Senior, Intermediate, Junior and Youth
The terms senior, intermediate, junior and youth are used to describe the general age groups of hockey players for the purposes of hockey equipment sizing. These categories are determined by the average dimensions (height/weight/waist size, etc.) of a hockey player at a certain age. Please refer to the Hockey Stick Sizing Guide below to see which category you fit into. Now that you know where you place in terms of general age group sizing, you’ll want to consider the stiffness of the shaft you will be using. It is important to refer to the sizing chart for general guidelines on shaft flexibility, but depending on how the hockey stick is going to be used, there are a few key things to take into consideration. Shafts are built in different sizes and strengths to fit a player’s needs based on his height, weight, strength and playing style. For instance, as stated previously, defensemen tend to take more slapshots and usually benefit from using a stiffer flex, whereas forwards are more inclined to take wrist and snap shots, so they typically benefit from using a more flexible shaft.
Hockey Stick Sizing Guide
How long should my hockey stick be?
Hockey stick length is ultimately a matter of personal preference, but it is most certainly a major factor as it relates to your ability to both handle and shoot the puck – it can even affect your skating ability. The general rule on stick length is that while you’re wearing your skates, with the stick standing upright and perpendicular to the ground, the top of the shaft should come up to the underside of your chin.
Hockey sticks come in 4 main sizes: senior (60″), intermediate (57″), junior (52″) and youth (48″), with a small amount of variance from one manufacturer to another. Hockey sticks are routinely cut down or extended (with an extender plug in the top end of the shaft) to accommodate the player’s individual height. It’s important to purchase a stick that is as close to the proper length as possible, but keep in mind that hockey stick flex is affected by length and should be considered while selecting the length of stick that you’re ordering. This is because when you cut a stick down or add an extender to the top of the shaft, it causes the flex rating to change. Read on in the answer to the following question for further explanation of flex ratings.
Cutting your stick down to size
If you take a look at the shaft flexibility chart above you’ll notice the approximate stick length for each corresponding flex. The length of the stick is measured from the top of the shaft down the back side to the heel of the blade. Naturally, most players will find that sticks do not come at exactly the length they need right out of the box and therefore you must cut an inch or two off of the top of the shaft. Conversely, taller players may need to add an extender to their shaft if it is too short. When you are standing on your skates with your stick upright, on the toe, perpendicular to the ice, the top of the shaft should stop just below or above the chin, depending on personal preference.
Defensemen tend to use longer sticks which provide greater reach when poke-checking. Forwards tend to use shorter sticks in order to handle the puck with greater mobility and keep it closer to their body. You might find yourself to be more comfortable using a longer or shorter stick than players traditionally use at your given position. Once again, this is a matter of preference and you ought to experiment with different lengths in order to find the best fit for you.
Which blade pattern should I choose?
Selecting a blade pattern is a bit like selecting a golf club out of your bag, in the sense that each club will give you slightly different results and is intended for specific types of shots. Although, when it comes to selecting a blade pattern, you also have to account for your ability to puckhandle and pass with the blade, and you’ll also likely be taking wrist, snap, slap and backhand shots, all with the same blade! Every blade pattern has unique characteristics that enhance certain shot types, puckhandling maneuvers and passing methods. Your goal should be to identify the aspects of puckhandling and shooting that characterize your playing style as an individual, and then select a blade pattern that will help you perform those maneuvers to the best of your ability.
We recommend trying several different blade patterns before settling on one, just to make sure you have an understanding of what each blade pattern can do for you as a shooter, passer and puckhandler.
Check out some hockey stick blade patterns.