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What’s the right choice when buying a hockey stick? It can be overwhelming when you look at our stick selection: Hundreds of choices and prices all over the place. So what’s the difference between an expensive stick and a cheaper stick? For comparison purposes, we’ll break down sticks into three categories:
Low-end hockey sticks are usually constructed in two-pieces (a separate blade and shaft are manufactured and fused together). These sticks are manufactured using fiberglass and lower grades of graphite and carbon fiber, which makes them heavier and less balanced than more expensive options. Besides weight, these sticks will not perform as well as higher-end options, as they do not utilize the same materials and technology.
One of the most common questions we get are if these types of sticks are more durable than more expensive options. It’s a tough question to answer because these sticks are generally used less frequently and in less competitive leagues where players are not as tough on their sticks. It’s impossible to recommend a stick based on durability, as one player may have great luck with a stick, while another broke the same model quickly.
Considered by many to be the sweet spot of performance and price, the mid-priced hockey stick tends to contain some of the features of a high-end stick, often for significantly less money. For most brands, this stick is still going to be a fused two-piece construction, but will use better materials and some of the technology of the top price point. A stick in this range will be significantly lighter and more balanced than a stick in the low-end category.
Players who are shopping for a great value should consider sticks in this category. We often see players who are looking for a deal buy a stick from the clearance rack that is the wrong flex, curve, or kickpoint, who would be much better off buying a similarly priced stick in this range.
In this category, you’re paying for pure performance: these sticks are the pinnacle of materials and technology available to manufacturers. Sticks in this range are almost always true one-piece construction (the blade and shaft are manufactured together) with the best materials available. These tend to be the lightest, most well-balanced sticks available, and offer the absolute best performance.
In the same manner that you don’t need to be a great driver to appreciate a nicer car, amateur hockey players of all skill levels can appreciate the benefits of a better hockey stick. The differences in weight, balance, feel, and power are tangible to everyone who uses them. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to buy the best of the best, but if you’ve always used less expensive options, consider asking a teammate to borrow a nicer stick for a shift. You’ll probably see the value of spending a little more next time you’re looking for a new twig.