How Tall should your Stick be? HINT: It depends…
When it comes to any type of athletic equipment, it is always better to have it fit. So, how tall should your hockey stick be?
This is especially true when it comes to hockey equipment. When hockey equipment does not fit, hockey players have difficulty moving the puck up and down the ice. In addition they are more at risk for potential injuries.
So, it is important that skates fit and it is just as important that hockey sticks are sized properly for each player.
Hockey stick length will affect the player’s performance. If the stick is the wrong length, hockey players will have difficulty controlling the puck and handling the stick.
They will also have difficulty making shots if the stick is the wrong length. It is also difficult for players to receive passes if a stick is too long or too short. And, if the stick is the wrong length, players do not have enough reach to be effective on the ice.
When sticks are the wrong length, players can damage them. For example, players who have sticks that are too long often find that they wear out the heel of the stick from too much smashing. It is easy to see if one part of the stick is wearing out before other parts do. If you find that one part of the stick is wearing out too quickly, then the stick is probably the wrong length for your style of play.
How to measure the stick
The general rules for proper stick length vary.
Some players do better with long sticks, while others prefer average or short sticks.
The length is determined by where the top of the grip lands on your face. If you stand straight rest the tip of the stick’s toe on the ground in front of your body, the average stick should be somewhere between your chin and nose. A short stick will be at your chin and a long stick will be at your forehead.
Players who tend to go with Average lengths
The type of player that you are will determine what type of stick is best for you.
Players who use a stick with an average length tend to be the players who like to get into the corners. They often discombobulate while in front of the net and they get into the corners to fight for the puck. They aren’t the type of players who reach into the corners, they get deep into them.
This type of player is often called a grinder because he really gets his body into the game, while handling the puck and making slapshots. You might even be the type of player to pokecheck and steal passes from the opponents.
Who likes shorter sticks?
Players who use shorter sticks are those who are rather adept at puck handling.
They like the short sticks because they are lighter in weight and easier to maneuver than longer or average sticks. Short sticks let players bring the puck in tight to their bodies so they can keep the opponent off guard. They can break ankles and deke while their moving around the ice with the puck in the blade. The player who likes shorter sticks don’t get far from the puck at all times.
Who uses a longer stick?
Players who like long sticks are often defensemen who need the reach to steal pucks from the offensive players who keep the pucks close to their bodies.
Long sticks allow players to intercept passes and spot pucks before they are delivered across the ice. The extra reach allows players to really get slapshots going with lots of power. For defensive players, the long stick gives more power to get their jobs done effectively.
Which is right for you?
Of course, these are generalizations!
Hockey players of all styles like to use a variety of different stick lengths. Before you commit to buying an expensive stick in a length you have never used, it is wise to try all lengths.
You might find that you love using a short stick, even if you play defense. Or, you might find that you like to use a short stick to get deep into the corners. It is all personal preference and you might find that yours changes as you develop your skills.
Some hockey players just like certain short, average, or long hockey sticks because they like them.
Their personal preference guides their decision. But some hockey players learn to use different lengths of sticks because their parents bought them sticks that were long when they were younger.
Many parents do this because hockey sticks are expensive and their parents didn’t want to buy several sticks through those growing years. This is a mistake that ends up helping hockey players in the long run because they grow up using sticks that are long, average, and short. But, what usually happens is that the stick that was supposed to last for several years ends up breaking because it is the wrong size and the small kids who use them can’t use them correctly.
There are general guidelines for hockey stick lengths. There are four standard lengths, but there are many lengths in between.
- Senior: 60”
- Intermediate: 57”
- Junior: 52”
- Youth: 48”
These lengths are measured from the heel of the stick to the top of the shaft. The blade will add approximately five inches to the stick, but it is not included in the measurement.
Some people will buy one size and then either cut it down or add an extender to the top of the shaft. These are acceptable things to do to a hockey stick, but adjusting the height of the stick will affect the performance.
You can view more tips from the Advanced series listed on the Ice Hockey 101 page.