The hockey stick is a piece of equipment in ice hockey, necessary to carry, pass and shoot the puck. The typical hockey stick will be 150-200 centimetres long, with a long and slender shaft and a flat extension called the blade. There exist two main kinds of hockey sticks, one for skaters and one for goaltenders; the latter is characterized by a fair part of the shaft being flattened like the blade to help the goaltender block shots.
Sticks were traditionally made of wood, typically that of hornbeam trees, then yellow birch and ash tree, the latter becoming the most common. In the 1980s, experimental aluminum sticks have been created, and mixed wood-aluminum sticks (aluminum shaft and removable wooden blade) became popular late in the decade and early in the 1990s. In recent years, fiber glass and carbon fiber have been used to create a new generation of sticks that are lighter than aluminum and more consistent than wood, but less durable than either.