Here is the Hockey Stick Dictionary. It contains a list of terms and phrases associated with ice hockey sticks and their definitions. Please drop us a line if you have suggestions for this page.
1 Piece Hockey Stick – One piece sticks are complete with shaft and blade fused together and don’t have to be assembled. This single piece configuration is the most common for hockey sticks and it guarantees that the stick meets the manufactures specifications for a stick ready to go.
2 Piece Hockey Stick – The shaft and blades of two piece sticks come as separate units. This allows you to custom match a blade and shaft to your exact needs. Two piece sticks are also easier to re-blade because they don’t require cutting of the shaft like a one piece stick does.
Butt end – The top end of the hockey stick where you hold the stick (not the blade end).
Blade Heel – The heel of a hockey stick refers to the bottom of the stick at the back of the blade below where the blade and the shaft meet.
Blade Lie -The Lie of a blade describes the angle of the blade in reference to the shaft. A lie value of 5 corresponds to a 135° angle, and each additional lie value corresponds to a 2° smaller angle. With the bottom of the blade flat on the ice, a higher lie value causes the shaft to stand up straighter. Typical lie values range from 5 to 7; most sticks now are near 5.5. Players usually seek a lie that will put the blade flat on the ice while they are in their typical skating stance. A lower lie is best for skaters who lean forward closer to the ice or use a longer stick. Higher lies keep the puck closer to the body & are preferred by more upright skaters. Check out the article Hockey Stick Blade to learn how to tell if your lie is correct
Blade Pattern and Curve
Blade Patterns consist of the dimensions of right/left hand, curve type, curve depth, toe shape and face angle. Patterns are often named after NHL players for marketing purposes
- Blade Curve Type describes where the main part of the curve is located on the blade. Curve types are Heel, Mid and Toe curves.
Blade Curve Depth is the amount of curve in the blade. A simple way to measure the curve depth is to place the stick on a flat surface with the inside of the curve of the blade laying flat on the surface. You can then measure from the surface to the highest point inside the curve profile.
Blade Face Angle describes how much of the face (or front) of the blade you can see when looking down at the ice. Face angles are referred to as Open or Closed. The more open the blade is, (you can see more of the front of the blade when looking down) the easier it is to lift the puck. Slightly open or closed angles are better for stick handling, catching passes and using your backhand. Many feel that developing players should use a less open pattern to help develop both their shooting and stick handling abilities.
Blade Toe – The toe of a hockey stick refers to the end of the blade away from the shaft. Toes generally come in two shapes: round and square.
End Plugs – End plugs are shaft extensions that are glued into the butt end of a composite shaft and are used to increase the length of a hockey stick. Increasing your hockey stick length is useful if you can’t find a hockey stick long enough or if you cut your shaft down while replacing the blade. End plugs come in both wood and composite material and they usually come pre-glued with hot melt glue already on the end that gets inserted into the shaft. They come in junior and senior sizes and intermediate sticks use the senior size plugs. Also called butt ends but NOT butt plugs.
Flex – Hockey Stick Flex is a measure of how flexible a stick is when a force is applied to it. Generally you want the stiffest flex stick that you can flex completely to take full advantage of the stick recoil as it snaps the puck forward. Please see the Hockey Stick Flex: Product Better Shots with the Right Flex article for an in depth look at Flex. The most common measurements for stick flex are:
- Youth = ~40 flex
Junior = ~50 flex
Mid or Intermediate flex = 60-75 flex
Regular flex = 85 flex
Stiff flex = 100 flex
Extra stiff = 110 flex
Grip vs Clear shaft – Hockey Stick Shafts come either as “clear” which is no additional texture added to the shaft or “grip”. Grip coatings come in a variety of textures but their purpose is to provide additional texture to improve your grip on the shaft.
Kick point – The kick point is where the shaft flexes when enough pressure is applied to bend it.
- Mid flex – Mid kick point, or mid/constant flex, sticks have a more traditional flex that allows the stick to be loaded from the bottom hand. This gives you a larger loading and potentially a higher velocity release. Wooden sticks have a constant flex profile that behaves in this manner.
Low kick points – Composite sticks are often engineered to have low kick points on the shaft for a quicker release. The loading of the stick happens sooner since there is less distance for the stick to bend before it recoils back and whips the puck forward. This lower kick point is often created with shafts that have tapered ends near the blade.
Left hand vs. right hand – Hockey sticks come in left hand and right hand configurations. The easiest way to remember the handedness of a hockey stick is that when you hold a stick, the hand that is placed lower on the shaft is the same as the handedness of the stick. For example, if you hold your hockey stick with your left hand on the butt end and your right hand down the shaft closer to the blade, then you are holding it right handed. If you are right handed, you shouldn’t automatically assume that you need a right handed stick. Your hockey stick handedness should be determined by which handedness feels most comfortable to you. Please check out the article Right handed vs Left Handed: How to hold a hockey stick to learn more about right vs left handed sticks.
Length of Hockey Sticks – Hockey Sticks come in different sizes and configurations to match to the size of the hockey player. The size of the shaft’s diameter, or girth, is also of different for each size configuration. The NHL rules limit the maximum length of a hockey stick to 63 inches. Please see the Hockey Stick Length article for an in depth look at Hockey Stick Length. Standard configurations and their lengths are:
- Junior = 46-53 inches
Intermediate = 54 inches
Senior = 56-63 inches
Shaft – The Shaft of the hockey stick is the long length of the stick from the blade to the top of the stick. Composite shafts can be purchased separately to be matched to a blade of your choosing. In this case, the shaft is part of a 2 piece configuration.
Stick Wax – stick wax is a wax compound applied to the tape on the blade of a stick to 1) keep moisture out of the tape and blade, and 2) to help change the feel of the puck on the stick blade.
Tapered shafts – Manufactures are producing hockey sticks with tapered shafts at the blade end to move the kick point lower on the shaft. See the term “Kick Point” for a more detailed description of the advantages of moving the kick point. Easton has also come out with an elliptical taper on their S17 sticks.
Written by Greg at Hockey Stick Expert