Choosing youth hockey sticks is uniquely challenging.
When I was buying the first stick for my currently 13 years old girl (who is now playing center in a local team in Canada), I honestly was overthinking way too much. As a coach and an experienced hockey player, I know hockey sticks and can tell how slight changes in blade profile are going to affect your performance.
I initially attempted to apply my years of experience to choose the perfect youth hockey stick for my daughter, but I then realized that advanced things like lie, blade profile, or flex don’t matter that much for complete beginners. Because you can’t tell out of the blue what will be right for someone completely new to the sport.
I figured out that I should purchase a very simple hockey stick and go from there. And then, as my girl got better at the game, her strengths and weaknesses started showing up, dictating my future stick purchases.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, if an experienced hockey coach and player can struggle to choose a hockey stick for his daughter, I cannot imagine how confusing everything can be for a parent who knows very little about hockey.
The vast majority of buyer’s guides online are tailored toward more experienced players. These guides talk about things like blade lie, loft, or point of balance. Parents may start overthinking these specs & features and become paralyzed by the options they have – without realizing that they don’t matter that much for kids.
With that, today, I am going to share some shopping tips for youth sticks. I’ll also showcase what I think are the 10 best hockey sticks for youth to save you some time on research.
1. STX Surgeon RX3 - Best Youth Hockey Stick
- Peregrine: an innovative, ergonomic shape on the...
- Precision flex II: the lower section of the stick...
- Silver Streak: an innovative, new material...
- Ultra high balance point: amplifies the feel and...
Up first on our list, we have the Surgeon RX3 ice hockey from STX. In my opinion, this is the best ice hockey stick for youth you can find on the market. Besides, it’s a pretty nice pick for kids who already have some experience, though Surgeon RX3 could work for complete newbies too.
Surgeon RX3 is designed with control and handling in mind. The X92 blade is engineered with a more open toe curve, allowing for rising shots, while the ultra-high balance point makes Surgeon RX3 easy to handle.
The lower portion of the stick also has increased flex to release the puck faster, whereas the rest is stiffer to let the player make hard & fast shots.
The blade in the Surgeon RX3 youth hockey stick is pretty tough too – it features resin along the entire base to reduce wear and prolong life. Aside from that, the blade offers increased friction to maximize grip with the puck.
Featuring a carbon fiber construction, Surgeon RX3 is rather light as well, which additionally contributes to this stick’s handling.
The price of Surgeon RX3 is very attractive too. Combined with all of the above, this makes the STX Surgeon RX3 the best youth ice hockey stick out there – especially for kids who have played hockey quite a bit already.
- Really good price.
- Ultra-high balance point for better control and playability.
- Tough and durable blade.
- Very light and easy to handle.
- Nothing to complain about.
2. Franklin Sports Power X - Best Youth Street Hockey Stick
- MULTI-PLY WOOD SHAFT: The high density...
- DURABLE BLADE: The blade is made from a...
- ONE PIECE CONSTRUCTION: Unlike most street hockey...
- LIGHTWEIGHT AND BALANCED: The balanced weight...
- NHL STREET HOCKEY OFFICAL: Officially licensed by...
The Franklin Sports Power X stick is a great choice if your child is interested in street hockey. This stick will work as an off-the-ice practice stick for ice hockey players as well.
In terms of build, the Power X stick features a poplar/birch wood shaft and an ABS blade. The wood makes this stick noticeably heavier than the STX Surgeon RX3 stick, but wood generally is more durable too.
With its balanced weight distribution, Power X is also a good choice for complete beginners who don’t yet have any preferences in hockey. Power X should allow your kid to get started and practice the basics.
Power X is very wallet-friendly as well, which solidifies it as a good beginner’s stick for street hockey, as well as a practice stick for ice hockey.
- Very affordable.
- Tough wood build.
- Balanced weight distribution.
- Nice for street hockey or practice off the ice.
- Probably won’t last long, which is fine for a first-time stick.
3. Franklin Sports NHL 1090 Phantom Street Hockey Stick
What I particularly like about the NHL 1090 Phantom street hockey stick is that it has two size options – 40 and 48 inches. These sizes are nice for younger and older kids respectively.
The Phantom street hockey stick also features a hefty poplar/birch shaft paired with an ABS blade. The wood should make the shaft pretty tough, though this stick all in all isn’t super-durable.
Franklin Sports offers this stick in right- and left-handed styles as well, which is nice if you want a more customized experience for your kid.
Overall, I think that the Phantom stick is a nice pick for beginners in street hockey. It makes for a good practice stick for ice hockey too.
- Very pocket-friendly.
- Pretty nice wooden build.
- Two size options (40 and 48 inches).
- Available in right- and left-handed styles.
4. Franklin Sports NHL Power Fusion Street Hockey Stick
The Power Fusion street hockey stick seems identical to the Phantom stick, but it has a different wrap on it. The wrap in the Power Fusion has a different style and also doesn’t cover the blade.
Power Fusion is available in 3 sizes – 40, 48, and 56 inches. The 40 and 48 inches are fine for the youth, while the 56-inch stick is probably too large, unless your child is really tall.
All in all, Power Fusion is a nice alternative to the Phantom. The two sticks feature a seemingly identical construction, and there are no meaningful differences to talk about.
If you can’t choose between Power Fusion and Phantom, then have a look at their price and pick the cheaper stick. Both will work fine for a beginner in street hockey or for off-ice practice.
- Quite tough wooden shaft.
- The 40-inch size is great for younger players (also 48- and 56-inch sticks available).
- Available in right- and left-handed styles.
- Durability could be better
5. Franklin Sports Youth - Best Street Hockey Set For Beginners
- Includes: (2) 37” junior hockey sticks and (1)...
- Left or right handed shot: Straight blade design...
- Beautiful graphics: These unique street hockey...
- Official street hockey partner of the NHL: This...
- Designed for kids: For ages 6 and up
The Franklin Sports youth street hockey set is best for complete newbies in street hockey. This is a really low-cost street hockey set that can help children aged 6 and up with their first steps in street hockey and hockey in general.
The Franklin street hockey set includes a pair of 37-inch sticks and a low-density street hockey ball. These won’t live long since their quality is toy-like, but they are completely fine for getting started in hockey.
Besides, although this set is designed for street hockey, children may use the sticks for at-home ice hockey practice too!
What I also like about this set is that the included sticks have a straight blade, so they’ll work for both right- and left-handed players. The short length of 37 inches also makes the sticks nice for young and short children.
Franklin advertises that this set is NHL-approved too. This is nice, but I don’t think that it matters for sticks of this level and at this price point.
All in all, if you don’t want to spend too much money but do want to allow your child to get started in hockey, the Franklin youth street hockey set is a great buy.
- Great for beginners.
- Includes a pair of 37-inch sticks and a street hockey ball.
- The straight blade works for both right- and left-handed players.
- Won’t withstand intensive use, but that’s fine for a starter stick set.
6. Gamecraft Floor Sticks - Best For Practice
The Gamecraft floor youth hockey stick 3-pack is a nice choice for practicing ice or field hockey. Aside from that, if your child is interested in floor hockey, then this set will allow him or her to get started as well.
This set includes 3 sticks – all 36 inches in length. Although this set is marketed for juniors, the sticks are short enough to be used by the youth as well.
In terms of build, there is nothing much to talk about – the sticks are plastic and can boast neither mind-blowing quality nor durability. The blades are straight though, so the sticks should be fine for both right- and left-handed players.
The Gamecraft sticks look pretty nice as well – the yellow blades may seem particularly appealing to kids.
So all in all, I think that this is going to be the right set for making the first steps in ice, field, or street hockey.
- Includes 3 sticks.
- Excellent for practice.
- A nice choice if your kid is specifically interested in floor hockey.
- Nothing to complain about.
7. Franklin Sports Street Hockey Set - Best Goalie Set For Practice At Home
- Build up your collection of street hockey sticks...
- Made with a flexible ABS plastic shaft and blade,...
- With one junior hockey stick and one junior goalie...
If your kid is a goalie or is training to become one, then this street hockey set from Franklin Sports is a great choice. It’s super-cheap, and it also includes a pair of sticks (goalie + player’s stick) to help your child practice.
What I like about this stick set is that it lets goalies practice with a buddy – the player stick along with the street hockey ball included in this set make practice in pairs very easy.
Build-wise, the Franklin goalie and player sticks are really simple, and they don’t offer anything spectacular. The only thing I should say about them is that the sticks probably won’t live long. But at this price point, this is not an issue.
So all in all, I think that this goalie set is a great option for practice in pairs for players and goalies.
- Includes standard and goalie sticks, plus a street hockey ball.
- A good choice for goalies.
- Excellent for practice at home.
- Low durability
8. Frontier 1500 - Best Youth Hockey Stick For Low Budgets
- "Kid" (beginner) wood hockey stick with left blade
- 43" Anatomically correct 12-ply birch shaft
- Industrial grade abs blade with fiberglass overlay
- Solid, durable, perfectly integrated blade and...
- Beginner stick for both ice and outside/street...
The Frontier 1500 ice hockey stick is a good option if your budget is low. Aside from that, it’s beginner-friendly and is a solid pick if you think STX Surgeon SR3 is too advanced for your child.
The Frontier 1500 stick features a pretty good-feeling wood build. The blade is made of ABS and features a fiberglass overlay, so it should be pretty tough as well. This stick certainly won’t serve you a lifetime, but it’s fine for a season while your kid is still learning.
What I like about this stick is that it’s available with straight, left-, or right-handed blades. The straight blade is perfect for beginners thanks to its simplicity and plainness, while the other two styles are nice for more experienced children.
Note that this stick is sized at 43 inches, so it might be too long for young or short children.
In conclusion, I think that the Frontier 1500 stick is the best bet if you are looking for a cheap ice hockey stick for your kid.
- Great for beginners.
- Pretty nice wooden construction.
- Available with straight, left-, and right-handed blades.
- No complaints.
9. Mylec Air Flo Goalie Stick - Best Youth Hockey Stick For Goalies
If you want your kid to practice goalie skills both on and off the ice, then the Mylec Air Flo stick is a nice choice.
This youth hockey stick is an inexpensive stick designed specifically for goalies. It’s sized at 48 inches, features a fairly tough injection-molded plastic blade, and has a straight blade profile for either right- or left-handed use.
Because this stick is 48 inches long, it’s also probably a good pick for taller or older children.
The Mylec Air Flo goalie stick is rather cheap as well, so it’s a nice pick if you aren’t ready to go for something more advanced just yet.
In conclusion, the Mylec Air Flo goalie stick is a very nice option for aspiring goalies, but don’t expect it to do wonders. It will work best to help your child learn the basics, but then, it’ll either break or your kid will need something better.
- Great for aspiring goalies.
- Suitable for both left- and right-handed players.
- Great for practice on or off the ice.
10. Franklin Sports NHL Team - Best 2-Piece Youth Hockey Stick
- Multi-ply poplar/birch shaft
- Replaceable high-impact polymer blade
- 2-piece shaft/blade Assembly
- Full coverage vinyl graphic wrap
- Features NHL team logos and designs
And the last youth hockey stick on our list is this 2-piece street hockey stick from Franklin.
This stick is a fairly nice option if you want the flexibility of a 2-piece stick. Since the stick is 2-piece – with a separate shaft and blade – you may replace the pieces if necessary.
I wouldn’t say that this is that amazing at the price point – if your kid has played enough hockey to break the stick, then he probably already needs a new and better one. But still, you do have the flexibility to change the blade or shaft.
If you have really limited space for storage, then perhaps the 2-piece construction will be nice too, although space savings isn’t the design’s primary purpose.
Like previous Franklin sticks, this stick features a poplar/birch shaft, while the blade is polymer. The stick feels nice, but it will be good for a season max.
One thing to keep in mind with this stick is that the 2-piece design may impede power transfer from the player to the ball. But again, kids don’t need to think about efficiency and maximizing power transfer just yet.
All in all, if you do feel that your kid needs the benefits of a 2-piece stick, then this Franklin stick might be an excellent choice.
- 2-piece design – allows you to replace the blade and shaft if necessary.
- Left- and right-handed variants available.
- Pretty nice wooden build.
- Won’t transfer power as well as one-piece sticks.
The Only Buying Guide You’ll Ever Need
We’re done with the reviews – let’s now talk about the key features and specs to consider when shopping for the best youth hockey stick.
I’ll try to keep the guide brief because you don’t need too in-depth knowledge to choose a youth hockey stick for your kid. Your child probably doesn’t have much experience in hockey, so don’t overthink anything – just pick something that seems good.
Initially, children may not have any preferences simply because they have no experience to base those preferences on. But as your kid gets better at hockey and gains experience, you may start choosing sticks more carefully.
Stick type & discipline
When people say “hockey”, they usually refer specifically to ice hockey. However, there are other hockey types as well, which is why I included gear for multiple hockey disciplines.
Among stick types you can find out there are:
- Ice hockey sticks.
- Field hockey sticks.
- Floor hockey sticks.
- Street hockey sticks.
- Mini hockey sticks.
There are plenty of other hockey variations, but these are the most popular.
Needless to say, you should pick the right youth hockey stick for your hockey discipline. You can’t use an ice hockey stick for street hockey – the stick will quickly wear from contact with the ground.
With that said, you could actually buy a cheap street or floor hockey stick just to let your kid practice off the ice too.
Hockey sticks – no matter their type – are typically made of either wood or composite.
Composite sticks are very common these days thanks to their lightness – they are often 2-3 times lighter than wood sticks. Composite sticks aren’t as durable as wood sticks, but they are preferred by many players because they allow for added maneuverability on the ice.
Wood sticks are falling out of favor due to their heavy weight, but they are still popular among some players thanks to their cheapness, arguably better feel, and durability.
With that said, know that wood sticks also tend to become inconsistent over time due to wear. So in the long term, composite sticks are often a way better choice.
However, new players may benefit from the better feel provided by the heaviness of a wooden stick. Aside from that, the weight will help with putting power into shots during practice. But, of course, a wooden stick requires more strength.
With that, if your kid is completely new to hockey or has little experience, then you should probably go for a wooden stick. Otherwise, if your child wants something light, then a composite stick is perhaps the right choice.
Hockey stick length
Next, consider youth hockey stick length. The right length would depend on the height of the player, as well as perhaps on personal preference. But since we are talking about youth sticks, your kid probably doesn’t have experience or preference, so you should pick by height for the time being.
Lengths of youth sticks vary from hockey type to type. In ice hockey, for example, youth sticks are typically sized from 38 to 49 inches.
Generally, your hockey stick should be at about chin level when you are standing with your skates and the stick on the ice in front of you. Brands provide size charts as well, so consult them to make the right choice.
Here are some sizing recommendations for youth hockey stick sizing based on their type. I found only ice and field hockey stick size charts from reliable sources. But if you have more info, feel free to share it.
|Age group||Player height||Stick length|
|Youth (3-5)||3’0” to 3’10”||38 to 44 inches|
|Youth (6-8)||3’10” to 4’8”||45 to 49 inches|
|Junior (7-13)||4’4” to 5’1”||50 to 54 inches|
Hockey Monkey provides size estimates for all age groups, but I only took the numbers for the youth and juniors. I added junior sizing since some youth-age players may be much taller than their peers.
|Player height||Stick length|
|4’ and shorter||28 inches|
|4’1” to 4’3”||30 inches|
|4’4” to 4’6”||32 inches|
|4’7” to 5’||34 inches|
Keep in mind that longer sticks give more reach and provide more leverage for making powerful shots, while short sticks are considered more controllable.
By the way, once you choose a stick and after your kid has played a fair number of games with it, check the blade. If the blade looks worn down at its heel, the stick may be too long for your child. Alternatively, it may be that your child has poor balance and leans on the stick for support.
And lastly, don’t be afraid to shop for a longer stick. You may actually saw off the top of the stick to make it shorter. I wouldn’t recommend this little trick for an expensive stick, but for cheap kids’ sticks, it’s acceptable.
Hockey stick weight
Hockey stick weight matters in hockey a lot. Generally, lighter sticks are used by attacking players because they are easier to handle and perform fast swings with. In contrast, heavier sticks add power and distance to a player’s hits.
How heavy a stick should be comes down to a player’s preferences. However, children should arguably start with lighter sticks because:
- They may lack the strength for heavy sticks.
- It’s easier to work stick skills with lighter sticks thanks to their controllability.
One- vs two-piece sticks
Hockey sticks can be one- or two-piece as well.
Generally, one-piece sticks are preferred because they are sturdier and don’t tend to get loose with time. On the other hand, if you break the shaft or the blade of a two-piece stick, you won’t have to buy an entire new stick. You may just replace what has been damaged.
One thing to keep in mind with two-piece sticks is that they often don’t come with a blade, so you’ll have to buy it separately. But you can find kits that come with a blade, which is nice if you don’t want to bother with shopping for a blade right now.
For kids, advanced things like blade shape aren’t that important – your child is yet to learn hockey and develop his or her own preferences.
With that said, keep in mind the following:
- The face (front) of the blade should be close to perpendicular (more closed). This will help with accuracy. Besides, open blades lift the puck off the ice, which may be very confusing for inexperienced players.
- The depth of the blade’s curvature should be minimal as well – no more than one and a half inches.
Basically, the blade should be shaped as plainly as possible to let the kid learn to hit. Straight blades with no curves are ideal for starters. Then, as your child progresses in the sport, you may start adapting the blade to their preferences.
Left-handed vs right-handed
You should also determine whether your kid needs a right- or left-handed youth hockey stick. Here, the key thing to remember is that you should not take into account the dominant writing hand of your child.
Which side would be right for a player depends on comfort and personal preference. Hockey players choose their side based on which hand they feel comfortable to keep closer to the blade.
If your kid is comfortable with his or her left hand lower on the stick, then they should play with a left-handed stick. And obviously, if they are more comfortable with the right hand lower on the stick, they need a right-handed stick.
This sounds counterintuitive, but with your dominant writing hand higher on the stick, you gain more control of it.
With all that said, note that sticks with straight blades may be used by both right- or left-handed players. If you don’t know what to choose, go for a stick with a straight blade.
Frequently Asked Questions
And for some final guidance, I’ll now provide answers to frequently asked questions on hockey sticks.
What size hockey stick do I need for a 12 years old?
For 12 years old, a youth hockey stick sized at 50-54 inches should be enough. With that said, make sure to consult size charts provided by hockey stick brands to make the right choice. Personal preference should also be counted.
Is a lighter hockey stick better?
Not necessarily – how heavy your stick should be depends on your preferences and strength.
Some players like their sticks lighter because lighter sticks don’t weigh them down and are easier to move on the ice. On the other hand, some people prefer heavier sticks because they can generate more power. Besides, heavier sticks are harder for opponents to lift off the ice.
What’s the difference between youth and junior sticks?
Youth sticks generally range from 38 to 49 inches in length, while junior sticks are from 50 to 54 inches.
Aside from that, junior sticks are stiffer than youth sticks, having a flex rating of 40-50 versus junior sticks’ 20-35.
Which hockey brand is the best?
This is a tough question to answer, but Bauer and CCM seem to be generally more trusted by NHL players, according to GearGeek. The vast majority of NHL players use hockey equipment – sticks, gloves, pants, skates, and helmets – from these two brands.
The 3rd Period
Do you have any experience with the hockey sticks I featured? If so, share it with us – your feedback will help me pick better products to showcase!
All in all, when buying a hockey stick for children, you shouldn’t think about advanced stuff like blade curve depth or openness. The best tip I could give you is to get a stick with the simplest and most plain blade you can find – this will eliminate variables and let your kid focus on the game.