Understanding Street Hockey and Its Equipment
Before delving into the specifics of using alternative equipment for street hockey, let's first understand the game and its original equipment. Street hockey is a variant of the traditional ice hockey game, modified to be played on concrete or asphalt surfaces. It's a game that is loved by both children and adults because it requires fewer resources and can be played anywhere there's a flat surface. The equipment used in street hockey is similar to that in ice hockey, the most essential being the hockey stick.
The standard hockey stick used in street hockey is made out of wood, plastic, or a combination of both. The shaft of the stick is usually made of wood while the blade, the part that comes into contact with the puck, is often made of plastic. The stick is designed to withstand the harsh conditions of the concrete or asphalt surfaces as well as the impact of the hard plastic puck.
Why Consider Using an Alternative Street Hockey Stick?
As much as the standard street hockey sticks are designed to be durable, they can be costly and may not be readily available for everyone. This is where the thought of using an alternative stick comes in. You might have a broomstick or an old ice hockey stick lying around in your garage and you are wondering, "Can I use this as a street hockey stick if I put tape over it?"
The answer to this question is yes, but it is not as straightforward as it sounds. There are several factors that you should consider before transforming any stick into a street hockey stick. Let's delve into these factors in the next sections.
Choosing the Right Stick to Convert
It's important to note that not every stick can be converted into a street hockey stick. The stick should be sturdy enough to withstand the rough play and the hard concrete surfaces. It should also be of the right length and weight to allow for easy control and maneuverability. A broomstick or an old ice hockey stick would be a good option since they meet these criteria.
However, a stick with a metal shaft should be avoided as it can cause injuries and damage to the puck. The blade of the stick should be flat and wide enough to allow for good puck handling. If the stick you are considering does not meet these criteria, it might not be suitable for conversion into a street hockey stick.
Preparing the Stick for Conversion
Once you have chosen the right stick to convert, the next step is preparing it for conversion. Start by removing any unnecessary parts from the stick such as bristles if you are using a broomstick. Then, trim the stick to the right length. The length of the stick should be relative to your height. A good rule of thumb is that the top of the stick should reach your chin when you are standing upright with your shoes on.
After trimming the stick to the right length, sand down any rough edges to make the stick smooth and safe to handle. You should also check the stick for any cracks or splinters and repair them using wood glue. If the stick is too thin, you can increase its thickness by adding layers of duct tape around the shaft.
Adding Tape to the Stick
Adding tape to the stick serves two main purposes. First, it increases the durability of the stick, especially if the stick is made out of wood. The tape provides an extra layer of protection against the harsh concrete surfaces and the impact of the puck. Second, the tape improves the grip of the stick, making it easier to handle and control.
To add tape to the stick, start at the top of the shaft and wrap the tape around the stick in a spiral fashion, making sure that each new layer slightly overlaps the previous one. Continue wrapping the tape down to the blade, then back up to the top of the shaft. This double layering of tape adds extra durability to the stick. The type of tape to use is also important. Cloth hockey tape is the most recommended due to its durability and good grip. Avoid using plastic or electrical tape as they can easily peel off.
Testing the Converted Stick
After preparing and taping your stick, the next and final step is testing it. Use it to play a few games of street hockey and see how it performs. If the stick feels comfortable and performs well, then you've successfully converted it into a street hockey stick. However, if the stick feels uncomfortable or performs poorly, you may need to make some adjustments. This could involve adding more tape, trimming the stick to a different length, or even choosing a different stick to convert.
In conclusion, it is possible to use an alternative stick for street hockey if you put tape over it. However, it requires careful selection of the stick and proper preparation and conversion. The result is a cost-effective and readily available street hockey stick that you can use to enjoy the game.