Choosing the right field hockey stick for you is important to your game. If you have control over your stick, you will have control over the ball.
Looking at the variety of sticks out on the market, it can be easy to be unsure of which stick that you should go with.
You should choose your field hockey stick based on several factors, including your height, the material, and even the position that you play.
To begin with, you need to be sure that the length of your stick is appropriate for your height. While some players might prefer sticks that are longer or shorter, normally, you should stay with sticks that are made for your height. You measure the length by putting your index finger for your right hand on your right hip bone.
Then, put your middle and ring fingers next to the index finger. The top of your field hockey stick should reach the side of your ring finger if the stick fits you correctly. Normally, adults opt for field hockey sticks that are between 36” and 38”.
Your skill level matters greatly as well. This is how it breaks down.
- Beginner: Beginners need sticks that will help them focus on control and basic skills. Usually only players who just started will opt for a beginner stick. They are usually lightweight.
- Intermediate: Intermediate players need sticks that have a little bit of power to improve skills and have been playing a little while.
- Expert: These players need sticks that are focused on control to improve skills. They usually have more than 2 years of experience.
You will also need to think about the material that your stick is made out of. Traditionally, hockey sticks were made out of wood, but technology of field hockey sticks has advanced since then, so there are better options now. The two most common types of stick material are carbon and fibreglass.
- Carbon: This is the best material that you can get for a stick, which means normally, they are the most expensive. Carbon is the hardest material and is made for power. Pro and advanced players will exclusively use best carbon field hockey sticks because they offer the best gameplay.
- Fiberglas: The other most common material choice for field hockey sticks is fibreglass. Fiberglas is lighter and less expensive than carbon, which makes it a better choice for newer field hockey players. It has excellent durability and stick feel, but does not have the same power that you would get form carbon.
- Wood: Wood sticks do still exist or will be mixed in with fibreglass for a more traditional look at feel. They are the most inexpensive and least durable of all of the sticks.
Another choice that you will need to make about your field hockey stick is the type of toe design that you would prefer. There are four types to choose from: short, midi, maxi, and hook. They break down like this:
- Short: Offensive players prefer shorter toes for better control and manoeuvres.
- Midi: The midi toe design is best for midfielders, because they still help with agility, but are easier for beginners.
- Maxi: Maxi sticks are usually chosen by the defensemen because of their wider surface area for hitting the ball.
- Hook: Hook toe designs are a great choice for drag flicks, reverse stick plays, and anyone who would prefer to have a wider surface to work from.
The bow of the stick is the shape of curve of the stick. This is where it bends from the handle to the toe. There are three bow designs that you can choose from: regular, control, and late.
- Regular: A regular bow is usually 20 to 22mm, with the most dramatic curve falling directly in the middle of the stick to maximize control and power. This is the most versatile type of bow and works with all of the positions and abilities.
- Control: A control bow is usually 22 to 23mm with the peak of the bend falling closer to the toe. This will add power when lifting, dragging, and flicking the ball. More advanced players can use this one, but it is not recommended for beginners because it requires more practice and skill to master.
- Late bow: Finally, the late bow measures around 24 to 25mm. It curves nearly all around the head of the stick. It helps the most advanced players, elite-level, for controlling, lifting, dragging, and even performing aerials.
Some of the bow choice comes down to personal preference and the rest is really what skill level you are at.
The weight of your stick is also a consideration that you should make. The weight should be determined by the player’s position, age, and ability. The back players usually use a heavy stick made up of 22 to 24 ounces.
This extra weight can increase distance and help keep the stick in play during attacks. Meanwhile, midfielders normally go with sticks about 21 ounces in order to accommodate both offensive and defensive plays.
Finally, forwards go with the lightest sticks possible that normally weigh less than 21 ounces.
Many players will play multiple positions and have multiple sticks with them so they can change out as needed. Indoor field hockey sticks are thinner and lighter than outdoor field hockey sticks are as well, so remember that when you are considering a stick.
Hey there, my name is Shawn and I’m a semi-professional hockey player. I’m also the founder and chief editor here at Hockey Pursuits. I love playing hockey and helping players improve their game and that’s why I decided to start this blog.