It’s that time of the year; you have to buy sticks but don’t know which one to choose. Down at the rink, your buddy just paid $300 for a new one while the guy next to him plays with the same wooden stick from years ago. So, you might be wondering: how much do I pay for a hockey stick?
Hockey sticks cost anywhere from $50 to $350 or more, depending on competition level. Most players can find a quality stick that suits their needs paying from $80 to $130.
There are a lot of brands out there with sticks worth checking out. While you might be tempted to buy the most expensive twig out there, it might not be necessary. Read on to understand what to look for when purchasing a new hockey stick.
Is there an average price for hockey sticks?
While the price range varies greatly, you can separate hockey sticks into three price categories, as Busy Playing Hockey explains. These are budget, mid-range, and expensive. Keep in mind that this isn’t the only categorization but a general guideline.
Budget sticks will cost between $50 to $80 on average. For a stick in this range, you can expect a heavier shaft (due to the combination of fiberglass or resin and fiber). Cheaper sticks might also feel bottom-heavy since they are actually a blade and a shaft fused together instead of a single piece.
They also have less “pop.” A stick’s pop is its ability to imprint power to the puck as a player winds up and shoots.
Mid-range sticks range between $100 to $200. These have more composite materials than resin, so they are more flexible and lighter. Interestingly, some mid-range models are less durable than cheaper sticks because they are lighter and have better performance qualities.
Expensive sticks have prices over $200, and they are the lightest of all the models. All of these models are one-piece, well-balanced sticks with superior balance. They offer outstanding grip and puck control, but given their lightness, they can break easily.
All these prices are for senior sticks. You can expect to pay less for intermediate and youth models.
What are some good sticks in all the price ranges?
There are plenty of brands that manufacture sticks for all the price ranges. For example, CCM has budget models with optimum performance and low prices. The CCM JetSpeed 440 can cost from $60 to $70, and the CCM RibCor 65K costs around $85 to $90.
CCM appears once again in the expensive stick category. Coming in with approximately a $299 price tag, the CCM JetSpeed FT3 is one of the highest-rated sticks out there. The website Honest Hockey rated it the best overall for 2020. Another highly touted expensive model was the Bauer Vapor Flylite Grip, for around $300.
Why are hockey sticks so expensive?
When one of the cheaper models still sets you back $85, sticks seem expensive, and they are. Their price is due to the construction process and materials manufacturers use to ensure comfort and quality.
Most sticks these days are composite, made from either carbon fiber or Kevlar and other resins, which are expensive materials to start with. Higher quality models use several carbon fiber layers, which also increases the price.
Additionally, some mid-range and all top-range sticks all use different fiber configurations to have flexible and stiff locations within the shaft. This requires specific manufacturing conditions, adding to the cost.
Wooden sticks, on the other hand, use wood and fiberglass, with a more straightforward manufacturing process, so they are cheaper than composites.
How much do pro hockey sticks cost?
It’s not unusual to see NHLers pay more than $700 for skates, so you might think they use the costliest twigs out there. But this isn’t always true.
Many NHL players buy expensive sticks that aren’t necessarily inaccessible. Players like Joe Thornton, Jon Klingberg, and Jonathan Marchessault use the CCM Ribcor Trigger, which costs about $250.
Players like Tyler Seguin and Jake DeBrusk prefer the Bauer Vapor X-series, which can be found for $200 in some stores.
It’s worth mentioning that, while NHLers use the latest generation sticks, most of them will not exceed a price of $300 or $400. Also, you might be able to find them for a fraction of the cost once they become “last season’s” model.
Are there any advantages or disadvantages to buying cheap sticks?
No one will force you to buy an expensive stick. But, to some, $150 might still be a lot of money. As we have seen, cheaper models are usually made from two components fused together.
Contrary to what you might expect, this might come as an advantage. At a recreational level or if you are a casual player, a cheaper stick might last longer. Keep in mind this means sacrificing aspects like puck control.
Another possible advantage of using a cheaper stick is when equipping younger players. Given that they will probably outgrow it before it breaks, you might opt for a more affordable option.
If you play at a mid-level league or better, then a cheap stick will not work for you as you want as much control as possible.
What hockey stick should I buy?
Before buying a new stick, do a quick self-review of your game. Do you play in a recreational league or at a competitive level? Are you a forward or a defenseman? Do you like passing and wrist shots as opposed to a more defensive game? And finally, what’s your budget?
If you are an offensively minded skater, you want as much control and pop as possible. A mid-range stick is an ideal choice, as Pure Hockey explains.
When your game is more defensive and focuses on stopping other players and taking the occasional slapshot, you might consider a cheaper stick.
While all players, beginners, or professionals will benefit from a high-end stick, they do not need them. If you are at a competitive level, you now know that a twig within the upper boundaries of mid-range pricing is ideal for you.
What are the best places to buy hockey sticks?
While digital marketplaces like Amazon sell hockey sticks, the best places to buy them are specialized hockey stores, both in-store and online. These stores offer great variety with have seasonal discounts.
Where to buy cheap hockey sticks
And if you prefer looking around for sticks at a lower cost, places like Sideline Swap offer both used and new equipment at a lower price, with the added guarantee from a renowned provider.
A stick that fits your game is essential. Some feel comfortable using the same, old wooden twig for years, while others replace them frequently. The bottom line is that you have to feel right, as it’s one of the most used items.
After reading this article, you now understand the aspects behind a hockey stick’s construction and pricing. These days, brands produce a broader array of models with varying costs and quality, so don’t be afraid to shop around. There’s a stick out there for you.