Field hockey sticks are built to last for the tough sport they are used in. Unlike ice hockey, field hockey sticks are shaped differently and used on solid surfaces like grass, artificial turf, or even indoor solid surfaces. As well built as some are, a field hockey stick can get to the point that it needs to be changed out for a new one.
A field hockey stick’s lifespan can last up to three seasons for someone who practices or plays once a week. For someone who plays 3 to 4 times a week, a field hockey stick may have to be replaced during the first season.
As you see, many variables go into how long a field hockey stick will last. A new stick can run around $300.00, so purchasing one often can be costly. We’ll dig into the different types of field hockey sticks, the proper care of them, and what makes one last longer than another.
How Often Do Players Replace Their Field Hockey Sticks?
To break down how often players replace their field hockey sticks, we have organized the reasons below.
|Change Once a Season||Change Every 3 Seasons||Change Every Few Years|
|Plays Several Times a Week||Plays Once a Week||Plays Occasionally|
|Regardless of Playtime, Strikes the Stick Hard Into the Ground||Most Strikes Are More on The Ball Than Ground||Most Strikes Are More On The Ball Than Ground|
|Stick is Stored In a Poor Manner and Poor Condition||Stick is Stored Correctly and Kept in Good Condition||Stick is Stored Correctly and Kept in Good Condition|
There is more that goes into a field hockey stick’s lifespan, as we see from the chart above. In the second row, we mention the type of striker the player is. Some players have a tendency to slam the stick into the ground when striking the ball, causing a reduced lifespan, while others are good on-ball strikers.
Storage of a field hockey stick is also mentioned. When storing, the stick should be hung or placed in an area where it will not be hit by other objects or tripped over by those walking passed. Improper storage can reduce the life of a field hockey stick just by being an area where an accident can cause damage to it.
Keeping the field hockey stick in good condition was another factor along with storage. After playing, a stick should be wiped down to remove mud and water picked up during play. Any deep scratches should be repaired using epoxy cement to prevent more serious damage and extend the lifespan of the stick.
How Do You Choose the Right Field Hockey Stick?
When getting into what the best field hockey stick is, we must take the level of the player in mind. Of course, the more high-tech the stick, the more it will cost, so there is no reason to spend $300 or more for a six-year-old who is learning to play.
Let’s take a look at the different levels of players and what is most appropriate for their skill level.
- Beginner Level: Youth and beginners up until high school starts mainly use wooden field hockey sticks.
- Intermediate to Expert: Once high school is reached and the player has a couple of years of experience playing, they can move to the composite material. Field hockey sticks made from fiberglass and high carbon composites create strength and flexibility, allowing the player to strike the ball much harder than a beginner stick.
Field hockey sticks of all types can also benefit from reinforcement tapes that help with strength and durability. These not only can increase performance but also help a stick last longer. The different types of reinforcement tapes are:
- Carbon Fiber Tape: Increases stiffness to give the player more power in a ball strike
- Kevlar Tape: Used as a shock-absorbent when striking to give the player a better feel.
- Ceramic Tape: Ceramic tape is also used to absorb vibrations from strikes.
Much more goes into what the best field hockey stick is for players, such as how aggressive the player is and the position they play. For example, an experienced and aggressive player at a forward position will want to use a full carbon stick, while a stick with more fiberglass will suit another position well.
Toe and Bow Designs
Other than the material a field hockey stick is made from, the overall design of the stick also comes into play. First, let’s define what the toe and bow of the sticks are.
- Toe: The toe is the upturned head of the field hockey stick where the ball strike takes place. There are four different types of toe designs.
- Shorties are used for offensive players to maneuver the stick quickly. They are designed for more control.
- Midis are for midfield players. Longer than shorties, they make it easier to hit the ball with a larger surface area.
- Maxis, just as the name implies, have a large surface area to capture the ball. Defensive players prefer these as it is easier to stop a ball coming in your direction with a maxi.
- Hooks A more noticeable hook shape that is designed for more ball control.
- Bow: The bow in a field hockey stick is how much curve is present from the handle to toe. There are three types of bow in a field hockey stick.
- Regular bow is designed for all positions and combines power and control.
- Control bow helps in controlling the ball, especially for receptions.
- Late bow maximizes dynamic ball control and helps with passing the ball.
Choosing the correct length of a field hockey stick is important for control and power when striking. Usually, lengths are determined by the height of the player, as our chart below outlines.
|Stick Length||Players Height|
|Twenty-eight inches||4 Foot and under|
|Thirty inches||4’1” to 4’3”|
|Thirty-Two inches||4’4” to 4’6”|
|Thirty-four inches||4’7” to 5’0”|
|Thirty-five inches||5’1” to 5’ 3”|
|Thirty-six inches||5’4” to 5’6”|
|Thirty-seven inches||5’7” to 5’9”|
|Thirty-eight inches||5’10” and over|
Field hockey sticks are different from their counterparts in ice hockey. Depending on the frequency of play, how the player strikes the ball, whether the stick is stored correctly, and if the stick is taken care of will determine how long it lasts.
Field hockey sticks can have reinforcement tape added to add strength and flexibility to them. This can not only change the performance of the stick but help in the stick’s longevity.
When choosing a field hockey stick, there are several variables to look at. The material the stick is made from plays an important role in the choice to purchase, as does the several different toe and bow designs. Each design serves a different purpose, and depending on the position played will decide which is chosen. Finally, the length of the field hockey stick is determined by the height of the player.
We hope you now have a better understanding of what goes into the life expectancy of a field hockey stick and how to choose the right one for you.