Finding the Right Stick for You
Choosing the perfect hockey stick is an art. No, really — a bad hockey stick or one that isn’t a match for your size and style can keep you from improving your techniques or ruin the techniques you’ve worked so hard to perfect. Maybe choosing the perfect hockey stick is a craft more than an art. Let’s go with that — it sounds cooler.
There are many factors to keep in mind when choosing a hockey stick for yourself or your young player. When you’re first starting out in hockey, there are plenty of middle-ground options for those who haven’t figured out exactly what they want in a hockey stick. But as your skills advance, so does your preference for hockey sticks. The beginner should only worry about hockey stick length.
Hockey Stick Length
Probably the most important aspect of choosing your hockey stick is deciding on the length. An improper hockey stick length makes a huge difference in whether or not you pull off those slap shots. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
If your stick is too short, you will miss a lot of pucks by swinging over them or, worse, you will have to skate bent over so that your stick will be on the ice.
If your stick is too long, you will have difficulty controlling the puck because the butt end of your stick will get caught up under your arms and across your body.
To cut your stick to the right length, stand up straight without your skates on. Put the tip of the blade on the ground between your feet and hold the stick in front of your face. Most players will want the stick to reach the tip of their nose. With skates on, your stick should reach to your chin. Some defensemen like longer sticks for additional reach and some forwards like a shorter stick for better stick handling.
Hockey Stick Flex
Another important aspect of an ice hockey stick is its flex. Hockey stick flex refers to how easily a stick shaft bends one inch when force is applied to it. Each hockey stick has a flex value that’s usually anywhere from 20 to 120. The lower the hockey stick flex value, the easier it is to bend.
For example, a hockey stick with a flex value of 100 requires 100 pounds of force to bend the shaft by one inch.
Generally, youth hockey sticks are much more flexible than professional adult hockey sticks. Hockey stick flex has more to do with skill level and personal preference than the size of the player. However, the longer the stick, the stiffer it will likely be.
Left-Handed and Right-Handed Hockey Sticks
As a person develops as a hockey player, they will naturally find a comfortable way to hold their hockey stick. One of the easiest ways to find out if the player needs a left-handed or right-handed hockey stick is to look at their hands’ positions on the flattest stick you can find.
If the right hand is holding the stick above the left, the player needs a left-handed hockey stick. If the right hand is holding the stick below the left, the player needs a right-handed hockey stick.
Better yet, find both a right-handed and left-handed hockey stick and take a few practice shots to find out which one feels right.
Hockey Stick Curve
Choosing a hockey stick curve pattern, or blade pattern, is arguably the most personal choice when deciding between hockey sticks. This is because blade styles are more about what kind of player you are. Each hockey stick curve pattern is designed with a certain playing style in mind.
There are three factors when it comes to blade patterns: face angle, curve depth, and curve type.
There are three main hockey stick curve types: toe, mid, and heel. These terms refer to where on the blade the curvature is most prominent. The toe is in the top third of the blade, the mid is in the middle, and the heel is in the last third. Getting a feel for each curve type is an important part of choosing a hockey stick, especially at the intermediate and advanced skill levels.
There are deep, moderate, and slight curve depths to choose from. The deeper the hockey stick’s curve depth, the deeper the pocket where a puck can sit.
A hockey stick curve’s face angle refers to how open or closed its blade is. A blade with a closed-face angle sits more perpendicular to the ice, while a more open-faced angle is twisted away from the puck. At lower skill levels, the closed-face angle is more popular, as open-faced angles are more for lifting the puck.
Explore Our Hockey Stick Selection Here at Gunzo’s!
At Gunzo’s, we take pride in our massive selection of hockey sticks — and you can find this massive selection at our three locations in Chicago, Morton Grove, and River Forest. Our wide array of options has been curated to make sure you have access to the best hockey sticks that fit your style and skill level.
We have some of the top brands in the game: Bauer hockey sticks, Warrior hockey sticks, Easton hockey sticks, Reebok hockey sticks, CCM hockey sticks, and more. The wide range of hockey sticks for sale at our stores lets you find the right size and style of stick for your game while staying on budget.
If you have additional questions about hockey player sticks, hockey player stick accessories, or even goalie sticks, simply contact us online. We’d love to hear from you, and we respond to inquiries quickly. You can also give us a call during our business hours at 1-800-PRO-GOAL.
The knowledgeable team members at our three locations can also help you shop around to find the best hockey stick for your style. If you’re new to the game and not sure what you want yet, we can guide you to a hockey stick that will get you slamming slap shots in no time.
Explore our hockey stick selection here at Gunzo’s!
At Gunzo’s, we take pride in our massive selection of hockey sticks—and you can find this massive selection at our three locations. If you have additional questions about hockey player sticks, hockey player stick accessories, or even goalie sticks, simply contact us online. We’d love to hear from you, and we respond to inquiries quickly.