The best field hockey stick
For top athletes, their equipment is an extension of their body. This is true of field hockey players, where the quality of the stick should match -- and even enhance -- their acquired skill set.
Field hockey sticks are arguably the most important piece of equipment in the game; the J-shaped stick should be flexible, lightweight, and still strong. Finding the proper stick is especially important for younger players.
To learn more about how to pick the right field hockey stick for you, keep reading our guide, which includes short reviews of our favorites at the end. Our top pick, Grays' Flare Field Hockey Stick, is best suited for beginner and intermediate players who want plenty of power but are still honing their skills.
Considerations when choosing field hockey sticks
Field hockey sticks are designed by skill level. These are the general guidelines for who should use each stick:
Beginner: These choices are for the youngest of players (ages 10 and under) or those who are picking up a stick for the first time.
Intermediate: Designed for players around the ages of 10 to 13 as well as those who have a year or so of experience under their belt, these sticks work to develop both power and control.
Advanced: Moving up, advanced field hockey sticks are best for those ages 13 to 15 and youngsters who've been playing for a couple years. These sticks further develop important skills.
Elite: The top tier of field hockey sticks is best for those ages 15 and up, and anyone who's been playing for more than three years.
Field hockey sticks may be crafted from a variety of materials that influence control, weight, and durability. Wood field hockey sticks are traditional choices and best for beginners and are typically made of mulberry or hickory. They tend to be lightweight and offer control as well as a low price.
Carbon offers more rigidity and power and tends to be better utilized by more advanced or elite players. However, the field hockey stick may just have a portion made of carbon or be made entirely of carbon. If carbon is only around 20% of the composition, it may serve as a worthy stepping stone for advancement.
Similarly, fiberglass field hockey sticks may be made entirely of fiberglass or simply reinforced with it. The latter option is best for beginners, as fiberglass offers durability and power with less heft and stiffness.
Keep an eye out for aramid as an inclusion in the composition: it helps to absorb vibrations in field hockey sticks.
The length of your field hockey stick corresponds to your height. Generally, the stick should reach from the ground up to around the hip bone. However, you may want a slightly longer stick if you're defending as it will offer more power. Sticks may range anywhere from 28 inches to 38 inches in length.
The bottom curved portion of the stick is called the toe and comes in four designs of increasing size: shorti, midi, maxi, and hook. Offensive players want a smaller toe like a shorti, while defenders typically opt for something larger like a maxi or hook.
Most field hockey sticks come in a variety of color schemes and designs, allowing you to show off your personality and style.
Most beginner sticks run anywhere from $25 to $50, while intermediate and some advanced options made of carbon of fiberglass run over $100.
Q. How do I best maintain my field hockey stick?
A. After use, wipe off any moisture, dirt, and debris from your stick before storage. Avoid using the stick on concrete or rocky terrain that can damage it.
Q. Are there right-handed and left-handed field hockey sticks?
A. Field hockey does not cater to left-handed users; they have to use right-handed sticks. The bottom of the stick has a flat side and a round side, and the ball must be hit with the flat side.
Field hockey sticks we recommend
Best of the best: Grays' Flare Field Hockey Stick
Our take: A beginner- and intermediate-level field hockey stick designed with extra stiffness for greater power.
What we like: Larger receiving area is perfect for those who are still developing their skills. Made with fiberglass and aramid for extra durability. Players will like the way it feels in their hands. Looks great, too.
What we dislike: Best for those who are still learning; won't work for advanced players.
Best bang for your buck: Dragonfly's Gecko Field Hockey Stick
Our take: Attractive beginner field hockey stick that comes at a low price.
What we like: Offered in smaller sizes and two bright colors for youngsters. Wood core provides control. Lightweight construction. Solid value.
What we dislike: Durability is a concern.
Our take: Light, thin, wooden field hockey stick designed for beginners.
What we like: Designed to offer control and easy handling with a bit of power. Limits vibrations when struck. Available in multiple colors.
What we dislike: Likely won't stand up across multiple seasons.
Anthony Marcusa is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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