GRYPHON have a range of models, you may think they are there because they are our favourite names and colours. (There is a little bit of that) In reality the GRYPHON stick range is developed to offer a stick for all hockey players. From the previous article you can now understand the shapes of the stick, but what about the next question, “Which model do I pick? Henry Weir uses a Bluesteel so I’ll just pick that”
The GRYPHON stick range is large, with 8+ different models, the same shape is available across different models. Once you know the shape we need to consider which model is right for you, and that is a consideration around the composition / construction / lay-up of the stick.
What Makes A Composite Stick?
Before anything lets have a look at what makes up our composite sticks. The main materials used in most sticks are carbon, aramid and glassfibre.
Carbon is for stiffness and rigidity. This is directly linked to potential power, but again consider this to be dependent on correct application in manufacture and the quality of the material used. (Some companies use cheap carbon, some use expensive).
Aramid is sometimes referred to as Kevlar, which is a trade name for a material that does the same job. Aramids job is shock absorption and abrasion resistance.
Glassfibre is a basic strength and durability material used structurally.
“How Much Carbon Has That GRYPHON Stick Got?”
Percentage of Carbon is the most common unit that customers will look for and most commonly asked question for is ‘‘What percentage of carbon does that stick have?”
You will notice that in the GRYPHON stick range we do not have a percentage of carbon value, that is because as a company we do not believe it is a suitable metric to measure the stick on, there is so much more to sticks and so much more to GRYPHON sticks, Carbon, Aramid, Glassfibre and of course 30+ years of development.
We use some of the highest quality carbon in our sticks, this creates the stick range that is lorded for its incredible power, but carbon is not the only reason for that, the lay-up that has been developed over years is an integral part to how GRYPHON hockey sticks offer such high levels or potential power.
In all it is really far too simplistic to put a carbon percentage down on the stick. Much better is to consider the stick on a more personal basis, but we do include a guide on all our sticks where in the range that particularly model sits, this puts a stick between ‘Soft and Playful’ and ‘Crisp and Powerful’.
”I can hit the ball hard with this GRYPHON Stick so this is the best stick for me”
Typically players measure the quality of the stick on how hard they hit the ball, but again this is a very narrow and very basic line of thought.
All composite sticks are just inanimate objects in the hands of a player and it is the player’s ability that influences the power generated more so than the stick in most cases. Yes, ‘better’ sticks have a higher potential power than a ‘bad’ stick, but unlocking that potential power is down to the player. It is better to understand the stick you are buying and wider considerations of what makes the stick right for you, the wider consideration being the feel of the stick, this is the most personal connection and has the greatest bearing on your skill execution.
What Does Carbon and Stiff Lay-Ups Do to My Game?
Every composite stick will generate a vibration wave on contact with the ball. How large that wave is and how fast it travels up the stick is something that is controlled by the composition and arrangement (the lay-up) of the sticks materials. Top end sticks, the Tour and Bluesteel will generate a fast and powerful wave because they are stiffer, which equals more of the swing speed being transferred through the ball, giving a higher potential power. As you move down the range the stiffness of the stick reduces, so the wave gets smaller and weaker, movement in the structure increases and energy transfer from the swing is reduced.
The stiffness of the stick is directly linked to the potential power, but it should also be considered that it affects the touch of the stick and the feeling in the player’s hands. Stiffer sticks will generate a more “instant” registration of contact through the hands. In playing terms this can be described as a more instant or responsive touch. The more flexible sticks will ‘give a little’, so there is a slight delay in that feeling and the touch in playing terms can be described as softer as a result.
The Balancing Act
All players want the potential to hit the ball hard, who doesn’t love hitting a bullet pass from defence to attack or scoring in the top corner past a goalie who never saw the ball. BUT, it is so important to understand that with that potential power your touch and feel on the stick will be impacted, this is where a player has to make a decision. You should be looking for a stick that feels right when you control and dribble the ball, a stick that feels the best for your performance, not what a sticker says, find that balance between stiffness and touch. All players want the potential to hit the ball hard, who doesn’t love hitting a bullet pass from defence to attack or scoring in the top corner past a goalie who never saw the ball, BUT, it is so important to understand that with that potential power your touch and feel on the stick will be impacted, this is where a player has to make a decision. You should be looking for a stick that feels right when you control and dribble the ball, a stick that feels the best for your performance, not what a sticker says, find that balance between stiffness and touch.
The right stick for you is determined by your personal feeling towards it, not necessarily what the best internationals or your favourite Premier League player is using. At GRYPHON we pride ourselves with offering great advice to any customer or GRYPHON pack athlete who is picking a new stick from the GRYPHON stick range. We don’t just want everyone using the Tour, that is not right for everyone so we will help you pick the stick that is best for you!
Ultimately consider the stick as something that you need the right connection with. This involves more than just potential power since “potential” needs to be realised to be effective. It is more important to have the right touch and feel characteristics in your stick to develop and enhance your game fully.
We recommend that everyone who buys a GRYPHON stick has an idea of what they want from the stick in terms of shape and feel. If you are moving from another brand or simply buying a new GRYPHON stick. We are confident that one of the sticks in our range is perfect for you.
Thank you for reading, if you have any questions please post a comment below and we will do our best to answer it for you 🙂