How To Buy A Hockey Stick
With so many new choices available, knowing how to buy a hockey stick has become confusing. New materials, professional player trends and blades that look like they were designed by NASA engineers have flooded the market resulting in a dizzying array of sticks. Yet hockey is still played the same way it always has. It is important to realize a $200 stick your favorite pro uses won’t help much if your game sucks.
- Style. Hockey sticks come in three, basic styles: wood, two piece composite and single piece composite. If you are just starting out, a hockey thug or buying a stick for a kid, a wooden stick is a great choice. Wood is the cheapest so you never feel bad about breaking one or having to buy another if your kid sprouts a few inches between seasons. Though cheap, there are still pro players who choose wood because of the feel. The two piece composite sticks include a shaft and the blade. You can match these up to suit your playing style. Two piece composites are a popular choice because not only are they versatile, but you can always salvage half of it should you break it. The single piece composite sticks are the most expensive. These sticks are the lightest and offer the most velocity. A common complaint about this stick is it is all power and no feel.
- Give and flex. How much flex you need is a personal choice. Hockey sticks have a flex rating where the higher the number, the stiffer the stick. The right balance depends on the player. More flex equals greater velocity but you will lose out in stick battles and have to work harder on passing skills. A good all purpose hockey stick for an adult should have a rating of around 85 flex or roughly half your body weight.
- Size. When you buy a hockey stick for the first time, pick a stick that comes up to your lips. As hockey players evolve and find their niche in the sport, offensive players will have shorter sticks for shooting while defensive players enjoy longer sticks for checking.
- Blade. The toe shapes on hockey stick blades are either square or rounded. The rounded toe shape is more common because it makes handling the puck easier. The lie is the angle between the shaft and blade. When you are trying out different sticks, you obviously want as much of the blade touching the ice as possible.