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A Straightforward Guide to Buying the Right Hockey Stick

Introduction ∗ If you are ready to start playing the nation's most popular sport, now is the time to start shopping for your hockey stick. ∗ In the arena, your hockey stick will become an extension, and because of this, it must be the correct size and have the correct curve.

Introduction ∗ If you are planning to visit a sporting goods store, you may quickly become overwhelmed by all of the different shafts, blades, and lengths that are available.

Buyer's Guide: Factors to Consider When You Purchase ∗ Rather than feeling overwhelmed, reference the guide below and know exactly which stick will become the perfect appendage.

1. Choosing a Shaft ∗ There are a variety of different materials used to make the shaft of the stick, and the type that you choose depends entirely on personal preference and budget. ∗ Each material is a different weight and has its own benefits and drawbacks. Here are some of the pros and cons to keep in mind about each material.

1. Choosing a Shaft - Wood ∗ Wood has been the traditional material used for hockey sticks since the sport became popular. ∗ Because manufacturers have found ways to produce these for less, this is the least expensive and most comfortable option. While these sticks are affordable, they can break easily in competition and are stiffer and heavier than other options.

1. Choosing a Shaft - Composites ∗ Composite materials have become extremely popular as production techniques have improved in today's modern times. ∗ You can choose from fiberglass and aluminum, graphite and kevlar, or even titanium.

1. Choosing a Shaft - Composites ∗ While all composites are lighter than wooden sticks, each have their own characteristics to consider: ∗ Fiberglass: The least expensive composite option. Because this stick has a wooden core, it does tend to be heavier than other options. ∗ Graphite: Graphite sticks are moderately priced, strong, and lightweight. You can replace blades, making them a great long-term option.

1. Choosing a Shaft - Composites ∗ While all composites are lighter than wooden sticks, each have their own characteristics to consider: ∗ Aluminum: Aluminum sticks are strong and inexpensive. They are also much lighter than wooden and fiberglass models. ∗ Titanium & Kevlar: As the strongest and lightest sticks, these are the most expensive options.

2. Shaft Stiffness ∗ Stiffness is desired by some. The stiffness, or the flex, of the stick will help you maintain control of a puck. ∗ Medium stiffness (85) is generally best for beginners, and extra stiffness (110) is right for defensive players and bigger players.

3. Stick Length ∗ You should never invest in a stick that is over-sized or under-sized. When comparing different stick lengths, consider the position you will be playing and where the stick reaches when the blade is sitting on the ground. ∗ Offensive players should go for shorter sticks that are greater for control, and defensive players should buy longer sticks that are greater for stealing.

4. Blade Angles ∗ If you look at a blade, you will see that the blade is curved to the left, right, or straight. ∗ Smaller curves are best for control, whereas larger curves are better for new players who are just developing their skills.

Conclusion ∗ As you can see, you cannot just pick up a hockey stick and know it is right for you the first time you make a purchase. ∗ Consider these tips, hold the stick in your hand, take some practice shots, and make a practical choice until you learn which sticks you like most.

How to choose your correct hockey stick