A goaltenders stick helps build the stance and movements. A proper sized stick should allow the goaltender to keep the blade of the stick flush on the ice centered between the toes of the pads, with the blocker resting slightly onto the outer edge of the pad. It also important to keep the elbow tucked in toward the body to close the 7th hole gap.
Goalie Stick Style and Preference
There are 4 main styles of sticks on the market. Wood, foam core, hybrid and composite. Wood sticks are generally the heaviest out of all of the sticks but offer great balance. Foam cores are the most popular with having the main content of the paddle having injected foam to keep down weight, have better weight distribution and durability. Hybrids have components of foam core and composite. These sticks have a foam core paddle with a fused composite shaft to add flex and reduce even more weight. Composite sticks are generally hollow with a slight bit of injected foam. These will be the lightest sticks on the market. Curves on sticks are extremely preferential but they will help with a goaltenders shooting ability and with redirecting pucks. Flatter curves offer easy puck redirection but might find it’s tougher to lift the puck. Mid or twist curves have lots of curve which could allude to having a harder time angling the puck to the corner, but can easily lift the puck with shooting.
Goalie Stick Usage and Maintenance
Unlike the other pieces of equipment, all goalie sticks could be used at any level, but it depends on the goalies preference. Regardless of their preference, proper maintenance would be beneficial to making sticks last longer. Re-taping the stick frequently would help keep the moisture out of the blade, thus keeping the foam, wood and carbon pieces stiffer over a longer period of time.
Goalie Stick Customization
Customizing sticks can come from custom paddle grips, ways of taping the stick, shaft length and blade thickness. Certain goalies like having very thick knobs on the stick to make it easier to not lose the stick when transitioning from a stance to a shooting position. Next, goaltenders can use certain grips where the shaft meets the paddle for extra grip in their blocker hand. Goalies now are starting to use thicker blades or reinforced blades to help further direct pucks and to have a better snap when shooting. These reinforcements are generally carbon strips or covering added in certain spots based off of the preference.