Field Hockey Sticks

Recently I broke my cherished eight-year-old wooden hockey stick, so with a heavy heart I began the confusing process of choosing a new stick. Having only used wooden hockey sticks in the past I thought I would just replace it with a similar stick. So I was dumbstruck when I started to search the web and got bombarded with options for composite and wooden sticks of varying weight, lengths and shapes. After days of research and a bit of experience I thought I’d publish my findings to help other hockey players when choosing their next stick.

Long gone are the days of hockey sticks made purely from wood and wrapped with a bit of towelling for grip. With advances in technology wooden sticks began to be reinforced with materials such as glass fibre, aramid, and kevlar to a point where now you can buy ‘wood free’ composite sticks. Heated arguments on whether wood or composite hockey sticks are best fill many a clubhouse, but in the end it’s down to personal preference. Choices on materials aside there are other factors to consider when buying a hockey stick such as weight, length and shape.

The most popular weight (based on availability) seems to be light, which suits players who need fast tight control of the ball such as forwards. Medium and heavy sticks are more suited to defensive players who need to tackle, hit and stop the ball with greater strength. When choosing the length of a stick it comes down to basically how tall you are. Short people have short sticks and tall people have longer sticks, get it the wrong way round and you either miss the ball or hit the pitch.

The shape of a stick differs in the bend or ‘bow’ in the shaft and the size of the head. Generally the greater the curve in the shaft the better it is for flicking, but it also gives more flexibility and some say more power to the stick. The head comes in three different shapes midi, maxi and hook. Midi is the smallest and useful for reverse stick control and hitting, maxi heads are larger therefore great for stopping and hitting the ball, whereas hooks have the largest surface area and so are even better for stopping, hitting and particular useful for flicking.

Essentially when choosing your field hockey stick consider where you play regularly and try a few different ones out if you can.

Written by Kernowjourno. For other articles on the subject see http://www.fieldhockeysticks.wordpress.com

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