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Welcome to our overview of the best hockey sticks on the market. What sport is very cold and about two hundred years old? That would be ice hockey, a sport that people love and play around the world.
Starting in England in the 1800s, it was a very slow version of the game we know today. Sticks were cavemen versions of what they are now, heavy and made out of true wood. Needless to say, the hockey sticks that are available today have been crafted to improve the sport and performance on the ice.
Choosing the best hockey stick means finding the right hockey stick for you- which we can help you do! Read through our article to learn what features to consider, and find our Top Picks.
How to Choose a Hockey Stick
Like most sports equipment, the quality of the piece you choose should match your experience. You’re not going to spend four hundred dollars on a hockey stick if you’ve never played before.
You’re going to go down to your local Play it Again Sports and find one there – at least until you know you want to commit to playing hockey.
And that’s smart – so keep price and experience in mind when you’re reading our reviews.
Picking a Material
There are two main materials used to make hockey sticks, wood, and composite. Obviously, wooden hockey sticks are more authentic and true to the historic nature of the sport.
But modern hockey players will tell you that composite is now where it’s at – at least for gameplay. Why? The composite sticks are lighter, which increases your general speed.
- Don’t throw away your wood hockey stick, though. They’re good to train with, especially because of the extra weight. When you practice with a heavy stick, it builds muscle.
- That muscle can increase your power on the ice – even when you’re using a lighter stick.
- If you’re using the stick to play street hockey or just practice shooting off ice, wood will last longer. Composite doesn’t stand up to friction as well as wood does.
- Thankfully, ice doesn’t have much friction (another reason to use composite for gameplay).
Choose the Right Length
Your hockey stick needs to be relevant to your height, just like lacrosse sticks. There are pre-made graphs that show you your height and the best stick length, but we’ll do a written version of it here.
Your height is only one part of the stick length, you also have to keep your stance in mind. If you like to get down low when you skate or you’re on defense more, you might like a shorter stick than someone else of your same height.
If you’re on a team or are joining one, ask your teammates if you can borrow their stick. Which one feels right for you? Figure out the length of that stick then compare it to the chart. Maybe your stick length will match what the chart predicts, or maybe it won’t. There’s not one right answer.
Length vs Height Examples
- If you’re four feet, which would usually be a child, look for a stick between 30 and 32 inches. You can get away with a stick up to 34 inches, depending on what side of 4 foot you stand on.
- Five-foot players should look for a stick between 34 and 36 inches. We don’t recommend going up to 37 unless you’re close to six feet.
- Players that are six foot and up can look for sticks from 37 to 40 inches, which is where most sticks max out in length
It’s always better to buy a stick that’s too long rather than too short. You can take a stick that’s too long to your local ace hardware store and have them saw off a few inches. Just wrap it up with tape or go over it with some sandpaper.
Consider the Lie Angle
This has nothing to do with not telling the truth. The lie is the angle that the foot is to the shaft, or, how close/far to 90 degrees the foot is. This is a hard thing to diagnose over the internet because it’s unique to each player’s stance. When you’re in your normal playing position, the foot of your stick should be touching the ice.
Check the Blade Curve Pattern
The blade curve is how flat or curved the puck-handling side of your stick is. This is a hard thing to know if you’ve never played hockey, so try to borrow or rent before you buy, at least for your first practice/lesson.
You need to know what part of the foot/blade you carry the puck with. If you tend to keep the puck near the toe of the stick, then you want something with more curve, so it doesn’t slip out.
Don’t be afraid to go too curved. If you take a look at what the pros use, a lot of them have some intense looking blade patterns. Again – this is YOUR stick. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to what you choose, as long as it feels right for you.
Check the Flex of the Shaft
Like your stick length, the flex of your stick also depends on your stature. Your weight and height both matter to calculate the level of flex you need.
- Flex is measured in numbers from 35-100, with 100 being a lot of flex and 35 being low-flex.
- If you’ve never thought about it, think about your slap shot. How fast is it usually? Now try that same shot with a wood stick.
- Not the same at all, right? Your flex can be in the category for your weight/height or either one that touches it.
You can easily drop three hundred dollars on a hockey stick. When it comes to longer sticks, nicer materials, and more specific blades – they get expensive. The best thing to do is to start with a lower-priced stick and only buy more expensive ones as your skill improves. We’ve tried to keep the price in mind in our review of the top hockey sticks below.
The Top 8 Best Hockey Sticks
Ready to get a stick in your hand now that you’ve read the buying guide? Check out our top choices below.
If you want a well-priced stick for taller people (and one that can be trimmed), this is the stick for you. It’s under $100, which is hard to find in a well-rated hockey stick. It comes in both right and left-hand versions, and with two choices for flex. You can get it in 75 flex or 85.
It’s geared towards forwards or defensive players, but it’ll do for anyone in a pinch. It’s light and gets rave reviews, which is impressive at such a low price point.
The stick is about 1 pound when it comes to weight, and it has a lie of 5.5. This is a great buy for the person getting back into hockey or picking up adult league games at their local rec. It’s the best hockey stick for defenseman of the year.
This stick is at a similar price point to the last one and comes with very similar features. It offers the same two flex options and comes in two colorways.
It’s built for more all-around play than the last stick, which was geared towards forwards and defensive players. It has a high balance point, which means it’s a good stick for anyone who is tall or has a high playing stance. It comes with the choice of two blade profiles with different faces and lies.
Arsenal seems to be sweeping the game when it comes to quality, affordable hockey sticks. This one comes in two orientations and has an 85 flex. It’s geared towards players who need a light stick that can really perform, and one that’ll last a long time.
If Arsenal is supplying this list with low prices, then STX is supplying it with options. This stick comes in both left and right-hand orientations, as well as four blade types.
There are five different flex levels to choose from, ranging from 45 to 100. If you don’t know what you need in a hockey stick as an individual player, this one is a pretty good one-size-fits-all option.
If you want a medium priced stick with good reviews, check out this stick that’s under $150. It comes in both left and right, but that’s the extent of the choices you’ll get. It has a 30 flex and is made for small adults/large juniors. It has a 5.5 lie and is 52 inches tall.
If you’re looking for the best youth hockey stick look no further. This Franklin Sports NHL SX Comp 1020 Power Force is perfect for youth players (40″) or for Junior Ice Hockey players (52″). It’s made from birch and poplar, with a strong grip texture. It’s more than fair price-wise for your beginner player.
You’re going to spend around $150 on this stick, but it has rave reviews – and gives you a lot of choices. It comes in both right and left-hand orientations, as well as a few choices of flex. The lie is 5.5 and the toe is round, with a slightly open face. If you’re working on your puck handling and your shots, this is the stick for you.
This is a little higher of a price point, but it’s a more colorful stick if that kind of pizazz matters to you on the ice. It comes in four different styles, which all have different designs.
The flex range is limited from 70-85, and you don’t get any blade choices. But people love the stick for the price, so the lack of blade choices doesn’t seem to be an issue. On our list of the best hockey sticks, it’s the most expensive.