In Field Hockey your stick is the most valuable part of your equipment, since it contributes greatly to your performance. The most important thing when you are purchasing a hockey stick is to know your level of play and your position in the team. Aside from that, you should pay attention on these features: size, bow, material, and toe design.
What size field hockey stick do I need ?
Field hockey stick length can affect your game and your control of the ball as well as hitting capability. There are two standard methods for finding the appropriate stick length for your body; the U.S. Method, and the Dutch Method.
- The U.S. Method is based on your height. To measure, you should hold your stick at your side and the top should be 2 inches below your waist.
- The Dutch method is based on holding the head of the stick in your armpit. The stick should end near the middle of your kneecap. Field hockey sticks’ length varies from 28’’ to 38’’.
These two methods aside its all down to feel. Forwards or attacking players may prefer shorter sticks to give the greater ball control when dribbling while defensive or midfield players may prefer slightly longer sticks to give them additional reach when tackling or a more powerful hit to send the ball out of defensive.
Is the most expensive hockey stick also the best?
Well, that is not always true. There are so many famous brands of sticks and you can buy a great stick for yourself without spending a lot of money. All the best brands such as: Gryphon, TK, Grays, Brine, STX, Addidas etc. have a large range of sticks for different levels at various prices/ The most expensive elite hockey sticks are very stiff because they have high carbon content. This makes it more difficult to stop and control the ball, which can be difficult for new or junior field hockey players. So, if you are an amateur, I strongly recommend to buy cheaper sticks and to practice with them first.
Proper toe design
There are four shapes of tick toes:
Short – Offensive players use these at most times, as it offers them options when it comes to control, maneuvers and balance.
Midi – Used by midfielders and beginners, these allow for the same level of agility when playing, while offering a larger hitting surface. These are preferred by newer players and midfielders, who find them easier to perform with.
Maxi – Defensive players usually choose maxi toes, as they offer them a wider surface intended for receiving and striking the ball.
Hook – When it comes to ball control, utilizing better drag-flicks and making reverse stick plays, there is no better than the hook toe. They have the extra surface area that makes this possible.
Stick material affects your performances
Sticks used to be made solely out of wood, but now they are mostly made using a combination of materials. These materials are: carbon, fiberglass, aramid and wood. When choosing, it is very important that you know what each material offers. Carbon gives harder hits and more power, so it recommended for advanced and professional players. Fiberglass adds durability, power, and feel to a stick, and it is also lighter and not so expensive. At the same time, it is designed for young, new, or developing players. Aramid absorbs vibrations sent through the stick when striking and receiving balls. Modern wooden sticks still exist, but the wood is usually wrapped in fiberglass to add strength and power. Wooden sticks, nowadays, are low cost and are splendid for young and developing players.
Right stick bow for my game
There are three types of bows: Regular Bow (measuring 20 – 25mm the middle section of the stick is also the highest point of the bend, which improves all parts of the player’s game), Control Bow (or “mega bow” – used by advanced players, who find the extra power in lifting and flicking to be extremely useful) and Late Bow (25mm – the bend is placed at the head of the stick, which is used mostly by elite players, because it offers much when it comes to maneuverability, ball control and performing aerials).
These are some tips how to buy proper field hockey stick. I hope that this text will be useful for you. If you are a fan of this sport, surely you understand the importance of proper equipment for the true enjoyment of field hockey.