts in a wooden plug and then cuts it down flush with the top of the shaft, just leaving the tenon in. Claims it helps feel the puck better. Idk, but hockey players are definitely weird

Oh man, I thought I was the only one

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Money is probably involved, without Butt ends being readily available once you cut your stick that's it. If you hit a growth spurt or wanna try a longer stick its time to buy a new one. It could also be because players no longer file down their knobs as they once did with woods sticks. Or perhaps manufacturers found the wood end pieces adversely affected stick flex, not really sure but all these ideas that popped into my head.

I'm also on 'Team Wood End Plug'. I put a short wooden end plug into all of my sticks. It could just be me or superstition but I feel like the Wood End Plug provides a 'dampening' effect on the stick. Without it the end plug I feel like the stick has a 'ping-ish' feel, like pucks are prone to bounce off my blade on receiving a pass or when I'm handling the puck I just have a better feel. When you're a grizzled vet sometimes you stick with what you think works and thats certainly what I do.

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I do the same and think it dampens the feel a bit. Could be placebo but hockey players are weird and I would put myself in that category.

I also wonder if using wood implies a less premium overall product because it’s...wood. Especially at $299. If anything I could see them putting composite plugs in instead but that would cannibalize that item as a separate sale. 

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4 minutes ago, mojo122 said:

Probably not the reason, but one of my complaints about early composites was that they didn't feel all that well balanced.  

The wooden end plug I use is quite small and does have some effect on balance but it feels better to me. I also like that it dampens the vibration and makes the stick feel more solid. 

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1 hour ago, Cavs019 said:

I also wonder if using wood implies a less premium overall product because it’s...wood. Especially at $299. If anything I could see them putting composite plugs in instead but that would cannibalize that item as a separate sale. 

I would assume it’s this. Johnny Suburb wants the best most elite stick possible, and wood is old fashioned. Who cares if the stick doesn’t feel as good or is balanced weird. 

Plus, the mid 00s had a widespread obsession with saving weight, regardless of practical effect, and having a wooden end plug adds fives of grams. 

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Wasn’t it the easton EQ sticks that had little weights you could put in the end plug for weight/balance? Probably something us ol’ timers who still use wood end plugs can point to and say ‘see we’re not crazy!’

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59 minutes ago, the_game said:

Wasn’t it the easton EQ sticks that had little weights you could put in the end plug for weight/balance? Probably something us ol’ timers who still use wood end plugs can point to and say ‘see we’re not crazy!’

Yup. They did. 

 

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Easton was on a huge roll of delivering some of the finest high end composite sticks on the market up to the release of the EQ50 which was a huge flop.

The weights in the top of the shaft weren't even that bad but the heel weight insert in the blade was terrible.

Whoever was responsible for that release should have been fired. I'm not sure Easton ever really recovered their position in the stick market after that did they?

 

 

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I'd say that it's most likely due to manufacturers really pushing the weight reductions in their sticks.  Solid wood weighs more than hollow carbon fiber, 

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I seriously thought I was one of the only people using a wooden end but apparently, there is a lot of others doing such. Maybe it's time for a comeback?

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1 hour ago, SkateWorksPNW said:

I seriously thought I was one of the only people using a wooden end but apparently, there is a lot of others doing such. Maybe it's time for a comeback?

I hope when Bauer launches their new $20 laser snipe dangles wooden insert that we get a cut of the profits. 

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1 hour ago, SkateWorksPNW said:

I seriously thought I was one of the only people using a wooden end but apparently, there is a lot of others doing such. Maybe it's time for a comeback?

Haha I agree with you, but I don't know if MSH is a viable sample of the general hockey population lol. Bunch of old time gear nerds might not be enough of a market for the comeback. Lol. 

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9 hours ago, Miller55 said:

Haha I agree with you, but I don't know if MSH is a viable sample of the general hockey population lol. Bunch of old time gear nerds might not be enough of a market for the comeback. Lol. 

Who you calling nerd?  I prefer gearologist, thank you very much! 🤣

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I also usually add a wooden plug for balance. It feels like it’s mostly a weight distribution issue for me, rather than a question of material/vibrational medium. I tested using a plastic plug with a bolt fed through it. I loaded it up with washers to adjust the balance and I couldn’t really feel a difference between that and having a wooden plug of the same weight.

The only sticks that I’ve tried that have had great feel without having to add a plug have been Trues. Also a Kovalev gamer but his shaft is heavier than normal and the end plug probably weighs 40-50g as well, effectively reproducing the effect of an end plug.

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Marchand has that weird shaved wooden butt end, plus holes in his gloves. I don’t know if they PHEW facebook group is still a thing, but he must give people on there fits. 

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6 hours ago, start_today said:

Marchand has that weird shaved wooden butt end, plus holes in his gloves. I don’t know if they PHEW facebook group is still a thing, but he must give people on there fits. 

 

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