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Among the many different pieces of ice hockey equipment, ice hockey sticks are subjective in nature; finding the right stick for you can be based on size, skill level, playing style and other factors. Generally, to start your search you should obtain a basic understanding of sizing ice hockey sticks.
Ice Hockey Stick Sizing
A big part of finding the right hockey stick starts with size. Hockey sticks are classified into several different sizes, senior, intermediate, junior, youth, so understanding which type of stick may be the best for you will save you a lot of time and effort. Although not exact, here are the most frequently seen types of ice hockey sticks:
Junior Hockey Sticks - Designed for younger players learning basic skills, Junior sticks are 50” to 54” long
Player Height: 3'9" — 4'9"
Player Weight: 50 — 120 lbs
Intermediate Hockey Sticks - Ideal for players that have developed skills and better upper body strength, Intermediate hockey sticks measure 56” to 57” in length.
Player Height: 4'6" — 5'3"
Player Weight: 120 — 160 lbs
Senior Hockey Sticks - For older and stronger players, Senior ice hockey sticks will offer greater power.
Player Height: 5'6"
Player Weight: 120 lbs
Considerations in Choosing Ice Hockey Sticks
Selecting ice hockey sticks can be very subjective one should consider the flexibility of the stick as well as the angle formed between the stick shaft and the blade (lie).
Flex - Also known as stiffness, Flex is a measurement of hockey stick flexibility. Flex is assigned a value of 40 (Youth) to 110 (Extra Stiff) and greater flexibility is preferred for younger players. Most players will find a Flex rating of 85 ideal.
Lie - The angle between the hockey shaft and blade, Lie determines how much of the hockey stick’s blade will stay on the ice and will affect you puck handling. Available in ratings of 4-8, the lie used by most players will be a 5 or 6. If you’re a more upright skater or prefer the puck to be closer to your body you should look for a higher lie; if your body is position lower or like the puck out in front of you, you’ll want a lower lie.
Tips for Selecting Ice Hockey Sticks
How to Find The Right Lie - Finding the right lie requires experimentation, but you can reduce the time required by looking at the wear pattern on the bottom of a well used stick. Extensive wear on the heel suggests that a lower lie may be needed; wear on the toe of the stick suggests that a higher lie might be better. Wear along the underside of the blade is a strong indication that you may have found a good lie for your playing style and you should stick with it.
Cutting Your Stick Down - Players often want to adjust the length of their stick, but you should remember that shortening a stick will increase its flex rating. So as the stick is cut down it will become less flexible. A general rule of thumb is: