Many would argue that the goalie stick is your most important piece of hockey equipment, so you want to make sure you fit your goalie stick properly. While the stick’s importance to your game may be debatable, the importance of getting the proper sized goalie stick is not up for argument. The following are a few things you will need to consider in order to assure that you pick the proper sized stick for you.
- your skates
- lots of patience
- Paddle length. The first thing to look at when choosing a goalie stick is the height of the paddle. The paddle is the part of the stick that gets wide. This is where you will hold your stick when in your stance. To get the proper size you need to do two things. First, make sure you take your skates to the store where you want to buy your new goalie stick from. Once you have put your skates on, grab a stick and get into your goalie stance. If you have to stand up straighter than you normally would to keep the stick on the ground, the paddle is probably too high. If you have to bend over more than you normally would than the paddle is probably too short. Ideally you should be able to get into your stance and have the blade of the stick touch the floor. This means that it is the proper height paddle.
- Lie or Angle of the blade. The next thing you must look at when fitting your goalie stick to buy is the lie, or angle of the blade. The lie is the angle at which the blade meets the paddle. When you have a stick that is the proper lie for you, you will be able to stand in your goalie stance and the entire blade of the stick will be flat on the floor. If you don’t have the right lie on a stick you will find yourself trying to compensate by moving your blocker hand inward or outward from where you would normally hold it. Again, make sure you are wearing your skates when you do this to ensure you are simulating exactly how you will be using the stick on the ice. Also keep in mind that you need to figure out what paddle height you need before you figure out what lie you need.
These are the two main elements of finding the right sized goalie stick. Some thing else to keep in mind is the weight of the stick. Some goalies prefer to have their stick a bit heavier as a reminder to keep it on the ice, which others prefer much lighter sticks in order to make quicker blocker saves. Going along with stick weight is also what the stick is made out of. While most goalies still use wood sticks due to price and feel, more and more goalies are deciding to make the switch over the composite sticks instead. Keep in mind however, while composites are generally much lighter than wood sticks, they are also much more expensive. Finally, always remember a goalie stick should never be cut. Unlike player sticks which can be cut in order to accommodate size and flex, goalie sticks are built to be balanced, and any cutting of the stick will upset that balance and make it very hard to play with.
When out on your search to properly fit your goalie stick be patient, you will find the right one for you and when that happens you will wonder how you were ever able to play with anything else.