You may be in search of a hockey stick for a variety of reasons. You may be a player, a parent of a young player or you may be a sports memorabilia collector. Each will have their own criteria for purchasing a hockey stick, but unless your last name is Hull, Orr or Gretzky, price is probably going to be a factor.
Factors to Consider
Other than cost, there are a variety of factors to consider when purchasing a hockey stick, especially if you are going to be the one using it. Keep in mind, sticks are used for more than just shooting and stopping pucks. They are used for slashing, high-sticking, tripping and to hold up high in the air after scoring a goal.
The “Feel” - Feel is difficult to describe but you'll know it when you feel it. A feel of a hockey stick lets you know you are in possession of the puck and can control it to your satisfaction.
How it is constructed –Modern hockey sticks are made out of composite materials and glued together, while traditional sticks are one-piece wood. This will have an effect on the feel of the stick.
Shaft flexibility – Flexibility is graded on a numerical scale with 35 being the most flexible and 110 be the stiffest. As a general rule, more defensive players prefer stiffer shafts.
Blade pattern – Blade length, curvature, lie, and angle all contribute to the blade pattern.
Type of grip – Hockey sticks can have a smooth grip, a textured grip or a matte finish grip. This is purely a personal choice.
There's a little bit more to selecting a hockey stick than you may have thought. They are certainly more complicated than just an “L” shaped piece of wood.
High Dollar Hockey Sticks
You can get a serviceable hockey stick in the $50 range. You will probably want to quickly graduate to a stick in the $100-$200 range, however. These models will give you more selection in shaft stiffness, size, and angles. For serious players with cold hard cash to spend, you can take to the ice with these even more pricey options.
Bauer Vapor 1X Lite Senior Grip– This hockey stick from one of the games most known equipment suppliers is known for its feather-lite feel and weight. It will also make you a tad lighter in the wallet with an asking price of about $300.
Ore International I-9203A-R Professional Grade Ice Hockey Stick – Constructed of carbon fiber and fiberglass, this stick is about as far away from an L-shaped piece of wood as one can imagine. This is one slick stick to pick with a price starting at just over $300.
Combat Junior 52 Reloaded 50 HCR Hockey Stick– This 60” stick is at the upper end of the junior stocks and may only be exceeded in cost by the dental bills for your young player. It carries a sticker price of about $425.
The Bauer Supreme TotalOne NXG GripTac Composite Ice Hockey Stick – The good news is this superior stick comes in both Junior and Senior editions so dad and son can play together. The bad news is it will set you back about $500 each. It's a goal worth shooting for.
THE Most Expensive Hockey Stick Ever
There is much debate over what is, and who has, the oldest, most valuable hockey stick ever made. What we do know is that a stick said to be crafted in the 1830's sold a few years ago to the Canadian Museum of History for $300,000. It's no wonder it's estimated to be so valuable. Many hockey sticks don't make it through a single game without getting broken. This one has lasted over 180 years!