OTHER FLOORBALL EQUIPMENT

Securing a firm and comfortable holding of floorball stick is provided by special tape on the upper half of the stick. This tape is generally called “grip”. The grip needs to be changed according to its wear-out. It is better to change it as soon as it is either not sticking to the shaft or it doesn’t absorb sweat. The most worn part of the grip is the upper part. Hence most of the producers came with split grips which enable to change only the top part (“Top-Grip”, “Up-Grip”). The thickness and shape of the grip depends on the personal needs and habits of the player. There are round and oval profiles of the shaft and sticks with various bends and shape modifications. As an innovation, producers present a stick fully made of carbon (shaft and blade) and a one piece stick (no separation of shaft and blade).

The production of floorball sticks is similar to the manufacturing process of tennis rackets i.e. pressure injection into forms. The cheapest material for floorball stick production is carbon composite (a mixture of carbon and glass fibres). High quality sticks are made of 100% carbon fibres. The material corresponds with the weight, quality, and of course with the price. Floorball sticks are evolving with a staggering speed. The main producers come every season with new innovations in their collections. The latest trend is based on curving of shafts under various angles. It is indicated in grades and determines the position of the shaft in relation to the blade. Curves are mainly used for shooting improvement. For the reason of better shotting the various profiling of the shaft and blade are being developed as well as other parts of the stick are being reinforced.

The blades are made of polyethylene (PE) in three different hardness options. There is a choice of soft, medium or hard blade. Occasionally some manufactures also offer an extra hard blade. Hard blades are being used by experienced players with very good slap-shot. Softer blades are more appropriate for players who prefer ball control over long distance shots as well as beginners or children. The harder the blade the higher demands on the player´s ball control and a “ball feel”. The stiffness of the blade should be chosen accordingly to the hardness of the shaft. Generally a stick with a higher flex (29 – 36/40) with a medium or soft blade is recommended for beginners.

Most of the blades these days are pre-curved by the manufacturer and there is no need for any additional adjustments. The IFF rules allow a max blade hook not exceeding 30mm. If you still want to hook a blade to the max allowed limit (generally for better ball control) it shall be done by evenly heating up the desired part preferably by a heat gun or boiling water. When the blade is softened up by heat it can be bent into a desired shape by using a either tissue or gloves (since it is very hot). Cooling down and preserving the desired shape is as simple as putting the blade the cold water.

Important! The blade material tends to return to its original shape. Hence it needs to be taken to account for the initial shaping. Also it is important to note that with each heating up and other material stressing as well as general wear out each blade becomes softer. Some players even put the blade into cold water or ice before the match in order to make the blade more rigid.

If the blade breaks or gets too soft it is necessary to replace it (must be the same manufacturer/brand). When replacing, firstly remove the screws than heat up the connecting point of the blade and the shaft to soften the glue and extend the blade insert. Slide the blade off straight without twisting it otherwise it will damage the grooves in the joint. The same method is used when attaching a new blade – heat up the new blade, apply a glue, insert shaft into the blade without twisting and secure it with screws.

Last but not least thing on player’s equipment list is a proper footwear. The only suitable shoes are those specially design for indoor sports as they are equipped with an appropriate non-slip sole and providing a stability and adherence. Proper floorball shoes should be similar to footwear designed for handball, squash or volleyball. Although the basketball shoes protect ankles their disadvantage is an excessive robustness and bigger weight. Floorball shoes need to be light and should have extended side stability. Therefore they are usually wider (handball shoes) and have a cushioning (volleyball shoes). Nowadays some manufacturers offer specially designed floorball footwear.

It is allowed in floorball to use football (soccer) shin-guards underneath the long socks however most of the players don’t use it. On the other hand a useful protection, especially in junior categories, is protective sport goggles. These are equipped with clear glasses and an elastic band around the head to prevent goggles from falling.

An essential part of floorball equipment is a wide spectrum of wristbands (short or long), headbands (wide or thin), stick covers, stick or tool bags, bottles, team wear and others.

 



How to wrap your stick


How to change your blade


How to hook your blade


Image and videos: Zone Floorball TV

 
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