Choosing the Perfect Fitting Field Hockey Stick
It’s difficult to play to your full potential as a field hockey player if you’re not outfitted with the right gear. We’ve already talked about why it’s important to have the appropriately sized and well functioning protective gear on hand, but when it comes to actually playing the sport itself, you’ll need to put a lot of thought into the kind of stick you have in your possession.
There are lots of different types of sticks, which only makes it more difficult to find the right one for you, but it’s an easier task when you know what you’re looking for. Breaking it down as simply as possible, there are five different areas you must consider when choosing the right stick for you to play with: length, weight, composition, bow, and toe shape.
With regard to length, the general rule of thumb is that it should come up to the top of your hip bone, although it does depend on personal preference. If you’re looking for a particular range, it can go from as short as 24 inches and go as high as 38 inches. Each has its benefits — longer sticks help improve reach, while shorter sticks help improve stick-handling skills.
The weight of a stick will typically depend on the position you play. Lighter weight sticks are typically designed for attacking players, while heavier weight sticks are generally for defensive players. Again, this depends on what feels best for you, but the weight will range from 535 grams to 680 grams.
There four different kinds of composition to field hockey sticks: carbon, aramid, fibreglass, and wood. Wooden sticks improve control when dribbling and receiving and are more affordable — along with being ideal for young beginner players — but the typical suggestion is to start with lower levels of carbon and work up from there.
When thinking about the bow, this is in reference to the slight bend that you see from the handle to the toe. What you choose for your bow will vary depending on personal preference, age, and skill level. There are three main types of bow: regular/standard (20mm), mega bow (24.75mm), and low bow (25mm). Regular bows are ideal for every aspect of the game — from ball control to advanced maneuvers. Mega bows are ideal for more advanced players, while elite-level players use low bow sticks.
With regard to the toe shape of your field hockey stick, there are four different types: shortis, midis, maxis, and hooks. Paying attention to the toe of the stick is important because it’s the level of curve on your stick, which can impact how a player can strike a ball and handle their stick. Smaller toes include improved agility but limited power, while larger toes typically provide the opposite. To check out more details about the different types of field hockey stick toe shapes, check out this link.
You’re ultimately only as good as your equipment will take you on the field. While that certainly doesn’t mean you must find and buy the most expensive field hockey equipment out there, it’s crucial to be thoughtful through the process of purchasing certain items you’ll be using consistently, like your stick.