We were on a photo shoot, staged for a big magazine article when the boys posed for this photo. It seems like yesterday and yet they are not much bigger now. If you look at the photo, and you know hockey, you might be able to tell what is wrong with the photo. As you know my lavish life has me quite involved in my boys’ sport… ICE HOCKEY. This article is from is so relevant and my kids have been playing hockey for over 7 years. My youngest has been traveling for 1/2 that time and my oldest has been in and out of both ice and inline. One thing is certain is our stick burn through rate is large and you need to get ready to purchase your sticks and understand that you don’t have to overspend on sticks at these young ages, they are just sticks, the kids are just learning and it is just a game for fun. Save your money for the big days when the sticks break, the competition is wicked and when a curve can make all the difference. Let’s look at practical purchases of sticks and the why to? Remember, I am just speaking on what I know, and I am hardly a professional, I am just a mom that has been very involved in hockey, and I have learned through other parents. Hockey registration is up and coming and many of you will be signing up but do you know what you are going to buy? Let me offer a little insight. Let’s talk hockey sticks and the lavishness of buying the right equipment.
Ice Hockey Sticks For Beginners
When kids are young, Under 13 who really cares what brand you buy or is that true? At the beginning of hockey with our sons, I was simply happy to grab the ‘el cheapo’ sticks from the National Sporting Good Chains. The fact of the matter was that none of their employees were versed in hockey so they had no idea to tell us which size to buy. I guessed, and I think a lot of other parents did as well because our stick was not the only stick at the rink from that great big sports retailer, there were about 50 more. Phewwwww no mistake here. Here though is what happened originally: We bought an Adult size stick not knowing any better and being told by the associates to JUST cut the stick. There are differences between sticks sizes and ages, here is a little bit of what we have learned ~ through trial, error and education.
BASICS ABOUT THE STICKS
While I will not ever pretend to be an expert, I can tell you a little bit about the stick. Sticks can be made of composites or of wood. (wood is becoming more OLD SCHOOL) . A stick is made up of essentially 3 pieces: A shaft, a blade and a toe. Kind of funny knowledge that you learn as the kids play and other people talk the talk. Luckily we had a really great coach and he gave us locker room stick basics because he wanted the kids on his team to at least have the right equipment.
Toe: The very end of the stick(it rests at the very opposite side the players is holding, on the ice)
Shafts: Shafts make the difference for the position you play because there is MORE or LESS flexibility availability built into sticks. Your position determines what type of Flex you want (more on this later)
Blades: Blades can be straight and/or curved. (this area is feature rich) Blades also determine which handed player chooses that particular stick; lefty or righty.
AGES FOR STICKS
Has your child started young? Is your child between the ages of 2 & 4? If your child is you need a toddler stick and they do sell them at most hockey shops! In addition, these can be ordered on line. You can also cut down a YOUTH stick the appropriate size.
If your child is between the ages of 3-8 years old your child will require a stick that is called a YOUTH stick. The Youth sticks are available everywhere from the National Sporting Good chains to the specialized Hockey shops. You can still cut these sticks and you may have to, but you do not need to pay any more than $40 to get a great stick and in most cases you can pay about $25! We always bought 2 because the kids mess around so much you are guaranteed a breaking stick. The sticks are all pretty basic and at this age I pretty much believe that a stick is a stick, at least that has been the rule throughout the leagues we have played on.
Junior Sticks (Ages 7-13)
This is the harder age to purchase sticks for, at least I believe so. We had been with sticks that on average were $25 and were good enough for the child at that age but that all changes at the Junior stick level. Decisions need to be made, such as weight of the stick and the curve on the hockey blade, the diameter of the shaft. Previously when shopping, I had picked out the stick, however at this age level my sons began picking out their sticks as they have some diversity in product and decisions such as shaft, lengths and flexibility of the sticks. My kids actually knew that they wanted certain things different on their sticks from the blade to the flexibility. This may not be true for every child but our kids are committed hockey enthusiasts so they have decided what is acceptable to them and what is not. They have learned a lot about their sticks from their coaches as well as their peers. My one son does not like a particular brand, so even when his favorite color was on the stick, he passed it right by, picky little suckers AND I am ok with that because that means they know their mind and they know what they want!
There are no right or wrong choices in the stick area at this age. There are many sticks, priced at many levels. What is important is that you understand the STICK your child has chosen and that you have someone who can explain sticks to you. Kids at these ages are really learning the game, and just getting control over their bodies, skates and the sticks, so you have the ability to change the sticks around. Information on this blog is information we have learned through trial and error only with children playing in hockey leagues. Make sure to ask your team coach and other tenured parents as they are all too willing to help. One final word, if your first stick is $60 plus, and it is their first year out, you spent way too much and get it gold plated! We have been told over and over by the enthusiasts at the stores, to just keep the price minimal until they get into the bigger leagues. Now as we have headed into the older kids hockey, the sticks are much more expensive but there are many reasons behind that. My boys actually have brands they prefer and materials they prefer on their stick, so just let the kids develop. Lavishly live ice hockey out loud and buy the right Ice Hockey Sticks For Beginners!