Why Length Matters when Buying an Ice Hockey Stick
When you buy an ice hockey stick, one of the most important facts or elements is the length of the hockey stick. If you’re still fairly new to the sport or are unsure, this should clear any gray areas you may have. Experienced hockey players know the exact length they prefer, the length of a hockey stick is dependent on personal preference, however the length will affect the performance of the hockey player and stick, it would be difficult for a hockey player to control the puck and shoot the puck if the stick is too short or too long for them. Also it seems that players who share a certain playing style or position tend to prefer a similar hockey stick length, so perhaps make not of those around you and what they like to use.
How to Measure the Length of a Hockey Stick
In order to properly measure the length of a hockey stick a player should be wearing hockey skates. The main reason for this is to get an accurate indication of length of the stick in as you will be using it (with hockey skates on) there would be no point in measuring without your skating on as you may find the stick is to short (with your skates on) Hockey skates add a few inches in height, so a stick that comes up to the players nose without skates, may only reach their chin while their skates are on skates. If you are buying a hockey stick, and you don’t have skates with you, make sure you remember to add an inch or two in length to suit your needs while on the ice.
To measure the length, have the player stand straight up, looking forwards. Place the toe of the hockey sticks blade on the ground and have the shaft of the stick parallel to the players body.
Average length of a hockey stick – If you are playing hockey for the new or still learning a good starting point for the length of your stick is between the chin, and nose.
How to you know a hockey stick is too long or too short? – Any stick that is above the nose will be classified as long, and any stick that is below the chin would be a short stick.
What Length Should Your Hockey Stick Be?
As I said earlier, the length of the hockey stick is down to personal preference, but it takes time to develop a style of playing and a preference for stick length. Take a look at our guide for a better idea of lengths
Short Hockey Stick? – Hockey players who are good at stickhandling tend to prefer shorter sticks. Using a short stick makes it slightly easier to control the puck around your body (as the stick is smaller) and also move the puck around as the stick will be lighter (less material).
Many players who tend to use their stickhandling ability will typically bring the puck in close to their body in order to protect the puck. A short stick makes it easier to perform these moves.
Average Hockey Stick - With an average length stick you can still easily handle the puck, and also dig for the check, intercept passes and take great slapshot. This size stick gives you a little of both.
Long Hockey Stick “The Defensemen” – A longer hockey stick is commonly used for defensemen. A long hockey stick gives you a longer reach, which makes it easier for you to get the puck away from attackers and also intercept passes, and stop a puck before it leaves your zone.
Defensemen are also known to have hard slapshots, having a longer stick can be an advantage if used correctly (more flex equals more power) it all comes down to technique.
Just remember these are guides and not facts set in stone, equipment is down to personal preference and you need to be open minded and try new things in order to establish what works best for you.
Can you Adjust Stick Length – Adjusting stick length
Buying a hockey stick can be very tricky, it’s not always easy to find the perfect length stick for you depending on what you have available (we don’t all live in hockey playing counties).
It is normal to buy a stick that is too long, and then cut it down to suit your length preference keeping in mind this will alter the flex level/rating of the stick. Cut off 2inches that will include your flex by around +8, cut off 4” +16 and if you cut off 6” around +24-30
For younger players it is also common to put a wooden plug in the end of a stick to make it longer in case they outgrow their stick (gear is expensive).