Choosing the right hockey stick can be a difficult and confusing task. With so many different lengths, shapes, flexibilities, and materials available on the market, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of which one is right for you.
The length of your hockey stick plays a crucial role in your performance on the ice. Too long or too short, and you’ll compromise your speed, agility, balance, and shooting accuracy. The proper length, on the other hand, will help you maximize your power, control, and comfort.
In this article, we’ll break down the factors you should consider when determining how long your hockey stick should be. From your height and stance to your position and style of play, we’ll guide you through the process of finding the perfect length for your needs. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, this information will apply to you.
“A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” -Wayne Gretzky
By the end of this read, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to confidently choose a hockey stick that meets your unique requirements. So let’s dive in and discover the answer to the age-old question: How Long Should My Hockey Stick Be?
Find the Right Length for Your Height
Hockey sticks come in various lengths, and choosing the appropriate one is crucial to your game. Selecting a stick with the right length will provide you with greater control over the puck and help you improve your gameplay. However, determining the correct hockey stick length can be tricky. If you’re unsure about how long your hockey stick should be, follow our guide below.
Measure Your Height Accurately
The first step towards finding the perfect hockey stick length for yourself is to measure your height accurately. You may have encountered many general size charts that assign specific stick sizes based on age groups. While those sizing guidelines can set you on the right track, they do not take into account variations in an individual’s physique or play style.
Use a tape measure or yardstick to determine your precise height. Stand up straight with your shoes off against a flat surface like a wall. Have someone mark your height where the top of your head meets the wall. The number you get back would be your true height, and you can use it to select the proper stick height better.
Choose the Appropriate Stick Length Based on Your Height
Now that you know your exact height let’s talk about selecting the appropriate stick length according to your height. While buying a new hockey stick, keep in mind that longer doesn’t always mean better. It’s essential to choose a stick that matches your body proportions rather than just having the tallest one available.
If you’re under 5’4″ (162 cm), consider purchasing a youth-size hockey stick usually measuring around 46-47 inches (116-119cm) long. If your height ranges between 5’4”-5’8” (162-172 cm), you ought to use a midsize stick that measures around 50-53 inches (127-135cm) long. If you’re taller than 5’8″ (172 cm), choose senior-size sticks, with lengths ranging from about 56-63 inches (142-160cm). Remember – these are just general guidelines to help you find the right hockey stick length!
Consider Your Playing Position and Style
Selecting the appropriate stick length according to your playing style and the position you play is also necessary. Forwards usually prefer shorter sticks since they allow for quick wrist shots, giving them greater puck control when manoeuvring past opponents. Defenders or defensive-minded players often opt for longer sticks as they allow for stronger poke checks while still being able to back-skate efficiently.
Your individual playing technique can also have an impact on how long your hockey stick should be. Experiment with different stick lengths in practice sessions to determine which size feels most comfortable for you and your game style. In conclusion, selecting the correct hockey stick length can make all the difference in your overall performance on the ice. When purchasing a new hockey stick, keep in mind your height, playing position, and gameplay techniques. With the right knowledge, finding the perfect fit will be effortless!
Consider Your Position and Playing Style
Choosing the correct length of your hockey stick can make all the difference in how you perform on the ice. It is important to take into account your position and playing style when selecting a stick that fits your needs.
Forward or Defense?
The ideal stick length differs depending on whether you play forward or defense. As a rule of thumb, forwards tend to use shorter sticks for better control of the puck, while defensemen use longer sticks for reach advantage and poke checking abilities.
“As a smaller player, using a longer stick gives me an edge over bigger players on faceoffs and battles along the boards” –Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames Forward
Forwards typically use sticks that measure between their chin and nose, while defensemen usually opt for sticks around shoulder height or even slightly taller.
Power or Finesse?
The type of game you play also affects the optimal length of your stick. Players who rely heavily on power shots and hard passes may prefer a longer stick for greater leverage and increased speed. On the other hand, those who prioritize quick and agile movements may go for a shorter stick to maintain better control of the puck.
“I like my stick to be as short as possible because it gives me more control and makes it easier to handle the puck. I feel like I have more finesse with it.” –Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets Forward
It comes down to personal preference and where your strengths lie on the ice. Experimenting with different lengths will help you find the ideal fit for your individual playing style.
Stick Handling or Slap Shots?
If you are someone who prioritizes stickhandling and maneuvering, a shorter stick may be the better option. This allows you to keep the blade of your stick closer to the ice for more precise handling. However, if you are someone who focuses on long-range shots and heavy slap shots, a longer stick would likely suit you better for greater power and accuracy.
“It’s all about finding that perfect length where you can handle the puck well but still get the most out of your slap shot.” –Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks Defenseman
When determining how long your hockey stick should be, it is crucial to consider elements such as position, playing style, and personal preference. Taking the time to experiment with different lengths will help you find the best fit for your individual needs.
Experiment with Different Lengths
Determining the appropriate stick length is a crucial aspect of performing well in hockey. While some players may prefer longer sticks for increased reach, others may opt for shorter ones to achieve greater precision and control.
Try Different Lengths in Practice
To determine your ideal stick length, it’s important to experiment with different options during practice sessions. Start by trying a stick that is around chin height, which is considered standard for most adult players. Then try one that is slightly longer and another that is shorter.
When testing each stick size, pay close attention to how comfortable and natural each feel when handling the puck or taking shots. Take note of any differences in performance and adjust accordingly.
Adjust Your Stick Length Based on Your Performance
Your performance on the ice should be the main determining factor when deciding what stick length to use. If you’re finding it difficult to handle the puck effectively or take powerful shots, adjusting your stick length can make all the difference.
If you’re struggling with your shot accuracy, consider shortening your stick to improve your control over the puck. Conversely, if you’re having difficulty reaching passes or keeping opponents at bay, trying a longer stick could provide a solution.
Consider Shorter or Longer Sticks for Specific Situations
It’s also important to keep in mind that there are certain situations where using a shorter or longer stick might be more beneficial. For example, forwards who specialize in quick, agile skating may benefit from shorter sticks, as they offer greater maneuverability and allow for quicker movements.
On the other hand, defensemen who need to cover larger areas of the ice might fare better with longer sticks. This provides added range when attempting to poke check or intercept passes.
“Many players believe that a longer stick is better for playing defense, but this isn’t always the case. It’s important to experiment with different sizes and find what works best for you.” -Gordie Howe
Determining the ideal length for your hockey stick comes down to personal preference and varies from player to player. Don’t be afraid to try out different options until you find one that feels natural and allows you to perform at your best.
Don’t Forget About Blade Curve and Flex
When selecting a hockey stick, how long the stick should be is not the only factor to take into consideration. The blade curve and flex are just as important when it comes to choosing the right stick for your playing style.
Choose the Right Blade Curve for Your Playing Style
The blade curve of a hockey stick refers to the bend in the blade from the heel to the toe. There are several different types of curve patterns available, each suited to a specific playing style. The most common blade curves are:
- Mid Curve: This type of curve pattern features a slight hook at the mid-point of the blade, making it ideal for players who focus on wrist shots and snap shots.
- Heel Curve: As the name implies, this type of curve pattern features a deeper bend at the heel of the blade, which helps generate more power and accuracy on slap shots and one-timers.
- Toew Curve: This blade curve pattern has an exaggerated hook at the toe, making it perfect for players who excel at deking and stickhandling maneuvers.
It’s important to choose the right blade curve that complements your playing style. It can have a significant impact on your shot accuracy and overall performance on the ice. Consider testing out various curve patterns before settling on one that works best for you.
Consider the Flex of Your Stick for Optimal Performance
The flex of a hockey stick refers to how much the shaft bends (or flexes) during shooting or passing motions. Different flex ratings are available depending on the player’s strength and preference. Choosing the right flex rating can provide improved accuracy and power, while also reducing the risk of injury during play.
Flex ratings range from 30 to 120, with lower flexes being more suited for players who are not as strong. As a general rule, younger or smaller players should opt for a stick with a lower flex rating, whereas larger or stronger players may require a higher rating.
“The wrong flex can be detrimental to your game,” says John Jiloty, director of STX athlete marketing. “When you’re shooting off-center, having too much flex will cause the shot to go wide.”
To test whether a stick’s flex is right for you, try giving it a few hard slaps against the boards or ice. If the blade doesn’t make contact well or the stick feels flimsy, then the flex rating might not be suitable for your strength and skill level.
Remember, choosing the right hockey stick isn’t just about how long it should be; weight, curve, and flex all influence performance. Take the time to consider these factors when selecting your next stick, and feel confident knowing you have a tool that supports and enhances your playing style.
Consult with a Professional or Experienced Player
If you are looking to improve your hockey game, one of the best things that you can do is to talk to someone who has experience in the sport. When it comes to determining the right size and length for your stick, there are a few options when seeking out advice from players:
- Ask teammates who have been playing for several years.
- Contact coaches or volunteer instructors at local rinks or leagues where you play.
- Talk to staff members at pro shops.
The idea here is to find someone who knows the ins and outs of the game, as well as what makes a good hockey stick. Whether they’re an instructor, coach, or experienced player, take their feedback into consideration as you make your decision about which stick to purchase.
Ask for Advice from Coaches or Trainers
Your coach or team trainer will often be the first stop for any questions related to hockey gear, skills, techniques, etc. If you’re not sure about how long should your hockey stick be, talking to them for guidance makes sense. They are likely to offer professional opinions on many aspects of the game based on real-world experience, providing useful insights into the type of sticks most suited to each position and adjusting the length requirements for different types of shots. So don’t hesitate to give them a call or send an email asking for advice before selecting your next stick.
Talk to Experienced Players for Tips and Recommendations
The majority of professional ice hockey players use unique equipment configurations set up according to individual preferences and habits gathered over time. This means that some players prefer longer sticks while others; shorter sticks, people who like stiff sticks vs Those who opt for flexier ones, and so on.
Taking the time to talk with experienced players will give you an idea of what works best for them and how stick length influences their playing style. Ask your teammates or practice partners that are happy with their hockey sticks about their preferences and why they chose certain lengths. This chat can help point you in the right direction and potentially gain some useful insights into the right size and type of hockey stick you should select.
Visit a Pro Shop for Expert Assistance
If you are unsure that anyone around you has the experience needed to guide you best (or if someone is giving mixed signals), it’s relevant to visit a pro shop and seek expert opinion. Staff at such shops often comprises former professional ice hockey players or proficient individuals with years of personal experience in building custom configurations based on individual player preference.
A pro shop expert will evaluate your height, body posture, strength level, skating stride traits, and other factors before coming up with recommendations suited to your specific needs. They also have access to all kinds of latest or even custom designs catering to varying budgets that may fit your preferences well.
“Adding even one centimeter to length could cause more stress on your back muscles … flexibility in the wrist is much more important than an extra inch on the blade.” -Niklas Kronwall, Former Detroit Red Wings Defenseman
When it comes to choosing the appropriate and perfect length of a hockey stick, it primarily depends upon the player’s controlling capabilities; there is no standard formula for everyone. Different positions demand different lengths. However, don’t forget to take advice from experts, professionals, coaches, or peers known for expertise in the field as it would prove immensely beneficial in making an informed choice. Lastly, trust your instincts – after all, nobody knows your game better than yourself!
Frequently Asked Questions
What factors should I consider when choosing the length of my hockey stick?
When choosing the length of your hockey stick, you should consider factors such as your height, position, style of play, and personal preference. A longer stick can provide more reach and leverage, while a shorter stick can offer greater control and maneuverability. It’s important to find the right balance for your game.
How does my height affect the length of hockey stick I should use?
Your height is a crucial factor in determining the length of your hockey stick. As a general rule, your stick should measure from the ground to your chin when you’re standing in skates. However, this can vary depending on your position and style of play. For example, defensemen may prefer a longer stick for added reach, while forwards may prefer a shorter stick for better control.
What impact does the position I play have on the length of my hockey stick?
Your position can have a significant impact on the length of your hockey stick. Defensemen often prefer longer sticks for added reach and poke-checking ability, while forwards may prefer shorter sticks for improved stickhandling and shooting. Goaltenders typically use shorter sticks for better control in the crease.
What are some common mistakes people make when selecting the length of their hockey stick?
Some common mistakes people make when selecting the length of their hockey stick include choosing a stick that is too long or too short, not considering their position and style of play, and not trying out different lengths to find the best fit. It’s important to take the time to find the right stick for your game.
Can the length of my hockey stick affect my performance on the ice?
Yes, the length of your hockey stick can have a significant impact on your performance on the ice. A stick that is too long or too short can affect your reach, control, and shooting accuracy. Finding the right length for your game can help you maximize your potential and perform at your best.
How can I determine the ideal length of hockey stick for me?
To determine the ideal length of your hockey stick, start by standing in skates and measuring from the ground to your chin. From there, consider your position and style of play, and try out different lengths to find the best fit. It may take some trial and error, but finding the right stick can make a big difference in your game.