The most critical piece of gear for a field hockey player is the stick. The most important factors when looking for a stick are the weight, length, toe design, material and how it feels when you use it. Fiberglass and composite sticks both receive high marks. Utilized by more experienced players, the sticks are more costly. A beginner should typically go with a reinforced stick for sturdiness and give. More experience gives greater knowledge of what you need in a stick. More power calls for a composite stick, and if stiffness is not for you, fiberglass may be the best choice.
Field hockey sticks made entirely of fiberglass are lightweight and durable. These sticks are made to last. You must reach the high school level of competition before full fiberglass sticks are allowed. Players new to the game usually go with wooden sticks that may have some sort of reinforcement tape or sleeve.
Composite sticks combine materials such as fiberglass, carbon, aramid and Kevlar with varying composition percentages. A higher amount of carbon will give the stick more rigidity and power. Higher levels of fiberglass ensure flexibility and ball control. Composite sticks can meet the needs of most players. You just need to find the right combination of materials.
For improved flexibility and durability, there may be reinforcements added to the stick. Generally, added support comes in the form of some type of tape or sleeve. Fiberglass can come in a sleeve or as a tape and adds strength while resisting damage. Kevlar also comes in a sleeve or tape and keeps impact low. Aerospace tape is a mix of Kevlar, carbon and fiberglass, and favors force while cutting vibration.
The Right Choice
Like any sporting equipment purchase, trial and error is the only way to be 100 percent sure that you have the right stick. Field hockey sticks come in such a variety of materials and designs that narrowing it down may seem daunting, but taking your needs and taste into consideration will help you get the right stick. Higher-caliber players will probably want to have a spare or backup stick in case of breakage.