Ice Hockey! It’s a fun, highly competitive game with a fascinating history. Ice hockey is among the most popular sports in America and is perhaps even more popular in Canada.
Now that you’re ready to try it for yourself, you’ll need equipment including gloves, skates, and of course, a great hockey stick or two to drive the puck down toward the goal. With the needs of newer players in mind, we’ve assembled details on five of the best hockey sticks on the market today. You’ll find a short guide to choosing a hockey stick at the end of the page. Happy shopping!
Considerations when Choosing the Best Hockey Sticks
There are many factors to consider as you determine which hockey stick is best for your needs. With hockey sticks, everything comes down to power and control, as well as to the overall feel you get as you maneuver the puck during offensive and defensive play. If you’re new to the game of ice hockey, you’ll find that the best hockey stick is one that helps you develop important skills such as shooting and passing.
Street Hockey Sticks vs Ice Hockey Sticks: The best hockey sticks for street hockey aren’t best for ice hockey, since ABS blades aren’t heavy or durable enough for the demands of ice hockey. Great news if you’d like to get friends together for street hockey though; you can use ice hockey sticks (especially worn-out ones) to play street hockey!
Material: There are two main categories to choose from in terms of materials: Wood and composite. Wood sticks are less durable than composite ones, but many players like the way the feel. On the other hand, composite hockey sticks deliver a good level of power and plenty of durability. One downside is that they tend to cost a bit more than their wooden counterparts. A third option is aluminum. Though harder to find, aluminum hockey sticks are lightweight and durable.
Construction: As you shop for your new hockey stick, you’ll see two main types: OPS (one piece) and Two-piece. As the name suggests, a one-piece hockey stick is made with a single piece of material. Some players prefer OPS hockey sticks because they are lighter, and because there is no single “weak point” in the shaft where two different materials come together. On the flip side, some players prefer two-piece hockey sticks for their versatility. If you find one with a handle you really like, for example, you can try different heads and simply replace the heads as they wear out instead of replacing an entire broken or worn hockey stick.
Length / Size: Most hockey sticks come in a few different sizes. Size may vary from one manufacturer to the next, but in general hockey stick sizes are: Youth, Junior, Intermediate, and Senior. Take a look at a hockey stick size chart to see which length corresponds to your height, weight, and age group.
Shaft Flexibility: Hockey sticks come with flexibility ratings, with most falling somewhere between 40 and 110. Lower numbers mean less stiffness and more flexibility. The heavier you are, the stiffer a shaft you need. Additionally, defensemen who take lots of slap shots often prefer stiffer shafts. Player weight and position aren’t the only considerations when determining the right level of shaft stiffness; player age comes into consideration as well. The younger a player is, the more flex he or she will need!
put, a hockey stick’s “lie” is the angle between its blade and its shaft. The most common lies are between 4 and 7. While it can be tough to determine the correct lie if you’re brand new to hockey, you’ll find that lower lies are often best for smaller people as well as for players who skate down low while pushing the puck in front of their bodies. Higher lies are better for larger players, as well as for those who skate in a more upright position. You want the blade to lie level with the ice instead of having its toe or heel forward; this way, you’ll maintain good contact with the puck.
Arsenal Envy Carbon Fiber Ice Hockey Stick
The Arsenal Envy Carbon Fiber Ice Hockey Stick features an A92 curve and 85 flex for powerful shots and rapid puck release. Well-balanced for a great feel in hand, this hockey stick is suitable for both forward and defensive players. Bright green graphics give this stick plenty of visual appeal.
Plenty of power
A little heavier than some other carbon fiber hockey sticks
If you’re a league or recreational hockey player and you like to play rough, you’re probably going to like everything about the Arsenal Envy Carbon Fiber Ice Hockey Stick. While it does cost a little more than some others in its class, it offers an outstanding feel and a good level of responsiveness. Some players note that it feels a little bottom-heavy, but that this does not detract from the overall quality of the hockey stick.
Frontier 5000 Senior Hockey Stick
The Frontier 5000 Senior Hockey Stick offers two-piece construction, with a 14-ply birch wood shaft, and an industrial-grade ABS blade with a strong fiberglass overlay. Designed specifically for ice hockey, this solid, durable stick is also suitable for playing street hockey.
Blade is a little thin; will wear out faster than a thicker blade
While the Frontier 5000 Senior Hockey Stick isn’t designed with the needs of professional players in mind, it’s a good stick for new and intermediate players who enjoy fierce competition. Capable of delivering strong slap shots, it’s a good choice for those who want to have fun without worrying too much about technique.
Raven Youth Ice Hockey Stick
A pro-quality hockey stick designed with players under 57 inches tall in mind, the Raven Youth Ice HockeyStick offers a flex of 30, a C19 Backstrom curve, and 3K carbon construction with a dual core blade. Measuring 52” tall, it features a matte grip. A 60-day warranty is included.
Just one color choice
If you are shopping for a serious youngster who weighs under 80 pounds and is under 57 inches tall, then the Raven Youth Ice Hockey Stick is an excellent choice. Appropriately sized and flexed for proper puck control, it delivers excellent shooting and passing capabilities, inspiring confidence and helping your young player properly develop essential skills.
Sher-Wood 5000 Wood Hockey Stick
Crafted with a birch shaft and an ash blade core, the Sher-Wood 5000 youth ice hockey stick is designed with the needs of young, beginner players in mind. Available with a straight or left curved blade, it’s ideal for teaching game fundamentals
Very inexpensive beginner hockey stick
Straight blade is great for kids who aren’t sure whether they prefer a left or right curve
Some reports of splitting
If you’re shopping for a youngster who isn’t yet certain whether ice hockey is the right sport, then the Sher-Wood 5000 is a good, affordable choice. While it’s not made with the best, newest materials, it is very easy on your budget and will help your child learn basic skills without representing much of an investment.
STX Stallion HPR 1.2 Ice Hockey Stick
Offering one-piece construction for a combination of durability and longevity, the STX Stallion HPR 1.2 ice hockey stick is made with 3K carbon fiber and fiberglass. The smooth shaft lets you change hand positions easily, and can be taped for players who prefer a grippier feel.
Exceptional quality for the price
Lightweight, balanced, and highly responsive
Players who prefer a grip shaft will need to add wrap
If you’re a more experienced player, and you’re ready to move into a better quality ice hockey stick, then you’ll probably find that the STX Stallion HPR 1.2 meets your needs. This stick offers a good level of responsiveness and plenty of puck feel. It delivers ample speed, control, and accuracy in a lightweight package, and the cool red, black, and white graphics give it a great look. All things considered, the STX Stallion HPR is among the best hockey sticks in the under $100 category.
By keeping these useful tips in mind, you’ll find it is easy to choose the best hockey sticks for your games and practice sessions. Enjoy your new hockey stick, and have a great time on the ice!