Technical Talk

WASP Hockey technical talk section is here to help you to understand the developments in equipment so you can make the best choice of what suits your game.

Research and Development

R and D are at the forefront of WASP. We go to great lengths to ensure or “Quality within Reach” motto is carefully protected.

WASP Hockey has close links with the Centre for Sports Engineering Research labs at Sheffield Hallam University.

Each batch of stick produced is checked for quality and performance to ensure that a WASP hockey stick gives you the edge you need when you need it most.

Our lab check each production batch for stiffness and power ensuring that the composite materials has been fully wetted by the epoxies.

WASP uses the 3 POINT BEND METHOD to test for stiffness/ structural rigidity of the stick

This gives us a clear measure of whether the properties of the fibres have been maximised.

WASP 3 Point Bend Test

WASP 3 point bend test (photo courtesy of Sheffield Hallam University)

WASP uses the IMPACT TEST to check the power of the stick.

This gives a clear picture of whether the fibres are performing to their maximum

WASP Impact Test

WASP IMPACT TEST (photo courtesy of Sheffield Hallam University)

NANO TECHNOLOGY

What is Nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology is the science of the small; the very small. It is the use and manipulation of matter at a tiny scale. At this size, atoms and molecules work differently, and provide a variety of surprising and interesting uses.

The prefix of nanotechnology derives from ‘nanos’ – the Greek word for dwarf. A nanometre is a billionth of a metre, or to put it comparatively, about 1/80,000 of the diameter of a human hair. The image below shows a further size comparison.

Nanotechnology is the science of the small

Multiwall carbon nano tubes are used in the top WASP hockey sticks

Nano technology entered the manufacture of hockey sticks very recently. Quite simply Nano technology in hockey sticks means:

  • Using Nano materials allows the specially formulated resin to seep more thoroughly through the fibres and improve the construction consistency of the hockey stick
  • Multi layered carbon nanotubes are used. These are specially bonded to create a structure of increased strength and torsional stability
  • By using Nano composite materials and specially formulated resins significant improvements to power and feel are achieved
  • Although small in size, these minute sized Carbon Nano Tubes play an important part in taking our hockey stick construction technology to a new level and give top players that extra percent that can swing the game in your favour. They recognise it is the small things that make all the difference.

Player Benefits of nano technology include:

  • Greater consistency in performance when hitting
  • Improved stability against torsional forces when controlling the ball and when hitting
  • Improved feel and handling response when controlling the ball

THE BOW DEBATE

There has been a trend recently for players at top level to use sticks with very big bows down the shaft. A big bow offers drag flick experts considerably more “sling-speed” at penalty corners. The bows became so large that some players could drag-flick with incredible speed and power. FIH (World Hockey’s Governing Body) stepped in due to increased danger and from January 2006 the extent of the bow was limited to 25mm for sticks USED IN INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS.

The bow on your current stick should influence the type of bow you select on the stick that you buy next time.

We recommend that young starter players use a Euro Classic Bow (ECB) as this helps the development of smooth pushing, slapping and hitting skills.

WASP Hockey offers 3 different bows:

1. Xtreme Late Bow - The “XLB” profile shape derives from Europe and has been developed after feedback from top players. The “XLB” measures the maximum allowed 25mm off the straight line and is positioned very low down the shaft of the stick just above the head of the stick.

The benefits of the “XLB” are:

  • Extends the “reach zone” over which a player can dribble the ball without the ball “falling away” from the head of the stick.
  • Helps to gather the ball in when receiving the ball. The bow encourages the ball to roll up the blade not off the blade.
  • Increases sling power when drag flicking penalty corners
  • Improves consistency of Low Backhand Zone skills.
  • Helps 3D dribbling skills and aerial pass skills

2. Low Dribble Bow - The “LDB” measures 24mm off the straight line and the bow is positioned low down the shaft below the centre point but not as low as the Xtreme Late Bow.

The benefits of the “LDB” are:

  • Extends the reach zone over which a player can dribble the ball without the ball “falling away” off the head of the stick.
  • Helps to gather the ball in when receiving the ball. The bow centred on the control zone helps to gather the ball in and keep it on the stick.
  • Can improve full stretch flat/sweep/slap hitting techniques by improving the angle which the stick head comes into contact with the ball.
  • Helps dynamic 3D dribbling skills
  • Helps drag flick skills and Low Backhand skills

3. Euro Classic Bow - The “ECB” profile is ideal for good club players or inexperienced players although many internationals still prefer this shape.

The “ECB” measures 23mm off the straight line and the bow is a gradual bow along the length of the shaft.

The benefits of the “ECB” are:

  • Helps keep hit passes on the ground thus leading to less danger.
  • Just enough bow to help first touch control but not that much that passing skills of hitting and pushing are adversely affected.
  • Ball less likely to “pop up” dangerously when stopping a hard pass.

In the end the choice of bow is all yours but we would advise that young players use the Euro Bow or Classic Bow until they develop their game sufficiently to be able to control their smooth hitting skills.

WHAT LENGTH STICK?

Selecting the right length of stick is vitally important if all the skills of hockey are to be developed and performed well.

WASP Stick Size Chart will help you to decide what length of stick is right for you.

In general, your height determines what length of stick you should use. However there are some benefits in selecting the longest stick that you can control. The more skillful player may want the benefits of extra reach and better vision that longer sticks can offer.

The main points are:

  • Does the stick feel comfortable?
  • Is it pressing into my tummy or am I having to bend too low and damage my back?
  • Can my hands control the head of the stick when I swing to hit the ball or is the head of the stick dominating my hands?

A rough guide for children is that the stick should come up to the top of the hip bone

One method used in Holland is to find the correct length of stick is to stand up straight, place the head of the stick under your armpit and find a stick that reaches to the bottom of your kneecap.

Wasp Stick Size Chart

Here is a rough guide for the younger less experienced player and their parents.

Remember this is a rough guide but we hope it helps you to choose the right length of stick.

Size Charts

WHAT HEADSHAPE?

Most hockey sticks are now constructed with either a J head shape or a U head shape.

WASP hockey offers a Mega J head shape in all of its sticks as we feel this is the best all round performance head shape. Other brands also offer a Maxi U head shape and there are slight differences in the benefits of the two different shapes.

Maxi U Hook

Maxi U Hook head shape is a very tight bend.

The benefits of this shape are:

  • Less twist/torsion when dribbling the ball
  • Easier use on left side reverse stick
  • Easier use for flat stick reverse side tackles
  • Easier flicking/scoop skills

Mega J Midi

Mega J Midi head shape is a more open bend.

The benefits of this shape are:

  • Bigger sweet spot for hitting skills
  • Easier to drag the ball in the head bend which is very important for penalty corner injection skills
  • Easier right to left dribble skills

Both head shapes are very popular but we would advise all young players to start off with a Mega J because we feel this shape is easier to get used to.

EPZ – EDGE PROTECTION ZONE

EPZ – EDGE PROTECTION ZONEEPZ – EDGE PROTECTION ZONEIn 1999, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) changed the rules to allow players to hit the ball with both the lead edge and the back edge of the stick. Until this time this had been illegal. This “skill” is called the “Argentinian backhand/Low backhand shot/pass” It originated in Argentina!

This skill can be quite dangerous if not well trained but it is now part of our game. It also puts stresses on hockey sticks, which are very difficult to combat. Sticks now need more edge reinforcement but to retain the good balance and comply with the rules the edges are thin.

WASP hockey has done enormous research to try and strengthen the lead and back edges of our sticks. We incorporate extra and different fibres in these zones (EPZ System) to try and prolong the life of our sticks. It helps but the forces that some edge shots place on the stick makes it impossible for anyone to guarantee a stick against breakage in this area. There is no doubt that a player who constantly uses this skill will shorten the life of the stick.

BWZ-BACKHAND WEAR ZONE

BWZ-BACKHAND WEAR ZONEBWZ-BACKHAND WEAR ZONEThe Argentinian backhand shot also puts a greater stress on the back of the stick head. This is especially true for inexperienced players whose stick constantly impacts the ground practising this skill. WASP Hockey has increased the reinforcement layers in the Backhand Wear Zone to slow down the wear in this area and to help the stick cope with impacts against the ground.

ALL WASP HOCKEY STICKS INCORPORATE EPZ AND BWZ ZONES

HOW DO I LOOK AFTER MY WASP HOCKEY STICK?

By following some simple steps you can prolong the life of your stick.

  • Wrap cloth or fibreglass tape around the lower end of the shaft. This not only protects your stick against stick clashes but also assists by cushioning the ball when receiving a pass. Constantly remove the tape as it gets damaged and re-apply new tape.
  • After the game/training allow your stick to dry naturally. All WASP stickbags have ventilation/airflow panels to assist this process. Wipe off excess moisture, sand or soil and keep away from heat sources such as radiators.
  • When headwear/edge wear begins to show use a repair kit to counter its effect.
  • Remove any loose material and smooth down the surface carefully using glass paper.
  • Apply repair resin as directed and build up the area to its original shape.
  • Smooth down all rough edges using glass paper.
  • Reapply cotton/fibreglass protective tape as required.
  • Do not abuse your stick by using it as a cricket bat, hitting the goalpost or throwing it down in frustration.

Remember every abnormal impact can potentially weaken the fibres, from which your stick is constructed. Now that we have explained the jargon and technicalities we hope you feel more confident to choose the right WASP Hockey stick for your game.

There is no doubt you cannot beat calling into our hockey factory shop in Yorkshire so we can help and advise you first hand. It is the biggest field hockey shop in the North of England and with our staff all being high level coaches the guidance given to all our customers is we feel second to none.

We hope the information in this section at least helps you to choose the right stick for your game.