For any avid hockey player, using the right hockey stick can mean delivering that winning shot. Together with a great pair of skates, having the perfect hockey stick is essential if you want to be on target all the time. A good stick will feel like it’s an extension of your arm when handling the puck.
Shaft. The shafts of hockey sticks can be made of the following materials:
- Composites—fiberglass, graphite, aluminum, titanium or kevlar
Blade. Generally, wood is a favored material for the blade. It is attached to a composite stick using glue. There are blades that are covered with Kevlar.
Choosing your hockey stick. Consider the following suggestions when choosing a hockey stick:
- Buy a wooden stick if you are new to the sport. Sticks made of wood are less expensive. You can find one that’s less than US$ 40. It will give you a chance to practice before getting a more expensive one.
- Select the right blade for your game. The blades are categorized based on their curve. There is the Heel Open and the Mid Round, which comes in small, big and open. Green players should choose a blade with a lesser curve. Blades with smaller curves allow you to control your shots better.
- Choose a hockey stick, which is more flexible if you are a young player. Older and stronger players need less flex from their sticks. Depending on the material, the shafts have different levels of “give.”
- Select the correct size for your height. Stand straight, make sure you have shoes on and check that the end of the stick comes up to your nose. If you are a defensive player, you can choose a longer stick. This will give you a father reach. Offensive players opt for shorter sticks so they can be more in control of the hockey puck.
- Select a larger stick, which is heavier than a regular one if your position is that of the goalie. The goalie stick’s blade is wider and longer.
- Determine the correct stick lie. The angle between the shaft and the stick’s blade is called the lie. You can see this number (between 4 and 8) on the front of the shaft. If you are a low skater who carries the puck in front of you, choose a lie with a lower number. This has a wider angle. Players who skate upright with the puck near their skates should choose a lie of 7 or 8.
- Test the stick before buying it. Whatever material of stick you choose, try it out first. Swing it a few times, testing the flex out.
- Buy two sticks so you have a replacement stick. Sometimes, in the heat of the game, a hockey stick can break. Remember that wood sticks that are damaged or break have to be totally replaced. Sticks made of other materials have blades that can be replaced.
Visit the NHL buyer’s guide NHL Shop for more information on choosing the right hockey stick.
Playing with the correct hockey stick is very important in enhancing your performance as a hockey player. You have to consider the material of the stick, its’ length, flex, the curve of the blade and the lie. But also remember that even if you have the most expensive stick suited to your body and method of playing, without practice, drive and perseverance you cannot become the great player than you can be. Have fun on the ice and be a great sport!