Hockey Stick Blade Guide & Comparison

What's the difference between a heel curve, mid curve, and toe curve?

HEELBauer P91A, Easton E6, CCM P15, True HRC, Warrior W05
Bauer P02, Easton E5,True HCS, Warrior W12
HEEL-MIDBauer PM9, Easton E4, CCM P14, Warrior W01
CCM P38, Warrior W16
MIDBauer P88, Easton E36, CCM P40, True MC, Warrior W88
MID-TOEBauer P92, Easton E3, CCM P29, True TC2, Warrior W28
TOEBauer P28, Easton E28, True TC4, Warrior W28
Bauer P14, CCM P46,Warrior W14

Curve Location or Curve Type’s biggest impact is on shooting the puck. Think of it this way…

The puck will pretty much always find its way to the most curve section of the blade, so when you start to take a shot, that’s where the puck is.

The puck then needs to make it to the very end of the blade.

The closer to the heel that ‘starting’ point is, the longer it will take to get to the end. Resulting in…

  1. A longer release
  2. More time to build up power & velocity

Heel Curve: Majority of the blade curve is in the first 1/3 from the shaft

  • Perfect for high-velocity shots
  • Often popular among defensemen
Mid Curve: Majority of the curve is in the middle of the blade
  •  Great all-around performance on various types of shots
Toe Curve: Mojority of the curve is in the end 1/3 of the blade
  • Great for quick-release shots
  • Can help with puck handling and control
  • Often popular with forward who like to shoot in stride

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Comparing open curve face and closed face

Think of an open face like a golf club. As you take a shot and the puck rolls off the blade, will begin to rise off the ice quicker and help in shooting top shelf. 

The open face allows you to get the puck higher, quicker. This is beneficial to players that take a lot of shots from in tight and want to go upstairs. Also great for players that make their living in front of the net, banging home rebounds; they need to get the puck over the goalie and traffic but without a lot of space to do it. Open curves don’t require as much of a follow through when shooting high, allowing players to get it off without much space. 

Some open-faced patterns also help to disguise the shooter’s target to the goalie. This stick looks similar no matter where the shot is going. The shooter doesn’t need to open the blade as much when shooting high, something good goalies are trained to look for. 

An open curve also makes it easier to get saucer passes in the air. It can also help players receive passes on their backhands, great for players who often play their ‘off-wing’. 

A closed face allows for more accurate shooting in general as the puck stays more square to the blade through the shooting motion. Closed curves require a bit fuller of a follow through and more of a giveaway to the goalie to get the puck high, but usually is ultimately more accurate. 

Closed curves are also better for puck control.  

Does a round toe or square toe matter other than looks?

A round toe is certainly more popular nowadays but once upon a time the round toe reigned supreme. Aside from he looks, some say the rounded toe makes it easier to toe-drag because there will be more blade surface to contact and control the puck as opposed to trying to pull the puck in with just the corner of the blade. 

A square toe, on the other hand, makes it easier to pick the puck off of the boards, often preferred by defensemen who have to go back and dig dump in’s off the wall in their own end. This is easy Square toe also creates a bigger surface to knock down and block shots or passes.  

A medium blade vs. long blade

  • Are there standard blade sizes (ie: 8" for short blade and 9" for a long blade)?
    • There is no ‘standard’ blade length. The maximum allowed under NHL rules is 12.5 inches from heel to the end of the blade. There is no official minimum length.
    • Blade length can vary greatly depending on the…
      • Manufacturer – A ‘short’ or ‘long’ blade is a relative term and can vary between companies
      • The particular curve – The qualities the pattern is designed to have – better for shooting, for puckhandling, for passing, etc – will have an impact on the length of the blade.
  • Shorter Blades
    • Better puck control
    • Quicker release on snapshots due to the puck having less distance to travel to the release point
      • Less velocity on shots due to the puck having less time to build up velocity
  • Medium Blades
    • Great for a combination of shot power and puck control
  • Longer Blades
    • Helps to maximize shot power because the puck has more contact time against the blade to build up velocity
      • Slightly slower release on shots as the puck has longer to travel to release
    • Helps to make pass reception easier since there is more area on the blade to catch passes 
  • Youth, Junior, Intermediate & Senior Blades
    • Blades are different sizes based on the flex rating or size class of the stick. Even with the same pattern a Junior stick will have a smaller blade than the Senior version.
    • Some brands have the same exact curve, just scaled down in size while some also make small tweaks to the pattern in order to make them better suited for the needs of younger players

What angle lie is best for me?

The ideal lie allows for the maximum amount of the bottom of the blade to contact the ice when in a playing position.

Generally Hockey Stick Lie runs from about 3 – 8, with the majority of retail sticks on the market falling between 4 & 7.

The higher the number, the more upright the stick will stand when the blade is placed flat on the ground.

The best lie for you depends on a couple factors

1. Player’s Skating Style

  • More upright or more crouched down?

2. Player’s Shooting and Stickhandling Style
  • Prefer the puck close to the body or slightly farther away?

 A lower Lie will work better for players who skate in a more crouched down position or who prefer to handle the puck further from their body. 

A higher Lie is recommended for a player who skates more upright or who prefers to be able to handle the puck tight to their body.


Why is Lie so important? Is using the wrong Lie really going to impact my game?

The answer is yes, it likely will.

A quick way to check if you are using the wrong lie is to look at the bottom of your blade. Is there any area, especially the toe or the heel that is significantly more worn out than the rest of the blade? If so, it likely means that the stick is contacting the ice just in that area and not along the full blade, as it should.

Beyond the excess wear on parts of your stick, it also creates adverse conditions for catching or handling the puck. It gives you less blade on the ice to catch passes, or handle the puck. You’re forced to compensate for that, taking you out of your ideal of comfortable position. 

High Stick Lie

Low Stick Lie