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As the years go by, how different sports are played has been changing and so has the equipment being used. Many hockey players over 6 feet tall find it difficult to find decent hockey sticks. The reason being that the factory height of the retail produced sticks is not tall enough for these players. So how can these tall players find taller sticks? For these tall hockey players out there, several options are available to them to get longer sticks.
Hockey Stick Extension
One option is ordering pro stock sticks. Various pro hockey players are above 6 feet tall thus their sticks are made taller. The typical retail stick has a 60-inch shaft but the taller sticks are extended to a 64-inch shaft that the player can cut when they need to. The pro stock sticks are modified with higher manufacturing quality control and are thus more durable. Many pro players, therefore, chose to order the pro stock sticks. A limitation of this stick is that it does not come with a warrant.
The other option is ordering a custom made hockey stick. The player orders the custom stick directly from the manufacturer to get a higher quality composite taller stick. The custom stick is sold on a wholesale basis where the player has to buy at least 12 sticks at a time giving them ample supply. Limitations of the custom stick include lack of a warranty, can be expensive and a lot of manufacturers are not into customizing sticks for the players.
The last option is adding an extension to the typical normal hockey stick. This the most common route taken that allows players to add up to 12 inches. Advantages of this option include; the stick can be cut to suit the player’s desired length and are easy to install requiring a glue stick and heat gun. These extensions come in different types. For composite sticks, a suitable extension option is the composite extension.
The extension is made from the same material as the stick thus feels the same and does not change the weight. The extension only adds length to the stick. On the other hand, for wood sticks, wood extensions are most suitable. In general, the wood extensions are heavier and stiffer than the composite ones. Nonetheless, the wood extension has advantages like they allow the player to customize the length, shape, and thickness, unlike the composite ones.
How To Add An Extension
Installing extension is not that difficult. The only requirements needed include a glue stick, a heat gun and a bucket of ice or a sink. The process begins by heating up the glue and rubbing the melted glue on the extension pin which goes inside the stick. Then proceed to heat up the extension pin and the end of the stick. Heating up the shaft of the stick a little further down than the extension is supposed to go. This will help in gliding in the extension easier.
The pin is then inserted in the shaft and some glue may ooze out which is okay. To get a tighter seal, glue should be put on the shaft or/ and wrap tape on the extension pin and cover it with glue before inserting it in the shaft. Give a few taps on the end to make sure the make the extension combined to the shaft is tight. The next step is putting the extension in ice water or under a cold water tap. The glue will solidify. Trim off the glue that oozed out, tape up the stick and it is ready to go.
Hockey Stick End Cap
A hockey stick end cap which is commonly made of plastic is put at the end of the stick or extension. The end cap is designed to prevent the hand from sliding off the stick. It is also potentially dangerous for the end to be uncovered and could cause serious injury. However, a lot of higher-end and pro sticks are not bought fitted with caps. The reason is that the players use tape to create their own knob in accordance with their preferred length and thickness.
Hockey Stick: FAQs
Q: How long should my hockey stick be?
The preferred length of the stick majorly relies on the preference of the player. The length affects the player’s ability to handle and shoot the puck and can sometimes affect their skating ability. The common rule is that the stick standing upright and perpendicular to the ground should reach the players chin with them wearing their skates.
Q: What is hockey stick flex?
The flex ratings provide a number that indicates the amount of pressure that is required to flex the center of the stick in pound measurement. The common rule in finding a stick with the right flex is dividing the player’s pound weight by 2. Changing the length of the stick i.e. by cutting it down or adding an extender affects the flex rating of the stick.
Q: What blade pattern should I choose?
Each blade pattern has unique features that boost specific shot types, passing methods and puck handling maneuvers. Therefore, the blade pattern of a stick gives you different results as per the player’s desired intention for their shots.
Q: What grip should I choose?
The grip prevents the player’s hand form sliding off the stick or down the shaft. Commonly, hockey players customize their own grip using tape but it can be bought from a store. The grip should enhance the feel and reduce the grip pressure when handling the stick.
Q: What extension should I pick?
Extensions allow the players to lengthen their hockey sticks. The player can pre order a longer stick or get a customized one which can be expensive. A cost effective way of lengthening the hockey stick is buying an extension. The common rule on type of extension to pick is that it should be made of the same material as the stick.
Hockey as a sport does not require a lot of gear other than the stick except for the goalie. The stick for a professional field player can feel as a mere extension of their body. Therefore, a good stick control is an essential need to make a good hockey player. To pick out the best stick, a few things need to be considered which include; the material of the stick, its length and the the position that the player plays.