You have a lot of options to consider when choosing field hockey sticks. Sticks are the most important part of your field hockey equipment.One of the most important features of the stick is the material that it is made from. Traditionally, all sticks were made of wood but there are now many more options. Each material has its own benefits. It is now becoming more difficult to find a stick that is all wood, because most will have a layer of fiberglass on the outside to reduce vibration and increase durability.
If you are buying a first stick for yourself or someone else, it is best to begin with a wooden stick. Wood has the major benefit of being less expensive, although some fiberglass sticks are now around the same price. However, many youth leagues do not allow non-wooden sticks, so check with a coach or a league representative to be certain of the league regulations.
Wood sticks have a comfortable, light and balanced feel. They help young and developing players to improve their skills and grow into the game through easier handling and better control. Being a natural material also helps to give a softer feel to ball handling. Unfortunately, no two pieces of wood are alike. This can result in inconsistent results from wooden sticks. For example, if you really like your current wooden stick and buy the same one again, its performance could be completely different. Also, wood will break down over time and a wooden stick can’t have the same predictable sweet spot that a composite stick provides.
The Benefits of Composite Field Hockey Sticks
While some players may always prefer wooden sticks, composite sticks are much more commonly used now. If you want to keep up with the competition, you will probably want to have a composite stick. Metal sticks are now banned from the sport, but there are more than enough materials available to make up for this.
The least expensive and most common composite sticks are made from fiberglass. Inexpensive and easy to produce, fiberglass makes a great material for producing all sorts of field hockey equipment. Fiberglass sticks are light, easy to control, and will increase your ability to strike the ball with force. Many fiberglass sticks will have an insert made of Kevlar or Aramid, a chemically produced material so strong that it is commonly used in bulletproof vests.
At the top levels, players commonly use sticks made from a combination of carbon fiber and Kevlar or Aramid. Carbon fiber has the advantage of being very stiff, so the greater the amount of carbon in a stick, the more force it will transfer to the ball. The hardest hits come from carbon fiber sticks. But these sticks are also the most expensive and shatter easily if not combined with another material to strengthen them. Due to their high price and lower durability, these sticks are usually used by elite level players.
In short, choosing an all wood or fiberglass-wrapped wooden stick is a great way for a developing player to get the most from their playing and practice time without breaking the bank. However, composite sticks are lighter and more powerful, and fiberglass sticks can be very reasonably priced. Whatever your preference, Longstreth provides you with a range of options across all price ranges so that you can customize your game with all the quality gear you need not just for field hockey, but also for Softball and lacrosse.
Lacrosse is a great sport for young women to play. It is a great way to build teamwork, confidence, and other skills that will be valuable for life. It is also great fun, and unlike boy's lacrosse, girl's lacrosse is not a contact sport. This makes start-up costs for you or your young athlete much lower when compared to a boy getting into the sport. But you will still need to make some decisions about lacrosse sticks when deciding to buy that first stick.
Lacrosse sticks for females are somewhat different from boy's sticks, so using a hand-me-down from an older brother or a friend is a mistake. Using a boy's stick will put a beginning player at a disadvantage and can be very frustrating. Make sure that your athlete gets a fair start by purchasing the right stick for her. In general, sticks for female players have thinner shafts and pockets that are more shallow, making them lighter and better for ball control.
The Parts of a Lacrosse Stick
There are two main parts to the stick. These are the shaft and the head. The shaft is fairly basic, but the materials it is made from can vary. In most cases, beginner stick shafts are made from aluminum, which is light and inexpensive. The lacrosse head is much more complex, with many variables for you to decide upon as experience in the sport develops. However, there are some good tips for starting out.
The head of the stick can vary in width. Usually defenders and midfielders will use wider heads for better catching ability, while offensive players use more narrow heads to increase their accuracy and the speed of their shots and passes. For beginners, it is better to go with a wider head so that they can develop their catching ability. While this does decrease their control and accuracy, it gives a better starting point.
The scoop of the head should be flatter for beginners, who can later move on to a curved scoop as their skills advance and they begin to specialize their position. In general, what's good for lacrosse defenders is also good for beginners. A flat scoop helps to build catching skills, while moving on to a curved design later on will improve accuracy and speed.
Two other characteristics to consider are the sidewall design and stiffness. Here again, the default preferences for defenders also have a lot of advantages for beginners. A stiffer head allows for easier catching and ground scooping. Players lose some speed off their shots with a stiffer head, but this is not as important as developing those important catching and scooping skills. The sidewall design should also be lower for beginners and defenders, building that focus on the core skills of lacrosse ball control.
You might also wonder which brand is the best for beginners. Really, the brand does not matter so much for beginning players. Most of the beginner sticks are very similar in design. However, STX, Brine and Easton sticks generally stick to a more friendly design for beginners because of their scoop shape. What's most important is to get the right stick for your level of play, and for your sport. Longstreth provides lacrosse equipment specifically designed for female players so that you can get the most from your game right from the start.
Field hockey sticks come in a variety of lengths, shapes, and materials. Familiarize yourself with the different options you have in stick choice, and your game will benefit from it. If you're just starting out in the game, there are some key characteristics of field hockey sticks that you should pay attention to. And if you're looking for a left-handed stick, you can stop now. Field hockey sticks are only right-handed.
A good place to start is with trying out a few sticks from a teammate or coach. Find out what they like and dislike, and get a feel for what type of stick is comfortable for you. There are a number of options to choose from.
Parts of the Stick
There are three key components of the stick: The handle, bow, and head. The handle, also called the grip or shaft, is the part that is held. It is covered with a grip or tape that helps you to keep control of it while using the stick. The bow refers to the curve of the stick. By regulations, this bend cannot be more than 25 millimeters. Finally, the head can be divided into three parts. These are the heel, toe, and scoop. The heel is the bottom part of the stick, which connects to the toe, or the striking surface of the stick. The scoop is opposite the heel, and has a small groove that is used to help handle the ball.
The toe of the stick has four different options for you to choose: Hook, Maxi, Midi, or Shorti. The majority of players will choose the midi style because it has the greatest versatility. It's also best for beginning players because of this. In general, defensive players choose a hook or maxi-style toe, while those on offense go for a shorti.
As mentioned before, the maximum bow of a stick is 25 mm, but this bend can be at different places in the stick. The regular bow is an even, centered curvature that is best for beginning and intermediate players, because its balance allows for better overall play. For advanced players, the control bow moves the bend in the stick closer to the toe. This increases power and allows for greater control, but requires more skill. At the elite levels of the sport, late and extreme late bows allow for even greater power and control. These field hockey sticks take even more skill to control.
Most beginner sticks are made of wood. These sticks help beginner and intermediate players to develop their skills with a more flexible, lightweight and comfortable feel. Composite sticks cover a whole range of skill levels and materials. In fact, many wooden sticks are even composite, give that they are covered in fiberglass to improve durability.
Fiberglass sticks help to keep that light, balanced feel of the wooden stick while offering many of the advantages of an elite stick, with a lower price tag. At the highest end of the materials range, carbon fiber sticks offer greater power and control, but are harder to control. They tend to be used by elite players.
Sticks can be up to 40 inches long, but most sticks used are going to be in a range between 32"-38". The following sizing chart gives a good starting guide to finding the right stick: