When executed well, the slapshot is the fastest shot in floorball. Where do the speed and power come from? That’s what I’m gonna dive into today, helped by ice hockey and… physics!
Fact: in 2011, the record for the hardest ice hockey shot was broken: Denis Kulyash (Russia) managed to shoot with a speed of no less than 177.5km/h!
What can you expect in this article?
- Short Introduction to a Slapshot
- “Science B*tch”: the Physics behind a Slapshot
- A comparison with floorball;
- Basic advice for your slapshot.
In will start with a brief introduction to the technique of a floorball slapshot so we set the definition of what a slapshot entails in floorball (so we’re on the same page). It’s not meant as a ‘Slapshot 101’. A ‘How to do a slapshot’ article will probably follow in the future.
Note: what I call ‘slapshot’ can be applied to both hockey and floorball, unless I specifically mention which sport I am talking about. Where I write ‘ball’, often ‘puck’ can also be read and vice versa.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has conducted a number of studies on ice hockey, from a physics perspective. One of the studies concerned the slapshot, one of the fastest projectiles in team sports worldwide.
Short Introduction to a Slapshot
What’s the technique behind a slapshot (in hockey and floorball)? Here’s, in a few steps and VERY basic, how it looks like. To illustrate the movements, we’ll use some snapshots from the Salming Academy you can find on YouTube. :
1. It starts with lifting your stick (with two hands) backward up, to sometimes far above your shoulder.
2. Then the shot starts, but beware: you don’t hit the ball/puck directly, but you aim to hit the floor/ice first instead!
3. When hitting the floor, your stick will bend and become ‘charged’ – like a bow that you pull to shoot an arrow. Bending the stick – also called the flex – causes energy to build up, in order to be able to launch the ball even harder.
4. The shot ends when you’ve launched the ball towards the goal while aiming your stick in the same direction. Hopefully, a loud cheer will follow now as your shot was successful!
Rasmus Sundstedt, national team player of Sweden – and who we “abducted” in one of our recent articles) – shows how devastating a slapshot can be, and also why it is potentially the fastest shot in a player’s arsenal.
How fast are we talking?
Guinness World Records, unfortunately, doesn’t have a ‘fastest floorball shot’, but we did find this video on YouTube. The shot reached 205 km/h!
A puck is, of course, a lot heavier than a floorball, but for both sports you now might understand even better why goalkeepers wear so much protective gear!
Science B*tch: the Physics behind a Slapshot
The National Science Foundation has been investigating slapshots (among other subjects). Dr. Jim Gates (University of Maryland, USA) is a professor of physics. According to him, a slapshot is a perfect combination of energy, work, and power. The more of everything you have, the better!
As much as we love floorball, we dedicate a lot of time and money to the FloorballToday project (more info here). That's why we ask you for a small monthly donation. By clicking the button below you can become one of our supporters and read the rest of the article. Thanks a lot! Already a patron? Then here is where you can login.