What is one of the most overlooked piece of equipment? Not only the goalie stick, but goalie stick paddles. I wrote an article a few years ago about goalie stick paddle length, and I would like write about it again. I have worked with a lot of with goalies at several goalie camps across the Midwest of the US. I have also gotten to talk to several pro and college goalies, over the past few years. By working with goalies and talking to high end ones, I have realized several goalies from the highest levels of beer league to the mites of youth hockey are over looking this, and using way too big of a paddle.
While, I can’t exactly tell you what the correct length of goalie stick paddle for you, I can almost assure you that you can go down an inch or 2. This is becoming a trend for goalies. For example, a pro goalie in the KHL I have coached with, is about 6’2″ and uses a 23″ in paddle. I have also noticed more high end goalies go maybe not that short but shorter. The benefits (after testing it myself going down from a 26″ to a 24″) is that you have no gap between the arm and body while in the butterfly. In addition to that, a smaller paddle allows for more of a shaft to help aid in puck handling. The smaller paddle, with the correct grip, also helps your stance, by making you bend your knees a bit more and be an more athletic stance.
The stick also, doesn’t have to be on the ice at all times especially while in their stance. This is what folks forget about. If you think about it, a goalie drops into the butterfly on almost every shot. So if the paddle length is shorter and can help seal that hole, that means less goals and no need for the stick to be on the ice while standing up, and thus, a shorter paddle can be used.
Below is a chart that I created that goes in line with another goalie school, and a few other sites that have written on this topic.
|Stick Size||Paddle Height||Goalie Height|
|19"||3'.5" - 3'.8"|
|20"||Up to 4'2"|
|Junior||21"||4' - 4'8|
|22"||4'4 - 4'10|
|23"||4'6 - 5'|
|Intermediate||23" - 23.5"||4'6" - 5'5"|
|24.-24.5||5'3" - 5'6"|
|25"||5'10 - 6'2"|
|26"||6' - 6'4"|
|27"||6'4" on up|
In my research for this, I came across this forum post, and found it very interesting on how several pros use very short paddles as well.