Hockey Sticks Guide: Weight
Traditionally hockey stick manufacturers have labelled their products with weight guides, these being Light (L), Medium (M) and Heavy (H), each representing a range of 30 - 40g. Only very recently was it that the FIH specified a maximum weight for a hockey stick of 737 grams, although the common preference is significantly lower than this.
Ongoing development of composite hockey sticks which are capable of maintaining their strength and stiffness in sticks of lower weights has resulted in many manufacturers introducing a new weight band of XL (Extra Light). Although the exact weight ranges used by manufacturer do vary somewhat, the graph below gives you a useful indication of what each of the labelled weights actually represents.
Currently due to the demands of the modern game very few manufacturers offer sticks in the heavy weight range. Manufacturers offer Extra Light sticks in either high specification sticks due to costs involved in creating a stick that maintains its strength at this weight or a low specification where stiffness and power are not a primary concern.
Choosing the Correct Weight
There are three key factors when considering the appropriate weight stick, strength, position and style, but essentially the final decision comes down to the individual's comfort and feel. The first question that you should always ask yourself when picking up a hockey stick and swinging it for the first time is:
Can I control the head throughout the swing?
- Strength: The stronger you are the easier you will
find it to control a heavier stick. If your stick is too heavy
it might have a detrimental affect on your game. This is
probably why more and more players are choosing Light and XL
- Playing position: Individual positions on the pitch
require slightly different skills and this may well influence
your choice of stick weight. Defenders often need to make longer
more powerful passes or clearances as well as stronger tackles
therefore may consider a heavier stick to create more power in
their strikes and prevent their stick being brushed aside in a
tackle. Forwards often favour a lighter stick to allow closer
ball control and manoeuvring in the D. Midfielders vary often
depending on their specific role or playing style.
- Style: Each individual develops a style to suit their own skills. For example a defender who relies heavily on close control and jab tackling may consider a lighter stick and a forward who relies heavily on a powerful shot may well choose a heavier stick.
If in doubt we would always recommend that if you choose the lighter option!
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