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Hockey Sticks - Fitting Guide

Hockey Sticks - Fitting Guide

Length. Length is generally the easiest to determine, but imperative for a player’s success in the game. Sticks usually come in four sizes: senior, intermediate, junior and youth. Each size normally reflects a smaller shaft circumference and a softer flex. Senior sticks are usually used by players ages 14 and up; intermediate for ages 10-15; junior for ages 7 to 12; and Youth for players ages 4-8. Adult women generally use intermediate or flexible senior sticks.
Determining your personal stick length is relatively easy. Standing without your skates on, place the toe of the stick on the ground between your feet and position the stick vertically against your body so that the stick comes to about your nose. If the stick is too long, simply make a mark where it touches your nose, and cut the handle of the stick accordingly. If you have your skates on, the stick should come up to your chin. Please note that this is a general rule of thumb and can change with personal preference. In addition to cutting sticks to your desired length, you can also extend a stick’s length by inserting an end plug at the top of the shaft. This can be used to lengthen the life of a stick and get maximum use if the player cut the stick too short or experiences a growth spurt.

Flex. The first thing many players do when they pick up a new stick is bend it. Why? Because they are testing out the “flex” or flexibility of the stick. A good fit is a stick that allows the player to bend the shaft a little, but without much effort. A stiff stick shaft lessens shot accuracy and puck speed and does not provide a good feel for the puck. Most players prefer flexible and light shafts that allow for optimal passing and shooting. Most stick manufacturers offer a variety of flexes. The higher the flex number, the stiffer the stick. Regardless of age, the correct flex for the player should allow him/her to bend the shaft when they take a wrist shot or slap shot.
Different manufacturers have different systems for measuring flex ratings, but most conform to this method: the flex is a measure of the amount of weight required to bend a stick 4 inches when suspended between two support points that are 48 inches apart.