How to Choose the Right Hockey Stick: Length, Flex, Weight, Blade, Brands and More

Filip Hronek

Choosing the right hockey stick is not a simple task. You have to take into account its length, height, weight, flex, blade pattern, and many other factors. Keep reading to get a better idea of what to definitely think about when you decide that you, or someone you know needs a new hockey stick or simply wants to improve their game.

The length of the hockey stick

Finding the right hockey stick that is the correct height for the player will help them feel more comfortable on the ice. An improperly sized hockey stick could break more easily and negatively influence puck control and shooting. Without skates, the hockey stick should extend between the player's mouth and nose. With skates, it should be approximately around the chin. Most hockey players want the bottom edge of their blade to touch the ice as much as possible.

The length of the hockey stick

The flex of the hockey stick

The flex of a hockey stick indicates how much it bends during shooting. It's helpful on wrist shots and slap shots. You can put more power into your shots and passes, which brings a higher level of accuracy too. The higher the flex number, the stiffer it is. These flex numbers are usually standard across all hockey stick brands. Older players tend to have hockey sticks with a higher flex. The flex of hockey sticks is decreasing currently in professional hockey. This is due to players wanting to be able to shoot effectively from every position on the ice.

The Flex of the hockey stick

The weight of the hockey stick

This decision is up to your personal preference. Some hockey players prefer heavier sticks because they help build up strength while using them. Other players choose lighter sticks; these are easier to handle and move around the ice quicker. It is not only about the weight though, as stick balance is equally important. Some sticks are bottom heavy, meaning a bigger percentage of the stick's weight is allocated towards the blade. Other sticks have a more balanced feel to it. Make sure to identify what is important to you personally, because a bottom heavy stick will feel heavier than a balanced stick, due to most of its weight being allocated further away from your body when using it. The material used to make hockey sticks has a significant impact on their weight. In the past, sticks were made of wood; today's are usually made from composite materials, which are lighter, hold their shape for a longer time and currently represent the market standard in professional hockey. 

 Type of the hockey stick  Material Weight
Sherwood 5030 Heritage Stick Wood 663 g
CCM Street Wood Stick Wood 625 g
FT Ghost Hockey Stick Composite 365 g
Bauer Vapor HyperLite 2 Stick Composite 360 g

The blade of the hockey stick

There are three main curve patterns of the blade of the hockey stick: toe, mid, and mid-heel. The curve encompasses not just the bend of the blade from heel to toe but also the twist of the blade from top to bottom. How do I choose the right blade of the hockey stick? It's a matter of your personal preference. The toe curve is important for speed in elevating the puck, the more open the blade is, the easier it is to elevate the puck. The curve and blade pattern is a highly individual preference of a player and it is recommended to start out with the more standard curves, and only then to work your way through to the more elaborate blade patterns, curves, square toes and other more special patterns. 

Blade Patterns

The most popular hockey stick manufacturers and brands

There are several proven and well-known brands of hockey stick manufacturers. Of the most popular ones, CCM, Bauer, Winnwell, True, Warrior, and Sherwood should definitely be mentioned. In the chart below, you can find some of the best hockey sticks that can be found in the market today. 

Brand   Type Price
CCM  FT Ghost Hockey Stick $300+
True Project X Hockey Stick $300+
CCM Ribcor Trigger 7 Hockey Stick $200 – $300
Bauer Vapor HyperLite Grip Hockey Stick $200 – $300
Bauer Vapor X4 Hockey Stick $100 – $200
CCM Jetspeed FT670 Hockey Stick $100 – $200

The material of the hockey stick 

You decide what you prefer. The most commonly used materials for hockey sticks are composite materials and wood. There are pros and cons to both. Wooden hockey sticks are affordable, but heavier and usually less durable. Composite hockey sticks are more expensive, but lighter and more flexible. Super light sticks have usually a higher breakage as less material is used to reduce the weight. Nowadays, the development of hockey sticks is constantly moving forward, and even the smallest details can contribute to a better performance on the ice.

Brandt Clarke

The tape on the hockey stick

The vast majority of hockey players use tape on their sticks to help control the puck better when shooting, passing or stickhandling. However, in modern times, there are already more effective ways to level up your blade. Tape is a thing of the past, with products like Rezztek® coming to the forefront and already being used by several NHL players such as David Kämpf and Tyler Bertuzzi of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Petr Mrazek of the Chicago Blackhawks, Jakub Lauko of the Boston Bruins, Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators, Brandt Clarke of the Los Angeles Kings, and Filip Hronek of the Vancouver Canucks. And how does Rezztek® compare to tape? Find out more in our recent Rezztek® vs Hockey Tape blog. 

The hockey sticks of the best players in the NHL in 2024 

Player Team Hockey Stick
Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers CCM JetSpeed FT7 Pro
Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs CCM FT Ghost
Alexander Ovechkin Washington Capitals CCM Ribcor Trigger ASY Stick
Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins CCM Ribcor Reckoner Stick
Patrick Kane  Detroit Red Wings  Bauer Vapor HyperLite 2 Stick
Nathan MacKinnon Colorado Avalanche Bauer Nexus Sync
David Pastrňák Boston Bruins Bauer Nexus Sync
Jack Eichel  Vegas Golden Knights Bauer Nexus Sync Stick
Artemi Panarin New York Rangers Bauer Vapor HyperLite
Jack Hughes New Jersey Devils  Bauer Vapor HyperLite 2 Stick
Sam Reinhart Florida Panthers CCM Ribcor Trigger 8 Pro
Leon Draisaitl Edmonton Oilers Warrior Alpha LX2 Pro
Sebastian Aho Carolina Hurricanes Bauer Vapor HyperLite 2
Source: Gear Geek

Choosing the right hockey stick can greatly help improve your performance on the ice, but ultimately, it will always be about your abilities and skills. But in case you're wondering, NHL super talent Connor Bedard plays with a Sherwood hockey stick, Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews play with a CCM, and Nikita Kucherov plays with a Bauer hockey stick. Different quality players prefer different brands, curves, patterns and flex. Go out there, try out different sticks, brands, patterns and flex and make up you own personal preference when choosing the right hockey stick for you.

Featured Image Credits: Hockey Unlimited, Research Gate, AP, Hockey Stick Man, Hockey Monkey, LA Kings Insider

Jakub Vaverka

Jakub Vaverka

I create content for social media for a living and I live hockey. Going to NHL games and writing blogs about my most favorite game is a dream come true.

Previous post Next post