TimberStix Lacrosse Testing
In order to create a shaft that is deemed adequate for the highest level of play, TimberStix had a number of its shaft’s characteristics tested against some of the leading brands on the market. These tests were performed at the University of New Hampshire under the supervision of Professor Mike DeLeon of the Mechanical Engineering Department.
The damping ratio, stiffness, and stiffness to weight ratio of the TimberStix shaft, represented as A3 in the graphs, were compared to a Warrior Kryptopro (alloy/aluminum), represented as B1 in the graphs, STX Alliance (composite), represented as B3 in the graphs, and a Maverik A1 (scandium alloy/ finished aluminum), represented as B5 in the graphs, in the UNH engineering class entitled Experimental Measurement and Data Analysis. TimberStix chose this array of shafts in order to represent a wide array of shaft materials and represent the leading shafts on the market.
The damping ratio, stiffness, and stiffness to weight were determined by measuring the deflection of the shafts after being “plucked” and plotting these values against the time required for the shaft to return to its resting position.
Stiffness and flexibility are an important performance characteristic in lacrosse. Damping ratio is also a critical aspect because it is a measure of the vibrations that the player will feel in their hands. Damping ratio is a characteristic used to describe the shaft’s ability to return to its neutral position after being “plucked”. Stiffness is the shafts resistance to deflecting. The less the deflection, the less strain induced on the shaft and the less likely it is to break. The results are shown below.
The results from these tests are shown in Figures 5, 6, 7, and 8 as well as Tables 1, 2, and 3 above. The same scale is used on each graph for comparison.
Table 1 shows results for damping ratio. The Warrior Kryptopro and Maverik A1 shafts, both alloy shafts, performed in a similar manner as expected. Both aluminum shafts have about twice the damping ratio of the TimberStix shaft and the STX Alliance composite shaft. This is evident in Figures 5, 6, 7 and 8 since the Warrior Kryptopro and Maverik A1 shafts return to their resting position the fastest. The displacement wave of the aluminum shafts of Figure 6 and Figure 8 gets damped quicker than the composite and TimberStix shafts. The TimberStix shafts have about the same damping ratio of the STX Alliance.
Table 2 presents the data for stiffness in units of lb/in of displacement. The TimberStix shaft’s stiffness was found to be 11.8 lb/in., falling between the STX Alliance of 6.85 lb/in and the Maverik A1 stiffness of about 17.5 lb/in. Both the Warrior Kryptopro and Maverik A1 shafts performed quite similarly. Again, a trend can be seen with the Warrior Kryptopro and Maverik A1 alloy shafts. Both shafts have a stiffness of about 17.4lb/in. These are the two stiffest shafts. The TimberStix shafts are less stiff, at about 11.8 lb/in, than the two alloy shafts, yet stiffer than the STX Alliance composite shafts. The composite shafts are the least stiff of the four at about 6.85 lb/in.
Table 3 compares stiffness per mass. This quantity is very useful because each shaft has a different mass. The two alloy shafts, the Warrior Kryptopro and the Maverik A1, performed similarly as expected. Both alloy shafts have a relatively high stiffness per mass at around 51 (lb/in)/lb. The TimberStix shaft performed in a similar manner as before, not as stiff as the alloy shafts yet stiffer than the STX Alliance composite shaft. The composite shaft has the lowest stiffness per unit mass.
The stiffness per unit mass should be maximized for the best performing stick. The alloy shafts had the greatest stiffness per unit mass, followed by the TimberStix shaft, and finally the composite shafts.
The damping ratio, stiffness, and stiffness to weight ratio of the TimberStix shaft were compared to the highest quality shafts currently available on the market. Stiffness and damping ratio are two valuable characteristics of lacrosse shafts.
The two alloy shafts, Warrior Kryptopro and the Maverik A1, performed similarly. Both alloy shafts have the highest damping ratios, stiffness, and stiffness per unit mass of roughly 0.027, 17.4lb/in, and 51 (lb/in)/lb, respectively. The TimberStix shaft has a damping ratio of 0.01356, stiffness of 11.8 lb/in, and stiffness per unit mass of 21.5 (lb/in)/lb, all lower than the alloy shafts. The damping ratio of the composite shaft, STX Alliance, was 5.31% higher than the TimberStix shaft. The stiffness of the composite, 6.85 lb/in was lower than TimberStix. Lastly, the stiffness per unit mass of the TimberStix shaft was 17.3% lower than the composite shafts. Although a general trend can be observed, further testing will be performed.
Stiffness and flexibility are an important performance characteristic in lacrosse. This is where the TimberStix shaft provided a unique characteristic of balance, stiffness and flexibility. The shaft provides extreme whip and flexibility as seen in the graphs providing a faster shot for players. It also has the rigid strength and stiffness of a strong defensive middie shaft. These characteristics are unique to wood and can be captured in a TimberStix shaft. The greatest difference with the TimberStix shaft is the price; TimberStix shafts are MUCH more affordable than the alloy or composite shafts.