Bows, Compositions and Brands; Making an educated decision.
How can you possibly choose the perfect hockey stick for your style of play from a photo and some information on a website? The honest answer is that you can't. The best thing you can do when making any decision on hockey sticks is to try one out first. You can then get the feel and the touch required to help with your stick decision making.
We, at Exclusive Hockey, pride ourselves on getting our sample field hockey sticks out to as many clubs and individuals as possible; but we all know that in many cases this is impossible or not very practical. Therefore, we need to use the information given to us by the brands to help make an educated decision.
With so many options to choose from such as the different types of bow, different material compositions and list of good quality brands, it’s a wonder where to begin!
Over the next few weeks I will be posting blogs covering each of the above topics, but first things first, let’s take a look at the bow.
Hockey Stick Bow Postion
From my experiences visiting clubs over the last few months with the mobile hockey shop and selling hockey equipment to a large number of customers, it has become quite apparent that almost everyone under the age of 25 wants a hockey stick with the biggest possible bow available. This seems to be the current trend and fashion but is it suitable for all players? Let’s take a look…
Ultra Low Bow
Ultra low bows are usually between 24mm and 25mm at 200mm from the base of the stick. Having an ultra low bow is fantastic for a player who is a drag flick specialist or sends a lot of aerials throughout a game with the position and size of the bow making it a lot easier to do both. However, technique is still the most important aspect to these skills.
Another important feature on a number of ‘drag stick’ specialist sticks is the inclusion of a concave channel on the shaft. This assists the ‘sling’ aspect of a drag flick, increasing power and accuracy.
Having a super low bow is all well and good for drag flicking and aerials, but this will impact on your hitting technique. Hitting with an extra low bow means that if you hit the ball in front of you, it will lift off of the ground so your technique will need to change and you will have to adapt.
Check out this cool video.
The low bow in general is 22mm-24mm at approximately 200mm from the stick base.
I would describe this type of bow as the all-rounder as it offers a lot of the benefits of an ultra low bow (flicking & dragging) along with the positives of a mid bow (hitting ability). Personally it is my favourite bow and one I would always go for – it’s also fantastic for 3D skills and dribbling.
The next bow to consider is the mid bow which is the more traditional shaped bow. The mid bow tends to be the favourite bow for a player who relies on hitting the ball more often than not. The typical customer tends to be of the older generation, the pre 3D skill era.
The mid bow may not currently be the most fashionable stick, however, they are still very popular and do a great job. We can't all send aerials 50m or put a drag flick in the top corner, so a mid bow may be perfectly suitable for your style of play.
There are some fantastic models out there as well - one being the Lekker Tijger:
A pro bow is close to a mid bow, with the position of the bow being higher than that of a low bow, usually between 250mm and 300mm from the base of the stick.
The pro bow proves to also be a very popular model as it’s well suited to the all-round player, similar to the low bow. The benefit of a pro bow is the weight balance is more even, which in theory makes 3D skills easier and allows faster hand speed and improved dribbling.
The Pro 90 from Beikou is a great pro bow model and very reasonably priced.
So there you go, Part 1; Bow, is finished. There are plenty of options out there and different bows do have different benefits to your play. It is a good idea to understand the most important aspects of your game before you set your mind on a certain stick.
Questions to ask yourself;
Don't be sucked into wanting a certain type of stick because it is ‘fashionable’. You're the one who has to use this stick every time you play hockey, so you need to choose what works best for you and will enhance your performance rather than hinder it.
Next week we will look at the composition of the stick. Does high carbon mean it's a better stick..?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below...
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