Choose the Right Ice/Street Hockey Stick Length
A general rule of thumb for ice hockey players when determining their proper stick length is that the stick end should reach the player's chin while on skates. For street hockey players, the general guideline is that the stick end should reach the player's nose while wearing shoes.
Another consideration when choosing a hockey stick is the stick flex rating. Stick flex is a measurement of how flexible/stiff a stick shaft is when force is applied. The stick flex rating number is based on how many pounds of force it takes to flex (bend) the stick one inch. The higher the flex rating, the stiffer the stick shaft will be (the less it bends). The lower the flex rating, the greater the stick flex (bend) will be. The desired stick flexibility/stiffness varies by a player's preference.
The chart below is a general guideline for choosing the right hockey stick size and flex.
Hockey Stick Length/Flex Chart
|Player Age||Player Height||Player Weight||Stick Length||Stick Flex Rating|
|Youth (3-5)||3'0"-3'10"||30-65 lbs||38"-44"||35|
|Youth (6-8)||3'10"-4'8"||50-80 lbs||45"-49"||40/45|
|Junior (7-13)||4'4"-5'1"||70-110 lbs||50"-54"||50/55|
|Intermediate (11-14)||4'11"-5'4"||95-125 lbs||55"-58"||60|
|Intermediate (12-14)||5'2"-5'8"||100-140 lbs||55"-58"||65/70|
|Senior (14+)||5'5"-5'10"||125-175 lbs||57"-61"||75/80|
|Senior (14+)||5'7"-6'1"||150-200 lbs||58"-62"||85/90/95|
|Senior (14+)||5'10"-6'4"||180-235 lbs||60"-63"
|Senior (14+)||6'1"+||210 lbs+||60"-63"||110/115|
Hockey Stick Materials - Wood vs. Composite
Hockey sticks are offered in two material options: wood or composite. Composite sticks are the preferred material for intermediate-level players up to the pros in the NHL. Composite sticks are primarily made from woven carbon fiber and fiberglass blends, making them lightweight, consistent, and high performing. Two drawbacks of composite sticks, when compared to wood sticks, are that composite sticks are significantly more expensive and less durable than wood sticks.
Wood sticks are a great choice for youth players learning the game because they provide a more authentic feel of the puck, in addition to being more durable and budget friendly.
Stick Blade Curve Types and Lie
Choosing the right blade is another consideration when determining the best hockey stick for you. First, choose a blade with a right-handed curve or a left-handed curve depending on how you shoot; then there's the blade curve type and the blade lie to consider.
There are three blade curve types: toe curve, mid curve, and heel curve.
- Toe Curve: Most of the curve is on the top 1/3 of the blade. Used primarily by hockey forwards to lift the puck quicker and easier during shooting in tight spaces.
- Mid Curve: The curve is predominantly in the middle of the blade. Great for stick handlers, passers, and accuracy on all shots, including backhand shots.
- Heel Curve: Most of the curve is in the base (heel) of the blade. Mostly used by defensemen as heel curve blades help improve slapshot power and accuracy.
The lie of the hockey stick is the angle between the stick blade and the shaft when the blade’s bottom edge is flat against the playing surface. The hockey stick lie is indicated by a number on the shaft (ranging from 4 to 7). When playing, it is important that the bottom of the blade lies flat on the surface in correlation to your height and skating style. For example, the higher the lie number, the more upright the stick lie is. High lie numbers are ideal for puck handlers because the puck is closer to the body. Generally, taller players who skate more upright opt for a higher lie. The lower the lie number, the farther back the puck is from a player's body. A lower lie is great for slapshot-minded players like defensemen or shorter players who skate in a low and forward-pitched style.