There is a lot of science about weight and balance of an object and how that impacts distance or force.
Force = Mass x Acceleration
The weight and balance is all about how the stick feels for a player. Feel is the most important thing and that is why picking the right weight and balance for you is so important. Yes, a heavier stick will impact potential hitting power slightly, but a lighter stick is easier to move. You choose what is more important.
Weight is how heavy the stick is, it is measured in grams. If we look at ‘Force = Mass x Acceleration’ a heavier stick swung at the same speed as a lighter stick would generate more force when hitting. I.e it would hit the ball harder. But, hockey players need something they can move and control as well as hit hard with.
Manufacturers are making lighter and lighter sticks now. This is due to the quality of materials and what players are asking for. The game is developing so quickly that it is more important to be able to move the stick quickly rather than hit the ball as hard as possible. That is why we don’t pick a stick purely on it’s weight and ability to hit the ball hard, otherwise we would be asking for sticks at 1kg.
The Balance Point (BP) of a stick determines the distribution of the weight. The mid point is 400mm, so a stick with a 400mm BP will have an even distribution across the stick and an even ‘pick up’. Below 400mm and you get a weighting more towards the head (lower balance) and above 400mm the balance more towards the handle.
A stick with a low balance point will feel like it has more weight behind the ball in comparison to a high balance point stick. This does not necessarily mean that it will equal more force through the ball though.
Balance is arguably more influential than weight in hockey sticks. Two sticks of the same weight will feel more different with varying BPs rather than two stick with different weights but the same BP.
When you have the weight and balance correct you will feel it. There is no right or wrong answer, it is a personal preference.
THE FINAL DECISION ON WEIGHT AND BALANCE
We believe that dribbling from side to side is the best test of stick weight and balance. Doing that you will get the best feel for the stick and work out if the weight is too much in the head or too much at the handle.
Weight and balance will impact how hitting and slapping feels, especially if you are making a big change to your stick. However, after a short period of time your new weight and balance will become the norm. If you were to revisit your old stick you probably would think it was horrible.
Thank you for reading the final instalment of the ‘Stick Buyer’s Guide‘. Please let us know other areas you would like us to cover.