The perfect hockey stick

Unlike many sports where customisation of equipment is strictly forbidden, the powers-that-be of field hockey do allow some degree of personal preference to poke through. From weight to stiffness to shape, you can decide just what a player you will be by the stick that you play with.

Material
Mulberry or hickory sticks have been fairly standard in the game for some time. Wooden sticks are great for flexibility and absorb shock efficiently. However, when it comes to beginners, composite and fibreglass sticks are very popular. Composite sticks are stiffer and offer more power on each hit – they also tend to last longer than their wooden counterparts. Their twin-channel construction technique (which appears in a cross section as two cavities with a divider) allows for the ideal weight to strength ratio. 

Length
Unsurprisingly, the length of your stick should always correspond to your size or, most importantly, your reach.  The lengths vary from 26 inches to 38 inches, but you don’t necessarily have to adhere to all recommended stick length to player height ratios – if you can comfortably handle a longer stick, you can enjoy more reach and gain an advantage on the pitch.

Toe
The toe of the stick can come in several shapes, generally specific to the preference and position of the player. There are four categories of toe styles:
1) Hook – As the name suggests, this toe shape has a pronounced, tighter j-shaped curve than the others. This is shape is most popular with defensemen thanks to this large stopping surface.
2) Maxi – This type of stick is also good for the defensive player as it couples the large receiving area with added hitting power.
3) Midi – the perfect style for beginners, this style offers an excellent medium between the hook curve and ground-touching surface area.  So, you have both the stopping surface and the length to get a good flick off a shot. For these reasons, it is the preferred style of the midfield player.
4) Shorti – This style has the least pronounced hook making it excellent for handling the ball down the pitch and shooting – ideal for offensive players.