Sports require the proper equipment to help ensure that you are safe as well as able to perform to the best of your ability. Part of that is also knowing the proper size equipment to use depending on what level you’re playing at and your body. What works for a smaller person is not going to work as well for someone who is taller, and vice versa.
Your height should determine the length of your sporting equipment to help maximize your effectiveness. This rings true in sports like hockey, golf, baseball, lacrosse and more.
Just like you wouldn’t wear a hockey helmet
that was too small or shoes that were too big, you wouldn’t choose a hockey stick that was too long or too short, would you?
Let’s take a look at how to properly choose a hockey stick that is the right size for you.
Choosing the Right Hockey Stick
Unlike shoes and helmets, hockey sticks are a little more involved when it comes to choosing the right one.
While length is extremely important and can cause problems if not sized properly for your height, there are other aspects of a hockey stick that come into play also. The material the stick is made of, as well as the flex and the curve type should all be taken into consideration as well when choosing the right hockey stick.
Hockey Stick Length
Choosing the right length for your hockey stick is actually pretty easy, however, depending on the position you play, or your overall play style, you may consider some minor adjustments to this guide.
In general, measuring your hockey stick is as simple as putting on your skates and holding the stick up to your body. You want the stick to fall somewhere between your chin and your nose. A shorter stick, that falls below the chin, will help with puck handling, while a longer stick, above the nose, will give you more reach.
Again, these are just guidelines, and can be adjusted depending on your playstyle and position. But if you’re just getting into hockey and haven’t figured out what works for you, this is a great place to start.
Hockey Stick Material and Flex
While the length of the hockey stick can have an impact on the flex your stick can handle, the material is also just as important.
In most cases you’ll run across two types of material when shopping for hockey sticks, composite and wood.
Composite sticks are what most professional players use these days because the materials they are made from are often lighter and easier to handle when compared to wooden sticks.
The downside to composite sticks is that they aren’t as durable and as the technology advances and the materials get better, the price also goes up. These composite hockey sticks can cost quite a bit of money when you start looking at some of the higher quality ones.
Wooden sticks aren’t used as much these days, but have started to gain back some of that “retro-cool” ideology that some people look for. Plus, some people grew up with wooden sticks and just love the feel of them.
The wood feels different in your hands, is more durable that then composite sticks, and can cost way less money. A wooden stick is great for someone just getting started in hockey or for those looking to play out in the driveway or at the local park, not on ice.
In terms of the flex of the stick, you want to make sure that the person using it is able to bend the stick a bit when taking a wrist shot or a slap shot.
Each hockey stick should have a flex rating which determines the amount of force needed on the stick in order to make it flex. For example, a stick with a flex rating of 75 will require 75 pounds of force to flex the stick.
A quick trick to picking out the correct flex rating in a stick is to choose a stick that has a flex rating of half your body weight. So if you weigh 140 lbs. then a stick with a flex rating of 70 would be a great place to start.
Typically in youth hockey
, players are using sticks with a flex rating of 30-40, while older teenagers and adults are looking at a flex of between 75-100.
The flex of your hockey stick can help with your shot speed and should definitely be taken into account when choosing the right hockey stick.
Choosing a Hockey Stick
It’s important to take all of these things into account when choosing a hockey stick. Using the proper equipment in all sports is one of the key fundamentals in being able to perform to your highest potential. You’re doing a disservice to yourself by trying to pick up a sport without the proper equipment.