Stick suggestions for beginners?
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12-05-2011, 02:16 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Agreed with the other posters, you should definitely be using an intermediate at your height/weight, and even an intermediate you should be cutting down quite a bit, like probably taking off a good 5" or so. Most experienced players will use a stick cut to somewhere between their chin and their collar bone on skates (with the stick standing perfectly vertically, resting on the tip/toe of the blade). A lot of newer players tend to use much longer sticks, but it really hampers your stick handling and shooting IMO.
In terms of the flex I'd think a standard intermediate flex (which will be roughly a 65 or 67, depending on the brand) should work great for you. It's nice to have a whippy stick, especially when new to the sport, helps you learn to shoot with the flex instead of just slapping at the puck. Many people stay with whippy sticks even as they improve, I'm 6', 180 lbs, have been playing hockey at a variety of levels for close to 20 years now, and I still prefer a 75/77 flex senior. I wouldn't go any stiffer than a 65/67 flex intermediate if I were you, especially as a new player.
Curve is 100% personal preference, but clones of the Easton Hall/Sakic tend to be the most popular (equivalent curves in other brands include the Bauer P92, Reebok P87A and Warrior Kopitar/Toews/Draper), it's a versatile curve that most people seem to find easy to use, and IMO a good starting point for most players. I actually think open curves (like the Sakic/Hall and its clones) work well for all players, including beginners, because you learn to shoot with the flex of the stick and your wrists, while keeping the blade fairly closed (perpendicular to the ice). A lot of beginners will resort to opening their blade up in an attempt to raise the puck, basically turning their stick into a sand wedge, which is terrible form because you'll never get any power on your shots that way. Once you've used the stick (cut to the proper height) for a while, come back and we can tell you if the lie is right for you
In terms of a specific brand/model, Easton, Bauer and Warrior IMO all make nice price point (and high end) sticks, you won't go too wrong with a mid range stick from any of those companies, and luckily for you, intermediates run a bit cheaper than seniors. The Reebok Ai5, already mentioned above, is also supposed to be a great price point stick, though I've never used it myself.
Last edited by ponder: 12-05-2011 at
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