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Stick suggestions for beginners?

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Old
12-04-2011, 03:48 PM
  #1
ausername1
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Stick suggestions for beginners?

I just recently started playing hockey in a college club and am currently using an easton eq 10 with a hall curve. I like it okay but really have nothing to compare it to since I just started.
I'm 18, about 5-5, ~130lbs, and play leftwing.
I'm looking for a composite definitely under $100. I'm pretty puny and feel like my 85 flex might be a bit too much right now and since I'm so short was wondering if I should just get an intermediate stick with a high flex (77ish?) rather than a senior and cutting it, therefore increasing the flex. Any advice will help as I have no idea what to get between Bauer, Warrior, Easton, etc., and all the different families within each brand.

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12-04-2011, 03:59 PM
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superhakan
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Definitely try an intermediate stick. I just started using them (Im 5'8'' 150 ish) and i have a noticable difference in my shot. At that price point i would

1. Look for something higher end on sale. I find it much easier to about everything on the ice with a lighter stick.

2. If you're at the 100 dollar range, i am a big fan of the reebok Ai5. I have one in an intermediate Crosby (very similar to the Hall curve) and i really like it. That or try a Bauer X:40 in a Backstrom curve. Very decent stick for the price.

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12-04-2011, 05:11 PM
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shawn1331
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Brand new this year are Easton stealth 65s. Kind of like the incest cousin of the Easton RS. Just picked one up and it is prime. It was made with shooting in mind so it's being marketed as "the snipers stick". Comes in 65 flex, 85 flex, and 100 flex. I picked up the 85 flex with hall curve and I love it so much.

They come to $109.56 Canadian and are easily the BEST stick you can get for that price. All the people I've talked to that own them tell me they are the best feeling 100 dollar stick out there and I agree. The only thing is they are a bit hard to find. Had to go to 3 stores because they only had the 65 flex stick. For you the 65 should be good. I'm about your size but I've been playing for years and I prefer a stiffer stick anyways.

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12-04-2011, 05:37 PM
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AIREAYE
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Incest cousin... wow, you're creative aren't you?

Agree with superhakan, different stores will have different older sticks on sale. The X:40 is a great choice, I've used one myself. Heard good things about the Ai5 and was impressed by the feel of the 65S as well. The Reebok 6K and 7K, along with the Easton SE6s and S13s should all be on sale as well, in addition to the X:40.

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12-04-2011, 05:54 PM
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Incest cousin... wow, you're creative aren't you?

.
I try lol

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12-04-2011, 10:18 PM
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ausername1
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Thanks for the input!
I found an x:40 on sale for $75 dollars and an S13 on sale for $68... which one do you think is the better deal? Personally I'm leaning toward the S13 just bc it's cheaper and the version I'm looking at comes in my school colors also, at my level of play should I even spend $75 on a stick? (I know I set my limit at $100 but know that I think about seriously spending that much I wonder if it will just be a waste on me)

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12-05-2011, 12:58 AM
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superhakan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ausername1 View Post
Thanks for the input!
I found an x:40 on sale for $75 dollars and an S13 on sale for $68... which one do you think is the better deal? Personally I'm leaning toward the S13 just bc it's cheaper and the version I'm looking at comes in my school colors also, at my level of play should I even spend $75 on a stick? (I know I set my limit at $100 but know that I think about seriously spending that much I wonder if it will just be a waste on me)
Consider the S13 as it is a higher end stick. I've used cheap sticks and high end sticks and there is a big difference. They are just nicer for stick handling, plus they can help improve your shot as well.

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12-05-2011, 02:14 AM
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izzy3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ausername1 View Post
Thanks for the input!
I found an x:40 on sale for $75 dollars and an S13 on sale for $68... which one do you think is the better deal? Personally I'm leaning toward the S13 just bc it's cheaper and the version I'm looking at comes in my school colors also, at my level of play should I even spend $75 on a stick? (I know I set my limit at $100 but know that I think about seriously spending that much I wonder if it will just be a waste on me)
What are their flexes? I don't think you can go wrong with either, but Eastons have been known for not holding up too long, especially the blades. But I also seen Bauer sticks break in the second game, so...

From my experience (I started with wood) even beginners can improve faster with a better (lighter, better built) stick. Especially they'll help with stickhandling, as they are faster to move and have more feel than the cheaper composites.

That said, once you decide on one go as long as 1-2 years (or more) with it without changing (this will help you concentrate on your skills, instead worrying about the new stick's different pattern/feel/kickpoint/etc).

So I'd say such a mid-level stick is a good choice as you should buy for the next ~3 years. Hell, I've seen guys sporting S19s and they couldn't skate.

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12-05-2011, 10:41 AM
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Wilch
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Slightly off-topic question, where do you guys buy your sticks? At your LHS or online?

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12-05-2011, 11:21 AM
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hyster110
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Originally Posted by Wilch View Post
Slightly off-topic question, where do you guys buy your sticks? At your LHS or online?
i used a Bauer one95, 102 flex, cut about a half inch, with a PM9 curve, and an Easton S17, 100 flex. cut the same and with a zetterburg curve

as my back ups i have a bunch of P92 sticks

a totalone 102 flex
a One 95 102 flex
a Vapor XXXX 102 flex
and a couple vapor XXXX 87 flex

i picked up the XXXX at a hockey store and the others i got through friends, i never tend to order online just because of how finicky i have hear some online retailers are

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Old
12-05-2011, 11:28 AM
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ChiTownHawks
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The x40 and se13 are both good choices. I've used them both and had good results. I just picked up an x60 on sale and it feels awesome. I did not think it would make that big of difference for me, but the fact that it is so lightweight feels great. My shot is not too much different (although I am still getting used to the Backstrom curve), but stickhandeling has been night and day. The loss of weight has improved my stickhanling overnight.

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12-05-2011, 11:29 AM
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They are both 65 flex but I'll be cutting it down a bit so maybe it'll end up around 70. I think I've decided on the S13 but am a little concerned bc I heard they break easily, esp. since mine is a lower flex...but, like I said, I just started so I'm pretty weak when it comes to shots so maybe breaking it won't be a problem for me yet- let me know what you think.


I bought my first hockey stick from my lhs but I live in the south so it doesn't have a very good selection. I'll probably be ordering most of my future sticks from icewarehouse or where ever is cheaper at the time- I'm not too picky about my stick and am still experimenting so not being able to try it out isn't a very big deal to me (granted that it has a reasonable curve/flex for me).

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12-05-2011, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ausername1 View Post
They are both 65 flex but I'll be cutting it down a bit so maybe it'll end up around 70. I think I've decided on the S13 but am a little concerned bc I heard they break easily, esp. since mine is a lower flex...but, like I said, I just started so I'm pretty weak when it comes to shots so maybe breaking it won't be a problem for me yet- let me know what you think.
I strongly suggest that you don't listen the Internet anecdotes about this brand or that brand breaking easily. I've used Easton sticks from bottom to top of the line, and have never found any of them to break easily or weaken, nor have I seen any pattern of this on any of my teams. And I have a decent shot and take a lot of slap shots. No way is a beginner going to have any problems with durability with an Easton stick. I would not let this affect your decision one way or the other.

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12-05-2011, 11:53 AM
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ChiTownHawks
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My rule of thumb when purchasing equipment from an LHS/online retailer is this; if I can find it at the LHS for a simliar price then I am going there. If there is a great deal online then I am not going to pass it up just to support my LHS.

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12-05-2011, 01:22 PM
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Devil Dancer
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To the OP: At your size, you definitely need an intermediate flex. I'm two inches taller than you, I use a 67 flex Bauer, and the flex is perfect for me.

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12-05-2011, 01:23 PM
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If you are a beginner in terms of shooting technique I would look at an intermediate in the 67 flex range, something like an X40 or X4.0, Ai5. I'd try the less open PM9 curve or you can stay with the Hall/Backstrom curve. Just don't use an open blade on the Hall as a crutch to get the puck up. With proper technique you'll have no problem shooting top shelf with any curve. Get a shooting board to shoot at home too for off-ice practice.

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12-05-2011, 01:35 PM
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Razzmatazz
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A cheap wooden stick.

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12-05-2011, 02:16 PM
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ponder
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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 02:23 PM.
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12-05-2011, 02:44 PM
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At your build I would look at a 55-60 flex stick. Easton, Warrior, and Bauer offer sticks with lower flex. You'll be cutting off 6-8" from the stick making them very stiff.

PM9 (Zetterberg), P92 (Hall), and P88 (Iginla/Heatley) are all pretty decent curves for anyone to use. P91 (Parise) and P02 (Getzlaf) are trickier.

If you want way more info that you'll ever need, check out my series at wildabouthockey.blogspot.com.

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12-06-2011, 01:44 AM
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izzy3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ausername1 View Post
since mine is a lower flex...but, like I said, I just started so I'm pretty weak when it comes to shots so maybe breaking it won't be a problem for me yet- let me know what you think.
I can assure you that you will not break the 65 flex stick when shooting, at least not in the next two years . On advice from our trainer I even used a junior flex (50) stick with a plug (I am 5'8", ~155lbs) to learn to rely on the flex of the stick when shooting. That thing was like a wet noodle, but apart from shooting the hell out of it I used it in many pickup games too and it never broke. Now I use my second 65 flex stick (the first got chewed up by the blade), and it holds up just fine.

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12-06-2011, 09:05 AM
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Jarick
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You won't be snapping sticks unless your technique is terrible, you give and take a lot of slashes, or you're an elite player using pro stock equipment.

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12-06-2011, 12:23 PM
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honestly... at a beginner level, or heck almost all non-competitive levels... I think feel is the most important part, then the shot type/release that you require.

For me, the best feeling sticks have the best technology in the blade for compositse and those are from Bauer & Easton...

that being said, a wood blade in a 2 piece isn't a bad option as again, you won't be snapping either if you're just wristing and learning to pass and play

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12-06-2011, 01:53 PM
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You won't be snapping sticks unless your technique is terrible, you give and take a lot of slashes, or you're an elite player using pro stock equipment.
why does pro-stock equipment break more easily?

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12-06-2011, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by newfr4u View Post
why does pro-stock equipment break more easily?
The 'elite players' using the pro stock equipment have a lot more strength and with all that power things are bound to break. Even with proper technique, being slightly off with a booming slapshot can be traumatic for a stick.

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12-06-2011, 03:56 PM
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ponder
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Pro stock stick are also totally customized, some pros will have sticks made with less layers of carbon, no kevlar wrap etc., which can make them lighter and better performing, but also less durable than their retail counterparts. Not all pros do this, but some do. They get their sticks for free, and many will use new sticks every game (or some even more frequently) regardless, so durability isn't as much of a concern for them. Combined with their strength, size, and ability to really get a tonne of their weight into their shots, this makes for a lot of broken sticks in the pros.

With retail sticks, if you're shooting properly, they can last a long time. The odd ones have weak points/defects, and a bad slash or other impact can create weak points, but for the most part I'd say that retail sticks are really durable. There are fairly big/strong guys on my team who played CIS hockey, Junior A and Junior B, guys who really put a tonne of force into their shots, and I've seen them using the same sticks for like 6-12+ months. I've had the odd sticks that I break in a month or less, probably due to manufacturing defects or slashes/impacts, but most of my sticks last a year or more, and some I've never broken, even when being pretty rough with them.


Last edited by ponder: 12-06-2011 at 04:02 PM.
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