Generally, when selecting a stick, you want your dominant hand on top of your stick. If you’ve seen anyone take a slap shot, you’d see that most of the power from the fastest hockey shot is delivered by the hand lower on the stick. So, you’d think that your dominant hand is stronger and should be the one to deliver the shot.
However, your dominant hand is much more likely to be more capable of handling the fine movement needed to anchor and stabilize your stick.
Sure, we know not many kids know how to sweep using a broom, but let’s pretend they still do. Grab a broom (not a push broom) and start sweeping without thinking about it. The hand on top of the broom is most likely your dominant hand and the one that should be at the top of your stick. If you look at the image below, Doan’s dominant hand is his left and Yandle’s is his right.
Shoot Right Or Left
Once you know your dominant hand and have grabbed a stick to mess around with, don’t be afraid to switch if the stick continues to feel weird. It’s not an exact science.
How Long A Stick?
Stock sticks off the rack are classified as youth (ages 4-8), junior (ages 7-12), intermediate (ages 10-15) and senior (ages 14 and up). Other than length, the flex of each class of stick will differ so it’s good to stick with your age range.
It’s good to have someone help you with determining the correct length for your stick. Stand straight without your skates, have them hold the stick vertically in front of you against your chest with the toe (the bottom tip of the stick blade) between your feet. The butt end of the stick should come to the tip of your nose. If you’re wearing skates, measure to your bottom lip.
As you progress in skill, you’ll want a longer than normal stick if you end up being a defenseman, maybe a shorter one if you’re a crazy good stickhandler.
There’s plenty more parts of the stick puzzle we won’t go into here. As you get better and understand what you want your stick to do, you can look at using different curves to make a BIG difference in your shooting. The amount of flex built into the stick will have a big effect on the power you can deliver. Sticks can be bought with more or less “grip” built into the texture of the shaft and even WHERE the stick will flex can be customized.
For now, just grab a stick that’s pretty close and have some fun.