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Which ice hockey sticks are best?

Lace up the skates and drop the puck. Ice hockey is a popular sport in North America. Having the right hockey stick can make a big difference in controlling the puck and taking your shots on goal.

There are a lot of ice hockey sticks to choose from, made from different materials and offering multiple features. For a high-quality ice hockey stick used by youth and junior goalies, the top choice is the Franklin Sports NHL SX Comp 1000 Goalie Stick.

What to know before you buy an ice hockey stick

Which hockey stick material is best for you?

There are two different types of ice hockey sticks — wood and composite. Wooden ice hockey sticks are usually less expensive and intended for people learning hockey. For greater durability, look for wooden sticks that have a reinforced fiberglass wrap. Composite ice hockey sticks are more expensive but also more flexible. Made from carbon fiber and sometimes reinforced with Kevlar or fiberglass for additional strength, composite sticks are used by more serious hockey players. Be aware they can break more easily.

Which length of ice hockey stick is best for you?

The length of an ice hockey stick is important for overall control and power. The easiest way to determine the right size is to hold a stick parallel to you. If you are not wearing skates, the tip of the shaft should be even with your nose. If you have your skates on, it should be an inch or two above your nose.

There are caps for short sticks and long sticks can be cut. Shorter sticks provide more puck control, while longer sticks deliver more power on slap shots.

Which hand of ice hockey stick is best for you?

Ice hockey sticks are unique in that even though they are manufactured for right- and left-handed players, you are not required to use your dominant hand’s stick. It all is based on where the player prefers to place the dominant hand for comfort and power. Each hockey player has a different preference, and it is not uncommon for a right-handed player to use a left-handed stick. You will need to experiment with different ice hockey sticks to find the right fit for you. 

What to look for in a quality ice hockey stick

Blade curvature

Ice hockey sticks have three different types of patterns for the blade based on where a slight curve is introduced in the design. This curve can occur on the toe, the heel or in the middle of the blade. There is no advantage to any of them, but it is a personal preference.

Flex rating

Each ice hockey stick has a flex rating that indicates how much force it takes to flex the stick one inch. The amount of force is based on the pounds required to exert the flex, so a 75 rating requires 75 pounds of force to bend the stick one inch. Each player has different preferences for stiffer or less stiff shafts. If you are new to hockey, start with an ice hockey stick that is rated one-half of your weight.

Kick point

The kick point of an ice hockey stick is the place on the shaft that bends the most when making a pass or shot. Low kick points work well for short shots around the goal. High kick points are for long, forceful slap shots. A mid-kick point is ideal for the player who will be shooting from all around the offensive area.

How much you can expect to spend on an ice hockey stick

Ice hockey sticks can cost as little as $10-$45 for basic wooden models used by beginners and as much as $150-$250 for high-end composite sticks used by professionals. Middle-range fiberglass ice hockey sticks are priced $45-$150.

Ice hockey stick FAQ

Why do some players put tape on the ice hockey stick blade?

A. Putting tape on the blade of an ice hockey stick creates a tacky surface that allows for better puck control. This will take some experimentation, and not every player likes the feel of a taped blade.

How many ice hockey sticks should players have ready?

A. The most basic answer is two sticks just in case one breaks, but over the course of a season, it is likely that you will break more than one stick, so having three to five on hand is usually the recommended allotment.

What are the best ice hockey sticks to buy?

Top ice hockey stick

Franklin Sports NHL SX Comp 1000 Goalie Stick

Franklin Sports NHL SX Comp 1000 Goalie Stick

What you need to know: This is a high-quality stick for youth and junior goalies that is highly rated.

What you’ll love: The shaft is made from a multi-ply blend of birch and poplar and reinforced with high-impact polymer. The molded blades come in different colors, and the 15-inch block is perfect for learning the position.

What you should consider: It feels a bit flimsy but tends to hold up well over the course of time.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top ice hockey stick for the money

Franklin Sports NHL SX Comp 1010 Street Tech Hockey Stick

Franklin Sports NHL SX Comp 1010 Street Tech Hockey Stick

What you need to know: This hockey stick is durable and usable for both ice and street hockey competition.

What you’ll love: It comes in multiple colors and sizes for both youth and junior hockey players. This stick is made from a wooden blend and has a replaceable blade for extra convenience.

What you should consider: When used for street hockey, wooden sticks can be less durable, but this one has a good reputation.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Worth checking out

Champion Sports Ultra Shaft Hockey Set

Champion Sports Ultra Shaft Hockey Set

What you need to know: This ice hockey stick set is great for beginners and has everything you need to get started.

What you’ll love: The 18-piece set is highlighted by 12 multi-length sticks and additional pucks. The shafts are made from polyethylene and the blades are reinforced with fiberglass for extra durability. This is a great starter set for youth hockey teams.

What you should consider: This set is not intended for professional or serious hockey players.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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