Having the right ice hockey stick for your particular style makes all the difference in the world when it comes to stick handling, puck control, shooting, and passing. Specifically having the right curve on the blade of your ice hockey stick can mean the difference between a decent wrist or slap shot and a deadly wrist and/or slap shot. It also can determine whether your passes are wobbly and rolling or flat and saucer like. To make sure you get the most out of your shots and your passes you must make sure you have the right curve for you.
There are a number of things to consider when deciding which curve is right for you. With each ice hockey stick you will find variances in heel curves, toe curves, open face, closed face, round toe, square toe, shaft to blade angle, and the length of the blade. All these factors will affect pretty drastically the way the puck comes off your blade when shooting or passing. Plus each of these factors can be mixed and matched with all the other factors creating even more variations.
Each of the different manufacturers of ice hockey sticks offer all the different varieties of curves and angles on the blade and each manufacturer has a different name or title that it gives to the various combinations of angles and curves. The first step in deciding which curve is right for you is to familiarize yourself with the different options. You don’t need to focus as much on what each manufacturer names each option, hockey store just learn the different options so that you can explain what you are looking for to a knowledgeable salesperson. After you become familiar with the different options, go a little further in depth in your research and find out which blade complements which style of shooting and passing. Some ice hockey sticks offer blade curves that are more designed for defensive players, some for offensive players, some are better for slap shots while some are better for wrist shots or snap shots, etc. After you’ve learned the different options and the advantages and disadvantages of each, you’re ready for the next step in finding the right curve in your ice hockey stick.
The only true way to determine which curve is right for you is to actually try out and compare the different options available. Many hockey stores now have shooting areas inside the stores. Take advantage of this and try out any and every stick they will let you. Make sure you wear skates (rollerblades) when testing out the sticks too because shooting with skates on as opposed to without skates on is a completely different feel and approach. Try out your slap shot, wrist shot, snap shot, passing, loafing/saucers, going top shelf at close range, etc. This will be the safest and surest way that you get the curve that is best suited for you and your style.
While the variation in blades of ice hockey sticks offered these days may seem a bit overwhelming, being able to find a curve that is tailored to your specific style and needs is an invaluable asset. You will find that once you’ve matched yourself to the perfect curve for you your shot will improve dramatically as will your passing and puck handling. Just make sure that you buy more than one so your back-up ice hockey stick will feel and perform identically. Also remember to make a note of which blade and curve (names and characteristics) you like so you can quickly and easily replace it when the time comes.