Junior Stick Buying Guide
Sticks - Material and size
Junior hockey sticks come in two different types; wood or composite.
Wooden sticks, as the name suggests, are principally made of wood with fibreglass reinforcement for extra strength and durability. Wooden sticks are simple, functional products suitable for a beginner or a youngster likely to have a “has to play” rather than “wants to play” feeling for hockey.
Composite sticks do not contain wood. They are a composite moulded product and are stronger, more durable and with a higher performance capability than wooden ones. Junior composite sticks are typically made entirely of fibreglass but for more advanced junior players other materials such as aramid may be incorporated too. Composite sticks are the prevalent form in the game so if a youngster is sporty and likely to take a keen interest in hockey then a composite stick would be more suitable.
After construction comes size. It is vital to get the correct size (length) of stick for young players. Stick length can be more of a personal preference for adults but for growing youngsters the correct length is needed to help them develop their game correctly and safely.
The simplest way to size up a young player is to measure from the ground to the top of the hip, which is where the top of the stick should reach. In-store you can do this by standing the stick next to the player but if you are buying online then the size chart below will help guide you:
Sticks are measured in inches and junior sticks typically range between 24” and 36”, moving in 2” increments. Senior sticks begin at 36.5” but you may also find some brands use this measurement for their longest junior stick too.
Stick buying FAQs
“Can I get a stick that is a bit too big to give my child some growing room?”
We would not advise this. If the stick is too long from a technical perspective it will likely hamper your child’s development as a player but more importantly it may be harder to control, potentially creating safety issues to them and other players.
“My child is in-between sizes, which one should I choose?”
While the above is correct, some children naturally fall between sizes. In marginal cases we suggest picking the bigger size since the negatives are outweighed by the likelihood your child will grow out of the stick too quickly. It is easier in the short term to adapt to a stick that is fractionally too big than too small.
My child is very sporty and is getting quite good at hockey. Should I get them a much better stick?
Our advice is always the same, the stick and the player should develop together at the same pace. Giving a young player a stick that is more advanced than their level may offer "immediate" benefit in some small aspects but will potentially harm their technical development in the long run and so be counterproductive.
My child isn't sporty but I want the stick to last so pass it down to a sibling later. Is it worth getting a composite one?
Yes. Composite sticks are considerably more durable to the erosive wear and tear you get playing on artificial turf pitches even at a young age than wooden ones are.
How long should the stick last my child?
You would not expect a beginner to wear a stick out but how long it lasts that depends on how quickly your child grows!
My child has used the stick and the paint is chipping. Is it faulty?
Absolutely not. The paintwork on a stick will potentially chip and scuff from day one due to the abrasive nature of the playing surface and contact nature of its use (ball and other sticks). Chips, scratches and scuffs are an inherent part of the game and the natural use of the stick.