Field hockey is a fast-paced game that requires skill, accuracy, and determination. Field hockey as we know it today was first created in Britain during the middle of the 19th century and is more popular amongst former colony countries such as Australia, India and New Zealand. In the United States, it is actually one of the oldest college sports courtesy of its colonial heritage. It is far more popular amongst women at the college level and is often viewed as a women’s sport, despite it being played by a large number of men worldwide. In fact, the USA has had men’s field hockey teams playing at the Olympics since 1932.
Top Field Hockey Stick Comparison Chart
Like most sports, your field hockey game can be affected by the quality of your equipment. Every player on a field hockey team requires a stick. These sticks may appear similar to the untrained eye, but in fact they can vary greatly depending upon the position played as well as personal preference. The one thing that is the same in all field hockey sticks is that they are all right-handed. This isn’t to say that left-handed athletes cannot play, but it does mean that they are required to do so with the same style stick as their right-handed counterparts.
Choosing the right hockey stick can be a slow process, especially if you are still growing and learning the game. It is advisable to try a few sticks out before deciding what works for you. If you are in a sports store, make sure you get a really good feel for the stick. Where possible, try borrowing from teammates or your coach and experiment with how the stick feels. The wrong stick will not only inhibit your play and progress but can also cause pain in your back and wrists, therefore creating a higher risk of injury. The position you play may help you decide on the most appropriate type of stick for you.
Field Hockey Stick Buying Guide
Stick Requirements Based on Position
as a general rule, defenders require a sturdy stick for tackling. They also need to be powerful to help clear the ball. To obtain both these features, they will typically choose a stick that is longer to help reach in for tackles, and heavier to provide greater hitting power, than those who play other positions
forwards are constantly on the attack and therefore need accuracy, speed and ball-handling skills. Their sticks need to be more lightweight than defenders as it will help with maneuverability. Power is also important, and sticks with a high carbon content can help with this without adding unwanted weight.
players in the midfield need to have quick ball-handling skills and the ability to make good tackles. They don’t want their sticks to be too heavy, but they need to be durable. A midi toe design is well balanced and will cater for the needs of a midfielder. A stick that contains aramid will help a midfielder keep control while trapping and dribbling.
If you are still undecided, check out our buyer’s guide and hockey stick reviews. We have done the research for you, all you have to do is buy the best stick for you and get out there and get playing!
Before we look at various aspects to consider when buying a field hockey stick, it is important to understand the parts of the stick. Some of the names are useful terminology, whilst some parts will play a significant role in helping you decide which field hockey stick is best for you.
What are the parts of a field hockey stick?
Shaft / Handle / Grip
the top part of the stick where the player mostly grips the stick. It is often covered with some kind of high-tack grip or sports tape to avoid slipping when swinging and maneuvering.
the part of the stick that makes contact with the ball. It is flat on one side (the side that hits the ball) and curved on the other. This is the part you use to shoot, trap and pass the ball.
The end of the field hockey stick that makes contact with the field and the ball. The head is flat
where the head bends and joins the toe of the stick.
where the head turns. This creates a striking area. The toe varies in size with each version offering different benefits for players based on their skill level and position.
the small groove in the head of the stick. It helps with ball control, cradling and maneuvering.
the slight curve in the stick between the handle and the head.
Field hockey sticks come in a variety of lengths to match the varying heights and needs of players. There are two basic ways to measure if a field hockey stick is a suitable size, both using your body as a guide. The first is to measure the stick against your legs. An appropriately sized stick should reach 1-2 inches below your waist. Alternatively, you can place the stick under your armpit and if it reaches to the middle of your kneecap, it is suitable for you.
A long stick often provides more power but can cause undercutting and therefore frequent raised balls. Using a long stick can also lead to wrist pain and fractures in the stick due to the hard contact with the playing surface. A shorter stick is easier to maneuver as you are lower to the ground, but this can also cause back pain. A short stick limits on the amount of power you can achieve.
If you still have some doubt when it comes to length, or find that your ideal size is between stick sizes, it is worth considering the position you play. Generally, defense players will opt for a longer stick and offense player will use a shorter stick.
Whilst the weight of your stick may be relative to your own size and strength, it really comes down to personal preference. A lighter stick, which weighs between 535 and 545 grams, allows for quick wrist movement and quick backswing and stick skills. If you opt for a heavier stick, in the range of 550 and 560 grams, you will benefit from more power and durability. Once again, if you are in some doubt over the most appropriate weighted stick, consider your playing position. Defenders will typically use a heavier stick and and forwards will generally use a lighter one.
Field hockey sticks can be made from a range of different materials. The material you choose will depend not only on how you like your stick to feel, but also on your budget and skill level.
Carbon offers stiffness and power. The higher the percentage of carbon, the more powerful the stick. However, carbon sticks can be a little on the heavy side and do require more skill to maneuver.
When used on its own, fiberglass is a material that provides power. It is most commonly used in field hockey sticks to reinforce durability and strength when combined with carbon. It is also more economical than carbon, therefore when fiberglass is used in conjunction with carbon it brings the cost down.
Wood field hockey sticks may seem a little dated, but they are still in existence. They are cheaper and make great beginner sticks.
Aramid is a great balancing material that helps to absorb vibrations, making the stick more comfortable to use.
The are a variety of shapes when it comes to toe design, each coming with various benefits and will cater for different skill levels and playing positions.
this toe design allows for quick turning of the stick over the ball and is a very common toe length for offensive players due to its maneuverability, balance, and control.
a midi toes design provides a larger surface area for hitting, making it great for beginners. It is a common design amongst midfielders, hence the term ‘midi’. Flicking, receiving and reverse play are all quite easy to perform with a midi toe design stick.
this larger toe design allows for wide striking and power. These elements make it the toe design of choice for defensive players.
as the name suggests, this design has quite a J-shape to it. There is extra surface area that allows for increased ball control, better drag-flicks and reverse stick play.
Best Field Hockey Stick Reviews
I almost hate to lead off with this one because of its restrictive price compared with decent alternatives. However, in this case, I just have to tell you that this elite level stick (though it runs close to $350), is “all that” and really can add a dimension to your game which just may kick you over the edge from an Advanced player to Elite (no promises, but oh the possibility). You see, STX designates its sticks into 4 categories; Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Elite. The Surgeon XT 901 is most definitely an Elite level stick. That doesn’t mean you can’t handle it as an Intermediate or Advanced player. The specifications are impressive;
It features an extremely low bow (bow height of only 24mm), a balance point of 39.5 cm and an insane 90% Carbon compound with 10% Aramid. The 530 gram weight also puts it in an Elite category above nearly every stick on the market. It’s preferred by Dutch Olympia Jeroen Hertzberger and many other Elite athletes worldwide.
- Has a tapered toe and heel for quick moves on the ball
- Extremely low bow shape for the drag and flick player
- Lighter than any other stick we could find
This stick is officially classified by STX as an intermediate level stick, but you wouldn’t be too far put off using it as an advanced player. The Surgeon RX line of sticks has a line of very advanced features that, cumulatively, give the player a significant advantage. Each stick has a proprietary product/process called “Nano Enhanced Resin System” which minimizes cracking and ensures the stick will remain responsive throughout its life. They feature an increased receiving area and an emphasized sweet spot, which are excellent for reverse stick control.
The feature list continues with a control channel along the edge and bottom of the blade area which adds ball control for precise and accurate stick work, allowing players to get under the ball more easily. We could go on, but honestly, check it out for yourself and read the reviews. We know you’ll like what you see!
- A durable and lightweight stick.
- Stylish color scheme.
- Available in a selection of sizes.
- It is more expensive than many other field hockey sticks.
- This stick is only available in one color scheme.
- The size selection really only caters for taller players.
Malik makes our list with the Gauch X-treme because it is a VERY able competitor to our #1 choice but it comes in significantly less expensive (which is rare for a good competitor). This stick is absolutely an Elite or Pro level stick with its 90% Carbon, 5% Aramid and 5% Fiberglass. It’s durable and has precise and consistent performance. It features a tapered toe and heel for quick ball skill, a comfortable grip for better stick handling and backswings, and it’s perfect for guards, forwards and attackers.
It’s an outdoor stick that can take you to another level if you are an advancing player who is looking for every advantage and opportunity to improve your game without killing your bank account!
- Elite Level stick at an Intermediate price
- 90% carbon for ultimate lightness and control
- 100% satisfaction guarantee (not sure exactly what this is but I’m curious to try it out!)
The Harrow Revel field hockey stick is a durable stick made from carbon and fiberglass. The midi toe design provides great control and you will look good whilst playing courtesy of the silver, black and blue color scheme. Maneuverability is easy with this stick due to its lightweight nature and standard bow design.
- This stick is priced lower than many other, similar products on the market.
- It offers a professional color and design.
- The combination of fiberglass and carbon make it a great stick for those wishing to transition from wood to composite.
- This stick is only available in two sizes.
The HPR 401 is a serious stick and the price jumps from around $50 for the Stallion model one level lower, to nearly $140 for this intermediate level stick. It features a balanced bow shape catering to a upright style player and STX promises it has an optimal balance point for providing power as well as a light feel. It’s infused with 40% carbon composition.
There are 4 Stallion models ranging from Beginner and moving to Intermediate, then Advanced and then Elite. The HPR 401 is squarely in the Intermediate category with its weight and carbon content. Any Stallion stick is a joy to play with, but just for reference, here is how the levels spec out:
Beginner – Stallion HPR 101 with 10% Carbon and 580 gram weight
Intermediate – Stallion HPR 401 with 40% Carbon and 560 gram weight
Advanced – Stallion HPR 701 with 70% Carbon and 550 gram weight
Elite – Stallion HPR 901 with 90% Carbon and 540 gram weight
- Available in 3 lengths
- It is very reasonably priced for a higher end stick.
- The high Carbon content, as well as aramid, makes the stick very forgiving and easy to use.
- The weight of the stick provides great power.
- It is only available in one color.
Grays offer a professional looking field hockey stick in either blue or black. Made from a combination of fiberglass, carbon and aramid, it offers durability as well as keeping vibrations to a minimum. The maxi toe design is great for players who need to be hitting with power, such as those in defensive positions. Grays is a reputable brand and you know you are paying for quality, even though the price is very reasonable.
- The stick is available in four different sizes.
- Vibrations are absorbed due to the composite material, making it pleasant to use.
- A great, powerful stick for defense players.
- Whilst it is reasonably priced, there are many cheaper products on the market offering similar properties.
- The two color choices are very similar and dark, which may not appeal to some users.
This junior field hockey stick is made from durable fiberglass-reinforced mulberry wood and is a great, inexpensive stick for those just starting to learn field hockey. It is responsive and flexible, as well as being thin and quite light. It’s excellent for reverse stick control and drag flicks. There are more color options for this stick on Amazon than any other I’ve seen, and it has ELEVEN length options as well! A 1-year warranty is standard. It may not have all the finessed features of a pro stick, but for less cash than you’d spend on a trip to McDonald’s, this is a great deal!
- This field hockey stick is far cheaper than many other products on the market.
- It provides great power without feeling too much vibration.
- This is a durable field hockey stick.
- Just a basic model to get you in the game
This STX Rookie Starter Pack is the only one on the market that contains an ASTM certified goggle (American Society for Testing of Materials). It includes an RX 50 stick ($36 on its own) along with a stick bag , adult reversible shin guard and the 2See-S adult goggle. It’s available in 34″, 35″ and 36″ lengths (the stick that is) and altogether the items in this package would be significantly higher in price (around $100) if you bought them separately (I know ’cause they’re all on Amazon!). This deal is $20 less at least!
- The package is value for money.
- Choice of two great colors.
- Available in a range of sizes to suit the needs of any beginner.
- If you are only looking to purchase a stick, you can do so for cheaper if you do not need the included extra accessories.
- The size options do not cater for taller field hockey players.
This is a more expensive field hockey stick from Grays, but it is one of superb quality. It offers a newly designed micro toe design which is great for flicking and lifting the ball. It also allows you to turn the stick over faster which means you will have better ball handling skills. The composite materials of carbon, fiberglass and aramid allow for a greater combination of flexibility and durability. The handle is an Energy Reduction Handle which helps eliminates the feeling of vibration.
- Grays is a well-known and trusted brand.
- New technology in the toe design allows for more speed of movement.
- The composite material ensures forgiveness in the stick as well as durability.
- Available in four sizes.
- It is more expensive that many other field hockey sticks on the market.
- It is not suitable for shorter players, or those who prefer a shorter stick.
- There is only one color option available.
The Fresh makes our list as another elite level stick like the Grays GX6000, only a few bucks cheaper. It’s the best stick for the player who like to drag flick. There is excellent stiffness which enhances control over the ball. It has a round shaft and a thin stretched U-hook for 3D skills. Even with the stiffness factor, it still has a soft feel! Strikers and drag-flickers will find this Malik to their liking for sure!
- It is priced a little lower than other, similar field hockey sticks at an elite level.
- Great, balanced ratio of materials – 50% Carbon – 5% Kevlar- 45% Fiber Glass
- Only comes in a Silver/Black combo
- Only available in 37.5″ length
Tips on Purchasing a Stick
Conclusion & Recommendations
Choosing the right stick can be a daunting task. Hopefully our guide has taken the guesswork out of the equation and made the selection process and little more straightforward. We can highly recommend the Grays GX6000 for its high quality material. It is on the upper end of the price scale, but worth every cent. It’s power and durability are second to none, and vibrations are kept to a minimum making it really comfortable to use. If budget is something you need to consider then the STX Stallion 200 is a great mix of durability without breaking the bank. Junior players should definitely try out the Grays Surf 500 2016 as it offers a large range of sizes meaning that there will be one to suit the size of any young player.
It is important to take into consideration many factors such as weight, length, what the stick is made from, the position you play, your own size, your skill level, and of course, it has to look good! It is perfectly normal for two players of similar size, skill and position to use very different sticks. When it comes to choosing your preferred stick, there are suggestions only. In fact, the most important factor is that you feel comfortable using it. If you can maneuver as you need, hit with enough power, tackle your opponents and comfortably trap balls, then you are on the right track. As your game progresses, don’t be afraid to experiment with the type of stick you use. All you have to do now is grab your new stick go and enjoy some field hockey!