Hey there, fellow hockey fans! When it comes to playing hockey, using the right stick has a big impact on your game.
It may seem like a small detail, but hockey stick length isn’t something to overlook. It’s a crucial part of finding the right stick.
In this article, you’ll learn how to measure a hockey stick to get the right fit for your height and style of play. There’s even a handy hockey stick size chart to help you out. Let’s get right to it.
Why Stick Length Matters
The right hockey stick length feels more comfortable and is easier to control, helping you level up your game.
Just like Goldilocks, you want something that’s just right. Not too short, and not too long.
Stick Length Affects Your Level of Play
Picture this: You’re in the final moments of a game, and the score is tied. You’ve got a clear shot, so your teammate passes you the puck. The puck gets close to you, but when you reach your stick out to catch it, you miss. The stick is too short.
Or maybe it goes the other way. You catch the pass, but the stick is too long, and you have trouble controlling the puck enough to get off a good shot. What a disaster!
Now imagine you’re playing with a stick that’s just the right length. You’re able to catch and send passes, your shots are more powerful, and you have more accuracy. You’re able to catch the pass, control the puck, and shoot the game-winning goal without missing a beat.
That may be a little dramatic, but you can see how having the right stick length affects your level of play.
If the stick is too short, your reach will be limited, and you won’t have as much power. Too long, and it’s hard to handle the puck, reducing accuracy and maneuverability.
Your Stick Affects Physical Comfort
The length of your stick also impacts your body and physical comfort during and after play.
A stick that’s too long or too short just feels wrong. It can be awkward and uncomfortable.
It affects your stance and movement during the game. This can lead to back, knee, or hip pain if the length isn’t right. This is especially true for older players, but it affects young players as well.
To keep playing hockey for years to come, be kind to your joints and make sure you have the correct hockey stick length! Your back and knees will thank you.
How-To Measure Hockey Stick Length: The Basics
When it comes right down to it, figuring out how to measure a hockey stick is something you definitely need to do right.
Thankfully, it’s not that hard to do. You don’t need anything beyond your basic hockey equipment and a measuring tape. Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to do it.
Step 1. Gather Your Gear
To get an accurate hockey stick length measurement, it’s helpful to have your gear handy. You’ll need hockey skates for sure and a stick if you have one. Gloves are helpful, too, but not absolutely necessary.
A measuring tape is important for the actual measuring part.
Step 2. Put on Your Skates
Since you wear skates to play, you’ll need them on to get an accurate measurement. Lace up your skates and stand up. If you have a blade jacket or guard on your skates, be mindful of how much height it adds.
It’s best to wear your skates without any guards if possible. That way, you don’t have to worry about those skewing the measurement.
If you have gloves handy, put those on as well. That’s how you normally hold a stick during play, so it helps you hold the stick as you would in a game.
Step 3. Hold the Stick Up
Once you’re standing tall in your skates, pick up your stick and hold it in front of you. The blade should be flat on the ground, with the shaft coming straight up in front of your face, making a perpendicular line with the floor.
Hockey sticks aren’t a perfect L shape, so the corner of the blade won’t be flat on the ground. Don’t try to lean the stick forward or backward too much to make the blade flat. Aim for keeping the shaft straight up and down.
The amount of blade that touches the floor will vary depending on the blade lie (the angle at which the blade is attached to the shaft).
Step 4. Find the Right Length
Note where the top of the stick ends. The ideal hockey stick length is somewhere between your chin and your nose. Very scientific, right?
If the stick you already have sits somewhere in that chin-to-nose zone, congratulations! Your stick is a great length.
For a stick that’s clearly outside of that zone, it’s time to take some measurements.
Use the tape measure and pull it either up or down to find out how much length you need to add or take away. Once you have that measurement, measure the entire stick length from heel to tip, and add or subtract the first measurement to get your ideal hockey stick length.
I Measured my Stick, but it Still Doesn’t Feel Right
If your stick meets the chin-to-nose zone test but still doesn’t feel quite right, check out the sections below. Different positions, style of play, and personal preferences can all impact your ideal stick length.
You might find that you prefer a longer or shorter stick, even if it’s not the “ideal” hockey stick length.
Measuring Without a Stick
If you don’t have a stick available, use a tape measure. You may need a friend to help with this to get the most accurate measurement.
Have your friend hold the bottom of the tape measure right at the ground.
Pull the tape up until it hits somewhere between your nose and your chin. Now, subtract 2-3 inches to account for the blade lie. Remember, the heel of your hockey stick won’t be touching the ground, but the measuring tape is.
You could also have your friend hold the bottom of the measuring tape a couple of inches off the ground, but it’s hard to keep it steady this way. It’s easier to measure from the ground and then subtract the extra inches.
Step 5. Time to Shop
Before heading to the hockey store, don’t forget to write down the measurement. You can also shop for sticks online.
If shopping in-store, bring your skates and hold the sticks up in front of you, one at a time to check that the length feels right.
The measurement you took is a good place to start but keep in mind that your personal ideal stick length may be slightly different than this number.
Step 6. Try out Your New Stick
Once you’ve purchased a stick, get in some practice with it. The only real way to tell if a hockey stick has the perfect length is to try it out.
The stick should feel comfortable and help you handle the puck the way you want to. It should be easy to hold and give you the right amount of power for your shots.
Hockey Stick Size Chart
This handy hockey stick size chart can be used with or without taking a measurement. If you don’t want to get out the measuring tape, use this chart as a starting point.
Keep in mind this is just a guide; you may find that you’re more comfortable with a different hockey stick length based on position, style of play, or personal preference.
Position Makes a Difference
Speaking of preferences, let’s get into why one size doesn’t always fit all. The position you play has a big impact on what length is right for you.
This position tends to prefer short sticks for better stick handling.
Shorter sticks make it easier to handle the puck close to your body. This gives you more control and makes it harder for opposing players to take it away from you.
On the other hand, shorter sticks have less flex, meaning they don’t bend as much during shots. Flex is where a lot of power comes from in a shot. Less flex generally gives you less power.
For strong players who like to take close-in shots, this may not be much of a downside.
Long sticks give you a longer reach which is a big advantage when playing defense.
A long reach helps you interrupt the shooting lanes, giving less room for opponents to pass or take shots.
You can get the puck away from opponents without being quite as close to them, making it easier to block shots and interrupt passes.
Opposite to shorter sticks, long sticks have more flex. This comes in handy for defensemen, who are more likely to take shots from the point than forwards.
For those farther-back shots, you need the extra power that comes from a higher flex.
Goaltenders have a completely different set of needs from forwards and defensemen. Their sticks are used for stopping goals rather than scoring them.
Some goalies like to play the puck more than others; if that’s you, a long hockey stick length is good for getting out of the crease and reaching the puck quickly.
A downside to a long stick is that it can get tangled up with other players.
A short stick is ideal for a compact style of play with quick movements
Consider Your Style of Play
Speaking of style of play, it’s something you should consider regardless of your position. And if you’re new to the game, online hockey training could be the boost you need to move from beginner to pro.
Shooting and Stick Handling
Forwards like to take shots on the point too. If you’re one of those players that likes to get pucks on the net, no matter where you’re shooting from, a long stick could be a good fit. It will give you that extra power you need to get the puck in the net from anywhere on the ice.
Some defensemen are excellent stick handlers and like short sticks to give them better control, even if it means your reach isn’t quite as long.
If you’re fast, you might not need a long reach anyway. In this case, a short stick could be a better fit for your style of play.
Consider what type of stance you usually take on the ice. In your best pro hockey player stance, are you more likely to be bent or crouched, or do you tend to stay more upright?
Players that spend a lot of time crouched or bent over do well with shorter sticks. If you’re more likely to be standing tall, you’ll want a longer stick to give you the reach.
When it comes down to it, if you’re not comfortable, you’re not going to play as well. Even if your hockey stick length is technically perfect.
Some people prefer a longer or shorter stick than the standard recommendation, and that’s okay. How the stick feels and how easy it is to use are more important than a textbook stick length.
Choose a stick length that feels good. You’ll be more confident, more comfortable, and those two things alone are enough to boost your level of play.
Hockey Stick Length for Kids
The process for measuring hockey sticks for kids is the exact same as the one for adults.
Have your child stand upright with their skates on and measure the length from the heel of the stick to their chin.
It’s better for young players to start with shorter sticks because they’re easier to control. Once players develop more skill, they can try out a longer stick to increase the power of their shot.
It may be tempting but don’t get a longer stick for kids to grow into.
A stick that’s too long for your kids will be hard to hold, hard to control, and won’t allow them to develop their skills nearly as well.
Time to Find Your Ideal Hockey Stick Length
Now that you know how to measure hockey stick length, it’s time to pick out a stick. Remember to get some practice in to make sure the new stick is a good fit.
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For more on choosing the right stick, check out Measuring Your Ideal Hockey Stick Flex. If you can’t get enough hockey content, don’t miss the hockey page. There you’ll find fun hockey facts, gear recommendations, tips to improve your game, and much more.