Top Gear…

Buying your first Floorball stick

There are a few spare sticks available that can be borrowed, but to really get into this sport you’ll most likely want to have your own stick. The benefits of owning your own stick include the ability to extend the practice of ball-handling skills at home.

When it comes to selecting a stick there are several things that should be taken into account. The length of the stick, type of blade it has and the flex or stiffness of the shaft.

 

The Length

The length of the stick varies according to a player’s preference. The general rule for choosing the correct stick length is that the top of a floorball stick, when standing vertically on a flat surface, should reach about one to two centimeters above your belly button. Most floorball sticks can be shortened by removing the grip and sawing off a portion of the shaft from the top. A shorter stick will give a player better ball control as it brings ball closer to you. The down side will be when you are trying to tackle a rival player, usually a longer stick will be an advantage.

The Flex

The shaft flex for a floorball stick is normally measured in millimetres and refers to how much the shaft bends. The lower the number, the less flex the shaft has, so it is more rigid or stiffer. Floorball sticks that are approved by the International Floorball Feberation (IFF) must have a flex of at least 23mm and be able to tolerate a bend of up to 60mm without cracking or fracturing.

Which shaft flex is right for you, depends on how you play. A stiffer stick will allow you to have a harder shot but makes it harder to control the ball unless you have very soft hands. A more flexible stick will allow you to control the ball a lot easier. Your shot will be a bit slower but its more about accuracey when shooting for goal.

A  softer shaft also allows you to develop the correct technique in receiving and passing the ball. The technique of allowing the flex of the shaft, to create the speed on ball, when passing and shooting is very important. If you are able to learn this at an early stage, you will develop into a better player in a much shorter time.

The Shape

The shape of the stick shaft can be round, dual, square, oval, hexagonal and octahedral. But again for selecting the grip it comes down to a personal preference and can be best decided by playing with or trying out a few different ones prior to purchase.

 

The Blade

The blade of the stick can be made of either a hard or soft plastic material. A harder blade enables to make quicker passes and to take quicker shots, while a soft one will assist with ball control. A hot air gun can be used to heat the blade so that you can reshape it. Read also How to bend plate article

How to bend your blade

It is recommended that a player bend the blade to fit his or her style of play. The blade can be angled into the shape that you feel most comfortable. As more bent blade will give you better control, it may make passing difficult.

But on other hand a not as much of bent blade will give you an improved backhand pass.

When bending the blade, use a heat gun to warm up the blade, being very careful not to overheat or melt the plastic. But also same time, make sure it is not too cold as it may crack the plastic. When the plastic is warm and pliable, shape the blade, then while holding the shape, cool it off in crushed ice or cold water. Use of protective gloves is highly recommended. Never leave your stick in car boot as the heat softens the blade.

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