Navigating Equipment Choices

You’ve hopefully found out about Floorball through some form or another.  Hopefully you were able to get some hands on experience through a demo or some other form.  If not, it’s likely that you’re intrigued by the sport and want to know a bit more.  Doing a brief internet search you’ve likely come across a variety of companies selling Floorball equipment and you might be wondering what the differences are between sticks. Similar to other sporting equipment out there, Floorball equipment varies in quality, performance, and construction.  It’s hard to know what the right choice is for you, and even harder to make a choice if you’ve never actually held the stick in the first place. 

I’ve been in your same situation and I’ve been fortunate enough to try many sticks. As part of my platform I write unbiased equipment reviews on my site because I want to help people make educated decisions about their equipment.   If I think something is garbage I’ll make sure to state that, because I don’t want others to be frustrated with it.  It’s really frustrating shelling out money to only be disappointed with what you get, especially if you’re unable to get your hands on it first.

The Floorball Stick

Floorball sticks are comprised of fiberglass, carbon, or a mixture.  The characteristics of a Floorball stick will vary depending on their construction, but a lot of your final decision will depend on your playing style.  Increasingly, Floorball companies are developing and marketing equipment to meet your playing styles.  If you’re lucky enough to have a shop near you, or an opportunity to try multiple sticks I encourage you to do so.  Some things you’ll want to pay attention to is the flex of the shaft, and how the blade feels.  This can take a bit of time to recognize, but once you do you can start to more effectively hone in on the characteristics you’re looking for in your stick.

When I’m looking at a stick I’m looking for something that will complement my playing style, and give me the performance I need.  I’ve played with $40 sticks that I feel perform better than $80-100 sticks, and vice versa, so don’t solely make a decision based on price.  One of the unique characteristics to Floorball sticks is that they’re lightweight, but keep their shape during flex and allow you to increase performance.  When I grab a stick I’m evaluating its weight but that’s not my main priority.  I’m more interested in how the stick feels. I note the flex of the stick first and foremost.  Floorball flex is usually in the name of the stick and marked on the shaft as well. 

Stick Flex

For younger players and most beginners the ideal flex would be a 32-35. The purpose of flex is to create energy through the shaft of the stick that when released propels the ball forward quickly.  It’s not solely about strength, but finding a balance in the flex of the stick and the player.  For most this means that you’ll still be able to create flex out of the shaft to create energy effectively.  If your flex number decreases (i.e. 30,29,27 etc.) it will require more force to flex the stick, which creates more energy.  One thing to note is that depending on your playing style a stick with a flex rating at 27 may not be the right fit for you, whereas, a flex of 29 might be the right balance. Until you get your hands on it, knowing the difference is a challenge.

Blades

The other piece to the puzzle is the blade.  Blades are being constructed with a variety of characteristic.  In many cases sticks are already paired with an appropriate blade, though you can easily change the blade to suit what you’re looking for.  Blades are typically marked based on how hard or soft they are.  You should be able to find this information marked on the blade.  A hard blade is good for shooting, though harder to control fast passes.  A soft blade is great for passing and control, but you lose power during shots.  The characteristics of the blade come down to how it feels, which you won’t know until you try it. 

Conclusion

I would recommend when you purchase a blade to go ahead and purchase a different blade to test out.  You can always switch back and forth to find a pairing that works for you.   The more you play, the more you experience the better understanding you’ll have on the equipment that works for you. For more information about equipment choices check out podcast and written reviews.

 

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