How to choose the right stick?

How to choose the right stick?

Choosing the right hockey stick is a crucial decision for any player, whether you're a seasoned professional or a beginner stepping onto the ice for the first time. 

The vast array of options available can be overwhelming, ranging from different materials and flex profiles to blade patterns and lengths. A well-suited hockey stick can significantly impact your performance, influencing everything from your shot accuracy to stickhandling skills. 

In this guide, we will explore the key factors to consider when choosing a hockey stick, providing insights into the various aspects that can make a stick the perfect fit for your playing style. 

To assist you in finding the ideal stick, we've organized the selection process into eight topics, each dedicated to a specific attribute of the hockey stick. Take the time to explore each one thoroughly, allowing you to gain a comprehensive understanding and ultimately make a well-informed choice based on your preferences. 




Wood Hockey Sticks - While wood sticks are often considered "old school" in the ever-evolving hockey industry, they remain a viable and excellent option for players with specific playing styles. Despite technological advancements, wood sticks continue to have their merits and can be a preferred choice for certain individuals. 

PROS: Wooden hockey sticks are cost-effective, providing a budget-friendly option. They boast durability, resisting cracks and breaks better than some alternatives. The classic feel of wood appeals to players who appreciate a traditional and natural experience on the ice. 

CONS: While wooden sticks have their merits, a significant drawback lies in their substantial weight, often reaching 2 to 3 times that of contemporary composite sticks. Additionally, performance consistency becomes a growing concern with prolonged use, as the more a wooden stick is utilized, the more its performance is prone to decline. 


Composite Hockey Sticks - The go-to choice for the majority of NHL players, composite sticks are usually crafted from woven blends of carbon fiber and fiberglass. Renowned for their exceptional lightweight design, these sticks consistently deliver high performance on the ice. 

PROS: The composite hockey stick impresses with its remarkable lightness, excellent balance, and top-notch performance, providing players with a versatile and dynamic tool on the ice. Moreover, the market offers a diverse range of price points for composite sticks, catering to players with varying budget considerations. 

CONS: The main drawback of a composite stick is its limited durability. Even with improved construction in some models aimed at enhancing longevity, they generally fall short when compared to the extended lifespan you can expect from a wooden stick. 


Two Piece Hockey Sticks: Hockey shafts and replacement blades - Opting for the two-piece approach entails acquiring two distinct components: a blade and a shaft. The construction and materials of the shafts in these sticks closely resemble their one-piece counterparts. Utilizing a combination of carbon fiber and fiberglass, these shafts are crafted to yield an exceptionally lightweight product. 

Nowadays two-piece sticks are less prevalent than their one-piece counterparts. In a two-piece hockey stick, the blade and shaft are distinct components, allowing players the flexibility to mix and match them according to their preferences. 


PROS: A two-piece stick offers two significant advantages. Firstly, it delivers excellent performance, though slightly below the level of a one-piece stick. Secondly, there is the potential for cost savings. With a two-piece stick, if the blade breaks, you can easily remove it from the shaft and replace it with a new one. The same applies if the shaft breaks. This approach allows you to spend a minimal amount to replace a damaged component, rather than investing in an entirely new stick. 

CONS: Over time and with extended play, it is common for two-piece sticks to experience loosening, which can affect their overall performance. 



For those entirely new to the game, deciding on your stick side can be a bit challenging. 

However, a simple way to determine this is to pick up a broom and observe which way feels more natural when you swing it.  

If you're still unsure about which side of the hockey stick suits you, another simple way to determine it is by picking up a baseball bat. Pay attention to how you naturally swing it. 

There's no strict right or wrong in choosing your hockey stick side. The crucial factor is your comfort. When in doubt, opt for the choice that feels the most comfortable and natural to you. 

Deciding between a left-handed or right-handed hockey stick can be confusing when buying a new one.  

The left or right designation is based on the hand closest to the blade. For instance, if your left hand is lower when holding the stick comfortably, you are a left-handed player. Conversely, if your right hand is lower, a right-handed stick is the suitable choice. 





Achieving the right hockey stick length is crucial for peak performance on the ice. When standing upright and looking forward with the stick's toe on the ground, the stick should ideally fall between your chin and nose, typically around your upper lip. When on skates, the recommended length is up to approximately your chin. 

Having the correct stick length is essential for greater performance; shorter sticks excel in puck handling but may lack power in shots, while longer sticks provide reach and potential for a commanding slap shot with minimal effort. The precise stick length will depend on individual preference. 

The standard size for Barrel Hockey sticks is 60 inches, a common length found in various stores when browsing for hockey sticks. 



Stick flex measures how flexible or stiff a stick is when force is applied. Flex is helpful for wrist and slap shots, adding a little more snap and power to your shots while enhancing accuracy. The flex number indicates the stiffness of the stick, with higher flex numbers representing a stiffer feel. These flex numbers typically follow a standard across various stick manufacturers. Generally, older and taller players often prefer sticks with higher flex for their playing style. 

To find the suitable flex for your hockey stick, a common recommendation is to choose a flex number equivalent to half your weight in kilograms. For instance, if your weight is 160 pounds, you would start with an 80 flex (as 160 pounds is approximately 72 kilograms, and half of that is 36). Round down the flex number if you fall between sizes. 




The kick point of a hockey stick is a pivotal factor, particularly emphasized in composite sticks, influencing the style of play on the ice. It refers to the area where the stick flexes the most, and there are three main types: low-kick, mid-kick, high-kick and customized kick. 

Low-kick - For players who favor a lightning-quick release, the low-kick stick is tailored for rapid wrist shots and snap shots. It compresses and loads in the tapered area, designed to swiftly get the puck to the net. 

Best suited for players who prioritize a quick release, particularly for rapid wrist shots and snap shots. Ideal for close-range shooting situations. 

At Barrel Hockey, our Barrel Mist One Low is an excellent option for those seeking a low-kick point stick. This model is designed to enhance your playing experience, providing optimal responsiveness and power for quick shots and agility on the ice. 

Mid-kick - The mid-kick stick is crafted for power players who relish unleashing hard slap shots and fully-loaded wrist shots. With compression and bending mostly in the middle of the shaft, it delivers maximum power for players shooting from greater distances. 

Best suited for power players who enjoy unleashing hard slap shots and fully-loaded wrist shots. Suited for players who often shoot from greater distances. 


High-kick - A high-kick point stick is tailored for players who emphasize powerful slap shots and long-distance shooting. This type of stick achieves its flex and bend higher up on the shaft, allowing players to load up for potent shots from various points on the ice. The high-kick stick is particularly advantageous for those who rely on the wind-up for powerful shots and seek the ability to release the puck with force, making it an ideal choice for shooters aiming from a distance. 

Best suited for players who emphasize powerful slap shots and long-distance shooting. Ideal for those who rely on the wind-up for potent shots and seek the ability to release the puck with force, especially from a distance. 


Hybrid kick - Hybrid kick hockey sticks combine characteristics from both low and mid-kick sticks, offering players a versatile option for different playing styles. These sticks provide a balance between quick release for snapshots and the power for slap shots, giving players the flexibility to adapt to various in-game situations. 


Best suited for those who value a balance between a quick release for snapshots and the power needed for slap shots. Whether you're a player who engages in quick maneuvers or relies on powerful shots, a hybrid kick stick offers a well-rounded solution for a variety of on-ice situations. 


At Barrel Hockey, our Barrel Myst One Pro stick with a hybrid kick point is a superb choice for players looking for versatility in their performance. The hybrid kick point design ensures a well-balanced stick, catering to both quick release shots and powerful slap shots.  


Choosing the right kick point depends on individual playing style and preferences, aligning with the specific needs of each player on the ice. 



The blade of a hockey stick plays a pivotal role in puck control, making subtle differences in shape, angle, and size impactful on shooting and handling performance. 

Currently, the most prevalent blade curves include the toe curve, mid-heel curve, and mid curve. 

Your preferred style of play may guide the choice of the right blade curve for you, but more often than not, it boils down to personal preference. The nuances in these blade designs cater to individual playing styles, allowing players to fine-tune their stick to match their unique preferences and optimize their performance on the ice. 

The P28, P92, and P88 blade patterns have achieved widespread popularity among hockey players, with a significant majority opting for these choices. These patterns are well-received across various playing levels and are recognized for their versatility, balance, and appeal to different playing styles.  


Toe curve - The toe curve on a hockey stick, characterized by a more pronounced curve at the blade's toe, facilitates precise puck control and is favored by players who rely on quick, accurate shots and intricate stickhandling maneuvers. 

Mid-heel curve - The mid-heel curve on a hockey stick, featuring a curvature that starts around the middle of the blade, strikes a balance between puck control and power. This curve is often preferred by players who seek versatility in their gameplay, allowing for effective shooting and handling in various on-ice situations. 

Mid curve - The mid curve on a hockey stick, with its curvature distributed evenly along the blade, provides an all-around solution for players looking for a versatile balance between puck control and power. 



Hockey stick weight and price are significant considerations for players seeking the ideal equipment. The weight of a stick profoundly influences a player's agility, maneuverability, and overall performance on the ice.  

Lighter sticks are often favored for quick, precise movements, while heavier sticks may provide additional power for shots. Balancing weight with personal playing style is crucial. 

Simultaneously, the price of a hockey stick varies across a spectrum, with factors like material, technology, and brand reputation influencing the cost.  

High-end sticks with advanced features can come with a premium price tag, offering top-tier performance. However, budget-friendly options are also available, providing a balance between quality and affordability. 

Ultimately, players must find the right equilibrium between stick weight and cost to enhance their gameplay without compromising on budget constraints. 

Hockey sticks are available at varying levels to cater to different player preferences and skill sets.  

Entry-level sticks, priced at around 100 EUR, come with a weight of approximately 550g, providing a solid option for beginners.  

Moving up to mid-level sticks, which are priced at 250 EUR, players can choose from a weight range of 415g to 435g, offering a balance of performance and affordability.  

For those seeking professional-level performance, sticks in the price range of 300-350 EUR come with a weight range of 330g to 380g, providing advanced features for experienced players. 


In the hockey stick manufacturing industry, there is a noticeable push for lighter sticks, creating a "race to the bottom." Paradoxically, this drive has resulted in rising stick prices. To cut costs and achieve reduced weight, manufacturers often compromise on materials, affecting stick durability and performance. This compromise has unintended consequences, leading to increased R&D (research and development) costs as companies strive to innovate while addressing a growing issue of stick breakage. 

We at Barrel believe that overcomplicating things is unnecessary, especially when it comes to hockey sticks – an essential item where a straightforward solution is crucial, especially for amateurs. That's why we stick to proven values, ensuring both durability and reasonable pricing, providing a reliable option for players who value simplicity and performance. 





Selecting between a hockey stick with a grip handle or a clear (non-grip) shaft is a decision that significantly influences a player's on-ice experience. 


Grip handles offer enhanced control, especially in the face of factors like sweat, water, and icy conditions that can reduce grip from gloves and tape. Additionally, a grip indicates proper hand placement for a player, crucial for maintaining control and executing precise maneuvers.  


On the other hand, clear (non-grip) shafts facilitate effortless hand movement during stickhandling, providing a smooth feel. 


However, the trade-off is the potential for a less secure grip during shots, which might impact the power generated. This choice ultimately rests on the player's preferences and considerations regarding control, comfort, and performance in different game situations. 



To conclude, the hockey stick guide offers crucial insights for players, taking into account elements like playing style, personal preferences, and the extensive array of choices. At Barrel Hockey, we firmly stand by proven values, guaranteeing both durability and affordability, offering a dependable choice for players who prioritize simplicity and superior performance. 


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