Best Hockey Stick Reviews UK 2016 – 2017
Thinking about buying a new hockey stick? There are a variety of hockey sticks that fit every use and need, and you should be able to find one that fits you with no problem. When choosing the best hockey stick, you will want to take a few things into account, such as weight, head shape and bend, and length.
First is weight. This can be very much a matter of personal preference, but generally, players prefer lighter sticks. Forwards often play with lighter sticks while backs generally like heavier sticks, but it is all up to the individual player. Weight is one reason that composite hockey sticks, such as those made of carbon, have become so popular; the increased stiffness of the stick leads to much greater power, but in a package that weighs much less. In general, carbon is used to add stiffness to a stick, while aramid adds strength and softens any vibrations. Fiberglass is used sort of life a casing or sleeve, wrapped around the entire stick. It adds durability, strength and even some ball speed.
The downside to carbon sticks, and their increased stiffness, is that the stiffer a stick is, the harder it can be to stop the ball or control its direction. The ball practically flies of the head. This can be very difficult for inexperienced players to get used to.
Sticks made of wood or fiberglass (among other materials) are likely heavier, but will be less stiff. They will not be as powerful, but they will make it much easier to control the ball and stop it, especially for newer players with less experience.
The next thing you’ll want to consider is length. There are generally two ways to find the proper size for a hockey stick. The first is to hold the stick upright on the ground; the ideal stick will be 1-2 inches below your waist. The second method is called the Dutch Method, where you hold the head of the stick in your armpit; the end of the stick should reach right at the middle of the kneecap.
Some players may like their stick a little bit longer, and some a little shorter. It’s a matter of preference. A longer stick is often more appropriate for defence, while a shorter stick is better for handling skills on offense. Too long a stick, and you will undercut the ball. Too short a stick, and you will constantly be leaning over too far as you play.
Next, you’ll want to take a look at the head shape. There are a few different ones to consider, such as the Midi, the Maxi, and the J-head. The Midi is most appropriate for players who love to dribble, and is the most common toe shape for beginners and midfielders. The Maxi is the largest, standard toe size, and is usually used by defensive players as it has some good power and a larger surface for striking. The J-Hook curves into a J-shape, and gives a larger surface and more control over the ball. This is good for better drag-flicks and reverse stick play.
Most hockey sticks will also have a slight bow in the shaft. This affects where the stick balances and how it handles the ball. A standard bow (very slight) will affect every part of the game more equally, while a more pronounced bow will help with control and lifting the ball. Which one is right for you depends on your skill level, and on personal playing style.
With all that in mind, we’ve compiled a short guide below with our best hockey stick reviews of 2016 - 2017.
Our Top 5 Table
Wood, reinforced fiberglass, graphite
Browning Nanoncarb Areolite
Carbon, graphite, fiberglass, aramid
Carbon, aramid, fiberglass
Wood, fiberglass reinforced
Carbon, fiberglass, aramid
The Best Hockey Stick Reviews UK of 2016 - 2017
Slazenger Urban Comp
First on our best hockey stick list is the Slazenger Urban. The Slazenger Urban hockey stick is made of wood and reinforced with fiberglass and graphite. It features a 4-ply laminated Midi shaped head, making it an excellent choice for midfielders and beginning players. It also has a padded Polyurethane grip for added comfort. It designed to be a lightweight stick, thus more suitable for forwards and beginners, and has a traditional shaped bow. It comes in both 34” and 36” inch lengths, making it suitable for players between 5’ and 5’8.
The Slazenger is currently at a low price on Amazon, and has 4.5/5 stars. Players love the feel and quality of the stick. However, some have complained that the paint on the toe chips easily on contact with the ball. All in all, it’s a good entry-level stick for someone just starting out, learning the basics or still learning their own playing style.
- Good price
- Wood reinforced with fiberglass, graphite
- Paint chips easily
Browning Nanocarb Aerolite 36.5"
The Browning Nanocarb Aerolite is a full-sized stick, suitable for adults. It is built from Browning’s new NanoCarbon technology, using carbon and graphite, reinforced with Glassfibre Aramid. Browning says the NanoCarbon increases the durability and greatly helps with the feel and handling of the stick. The Areolite features Browning’s new concave head design, which adds a good deal of thickness and power when striking the ball. It is also built with a Midi-shaped head for added control.
Overall, players love the Aerolite, praising its durability, control and value. They also praise its ability to absorb hits from the ball. Some reviewers have expressed that the stick is quite heavy, and thus best suited for defenders. It retails for a moderate price, with 4.5 stars on Amazon, being one of the best hockey sticks for beginners and intermediate players on the uk market.
- Nanocarbon, Aramid construction
- Aerolite technology
- Good control
Grays GX 2500 Ultrabow
The Grays GX 2500 is a full-composite, Maxi-head hockey stick. It is built from fiberglass, reinforced aramid and carbon, which gives it increased power and durability. It also features what Grays calls an Ultrabow blade profile, which is ideal for developing core skills and hitting the ball head on. It features a standard chamois grip for comfort, and is great for a year-round, all-weather grip. It also features a Hi-Soft Traction grip on the front. It is a lightweight stick with a Stiff rating, meaning that it provides good power without sacrificing too much control. It is great for drag flicks and reverse stick control. The Maxi Toe provides a large receiving area, making handling the ball much easier, but with this stick, players say that it has the power of a Midi toe. It is not an exceptionally powerful stick, and is rated as low.
The GX 2500 is currently selling for a fairly average price on Amazon, which makes it a solid, unbeatable for a stick of its size. It is a great stick for intermediate and advanced players, and has a 5-star rating on Amazon. Players love its feel and handling abilities, and praise its composite construction.
- Good price, value
- Full composite build
- Best for intermediate, advanced players
- Low power rating
The Grays Revo Hockey Stick is solid, decently-priced, entry-level stick. It is built from a wooden construction, and reinforced with fiberglass. This gives it a very durable yet natural feel that handles well. It also features a new, soft PVC grip. This handle is designed and contoured for newer, younger players, to help them grip the stick better. With its Maxi head shape, it provides a lot of control over the ball, and makes it suitable for defenders (though it can be used by players of any position) and its standard bow construction, with a 20mm curve height, allows for easy handling of the ball for players of all skill levels. It is rated as Stiff, meaning that it has some good power locked behind the ball as well.
The Revo comes in lengths from 26 inches to 36.5 inches, making it suitable for players of all heights. It has 5/5 stars on Amazon, with users praising its build quality and construction, as well as appealing looks. As mentioned, it is best intended for junior players and those still developing control of the stick, and who are not looking to spend a premium amount on a stick.
The Grays Revo sells for a very low price; it’s an excellent value hockey at this price, and is a good all-around stick suitable for newer and less-experienced players.
- Excellent deal
- Build quality, construction
- Maxi head shape provides great control over the ball
- Best meant for junior players
GRAYS GX 3000 ULTRABOW 2016
The last stick on our list is another Grays stick, this time the GX 3000. The GX 3000 is a slightly more expensive stick than say the Grays Revo or GX 2500, and is on sale for a little more on Amazon. It comes in both 36.5 and 37.5 inch lengths. It is an entirely composite stick, build out of carbon, aramid and fiberglass. While it is rated as a Low power stick, the extra stiffness of the composite materials adds some good power to the blade, while remaining light and nimble. It also features an Ultrabow blade profile, which curves 22mm. The Ultrabow is the least extreme bow shape that Grays has and is perfect for control and working on your ball handling skills.
The GX 3000 has a Micro head shape, which is slightly smaller than a Maxi head and a bit thinner, which gives it a smaller turn radius than a Maxi. The balance point is about 38-39mm, making it a well-balanced, all-around stick. The GX3000 is also rated as Stiff. It uses Grays Traction Grip, and has what Grays calls the True Feel handle design – which has less padding for a better grip and handling.
Overall, the GX3000 is another high-quality offering from Grays, widely known for their quality sticks. It has a 5/5 star rating on Amazon, with players praising its control, feel and durability. It is suitable for players of all styles and skill levels. With all this taken into account, the GX3000 firmly secures its place on our best hockey stick reviews list.
- Great quality, Grays reputation
- Composite build (carbon, aramid, fiberglass)
- Great ball handling; micro head gives tight turn radius
- Not very powerful
A Few More Thoughts
It is completely normal for a hockey stick to accumulate some wear and tear. Paint will often crack and chip over time, especially on the head after a hard hit or crack. Obviously, these are made to withstand the normal wear of a ball impacting the head, but occasionally they will crack – especially wooden ones. Fiberglass reinforcements really help with this.
It is also common for pieces of fiberglass or other materials to come loose inside the shaft or handle of the stick, and make a lot of noise as it rattles around or vibrate upon hitting the ball. This does not mean it is permanently damaged, and it can be easily removed. You will need to remove the grip (and thus, buy a new one first), remove the end cap, and shake the stick until the broken piece falls out. You can then replace the end cap and grip, and your stick will be like new.
Final Word on The Best UK Stick for Hockey Reviews 2016 - 2017
Any of these hockey sticks provides an excellent choice, depending on your needs and skill level. Our best field hockey stick 2016 - 2017 pick would be the Grays GX3000. With its composite build, it is one of the most durable and solid sticks out there today. Its Ultrabow shape and Micro head allow for excellent manoeuvrability and control of the ball. Grays is known for their quality hockey gear they offer, and the GX3000 is no exception.
If you’re looking for something less expensive, the Slazenger Urban hockey stick is also an excellent choice, at less than half the price. While it is a wooden model, and thus a bit heavier, its graphite and fiberglass reinforced body is durable and powerful. It is designed more for younger, and less experienced players, but is still an excellent stick for the value it provides.
Our reviews should provide you with everything you need to select the right choice for your needs. Good luck on the hockey field!