If you are a beginner at field hockey you will have different needs in your stick design than an experienced player. An experienced player who plays regularly will opt for a more competitive stick than a beginner’s hockey stick. The beginner’s stick will be easier to control and designed to help the player learn the basics.
More often than not a beginner won’t want to spend as much as an experienced player while learning the game and deciding whether to play regularly over a longer period. The following field hockey sticks have been tested rigorously with only the beginner in mind. The following are my opinions on sticks that are the most competitively priced and best value to enhance your beginner’s game and help you enjoy field hockey to the max.
You may be an adult novice who wants a starter stick? Or you may be a junior starting out in the game? If you are a parent of a junior don’t fall to temptation in buying a field hockey stick that is several sizes too big for your child, knowing they will grow into it. The child is more likely to regularly scuff the hook causing damage and shortening the life of the stick. Not only that, the child’s development in the game will suffer as they will find it hard to master the basics, including dribbling skills with a stick that’s too long.
Buy a stick that’s too short and it could lead to long-term back problems. Indeed, the length of your stick can be the deciding factor in helping complete an accurate pass or making a successful steal and not undercutting the shot. I enclose out stick length guide to help you choose.
The shape of the hockey stick is important for beginners. Experienced forwards especially will often opt basic for a low bow for scooping the ball and advanced 3D skills. The beginner will want a more predictable stick with a flatter bow shape and with a predictable, wider surface are so he or she can get used to trapping and hitting.
If you are in a hurry you can see my choices here:
- RX50 STX Field hockey Stick (Starter Kit)
- Grays Surf 500 Field Hockey Stick
- Harrow Supreme15 Field Hockey Stick
- CranBarry Eagle Field Hockey Stick
- Byte TS2 Composite Field Hockey Stick
Nowadays entry-level sticks don’t need to be made completely of wood. Fiberglass is lighter and stronger and works well in a composite. Wood has largely been phased out because it often cracks and imperfections can arise in production.
Ultrabows are ideal for the beginner as they have a flatter profile, usually with a 22 mm apex of the bow. The straighter curve enables young players to develop basic skills.
Here are my top 5 field hockey sticks for beginners in reverse order:
For less than $50 USD, this great starter stick is made from a fiberglass/wood composite, which is forgiving when trapping, whilst being lightweight.
An araldite reinforced toe assures durability from cracks in the tow. There is good vibration control with the wrapped fiberglass design. It looks pretty sharp too.
- Pros: reinforced toe for durability
The Harrow Supreme 15 Field Hockey Stick has a more powerful shot than the standard beginner selection. At about $50USD, it could still be called a beginner stick, provided you wanted to splash out a bit more than the others in this selection.
Its 22 mm apex makes it a flatter stick, perfect for learning the basics including dribbling. 15% carbon integration offers a slight increase in stiffness for added shot power. Its handle is extra soft for vibration control and better accuracy.
- Pros: the shape of the stick, soft handle
If you want an entry-level stick for the price of a good dinner, the GRAYS Surf 500 ticks all of the beginners’ boxes. Built with a fiberglass-reinforced Mulberry wood construction, it feels light, yet packs a powerful punch.
The ultrabow is an ideal beginner’s stick. The maxi toe is only used on 10% of sticks these days but is ideal for the greenhorn with its large surface area. Relying on Gray’s fine pedigree in creating sticks, the Surf 500 is value for money at less than $35USD
- Pros: The price and the shape of the bow.
These days you don’t just buy a hockey stick, throw shorts and a vest in a bag, and expect to start a game. In the USA, goggles must be worn if you’re a junior. Good Shin Guards are a must for all ages. The RX 50 starter pack covers all bases.
Not only that, the RX 50 is a very capable hockey stick. The 100% fiberglass construction creates a soft and forgiving feel, which is light and powerful. The maxi toe shape creates more surface area for the beginner to get to grips with trapping and hitting. The thin handle is useful and helps teach hand positioning for reverse side skills. Great value for money, beginners can’t go wrong with this set.
- Pros: it’s an ideal starter kit for those who want a turnkey solution to a hockey kit. Great value for money.
- Cons: no gum shield
And the winner is..
Firstly, The Byte T52 offers great value for money for a composite stick, with its advanced composite graphite and fiberglass giving it stiffness and lightness.
A comfortable, well-cushioned grip will offer vibration reduction when hitting the ball. The low bow may be too advanced for many just starting out in the game, as the design is not as predictable and easy to handle as a flatter bow. An added smart feature is the Byte has a Twin Tube system which improves the strength of the stick.
- Pros: Great value for money with advanced materials for a beginner stick.
- Cons: its low bow may be too advanced for some