Stick Buying Tips
A standard for determining stick length is to stand without skates and place the toe of the stick on the ground between your feet. Position the stick against your body to that the stick touches your nose. Make a mark where the stick touches your nose and this is where you should cut the stick. When you hit the ice, your stick should then come up to your chin, which represents a standard reference for proper length. Of course there are exceptions to this where certain types of players prefer longer or shorter sticks, such as a defenseman who prefers a longer stick for poke checking.
Determining the “flex” of a stick:
When picking up a new stick, the first thing you see players do is bend it. Why? Because they are getting a feel for the “flex” of the shaft. The right stick should allow the player to bend the shaft a bit without too much effort. A stiff shaft will lessen shot accuracy and puck speed and won’t provide good feel for the puck. Most playmakers prefer a flexible and light shafts that allow them optimum feel for shooting, passing and stick handling. Manufacturers usually offer three flexes and most youth players will end up in a medium flex with average stiffness and weight for good shooting and passing. Regardless of where you end up, the correct flex for the player should allow them to bend the shaft when they take a wrist shot or slap shot.
Why should I make a hockey stick grip?
Players typically tape the butt-end of their hockey sticks to give themselves better control of their stick. Most sticks don’t provide a player with enough “grip” to get the control they need. Many professional players even spend hours “shaving” their grips to fit their hand more securely. Another reason for taping is to prevent your gloves from wearing out prematurely.
Types of hockey stick grips:
- Cloth tape is what players have used for years to make a hockey stick grip.
- Cohesive tape is very similar to medical tape and it has a nice “squishy” feel.
- Grip Foam is one of the newest additions to help a player make a hockey stick grip. It is used along with tape to make a soft comfortable foam grip.
- The newest grips to hit the market are composite hockey stick grips. They fit into hollow composite sticks only and are shaped to fit your hand better than a rectangular stick. They have a “shaved” grip feel and provide excellent glove wear.
You should always make a knob at the end of your hockey stick. This will keep the stick from accidentally being inserted into a player’s helmet cage.
How to make a hockey stick grip:
With tape, most players will first make a knob at the end. Many players will then twist the tape around into a “piping”. You then wrap the piping around the stick into a desired pattern. After the piping is wrapped, you then cover over with tape.
Grip foam is used to replace the”piping” to go around your stick. Instead, you place the soft grip foam shapes onto your stick, and then tape over the foam with cloth or cohesive tape.
The last and newest method of making a hockey stick grip is by buying a composite hockey stick grip. You don’t have to make this grip, because it is already made for you. You insert the new style grips into hollow composite hockey sticks with hot melt glue, just like a replacement wood end plug. The grips are also reusable, so if you break your stick, you can take the grip out and put it in your new stick.