You have a lot of options to consider when choosing field hockey sticks. Sticks are the most important part of your field hockey equipment.One of the most important features of the stick is the material that it is made from. Traditionally, all sticks were made of wood but there are now many more options. Each material has its own benefits. It is now becoming more difficult to find a stick that is all wood, because most will have a layer of fiberglass on the outside to reduce vibration and increase durability.
If you are buying a first stick for yourself or someone else, it is best to begin with a wooden stick. Wood has the major benefit of being less expensive, although some fiberglass sticks are now around the same price. However, many youth leagues do not allow non-wooden sticks, so check with a coach or a league representative to be certain of the league regulations.
Wood sticks have a comfortable, light and balanced feel. They help young and developing players to improve their skills and grow into the game through easier handling and better control. Being a natural material also helps to give a softer feel to ball handling. Unfortunately, no two pieces of wood are alike. This can result in inconsistent results from wooden sticks. For example, if you really like your current wooden stick and buy the same one again, its performance could be completely different. Also, wood will break down over time and a wooden stick can’t have the same predictable sweet spot that a composite stick provides.
The Benefits of Composite Field Hockey Sticks
While some players may always prefer wooden sticks, composite sticks are much more commonly used now. If you want to keep up with the competition, you will probably want to have a composite stick. Metal sticks are now banned from the sport, but there are more than enough materials available to make up for this.
The least expensive and most common composite sticks are made from fiberglass. Inexpensive and easy to produce, fiberglass makes a great material for producing all sorts of field hockey equipment. Fiberglass sticks are light, easy to control, and will increase your ability to strike the ball with force. Many fiberglass sticks will have an insert made of Kevlar or Aramid, a chemically produced material so strong that it is commonly used in bulletproof vests.
At the top levels, players commonly use sticks made from a combination of carbon fiber and Kevlar or Aramid. Carbon fiber has the advantage of being very stiff, so the greater the amount of carbon in a stick, the more force it will transfer to the ball. The hardest hits come from carbon fiber sticks. But these sticks are also the most expensive and shatter easily if not combined with another material to strengthen them. Due to their high price and lower durability, these sticks are usually used by elite level players.
In short, choosing an all wood or fiberglass-wrapped wooden stick is a great way for a developing player to get the most from their playing and practice time without breaking the bank. However, composite sticks are lighter and more powerful, and fiberglass sticks can be very reasonably priced. Whatever your preference, Longstreth provides you with a range of options across all price ranges so that you can customize your game with all the quality gear you need not just for field hockey, but also for Softball and lacrosse.