This new study shows what field hockey stick brands best suits Defenders.
The data above shows that Grays stick brand are the weapon of choice for international players. This is not surprising as Grays make a range of solid sticks with great head power due to head shape and weight balance. Adidas is also a strong competitor in this category with some great low bow sticks that are perfect for overheads up the field, sending the ball into attack. OSAKA are the interesting stick of choice coming in at third, a ahead of the more established brands such as TK and Gryphon. This is due to the quality and durability of OSAKA, all international players use their top of the range stick the Pro Tour which is 100$ Japanese carbon and extremely durable, but also comes in various options for bow position and weight class.
Some general tips for defenders choosing a stick regardless of the brand can be seen below.
A lot of defenders prefer slightly longer sticks for the extra reach when tackling. Also slightly heavier sticks are advantages for greater hitting power.
Attributes that a defender is going to need their new field hockey stick:
- Strength: its no secret that defenders sticks are going to get a lot of stick-on-stick contact as they lay tackles on the opposition’s forwards or midfielders. Doing this week in week out will wear down your stick pretty quickly. So its best to get a stick that has a bit more Kevlar or fiber glass rather than carbon which can be a bit more brittle in the a compound stress way.
- Power: Power is helpful for big bits out of defense when you want to clear the ball quickly, a decent amount of carbon in a stick can help this out but not too much that you end up not having the shock absorption that you need when tapping that is provided by the fiber glass and Kevlar mix.
- Weight: A heavier stick tends to be preferred by defending players, something around 600-670 grams is what we would recommend. This extra weight can put more power in distance into you hits which is useful when clearing the ball, especially if playing on grass. A heavier stick will also help you when tackling players with lighter sticks which may bounce off yours if there is stick contact.
- Overheads: Do you want to throw the ball to the other end of the field via an overhead pass? Well you may want to look at having a decent sized bow in your stick as this will help lift the ball easier.
- Length: Although field hockey stick sizing is often based on your height, a lot of defenders will go for a slightly longer stick to give them that extra reach when laying a tackle, even if they are short.
- Toe: A common toe shape chosen by a defender is the Maxi toe as it provides the largest sweet spot hitting area as well as better trapping area.
To sum up a the best field hockey stick for a defender you want something that is solid and powerful. See image below of Dutch defender Sophie Polkamp clearing the ball with a slap hit.