Ice hockey is a team sport that is played in an ice rink. It originated…
It's time to lace up those skates, strap on those pads and hit the ice! But before you enter the offensive zone with tremendous speed and score the game-winning goal, you're going to need to know the Best Hockey Sticks and what to choose.
As one of the most important pieces of equipment, the stick isn't just a tool used to poke check, stick lift and pass, rather it is usually one of the more prized possessions of a hockey player. There is a bond between a hockey player and their stick. It may be strange to non-followers of hockey, but for people who love the sport, they can educate you on how important one's hockey stick is not only to their game but to them personally.
As we prepare for puck drop this year, we'll be looking at the best hockey sticks for the 2019-2020 season.
Evolution of the Stick
The technology behind hockey sticks has improved over many years. In the early days of the 1900s, hockey sticks were heavy, stiff and not curved. The blade was inserted into a notch in the shaft and fastened together with glue.
In the 1950s, hockey was introduced to fiberglass sticks, which improved durability and allowed sticks to be lighter. Another benefit of the fiberglass stick was that it was cheaper to buy. We also saw the introduction into curved blades, changing how the puck was raised and shot.
Aluminum sticks made their way into the professional ranks as early as 1981. Once they made their rounds in the NHL, they were even more durable and lightweight than their predecessor. Blades were also separate from the shaft, which reduced cost and made replacements easier.
The 1990s saw another revolutionary change. The introduction of the carbon fiber hockey stick allowed players to adjust their own blade, although it was not very cost effective.
In the mid-90s, the game changed forever. Hockey saw the first composite blade and this is still the stick that dominates the game today.
Composite sticks are crafted from a variety of different materials, making them light and flexible. The downside is that they tend to break easier than previous versions of the hockey stick.
Choosing a Stick
It would be quite easy to waltz into any sports store and select a stick off the wall, but do you know what you're getting when purchasing a stick? Sure, they may all seem the same, but there are many factors when choosing your twig for a hockey season. We'll dive deeper into what you should look for in a hockey stick as we list the best hockey sticks for this season. If you're needing help on where to purchase your stick or any piece of equipment for that matter, there are many resources online that will point you to the right direction.
When purchasing a stick, choosing the right length of hockey stick and flex is important, but there are many other specifics you should be knowledgeable about before your hard earned money is used to buy a stick. The length will help with your overall posture on the ice, and your ability to stickhandle, shoot and defend properly. The flex helps with getting whip on the puck when either shooting or passing the biscuit.
So, once you have found the perfect length and flex, keep in mind these important factors when buying a hockey stick:
Hockey stick technology has evolved over many years, and one of the truly innovative changes to the stick was the addition of the curved blade. Younger athletes may not need to worry about how the blade lies, the shape of the blade and curve, but as you progress in your career these features could help you
in your game. Depending on how your curve is shaped, it can help you raise the puck with ease, go for deflections or lift the puck over the goalie.
Blades and their lie are in the 4.0-6.0 range, normally. The lie of the stick is determined by placing the bottom of the blade flat on the ice. The angle produced by how the stick lays flat determines the lie. The more upright the stick, the higher the lie number.
Finding a mid, heel or toe curve is also important. A toe curve is referring to a blade that has a greater amount of curving at the end (toe) of the blade. You will usually find a forward using a toe curve. Curves at the base of the stick (heel) are normally used by players who want slap shot power and accuracy. Mid curves have an advantage of both the heel and toe curves. You can find mid-toe, mid- heel, and straight mid curves. Mid curves are the most popular out of the curves and are used by tick handlers, passers, and snipers.
Figuring out how you want your blade to work is also a key factor when purchasing a stick. On your stick or when talking with a specialist, you may hear of letters and numbers that describe the pattern of a blade. When choosing the blade pattern, you need to factor in your position, shooting tendencies and puck handling skills. A defenceman who rarely stick handles and takes booming clappers won't require the same blade pattern as a forward who is a play making artist.
The pattern of a blade factors in the curve type, depth, face angle, length, and lie. Your curve type is decided from the breaking point of a curve. Depending on how the curve breaks, you'll be searching for a heel, mid and toe curve.
Depth of the blade is determined from the degree of the curve. It is classified as straight, moderate or deep and is measured in inches. The angle is similar to golf clubs. You can find sticks that cup the top of the puck or are angled away from the puck, similar to an open wedge.
The length of the blade is broken down into short, medium and long. Most blades are medium length.
This article from purehockey.com goes into depth with a chart depicting the different blade patterns and what pattern code you can use when purchasing the best hockey sticks. Hockeygiant.com goes into detail on different blades you may want to try when finding a stick for the first time.
Shafts are an important part of the stick and are something often overlooked. Shafts usually come in different sizes, while also featuring grips that help control the stick. You want a shaft that isn't too small because then the stick will roll over in your hands when shooting. Too big of a shaft will be uncomfortable to grip and will disrupt your passing and shooting.
If you are choosing a stick in the proper category for age groups, like youth, junior, intermediate and senior, your shaft size should feel comfortable in your hands. Just make sure you can grip the stick properly and you can control the stick in your hands with ease.
Grip of a stick is found on the shaft and is made from a sticky-like substance that gives you even more control with your stick. Some players rely on the grip for their hands to not slide down, while others may not use anything or use hockey tape. It's preference for the player and is something you may want to try out before purchasing a stick.
Youth, Intermediate, Junior and Senior Best Hockey Sticks
There are normally four different types of hockey sticks on display. Senior sticks are geared towards teenagers and adults, while Youth, Intermediate and Junior sticks are for younger hockey players. Factors that determine what stick you should purchase are your age, height and weight.
Starting with youth sticks, you'll want to purchase this type of stick if you are buying for the 3-8 age range. It is a wide age range, but depending on how much your hockey player weighs and their height, you will be able to find a stick that best suits your athlete.
As you get older and are able to flex the stick with relative ease, that is when you'll be looking at Intermediate or Junior sticks. Young children (7-12) are in the area of buying an Intermediate or Junior stick. Again, depending on the factors above (weight, height, strength), it'll help you decide whether or not you need to purchase an Intermediate or Junior Stick. From ages 12-14, you're probably going to look at purchasing a Junior stick, This is one step below the Senior stick, and Junior sticks vary in stick length as well as flex.
Senior sticks are made for teenagers and older hockey players. 14-year-old may start to look at Senior sticks, which will provide them with adequate length and flex for a hockey stick. A good factor in determining the flex of a stick is half of your body weight. So a hockey player that weights 180 pounds will be looking at an 80-90 flex.
Remember, when purchasing a stick, it is important you find one that works for you in length as well as flex. If you purchase a stick that is too long, once you cut it to the proper length, the flex will go up, making it harder to bend the stick appropriately.
Coach Jeremy from How To Hockey has a great video on hockey stick lengths and how you should go about cutting the stick.
Buying best hockey sticks is about more than just looks. It may seem simple to choose one that looks nice, but the stick is such an important piece of equipment that it is beneficial to research and make an educated purchase.
The first thing you want to ask yourself is what price point are you willing to spend to purchase your stick? You can find sticks for as low as $30, all the way up to $250+. Are you just starting out? Is this something you're going to take seriously? If you are a parent purchasing for your kid, it may be beneficial to go cheaper as kids continuously grow and the stick you bought last season may not be useful for this year.
How competitive is the league you're playing in? If you're buying for a young child, it makes more sense to buy a cheaper stick until they are at a more competitive level. But if you're a serious hockey player, it would be beneficial to purchase a stick in the higher-price-point range as they tend to be more durable and provide the best feel of a hockey stick. You tend to get more customization options when you reach a higher price point as well.
You should also consider the position you are playing. Purchasing a stick for a defenseman is different than a forward. A defenseman may want a longer stick that is easier to poke check and defend with, while a forward will aim to purchase a shorter stick so they can keep the puck closer to their body and be able to stick handle.
Wood or Composite? If you want a stick that is for recreational use and that will last much longer, a wood stick may be worth it. Wood sticks are great for durability but are heavier than composite. Composite sticks are great for flexing and are lightweight, but are not as durable as wooden sticks.
Like sticks used by skaters, goalie sticks are also available in wooden or composite. Composite sticks allow goalies to have lighter sticks and aren't affected by water the way that wood sticks are. Wood goalie sticks offer the best puck feel and absorb shock a little better than composite materials. These sticks are often a bit stronger and more resilient than composite sticks.
CCM SUPER TACKS AS1 GRIP COMPOSITE HOCKEY STICK [SENIOR] ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
BAUER NEXUS 2N PRO GRIP COMPOSITE HOCKEY STICK [SENIOR] ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
WARRIOR COVERT QR EDGE CLEAR COMPOSITE HOCKEY STICK (SENIOR) ★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2
TRUE A6.0 SBP COMPOSITE HOCKEY STICK 2018 (SENIOR) ★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2
CCM JETSPEED GRIP COMPOSITE HOCKEY STICK ★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2
WARRIOR COVERT QRE4 GRIP COMPOSITE HOCKEY STICK (JUNIOR) ★ ★ ★ ★
SHER-WOOD PROJECT 9 COMPOSITE HOCKEY STICK (SENIOR) ★ ★ ★ ★
Reviews of our Top Picks ↓↓↓↓↓↓
In a highly competitive market, it's hard to stand out. Thankfully for the consumer, CCM does just that. The Super Tacks is easily one of the best on the market. It's a higher price point than most sticks, but you're going to feel satisfied the moment you lift this stick off its shelf. Advanced hockey players looking for that elite feel won't have to search far. The Super Tacks AS1 has everything you could ever want in a stick.
Compared to other CCM sticks, the AS1 provides a heavier, more aggressive kick point. This is going to make any shooter happy. The Super Tacks AS1 also has an amazing feel that is lightweight. With the use of Sigmatex carbon fiber, the stick has a higher strength-to-weight ratio. The Tacks series is a top series on the market, and CCM has improved upon their already incredible lineup.
- Higher balance point for improved blade stability
- Acu3 blade core for lively blade face
- Increased strength:weight ratio
- Higher shaft consistency
- Multiple lengths, flexes and patterns
Overall, whoever uses this stick will feel like a superstar. Clearly one of the best on the market, the Super Tacks AS1 is a stick you should seriously consider for your next purchase.
Bauer has been producing top-of-the-line sticks and equipment for many years, and the Nexus 2N is one of Bauer's finest works. Fully loaded with features, this high-end product will benefit any player with the chance to use it.
The Nexus 2N has a solid blade that is highly request among professional players. Bauer has taken the 1X blade core and implemented a fiber-reinforced layer between the carbon fiber and the core. The weight of the stick has also been reduced but the durability is still excellent. The stick feels and plays much lighter, which is a huge positive for any position on the ice.
➔ Sweet spot technology for superior mid-kick performance
➔ Increased flexural strength and durability
➔ Uses Advanced Carbon Layering
➔ Maximum blade height, helping with face offs and corner battles
The stick uses Bauer's Duraflex resin system, which provides a 20 percent more flexural strength than their older ElasTech material. With this advancement, players still get a quick release with the power they need behind it.
Bauer believes that this stick will provide an extra edge in your game and I can see why. Years of technology and research has gone into this product.
If you're aiming to improve your shot accuracy, the Covert QR Edge may be the stick for you. This stick has unique geometry that is more stable than traditional tapers, meaning players will still enjoy a very quick release when shooting the puck. The blade also stays square when you release, which helps with improving shot accuracy.
➔ Smooth feel
➔ Minimus Carbon Technology for improved energy transfer
➔ Explosive release
➔ Lightweight response
➔ Great choice for players who prefer livelier stick
This stick is more durable, which manages impacts better and helps provide better pop-life. The QR Edge Clear is a one-piece weapon that is on the stiffer side, but is still lightweight. The QR Edge is constructed using Minimus Carbon 1200. Players still get the Minimus design but the carbon technology has improved to 1200 from 1000. It provides a high-strength stick that produces great energy transfers which are more efficient.
Overall, Warrior continues to improve on their already spectacular sticks. This still can help with improving power and shot accuracy – something every hockey player could benefit from.
Looking for a stick that provides natural explore power from any shooting position? TRUE's A6.0 is one on the market that competes with top brands like CCM, Warrior and Bauer. SBP stands for Strength, Balance and Power.
SBP is the naming of this stick and TRUE easily delivers. TRUE developed this stick to be a one-piece that is easy for energy loading. Part of the ASERIES line, this stick allows users to produce power from any shooting position – a key for any player trying to pot a couple goals this season.
➔ Natural explosive power
➔ Responsive blade
➔ Includes BRT+ blade technology
➔ Lighter yet more durable
➔ Low swing weight for enhanced mobility and harder shots
This stick is a beautiful piece of equipment. The ability to have a lightweight stick that provides shooters the ability to have a quicker release with more power is something hockey players dream of. TRUE knocked this one out of the park.
CCM has virtually re-invented themselves with the Jetspeed series stick. The tool used by many NHLers, this stick is loaded with new technology and features.
➔ Innovative Hybrid kick-point for increased shot versatility
➔ Top and bottom shaft geometry for comfortable feel and improved shot accuracy
➔ Reduced weight made from Sigmatex 18K carbon fiber
➔ Superior puck feel
The Jetspeed allow players to have a softer feel for the puck, with the right amount of pop you could want. CCM introduced a new molding process which improves the blade consistency, providing a better feel at all times.
If you're switching from an older stick, you're going to notice a great difference once you pick this up. It is incredibly lightweight and is one of the top in its class. There are multiple patterns available to suit your needs, which will greatly benefit the consumer.
A stick of this caliber is normally used by professionals, but if you're a serious hockey player looking to make the jump to the next level, this will be the stick for you.
Warrior's goal for 2019 was to improve the performance in the Covert line of hockey sticks and they have done just that. Focusing on the Junior hockey stick, the QRE4 is loaded with many features common in the Covert line.
It's a new product with traditional feel. Skaters using this stick will notice that the QRE4 feels comfortable in their hands. Equipped with round edges and straight sidewalls, you're getting an innovative stick without compromising the tradition of the hockey stick.
➔ Balanced feel in hands with quick release
➔ Enhanced playability and responsiveness
➔ Improved efficiency and greater energy transfer for more intense shots
➔ Unique geometry provides more stable feel
At a price point that can't be beat, Warrior has a great strategy for their younger hockey players. This ensures that parents won't break the bank purchasing a stick for their next Gretzky, while giving quality tools to be successful on the ice. This stick is marketed toward players who may be new to the game or just starting out, but that doesn't mean you'll sacrifice quality. Warrior is a great company for sticks and this is definitely worth checking out.
While many players have switched over to using the likes of Warrior, CCM, Bauer and TRUE, Sher-Wood still makes respectable sticks that can help improve your game without breaking the bank. Sher-Wood's Project 9 features fly strong technology on the shaft that increases the sticks durability. The implementation of their Short Sensor Technology helps achieve maximum power when shooting the puck.
➔ Textured grip to keep your hands from slipping
➔ Square shaft helps keep the stick from twisting in your hands
➔ Modified kick-point according to lower hand placement
➔ Improved weight distribution
I am a huge fan of the Shot Senor technology used on the Project 9. Having the ability to maintain maximum torque on every shot, regardless of your bottom hand placement will be huge for snipers ranging across a variety of leagues.
This stick is one you should consider looking at if you're looking at value as well as performance. It's financial investment is one of the lowest on this list, while still providing great bang for your buck.
Overall, these sticks are easily some of the best hockey sticks on the market and will certainly bring your game to the next level. I am a huge fan of the CCM Super Tacks and their aggressive kick-point, as well as the elite feel you notice one you pick it up.
The Bauer Nexus is another product that you can't go wrong with. It too has multiple factors that make it a top stick in the market.
Regardless of which one you choose, these sticks listed above will help your performance on the ice and be a stepping stone to taking your game to the next level.
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