Choosing the Right Stick: Back to Basics

When it comes to choosing the right type of hockey stick, the process can sometimes be confusing. While there are several elements to understand, there’s also a lot of personal preference that comes into play. For example, the length of your stick impacts how you handle the puck, shoot, and receive.  While most sticks fall into four categories, several companies also provide the option to customize your stick.  From Bauer gear to CCM and Warrior, our team at Zwickers has the experience and expertise to help you select the best equipment for your game.

Understanding the categories

As mentioned, manufacturers typically categorize their hockey sticks into four categories: Youth, Junior, Intermediate, and Senior. These categories refer to the length and flex of the stick.  If you’re not sure which is best for you, stop by your professional hockey shop where the experts will measure you. Don’t forget your skates!

In general, a youth stick will range from 45-49 inches, while a junior stick is 46-53 inches.  An intermediate stick averages 54 inches, while a senior stick varies between 56-63 inches.

Types of sticks

If you’re new to the world of hockey, understanding the basics is crucial.  Here’s a breakdown of the kinds of sticks available:

One Piece Wood

This is the most traditional type of stick.  With a wood shaft and wood or composite blade, this type of stick has proven itself durable and is generally the least expensive option. Composite blades have higher durability and the blades are made of ABS, perfect for outdoors.

One Piece Composite

If you’re looking for a lightweight option with consistent flex, a one piece composite stick may be the option for you.  However, these sticks can be expensive.  Since the design fuses the shaft and blade, if a portion of the blade is broken, you can cut the shaft and insert a replaceable blade.

Blade/Shaft Combo

Although very rare, the best feature of a blade/shaft combo stick is that if they break, there’s no need to replace the entire stick. Attached by heat glue, this stick also allows players to mix and match creating the perfect stick for their needs.

hockey gear

Finding your flex

In hockey, flex is the term referencing the stiffness of the stick. When you shoot, your stick bends as it makes contact with the puck or ice, creating the “flex” which increases your shot power. The higher the flex number, the stiffer the stick. The shorter you make the stick, the stiffer it becomes. Like everything else, the manufacturer’s flex is slightly different from one company to the next, and stick flex is a personal choice.

When considering which flex may work best for you, consider your style of play and position. For younger players, the proper flex is critical to learning the game. 

Finding your curve

Now that you’ve figured out the flex, you need to think about the blade. The curve is the bend from heel to toe and plays a significant role when shooting the puck. There are several factors considered when finding your curve.  First, you guessed it, preference. Next, you’ll want to think about your style, where you want the puck to sit, how a heel, mid or toe flex can change the dynamics of your shot.

Whether you’re a fan of Bauer gear, CCM, Warrior, True, or the other brands we carry, we have a large selection of hockey equipment here at H. A. Zwicker, Inc.  Check us out online or stop by to experience personalized service that ensures your best fit!

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