Korok Hockey sticks hanging from wooden wall

How to choose your hockey stick - size guide

Starting out in the world of Hockey? Get ready for the field with our expert guide.

It would be difficult to argue that the most important piece of hockey equipment is your hockey stick, so it’s essential to make sure you get the perfect size to suit you. Find out what you need to consider before heading for checkout below.

What size hockey stick do i need?

There are a few theories on how to measure a hockey stick's size. The most popular way of measuring it is from the floor to the hip bone. This works as a rough guide for buying online kids' sticks.

The best way is to pick up a stick and use it in the store. For children, if it's their first-ever stick, use the hip measurement as a starting point. Then take a ball from the display and either pass between the child and yourself or, if they are confident enough, ask them to dribble or try a "v drag".

It's not unusual for your child to want to upgrade to an adult stick before they are ready, as the adult range tends to open up more in composition, shape and graphics. However, this could negatively impact your child's development, encouraging incorrect body posturing.

You'll know just from observing whether your child is in the right area size-wise. Generally, adults will use a 36.5-inch stick, while some prefer 37.5-inch sticks. 38.5"-inch sticks are now becoming popular and can be purchased online for more advanced models.

Why would you go up a size as an adult?

The longer the stick, the bigger the reach. Tacking becomes easier, and you can run in a more upright position by using a long stick, which shows in the performance. A famous 5'6" Dutch player uses a 38.5"-inch stick as it allows her to run more easily with the ball, although this means adjusting her hands regularly to control the ball when it is closer to her feet.

Changing stick sizes is a relatively easy process for most adults. It's essential to take time to adjust and learn the basics. Arrive early at training, spend a few minutes hitting the ball into the fence or a goal, and push and stop with a friend. This will refine the motor skills you need when playing.

What is a hockey stick made from?

Today, sticks are made of wood, carbon, kevlar, fibreglass and aramite and there are always new innovations emerging.

Player with hockey stick standing near goal


Basic hockey sticks often made for children are made out of wood. Many are reinforced with carbon fibre, but the bulk of the stick is wooden. This makes the stick softer on the hands when you receive and pass the ball but reduces power when striking. They tend to be a lot cheaper and a good place to start when you first take up the game. Great for beginners.

Fireglass - Found in mid-range sticks, you get more power than wood without losing much comfort. Often the amount of fibreglass will vary from 30-70% in a midrange stick. Great for developing players, often as a second stick once you settle into the sport.


The thinking goes that the more carbon you have, the more power you transfer into the ball. This is true, but carbon isn’t everything. The higher the carbon element, the harder it is to control the ball at speed. That’s why our top stick is not 100% carbon. Very few field hockey sticks are genuinely 100% carbon-made. A full carbon stick has a shorter life expectancy, but you will see increased power as the payoff, and it is popular among more experienced players and those looking to do a high volume of striking.

Kevlar & Aramite

These are used to reinforce the sticks and are becoming less common.

When deciding on what composition to use, consider how confident you are in your skills and what you want to work on and focus on with your next stick. The more carbon, the harder you can hit the ball, but the more skilful you need to be.

What is the bend or bow of a hockey stick?

You can learn to play with the bend or bow in the stick, and the more you play with it, the better you will become.

Think about how you play the game and how you want to play the game in the future when deciding what sort of bow to look for.

A hockey stick isn't just a straight piece of wood; a straight stick would be awful to play with! You've got standard bow bows, mid bows, extra low bows and everything in between.

Hockey game taking place


Standard Bow

This is probably the closest to the straight stick you may be thinking of. This suits absolute beginners first entering the game. Within a season or two, most would expect to move on to a mid bow.

Mid Bow

This tends to suit beginners and people moving toward the intermediate level as the basic skills can be learnt and applied relatively easily. Receiving and giving passes will generally become easier, as will shooting. Lifting the ball and slinging it in a pass is also slightly easier with a mid-bow.

Low Bow

The position of the bend in the stick is vital. For people looking to drag, flick and lift the ball overhead long distances, a low bow does the job for you. But this makes other skills harder; hitting and stopping the ball can become more complex and affect your overall performance. The sharper the bend, the harder reverse stick striking becomes. No wonder this is great for experienced players!

Extra Low Bow

Often reserved for the most skilful of players, this will aid "3D" skills, whereby the ball is played below knee level but off the ground while dribbling. It is excellent for drag flicks and lifting the ball over long distances, but stopping and hitting become even harder. This is an excellent choice for goalscorers and advanced players.

Ultimately, you can learn to play with the bend or bow in the stick. The more you play with it, the better you will become. In-store, you can try the sticks out in person and get advice from our experts. Think about how you play the game and how you want to play the game in the future when deciding what sort of bow you're looking for. A mid-bow will most likely be a great fit if you want to be a no-nonsense player with great basics. If you are a jack of all trades and a master of some, get the low bow, while if you're all about flair and goalscoring - an extra low bow will work best!

Final checks

1) Does the stick interfere with the body? Children are often keen on upgrading to a bigger stick when they won't always need one. If it is too big, the handle will jab them in the stomach when they use it and make for uncomfortable play.

2) Are they bending over too far? Hockey is played in a squat position, or as some call it, "The Toilet Seat Position". They should have a straight back when playing with a minimal spine bend. If they have to bend over too much, it'll be clear from a glance.

3) Is it comfortable? If the player can use the stick without difficulty, then you are onto a winner!

Now that you have all the hockey stick know-how, find an extensive range of hockey sticks to suit your measurements without compromising on all-round performance. 

How to choose - UK Draft to copy

Simon webb

Uk field hockey expert

"The Hockey Family is a concept I believe in wholeheartedly. I’ve played hockey all over the world and the bond we share is unique. It’s a sport of respect, fun, athleticism and equality. I’ve been lucky to manage at it the international and national level, umpire regional competitive games and national league friendlies, volunteer in European and Olympic competitions, and have contributed to the sport as a journalist & photographer.

By being part of the Decathlon Field Hockey Project I am so happy to help millions of people enjoy the sport I love and live! Nothing thrills me more than to hear stories of hockey so please get in contact!"

Read next

Person adjusting their shin guard in a field

How to Choose your Hockey Shin Guards

When choosing your hockey shin guards, you need to take measurements and consider a variety of styles that suit your play. Find out more.

Man skiing in slopes

How to Choose Your Ski Poles?

There's more to a ski pole than its size. From the handle to the basket, here are the features will help you find the right one for your next ski trip...

three friends standing together overlooking snowy mountains

The Ultimate Ski Packing List for Your Next Ski Holiday

Stuck on what to pack? Discover the ultimate ski packing list for your next trip. From skis to ski trousers and ski jackets, right here at Decathlon.