Whether you are a seasoned hockey player or simply someone with a passing interest in the game, you know how important it is to choose that perfect hockey stick. Given the variety of hockey sticks that are available these days, there is a lot to consider in how to buy a hockey stick. The best hockey stick to buy is the one that acts as a natural extension of your hands, helps you control the puck with ease and gives you the feel you want. Before you take control of the game, take a look at the various aspects that you should take into account when considering the different types of hockey sticks. After all, in a game played beyond the hockey tables, hockey sticks are your primary tool.
>> Consider the material
Wood hockey sticks have been around as long as the game has been played. However, thanks to modern research and innovation, it is now possible to get different types of hockey sticks made of other materials, such as fiberglass, aluminum, graphite, Kevlar and titanium.
If you love traditional equipment and the authentic feel they have, perhaps a wood hockey stick is best for you. It is also very popular as a starter stick because of its comparatively lower price. However, if you are looking for durability, then it is a good idea to consider aluminum, graphite, Kevlar and titanium sticks. Each of these have greater durability and are lighter than wood sticks. If you are considering how to buy a hockey stick and are looking for something that will last for years, give these a thought.
>> Consider the length of the stick
Your performance can be greatly influenced by the hockey stick sizes you use. A hockey stick that is too long or too short might not give you both the accuracy and power that you need to deliver your best performance. In the past when wood hockey sticks were the only option, adjusting the shaft length was easy. All you had to do was cut off the end of a too long hockey stick, sand it and replace the grip. However, the modern materials do not offer much room for modification.
One of the factors that you should consider before deciding how to buy a hockey stick is your own height. If you stand barefoot and place the toe of the stick on the floor, the end of the shaft should ideally reach to the tip of your nose. When in skates, this should reach your chin. Try to keep in mind the position you are playing. For instance, defensive players prefer to use longer sticks while those who play in the offense like to use shorter sticks.
>> Look for proper flex
Finding a hockey stick that offers the right flex is crucial to your performance. While you are checking out the different types of hockey sticks, always make a note to be careful of the flex. Put in simple words, flex is the relative stiffness of a hockey stick. Its number ranges from 40 to 112, and it is stamped on the shaft. The higher the number, the stiffer the stick is.
Two of the best things to keep in mind while deciding the right flex is to consider your body structure and your position in the game. Typically, the larger players go for those hockey stick designs that offer higher flex. The smaller, lighter players and beginner players look for a lower flex.
Your position is another important consideration. For instance, if you are a defender, a stiffer hockey stick will allow you to take more slap shots. On the other hand, if you are in the forward position, a hockey stick with lesser flex will allow more flexibility to your wrists.
>> Consider the grip
One of the factors that is solely guided by your personal preference is the grip of a hockey stick. In the past, grip was only limited to wrapping a tape at the end of the shaft. However, the availability of different types of hockey sticks these days has redefined many old customs. Today, when you try to decide how to buy a hockey stick that offers the perfect grip, you have a choice between clear finish and grip finish. Clear finish lets you slide your hand on the shaft freely while a grip finish offers a firmer grasp. The best way to decide which one you like is to try out a few of the different types of hockey sticks available in the market.
>> Consider the lie
In hockey, the term "lie" refers to the angle between the shaft and the blade. Like flex, you can find its value printed on the shaft itself. Like many other aspects of a hockey stick, choosing the right lie is important for your performance and should be kept in mind when you are determining how to buy a hockey stick. If you are an aggressive offensive player, a lower lie is often preferred. On the other hand, if you prefer to stay more upright, try a hockey stick with higher lie.
>> Choose your blade curve
There is hardly any rule of thumb when determining the blade curve that is right for you. The best way to decide if you prefer the straight, right or left curves is to learn by the trial and error method. You can consider various hockey stick comparisons before you determine for yourself how to buy a hockey stick with a blade curve that will work best for you.
>> What to do if you need a goalie stick
Being in the goalie position changes many things. A goalie stick is heavier, bigger and always made of wood. It is a great idea to pay special attention to the blade size because that will influence your advantage while defending the goalmouth. There are, however, certain size guidelines. A goalie stick can have a maximum blade width of 3.5 inches, a blade length of 15.5 inches and lie of 11 to 15 inches. It may be a good idea to practice in front of hockey goals to see what preference you have. >> Consider all available options Just as you do for hockey clothing and hockey accessories, you have a lot of options when it comes to buying a hockey stick. When you are trying to determine how to buy a hockey stick, it is always recommended to give equal importance to your preferences along with the specifications of hockey sticks. Figuring out which hockey stick to buy will also depend on how comfortable you are in using various models and designs. Be sure to research as much as you feel is necessary about particular brands and sticks when looking at how to buy a hockey stick so you can find the one that is right for you.