Tips: how to buy a fieldhockey stick: size, material, hooks…we explain them!
Are you a field hockey beginner or you just want to buy a new stick? There numerous options available that finding the ideal stick for you can be an overwhelming task. Also, there are various factors to consider when purchasing a new stick; weight, length, skill level, and the bend or bow of a stick. All these are qualities that impact your general play performance. A well-selected field stick will compliment your skill level and candidly raise your game. Where do you begin to find the best stick?
The Length of the hockey stick
It is essential to have a stick of the right size to accomplish both basic and advanced skills. The measurement lengthwise can be the deciding issue in the completion of a pass, tackling or even making a mistake. A midfielder or a defensive player might have a preference for a longer stick so as to drive the ball further while an offensive player may choose a shorter one for better ball control and handling. Sticks might range from 28 inches - 37.5 inches or further. Naturally, the stick should reach up to the top of your hip bone.
Which Materials are ideal for you?
The sticks are manufactured from a range of different materials such as Kevlar, aluminium, fibreglass, and even titanium. You need to know your level of playing and what use the stick will serve. For the serious players who know how to play the game better and will be playing with their stick regularly, a composite stick of Kevlar or graphite may be the perfect alternative. These tend to be custom designed with skilled players in mind.
A large assortment/ a wide choice of sticks:
There is a broad range of hockey sticks, and you should try out the many different sticks until you find out one that is perfect for you. There is no wrong or correct answer; it is entirely up to you to realise the stick that is most satisfactory and effectual for your game.
Goalkeeping is one of the most important jobs out on the pitch, and we want to help you be your best. As long as the stick feels comfy when you hold it, then it should be okay. Compared to the field sticks, they are usually straighter (to control deflections better), lighter (because keepers do not hit the ball as much, and balanced in a different way (because keepers hold the stick in a different way as well). A very long stick can be a problem if the handle keeps getting caught on your body while playing. Goalie sticks also come in different types.
Defender hockey stick
As a general ruling, defenders need a strong stick for tackling. They as well have to be powerful to assist in the ball clearance. To get both features, they will usually select a stick that is longer to aid reach in for tackles, and weighty to give better hitting power, than players in other hockey positions
Midfielder hockey stick
Midfield field players necessitate having speedy ball-handling skills and the ability to make great tackles. They do not need their sticks to be too weighty, but they require being long-lasting. The midi toe design is well even-handed and will provide for the requirements of a midfielder. Sticks that have strong fibre will assist the midfielder in ball control while dribbling and trapping.
Attacker hockey stick
Forwards are continuously on the attack and consequently, need speed accuracy and ball-handling ability. Their sticks ought to be lighter in weight than ones for defenders as it will aid with movement. Power is also vital, and sticks with a high content of carbon will assist with this without adding up unnecessary weight.
Material of fieldhockey sticks
Your stick is an essential piece of gear while playing the game of field hockey. Depending on what a player is searching for in a stick, various materials make a difference in the stick's ability and feel during play. In the past sticks were customarily made from hard-word. Today, manufacturers use composite materials such as fibreglass, graphite, carbon and Kevlar. Kevlar is a material that can also be combined with different materials like carbon to make a stick or used on its own. Kevlar sticks are comparatively costly sticks, but one of the strongest and lightest available. The sticks for hockey are only made for right handed hockey players unlike in other sports with clubs, bats or sticks, field hockey needs players to make use of right-handed sticks - even for those who are left-handed naturally. Every stick has a rounded side and a flat side. You can only use the flat side of the hockey sticks, for both goalies and field players. Hitting the ball with the "back stick" or the rounded side is a violation of the rules. The length of the stick length varies in line with the player's height, and the weight might fluctuate somewhere from 18 to 25.9 ounces. The sticks grip is made of various materials, such as rubber and suede, to reduce the amount of dampness on the stick. Also, the best players go for sticks with a high Carbon content as it adds power and stiffness. The higher percentage of carbon percentage translates to the excellent power production.
Even, mid-balanced or top-weight hockey sticks
Conventionally the stick manufacturers had categorised their merchandise with weight guides such as Heavy (H), Medium (M) and Light (L) each indicating a range of 30 - 40g. However, recently it has been specified by FIH (International Hockey Federation) that the maximum weight for a hockey stick must be 737 grammes, even though the general taste is considerably lower than this weight. The sticks are curled for left or right-handed players with so many not blades being straight nowadays. The blades are either curved at the heel, toe or middle and athletes feel they can lift the puck higher and faster. Though, backhand shots and passes are a little trickier to attain. Currently owing to the requirements of the current game very few manufacturers produce sticks that are heavy; this is because when a hockey stick is excessively weighty, a player eventually turns more gradually or slowly. Manufacturers today make Extra Light sticks that are either in the high specification because of the costs involved in producing a stick that keeps its power at this mass or a low spec one where power and stiffness are not a key concern. Attackers like to have a greater impact on the ball that comes with a heavier stick; it will strike the ball harder, and on condition that you are physically powerful enough to be in command of the head, it can make your shots against the goalkeeper more powerful. A defender would certainly benefit from the suppleness of a lighter stick with a brawny shaft that will permit them to respond more rapidly to the requirement to present a tackle. A midfield player would opt for a balanced stick to get the advantage of both. Beginners mostly start with supple sticks to facilitate in shock absorption. Skilled players typically prefer rigid sticks or composite sticks for amplified power. Those who intend to continue with the game should buy stiffer sticks; they produce more power on each hit, they are also lighter and durable.
Grips and such
A stick blade covered with an elastomeric polymer, for example, polychloroprene to offer a coating reveals perfection in feel, adhesion, water-absorption, resiliency and wear. It is not unusual to find players who cover the blade of their sticks with a coating material. There are various reasons why the hockey players cover the blades of their sticks. One explanation is to have a better "feel" of their stick grip. Another is to reduce damage and wear of the blade. Sticks may either a soft plane (Non-Grip) or a sticky textured surface (Grip) and have no different grip sizes. The plane of a non-grip stick is very smooth, permitting the bottom hand to move quickly up and down the shaft for greater stick passing, handling, and shooting. A Grip stick may be the best choice for a player. Some grips cover up the whole stick, while others are only found in the main region of the shaft where a player's hands are found. Curls are built mostly on these three options: face angle, curve type and curve depth. Blade lie is as well an important quality. As a rule, defenders need good ball control when doing the outlet passes and the aptitude to shoot low and hard, so it is typically best to go with a moderate or slight mid or heel curl that has a slightly open or closed face angle. For example, 75 degrees and a 45 degrees corner could make an enormous difference. Forwards are inclined to do lots of ball handling and take more snapshots and wrist shots, thus a toe or mid curve somewhere from minor to deep, depending on a player, with an open or closed face angle would be suitable.
Hockey stick length
Stick length is mostly associated with your height. However, a player can have various inclinations based on field position, comfort level, style of play. If you are a midfielder or forward, you might need a shorter stick than what a defender would prefer since shorter sticks permit better movements. Conventionally senior hockey players used sticks that were 1 yard long or 36 inches, but over the past decade, the standard length has been increased to 36.5 inches. Currently, there is no set limitation governing the limit length of a stick; however, manufacturers avoid making many sticks that are longer than 38.5 inches or about 91cm. But some manufacturers might make customised sticks for lengths of up to about 42 inches. In most respects, the overruling factor that should control the length of the stick you select is your height, though is not the only consideration. In most young players choosing a stick of an appropriate length is vital in the development of ball control and skills. Determining the proper stick length is relatively easy if it is not above your belly button, then you are on the right track. There are three kinds of sticks:
- Baby sticks are from 21 to 26 inches (53 - 66 cm).
- Youth sticks are from 27 inches to 35 inches (69 - 89 cm).
- Adult sticks are from 36 to 38 inches (91 - 97 cm).
More lately with the development of technological advances in the curls of the sticks and quality control standards, some manufacturers have also launched some advances which intend to offer improved feel and overall control of the ball. There are also various sizes in the sticks curls:
- Shorti = A curl with a 20 degrees corner.
-Hook (J-shape) = A curl with a 75 degrees corner.
- Maxi/ Midi = A curl with a 45 degrees corner.
Weights of fieldhockey sticks
Sticks are obtainable in various weights. The stick weight is indicated heavy, medium or light. In general, the offensive players will select a lighter stick due to its ability to facilitate quick stick-handling. Defenders regularly opt for a weighty stick because it has more power, for instance during long passes. Many players favour using the standard-weight sticks. Attackers, however, normally like the lighter sticks for better control and movement. Midfield players prefer the average-weight sticks because they need hard hits and control. Beginners who have not determined their field position will be best served up by selecting the standard-weight sticks. This weight works well for any position. Here is a weight breakdown for the sticks (in ounces):
-Light weight: 18 oz to 19 oz
-Medium weight: 19 oz to 22 oz
-Heavy weight: 22 oz to 25.9 oz
Brands and prices
It was not long ago there was only a handful (or few) brands manufacturers that produced high-quality sticks. Nowadays, you can even search online for the dozens of manufacturers who make quality sticks. Be cautious though since many of the manufacturers also make low-quality sticks too. Here are a few brands to choose from. Adidas, Brabo, Cazador, Cyclone Hockey, Desii, Dita, Grays, Gryphon, Guerrilla, Indian Maharadja, Malik, Mercian, Osaka and many more. These sticks come in different prices and durability according to the manufacturer.
Hockey sticks and guarantees
In general, most brands provide you with a two months warranty or guarantee when you buy a stick from their shop. This warranty covers imperfections in manufacturing exposed when using the product as suggested by its manufacturer. The guarantee may not cover stolen or lost items, nor does warranty extend to damaged sticks caused by misuse, unauthorised modification and improper storage facilities.
Conclusion on how to buy a hockey stick
Try a multiplicity of sticks before deciding one that is best for you. Factors such as; shaft shape, weight, texture, length, circumference, flex; blade size, curve, lie, shape, face; and materials employed during the construction of the blade and stick can either develop upon or detract from anybody's game in the sport of hockey. Go for a stick that suits your strength and size (dimensions and weight of stick), play type (style, level, position), and budget or price.