Finding the perfect hockey stick can feel like a never-ending process. With so many options nowadays, how can you know you made the right decision?
This page should guide you through the process and give you the criteria to find the best possible stick for your needs. Read on for our hockey stick guide! Lets go.
When you are done reading this guide, check out our picks of the best sticks (for all players!) in our Top Hockey Sticks for 2018.
Left Handed or Right Handed Sticks
Table of Contents
The first question you need to answer when picking a hockey stick is left or right handed. The difference between these is the direction the blade curves at the bottom of the stick.
A “left handed” stick has your right hand at the top (or butt) of the stick, and the blade curving left to right.
“Right handed” sticks are the opposite of this, with your left hand at the top of the stick and the blade curving from right to left.
How do I Tell?
There are many differing opinions on how to choose, but the most common method has been to compare to other sports and even cleaning chores!
Your top hand is the one that “anchors” and stabilizes your stick as your puck handling, shooting and passing, skills that require excellent coordination and control.
You or your child have probably swung a baseball bat before they have shot a hockey stick. While this isn’t a hard rule to follow, it can be used as a starting point for figuring out handedness.
Pick up or hand a broom to your child and start sweeping the floor. Whichever hand is on the bottom when sweeping, is usually the way you will hold a hockey stick. Because the broom has no curve, this is a good test on finding the natural position.
Ultimately, do whatever feels the most comfortable. If you are just starting and can’t decide, don’t be afraid to try both! It is uncommon, but some professional players have switched sides in their teenage years.
Determine a price range
Most sticks in this range will be either wood, heavy fiberglass, or found second-hand. Price is less important if first starting out in the sport, as finding the right feel and fit will be much more important.
Most sticks will fall into this price range for beginner and intermediate players playing a few times a month. These sticks will be made with better materials. Most sticks in this price range will be mid-range sticks or last years higher end model on sale. These sticks will be less balanced and heavier towards the blade, but that is preferred by some players.
Most sticks at this price point will be at the top of the line, latest and greatest technology. These sticks will be all carbon fiber and will be well balanced and lightweight. These are usually used by long time players who are more particular about their equipment and know exactly what they like in a stick.
How to choose Hockey Stick Size and Flex
Sticks are broken down by flex and length to fit a variety of players, from 5-50 years old.
|Age Group||Height (ft)||Weight (lbs)||Flex||Length|
|Youth (3 to 5)||3' to 3' 10"||30 to 65||35||38 to 44"|
|Youth (6 to 8)||3' 10" to 4' 8"||50 to 80||40 / 45||45 to 49"|
|Junior (7 to 13)||4' 4" to 5' 1"||70 to 110||50 / 55||50 to 54"|
|Intermediate (11 to 14)||4' 11" to 5' 4"||92 to 125||60||55 to 58"|
|Intermediate (12 to 15)||5' 2" to 5' 8"||100 to 140||65 / 70||55 to 58"|
|Senior (14+)||5' 5" to 5' 10"||125 to 175||75 / 80||57 to 61"|
|Senior (14+)||5' 7" to 6' 1"||150 to 200||85 / 90||58 to 62"|
|Senior (14+)||5' 10" to 6' 4"||180 to 235||100 / 105||60 to 63"|
|Senior (14+)||6' 1" +||210 +||110 / 115||60 to 63"|
Youth hockey sticks are for young kids between 3-8 years old with a flex of 20-40. These have special features to help kids develop their skills. It is important to find the right length and flex of stick to ensure the young player has the best chance of success.
Junior hockey sticks are built for kids around the 7-13 year old age group, 70-110 lbs and will have a flex of 40-60.
Intermediate hockey sticks are best for younger teens 12-16 years old. These sticks will be 55-70 flex and will have a smaller shaft shape than senior sticks. This can be a good option for women and shorter and lighter mens players.
Senior hockey sticks come in the biggest variety of lengths and flex. Recently, lower flexes are more common for senior sticks, with the range being between 70-110 flex and some add additional length for taller players.
Choose Stick Flex
Stick flex should consider a variety of factors. Most importantly should be the weight of the player, and then the hight. The higher the flex rating, the stiffer the shaft of the stick will be and the harder to transfer shots will be. Flex can also differ by play styles.
Defencemen will typically use a higher flex for powerful slap shots while speedy forwards will use a lower flex to quickly load and release their shot.
Picking a Curve or Pattern
Picking the curve of your hockey stick is as personal as your own jock strap. Most players will find a pattern they like that suits their playing style. A big hooking curve can elevate the puck quicker while a flatter blade is good for accurate passing and backhand shots. Don’t be afraid to try different curves and patterns. You will adjust quicker than you think and could end up with a new favorite.