Leading the way...
Grays continue to invest in our extensive research programme into the playing characteristics of our composite and wooden sticks. This involves both laboratory and field testing of all our sticks to assess their playing characteristics. Grays have developed extensive expertise and technical data thus enabling us to create our range of composite and wooden sticks.
The Research Programme
Grays research laboratory testing programme was done in conjunction with one of England's foremost universities. By using players of both international and club standard we also conducted hitting tests using each model within our collection of sticks.
The first part of the research process involved them hitting balls with each of our sticks whilst being filmed using special high speed cameras that had also been used extensively in ball speed tests. By filming each hit using 400 frames per second each individual swing speed and impact ball deflection speed was accurately measured and from this data the stick’s rigidity was established. By drawing together the data of the tests, Grays have been able to accurately assess the matrix formulae required in our composites and our wooden stick models.
The 'Feel' Factor
The second part of the testing was conducted in the laboratory in a controlled environment to establish the feel factor of receiving skills. This involved firing a hockey ball at each model of stick to establish how much rebound occurs when the ball makes its initial contact with the stick head. This process is an accurate simulation of ball receiving skills.
IFA - Improved Feel Area
The IFA absorbs the initial ball contact with the surface of the stick head and provides a softer feel. Our special combination of shock absorbing aramid and fibreglass fibres improves first touch control and creates a better feel. The textured finish helps give more grip and control of the ball, particularly on water based surfaces.
ERH – Energy Reduction Handle
The Grays Energy Reduction Handle is designed to reduce the impact energy transmitted from the head of the stick through the blade and hands wrists and forearms. The thermo rubber sleeve around the handle helps to improve the players control and feel when both hitting and receiving, leading to improving a players first touch on the ball.
All Grays sticks comply with the new FIH stick regulations. We have reshaped modified and improved the 2012 Grays blade profiles to do so. Here is a Technical Specification guide to the various blade profiles as well as the all important benefits that each shape provides.
It is well known that in many international hockey matches, there’s a small margin of difference between winning and losing. For 2010 the introduction of Carbon Nano Tube Technology is the latest development in improving Grays composite hockey sticks. 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.
Grays inspiration for our nano range has come from our desire to:
- Take the performance of composite sticks to a new level by improving the stick’s consistency and performance
- Improve the sticks reliabilty by increasing both the flexural strength as well as giving greater torsional stability
- Increase the sticks durability and wear performance on synthetic pitches
By introducing these new hi - tech Carbon Nano Technologies, Grays are now able to introduce and offer players the latest cutting edge technology.
- 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
Nano Carbon Tube Technology
Carbon Nano Tubes are molecular scale graphitic tubes that are amongst the strongest of known fibres. We have now included “Carbon Nano Tubes” as part of our resin mixture formulae. This process has involved carefully adding these nano molecule particles into the resin mix as part of the all important lay up process. The Grays formulae is so important in creating the all important stick performance qualities of increased strength and feel.
The Carbon Nanotube (CNT)
When integrated within the formulae mix of the resin, these minute sized Carbon Nano Tubes allow greater impregnation of the resin into the surface of the reinforcing fibres themselves, resulting in greater tensile strength in the bond of the resin itself on the surface of the reinforcing fibres.
How Nanotechnology works
It is the combination and integration of the use of these Carbon Nano Tubes within the resin mix combined with our Grays special composite fibre matrix constructions on these Nano models that increases the unidirectional qualities of the sticks performance.
The "Jumbow" blade profile is the ultimate shape and design with the curve positioned down the blade to help generate "drag flick" momentum. The curve location is now contoured at the lowest legal position allowed within the FIH regulations. The Jumbow shape has been developed working with two of the world’s top penalty corner specialists.
"Jumbow" will help players to:
- Generate "sling" momentum when executing the drag flick technique
- Creates improved "reach zone" over which you can dribble the ball
- Make passes more easily on the backhand side
- Combination of continuous blade and head profile make 3D skills easier to perform
The highly popular "Dynabow" blade profile is shaped with a curve positioned down the blade at 25cm from the base of the head – The combination of a rounder lower hand profile and uniform rounder rear blade profile help to provide excellent handling qualities as well as excellent energy transfer when hitting and drag flicking . Used and preferred by leading German international players Natascha Keller, Thilo Stralkowski, Korea’s Mi Hyun Park and many more.
"Dynabow" will help players to:
- Optimum profile for both technical play, flicking and dribbling skills.
- Improves "sling" momentum when executing the drag flick technique.
- Rounder rear blade profile provides stable energy transfer when hitting
- Helps "extend the reach zone" over which you can dribble the ball freely using both forehand and backhand.
- Rounded lower handle profile allows hands to rotate freely toenhance dribbling and 3D skills
The "Megabow" blade profile shape has been repositioned in the mid section of the blade at 30cm from the base of the head. The curve height of the is 24.75mm. The uniform bow is shaped and contoured continuously along the handle to the head and is especially contoured to improve the angle at which the stick head comes into contact with the ball - it will help give players the technical edge in performing today's 3D hockey skills. Easily identifiable by its own unique graphical design, the Megabow blade profile continues to become increasingly popular amongst a new generation of players who have learned their skills exclusively on synthetic pitches.
"Megabow" will help players to:
- Help control "flat", "sweep" and "slap hitting" techniques.
- Help "extend the reach zone" over which you can dribble the ball freely using both forehand and backhand.
- Improve the "first touch" control when stopping the ball at full stretch.
The "Standard " blade profile shape is the classic traditional straighter shape associated with Grays positioned in the mid section of the blade at 30cm from the base of the head. The curve height of the is 20 mm It has a classic bow contoured along the length of the handle and blade. Used and preferred by Germany’s Linus Butt, Belgium’s Xavier Reckinger and Japan’s Kaori Chiba.
"Standard" will help players to:
- Keep forehand and backhand passes on the pitch surface when hitting
- Make stopping control easier due to straighter blade profile
- Improve stick handling skills
Grays 'Anti Torque' Technology
Our hockey stick research programme has revealed that all sticks experience some rotational flex forces when hitting the hockey ball. These rotational forces are referred to as 'Torque'. Very simply torque flex is responsible for the loss of energy being transmitted through the impact zone.
Grays 'Anti Torque' Powerbeam technology combines three important component features set out to give the model greater 'core stability'.
- The Powerbeam spine down the rear of blade profile gives central 'core stability' to the rear of the stick.
- The two-directional powervein structure creates improved stability along the back of the blade of the stick and works against these rotational flex forces.
- The special composite fibre matrix construction on these models have been realigned to take these forces into consideration.
The central spine positioned down the back of the blade together with the single direction powerveins, combine to create good 'energy release' transmission through the hitting zone.