CHOOSING THE STICK THAT BEST SUITS YOU
When choosing the model of stick that suits you best, consider the following:
The power a stick generates when hitting or slapping a ball is dependant on how stiff the shaft of the stick is. This is in turn dependant on a number of factors including the mix of materials used, the quality of these materials, and the construction process used in the mould. Top end sticks tend to have a more precise feel but more power which suites a better player who is able to time the ball.
By feel we mean how the sticks feels when in contact with the ball when hitting, stopping or performing other skills. The feel is influenced by the mix of materials used, where these materials are placed in the sticks (the sticks lay-up) and the moulding process and quality of materials. Sticks which have a softer feel tend to be more forgiving and easier to play with. Top end sticks because of their high shaft stiffness tend to have a harder and require more skill to use effectively. Examples of technology that is used to improve or soften the feel of a sticks is the silicon sleeve technongy used for the Gryphon Tour and the ERS system used on the Grphon Chrome sticks.
3. SHAFT CURVE
The size and position of the curve in the shaft is the personal preference of the player. The curve in the shaft will be limited to a maximum of 25mm. Players who drag flick or throw a lot of overheads often use a stick which has a very low curve position and a thin head. A curve which has it’s apex further up the shaft is more suited for all round play.
4. HEAD SHAPE
Most sticks use a midi head shape whil;e the Gryphon Classic Curve and the Deuce shapes have an oversize head (extended toe) and thin head profile which improves control, especially on the reverse stick side.
The length of the stick is also personal preference and dependant on the player’s height and playing style. For juniors, a rough guide is that the handle should ideally be level with the lower part of the pocket (just below the hip joint). On the whole women tend more to use a 36 and a half inch stick and men a 37 and a half inch stick. The odd player may sometimes use a 38.5 inch stick.
6. WEIGHT andD BALANCE
The weight and balance of the should also suite the player concerned. With the advent of synthetic sticks the trend has been to lighter weights, as the weight has a negligible influence on the power. The balance point on the stick is an indication of the weight distribution - the longer the balance point, the lighter the head. Younger players, forwards and women tend to go for sticks that are a bit lighter in the head. Defenders tend to go for slightly heavier sticks with more weight lower down the shaft.
It is important that the stick be well constructed in order to provide maximum durability. In order to improve durability sticks are sometimes wrapped with an aramide weave around the head and lower shaft of the stick. These pliable fibres help protect the stick against impact and abrasion at the bottom. If a stick is well constructed one does not buy up in the range for durability but rather for performance.