If you love playing hockey, then you would surely wish to have the best hockey stick. A good hockey stick can be a game-changer.There are many attributes that need to be taken into consideration while selecting a hockey stick. Using the ideal hockey stick can create a big difference in your match as it will make shooting, managing the stick, and the entire game control more accessible and easier.
This hockey stick guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about selecting the right hockey stick for yourself. You will learn about the features of an ideal hockey stick, its length, the best material, and other key aspects. So, without wasting any more time, let us get to the main topic.
How to pick the perfect hockey stick?
Before selecting the ideal hockey stick, it is essential for you to know the stick options or types of hockey sticks available out there in the market and be clear about your personal preferences. Let’s take a look.
These sticks are mostly used by NHL players and have become very popular in recent times. These are made of woven carbon fiber and fiberglass blends. Many manufacturers also make a composite hockey stick with an ABS blade. You get them in one and two-piece options. These are known for better flexibility than a wooden stick, are lightweight, and help in performing well. Even though these sticks are expensive, they may not last long and might break. The affordable version is more durable as they are mixed with fiberglass. At the same time, they are heavier too.
Wooden hockey sticks are affordable and thus ideal for players with a limited budget. They are quite durable as well. Some players prefer wooden hockey sticks due to the feel they offer. However, the biggest disadvantage of this stick is its extra weight. It weighs around 3 times more than the composite sticks. The second con is that it can get a little inconsistent with time.
In this case, you will have to buy two various pieces that are a blade and a shaft. The shaft can be made with carbon fiber (known for strength, stiffness, and power), aluminum (light and strong), and fiberglass (usually wooden sticks reinforced with fiberglass). There are reinforced sticks as well, where graphite sticks are dipped in nano steel. And, for choosing the blade, you can select a composite or a wooden blade.
Ways to determine the proper hockey stick length
The length of the hockey stick is typically the easiest aspect to identify, and it is very vital for the success of the player. The stick is available in four sizes, and those are:
The senior sticks are normally utilized by the players who are a minimum of 14 years to the adults. The intermediate sticks are usually used by the ones that age between 10 and 15 and by some of the female players. The Junior sticks are used by the ones aged between 7 and 12, and the youth sticks are used by the players that are between 4 and 8 years.
Having the knowledge of measuring a hockey stick will assist you in making sure that you can easily find the right hockey stick length. The normal rule for the ideal hockey stick length is that the end of the stick should reach up to your nose when placed vertically from the ground. With skates on, the stick must reach up to your chin. So, you must always remember this general thumb rule for picking a hockey stick of the perfect size.
If your stick is long, according to you, then you must mark it at the right place and then cut the handle of the stick according to it. And, if it’s very short, then you can elevate its length by adding an end plug at the top of the shaft.
How to choose which hockey stick material is best for you?
As mentioned earlier in the article, sticks are designed using multiple materials that incorporate wood, graphite, carbon and fiberglass, wood and fiberglass, and reinforced sticks. Before choosing the ideal material, we must ask ourselves a few questions like:
Are you new to the game?
Is this stick your first stick?
Do you need a stick for playing on a non-ice surface, for example, playing street hockey?
Are you returning after a long break from the game?
If your answer to all these questions is a yes, you will gain an advantage from a slightly heavier stick, which will offer you a better feeling for the puck. The extra weight will assist the shot when off-ice practicing and help play with more confidence while managing, passing, or shooting on the ice.
The wood sticks, as mentioned before, are usually heavier than the composites. They are ideal for the players who indulge in casual street hockey or for the ones who are trying this for the very first time. They are also not at all expensive as compared to the lightweight alternatives.
If you wish to attain a high standard of performance and prefer a stick that is light, then consider composite hockey sticks. They are made with carbon fiber, graphite, Kevlar, fiberglass, and multiple other combinations of materials. However, remember the general rule, that expensive and lightweight sticks may not be as durable as cheap and heavier hockey sticks. However, lightweight sticks help perform better. So, based on your preference, you must choose the right hockey stick.
Determining Hockey Stick flex. What flex should I use? Other things to consider when choosing a hockey stick flex
When checking out hockey sticks, you will come across sticks that are easier to bend than the others. This feature of the stick to bend is thehockey stick flex, and it defines the flexibility of the stick. The stick flex shows how flexible or stiff the stick is. So, the first thing that you should be doing is bending it. The flex rating highlights how many pounds it takes to flex the stick one inch. The higher the flex number is, the stiffer the stick will be. No matter your age, the ideal flex must ensure easy bending of the shaft to take any shot.
There are multiple things to look at while you decide upon the flex of your stick. Your height, age, weight, and other things can assist you in choosing the best stick with the best flex.
When buying, do test the flex or the flexibility of the stick by putting some pressure by bending it against the floor. An ideal hockey stick will let you bend the shaft to a little extent without you having to apply much effort. Lightweight hockey sticks with a good stick flex provide better accessibility to the players while passing and shooting. A very stiff hockey stick shaft can reduce the accuracy of the shot and the speed of the puck.
It leads to recoiling and releasing before taking a shot, thus causing the puck to flutter.
The stick is too hard to absorb the impact of shots.
You may feel a vibration in your hands after hitting the shot.
Using a softer stick
You will get slightly less accurate shorts.
It would be difficult to recoil and release quickly, as your hand won’t get too far in front of the puck.
Choosing the right hockey stick is a tricky job. All the points mentioned above will assist you in the best way to pick one, be it the hockey stick length, the flex or the material of the stick. So, consider all the essential points carefully and then select a hockey stick.