Best field hockey sticks for advanced forwards must be designed to be nimble, shaped to help the player perform 3-D skills, drag-flick penalties, and have a powerful shot rating. To help the player with 3-D skills top brands like Grays, Adidas and STX utilize the low bow shape. This helps skills such as the Jink steal and scoops.
The latest composites provide durability and strength. Graphene is the latest hi-tech material added to composites. Stronger than diamond yet light and flexible it’s ideal for advanced forwards’ field hockey sticks. The flexibility of graphene makes trapping the ball easier (the ball won’t bounce off the stick with little control). Nuances in weight distribution affect control, speed, and power. The best field hockey brands have their own technology of advanced composite using carbon and graphite as well, to enhance these key features.
Tasks of a Forward
The task of forward field hockey players is to score goals or create assists for other players. An advanced forward should have a stick that helps a player perform these skills. Lightness and power are key when dribbling and shooting on goal. The best field hockey sticks for advanced forwards will boast both benefits.
Low Bow Shape
The low bow (or Jumbow) is most popular with top international forwards as the low bow shape makes 3-D skills easier to perform. This could be a tomahawk. See my article on performing the tomahawk here. It may be a jink steal where the ball is expertly stolen by deflection over an opposition stick or the scoop where the ball is scooped over a defender’s hook while on a mazy run.
Nimble and sharp stick play is crucial when it comes to sliding a ball past defenders and shooting on goal. An advanced forward requires a stick to reflect and support these advanced skills. Here is our bow shape guide…
Drag Flick Capabilities
The low bow shape comes into its own when taking a penalty from a corner. This is also known as a drag flick. The ball is first controlled from a high-speed corner pass and then flicked at goal. The world’s best player at the drag flick, Sandeep Singh shoots at goal at over 145 kms an hour so the stick must be powerful.
The following sticks are the best field hockey sticks, currently available for forwards that we know of. A combination of speed, power, forward’s skill enhancing features, and also the price is factors considered while compiling this list of sticks for advanced forwards.
Stick Sizes Guide
Before continuing it is important to get the right size of stick. If you choose a stick that’s too long it will hinder your accurate passing and strikes of the ball. If you buy a stick that’s to short you’ll find yourself stooping and becoming uncomfortable. Here is our stick measurement guide…
Best Field Hockey sticks for Advanced Forwards
The Jumbow is sought by internationals around the world. The Jumbow is Grays traditional low bow style stick. Although this is more than a traditional stick – it’s a groundbreaking stick. Made of a composite of graphene and carbon this stick is powerful, light, and durable. In the take-up its composite which grays calls it’s TRI-TECTM system is flexible so the ball doesn’t ricochet off without control. Its weight to balance ratio gives the stick enormous power while the graphene makes it feel light which is ideal for 3-D skills.
The Grays GR11000 Probow is a top-class stick for forwards in many ways. The Probow’s low bow shape is designed to help players drag-flick, with the special ‘drag-flick’ groove. This gives more speed to the ball from flicks. Another pro I bestow on this stick is the straighter rear profile, which helps with reverse stick passing and shooting. The pro dampening handle is also very comfortable for players who spend many hours a week playing. The GR11000 composition is made with Tri-Tech carbon reinforcement, including graphene which is 200 times stronger than steel, while still being flexible.
The GR11000 offers players more control and durability while also having a very powerful shot. More useful for a midfielder or a forward than a defender.
This STX stick is 90% carbon. That tells us in STX speak, it’s for the more advanced forward before we pick it up.
The extreme low bow shape is ideal for drag flickers. While the precision toe is basically a maxi toe, with a large surface area to receive and hit, which makes it more for the advanced forward who doesn’t want to mess about. Someone more interested in trapping and shooting, than nimble dribbling. The tapered toe and heel allows for more grip and control on the ball.
Featuring Encore Vibration Canceling Tech, the Surgeon XT 901 increases comfort while playing and minimizes sting in your hands. Endorsed by quite a few pro players, this is one of the best on the market.
This stick is one of two in my choice, with a higher apex bow shape which is an all-rounder shape – most positions could use it. However, it has a 3D skills enhanced design, so forwards will feel more at home with the flagship of the Adidas range.
It comes with a chamois-style handle which dampens vibrations. Using Formula 1 technology, the stick is made using a pre-molded epoxy core in the head which produces superior layer compaction. This improves consistency and response when passing and trapping the ball. The stick is 90% carbon and the unique shape makes it feel light, though powerful.
The high apex bow is preferred by some forwards for its more upright stance in tight positions. All said, it’s an elite-level stick ideal for advanced forwards. Adidas is quite chuffed that the colour won’t chip as it’s infused into the carbon. It is a pricey stick though, which may take some polish of the chrome finish.
The Adidas Kromaskin is a favorite with international players, with an eye-catching silver finish. The LX24 features Touch compound that helps to keep the ball under control at the contact point. The stick has a mid bow shape, perfect for drag flicking, aerials, or 3D skills, thanks to its 3-D head.
Its weight distribution is well advanced compared with a few of the other premium sticks we tried. You’ll find the traditional shaped toe is as good at defending as it is taking a hard shot on goal. Some big names in field hockey use Adidas and are suitably impressed with their stick’s performance. Including, Alan Forsyth, the new star of Great Britain. The Scotsman who has scored 102 goals from 179 appearances so far for the Brits said the Kromaskin
“is the best stick I’ve played with.The new shape is great
for control and the power you get when hitting is excellent.”
The F1 technology has created a durable stick capable of packing a punch.
The Dynabow looks the same as the Jumbow which is confusing. This is the Grays answer to the Adidas DF24. The Grays GR 10000 makes this list as a versatile favorite. Its sweeping classic bow, with a higher apex, could be used with aplomb all over the pitch.
More predictable in tight spots, this allows the advanced forward to be nimble and clever while defenders are closing. It’s like marmite for the advanced forward as many prefer the low bow, however, some like the higher apex in tighter spots. Made with revolutionary graphene, the stick feels light and as the substance is harder than diamond, durability should not be an issue with this investment. You’ll find the maxi toe gives you a better area for control.
Not really a drag flick specialist’s stick, you should look elsewhere for a low bow design if that is the main area of your game.
As a rule, the best sticks for advanced forwards should be light, durable, powerful, while adapted to help 3-D skills and drag flicks. However, the low bow genre does not have to apply to forwards. Some forwards prefer the mid bow design which they feel is better to operate (more predictable) especially in advanced positions, when in a tight spot.
In my opinion, the Grays GR 12000 Jumbow is number one for advanced forwards. Let me know below what you think.
Eddie, your hockey reporter.