Ice hockey is a team sport that is played in an ice rink. It originated…
Kids who take their hockey seriously need a good-quality hockey stick. But how do you find the best hockey sticks for kids?
Below you will find our recommendations for the best hockey sticks that you can get for your child today. We have recommended one top-end option and one affordable option for each age group: Youth (3-8), Junior (7-13), and Intermediate (11-14).
But, of course, every hockey player, whether infant, youth or adult, is different and will therefore want something a little bit different, so our favorite stick might not be exactly what your budding player is looking for. So we have also put together a complete buying guide with everything you need to consider when finding the perfect stick.
CCM Jetspeed Youth Composite Hockey Stick
Bauer Vapor Prodigy 20 Flex Grip Composite Hockey Stick
Bauer Nexus Geo Grip Composite Hockey Stick
Warrior Covert QRE 30 Grip Composite Hockey Stick
CCM Ribcor Trigger 5 Grip Composite Stick
Bauer Supreme 3S Grip Composite Hockey Stick
||Intermediate (11-14)||5 Stars|
Best Mid- to Top-Range Stick for Youths
More affordable than a lot of options, the CCM Jetspeed Carbon-Fiber stick is still a high-end choice that is designed to help youngsters develop their game.
At 40 flex, it has a slightly heavier flex than a lot of other sticks for smaller kids, which means that they start to build up their strength with the stick more quickly. It also has a full grip to support hands that are less nimble and still getting used to handling a stick.
The blade style is what the manufacturer calls a P28, with a big and open mid-toe, which is adaptable to a lot of different playing styles and positions. This is great when kids are still experimenting.
Overall, this is a stick that will let kids learn and experiment, preparing them for a more specialized stick as they grow and upgrade.
Best Affordable Stick for Youths
If you are looking for a more affordable stick for less serious or younger youth players, consider this option from Bauer.
It has a very low flex, which can help younger and smaller players to improve their shots. The tapered design of the stick also improves recoil speed, which keeps energy off the lower part of the blade and lets young players move faster.
Both the shaft and the blade are made from unidirectional, layered carbon fiber. This means that the blade is durable without being heavy. Inside the blade is an aero foam core, which makes the puck feel more solid on the stick.
This is the ideal affordable stick for smaller youngsters looking for a competitive edge as they learn the game.
Best Premium Stick for Juniors
If your kid is a serious player and you want the best stick for both their development and the competitive edge, then check out this top-end stick from Bauer.
This is ideal if your young player is playing in multiple positions on the ice, as it is versatile enough to work well in all of them.
It is designed with a special ER spine that removes excess fiber layers from the stick, which ensures optimum flex, faster transfer of energy to the blade, and excellent puck control. The medium curved blade face will also help with puck control.
Serious players deserve the best equipment, and this junior stick has many of the features of the best professional options.
Best Affordable Stick for Juniors
If you want a less expensive stick that will still offer a lot of great benefits for your child, then check out this affordable option from Warrior Covert.
Made from Minimum Carbon 900D, it is both strong and lightweight, which means it has a 40 flex but feels softer. The blade is medium rounded, offering a nice pocket to hold the puck, which feels good thanks to the polymer core of the blade.
It has a slide grip in the places where they are needed most, leaving the other areas smooth and making it a bit easier to slide your hands into the right position.
This stick is ideal if you don’t want to spend the earth, but you still want a stick that is durable and provides good puck handling.
Best High-End Stick for Intermediates
While this is not among the most expensive intermediate sticks, it still manages to perform like one of the top-end options.
It is a lightweight carbon fiber stick that uses a special weave on the blade to reduce weight without sacrificing performance or durability.
It utilizes an asymmetric taper design to maximize load and release, and you can choose between three different agile blade designs, each of which is optimized for both quick release and shot accuracy.
This stick is one of the new designs that has come out of CCM’s Performance Lab in collaboration with professional players, and it is an ideal option for youngsters entering some of the most important years of their development.
Best Affordable Stick for Intermediates
If you are hoping to spend a bit less on a stick without making too many sacrifices on quality, check out this stick from Bauer, which comes in either 55 or 65 flex, and with three different pattern options for the blade.
This is a one-piece stick made from unidirectional carbon for the best flexibility and durability. It features an aero foam blade core to dampen the feel of the puck for better handling.
This hockey stick is one of the few options with a high kick point, which is designed for maximum power, though this does result in slower release.
This affordable stick for intermediates is great for defensive players who prioritize power over pinpoint accuracy.
New to your role as a hockey parent? Check out our ultimate guide for parents of new players.
When it comes to choosing the right hockey stick for a youth player, the two main things to consider are size and material. This will make the biggest difference in how confident and comfortable they feel with the stick in their hands.
There are a variety of other details to consider that can help you find the perfect stick, and we’ll have a look at these too, but they are secondary considerations after size and material.
Like all hockey equipment, hockey sticks come in four sizes: senior, intermediate, youth, and junior. The first and most important step when choosing the right hockey stick for kids is to find one that is the right size for them.
These size ranges are based on height, weight, waist size, and chest size. They are generally associated with different age groups, specifically:
The sticks for the different age groups are not only different lengths, but also differ in diameter and flexibility.
The smaller diameter is meant to be more comfortable in smaller hands, while the flexibility refers to the amount of force required to flex the shaft. Lower flexibility (in pounds) means that the younger player doesn’t have to hit the puck quite as hard to get it moving.
The table below gives a general overview of the different sizes of hockey sticks available, matching the height and weight of the player with the length and recommended flexibility of the stick (the diameter of the stick will follow the length).
|Age Group||Height||Weight||Stick Length||Stick Flexibility|
|Youth (3-5)||3’0” – 3’10”||30-65 lbs||38-44”||35 flex|
|Youth (6-8)||3’10” – 4’8”||50-80 lbs||45-49”||40/45 flex|
|Junior (7-13)||4’4” – 5’1”||70-110 lbs||50-54”||50/55 flex|
|Intermediate (11-14)||4’11” – 5’4”||95-125 lbs||55-58”||60 flex|
|Intermediate (12-14)||5’2” – 5’8”||100-140 lbs||55-58”||65/70 light flex|
|Senior (14+)||5’5” – 5’10”||125-175 lbs||57-61”||75/80 mid-flex|
|Senior (14+)||5’7” – 6’1”||150-220 lbs||58-62”||85/90 regular flex|
|Senior (14+)||5’10” – 6’4”||180-235 bs||60-63”||100/105 stiff flex|
|Senior (14+)||6’1”+||210+||60-63”||110/115 extra stiff flex|
So, the first thing to do is assess your child’s height and weight, and decide exactly what size stick you are looking for.
The next big question is what material the stick is made from. You can get them in wood, wood and fiberglass, carbon and fiberglass, graphite, and kevlar.
Which material is best depends on the player and how they are going to be using the stick. For example, you will want something for a new player vs an experienced player, and for mucking about at home and on the street vs playing in organized matches.
Wood and fiberglass sticks tend to be heavier and less flexible. But they are also more affordable and more robust, so can be a good choice for beginner players. They also tend to be heavier than the other sticks, which can be good for new players.
The extra weight makes it easier to control the puck, and the player will make more accurate passes and shots. It is also great for just messing around.
Carbon fiber, graphite, and kevlar sticks are often collectively referred to as composite sticks. They are lighter, which allows for faster energy transfer and lets more experienced players deliver higher velocity shots and passes. They are also more expensive, so represent an investment for more serious players.
Composite sticks are often subcategorized into one-piece or two-piece. As you would imagine, one-piece sticks have no separation or joints between the blade and the rest of the stick; they are one continuous piece.
With two-piece sticks, you can replace the shaft of the blade to adapt it to your game. This can be an affordable option for people who tend to break their sticks, as changing one piece out is generally much more affordable.
We have already spoken a bit about flex within the context of size.
The flexibility of a stick is defined by its flex point, and is the weight in pounds required to bend the stick three inches at the flex point.
As a general rule, you are looking for a stick that has a flex that is about half of the player’s weight. But you may want to adjust this depending on where the player likes to locate their hands on the stick.
Another question of personal preference is whether you want a stick with a smooth surface, called non-grip, or one with a textured grip. The smooth surface allows the bottom hand to move up and down the stick more easily for better handling. But if the player’s gloves become slick, the stick can become hard to hold onto.
If you go for grip, you need to choose between grip that covers the whole stick and grip that just covers the main handling areas.
The grip can be a coating, or it can be incorporated into the texture of the stick itself.
The kick point is the place on the stick that flexes when you pass or shoot. This can be located at different points along the stick, and you will want something different depending on the type of player that you are.
If you are a defenseman who mostly does big booming shots, a mid to low kick point is going to give you the power that you need.
If you are more of an angle player who makes agile plays with wrist and snapshots, you will want a lower kick point for faster release.
The blade lie is the angle that the stick shaft takes when the bottom of the blade is sitting flat on the ice. The more upright the stick, the higher the lie number, which ranges from 4.0–7.0 in half increments.
A lie 5 has a lie angle of 135 degrees from the blade to the shape, and 45 degrees from the ice to the shaft. A lie 4 is flatter, with 137 degrees and 43 degrees, respectively. A lie 6 is more upright with 133 degrees and 47 degrees, respectively.
Your height, skating style, and the type of game you play all influence the proper lie for you.
To find the right lie, start with a middle lie like a 5, assume a natural skating position, and hold the stick comfortably. If the blade is lying flat on the floor, perfect. If the toe is up, try a lower lie, and if the heel is up, try a higher number.
If you are looking for the best skates for kids, don’t miss our buying guide.
The best hockey stick for a youth player depends on a few things. They need a stick that is the right length and weight for their size, and the right level of flex for them to manage the puck with their developing strength.
Youth players, between the ages of 3 and 8, usually need a versatile stick, as they are likely to be playing in a variety of positions as they determine where their interests and skills lie.
In hockey, youth is classified as children between 3 and 8 years old. There is a big difference between the height of a three-year-old and an eight-year-old, so youth sticks also come in a variety of sizes. They can be anywhere from 38 to 49 inches tall.
Youth and Junior are technical classifications in hockey. Youth players range in age from 3 to 8, while junior players range from 7 to 13. The major difference between the sticks used by these two different groups is their height and weight, which increases with the size and strength of the children.
Finding the right hockey stick for your young player can make a big difference to their progress and development in the world of hockey. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer when it comes to the question of the best stick for your child.
Every young player is different, and they will need different things depending on size and strength, the way they skate, the position they play, and how they like to handle and move the puck.
If they are a developing player, they will want a versatile stick that will let them experiment and play well, no matter what position they are in. If they are already starting to specialize, they will want to start to specialize with their stick too.
Use our buying guide to help you find the right option.