Choosing the right hockey stick can be a particularly difficult process for beginners. This guide provides much of the information and direction you will need to make the best choice for your game.
Innovation and changes in technology and design have seen the traditional wooden hockey stick develop into the composite stick to reflect the change from a grass based sport to the fast paced astroturf game we know today. This guide aims to inform you about the range of sticks available and will help you choose a stick that is best suited to your needs
Selecting the correct length of your hockey stick is incredibly important. Generally speaking an individual’s height is the key factor in determining what length of stick one should use. If the stick is touching the player’s stomach it is probably too long. However, if the player is bending over too much reducing their vision and potentially causing back damage the stick is probably too short. Use the following as an approximate guide:
Up to 3′ – 26″ stick
Up to 3’7″ – 28″ stick
Up to 4′ – 30″ stick
Up to 4′ 7″ – 32″ stick
Up to 5′ – 34.5″ stick
Up to 5′ 4″ – 35.5″ stick
Over 5′ 5″ – 36.5″ stick
Wooden – Tend to be less durable than composite sticks. Wooden sticks also tend to have smaller sweet spots. Manufacturers have tended to move from one piece wooden construction to two piece construction and lamination methods. Wooden sticks are a cheaper option and ideal for juniors, beginners and school use.
Composite – Composite sticks tend to be more durable than wooden sticks. Manufacturers have also found it much easier to reproduce the same models using composite materials. The drawbacks against composite sticks are that they have a harder feel (than wood) and tend to be more expensive due to the cost of the materials involved and the manufacturing process.
Composite sticks are made up of a number of different materials. Sticks are developed with varying combinations of all or some of the below:
Fibreglass – often applied to wood to limit wear
Kevlar – stronger yet flexible material
Carbon Fibre – very lightweight, but expensive material which creates extra stiffness in the stick generating more power
Most specialist hockey shoes are “pimpled” to provide extra grip on astro turf and will offer varying degrees of support and protection.
Different styles of pads exist offering protection to the shin and ankle area. Traditional styles tend to slip in the sock while modern styles are similar to football shin pads with a “sock-like” ankle area.