Hockey sticks are individual to each player. They are probably the most important aspect of the game, so players must get it right when it comes to choosing the correct stick for them.
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Check out our beginner’s guide to hockey sticks below.
Types of Stick
There are many types of hockey stick, made from a range of different materials, including wood, titanium, Kevlar, graphite and aluminium. In addition, there are sticks which are custom-made to allow players to swap blades to suit their play.
Length and Weight
The weight and length of your hockey stick are again very personal choices. While some players prefer lighter sticks with a shorter shaft, others like the feel of the heavier, longer stick.
For beginners, a shorter stick is best. Once you have become more used to the game itself, you can start to try out varying lengths to find the one which feels most comfortable. It is important to remember that the length of stick will affect how you play (positively or negatively), so do take time to try the different varieties properly. As with other sports, such as rugby drills (https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Rugby/), the more you practise, the more you will get a feel for the type of stick you should use.
In terms of weight, the lighter the stick the more manoeuvrable it will be. Players with light sticks will naturally be able to shoot and pass much more quickly. However, for those playing in a defence position, a heavier stick can certainly have its advantages.
Curves – Left or Right?
The curve you choose will depend upon whether you are left- or right-handed. The curve usually starts at the heel, middle or toe of the stick.
The stiffness of the stick is known as the flex. The higher the flex number, the stiffer the stick’s shaft. A higher flex is preferred by those playing in defence. In comparison, the majority of those in forward use a softer flex.
This refers to the angle between the shaft and the stick’s blade. The majority of sticks will have a lie of between four and seven, each with a two-degree angle difference (so a 6 lie is 137 degrees, and a 7 lie is 139 degrees).