CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
- FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This application claims priority on Canadian application no. 2,462,333, filed on Mar. 26, 2004. All documents above are herein incorporated by reference.
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to hockey sticks or like-game sticks. More specifically, the present invention is concerned with hockey stick shafts having properties varying along a length thereof and a method of fabrication therefor.
The art offers a variety of hockey sticks. Typically, hockey sticks comprise a shaft and a blade. The cross section of the shaft is traditionally rectangular so as to prevent undesired rotation of the shaft in the hands of a player. The cross-sectional dimensions of the hockey stick shaft are usually fixed within a narrow range by the requirement that the player must have a good grip on the shaft.
It is a common practice to make the shaft with a constant rectangular geometry from a first extremity thereof to a second extremity thereof, with a height and a width yielding an ergonomic perimeter standardly comprised between 90 and 95 mm. The rectangular shape of the shaft allows assembling either a left or a right blade, and, as mentioned hereinabove, allows a resistance to a rotation of the stick in the hands of the player, in direct relation to a pressure exerted by the hand of the player.
The shear gripping force of the hands allows the player to control the stick in a number of shots, such as the slap shop, the snap shot and the wrist shop. Such shots require a controlled rotation of the stick, and are therefore dependent on the quality of grip of the gloved hand on the stick. The wrist shop for example requires a maximum grip on the shaft for an enhanced precision. The snap shot is performed very rapidly and also requires a perfect control of the grip on the shaft of the stick through a movement of the wrists in order to generate energy of speed and a satisfactory precision. The slap shot requires the stick to be rigid, both in flexion and in torsion.
It has been shown that, when performing a slap shot, first energy is built up in the stick during a contact between the blade and the ice or the ground, before the blade hits the puck, due to a flexion of the shaft. Then the energy is released and transferred to the puck upon contacting the blade. The puck in turn, when contacting the blade, creates a torsion of the shaft, which resistance to deformation in torsion must be high in order to propel the puck at a high speed.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Therefore, in spite of previous efforts, there seems to be some room for improvement in the art for a new hockey stick shaft combining an optimized grip and a high rigidity in flexion and in torsion.
There is provided a hockey stick shaft having a proximate end portion, a central portion and a tapering distal end portion with a blade mounting part, comprising at least one of longitudinally oriented high tensile strength wires and of fibers on at least one part of at least one plane surface thereof.
There is further provided a method for fabricating a shaft for a hockey stick, comprising the step of inserting at least one of: longitudinally oriented high tensile strength wires and of: fibers on at least one part of at least one plane surface thereof.
DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS
Other objects, advantages and features of the present invention will become more apparent upon reading of the following non-restrictive description of embodiments thereof, given by way of example only.
Generally stated, there is provided a hockey stick shaft having varying properties along a length thereof, from a proximate end portion to a tapering distal end portion thereof.
A hockey stick generally comprises a longitudinal shaft provided with a proximate end portion a central portion, a tapering distal end portion, and a blade mounted to the distal end portion. The present invention is mainly concerned with the longitudinal shaft, so that the other parts of the stick will not be described in detail herein, since they are believed well known to people skilled in the art.
Each parts of the hockey stick have different functions and are submitted to specific applied forces, and that the hands of the player are not located on a same edge of the shaft simultaneously.
The shaft of the present invention comprises high tensile strength wires generally longitudinally oriented on at least parts of at least one of the walls of the shaft. The wires are longitudinally oriented inside a thickness of the walls in cases of a hollow shaft for example.
It is found that such an addition of wires yields a dramatic increase in the resistance in flexion and in the toughness of the shaft, at a constant weight.
When wires are provided in walls of opposite surfaces of the shaft submitted to tension and compression forces generated by the flexion of the shaft, they provide a reinforcing system able to limit an amplitude of deformation of the shaft. Due to a high tensile strength and to a high modulus of elasticity thereof, the wires therefore make the shaft tougher and even more resistant in flexion, with a minimized increase in weight.
The wires may be metallic, including non-ferrous, wires. They may be made in aluminum, brass or steel for example, as required by performance and process criteria including the weight of the shaft, the way the wires are embedded into the material of the shaft, the target cross section and diameter of the shaft, for example. The wires may further be in organic or inorganic material.
In case of a laminated composite shaft, an optimized quality of bonding between the wires and a resin matrix of the laminated composite may be achieved by using brass electroplated steel wires, twisted wires or a mesh comprising wires at 0 and 90 degrees for example.
The wires may be encapsulated, embedded or mechanically incorporated into the material of the selected surface(s) of the shaft.
It is to be noted that embedding wires extending along the length of the shaft may further hold broken pieces of the shaft together in the event of a transverse sectional breakage thereof for example. Since they are encapsulated, embedded or mechanically incorporated into the material of at least one surface of the shaft and due to their high tensile strength, the wires indeed maintain a structural integrity even upon total breakage of the section of shaft, thereby preventing broken pieces, which generally have cutting edges, to be separated apart. Thus, risks of injuries due to exposed cutting edges of the broken pieces are reduced.
Alternatively, organic or inorganic fibers, in the form of integral molded rovings or of premolded cables added during molding, may be provided on at least longitudinal parts of at least one plane surface of the shaft, longitudinally oriented inside a thickness of the walls of the shaft, as a way to increase a toughness in flexion (higher rigidity) thereof at a relatively constant weight.
According to another aspect of the present invention, there is therefore provided a method for fabricating a shaft for a hockey stick, comprising the step of inserting at least one of: longitudinally oriented high tensile strength wires and of: fibers on at least one part of at least one plane surface thereof.
The shafts of the present invention may be hollow composite laminated shafts or hollow wood shafts for example.
People in the art will appreciate that the hockey stick shafts according to the present invention meet standard requirements of the art, including an ergonomic circumference, rigidity, weight, and adequate position of a center of gravity thereof.
Although the present invention has been described hereinabove by way of embodiments thereof, it can be modified, without departing from the nature and teachings thereof as described herein.