Do you need a new goalie stick? Are you not particular about your sticks? Do you grab something that fits the budget and you’ll make it work, as long as it’s the right hand at your local hockey store? Have you given much thought to what paddle length you use? It is often overlooked, but by playing with the correct goalie stick paddle length, it can help improve your game.
How can having the correct paddle improve your game? Most goalies grab the stick right where the paddle meets the shaft and let their hands rest at that point. Thus having the correct size paddle helps position your blocker hand. If you grab a stick that is too short, then your hand will be overlapping your goalie pads. This could cause your pads or hand to get in the way on saves. If you have a paddle that is too tall, then that could create a wide gap between your blocker, arm, and body and give shooters an opening. The best practice is to get a stick that sets your hand slightly above your pads while in your goalie stance. However, this shouldn’t be too big of an opening that a puck could squeeze through. The correct size could help minimize holes and getting in the way while making big saves.
So how can you measure for the correct size? The best practice is to stand in your stance and have the blocker hand a few inches above the leg pad while in the stance. All sizes are marked on the shafts of the sticks and are indicated with a number somewhere on the shaft. Most senior sticks range from 24inch paddles to around 27inch paddles. (*Please note that different manufacturers could range in size so what could be a 27in paddle in a CCM could be a bit shorter or taller in a Warrior. If you buy from Pro Stock Hockey, pro stock stick paddle sizes could be different as well.) This measurement is taken from the heel of the stick to the top of the paddle. Getting the best size can help your game.
Grabbing any old stick might work for street hockey or just for fun. However, for beer league or any league game, having the correct size paddle length can improve your game!
To learn more about goaltending or get some more great tips, check out a free e-book from Pro Stock Hockey!
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Goalie Book from Pro Stock Hockey, an online resource for authentic pro stock hockey equipment