Selecting a new field hockey stick is a decision driven by personal preferences. It’s much more than graphics and position, it really comes down to your personal playing style. Think about what skills you perform on a regular basis- do you need more power? High carbon content contributes to high power in hits, but can also make receiving more challenging. If control is more your focus, you will want something with a little less carbon. Players need to find the right balance of power and feel to best suit their game. If you are typically a fall-season field hockey player, we usually suggest an advanced stick which range from about 30-60% carbon. If you also play club field hockey year round, you may want to consider an elite stick which are usually around 70-100% carbon.
Similarly, you will also need to find the best shape that suits your playing style. All sticks have a bow to them, and the location of the highest point of that bow along the stick can have different advantages and disadvantages in the game. When first learning the game, most players will start with a regular bow, which has the highest point placed in the midsection or center of the shaft equally assisting every skill in the game. The most common shape in the modern game of field hockey is the late bow, which has the highest point closer to the toe of the stick. This shape offers extra assistance with lifting the ball, aerials, and dynamic ball movement, without sacrificing your hitting technique. An extreme late bow has the highest point as close to the toe as possible, maximizing 3D skills and dynamic ball control. This extreme shape may take some time getting used to when driving.
Ready to pick out your next stick? Look at your current stick first. We usually suggest going up in carbon content about 30-50%. This will give you a nice increase in power without losing too much control all at once. So for example, if you are looking for a step up from your middle school stick and it was 10% carbon, you’d want to look for a stick that was around 40-60% carbon. If you are ready to move up from your first high school stick and it was 30% carbon, you will want to look at something that is 60-80% carbon. Once you decide what carbon range you are looking for, you can start looking at shape. If you are an all-around player who likes to do a lot of hits/slaps, you will probably want a late bow shape. If you are the type of player that likes to do a lot of aerials, 3D skills, and dynamic ball movement, you may want to get an extreme late bow shape.
Still have some questions? We know all of the details can be pretty confusing. You can always reach out to one of our Longstreth Experts for help with selecting the perfect stick for you! We’re always here and happy to help- this is what we do!