Gear We Love: Street Hockey Sticks
When it comes to finding the best street hockey stick, players need to keep key aspects of their game in mind—think: style of play, level, and dominant hand. We break down the most important factors to consider, so you know exactly what kind of street hockey stick is optimal for you.
Street hockey sticks are not the same as ice hockey sticks
Street hockey is played on an outdoor surface, which can be pretty unforgiving and easily damage a hockey stick that is meant for the ice. Be sure to find a stick with a street hockey blade, so you don’t risk any cracking or splintering wood. Generally, street hockey sticks are typically made of wood or low-level composite shafts with a plastic blade.
Left or right?
Street hockey sticks are labeled as L or R, whether you want the blade on the left side of your body or the right. Don’t confuse this with being left or right-handed. It’s more about which side of the body you prefer to lead the ball. Here’s how you can tell: grab your street hockey stick like you’re going to shoot the ball, and see which hand is closest to the blade—that’s the one to go with.
Sizing the Stick
Typically, there are two sizes of hockey sticks—senior and junior. Senior sticks are designed for adult players who can control the ball with a heavier, longer stick. Junior sticks are perfect for youth players, as they’re slimmer and more flexible. Even more, street hockey sticks usually come in a range of shaft lengths. You can tell if your stick is the right size by holding it close to your body with a slightly bent arm. The toe of the blade should point a tiny bit upward to be the correct size. Also keep in mind that some positions tend to prefer different lengths. Forwards usually play with a shorter stick for more mobility, while defensive players opt for longer sticks to easily poke the ball away from opponents.
Tip: You can always start with a longer shaft and cut it down to the length you want.
Ideal Shaft Flex
You may have heard players talk about the flex of the stick, meaning how stiff the hockey stick is. The flex determines how much ball control you’ll have, as well as the power behind your shot. Experienced players tend to use a street hockey stick with more flex, while beginners are recommended to find one with medium flex, since they’re still learning how to control the ball.
Get a Grip
Lastly, you want to determine what kind of grip is best for you—and this is completely a personal preference. Sticks with no grip have a smooth finish and make it easy to slide your hands up and down, while stronger grips give you a bit of a sticky feel.
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