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In this hockey stick guide we will get you better acquainted with your soon to be best friend! Hockey sticks, like skates, are considered to be one of the most important and personal pieces of equipment for players. With a stick there are a lot of variables like the company that makes it, the make and model, the weight, materials, height, flex, curve, lie and flex points.
All of these aspects of a hockey stick will rely a little on your playing style, weight, height and position and a little bit on personal preference.
The most common material is carbon fiber, or a mix of carbon fiber and other materials although you can still find wood, fiberglass or maybe even a used aluminum stick. There are also one and two-piece sticks available although one piece are the most common.
They are fine for an entry level player on a budget, but for the price of a quality wood stick you could likely find a low to mid-range composite stick on sale for about the same price. Composite Almost every serious hockey player uses a composite stick these days.
You can find them in one and two-piece models, although one-piece is almost exclusively used a two piece stick allows for a composite shaft and wood blade. Composite sticks are more flexible than wood sticks, allow for pre determined flex ratings, and flex profiles like low, mid, or high kick points.
Most players prefer one-piece sticks, but they can be expensive and they will still break. A common misconception is that the more you spend, the longer your stick will last.
Usually with composite sticks the more expensive sticks are made of lighter material and can break faster, while the cheaper sticks are mixed with fiberglass making them heavier, but more affordable but will last longer.
Types of Sticks: Fiberglass These are typically wooden sticks that are reinforced for strength by a fiberglass coating or wrapping. Aluminum Aluminum sticks were the first non-wood hockey sticks to become popular.
The shafts are constructed with aluminum while replaceable composite or wood blades are inserted into the shaft. The sticks were lighter and stronger than fiberglass and wood, but not as light as Kevlar and graphite. No companies currently make them, and no pro players use them.
The cheaper sticks will generally be carbon fiber and fiberglass. Kevlar Kevlar is typically mixed with other materials or added as a layer to reinforce a certain part of the stick.
Reinforced Colt Hockey has taken a Graphite stick, and dipped it in nano steel to reinforce the bottom half of the stick. Materials — The composite sticks at this price point will be mostly fiberglass mixed with some composite making them heavy and not as well balanced.
You can get last years top of the line stick on sale, or a companies 2nd tier stick that they purposely make just a little worse than their top of the line stick.
Advances are usually made in the carbon fiber, construction process, foam or gel used inside the blade, or shape of the shaft, blade or taper where the blade meets the shaft Construction — Most sticks here should be a true one-piece although some may not.
The big companies like Bauer and CCM spend millions each year on research and development as well as marketing and branding. There are also different types of carbon fiber and new advances being made on the material, so typically the most advanced carbon fiber is used.
Usually companies will boast something that increases power, provides better feel, or better accuracy. Construction — Every stick at this price should be a true one piece stick. This makes for a more expensive stick because the companies need to create a new mold for every single curve pattern they offer both left and right handed.
The entire stick is created at the same time allowing for better energy transfer. Feel — Very light, excellent puck feel and balance.
Stick Height The length and weight of your stick is a personal decision. Some players prefer shorter and lighter shafts so they can stickhandle in cramped quarters and release their shots quicker while defensemen typically prefer longer and heavier sticks to check the opposition from a greater distance and clear out the front of the net.
Your position and skating style may affect your preference. If you skate with a hunched-over style then a shorter stick may suit you better while upright skaters will be better off with a longer stick. Note from coach Jeremy — A stick just below the chin is a good starting point for beginners, after you get comfortable play with the length of your stick and find something you like.
NHL players use a variety of lengths from stick length, all the way up to the eyes! But in reality, you need to find a stick that is comfortable, suits your style of play, and is productive for you regardless of the length, weight, type of curve, flex, and the hockey stick lie. Most manufacturers make sticks in two specific sizes, which are junior, and senior.
Junior sticks are usually between 46 and 54 inches while senior models are from 56 to 63 inches. Shaft diameters range from Junior, Intermediate, and Senior.
Most defensemen use longer sticks as they give them a longer reach for poke checks and intercepting passes and will help add a bit more power to the slapshot.
This video was made to help with picking sticks for kids, but the information is also helpful for players of any age Hockey Stick Weight Most forwards prefer lighter sticks for maneuverability as they enable you to pass and shoot quicker. Anything under grams is pretty light! Hockey Stick Curves Hockey sticks are curved for right or left-handed players with very few blades being straight these days.
The blade is either curved at the toe, middle, or heel of the blade, the one you choose is generally based on personal preference. The rating lets say 85 flex is the amount of force required to flex a stick one inch, so an 85 flex stick will take 85 pounds of force to bend one inch.
Usually I recommend starting with a flex that is half your weight. Defensemen and big, strong players typically use stiffer shafts while most forwards prefer more flex.
Learn more in this hockey stick flex guide Finding a hockey stick for kids When shopping for hockey sticks for kids it can be hard to find a flex that matches their weight.
Most stick flexes start at 40 and then the stick needs to be cut, which can alter the flex.