Buying hockey stick
This guide is made to make it easier for you to buy a hockey stick. The different factors to consider when buying a hockey stick will be explained here. A good hockey stick fits both your level your strength and playing style.
The shaft is made of wood or other types of materials.
- Sticks with a wooden shaft is cheapest but when the blade is worn you have to replace the whole stick. Wooden shafts are stiffer and heavier than other types.
- Other types have a shaft of composite material (aluminum, carbon-graphite, kevlar or titanium). When the blade is worn you can replace the blade without having to replace the shaft. Composite sticks are much more expensive, but they last longer and the weight is lower.
There is two basic sizes: senior sticks and junior sticks.
- Senior sticks are made for adult players who can control a stick that is more stiff, has a bigger blade and is heavier and longer. Senior sticks have a length from 140 to 158 cm (4' 8" - 5' 3")(shaft alone)
- Junior sticks are made quite slimmer to give less weight and more flexibility. Junior stick have a length from 116 - 138cm (3' 10" - 4' 7") (shaft alone).
Ice hockey or street/roller hockey?
Some sticks are best suited for ice hockey while others are designed for roller hockey. If you buy an ice hockey stick and use it for street hockey the life of the blade will be severely shortened due to the faster wear of the wooden blade.
The right length of the stick is very important for your play. A short stick gives better control and faster puck handling, while a longer stick allows you to shoot harder and longer. Many offensive players prefer a shorter stick while defensive players often prefer a little longer stick. When ever the length of the stick is given it is always the length of the shaft alone (and not including the blade).
Getting the right lenght
- To determine the right length of the stick hold the stick with one hand wearing your skates. Bend the arm sligthly and keep it close to the body. If the toe of the blade points a little upward the length is correct.
- When you hold the stick in front of you with the blade toe on the ground you can find the right length of the shaft.
- With skates on: The end of the stick can max reach the chin.
- Without skates: The end of the stick can max reach the tip of your nose.
Tip: Some hockey players buy the shaft a little too long so they can cut it down to the right length.
The stiffness of the stick (or stiff) is important in determining control, power and performance in your play.
- Beginners are recommended to use a stick with medium stiff in order to have some feeling with the puck/ball; the feeling is easily lost if the stick is to stiff.
- Bigger and stronger players are recommended to use a stick with higher stiff in order to use their strength when hitting the puck/ball.
- Sticks often comes in medium stiffness (85 stiff) and in extra stiff (110 stiff). The stiffer the stick the heavier they normally are.
Ice hockey blade are normally made out of wood, sometimes reinforced with kevlar. The Blade for street/roller hockey is normally a composite of wood, ABS and fiberglass with kevlar.
There is a difference in the curve and the lie of the blade. For beginners we recommend sticks with little curve and very little lie.
Left or right?
Hockey sticks are labelled as L or R:
- L - for hockey players with the blade on the Left side of the body (right hand at the top of the stick)
- R - for hockey players with the blade on the Right side of the body (left hand at the top of the stick)