To play the best possible game, you’ll need the best hockey sticks that sharpens your competitive edge. To hockey players, hockey sticks are much more than just wooden sticks they poke the puck with. They’re a critical piece of equipment for hockey athletes, and it’s pretty common for players to love their sticks.
But how can an inexperienced hockey player know what the perfect hockey stick is? Well, that’s where we come in. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best hockey sticks on the market, as well as some of the things to look for on deciding which one is best for you.
To start things off, we’re presenting you with our top picks reviews:
Our Top Pick
Bauer Vapor FlyLite Senior Hockey Stick
- Wide range of flex
CCM Jetspeed FT3 Pro Composite Hockey Stick
- Hybrid Flex
- Variety of blade patterns
- Exceptional build
CCM Jetspeed 460 Composite Hockey Stick
- Great value
- Hybrid flex
Table of Contents
Top 15 Best Hockey Sticks for Sale
1. Bauer Vapor FlyLite Senior Pro Hockey Stick
• Weight: 383 grams
• Flex Profile: low-kick
• Available Flexes: 70, 77, 87, 102
The Bauer Vapor FlyLite is a Senior hockey stick made for speed and power, and according to Bauer, it is their most advanced stick to date in the Senior category. It’s lightweight, appropriately flexible, and makes for the right choice for both developing and experienced hockey players.
The FlyLite is made using an advanced carbon layering technique combined with the DuraFlex resin systems. The build’s carbon fibers provide it with exceptional durability, while DuraFlex adds to its flexural strength. Of course, it’s available in various flexes, ranging from 70 Flex to 102 Flex.
This variety allows you to pick a product that suits your needs while still being able to withstand heavy leanings into shots. Since we’re discussing an OPS composite with such great composition of materials, you can lean heavily without breaking the stick.
Moving further down the hockey stick shaft and into the blade area, we’re greeted by a variety of six different blade patterns. Most of these patterns feature heel-to curve types, open or slight-open face angles, and medium-length blades. Of course, you can select the desired pattern at the moment of purchase.
The blade is made of Aero-Sense 2 material, which brings reinforcement to areas most susceptible to wear, contributing to the stick’s overall durability. The XE Taper design means that the shaft gradually tapers into the blade, providing a uniform flex point and a better feel of the stick. In summary, the FlyLite is an exceptional hockey stick with a low kick-point that allows you to load up the stick and shoot the puck as quickly as possible and is one of the best bauer hockey sticks .
- Exceptional build quality
- Tacky grip for better hold
- Hybrid-flex from 70-95 flex
- Different blade patterns
- None at this price point
• Sigmatex ST carbon fiber material
• Hybrid kick-point
• JF-80 blade with a dampened core
With its new and improved shaft-design and Sigmatex ST, the CCM JetSpeed FT Senior Hockey Stick hits the sweet spot between quick-release shots and power. Additionally, along with other improvements, the hybrid flex point nicely bridges the gap between both attributes, making the FT2 suitable for all shot types.
Compared to its predecessor of the same brand, the shaft of FT2 features an upgraded design with rounded corners and slightly concave walls. This structural upgrade is achieved with a Sigmatex ST material using a specialized weaving process, which increases the stick’s overall performance. Thanks to those improvements, the FT2 features exceptional resilience and strength, with reduced overall weight compared to the original Jetspeed.
The FT2 also features a hybrid kick point, which bridges the gap between power and speed, and connects both worlds. The stick has a stiff flex zone placed between two softer flex zones, which creates a hinge-like effect for quicker release time. This is great for investing significant amounts of power into your wrist shots and works wonderfully for slapshots.
On the blade-end, there’s the JF-80 Hockey Blade, which uses a proprietary damped core for enhanced feel and control. Of course, the blade is reinforced from heel to toe to increase its resistance to wear and provide optimum performance and longer life expectancy.
Overall, the stick is pretty responsive and feels great, making it a fantastic option for both forwards and defensemen and one of top hockey sticks on the market. Thanks to its perfect balance between power and release, the Jetspeed FT2 is an incredibly versatile stick and a force to be reckoned with.
- Available for Intermediates, juniors, and seniors
- Between 40 and 95 flex
- None, considering its price point
3. CCM Jetspeed FT3 Pro Composite Hockey Stick
• Weight: 380 grams
• Flex Profile: mid-kick point
• Available Flexes: 70, 75, 85
The CCM Jetspeed FT3 Pro Composite Hockey Stick is the newest iteration of the Jetspeed hockey stick line, which features vital upgrades in various sections over its predecessors. As such, it caters to Pro and Elite level players in the senior category. It’s also one of the best composite sticks on the market.
If it’s the performance you’re after, the FT3 Pro composite hockey sticks are your answer. It provides accuracy, speed and power, incredible feel, and unparalleled control. Much like the previous model, the FT3 Pro also features an R-shaped shaft with double-concave walls and a tacky grip for comfortable hold and control. The CCM used top-grade 12K woven nano-carbon layering to increase the stick’s durability and reduce its weight.
This resulted in an incredibly light yet extremely durable shaft. The shaft has a Hybrid flex profile, which uses the combination of hard and soft flex points to create a power-hinge effect. This effect allows players to load the stick with speed and allows better power investment.
On the opposite end of the stick is the new JF-90 blade, with a dampening core that heightens the puck feel and provides better overall puck control. Of course, the blade is reinforced toe-to-heel and features a tactical surface, making it a lightweight stick and resilient without sacrificing the stick’s feel.
Professional-level athletes deserve the best, and FT3 Pro is an excellent option for those looking for one of the best hockey sticks with a hybrid flex profile.
- Exceptional build quality
- Tacky grip for better hold
- Hybrid-flex from 70-95 flex
- Different blade patterns
- Hybrid kick point
- Hybrid-flex needs getting used to
4. Warrior Covert QRE 10 Composite Pro Hockey Stick
Built on the foundations set by its predecessors, with a few upgrades of its own; the Warrior Covert QRE 10 Composite Hockey Stick represents a top-of-the-line product. It sets the standard for performance in unparalleled load and release, coupled with an exceptional feel in your hand.
• Weight: 401 grams
• Flex Profile: low-kick point
• Available Flexes: 65, 75, 85, 100
The QRE 10 brings a Minimus Carbon 1500D material, which is a significant improvement over the 1200D we’ve seen in previous iterations of the stick. It’s a dynamic unidirectional material that offers elasticity, strength, and remarkable weight reduction, making the stick perfect for both stickhandling and quick passes.
Thanks to the Shadow Feel construction design, the stick is very well-balanced, offering great control and responsiveness during play. The Taper Edge design offers unique taper geometry that results in better accuracy, strength, and a quicker release. It also drives the shaft’s flex energy through the blade and into the puck, releasing more power with sniper-like accuracy.
For the blade, the Covert QRE 10 uses the Fuelcore+ lightweight polymer with 25K Enigma Carbon weaves around the blade’s core. The Fuelcore+ reduces the wear and tear on the blade and increases its durability and feel while providing an additional “pop” to shots.
In summary, the Warrior Covert QRE 10 is a fantastic, top-shelf product, with a confusing feather-like weight but steel-like durability and one of the better ice hockey sticks on the market.. If you’re looking for a top-notch product to hone your competitive edge, the QRE 10 is that product and it meets best hockey stick caliber.
- Enigma Carbon nano-weave
- Low-kick point
- Incredibly lightweight
- Exceptional feel
- It comes only in standard 60″ length
5. Sher-Wood Rekker M90 Senior Pro Hockey Stick
• Weight: 380 grams
• Flex Profile: low-kick point
• Available Flexes: 75, 85, 95 (with lower flexes available)
The Sher-Wood Rekker M90 Senior Hockey Stick, with its fantastic price point and feathery lightweight, is the Sher-Wood’s comeback product after years of corporate restructuring. For a while, their products were nowhere to be found. That is up until recently when their Rekker M90 started dominating the rinks like a real underdog everyone considered it to be.
Built with low-weight, responsiveness, and reliability in mind, the M90 is probably Sher-wood’s most advanced stick-up to date. The manufacturer used thinner and lighter Blackline XXV carbon fibers and weaved them using their proprietary FlyLite II Technology. It allows the stick to remain incredibly lightweight while maintaining high levels of durability.
Additionally, high-impact areas of Rekker M90 are reinforced with graphene – an extremely strong and highly impact-resistant material. Paired with Resinjextion system resin technology, this adds more strength to the stick and more pop to your shots.
The Dropkick Taper is a relatively aggressive taper form that allows more effective loading with significantly less force required. This results in quick-shot releases, allowing you to shoot a puck off your stick’s blade rapidly. And yes, the Rekker M90 brought improvements in that segment too.
Sher-wood revamped the VRF blade into a VRF.4 form, making it thinner and lighter but also stronger at the same time. The blade’s advanced construction provides a soft feeling when receiving passes and has a distinct pop when shooting.
- Reinforced against slashes at lower sections
- Good-quality lightweight materials
- Improved blade
- Good feel and control
- Lacks power for power shots
6. Warrior Alpha DX Pro Senior Composite Stick
• Weight: 441 grams
• Flex Profile: Low-kick point
• Available Flexes: 40, 50, 55, 63, 65, 75, 85, 100
The Warrior Alpha DX Pro Senior Composite Stick is a fantastic product and brand if you’re looking for high-performance, without a high price tag. So, if you’re on a budget but still want a hockey stick that matches elite-level performance, The Warrior Alpha DX Pro is definitely worth a look.
The shaft is built from Minimus Carbon 1000, using a True 1 Phantom Feel Technology, which offers an exciting combination. The material provides high strength and durability at the cost of reduced flex, but also offers exceptional feel and overall control. Alpha DX Pro features Sabre Taper to combat the stiffness, which allows the stick to flex closer to the blade, despite its mid-flex point.
On the ergonomic side, the DX Pro comes with an Ergo Shaft Shape and ergonomic contour that fits comfortably into your hands. It helps heighten the feeling of control during stickhandling. Additionally, the Apex Grip soft grip is added to provide better comfort and more control.
The blade of the Warrior alpha DX Pro is made by layering composite cores around the Fuelcore blade core. The Fuelcore technology gives more pop to your shots and improves puck feel. It works as a dampener to an otherwise hardened blade to enhance the blade’s overall durability and longevity. With all of that said, the DX Pro best suits athletes who play 3-4 times a week and desire high-performance for an accessible price.
- Feels great
- Provides good feel and puck control
- Relatively light
- Hard to get power out of it
7. CCM RibCor Trigger 4 Pro Hockey Stick
• Weight: 392 grams
• Flex Profile: Low-Kick
• Available Flexes: 40, 50, 55, 65, 70, 75, 85, 95
The CCM Ribcor Trigger 4 Pro brings everything great its predecessor had to offer and introduces new shapes, reduced weight, and improved durability. It’s built upon great foundations set by previous iterations, and with recent improvements, this durable stick is incredibly, nimble, and quick.
CCM used the same molding process on the ribcor trigger 4 pro as it did with the previous models – the X-Flow technology. It eliminates the excess resin from the stick, giving it more consistency. More consistency means improved quality, and less material means only one thing – reduced weight.
In fact, the ribcor trigger 4 pro best hockey stick is the first sub-400 grams RibCor to date, thanks to X-Flow Technology’s effectiveness. The overall shaft design features an asymmetrical taper, which improves shaft durability and increases accuracy to sniper-like levels. Additionally, it also creates a low-kick point for quick shots so fast; they border with phenomenal.
The Sigmatex 18K carbon material of the shaft is fused with the blade’s Agility core and only provides a softer feel of the puck. Despite the softer feel, the stick can generate quick and precise shots, which land right where you intended them to. This is perfect for forwards that prefer a deceptive type of play and leave predictability outside the rink when they step on the ice.
- Increased agility and durability
- Ergonomic shaft
- Great materials
- No apparent drawbacks or disadvantages
8. Bauer Nexus 2N Pro Composite Hockey Stick- Best Stick for Slapshots
• Weight: 410 grams
• Flex Profile: Mid
• Available Flexes: 70, 77, 87, 102
Bauer is a well-established manufacturer brand of hockey gear, and their Bauer Nexus 2N Pro Composite Hockey Sticks is one of their finest works. We’re discussing an OPS composite work of art that’s well-balanced, meticulously accurate, and offers an elite-level performance.
Let’s start from the top and discuss the shaft, which is made from DuraFlex resin using proprietary eLASTech technology. This construction is paired with another proprietary resin design to improve strength, durability, and better consistency throughout the shaft for a better feel. The layering material used was carbon layering, which is thinner, leading to a 10% reduction in weight.
Since the carbon fibers are thinner and more compressed, the stick gives a 15% faster slap shot release. However, thinner fibers pose a durability issue, and the Nexus N2 Pro stick is slightly less durable than the competition. They are still extremely accurate and provide a comfortable feel to compensate for the aforementioned disadvantage, making them a go-to product for many hockey players.
Lastly, the N2 features an R-LITE blade system with a pure shot blade profile, with a fiber-reinforced dampening layer between the fiber and the core. This allows for an enhanced feel of the puck and better overall puck control.
Overall, despite durability issues, the Bauer Nexus 2n Pro has amassed a cult following for good reasons and has made it one of the top hockey sticks. Top-tier rated performance is one of those reasons.
- Superb OPS construction
- 18K carbon fiber
- SweetSpot Tech
- Great for slap shots
- Maximum blade height only suits tall players
- Slightly less durable than the competition
9. Bauer Supreme ADV Composite Senior Pro Hockey Stick
• Weight: 365 grams
• Flex Profile: Mid-kick
• Available Flexes: 50, 55, 65, 70, 77, 87
The Bauer Supreme ADV Composite Senior Hockey Stick pushes the boundaries of stick-crafting technologies and gives competition something to think about while leaving them with a homework assignment. Like the rest of the Supreme line, the ADV is engineered for maximum energy transfer, ensuring that every ounce of energy gets loaded into your shots.
Bauer used their Advanced Carbon Layering technology and combined it with a proprietary Sonic taper to redesign their new stick’s shaft. This combo features a 7-sided geometrical profile, allowing the manufacturer to remove the unnecessary carbon, and cut down weight.
Thanks to the new 7-sided geometry, the removal of excess material didn’t affect the taper’s strength and durability. Instead, it allowed for flex optimization in the upper portion of the shaft, making loading and releasing shots much more comfortable than before. In combination with a fantastically designed blade, this re-engineered flex profile ensures maximum energy transfer down the shaft and through the puck.
The blade was also redesigned using the new FASTCORE BLADE Technology, giving the blade an Aerofoam Core. The Aerofoam Core reduces the overall weight of the blade, subsequently increasing balance and control. However, the striking zone of the blade has a different type of core.
The Energy Core is placed inside the impact area on the blade and absorbs the impact’s energy. It also releases the loaded energy from the stick into the puck for extra power and acceleration.
- Faster shot loading
- Improved geometry
- Increased versatility thanks to lower flex
- Dissimilar to the previous Supreme
- It takes getting used to
10. True AX9 Gloss Grip Senior Pro Hockey Stick
• Weight: 375 grams
• Flex Profile: Low-kick
• Available Flexes: 75, 85, 95, 105
If you’re looking for a stick of exceptional quality, sniper-like precision, and ultimate feel, the True AX9 Gloss Grip Senior Hockey Stick from True Hockey might be a real hit. It will allow you to shoot with explosiveness and lightning-quick speeds from anywhere in the rink.
The construction combines two exciting technological solutions that increase strength and durability while reducing power. Using SmartPly and Axenic, two proprietary technologies, True Hockey molded 25 layers of unidirectional carbon fiber intersected at an optimal angle for an ideal weight-to-strength ratio.
Additionally, the FiberSheld technology uses dispersed low-density nano-particles throughout the shaft for increased durability. In fact, the combination of these processes results in 5% weight reduction, with up to 40% more durability.
The flex profile of this best hockey stick is now modified to sit in the bottom third of the True AX9 hockey stick’s shaft. This allows for effortless loading and explosiveness in shots, making AX9 a versatile stick for both slap and wrist shots. True Hockey implemented their popular BRT+ technology into the blade, with braided tubing further extended into the heel. This improved the overall heel durability but also enhanced the puck feel and provides an additional level of control. And the improvement hits the spot since it’s incredibly close to giving the feel only found on wooden sticks.
- Exceptional durability
- Fantastic feel
- Slightly unbalanced, compensate with a fantastic feel
11. True AX7 Senior Composite Pro Hockey Stick
• Weight: 418 grams
• Flex Profile: Low-kick
• Available Flexes: 75, 85, 95
The AX7 model features the same technology as the AX9 but comes with a slightly higher weight and a trimmed price point. Still, if you’re looking for a bang for your buck, the AX7 is the right choice.
The model uses a similar build-rated technology as its elite-oriented brother, the SmartPly, which optimized carbon fiber patterns. It weaves 25 layers of carbon fibers in the unidirectional pattern, enhancing durability, strength, and feel. That said, this stick weighs 43 grams more than the flagship AX9 model.
Despite the increased weight, the shaft is infused with the same nano-particles as the AX9, using the FiberShield technology. It uses resin distribution to consistently disperse nano-particles throughout the stick, significantly increasing strength and durability.
The BRT+ blade is fused to the shaft using the compression-molding of the Axenic technology. It makes the AX7 a true OPS work-of-art. Of course, the blade heel got special treatment as well, increasing its durability, consistency, and responsiveness.
Equipped with features found on the top-of-the-line model, the AX7 comes slightly heavier but with a significantly reduced price. It’s truly a bang for your buck if you want a high-performing stick with a budget-friendly price tag. It should be included in your search if you’re looking for composite sticks.
- Fantastic strength-to-weight ratio
- Good build quality
- Accessible price point
- On the heavier side
12. True XCORE XC9 ACF Composite Pro Hockey Stick
• Weight: 425 grams
• Flex Profile: Mid-kick
• Available Flexes: 75, 85, 95, 105
Hockey is a tough sport, and unfortunately, sticks break. We won’t tell you that XCORE XC9 ACF won’t break. But we will tell you that it’s improbable that it will, even when its durability is compared to its well-known predecessor, the XC9.
The XC9 ACF was made using True’s SmartPly and Axenic manufacturing processes to create a highly durable stick that’s also robust in nature. However, the addition to this marriage of weight and strength is the redesigned SmartFlex. The stick retains its mid-kick flex position, but it can now be utilized for all shot types.
Another significant upgrade is Swing Weight, another proprietary technology by True Hockey that balances the entire stick. In other words, the XC9 ACF doesn’t feel or handle like a 425-gram stick – it feels much lighter. You’ll be surprised how light the stick feels in your hand. But what will surprise you even more, is the blade.
The blade went through the most significant upgrade when compared to previous iterations. The BRT+ blade now features an XCORE Gen 2 core insert, which allows for more spin, and an enhanced, softer feel. Another noteworthy upgrade, you’ll be astonished by the blade’s soft feel, but also by the feeling of durability and rigidness.
In terms of performance, we can say only one thing: the XC9 ACF will make you want to play with it, be it with practice or games. With this, great line of ice hockey sticks.
- Professional performance
- Accessible price
- None that we could find
13. Bauer Supreme Ultrasonic Composite Pro Hockey Stick
• Weight: 390 grams
• Flex Profile: High-kick
• Available Flexes: 70, 77, 87
The Ultrasonic composite stick is another elite-level addition to the Supreme line. It features the same weight as their Vapor FlyLite, but it’s been re-engineered for snapshots as well as slapshots.
Starting with the shaft construction, the Bauer used the same Lightweight Asymmetrical TeXtreme carbon fiber used on the Vapor FlyLite. The material has unique properties that make it approximately 20% lighter than regular carbon fiber but manages impacts 20% better. It’s a simple tradeoff which only benefits the hockey stick.
TeXtreme is layered using Bauer’s ACL construction method, and sealed with DuraFlex resin, to improve all the critical aspects. You can expect better strength and durability, as well as stress management from flex and impacts.
Transitioning towards the blade, you’ll see Sonic Taper Technology geometrical profile first used on the Supreme ADV stick. Its 7-sided geometry allowed the manufacturer to remove unnecessary carbon material and significantly reduce the weight, maintaining the necessary energy transfer and shot power.
The blade features a similar build to the Supreme ADV and uses FASTCORE technology with Aerofoam Core. This type of core provides a softer feel of the puck and better overall control. However, this blade also has an Energy Core in the blade’s strike zone, which enhances your shots. It absorbs the impact force when connecting with the puck and redirects it back into the puck to launch it off the blade.
- Fantastic build quality
- Optimal energy flow
- One of the lightest sticks on the market
- High-price range
14. CCM Jetspeed 460 Composite Hockey Stick
• Weight: 472 grams
• Flex Profile: Mid-kick point
• Available Flexes: 75, 85, 95
The Jetspeed series by CCM is already established as one of the best hockey sticks’ product lines for professional athletes. Both FT2 and FT3 Pro sticks are exceptional in their field, featuring a price tag that mirrors their performance. But is it possible to get a similar performance for a fraction of the price? Enter, Jetspeed 460.
The Jerspeed 460 is a budget-oriented member of the Jetspeed family, aimed at hobby and recreational athletes who skate 2-3 times a week. As such, it provides the highest possible performance and features at a given price range, offering great value for the money spent.
In general, the stick shares many features present on its more expensive brethren. It has the same top-end Jetspeed shaft as its more costly cousins, with the new R-geometry that more comfortable feel and better performance. Of course, the shaft has a revamped mid-kick point, turned into a hybrid-flex, which creates a hinge-like effect for better speed and response. CCM equipped Jetspeed 460 with the same JF-80 blade, which is used on the FT2 stick. The blade is made from their proprietary C6 carbon fiber material with a specialized weaving pattern that increases the overall stiffness and strength. Yet, the dampened core inside the blade provides the exceptionally lightweight feel, more precision, and greater puck control.
- Excellent performance/price ratio
- Accessible price
- Hybrid flex point
- Great feel and precision
- Not suitable for professional and elite-level use
- No other drawbacks, considering its price
15. Warrior Fantom QRE Senior Hockey Stick
• Weight: 360 grams
• Flex Profile: low-kick
• Available Flexes: 75, 85
The Fantom QRE is the lightweight “special edition “of the Warrior’s Covert QRE best hockey stick we mentioned above. The weight difference is astonishing 40-50 grams, depending on flex, making Fantom the lightest Covert-line hockey stick on the market.
This OPS build capitalizes on using the Enigma Carbon throughout the entire construction of the shaft. It uses 25K flat-weave carbon fibers due to its reduced weight without compromising durability and strength. However, some durability is lost to weight reductions because of technological constraints of the material.
Nonetheless, the shaft build is exceptional and uses Edge Taper technology, making the stick’s geometry more stable, stronger, and responsive, and a perfect stick. Of course, being an OPS piece, the Fantom features a True 1 Shadow technology that enhances the stick’s balance, thus enhancing the feel.
The Fuelcore+ blade matches the rest of the Covert line of products but with a noticeable difference in weight. It’s exceptional when it comes to performance a provides a good feel and a distinguished pop. Additionally, it’s made of the same layered material as the shaft, with particular attention dedicated to the heel’s durability.
- Great feel
- Reasonably priced
- Slightly less durable than other product from the same line
What to consider when buying a Hockey Stick
Purchasing a new hockey stick might be a matter of routine for experienced hockey players, but not so much for beginners. Most people who never held a hockey stick believe that they’re all the same, work the same and feel the same.
Well, not all hockey sticks are created equal, and some might fit you better than the others. Regardless of your experience, this section of the article will discuss all the things you should consider when buying the best hockey stick.
The length of your stick has a significant impact on your overall performance, as it affects your play style, reach, shots passes, and overall control. So, it’s one of the most significant factors you should consider when selecting a new hockey stick.
The ideal length of the hockey stick entirely depends on the individual using it. One way of knowing the appropriate size is placing the hockey stick in front of you, with the blade’s tip on the ground. If you’re barefoot, the other end should be between your chin and your nose. Similarly, if you’re wearing ice skates, the other end of the hockey stick should go up to your chin.
You might want to consider different sizes, depending on your position. Defensive players usually use longer sticks to extend their reach, while forwards use a shorter stick for more control.
short sticks are ideal for players who like to move quickly in and out of “tricky” situations. They’re perfect for taking shots in close, and a lot of stickhandling. The overall length shouldn’t go past your chin when you’re holding it vertically while wearing your ice skates. You should keep in mind that shortening a stick affects its flex or increasing its stiffness. Take that into consideration when purchasing a new stick. In other words, buy a flex according to what you desire your final flex to be once you shorten the shaft. Most modern hockey sticks have notches showing the final flex corresponding to the length on which you’re trimming the stick.
regular sticks measure around 57″ to 63″ and are the most common stick type recommended to beginners. The measurements vary between manufacturers, and there are longer sticks available for taller individuals. This is an adjustable length that covers almost all types of shots and positions.
It would help if you sized the stick accordingly, with the overall length between your chin and nose while wearing skates. The reason for regular sticks being most recommended for beginners is because they’re incredibly versatile. You can shorten them, but you can also add extensions to make them longer. Click here to learn how to make your own hockey stick.
Longer sticks are fantastic for defensemen, as they increase the overall poke check reach. They are either made tall by the manufacturers or made longer by placing extensions on regular-length sticks.
Shafts and grips
Shafts are the most overlooked but critical parts of hockey sticks. They usually come in different sizes, featuring a grip that aids control the stick.
When selecting a new stick, go for the shaft that’s neither too big nor too small. The smaller shaft will roll over in your hands, while bigger ones may be uncomfortable to grip. Either way, it will most definitely affect your performance. So, go for the product that feels comfortable in your hands and allows proper grip and control.
When it comes to grip, there are two options: clear-finish or grip. Grips are added textures that help you get a better hold of the stick. Some players find this incredibly comfortable and helpful, while others prefer clean-finishes or no grips. It all comes down to personal preference, and beginners might want to try it out before purchasing a stick.
How to choose a hockey stick flex?
The flex score refers to the shaft’s flexibility, ranging anywhere from 35 (least stiff) to 120 (stiffest). It represents the amount of pressure (in pounds) necessary to flex the center of a 1″ hockey stick.
So, if the 1″ stick flexes by applying 35lbs of force to its center, the stick has a flex score of 35. The same rules apply to the other end of the flex scale.
When selecting a new stick, especially if you’re a beginner, dividing your weight by 2 is an excellent place to start. Of course, this is a generalized measurement, and a comfortable flex may depend on your play style and position. Here are the three basic types:
Low flex – low flex sticks have a flex score between 75 and 85 and don’t require much force for a successful shot. Forwards players mostly favor them since they perform better in snap and wrists shots. That said, if you hit them or load them too hard – they’ll shatter.
Medium flex – with a score range between 85-100, these sticks are the middle ground between the low flex snap speed and high flex power. Still, medium flex sticks offer the golden mean in terms of a more comprehensive selection of shots. This makes the player using medium flex hockey stick a threat in almost all aspects of play.
Heavy Flex Point – bearing the rating between 100-120, these sticks are for individuals that are incredibly strong, big, or simply enjoy slapping shots across the ice. This stiffness amount would allow you to put more energy into the stick, resulting in harder shots. Heavy-flex sticks are incredibly popular among defensemen in hockey, as they perform better in long-range slap shots.
The “feel” of the hockey stick
The feel is probably the most critical aspect of purchasing a new hockey stick. Unfortunately, it’s not a quantitative measurement, but an individual, subjective feeling of where the puck is when it’s touching the stick’s blade.
The hockey stick should be an extension of the player. So, regardless of how well-engineered the hockey stick is, if you can’t feel where the puck is, all of its features are next to useless. On the other hand, having the right hockey stick feel gives you the best possible control with the puck.
However, shopping for a new hockey stick based on feel alone is difficult, mostly if you haven’t played hockey before. Keep in mind that things always feel differently in-store than they would otherwise feel on the ice.
This is something to keep in mind while we’re discussing other factors, like materials, weight, and construction of the hockey stick.
Ice Hockey Stick Blade Patterns
To be successful on the ice, you’ll have to consider additional factors like blade pattern. Blade patterns actually consist of several different details, including blade curves, face angles, and blade length.
Different patterns usually have different implications for how the stick functions and performs on ice. They mostly depend on the stick’s blade’s curve and contribute to the overall subjective “feel” a stick offers. As a result, the right blade pattern is always tailored to the player’s specific preference. So, let’s start with the curve of the blade.
Curve direction mainly depends on whether you’re left-handed or right-handed. If you’re right-handed, you’re most likely to use your dominant hand as a top hand on your hockey stick. That leaves you with a left curve of the blade. The same rules apply if you’re left-handed.
Still, every-now-and-then, a hockey player that uses his non-dominant hand as a top hand emerges and challenges this rule. So, the curve direction mainly depends on which hand is your dominant one and what feels the most comfortable.
Curve type explains where the curve starts on your blade. If you think of the blade as a human foot, with a heel, mid, and toe, the curve type is defined by the location of its beginning. So, if the curve starts at the heel, it’s regarded as the heel curve.
The curve depth refers to the curve’s angle, with slight, moderate, and deep curves available. A deep curve allows for effortless lift shots, while subtle curves provide better overall control over the puck and its trajectory.
Face angles range from open to closed. Open faces have an upward “twist” at the end of the toe, whereas the closed faces maintain their curve from heel to toe. As expected, a stick with an open-face blade pattern allows you to lift the puck easier. A closed face angle will cup over the puck and provide adequate puck protection for defensive play.
There are three lengths of blades, which are short, medium, and long. It would help if you chose the length based on your puck control and experience level, and the position you play.
Shorter blades are better for stickhandling, close-quarter maneuvers, and close-up play. Longer blades are great for beginners because they provide more contact surface for catching and shooting. Defensemen also favor them because their length allows better poke checking. Medium lengths offer the best and the worst of both worlds.
Lie refers to the blade’s angle in relation to the shaft of the hockey stick. The blade’s bottom should lie flat against the ice, so you should consider the angle at which you typically hold the stick. If the angle is very steep, you’ll want a high lie angle, and if your blade is farther in front of you, a low angle does the trick. Check out our article on how to hold your stick here.
Wooden sticks or a wooden hockey sticks were there at the hockey’s beginnings, and they weren’t always lightweight and curved. Some of the very first iterations of hockey sticks used in official plays were actually straight wooden shafts. The wood sticks blades were inserted into the notch in the shaft and fastened together with adhesive.
In the 1950s, fiberglass was introduced to hockey stick manufacturing, and at the time, it changed the game. The fiberglass improved durability while simultaneously reducing the weight, allowing players to make stronger and more powerful shots.
Over the next forty-something years, hockey sticks were made from various materials, including aluminum and carbon fiber, each with its distinct benefits and drawbacks, but don’t forget where it started with a wood stick. But the real revolution sparked in the mid-’90s, with the introduction of composite blades, and later, composite sticks.
Composite materials are the materials created from two or more materials with notably different physical and chemical properties. These dissimilar materials are merged to create a composite material with properties that are unlike its individual elements’ properties. Some of the best hockey sticks are made from composite materials, making them light, flexible, and durable. So, composites take the win as a more durable and flexible option. Wooden hockey sticks provide a better “feel” and accessible price tag but lack durability.
Two-piece or One-piece stick (OPS)
Choosing a one-piece hockey stick (OPS) or a two-piece stick is another vital consideration during your play. Most hockey sticks were of a two-piece design in the earlier days, often featuring removable blades of different materials.
Today, the one-piece composite sticks dominate the market, and two-piece configurations are slowly fading away. Here are the differences between the two:
One-piece stick (OPS) – Compared to the old two-piece wooden sticks, OPS’ are a relatively new invention. They are made of one continuous piece of material, which makes them considerably lighter. Since there’s no overlap in the materials, like with two-piece sticks, OPS’ tend to have more consistent flex points and a better “feel.”
Two-piece stick – Two-piece sticks feature blades the removable and often made of a different material than the shaft. Some players still prefer this type of stick, as they allow you to change different blades and blade patterns to suit your game better. They’re a fantastic solution if you want more versatility from your stick; however, they don’t “feel” as good as a one-piece hockey stick.
Some of the best hockey sticks on the market and in professional hockey are composite one-piece sticks, so they take the win, in our opinion. However, choosing a specific hockey stick is an individual matter, and selecting the one that fits you the best is up to your preference.
Youth, Intermediate, Junior, or Senior
Another way of categorizing hockey sticks is according to athlete’s age, height and weight. There are four main categories that cover different ages. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Youth – youth hockey sticks are designed for the 3-8 age range, with a wide range of different lengths and flexes. It’s a wide age range which covers a great range of heights and weights, so you’ll be able to find a suitable stick relatively easily.
- Intermediate – when a youth-category player starts flexing a youth stick with relative ease, it’s time to move onto Intermediate hockey sticks. These sticks are designed for players ranging from 7-12 years old, with appropriate lengths and flexes. Depending on young athlete’s strength, height and weight, you might even skip the Intermediate category and immediately purchase a Junior hockey stick.
- Junior – In the 12-14 age gap, you’ll probably want to look at Junior sticks. They are a step away from Senior sticks and cover the various lengths and flexes to cater to different athletes.
- Senior – Senior sticks are the most versatile category, as a senior hockey stick is designed for teenagers and adults and features a wide variety of lengths and flexes. A 14 years old athlete may begin to look at Senior sticks, which will provide them with the necessary length and flex.
As warriors require reliable weapons, hockey players require reliable sticks, and hockey sticks are hockey players’ swords. We choose the popular Bauer Vapor FlyLite Hockey Stick as our top pick review choice because of its exceptional performance and overall positive rating in the hockey community.
Still, playing hockey doesn’t have to be expensive, and if you’re a recreational player, the CCM Jetspeed 460 Composite Hockey Stick will serve you just fine. It offers professional-level performance for a fraction of the professional-level money price.