Choosing the best hockey stick for your needs can make a huge difference in your game. While some things are up to player preference, there are fundamental guidelines you can follow that will help you find the perfect stick for your size, skill level and playing style.
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a hockey stick is its grip. Most sticks come with a grip coating, which helps optimize the amount of control you have over the shaft with your bottom hand.
A hockey stick’s flex is the measurement of how much pressure it takes to bend the stick one inch. It’s important to find a flex that feels comfortable for you, without being so stiff that your shots lack power.
The flex of a stick plays an important role in a player’s ability to control the puck, shoot powerfully and accurately, and feel for the puck. Generally, the flex should be roughly half of a player’s weight in pounds.
Some players, such as Zdeno Chara, who is the league’s hardest shot record holder, will use a flex that is significantly stiffer than their normal stick – this helps them put more power into their slap shots. This is because the flexing of the stick increases potential energy and when the shot is released it releases that energy into the puck.
When it comes to hockey sticks that you need to have, the length is a huge factor. If you have the wrong stick, it can throw off your posture and skating style.
Players who specialize in puck handling tend to prefer shorter sticks. Shorter sticks are easy to maneuver and allow you to carry the puck closer to your body.
However, you can also get long sticks that give you more reach for your shots and can help you develop a powerful slap shot. This type of stick is often used by blue-liners, who are in charge of taking faceoffs and getting into the corners to dig for pucks.
There are four stick sizes: Senior, Intermediate, Junior and Youth. Each descending size offers smaller shaft circumferences with lower flexes.
The kick point of a hockey stick is a term used to describe the point on the shaft where it bends most during a shot. The kick point is engineered to help flex and transfer the energy you put into your shot to the puck so that it can explode off the blade with maximum velocity.
Typically, composite sticks are made of carbon fiber sheets with interlocking or overlapping fibers that create a pattern on the stick. This makes the stick strong and durable, but it also hinders its ability to flex or bend.
So, manufacturers have developed a way to compensate for this by creating a part of the shaft that is soft and able to flex while leaving a stiff section in the center. This is called the kick point and is the most common kick point on a hockey stick.
This type of kick point is ideal for shooters who are looking for a quick release, usually forwards or wingers, as well as defensemen who use their slap shot. It can be a bit harder to shoot with than a low kick point, but it will give you more power when the puck is released.
If you are a field hockey player, then you probably know that the weight of your stick is important. It plays a vital role in deciding whether you will complete a pass, tackle or make any mistakes.
The best way to determine a stick’s weight is to try it out with your hand. If you find that it is too light, then you need to buy a heavier stick.
Modern sticks are usually made from composite materials such as graphite, carbon and aramid. They are lightweight, durable and softer than wood sticks.
A high carbon content adds power and stiffness to the blade, which helps players to hit harder shots. These sticks are best suited for advanced and elite-level field hockey players.
Another material that can be found in many field hockey sticks is fiberglass. This is a less expensive alternative to carbon, and it adds durability and feel.