What Will You Get From A More Expensive Stick?
Purchasing a new stick often requires a lot of choices. One of the most obvious (and important) is deciding how much to spend on a new stick. All companies release their stick lines with different price points available, but don’t offer much of an explanation for what you’ll get with each model. There is a lot that goes into a stick, and there are a number of different features in every model. Let’s take a look into what you can get for your money.
The top-of-the-line stick; the pinnacle in technology and the stick with the most features available. For example, the Bauer Supreme TotalOne MX3 contains features such as Monocomp single-mold technology for improved balance and puck control, TeXtreme® lightweight carbon fiber wrapping, and eLASTech to extend the stick's "pop" and durability. This stick will be the closest to a pro-level stick you can buy at a retail store, and will accordingly cost $200 and above. A top-of-the-line stick is recommended for players who know exactly what they like and are playing a high level of hockey. This will have the highest performance effect on your game. If you are willing to shell out the money for it, you will definitely get your money’s worth. High end sticks are built from the most advanced and lightest-weight composite materials, and they will also be the most balanced sticks available.
The high-end stick is just under the top of the line. These have some of the bells and whistles of last year’s top end model, typically with some updates to the design and some other improved features. For instance, the Bauer Supreme 190 stick has SENSE material in the blade (only found otherwise in Bauer's Supreme TotalOne MX3, Nexus 8000, and Vapor APX2 sticks) but lacks features such as the single-fuse Monocomp technology found in the TotalOne MX3. These sticks will usually cost around $150. They are going to be very lightweight and will have the featured kick point for that line. The high-end sticks will be made from a stronger, more advanced composite material than the sticks below it.
The middle-of-the-road stick is a great compromise between price and features. It is a reliable jump up from the entry-level, both in price but also in technology, usually costing between $80 and $100. These sticks typically feature a developed kick point featured by the line. If the line is known for a low kick point, then the middle of the road stick will feature it. They are made from a lighter weight composite than the entry-level and may also feature a solid one piece construction, as opposed to being fused at the blade. Once you know what curve and flex you prefer, then step into a higher priced stick like this. If you know what you like and you’d prefer not to spend too much, this should be a great price point.
The entry-level stick is the most basic model; it is the cheapest price and also the most limited on features. Usually entry level sticks will cost about $50. If you are new to hockey or are still trying to determine the ideal curve or flex for you, I recommend going as affordable as possible. You are still figuring out what you like and you won’t see as great of an improvement to your game by spending top dollar just yet. The extra weight will actually help you build strength on your stick hands, because added weight for a beginner player will actually add power to the swing. Playing with a heavier stick will make switching to a light one later on a noticeable and welcome transition. The entry-level sticks also tend to be more durable since they aren’t shaving down to reduce weight. The downside, of course, is lack of special features and technology used in the highest-end models. They also lack a premade kick point and usually have a simple mid flex.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of the benefits and drawbacks of each line’s price points. You want to choose a stick that has the best features in your price range. Every stick is going to take some getting used to, but learning what flex and curve you like will be universal through all brands and price points. Be sure to check out our stick buying guide article!