Field hockey is a great way to get exercise, meet new people and learn some different skills. Although typically played outdoors, it’s also sometimes played as an indoor sport.
There are essential pieces of equipment you’ll need for field hockey, including a hockey stick. The one you choose will vary on if you plan to play inside or outside.
The size, weight, material and length of your field hockey stick are all important considerations to take into account before you buy. If you’d like more detailed information on the best field hockey stick to buy, check out the full guide from Best Reviews.
Wooden hockey sticks are the most traditional material. Typically made from mulberry or hickory, they’re pretty lightweight and are mostly used by beginners. They are also typically less expensive than other materials, making them an ideal option for kids and beginners. More advanced versions of wooden hockey sticks sometimes include a fiberglass coating to strengthen the stick.
Some hockey sticks use almost exclusively carbon. However, carbon makes the stick extremely rigid. While this makes it more powerful for striking the hockey ball, it makes it less flexible and more difficult to handle. For this reason, they’re more suitable for highly skilled and advanced field hockey players. Some hockey sticks use carbon as a smaller percentage of the stick’s overall materials to add power while maintaining flexibility.
Fiberglass is used for the same reason as carbon: to add power and durability to the hockey stick. However, it’s a lot more lightweight and provides more flexibility than carbon. Some sticks are made from other materials and merely reinforced with fiberglass. Other sticks, such as those for professional-level players, are made entirely from fiberglass.
One of the other main variations you’ll see in field hockey sticks is the shape, size and curvature of the toe. This is the end of the stick that moves along the ground and is used to control the ball. Different toe types are suitable for different positions and priorities on the hockey pitch.
For example, shorti hockey toes are typically used by forward-moving offense players because they provide more agility in moving the ball around quickly. Midi toe hockey sticks have an extra half-inch in length and are preferable for beginners and midfielders.
The maxi toe hockey stick is larger and often used by defense players so they have more space on the stick to receive the ball. The hook toe stick has a deeper scoop along the side of the stick, providing a lot more control on the ball.
The bow of your hockey stick is the section that runs from the handle down towards the toe. Hockey sticks come in different bow types with varying levels of curvature to allow more power and control over the ball.
Regular hockey stick bows are a good option for beginners. They will provide the most amount of curve at the middle of the stick. This allows plenty of power but also enables the player to maintain tight control of the ball.
The control bow type curves the most down towards the toe of the stick. If you’re flicking or pushing the ball, it provides far more power in your strike. Control bows are usually reserved for advanced hockey players.
Finally, the late bow type provides a higher level of curvature and places it right at the end of the stick just before the head. Generally, only elite players can get the most out of this type of stick.
The length of your stick is one of the most important aspects to get right. A field hockey stick that is too short or too long for your height makes it far more difficult to control and strike the ball effectively.
Elite or professional hockey players sometimes opt for a slightly shorter or longer stick depending on their playing position. However, the stick should usually sit right at the top of your hip bone when the stick is standing straight beside you on the ground.
You’ll see that hockey stick lengths can range from 28 inches to 37.5 inches. If you’re buying online, measure the distance from the ground to the top of your hip bone using a measuring tape to give you an idea of the right length for you.
This midi toe stick has a rounded handle and is weighted in the toe, which is ideal for beginners learning skills like passing and receiving. It’s also reinforced with fiberglass for power and durability so your stick will last.
This affordable stick is ideal for beginners who haven’t quite committed to the sport yet. The stick is robust and durable but provides plenty of flexibility in play.
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Made from mulberry wood, this stick is wrapped in fiberglass and reinforced at the toe for solidity during play. This, combined with the midi toe shape, makes it a great option for beginners and intermediates.
If your child is starting field hockey, this is a great starter stick for them. The stick is only slightly curved and the handle grip is specifically designed for young, novice players.
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Advanced hockey players will love the power and ball control this stick provides. The carbon stick, low bow and built-in drag-flick groove on the toe make this stick ideal for fast, agile play.
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Once again, Gray’s provides a solid beginner stick for kids. The light, thin stick and maxi toe provide plenty of receiving space on the wood and lightweight play for learning new skills.
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This fiberglass stick features a midi toe and fiberglass construction. It’s ideal for intermediate players or midfielders who want equal parts power and control.
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Lauren Farrell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.