Choosing A Hockey Stick
Getting kitted out for a sport is a big buying decision and for novices, there’s also a bit of a dilemma. Should you go cheap to minimize losses for if you don’t like it, or go all-in with the latest tech expensive to give weight to your commitment? Long time players don’t have it much better. Being experts with experience, they know exactly what they want and how it tends to be more expensive. Even so, if your game is hockey; bandy, field or ice, here’s a few pointers to help you buy the right hockey stick.
Which Type Of Stick Is Right For You?
When you’re trying to find the best hockey sticks, there’s more to think about than the correct size. There are advantages and disadvantages with every stick on the market. You might think all you need to do is determine which suits your style in the price range you want but it is not as easy as that. Among other things, there’s the height and weight of the stick consider.
Hockey Stick Length
Not having the right length of hockey stick can seriously impede the quality of your game. Whilst finding the correct length depends a little on the position you’re playing, it’s quite simple. Hold the stick from the front. It needs to be 1 or 2 inches higher or lower than your chin. Shorter sticks are perfect for managing field hockey ball or hockey puck but can not produce a strong shot. Long sticks let you aim and with limited effort, you can develop a controlling slap shot.
Field hockey sticks vary from 535 to 560 grams. Usually, the correct weight comes down to individual choice. Both the lightweight and heavy sticks have their distinct benefits.
Lightweight (535g-545 g): A lightweight stick is responsive and facilitates easy wrist mobility, making it easier to provide quick back-swing and stick skills.
Heavy Weight (550g-560 g): A heavier stick adds power to your strikes.
Hockey Stick Curves
Whether right or left-handed, hockey sticks are bent with very few blades remaining straight these days. The blade is either bent at its tip, neck or heel. Like as not, you prefer one type of curve over the other.
Hockey Stick Flex
The flex is the solidity of the shaft and higher numbers reflect tougher shafts. The level is the amount of power needed to flex one inch of a stick. The recommended is a flex at around half your weight. Stiffer shafts are used in the defense positions with most forwards using sticks with a good flex.
Hockey Stick Lie
The stick’s lie is the distance between the tip and the base. Some sticks lie between 4 and 7. Each lie reflects a two-degree angle discrepancy. A 4 lie is 137 degrees, for instance, whereas a five lie is 135 degrees and so on.
For players who hold the puck out in front and move down to the surface, lower lies usually work better. Those who bring the puck lower to their ice hockey skates and skate straight tend to prefer a low stick lie. When you’re out on the ice, the whole blade has to be smooth to the surface, not just the toe or the heel.
Composition Of The Hockey Stick
Hockey sticks are constructed from a variety of products from wood, fiberglass, Kevlar, aluminum through to titanium. A wooden stick is a good option for beginners. It is said they give the puck a better feel. A tough composite graphite stick or a Kevlar stick are equally good options for the more experienced player. They are built more precisely with the needs of the forward players in mind.
Carbon, fiberglass and wood are the most common products used in manufacture. Each component brings its own qualities and adds unique characteristics.
- Carbon: Carbon creates hardness and strength. Simply put, the greater the proportion of carbon the bigger the power output.
- Fiberglass: Fiberglass is used for strength and durability. When used in conjunction with carbon, they combine to provide almost indestructible protection.
- Wood: Wood is the most rigid component but it brings versatility and is forgiving enough for clean catches without so much technical skill. Using traditional wooden hockey sticks are an outstanding way for novices to learn how to feel the puck and develop a quick release.
Ultra-Low Bow: 24.75 mm is good for flicking drag and vertical and sweeping. Elite players use the stick to maximize speed and accuracy.
Low Bow: 24 mm is common on any spot location. The form improves ball control and encourages aerial abilities without an impact on hitting techniques.
Classic Bow: The regular curve is 22 mm which maximizes both control and power.
Pick The Grip Option That Feels Right
You might like or grip or you might not. Sticks that do not come with sweat grips have a smooth finish and are perfect if you want to slide your head side to side although you sacrifice responsiveness with a less secure grip once get hockey gloves wet or dirty.
Normal Wear And Tear
You have to expect wear and tear and the paint on the stick will crack after a rough hack, strike or slide given the nature of the game. Paint chips don’t void the warranty on most hockey sticks brands.
Your Price Range
A smart way to decide the expected price of a hockey stick is to surf around a bit. With so many styles and ranges there’s endless variety with Adidas, Grays and Gryphon leading the way. With plenty of other big-name manufacturers and near endless choice of stockists online and in the real world, whatever your flex or how you prefer you bend, you are bound to find what you want.
Over time, all hockey players get to know which stick works best for them, just like soccer players know their cleats. Whether you are looking for your first stick to join in with a local field team or you are an expert on ice adding a new stick to your collection, it’s good to look online at the styles and prices but much better to visit a store and try a few out in real life. Hockey sticks really are as individual as shoes and to produce a game you need the right fit. A new stick chosen with care is an extension of your arm. Okay, you might not be getting the Stanley Cup first time out, but with the right stick, you have a good chance at the puck.