Hockey Stick Buyers Guide
Welcome to our guide on finding the best hockey stick to suit your size, position, and style of play.
Irrespective of whether you are playing for your country, your club or your school, here at C. G. Sports, we believe that using the correct hockey stick will help you reach your full potential
It is widely accepted that finding the perfect hockey stick can be a difficult and arduous process for beginners and professionals alike; this buying guide gives you all the information you will need to make the best choice to help you improve your game.
What are the different parts of a stick?
A hockey stick consists of three parts, the Handle, Head and Shaft.
All senior sticks have a handle of similar diameter; this is proportionately smaller for junior hockey sticks. Some players like to make their hockey handle/grip thicker, this can be done by applying an over grip.
Most hockey stick shafts are incredibly similar; with the only real difference being the curvature of the bow. However, the head of the stick can differ greatly in shape and size. Both of these aspects are explained in greater detail below.
What size/length stick do I need?
Selecting the appropriate size/length of your hockey stick is pivotal in ensuring that you can perform to your potential. The key factor in determining what length of stick a player should use is their respective height; strength and posture should also be taken into account. If the player is bending over too much, which can reduce their vision and also potentially cause back damage, then the stick is probably too short. Conversely, if the stick is touching the player’s stomach it is probably too long.
Your own playing style should also be taken into consideration when choosing a new stick; a more defensive player may require a longer reach, and thus prefer the 37.5” stick, whereas a more attacking player may prefer a shorter stick (36.5”) which would give them greater control of the ball also take into consideration how long your legs are as this can drastically change the length of stick required.
The following guide should give you an indication of the length of stick that is most suited to you and your height.
Height Length range Up to 4' 28-29" 4'2" to 4'5" 30-31" 4'5" to 4'8" 32" 4'8" to 4'10" 33" 4'10" to 5'1" 34" 5'1" to 5'4" 35" 5'5" and above 36.5" or 37.5" (Full size)
What weight is right for me?
Most Junior sticks do not come in different weight options, as the weight is determined by the length of the stick.
Senior Sticks are available in different weight variations, which guarantee that a stick will be best suited to a particular individual and help them to perform at their peak.
When considering the weight of a stick that is most appropriate, the player needs to take into account their strength, position on the pitch and style. Generally speaking, stronger players will find it easier to control a heavier stick thus being able to generate more power. However if the stick is too heavy it may have a detrimental effect on a players game. For these reasons we advise weaker players to choose a lighter stick.
Player position is another important consideration when deciding the ideal stick weight. Defenders quite often need to make stronger tackles and long clearance passes so a heavier stick may be best suited. More attacking, midfield and forward players may prefer to use a lighter stick to allow closer and increased ball control.
Player’s style is also important in deciding what weight is best. Players who use close ball control in their game, no matter what position, will generally choose lighter sticks, whereas players who rely more on a powerful shot may require a heavier stick.
The following table shows you the options. If in doubt, we would always recommend choosing a lighter stick.
Weight Weight Range Superlite (SL) 510-540g Light (L) 540-590g Medium (M) 590-630g
How does the bow differ?
Before deciding how much bow is right for you it is worth considering how an increased bow can change your game. With a larger bow it is more likely the ball will lift off the ground when making a pass (this is of course also dependent upon power exerted). Due to the shape of the bow, whenever a ball is hit where the stick is off the ground the ball is likely to move slightly left of the intended target. Also, when receiving the ball on the reverse, a larger bow increases the chance of the ball rolling under the stick as the player leans in to control the ball. We recommend that beginners choose a stick with a less developed bow; this will allow you develop technique before power.
So why is the bow important? A bigger bow enables the player to build up stick speed quicker. This provides more energy to the ball and generates a more powerful shot, much like a slingshot effect. Players most likely to use sticks with larger bows will generally be more experienced and are most common amongst strikers and players who use the drag-flick technique.
Despite this, sticks with increased bows have become increasingly popular with more practised players and will continue to do so in the future.
Many players find that by building their technique and adjusting their game slightly they can manage the difficulties of playing with a stick with increased bow and reap the benefits (assuming this suits their style of play). As a result there are many more sticks on the market with different bow options.
We strive to provide you with the most useful and accurate information in aiding you to buy a hockey stick, however we are always looking to improve our offering and services to our customers. If you have any recommendations on how we could improve our guide please click Contact us We always welcome your feedback.
What head shape should I choose?
The Maxi head: This is currently the most popular head shape with over 90% of players choosing it. The Maxi head provides a larger area for control on the reverse side of the head. In addition to the bigger control area the Maxi head provides a larger ‘sweetspot’, giving an increased chance of creating more power and connecting with the ball cleanly. This head type also lends itself well to dragging. 45deg angle
The Micro Head: We have seen this head shape make a bit of a resergance in recent years, although it is less common to find. The Micro head size is Smaller than the Maxi and provides is smaller precision and control. The stick benefits players who dribble and receive the ball at pace; it is most common amongst forwards and defenders.
In addition to the Maxi and Hook head, you may also come across the Shorti and Midi head. They are seldom made anymore, with the large majority of players opting for the Maxi instead. 50deg angle
The Hook shape: We have seen this head shape make a bit of a comeback in recent years, although it is less common to find. The Hook head size is larger than the Maxi and provides increased precision and control. The stick benefits players who pass and receive the ball at pace; it is most common amongst forwards and defenders.
In addition to the Maxi and Hook head, you may also come across the Shorti and Midi head. They are seldom made anymore, with the large majority of players opting for the Maxi instead. 75deg angle
What materials are sticks made from?
Wooden hockey sticks: Hockey sticks were traditionally constructed from one piece of wood. However, recent advancements in hockey stick design and the increased demand for different head types, such as Maxi and Hook, manufacturers have shifted towards a two piece construction and lamination method, which allows them to incorporate the favoured head styles.
Due to the fact that the raw wood is a cheaper material than composite sticks, wooden sticks tended to be cheaper than composite sticks. However, many professionals favour the harder feel that composite sticks offer, which cannot be achieved with wooden sticks.
Composite hockey sticks: are made up of a number of various high performance materials. Many Composite Sticks have been constructed from a varying combination of some or all of the following materials:
- Resin - a glue like substance which dries to form a very strong, wear resistant material
- Kevlar - stronger yet flexible material
- Fibreglass - often applied to wood to limit wear
- Carbon Fibre - very lightweight, but expensive material which creates extra stiffness in the stick generating more power
Composite sticks have a greater power to weight ratio than wooden sticks. The heads of composite sticks have been designed to give the player a larger sweet spot ensuring maximum chance of a powerful clean stick-ball connection. Composite sticks also 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 designed to suit the dynamic demands of the game, which means that the way they are designed will evolve in line with the game itself.