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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 2012-01-31, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Hockey Stick question - hockey dad

Just wondering, what the downsides are to playing with a longer stick?

Subject is 6yr old boy (BD Aug 2005), playing house league with 7 and 8 yr old (2004/03 birth year). He is doing well, but having a bit of "stick anxiety", because he has the shortest stick in the dressing room. Well he is the shortest player, - there is one 7yr old friend of similiar size. He is doing well, had an end-end rush last game and stick handled through the whole team.

I cut the stick in August before the season started, and had it around the bottom of his nose at that time (with skates on). It's a wooden stick, youth size (thinner shaft than junior). I still have one uncut stick (bought at the end of last season (buy 1, get 1 50% off). Figure I mind as well let him use it (it's a black wooden Crosby Reebok), as next year he will likely want a composite stick (they are shiny, and most of his team is using them)

Newb hockey dad.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 2012-01-31, 12:24 PM
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Generally, there is no right or wrong to stick length.

As a general rule of thumb the butt end of the stick should be somewhere between the base of the chin and the tip of the nose with skates on, anywhere in that area is personal preference.

Stick length is ultimately a personal preference and something that will develop and change over the life of a hockey "career". There are a lot of factors that contribute to what length a player will find comfortable including height, skating posture, length of arms and torsoe, the lie of the blade and so forth.

I have played mostly on the shorter end of average most of my playing days and mine touches the base of my chin. On my current team my sticks are the shortest but I am not the shortest player. There are guys that prefer a longer stick for and often D-Men will prefer a longer stick for better range and reach. I recall some guys in the NHL playing with sticks almost as tall as they are!

Bottom line is as long as your kid is comfortable playing with the stick regardless of length is all that matters.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 2012-01-31, 12:28 PM
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Good response by YFZKoj.

FWIW, I played defense and generally played with a longer stick than most.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 2012-01-31, 01:46 PM
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My rule of thumb is just below the chin with skates on as others posters have noted. But after having the chance to watch Tobias Enstrom (defense, Winnipeg Jets) quite a bit this season I would definitely consider playing / learning with a little bit longer stick on defense.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 2012-01-31, 02:01 PM
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Doug Gilmour had one of the shortest sticks in the NHL, so did Gretzky. Worked out well for them. I have ref minor/jr hockey. I have found if your a play maker/centreman, etc. A shorter stick helps with stick handling and control. If you are defence a longer stick helps with have a longer reach to engage attacking players, and seems to help generate a harder slap shot from the point. At 7 I really hope the have not even introduced a slap shot yet.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 2012-02-01, 09:45 AM
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Stick length is personal preference, period. At least when someone's old enough to express how he feels with said stick in hand and your kid seems to be able to determine that the stick he is using now is good for him but his questioning it because he has the shortest stick on the team. If your kid is comfortable with his stick, then all is good. There is much more to a stick than just the length. A stick curve and more importantly the stick's lie may affect the player as well.

There are many cases of NHL'ers playing with short sticks. Gaston Gingras, an ex Montreal Canadiens defenseman with a notoriously hard shot, played with a short stick. I believe Ovechkin's stick is considered to be short for his size.

If he really wants to try out different stick lengths, tell him to borrow some of his friends' stick to try out during warm up.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 2012-02-01, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Cap View Post
...At 7 I really hope the have not even introduced a slap shot yet.
Oh sure by 7 most of them are doing slap shots. They just don't have much heat on them.

The shorter stick will make him more nimble. And if it's too long, the blade contact on the ice will be wrong (blade tip will be up).

The Crosby sticks are good for that age as they have pretty good curves which helps the kids learn to raise. I'd cut it at chin height with skates on or bottom of nose with skates off.

Also the composite sticks are great for that age. They cut like butter (much easier than solid wood) and you can put an extension in the shaft if your son grows and needs it longer. Also by 7/8 they should use the "junior" size - they need the weight and thickness. My son broke a wooden youth stick at age 6 trying not-very successfully to slap. But he's sure not strong enough to break a composite junior stick!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 2012-02-02, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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I think part of the problem is that he wants a "new" stick. I may just cut the new stick that we have 1-2" longer than the one he has. Then it will be all new and shiny, and he can go back to playing with it.

His current stick is still a Crosby model as far as I can tell, curve is the same, but it's white, and the paint's flicking off a bit since we use it outdoors, and it sometimes gets stored in a snowbank.


Proud dad moment.... Jordan going end to end through a whole team, with some sweet stick handling.... youtube.


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