Choosing the best hockey stick for youth players can be tricky.
They may be just getting started in the game and not even know what kind of stick it best and young players can be easily influenced by ads and friends that have specific name brands.
Choosing the right stick will help your young ones get off to a good start in hockey.
But that doesn’t mean he/ she needs the most expensive stick. It all depends on the practice and playing technique of the young player.
To make it easier for you to get the best stick for your young player…we narrowed it down to a few of the best options out there.
If you want to skip to our top recommendation…it is the Bauer Vapor 1X Lite Grip Youth. You can CLICK HERE to check availability on Hockey Monkey.
If you want to see our complete guide to the Best Hockey Sticks CLICK HERE.
If you want a breakdown and a guide on choosing the best stick for youth players, keep reading…
Best Hockey Sticks For Youth Players
Best Overall Youth Stick
Bauer Vapor 1x Lite Grip Youth
This is one of the lightest, quickest releasing and the most versatile stick ever! Reviews suggest that the product has a great overall feel and provides excellent responsiveness. The technologies used are QRT+, ACL, which provide better stability.
The carbon fiber used in making this one-piece stick is TeXtreme which is 20% lighter and 20% stronger than traditional fiber. eLASTech Resin system helps to extend pop life.
Best Budget Youth Stick
Warrior Covert QR Edge Grip Youth
This stick is made completely of carbon fiber material called Minimus Carbon 1200, which is incredibly lightweight. This stick is ideal for beginners who just started playing the sport. The grip is a textured surface Pro Cortex, which proves to give a solid hold based on several reviews. The tapered edge allows for more explosive shots. All this package comes at a very reasonable price.
The only con of this stick is that some users did not get the best feel when holding the stick
Bauer Nexus 2N Pro Youth
This popular stick has a 35 flex rating uses much of the same advanced technology that is used in the senior models. It is known for its durability and flexibility.
This stick is great for youth players because they have incorporated a new carbon fiber material that gives the same strength but at a weight that is 20% lighter. That can have a big impact on a younger player’s enjoyment of the game.
CCM Jetspeed Grip Youth
It provides excellent versatility for players that need a quick shot release without sacrificing heavy shooting power. This stick features a dampening layer on the face that balances the puck feel and pop.
True XCore XC9
The stick is made with Axenic technology for a true one-piece design. The overall design is made with accuracy and efficiency in mind. SmartPly and SmartFlex designs provide better balance, strength and feel to the stick. The blade is incredibly strong. It has a flex rating of 20 which is enough for new players but pro-youth players, this rating is a bit low.
What To Look For In A Youth Hockey Stick
Youth hockey sticks are designed for young players aged between 3-8, with heights 3’0″ to 4’8″. When looking for a hockey stick make sure the stick feels comfortable in the hands. Other factors like length, weight, stiffness, lie, flex, and the curve should also be checked. After careful speculation of several top composite hockey sticks available on the market right now, I have compiled a list of the best hockey sticks your kids would adore when on the field. This list is merely a guide to save your time and look only for the sticks mentioned, in terms of choosing, it depends on your kids to decide which stick suits them the best as they’ll be the ones playing with it.
Material (composite and wood):
Wood was once the only material that the hockey sticks were made of. But that became different 20 years ago when composite hockey sticks came to the market. These sticks are the result of technological advancements that this sport has seen. Composite means that the stick is made not of one material, but several materials to increase the performance in every aspect of the playing techniques.
Hence the best and most popular material available for the hockey sticks is composite.
Composite comprises of several materials. Some are made of heavy plastic while some are made of titanium. Kevlar is a popular option because of its strong and reliable structure. Despite the exact make-up, composite sticks are lighter and more durable than wood sticks.
The length of your hockey stick decides your ability to control your reach, your shots and the ability to control the puck. How you receive and pass also depends on the length of the stick. A mid-length stick is preferred for youngsters and would be appropriate for them to learn good stickhandling.
52” is the average length of a junior hockey stick, while 48” is for the youth players. But they can be easily cut down or extended according to the player’s preferences. A stick size depends on the height of the young players.
Flex is a measure to analyze how much force is required to make the shaft bend. The force is measured in pounds. This is important to know because to flex an 80 flex shaft you will need to apply 80 pounds of force to move the shaft one inch. The average flex rating for adults is between 75 and 100.
When looking for an ideal youth hockey stick, younger children should usually start with a 20 flex shaft. Older children could opt for a 30 flex shaft if they have enough practice. Flex rating gets higher with older age.
In the weight department, most players prefer light composite sticks to the heavier ones. It’s simple; the lighter the hockey stick, the easier it is to move the puck. It also makes for great control and maneuvering around the ice a breeze. In general, a lightweight stick is easier to carry around.
Some players still use heavier sticks because of the power they can add in their shots. A heavier stick can slow you down, but it makes up for it with harder shots.
For young players, it is generally a better option to buy a lighter stick.
Here’s a helpful chart for choosing the right stick…
|Age Group||Height (feet)||Weight (lbs.)||Recommended Flex||Length|
|Youth (3-5)||3’0″- 3’10”||30-65||35||38-44″|
|Youth (6-8)||3’10”- 4’8″||50-80||40/45||45-49″|
|Junior (7-13)||4’4″- 5’1″||70-110||50/55||50-54″|
|Intermediate (11-14)||4’11”- 5’4″||95-125||60||55-58″|
|Intermediate (12-14)||5’2″- 5’8″||100-140||65/70||55-58″|
|Senior (14+)||5’5″- 5’10”||125-175||75/80||57-61″|
|Senior (14+)||5’7″- 6’1″||150-200||85/90||58-62″|
|Senior (14+)||5’10”- 6’4″||180-235||100/105||60-63″|
How to choose stick length for your child?
For young players or newer players, I prefer sticks that stand just parallel to the nose of the child when standing without skates. When wearing skates, it should stand right under the chin. Of course, there is no defined set of rules to justify the perfect length, and you can always choose the length based on your personal preferences.
Remember, the stick should not be too short or too long. If it’s too short it can cause the player to be a bit hunched over and can also interfere with the player’s puck control. Because if they’re holding a short stick, they’ll be in an upright position, which will bring the heel of the stick up off the ice and they will have a greater chance to miss the puck. And if the stick is too long, it can also interfere with the player’s performance in several ways.
A proper length can be identified when the player is standing in the hockey stance, the blade of the stick stands flush with the ice, and the top of the stick is not sticking out behind the body.
What flex stick does your child need:?
It requires countless hours of practice to master the techniques of shooting the perfect shot in hockey. Only pro players can flex above 80 flex rating. However, young ones are still learning and relative to their body weight they can only exert power below 40. A preferred flex rating of 20 is for beginners and children at the age of 3 to 8. Children at the edge of the age range, and are growing fast, should move on to a flex rating of 30. Don’t buy sticks that are too stiff, or your child won’t be able to get good feedback when making a shot. After selecting the stick, your child can test it to see where his/ her bottom and top hand should be on the stick when he/ she is making a shot to feel the nice power in their shots.
What curve is best for youth hockey players?
When curved blades were a thing hockey sticks were made with straight blades. Players soon realized that a curved blade will increase performance by providing more control over the puck, and greatly increasing shot speed.
Now there are five major types of curves, heel, mid-heel, mid, toe, mid-toe.
Heel Curves are the most open-faced and are great for chipping pucks into the zone. They are perfect for defense.
Mid-Heel Curves offer a mix of both toe and heel curve characteristics. They have the mid curve for good handling but also have a large open face starting at the heel.
Mid Curves are the most popular and highly preferred sticks among youth players and beginners. Passers, snipers, and stick handlers consider these sticks over the others. – You should prefer this stick curve for your young one.
Toe Curves have straight heels and mid sections and bend at the toe. They are great for extra speed shots and can give the last second lift on your shots. They are preferred by forwards
Mid-Toe Curves have a very open face and are similar to mid curves. It offers characteristics of both the mid-curves and the toe curves. They are best for lifting and stick handling.