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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:
Cut 2": +7 Flex
Cut 4": +15 Flex
Cut 6": +23 Flex
Learn More About Hockey Sticks
It’s your main weapon on the ice—amplify your game with the right hockey stick.
From the streets to the arena, shop the spectrum of hockey sticks, available in a variety of innovative materials and constructions. Browse the collection:
Discover the stick you need from popular hockey brands, like Bauer®, Eason® and Reebok®.
Consider flex, stiffness, lie and the length of your stick when making your purchase.
Determining Stiffness: The stiffness of your shaft is important to determining control on the ice. Most stick shafts come with flexes of medium, stiff or extra stiff. Beginners should opt for a stick with medium stiffness. Larger, stronger players need a stick with a stiffer flex, to better distribute weight on the ice. Defensemen often choose a heavier stick. Forwards and smaller players should use a lightweight stick with extra flex.
Determining Stick Length: It’s a fact—controlling an oversized or undersized stick is difficult. Finding the correct stick for your size is critical to your game. Sticks come in two basic sizes: junior and senior. Junior sticks generally range between 46 and 54 inches, while senior sticks are generally between 56 and 62 inches. Offensive players tend to use a shorter stick for better puck control, while defensive players choose larger sticks, which are better for pocking the puck away from an oncoming forward. Finding the exact fit is a challenge—when in doubt, select a larger stick that can be cut down.
Lie: The lie of your stick is the measurement of how your blade is angled in relation to the shaft. This factor determines how the blade rests on the ice. Higher lies are best for larger players who skate in an upright position. Lower lies work for smaller players to skate bent over, closer to the ice.
It takes a tough stick to stand up to your hockey game. Modern shafts come in a ray of innovative materials, designed for both a lightweight feel and strength on the ice. The shaft you choose is a matter of personal choice.
Fiberglass sticks have a wood core and are reinforced with a fiberglass coating. The wood core makes them somewhat heavy.
Aluminum hockey sticks are designed completely of aluminum, creating a stick that is relatively heavy but also strong on the ice. Aluminum sticks employ replaceable replaceable blades.
Graphite is used in variety of ways during stick construction. Graphite can be used as a coating or reinforcing material and is sometimes mixed with other materials to form a shaft. Graphite can also be used entirely on its own as a stick material. Graphite sticks employ replaceable blades.
Kevlar sticks are among the strongest and most lightweight sticks in hockey today. Kevlar can be used by itself or mixed with other materials in stick construction.
Titanium is typically used as the sole material in stock construction. Similar to Kevlar, titanium has a reputation as a light yet aggressive stick on the ice.