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    Factors to Look Out for When Choosing a Field Hockey Stick

    Like any sports equipment, hockey players and coaches have several factors to consider when choosing a field hockey stick. Here are a few you can look at in today’s article.


    Bow

    A stick’s bow is the curve you can see from the handle to the toe. This typically ranges from 20mm–25mm. 


    The bow’s varying measurements have to do with a player’s preferred techniques: The more curve, the easier lifting shots, dragflicks and aerials will be. However, the lower the curve, the more control players will have over their shots.


    The two most common bows are:


    • Mid / standard: The highest point of the bow falls in the middle part of the stick, which is ideal for controlling and shooting. This measures around 20mm.
    • Low: This bend is closest to the head of the stick and helps with controlling and lifting the ball, aerials and dragflicking. Ideal for elite level players and measures up to a maximum of 25mm.

    Composition 

    The material used for your field hockey stick also matters.


    • Carbon: This material increases the stiffness of the stick, which can improve your accuracy when striking the ball. More carbon in a stick means a more powerful hit, resulting in incredible speed and distance. More carbon also increases the overall cost of the item due to the intricacy of the production process.

    • Aramid: Some field hockey sticks contain a small amount of aramid fibre. This material increases the stick's durability and absorbs vibrations sent through it when striking and receiving.

    • Fibreglass: Many field hockey sticks still contain a percentage of fibreglass because it is a material that improves strength, durability and feel. As a result, these sticks are less rigid than carbon-heavy sticks making them more forgiving when receiving the ball (less bounce). Fibreglass is similar to carbon but less expensive as it lacks power.

    • Wood: Even as they advance in skill, some players still prefer to use wooden sticks, which improve control when dribbling, passing, and receiving. Wood is usually better for younger players, who are still developing their skills and don't want to spend much on a stick.

    New players are better off with hockey sticks that contain a mix of fiberglass, aramid and carbon fibre. For experience players looking to perform at a high level, a high carbon stick such as 95% with aramid/kevlar to increase durability is strongly recommended.


    Length 

    Having the correct length is essential to your performance.


    The correct length will allow you to hit the ball harder and more accurately, whilst also giving you more control when dribbling. The proper size of a stick is up to personal preference, but it's typically between 36.5 and 38.5 inches for adults. Check out our stick size guide if you're unsure.

    • A slightly longer stick can allow you to hit the ball with more force further away from your body. For example, this added leverage makes smacking the ball easier. 
    • On the other hand, a shorter stick will improve your stick handling skills.

    Weight 

    Field hockey sticks typically range from 500g to 600g, depending on your preference. 

    • Heavier sticks are typically made for defensive players or 'big hitters'.
    • Lighter ones tend to be best for attacking players. This allows for a quicker backswing during a fast-paced game. Lighter sticks also make it easier to trap the ball and pass at faster speeds. 

    Conclusion

    Cost and quality aren’t always the most important for purchasing sports equipment. It depends largely on a player’s skill level. 

    Get the right field hockey stick from Rival Hockey today! Our online quiz will determine the best tool for the job based on your position, preferred techniques, and more!