Not all hockey sticks are equal. Some sticks will appeal to experienced players who wish to enhance their game, while a beginner might be looking for one balanced in all areas.
The most important thing to remember when choosing a hockey stick is to find one that is comfortable. The stick should be light, easy to manage, and stiff enough to provide power but not so stiff that it hurts you.
Ice Hockey has been a popular sport to play and watch in the US since 1894. Statista reveals that as of 2023, projected sales of ice hockey sticks are $16 million, and the number of registered ice hockey players is 455,000.
When you are looking for a new hockey stick, there are a few things you need to bear in mind: length of your stride, grip size, material, and weight distribution. A better understanding of your style and the parts of a hockey stick can help you find the perfect stick for your game.
That said, if you’re looking for a hockey stick, here are a few tips to help you find one.
1. Style of Play
Players of all levels and styles benefit from using the right equipment. To choose the right product, it is essential to assess your skill level and find one that will suit your style of play.
Ice hockey has recently gained much popularity among kids and adults. Ice hockey is a fast-paced, physical game that requires great physical strength, agility, and speed.
Hockey sticks come in many distinct types and sizes. The most common hockey stick type is an ambidextrous, one-piece intermediate shaft that both right-handed and left-handed players can use.
As a first-timer finding the right hockey stick can be challenging. A good idea would be to look at this list of the best hockey sticks to avoid confusion.
2. Level of Play
Beginners should start with a wooden stick until they are more comfortable with the sport and can manage its demands. A wooden stick is lightweight, making it easy to control while still providing enough stiffness so that even smaller players can succeed with their shots.
If you are an intermediate or advanced player, consider investing in a composite hockey stick instead of a wooden one. This option offers more power than its beginner counterpart but still maintains its maneuverability thanks to its lightweight build quality (the shaft itself weighs less than one pound).
3. Wooden Stick or Composite Stick?
You can find hockey sticks made of wood or a composite material, a blend of wood, graphite, and carbon fiber.
Composite sticks are lighter, but they tend to be more expensive. They are more durable than wooden sticks because they do not splinter or crack when you hit them hard enough to break the shaft. Less weight makes it easier for younger players (or anyone shorter) to grip them independently.
Composite sticks also have a wider range of flexes—which means you can adjust the stiffness or softness of your stick depending on how hard you want to hit the puck.
4. Optimal Shaft Profile
The shaft is the part of a hockey stick that connects your blade to the handle. It can be made from wood or aluminum and comes in various lengths and flexes.
The kick point is the angle at which your shaft bends; you can change this by changing your flex. When using a stick in practice or games, ensure the shaft is straight, so it does not bend when shot at goal or passed over the shoulder.
The more flexible your shaft is, the easier it will be to control when you shoot or pass. However, if your shaft is too stiff, it can cause pain in your hands and wrists when using specific techniques like slappers or slap shots.
Flex ratings measure how much force it takes to bend the stick. Most players use a flex rating of between 75 and 85, but your choice depends on what kind of player you are.
5. Hockey Stick Length
The length of your stick depends on a few factors. First, your height and weight, as well as whether you are playing on roller skates or ice hockey boots.
Due to varying stick lengths, there are four sizes of hockey sticks: junior, youth, intermediate and senior. Longer sticks are better for shooting and stick handling because they allow more control over the puck when shooting; shorter ones are better for passing because they give you more speed while maneuvering around the rink.
Shorter sticks require more effort from players shorter in stature than taller ones; kids will usually grow out of them sooner than adults! Longer sticks tend to be slightly more expensive than shorter ones—but if you are looking into buying one anyway, consider that this extra expense might be worth it!
6. Best Hockey Blade
The most important part of hockey sticks is their blade, which determines how fast or slow you will move on the rink. There are various kinds of blades available in the market that are made from metal, wood, or composite materials like carbon fiber.
Wooden blades are heavier and more durable than graphite or composite blades. They are also less forgiving, so they are not ideal for beginners. Graphite blades are lighter than wooden ones but still offer some durability and responsiveness.
Two other kinds of blades used on your hockey stick:
- Spoon blade – which has curved edges
- Anchor blade/Peg – which has straight edges
7. Ideal Blade Curve
The blade curve is the angle of the blade from top to bottom. It is measured in degrees and runs from heel to toe, with straight being 0° and reverse being 180°.
The best hockey stick for you will have a curve that meshes with your style of play and offers enough power for both slap shots and dekes. If you want a more offensive-minded stick, look for an aggressive curve with low kick points (or even no kick points).
8. Hockey Blade Lie
Blade lie is a term used to describe the angle formed by the blade and shaft of a hockey stick. A low-lie stick has more of an upward bend at its head, whereas a high-lie stick has more of an outward curve.
The higher your blade lies, the harder it will be for you to shoot because your shot will have less height and reach than if it was lower on the shaft. A low-lie hockey stick makes moving around on the ice and taking strides easier.
You must select the best gear and equipment available. The critical thing to remember is that each player has different abilities, which specify their selection of sticks.
Finding the right hockey stick can make all the difference in the world. As so many diverse types, brands, and sizes are available, it can be overwhelming to narrow them down. So, when looking at options in the market, remember this list of factors!