Choosing an Ice Hockey Stick
It is exceptionally important to select the right hockey stick, and that applies for beginners as well as for advanced players. This article deals with flex, length, hardness and materials.
Left-handed or right-handed?
The first thing you should focus on is if your hockey stick should be left-handed or right-handed. To determine which one should you buy, hold the hockey stick naturally as you would if you would be playing.
If your right hand is positioned lower than your left hand, you will want a right-handed hockey stick.
If your left hand lies closer to the blade, opt for a left-handed stick.
There are sticks with straight blade on the market available too, these are suitable for small children, who are still determining their natural hand position.
Our e-shop distinguishes different sticks with abbreviations – L stands for left-handed sticks, R describes right-handed sticks. Similar description applies for age categories – SR marks ice hockey sticks for adult players, JR junior players and INT for intermediate players.
Goalkeepers can determine this aspect by their goalie trapper (catcher glove). If you wear the trapper on your left hand, go for a left-handed ice stick, and if you wear it on your right hand, a right-handed ice stick is the way to go.
There are two options how to determine a correct length of the stick.
- If you are not wearing any skates, the end of the hockey stick should reach your nose level.
- When standing on your skates, the stick should reach your chin.
Every player is unique, so we recommend to take these tips only as guidelines. Many advanced attackers prefer shorter sticks that allow quicker motions, while defenders mostly opt for longer sticks that have better reach and allow for stronger shots.
The smaller the flex number, the more flexible the stick. Higher number implies that it will require more strength to bend the stick.
It is recommended that younger players and beginners choose a very flexible stick that will help them to learn their first techniques. Advanced players may select a flex that feels most comfortable. In general, the attackers predominantly choose softer sticks, while the defending players prefer stiffer ones.
Ideal flex when shooting
Nowadays the most common type of material used in hockey sticks is composite, but even wooden sticks have its deserved place. Both variations have its own advantages and disadvantages.
A most common type, the composite sticks are a first choice of most hockey players due to their low weight, better sensitivity, energy transfer and water resistance. These qualities unfortunately come at higher costs.
Hockey players who play with wooden hockey sticks, are more or less an exception today. The qualities of wooden stick differ from those of composite sticks in many ways. Despite that, they can be useful for example for children who are just starting to play hockey. The biggest advantage of wooden sticks is definitely their low price and resistance to breaking. On the other hand, they are usually more difficult to work with, they have higher weight and low resistance to moisture and water.